New Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has insisted that he will not being giving the club’s French speaking players like Jordan Ayew special treatment.
He has instructed everyone in the dressing room communicating in English.
The 49-year-old Frenchman was speaking to AVTV after signing a three-year deal on Monday to replace the sacked Tim Sherwood at Villa, who sit bottom of the Premier League with just four points from 11 games.
After losing star men Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke in the summer, as was as the on-loan Tom Cleverley, the club brought in 12 new faces as part of an analytics-based recruitment drive, including four from Ligue 1.
None of Jordan Ayew, Jordan Amavi, Idrissa Gana or Jordan Veretout started Monday night’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur, though, as Garde watched from the stands at White Hart Lane as caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald’s side fell to a 3-1 defeat.
The former Lyon boss is now preparing for his first game in charge against Manchester City on Sunday at Villa Park, and given his previous experience of coaching in the French top-flight, most expect the aforementioned quartet to be a big part of his plans.
However, Garde, whose three-year reign at cash-strapped Lyon between 2011 and 2014 saw him win the French Cup and achieve a top three finish in the league, stresses that his focus is on the entire squad rather than the summer imports from across the Channel.
“What I want to say is that we are in England,” he told AVTV. “We need to adapt and settle in this new area. This is the first thing they have to do because they are not playing for a French team anymore.
“They will probably feel better [with a French manager] but my focus is not on the French players, it is on the team’s results.
“I won’t care more about the French players than I will with the English, Spanish or African ones. The team is a whole team and we all need to be together.”