Five things Newcastle fans should know about Remi Garde

St James Park

Jack Beresford gives Magpies fans the lowdown on what they should know about the man reportedly close to becoming Newcastle manager.

Remi Garde has long been heralded as a protégé of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, though this assumption may be solely based on the fact that he was recruited, as a player, by the Gunners boss at the start of his tenure.

Wenger advised the North London club to sign Garde, alongside a then-unknown Patrick Vieira, a month before he moved into the Arsenal hotseat.

1. Garde made 31 appearances for the Gunners in three years, playing 10 Premier League games during the double-winning season of 1997-98.

In truth, however, his biggest managerial influence may well be Gerard Houllier, with the 48-year-old previously working as the ex-Liverpool manager’s assistant at Lyon before moving into the top job himself.

2. The former Lyon man has something of a reputation for promoting talented homegrown players over expensive signings. When first appointed manager of Les Gones, Garde was tasked with reducing the club’s wage bill while maintaining their status as one of French football’s big sides.

The presence of Marseille and big-spending PSG may have hindered that but Garde was still able to give a raft of exciting young players their big opportunity at Stade Gerland.

At the same time expensive signings like Michel Bastos and Lisandro Lopez were moved on with others like Yoann Gourcuff forced to take pay cuts to remain at the club.

Nabil Fekir, the midfielder dubbed “the new Ben Arfa” was brought into the first team by Garde while others like Clement Grenier and Alexandre Lacazette both became regular fixtures under the progressive Lyon boss, with all three hot property in the transfer market at present.

3. Like the mighty Jose Mourinho, Garde has something of a reputation for hitting out at match officials following suspect decisions.

Last May the then-Lyon boss bemoaned one such call in the Coupe de la Ligue final that saw PSG win a penalty on their way to a 2-1 victory, with Anthony Lopes fouling Lucas Moura for the resulting spot-kick.

After replays showed that the incident may have occurred outside the box, Garde was livid.

"I have to say that tonight we lost the final on a refereeing mistake," he said.

"I told Mr Lanoy, the referee, that he was wrong and he thanked me for my fair play. What can I do next?

"I could make a big scandal and be suspended several games like Clement Grenier, but I think it is easier to suspend Clement Grenier several games for telling something bad in the dressing room than for five referees to make a correct decision."

The Lyon manager also received a two-game touchline ban for harassing match officials during his final game at the club against Nice in Ligue 1.

4. The 48-year-old is not averse to giving players second chances having previously brought the troubled pairing of Jimmy Briand and Bafetimbi Gomis back into the fold at Lyon, prior to their departures last summer.

At the time there had been concerns that the two would be frozen out of playing for the Ligue 1 side after failing to secure mid-season moves, despite interest from abroad.

"I saw them before training. Are they at 100 per cent and ready to be part of the squad again? Yes," he said in an interview republished from FourFourTwo.

"We have two full weeks ahead of us. We'll take stock after that. I'm very bad at estimates, just as I am at predictions. They're not injured - they trained.

"I imagine that, after two good weeks, they won't be very far off, even if producing on the pitch is something different."

5. Newcastle United fans may be more than just a little concerned at Garde’s suitability for the role given the way in which the manager previously walked away from Lyon.

With the 48-year-old’s contract with Les Gones close to expiring back in May 2014, club president Jean-Michel Aulas was desperate to keep hold of the coach, but his efforts proved in vain.

"Remi will not extend his contract despite multiple proposals on our side," Aulas said."'Remi took this decision based on personal and family reasons."

Garde, himself, cited fatigue as one of the chief reasons behind the decision."I need to take a break and have some time off. This job is as harsh as it is amazing," he said.

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