After Alan Pardew’s move from Newcastle United to Crystal Palace, one of the first names on the list of replacements was Saint-Etienne boss Christophe Galtier.
There is little doubt he would be a great option for Mike Ashley, but, regardless of Newcastle’s interest, Galtier is all set to stay in France, albeit maybe only until the end of the season.
The 48-year-old coach took over the first-team reigns at Saint-Etienne back in 2009 and after he was successful in keeping Les Verts in Ligue 1, he went about pushing them up the table. He replaced former Portsmouth boss Alain Perrin in December 2009 and they finished 17th that campaign.
Since then, in his five full seasons he has finished no lower that seventh and last season they were fourth. In fact, Saint-Etienne were unlucky not to finish third last term, they were the form team during the last few weeks of the season but couldn’t overtake Lille for a place in the Champions League qualifiers.
This season, that is the only goal in Galtier’s mind. If he could take Les Verts all the way to a place in Europe’s top competition, it would be a worthy reward for all the excellent work he has done at the club.
All too often Galtier had to recover as his best players were sold on for a profit. Joshua Guilavogui, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Blaise Matuidi all left the Stade Geoffrey-Guichard, but the club continued to record positive results.
His style would be ideal for Newcastle fans. Galtier likes to play an attacking brand of football with an emphasis on playing with pace down the wings. For the last two seasons he has favoured 4-3-3 and it has worked to good effect.
Galtier may be a target for the Newcastle hierarchy, but the former Marseille and Lille player will want one last chance to finish the job he started before moving on to start a new project.
He may have started his current job halfway through a league season, but don’t expect Galtier to abandon Saint-Etienne before the season is out. Come the summer, if he is not successful, he could be convinced that his future belongs elsewhere.