Rudi Garcia left the Lyon bench after a failure at the end of the season when the club was left without the desired placement in the Champions League. In an interview for the respected L'Equipe, Garcia revealed details about his relationship with sports director Juninho Pernambucano, which get worse during the season and was very unpleasant at times.
"In the beginning, things went well, and then they went wrong, without me noticing. After two or three victories in November, the sports director no longer came to congratulate me." "I discovered that he was not happy when the Brazilian players did not play.
He preferred to win with his players, he tried a lot, and that's the quality, but I think he certainly promised them that they would start the game, he slowed down the development of certain young players, like Caqueret, Juninho's opinion was that Jean Lucas was better."
"Things got worse quickly, during the winter break I went to see Vincent Ponsot (general manager) and asked him: "What's going on? Is that Juninho is trying to take my position? It's not possible to continue like this.
I'll give him the keys if he wants them." "Garcia said.
Sports director job
It was easy to recognize that something was wrong with the relationship. "First, when they no longer congratulate you on your victories, understand ...When I went to see him in the second part of the season, we would only talk about the team, tactics, but not about the club's project, development, or strategy around young players.
Everything about sports director job." "I think he will become a very good director but he needs experience. He still thinks like a player, he is impulsive in making decisions. He didn't like the attitude of some players but he didn't realize that he did the same with South Americans."
"In the 16th round, Juninho allowed Lucas to go to Brazil two games before the end of the year. He said: "He is not playing enough, Caqueret is in that position. But I missed the players in the midfield and I did not want that."
"Jean Michel brought him back, but Juninho then sent him to Brazil in the last match of the year, without telling me. I faced things like that. He did things behind my back, incited players behind my back, allowed players to criticize coaches like Jean Lucas."
"He lacks objectivity and equal treatment. Before the match with Monaco (3: 2), they wanted to expel Aouar, Cherki, and Depay from the team." "Fortunately, the president was firm and allowed those three players to be available for me.
Otherwise, we would not have scored the first or the third goal, because Depay and Cherki would not be there. " In the end, Garcia wishes all the best to the Brazilian. "Juninho is the idol of the club, he was a fantastic player and I hope he will be a great sports director. I will not be the man who pushed Juninho out," Garcia said.