the works waiting for Laurent Blanc in Lyon

His position had become untenable. The draw conceded against Toulouse (1-1) on Friday, punctuating a streak of five games without a win, was fatal for Peter Bosz. The Lyon coach was dismissed from his post on Sunday, October 9, replaced by Laurent Blanc. His departure from the bench in eighth of the OL, nine points off the podium, highlights the multiple breakdowns suffered by the Gones, and that the French coach will have to repair.

Zero points against the greats, an unfinished game

Any soft tummy team. This is what Olympique Lyonnais has become, more or less. Sovereigns against smaller teams (Ajaccio, Angers, Auxerre, Troyes), the Gones are unable to lift the cursor when adversity worsens. Lorient, Monaco, Paris and Lens have beaten OL, without much to complain about. Seventh attack and sixth defense in Ligue 1, Lyon does not have material to be a team that points, according to its president Jean-Michel Aulas, “the podium”.

Worse yet, the game produced by the Rhôdaniens also largely disappointed. Often stereotyped, sometimes even without ideas – like against Toulouse last Friday – the Lyonnais delivered copies light years away from a “Good game” hammered home by Peter Bosz on his appointment. Lyon’s leaders have been patient, despite the lack of notable progress in sixteen months and a dismal eighth-place finish the previous year. Bosz himself confessed that “should have been fired” from last season. He did not survive this dismal start to the season.

An unbalanced squad due to an unfinished transfer market

The sequence went viral afterwards. We see Bruno Cheyrou, head of recruitment, arguing that other clubs are “jealous” from Lyon’s transfer window. We are then at the beginning of July, and OL has just repatriated Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso. The beginning of a new age? No, the two summer months see the workforce only touched up on the sidelines. Left-back Nicolás Tagliafico and young midfielder Johann Lepenant are certainly satisfactory, but the general interpretation is too scant. OL hasn’t cut the way he wanted either. Players who expected to leave like Houssem Aouar, Jerome Boateng or Moussa Dembélé finally stayed.

Judge “imbalance” by Peter Bosz during his induction, the staff gives the same impression sixteen months later. As a test, Peter Bosz was forced to play Thiago Mendes in central defence. The Brazilian midfielder does what he can, but his shortcomings are obvious. The promising Castello Lukeba was promoted to starter alongside him, with no real alternative in case of slack.

Offensively, OL sold its artist Lucas Paquetá… without reinvesting the 60 million euros generated by this transfer to replace him. The returns of Tolisso and Lacazette, without being authentic “failures”, do not raise the group at the moment. The leaders, including director of football Vincent Ponsot, have also recently been criticized by former players Juninho or Sidney Govou.

A sale that lasts

Will Peter Bosz be the only one to leave the capital of Gaul in the coming weeks? The sale of 90% of OL’s shares to John Textor – through his Eagle Football holding company – scheduled for October 21 could redistribute the cards. The process is turning out to be much longer than announced, four months after the official announcement of the opening of negotiations.

Initially set for September 30, the deadline was extended by three weeks to finalize the legal documentation and the last steps prior to the completion of the operation”explained OL Groupe in a press release. These complications inevitably prevent the club from being projected, even in the short term.

The unknown white, after six years of absence in an important bench of the club

The caliber of the “President”, former coach of the Blues, champion with Bordeaux and Paris, is no longer to be shown. But since his departure from PSG six years have passed. Blanc certainly coached Al Rayyan SC, in the Qatar championship, between December 2020 and February 2022, but this experience is hardly comparable to the job that awaits him in Lyon. Accompanied by Franck Passi, he will have to manage the moods of a locker room that does not breathe serenity.

Alexandre Lacazette did not hesitate to lambaste his Dutch coach on Prime Video, after the draw against Toulouse. It’s an understatement to say that expectations around the former Blues sweeper are high. A mid-season coaching change is never trivial in OL. In thirty-five years of reign, Jean-Michel Aulas has only decided to do it three times: in 1997 he separated from Guy Stéphan, in 2015 from Hubert Fournier and in 2019 from Sylvinho.

In this rut, Laurent Blanc has at least one advantage: the season will be stopped for two months, due to the World Cup. The internationals can be counted on the fingers of one hand (Lopes, Tagliafico, Toko Ekambi), this truce promises to be studious in Lyon.

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