President explains why Kisnorbo will keep job despite being relegated from Ligue 1: KEEPUP Beyond the A-Leagues

From Ligue 1 and Coupe de France Feminine to the J1 League, Norway’s Eliteserien and the Scottish Premiership. KEEPUP has you covered on all the Aussie-related news outside the A-Leagues.

Kisnorbo’s chance to rebuild

Patrick Kisnorbo was appointed by Troyes in November with the aim of keeping the club in the top tier of French football, but after a 4-0 loss to Rennes on Sunday night AEST, the first Aussie to ever coach in Europe’s top five leagues has succumbed to relegation.

However, the former Melbourne City boss projected a positive outlook for his future at the club, despite winning just one of his 20 league matches in charge so far.

“Relegation is an opportunity to start from the base and rebuild slowly,” the Australian told reporters.

“Hoping to be able to return this time with a club capable of being competitive at the highest level.”

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LILLE – Estac Troyes trainer coach Patrick Kisnorbo during the French Ligue 1 match between Lille OSC and Estac Troyes AC at Pierre-Mauroy Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Lille, France. AP | Dutch Height | Gerrit van Cologne (Photo by ANP via Getty Images)

The 42-year-old has only overseen one league win in 20 matches since his appointment and it came all the way back on January 2 – a 3-2 success away to Strasbourg.

Since then, Troyes have gone 18 matches without a win (L14, D4) in the league (19 in all competitions) to be 19th in the 20-team competition – 12 points adrift.

It is the sixth time Troyes have been relegated in 11 top-flight seasons, making them the only club to have been demoted to the second division more than 50% of the time in Ligue 1 among teams with 10 or more campaigns in the first tier.

After the four-goal defeat to Rennes, Kisnorbo said: “We were punished for the moments when we didn’t fight. We need to be more consistent over the 90 minutes. 

“When you play in Ligue 1, you have to fight until the end. At half-time (losing 1-0), I told the players to be faster, to move more. There were gaps in the Rennes lines, we had to take advantage of them. But we have moved back too far and left too many spaces.

“For the last three matches, I may be launching young people who could be fielded next year, but I will make sure to have the most competitive team possible, with players who will want to fight until the end.”

It’s fair to wonder why Kisnorbo remains in a job after taking just eight from a possible 60 league points available to him with a side who were sitting 13th when he took over.

This week, Troyes president Aymeric Magne explained why he will remain in charge as the club drops down to Ligue 2, admitting an error in timing in his appointment.

“We were convinced that Patrick Kisnorbo was going to succeed,” he told After Foot on RMC.

“The mistake we made was in the timing (of his appointment). To set up a style of play, a culture, it is at the start of the season. We did it because there were four weeks off with the World Cup. 

“We must also be realistic: we had to recover four players in the winter transfer window. It’s a difficult transfer window, where unfortunately we missed players at the end, for example with (Frederic) Guilbert, (Morgan) Sanson or (Angelo) Fulgini. Kisnorbo will still be the coach next season. 

“For me, it’s not football business. I assume the error of the timing of his arrival this season. Is it a regret to have stopped with Bruno Irlès? No. We are convinced that with Bruno, we would have been limited in our project in the same way as Laurent Batlles in the past. 

“Kisnorbo is someone with character, the objective is to have short-term results, and to create a culture of play. We did not achieve the objectives and playing “City Style” is easier with Ruben Dias than others for example. 

“… We have a 10-year plan, it was poorly communicated. We know how much we are going to invest in players, in infrastructure. We recruited an administrative staff, a video-data staff with the help of City. We also invest in equipment. A descent to Troyes is very annoying and a failure, but having City will help us try to spend 70% of the time in Ligue 1.”

Aussies shining in France

While Kisnorbo and Troyes are preparing for life in Ligue 2, A-Leagues graduates Denis Genreau and Mohamed Toure are making impacts with their French clubs.

Genreau was named Man of the Match in Toulouse’s goalless draw with Nantes.

In a rematch of the Coupe de France final, which Toulouse won 5-1 last month, the former Melbourne City midfielder started and played 68 minutes.

It was his fourth league start in five matches for 13th-placed Toulouse.

At Stade de Reims, ex-Adelaide United sensation Toure made another appearance for the club.

After making his debut off the bench against Lille, the 19-year-old followed that up with a five-minute cameo in the 2-1 defeat to Lens.

Toure – who up until this season held the record for most goals in the Isuzu UTE A-League by the age of 18 before Adelaide sensation Nestory Irankunda made history with his eighth strike – is the second Australian to play in the French top-flight this term, after Genreau.

He is also in an exclusive club of Australians to feature in Ligue 1, following in the footsteps of Mile Sterjovski, Robbie Slater, Ned Zelic, Frank Farina, Eddie Krncevic, Zlatko Arambasic, Nick Carle and Ross Aloisi.

Meanwhile in England, another young gun is making strides towards Premier League football.

Former Sydney FC youngster Cameron Peupion was on the bench again for Brighton and Hove Albion in their stunning 3-0 win away to Arsenal.

He was recently named Premier League 2 Player of the Month having scored six goals and supplied three assists for Brighton’s youth team in April.

More silverware for a Matildas star

Ellie Carpenter’s trophy cabinet is getting more and more full.

The Matildas full-back’s Lyon clinched their 10th Coupe de France Feminine title courtesy of a 2-1 win over rivals Paris Saint-Germain.

Since her move to the European juggernaut in 2020, the A-Leagues product has won two UEFA Women’s Champions League trophies, a pair of Coupe de France Feminine medals and the Division 1 Feminine.

Carpenter and Lyon are on track to retain the league crown – they are three points clear of PSG with two games to play, although the two teams meet again in the league on Monday morning AEST.

Australia teammate and captain Sam Kerr also got her hands on silverware after scoring the only goal of the game in Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester United in the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley.

Langerak’s Japanese milestone

Mitch Langerak and Nagoya Grampus may have lost over the weekend, but the Australian goalkeeper entered the club’s history books.

Nagoya were beaten 2-0 away to Kashima Antlers, however, Langerak became the foreigner with the most appearances for the J1 League outfit – a team he has called home since 2018.

The 34-year-old has kept 74 clean sheets during his time in Japan’s top flight, having twice broken the record for most clean sheets in a season.

“Yesterday’s (Sunday) match was a very disappointing result but a very special one for me,” Langerak wrote on Instagram. “It’s a great honour to have achieved the most number of matches as a foreign player and make a name in the history of Nagoya Grampus.

“It is an honour and very fortunate to be able to play for this club and continue playing. I would like to take this moment to talk all my Grampus family who always supported not only me but my family.

“Wherever I am in Nagoya, I can feel the love and support of all the supporters, and I hope to repay your support with passion and performances every time I’m on the field.”

Elsewhere, Kevin Muscat’s champions Yokohama F.Marinos lost 2-1 against Albirex Niigata, who were without Socceroos defender Thomas Deng.

F.Marinos are second in the standings, five points behind leaders Vissel Kobe, while Nagoya are a point further behind.

STRAIN: Socceroos star in four-goal Scottish Premier League thriller

In Norway, Nick D’Agostino was on the scoresheet again as Viking FK took down Sandefjord 2-1.

D’Agostino not only scored the 14th-minute equaliser, but the former Melbourne Victory forward also provided an assist.

He has now scored two goals in three games or a Viking team that also had Patrick Yazbek and Gianni Stensness in the line-up.

In the Dutch Eredivisie, Maty Ryan and AZ Alkmaar celebrated a 5-1 rout of FC Emmem – a result that kept the club in third position and ahead of Ajax.

Over in Germany and Jackson Irvine’s St Pauli drew 0-0 with Fortuna Dusseldorf.