As Stade Rennes’ players return to training this Wednesday, discussions are underway within the Breton club to find ways to raise the bar for a team that sits 13th in Ligue 1, just three points behind the first relegation zone. With or without maintenance of Bruno Genesio at the head of the team.
The failure is undeniable. With two wins in twelve league matches for a club aiming for the Champions League, and just one point in their last five games, Rennes are the worst team in Ligue 1 since early October.
After Sunday’s defeat against Lyon (0-1), the Rennes management silently announced in front of the camera that essential discussions would be held during this international break. With a big question: is one of the ways to turn the club around and say goodbye to the coach?
The trend did not go this way on Sunday evening. The Breton club did not announce anything further on Monday. Frustrated, aware of the situation but not resigned to the press conference, Bruno Genesio remains combative in his speech and says he is confident in his ability to get his team back on track. “If I wasn’t, it would be concerning,” he said on Sunday. Even before the Europa League match against Panathinaikos, he recalled: “We have already gone through difficult periods in the previous seasons. We have found solutions. We have already done it. I have already done it.”
The players didn’t give up, but…
This is one of the important data for the upcoming decision. The Rennes group seems to still be following Bruno Genesio and his staff. Just like the last two ten-a-side games, we don’t see any players who aren’t involved. Captain Benjamin Bourigeaud seemed very moved at Roazhon Park on Sunday evening. “We don’t give up. We don’t let go of the staff. It’s a whole club, we are together,” he said.
This team is doing its best right now, which might be the most concerning thing. On the other hand, she no longer seems to know how to approach a match, which was her strength in previous seasons. The game in Rennes has been neutral and tasteless for months. Only the matches in the Europa League brought some emotion, but at Rennes the players were especially brave and courageous, as they were in the minority against Panathinaikos last Thursday.
Where has gone the movement game, the technical and collective game of Rennes of the last two seasons, which was also the trademark of Bruno Genesio? Why is this game so weak? Has Bruno Genesio lost the thread? With the exception of Matic, the contribution of the recruits still leaves much to be desired. We think of Rieder, Yildirim but especially Blas and Le Fée. The composition of the squad during the last transfer window raises questions, but the level of the team’s managers, especially in the attacking sector, is also dramatically lacking. Bourigeaud, Gouiri and Kalimuendo, among others, are unrecognizable. The failure of the attack particularly irritates the head of the club, because he notes that we – rightly – hit hard on the gross mistakes of the team’s young defenders, without pointing out the level of the attackers with the same seriousness. Can the electroshock and the speech of a new coach wake them up?
Genesio appreciated by the shareholder and too lonely?
Bruno Genesio played his 124th match against Rennes on Sunday, good for a record of 63 wins, 25 draws and 36 defeats, or more than 50% success. This is the best record for a Rennes coach in the club’s history. Since his arrival in March 2021, Rennes has always qualified in Europe and offered an attractive game until then. This track record speaks in his favor. Shareholder François Pinault therefore holds his coach in high regard, and vice versa.
Could Genesio also be too lonely when speaking in public? The coach is actually the only one who speaks within the club. President Olivier Cloarec still spoke and raised his voice after the defeat in Lorient on October 22 (2-1). On the other hand, there is radio silence from Florian Maurice, the technical director, who is nevertheless the number 1 builder of the Rennes squad and who, like his coach, should be on the front line after this failed first third of the season . A speech is expected this week to clarify the club’s position.
Stade Rennes has not fired a coach for almost five years this season. It was December 3, 2018 with the departure of Sabri Lamouchi. His successor Julien Stephan resigned on March 1, 2021. Bruno Genesio is still under contract until June 2025.