Sabri Lamouchi has made a bright start as Championship side Nottingham Forest’s 13th manager in eight years but even if it ends in tears it will never rival the disappointment he felt at being omitted from the 1998 French World Cup squad.
The 47-year-old former midfielder, who has evolved into a manager at club and international level, won 12 caps for France but missed the cut for Aime Jacquet’s squad that were to go on and lift the trophy.
For Lamouchi, who won the French domestic double with Auxerre in 1996 and a Ligue 1 title with Monaco in 2000, that rejection cut deep.
“It is the worst memory of my professional life,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“For almost three years it was so difficult for me. It’s not like a bad injury or something but for a long time it felt like an injustice…
“I deserved to play at the World Cup. You can complain, but fortunately I put it behind me. It made me stronger.”
Lamouchi, who coached the Ivory Coast to the 2014 World Cup finals, said he learned a lot about man management from that experience.
“My door is always open and I can talk to everybody face to face,” he said.
“Sometimes to say the truth is not good, but it’s much better for the future.”
Lamouchi has won favour with the Forest fans having guided the two-time European Cup winners on a seven match unbeaten streak.
But he was a surprise choice to replace former Forest playing legend Martin O’Neill — who was sacked in June — and has signed only a one year contract.
The longest-serving of the 12 managers to have gone before him in the past eight years is Billy Davies at just over 13 months.
“I know the reputation of the club and how many managers they have had, so why should it be different for me?” said Lamouchi, whose family have remained in France.
“When you sign for one year, you take the risk.
“My passion is my job, and I could have gone somewhere else to have it really easy.
“They can sack me before one year, but I want to try and do it my way with my team and my players.
“You need stability to put down your philosophy. I know it will be very difficult but give me the time.
“I want to make a full year, because that has been so rare here.”