To obtain one of the finest records in French football history (8 league titles, 5 French Cups) and shine on the European scene over several decades (seven semi-finals, two finals), AS Monaco has able to trust in innovative coaches, with profiles in line with the identity of the Club. A speech, a change of tactics, a substitution. There are so many ways to change the course of a match, but few are able to find the solution. On the occasion of our #RRRanniversary, we take a look back at the journey of five of these “unique coaches” , who helped to shape the history and reputation of the Rouge et Blanc.
Lucien Leduc, the innovator
A former player and French international (4 caps, 1 goal), Lucien Leduc sat on the bench for AS Monaco for the first time in 1958. At that time, the Principality club’s record was still without any titles. But he would fill it quickly. A believer in the beautiful game, he enabled Monaco to win its first trophy in the 1960 Coupe de France, before being crowned French champions in 1961 and also sealing the Club’s only double to date, in 1963. After more than ten years working elsewhere, he returned home in 1976, when AS Monaco were in the second division. Their return to the top flight was immediate and, in a major feat, the Rouge et Blanc even won Ligue 1 as a promoted side in 1978. Masterful!
Arsène Wenger, European ambition
The man who brought AS Monaco onto the European stage. He arrived on the bench at the start of the 1987-1988 season at only 38 years old, having come from Nancy, but Arsène Wenger was quick to make his mark, in his style of play as much as in the results, since his team won the league title that in his first year. And while three years later he would win the Coupe de France, it was on the European scene that he made the biggest impression, reaching the semi-final and final of the Cupwinners’ Cup (1990 and 1992), as well as the semifinal of the Champions League during his last season on the bench, in 1994.
Didier Deschamps, from the Rock to the top of the world
Following an immense career as a player, with both his clubs and the French national team, Didier Deschamps started as coach of AS Monaco in 2001. After a difficult start, “DD” refined his methods and it paid off, with a victory in the Coupe de la Ligue in 2003. But it is above all the fabulous 2003-2004 season that remains strong in the memories of Monegasque supporters (among others). With a team made up mainly of young players, and led by Fernando Morientes in attack, the Rouge et Blanc narrowly failed to win Ligue 1, but managed a formidable run in the Champions League, losing only in the final against FC Porto (3-0), after having turned in legendary performances against Deportivo La Coruña, Real Madrid and Chelsea. The “sequel” would see Didier Deschamps to another victory in the World Cup, this time as coach, in 2018.
Leonardo Jardim, the golden generation’s guide
Leonardo Jardim took charge of the Rouge et Blanc in 2014, arriving from Sporting CP to succeed Claudio Ranieri. And in his first season, he made a big impression on the European scene, eliminating Arsenal in the round of 16, thanks in particular to a magnificent 3-1 win at the Emirates. But the most successful season of the Jardim era obviously remains that of 2016-2017. Aided by a golden generation (Falcao, Moutinho, Mbappé, Fabinho, Lemar, Bernardo Silva…), the Portuguese coach led his team to the team’s eighth league, thanks to an ultra-attacking style of play (107 goals in Ligue 1), as well as reaching the Coupe de la Ligue final and the semifinals of the Champions League. A real “masterpiece”.
Philippe Clement, ambition and development
Appointed coach of AS Monaco at the beginning of January, Philippe Clement was entrusted with the mission of “continuing to advance the Club’s project”, as Paul Mitchell, the Sporting Director, indicated during the press conference presenting the new coach. On the strength of his successful experience with KRC Genk and Club Brugge, with whom he won the Belgian league three times, the Flemish manager has managed to set the team on a very positive run of results, onw which has allowed AS Monaco to keep fighting for the European places, while giving a chance to young talents from the Academy.
𝗦𝗲𝘀 𝗱𝗲́𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀, 𝘀𝗮 𝗽𝗿𝗲́𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗲𝘁 𝗹𝗮 𝘀𝗲́𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗱𝘂 𝗷𝗼𝘂𝗿.
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) January 5, 2022