the yards waiting for Laurent Blanc in Lyon

His position had become untenable. The draw against Toulouse on Friday (1-1), who scored a streak of five games without a win, was fatal for Peter Bosz. The Lyon manager was sacked from his post on Sunday 9 October, replaced by Laurent Blanc. His departure from the bench by an eighth OL, nine points from the podium, highlights the many malfunctions the Gones suffer, and which the French coach will have to repair.

Zero points against the big names, an inconclusive game

Any soft-bellied team. This is what Olympique Lyonnais has more or less become. Sovereigns against smaller teams (Ajaccio, Angers, Auxerre, Troyes), the Gones are unable to raise the slider when adversity deepens. Lorient, Monaco, Paris and Lens all beat OL, without much to complain about. Seventh attack and sixth defense in Ligue 1, Lyon do not have the characteristics of a team that aims, according to its president Jean-Michel Aulas, “the podium”.

Worse still, even the game produced by the Rhôdaniens has largely disappointed. Often stereotyped, sometimes even without ideas – as against Toulouse last Friday -, the Lyonnais have delivered copies light years away from a “Good game” hammered home by Peter Bosz at the time of his appointment. The Lyon leaders have been patient, despite the lack of notable progress in sixteen months and a pitiful eighth place in the previous fiscal year. Bosz himself confessed this “he should have been fired” from last season. He did not survive this gloomy start to the season.

An unbalanced workforce due to an unfinished transfer window

The sequence went viral later. We see Bruno Cheyrou, head of recruitment, argue that other clubs are “jealous” of the Lyon transfer window. We are therefore at the beginning of July, and OL has just repatriated Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso. The beginning of a new era? Indeed, the two summer months see the workforce only retouched on the sidelines. Left-back Nicolas Tagliafico and young midfielder Johann Lepenant are certainly satisfying, but the overall performance is too poor. Even the OLs did not cut as they wanted. Players waiting to leave like Houssem Aouar, Jerome Boateng or Moussa Dembélé are finally left.

Judge “imbalance” by Peter Bosz during his hiring, the workforce gives the same impression sixteen months later. As proof, Peter Bosz was forced to tinker with Thiago Mendes in the center of defense. The Brazilian, a midfielder, does what he can, but his flaws are sensational. The promising Castle Lukeba was promoted to start alongside him, with no real alternative in case of slack.

In attack, OL sold his artist Lucas Paqueta … without reinvesting the 60 million euros generated by this transfer to replace him. The returns of Tolisso and Lacazette, without being real “failures”, do not raise the group for the moment. Managers, including football director Vincent Ponsot, have also recently been criticized by former players Juninho or Sidney Govou.

A sale that drags on

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 – via his holding company Eagle Football – set 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 before the transaction is completed “OL Groupe explained in a press release. These complications inevitably prevent the club from projecting itself, even in the short term.

The unknown Bianco, after six years of absence on an important club bench

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

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

In this crisis, Laurent Blanc has at least one advantage: the season will stop for two months, due to the World Cup. Internationals can be counted on the fingers of one hand (Lopes, Tagliafico, Toko Ekambi), this truce promises to be a scholar in Lyon.

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