Who was ready, then? Obviously, the champions. Truism...
Some canaries, no? Standing, from left : Gadocha, Le Bourgocq, Van Straelen, Denoueix, Pecout, Fenillat, Tusseau, Bossis, Bertrand-Demanes, Sahnoun, Michel.
Crouching : Osman, Desrousseaux, Bargas, Baronchelli, Vendrely, Oscar Muller, Rampillon, Amisse, Merigot, Jean Vincent (coach).
Henri Michel was the star, of course – the best playmaker of the decade, regular national team player, strong captain of Nantes. Bertrand-Demanes developed into arguably the best goalkeeper of those years, and perhaps reached his peak at precisely that time, for he was the regular keeper of the national team. Add well known and experienced players, who already won the championship in 1972-73: Pecout, Rampillon, Osman, Bargas. Hugo Bargas was not called to play for his native Argentina after the 1974 World Cup, but he was the key player of the yellow-green defense. Another Argentine was added as well – Oscar Muller, but really the second foreign starter was Robert Gadocha.
Second best, if St. Etienne were at top form... the rivals were not this year, and Nantes were head and shoulders above everybody else. They won the title with more than confidence: they were supreme, finishing 9 points ahead of the silver medalists. May be their finest season ever.