The final weekend of Ligue 1 football is upon us and it is set to be a high-tempered ending. There are things to play for at both ends of the table. One of the biggest places to be decided is for the Champions League qualifiers, with both Lille OSC and Saint-Etienne set to battle it out for third place. If any Aston Villa fans are interested, you really want Lille to finish third; it could see you land one of the best young managers in Europe.
It was revealed earlier in the week that both Aston Villa and Newcastle United were looking into the possibility of appointing Saint-Etienne boss, Christophe Galtier, as their new coach. Newcastle have since announced that Alan Pardew will be in charge next season, so that leaves Villa in the driving seat.
Paul Lambert has not enjoyed the best season at Villa Park, it’s not just the results, but the overall malaise that surrounds the club has brought the mood just about as low as it can go. The Villains need a pick me up, and the suave and well-dressed Galtier would be the perfect anti-dote.
His Saint-Etienne side host bottom-placed AC Ajaccio on Saturday night, and they know they have to win to have any chance in finishing in third place this season. Lille go to FC Lorient knowing a draw should be enough to clinch third.
Any watching on Villa fans should hope that Lille clinch third place, cause Champions League qualification for Les Verts would likely mean that Galtier gives it another year in France. This has been his goal over the last three seasons, and to do it after losing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Johsua Guilavogui in the summer would be a tremendous achievement.
Although he has tried to remain open to the idea of leaving in the summer, there is little chance he would want someone else to get the chance to lead his team into the Champions League. This is his project and he would need to see it through.
Finishing fourth would be wonderful for Saint-Etienne but it would be hard for Galtier to build on it again next season, this would be the end of the project for him. A new challenge is what he wants. It seems for next summer it will either be Champions League or Premier League.