Bad week to be a Ligue 1 boss – four coaches out in five days as Football Manager buff gets top job

By Sports Desk October 13, 2022

Reims became the fourth Ligue 1 club since Sunday to ditch their head coach when Oscar Garcia was ousted – to be replaced by former video gamer William Still.

Just one win in 10 games in the French top flight cost Garcia, with assistant Still stepping up to become interim boss.

It represents the latest remarkable step in the career of Still, who turns 30 on Friday.

Still was obsessed with the Football Manager and Championship Manager series as a teenager and has said such games gave him the "impetus" to go into coaching as a profession, without having played any football at a full-time level.

He told Sport Bible in May: "I wanted to be able to talk to players. I wanted to have that relationship. I mean, I was alright at football but FM allowed me to have that glimpse of what it actually was like to manage a team.

"I actually think people that play Football Manager understand the game a bit more. You've got to go into a lot of detail to actually win things and be successful in the game, especially nowadays with it becoming more and more complicated."

Still took a degree at Myerscough College in Preston, England, going on to work with Preston's under-14 team before moving to Belgium, where his parents lived, and finding work with Sint-Truiden, Lierse and Beerschot.

Still is in a second stint with Reims, having briefly left to be assistant boss of Standard Liege. He has spoken of ambitions to manage in the Premier League and Champions League.

Reims announced he would take over for now in a statement that read: "In view of results below the expected objectives and in order to protect the best interests of the institution, Stade de Reims announces the temporary suspension of Oscar Garcia. The interim will be provided by William Still, current assistant coach."

Garcia is not expected to return to the role he held for 16 months, with Reims reportedly beginning their search for a permanent successor.

Reims have drawn five games this season, so Still is not stepping into the spotlight amid a full-blown crisis, with the team sitting 15th in Ligue 1, albeit just two points above bottom side Brest. They play Lorient in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Lyon set the ball rolling for sackings when Peter Bosz was dismissed on Sunday and Laurent Blanc named as his successor. Brest and Auxerre announced the departure of their coaches, Michel Der Zakarian and Jean-Marc Furlan, on Tuesday.

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