Newly-appointed head coach Christophe Gagliano insists the French Judo Federation (FFJ) must "dare to change habits" to transform the men’s team’s fortunes ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Speaking to French newspaper L'Équipe, Gagliano revealed his intention to launch a review of the FFJ’s entire performance model after the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Gagliano’s appointment as the head of men’s judo team comes after Larbi Benboudaoud was named high performance director for the FFJ.
France has a rich history in the sport, with only Japan winning more medals at the Olympics and World Championships.
But while France’s female judokas have notched 13 medals in the past two World Championships, the men have registered just two, with Alex Clerget landing both.
Gagliano, a bronze medallist at Atlanta 1996, has now been brought in to replace Franck Chambily, who is expected to focus on training double Olympic champion Teddy Riner.
"I feel impatience and excitement to get involved in this project," Gagliano told L'Équipe.
"There is going to be a lot to reconsider and improve, but I see it as something exciting, rather than pressurised."
With just six months to go until Tokyo 2020 is scheduled to get underway, Gagliano said he was looking to "stabilise the situation" but hinted at a possible shake-up within the FFJ ahead Paris 2024.
"We must first focus on the Tokyo project," said Gagliano.
"In a second step, we will launch the 2024 project.
"In my opinion, we will have to review the entire performance model.
"We will have to dare to change habits.
"What is certain is that our main tool for mass training on a daily basis, all year round for me no longer works.
"There is no question of starting the same operation, just by changing names.
"We have to be more in-depth, [making] almost structural changes.
"We will decide on the most successful model possible, and we will engage in the next Olympiad.
"With Stéphane Nomis [President of the FFJ] and Larbi Benboudaoud, we agreed on renewal but also on consistency.
"We will also rely on what already exists, it is not the goal to make a clean sweep.
"But we should not be afraid to change things, to commit to something new and to take risks."
As well as leading France’s women’s team at Tokyo 2020, Benboudaoud will take on the role of high performance director.
The FFJ has created the position following a request from the National Sports Agency.
"The French teams are at the top, but it is the entire pyramid that I will take care of," Benboudaoud told L'Équipe.
Benboudaoud has a wealth of experience as a coach and a player having clinched silver at Sydney 2000 and gold at the 1999 World Championships.
"As with my female colleagues, I have always positioned myself as the guardian of the demands of high performance," said Benboudaoud.
"I didn't invent them, but I practiced them myself, and I put them in place with athletes.
"When we go to sit around the table with my male colleagues, we will have to take a course.
"I'm not going to decide it alone, but these requirements could vary depending on the goals.
"They must be up to what we have today to be able to progress.
"When you were born, you started by lying on your stomach, on all fours, before walking.
"If we have to go back on all fours and keep the balance, before we want to sprint, we will."