An interesting/strange report today in France, with claims that Newcastle are considering replacing Steve McClaren with Rolland Courbis.
The 62 year old resigned as Montpellier manager only two weeks ago, after claims of long running friction with the club owner Louis Nicollin, who is no stranger to controversy.
Courbis won the French league title as a player twice with Monaco and is a very experienced manager, having been in charge of a number of clubs including Bordeaux, Marseille, Lens and Montpellier.
He joined Montpellier halfway *December 2013) through Remy Cabella’s final season with the club in desperate trouble, however Rolland Courbis with the help of star player Cabella turned it around and in the end avoided relegation relatively comfortably.
Then last season after the sale of Remy Cabella to Newcastle, Courbis lifted the French club to seventh in Ligue 1. However, to the backdrop of constant infighting with the club owner, this season Montpellier have slipped and are currently in 15th place in the table.
Local newspaper Midi-Libre have reported today that whilst it was expected Rolland Courbis would take a break from management, they now understand that both Newcastle and Swansea have shown interest in the now out of work manager.
How much substance there is in the reports remains to be seen but certainly Courbis has had some interesting things to say about both Premier League clubs in his time at Montpellier.
The then Montpellier manager advised Remy Cabella not to move to Tyneside, describing Newcastle as ‘an already complicated club’, something that United fans would find hard to disagree with.
“I said that I was not mad about Newcastle (as Cabella’s choice of club) but I sincerely hope with all my heart, because God knows I love this little boy, that he has a huge contract in terms of finance.
“After being part of the 23 for the World Cup, he (Remy Cabella) made a bad choice of career by joining an already complicated club, especially when the coach who (signed him) left shortly after.
“However, he can’t have lost his qualities in one season.”
As for Swansea, when reports circulated that the Welsh club were after Montpellier’s midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, he wasn’t impressed either. The player eventually joining Tottenham before then moving on to PSG.
“Swansea to me is not a big club, but it’s a good club. Montpellier is a great club, but it’s a good club. So for me, Newcastle is the Montpellier of England. And Swansea, I do not know if it’s even the Montpellier of England? Already, it is not in England, it is in Wales.”
If Rolland Courbis ends up joining either club, it will be interesting to see what he has to say about past comments.
Cynics might suggest that after scouting/buying so many French players, Newcastle may as well give a French manager a try.