Just a few weeks ago, Troyes president Daniel Masoni gave Jean-Marc Furlan his complete backing, willing to stick with the struggling manager for another 18 months.
It only took a few days for Masoni to go back on his word, unceremoniously firing the manager and drafting in Claude Robin as his replacement – and he has every right too.
Troyes sit rock-bottom of Ligue 1, and while results have been continuously poor throughout the season, the team’s 3-0 home loss to Toulouse appeared to be the trigger to end his five-year spell with the club.
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Stuttering second spell
It’s a sad situation. Furlan did so well not only to get Troyes promoted from Ligue 2, but managed to do so as runaway champions. A victim of his own success, he found himself out of his depth, and now out of a job.
Perhaps he saw it coming. After all, back in his first spell with the club back in 2005, he got the team promoted to the top division before leaving the club.
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He has done well to replicate that feat 10 years later and get them promoted on such a small budget; however the contrast in performances between this season and last is so great that action needed to be taken by the board.
Propping up the league table, Troyes' loss to Toulouse marked their 11th of the season. Scarier still, almost halfway into the league season, and they are yet to win a single match. With just nine goals, they are the only side yet to break into double figures but have managed to ship 34 goals in the process.
While Toulouse join them in the relegation zone, Troyes sit 11 points adrift of the South France side, having amassed a meagre total of six points. At this point, relegation seems less a possibility and more of a formality. Hellas Verona in Italy are the only other club in a top European league without a single win.
Yes, most promoted sides do struggle, however, Furlan will look at fellow promoted side Angers, who are currently second in the league and wonder why his side could not perform in the same way.
So helpless is the situation that head of club communications Carlos Cassis remarked in L'Equipe: "We no longer believe in Father Christmas, or miracles."
Robin to the rescue?
The job at Troyes is far from an attractive one. As such, having explored the possibility of approaching Frédéric Hantz (SC Bastia) and José Anigo (Esperance Sportive de Tunis), they eventually decided to promote from within.
Claude Robin was head of training at Troyes until his recent promotion. He was the former manager of the reserve team and took temporary charge of the senior side back in 2009.
This job will be his first major one in management, which represents an incredible risk taken by the Troyes board. While Furlan’s performances warranted his dismissal, Robin is slightly less equipped and experienced to deal with the rigours of a relegation battle – especially one this grave.
Perhaps his job is not to save them from relegation, but to ensure they bounce straight back from Ligue 2.
Can Troyes pull off a miracle and survive relegation? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below
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