Leaving the Herbs was never the plan. Not really. Sure, this is a journeyman save, I should be changing teams, but the Herbs felt like home, and fleeing the nest for the first time is always traumatic.
There were very good reasons for leaving. The board wouldn’t send me on a coaching course, for a start. The aim of this challenge is to win the Champions League. I’m not going to beat John to that target if I don’t get better at this game, and quick.
They were also a really wee team. When I left, around a 3rd of the squad were still on part-time contracts. And wage restrictions being what they were, I couldn’t do anything about it.
And then there’s the stadium. 3000 capacity, with only 500 seating. Ligue 2 rules stipulate that teams need 5000 seats – I’m not even sure how we were allowed to play in that league – and the board showed no sign of wanting to improve our facilities. That meant that we were unable to capitalise on the successes we were seeing on the pitch. If we can’t get more and more people through the gate, our income suffers.
So, I had to leave. Obviously, I’d have preferred to jump up a league, but Nîmes Olympique are, by any measure, a bigger club.
All that said, this club is a mess, and I’m beginning to wonder if this was the right choice.