After winning the Coupe de France 2019 and reaching the knockout stages of the Europa League, Stade Rennais mourned the hasty departure of its coach Julien Stéphan. A young coach with a bright future. A feeling of waste. To replace him, the SRFC then bet on a revenant in Ligue 1: Bruno Genesio. Mocked by OL supporters or teased by others who like to nickname him “Pep Genesio”, in reference to the Manchester City coach, the new strongman of the Rouge-et-Noir has silenced the critics.
In addition to an inaugural defeat against Olympique de Marseille on March 10, Genesio put an end to the series of poor results for the Breton club (9 consecutive matches without a win in all competitions). Result: after slipping to 10th place in the standings, Rennes is now seventh, but is only one point away from fifth place synonymous with the European Cup. And here are some ingredients of the magic recipe of Lyonnais. First of all, he was able to restore confidence to elements wandering like a lost soul.
Stray players revived
And the most glaring example is that of Flavien Tait, imperial last night against PSG. “He was the one who activated the levers by being very good in training. I arrived with a slightly new eye. Every day I saw him work very well. He is a player who needs a lot of confidence. In the heart of the game, he has activity, technical quality and intelligence that are very important. I am very happy for him because he is a boy who works a lot. He plays lower, he likes it, he is more often up against the game and as he has an intelligence and a technique to get out of small spaces, he was very valuable in thwarting the pressing of Paris ”, explained Genesio at a press conference. But that’s not all.
“If I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone before what was planned, it is because I knew the potential of this group. At first, we worked a lot on the mental aspect. It was a group that was very touched, and we understand it, which remained on an incredible streak of seven defeats and nine games without a win. Then there was also tactical and technical work. Establish principles that are a little different, otherwise there is no point in changing. Having both this defensive organization which is our strength, we are the third best defense, but also bring a little more variety in our offensive game, a little more freedom and risk-taking, while keeping a structure “.
A risk-taking which results in a much more vertical game in which Jérémy Doku is more to his advantage, even if the Belgian must still be sharper in the face of goal. Just like an extremely decisive Martin Terrier under the Genesio era (3 assists, 5 goals). Reinvigorated, the Rennais seem to have finally digested the end of Stéphan’s reign and now dream of a fourth season in the European Cup.