Technical and Tactical Coaching in French Professional Football Teams Between 1942 and 1990

By Laurent Grün

Since 1942, the technical and tactical training of French professional football coaches has evolved from being experimental into a more precise and assumed reflection led by the National trainers. The more famous National teams such as Brazil, England and Germany have been the main reference point for this change. However, until the 1980’s, the focus was less on copying methods of technical training than on following the way these national teams used to play, even at the club level, although this was irrespective of the quality of the players available. Despite some innovative practices employed by the likes of Paul Frantz (RC Strasbourg) or José Arribas (FC Nantes) during the 1960’s, the methodology of training remained fragmented and the technical field and the tactical field were, for a long period, considered separately. The international outcomes for French football, both at the club level and for the national team, resulted in general concerns over the standard of play. Even so, it was only during the 1980’s that the technical and tactical aspects of footballers’ training begin to be dissociated in order to be systematically considered, even though diverse influences emerged during the 1970’s such as Stefan Kovacs, head coach of the French team between 1975 and 1973, and Robert Herbin, coach of AS Saint-Etienne. Since the 1980’s, the West German coaches have influenced the National technical board, which has decided to train French coaches according an integrated method, mixing technical, tactical, and physical, as well as psychological considerations. The role and the function of the coach have been changed: from a single game technician, he has become a strategic coach as well as a creator.


  • football
  • training
  • coaching
  • technical
  • tactical
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