Saint-Étienne unshackled from lifeless approach by Óscar GarcÍa

Former Brighton manager hasn’t brought Barcelona’s aesthetics to the Rhône Valley but he has at least injected a joie de vivre that has long been lacking

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Watching Saint-Étienne against Amiens on Saturday, one would hardly have thought the hosts, playing a promoted side at home, were up to much, to say nothing of having entered the match with an unblemished record. In the game’s early stages, the defence and the midfield were playing a copious amount of long passes, trying to release the full-backs or the wingers into space, a task that was without much reward against the Picardy side’s massed back five. The hosts took the lead through a penalty, converted by the youngster Jonathan Bamba, but the overall impression might easily have been one of a side lacking in ambition, a continuation of the dull, grinding style of the former manager Christophe Galtier. Such a lack of imagination was hardly what one would have expected when the club announced the signing of the former Barcelona player Óscar García to replace Galtier this summer.

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