Two relatively unknown coaches, Didier Digard, and Will Still, are making waves in the French league this season.
Digard, the coach of seventh-place Nice, took over early in January after a difficult start to the season under Lucien Favre.
Since his appointment, Nice has been on a 10-game unbeaten streak heading into Sunday’s match against ninth-place Lorient. The 36-year-old Digard had a gritty playing style and is not afraid to bark orders from the touchline in his tight-fitting overcoat. His immediate impact was felt as he won his first four games in charge.
Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Still has guided eighth-place Reims to a club-record 19 league games without defeat, including two draws against league leader PSG. Since replacing Oscar Garcia in October, Reims has not lost in the league, and the streak dates back to September 2021.
Still has achieved remarkable success with limited resources and even less coaching experience. His team will face second-place Marseille on Sunday.
Both teams are on 43 points, separated by goal difference, and are still in the running for European places with 11 rounds of games left.
Nice and Reims have been performing consistently, thanks in large part to their respective coaches. Both teams have two of the league’s best finishers in Nice’s Terem Moffi and Reims’ Folarin Balogun.
Moffi, who joined from Lorient in the January transfer window, has 15 goals and two assists for Nice, while Balogun, who is on loan from Arsenal, has 16 goals and one assist for Reims.
The two teams have played each other twice this season, with both matches ending in 0-0 draws. Nice’s climb up the table and Reims’ unbeaten record have made the coaches, Digard and Still, stand out in the league.
Both teams could be destined for bigger things, just like their inseparable finishers who share a similar playing style.