Before being appointed as the manager of Monaco, he was the physical trainer and manager of the Monaco's reserve team. He was appointed as the manager in January 1999. He won the French Championship in 2000, with players, such as Ludovic Giuly and Marcelo Gallardo. In July 2001, his contract was not renewed and he left Monaco after 24 years at the club as a player and a coach. In July 2002, he was appointed manager of Lille, where he became one of the longest serving coaches in the French League (serving for six consecutive seasons). Puel courted controversy on 20 February 2007 in a UEFA Champions League match against Manchester United in Lille. After Ryan Giggs scored a quickly taken free-kick late in the game, Puel was thought to be encouraging his players to walk off the pitch in protest, although the game eventually continued after a short delay. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson described the incident in an interview with ITV after the match as 'disgraceful' and 'intimidation of the referee'". He's a young guy so he will learn to hold it down soon. Hopefully he doesn't learn the hard way."[this quote needs a citation] Puel joined French club Olympique Lyon on 18 June 2008. He signed a four-year contract with the seven time French champions. He also became Lyon's 4th different manager in the last 4 years. In 2010 he helped the club reach the semifinal of the Champion's League for the first time in its history. Lyon terminated his contract on 20 June 2011, although he had one year remaining on his contract with the club. On 23 May 2012, Puel reached agreement on a three-year deal with OGC Nice to take a coaching job.