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Roger Lemerre



Roger Lemerre
Not afraid to make painful or unpopular decisions, Lemerre has found his own voice as national coach and France seem the stronger for it.

The undroppable have been dropped - at least for the purposes of experimentation before the finals - and the pricklier personalities that France churn out par excellence have been handled delicately but firmly.

His ploy has been to avoid sidelining individuals, although more to engender an atmosphere of competition than out of blind loyalty.

As an important member of the coaching staff during France 98, Lemerre is aware of the many strengths of his team - and indeed the many weaknesses.

Like his predecessor, Aime Jacquet, he has struggled to get the most out of his strikers - while the defence, previously so secure, was at a shambles during qualification.

Such have been the expectations of the world champions, and so unconvincing was their route to qualification, that Lemerre seriously considered stepping down before the finals.

He remained in his post, although his contract terminates after Euro 2000.

Lemerre played for Sedan, Nantes, Nancy and Lens, and appeared six times for France in defence.

His coaching career took him to Red Star of Paris, Lens, Paris FC, Strasbourg and Esperance, before being in charge of the French military squad from1986 until 1998.



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