A lost date. Domingo, Laurent Blanc (56) and Olympique Lyonnais united for better and for worse. But the love story between the “President” and Les Gones could have started three years ago. At the beginning of October 2019, Cévenol was in the shortlist for the Rhodaniens who were looking for a successor to Sylvinho, fired the day after a lost derby. On pole position, the French coach, unemployed since he left Paris Saint-Germain three years earlier, was eventually overtaken by Rudi Garcia. The latter had prepared much better for his interview with the leaders according to the sports press.
García, who had not yet been tender with Lyon when he was on the OM bench, was the lucky one. Juninho was behind this choice according to JMA. Others cited the name of the late Gérard Houiller. Anyway, Laurent Blanc didn’t get the job. But his name remained associated with Les Gones. This was the case in 2021, when the Rhodaniens were looking for a new strongman to replace Rudi Garcia. But OL, whose priority was Christophe Galtier, finally opted for Peter Bosz. A foreign coach who loves the beautiful game. Once again, he was a failure.
Laurent Blanc, the lucky winner
For his part, Blanc returned to duty in December 2020. Often heralded at higher-ranking clubs, the ’98 world champion joined Al-Rayyan in Qatar. But he did not stay long there as he was fired from him on February 13, 2022, who finished his tenure with a record of 19 wins, 9 draws and 23 losses. Without a club, the former defender did not wait long before finding a bench this time. On October 9, therefore, he officially became the coach of OL. This, to the delight of Jean-Michel Aulas, who has always had a soft spot for him.
“I am happy today to welcome Laurent. I always dreamed of having Laurent Blanc as OL coach. It couldn’t have happened before. When we were sure it could be done, we did it.”, confessed this Monday during the presentation of Laurent Blanc to the press. For his part, the tricolor technician passed his first approval exam. Very comfortable, even with the most disturbing questions, he answered all questions. The Frenchman, who was accompanied by Franck Passi (assistant) and Philippe Lambert (physical trainer), presented his plan to relaunch Lyon.
The president imposes his style
“I am in an observation phase but also already in an action phase. We just finished our second training session which went very well. With a lot of application and involvement. I liked what I saw and I hope the players liked it. We offer games and work to players. I think the players have to be in better physical shape because if you want to play football in a certain way, you have to be in better physical shape. Which may not be the case today..
Packed by the infrastructure and surprised by the institution as he confesses, Blanc quickly got down to work. Very intense sessions followed one after another. The one on Thursday morning was also open for 20 minutes to the media and supporters. A sign of opening of the Cévennes who put their paw on the Rhône group. “There is a lot of rhythm, work and fewer days off with Laurent Blanc. The workouts are great. Physically, the players are not here and we still have to work.explains a source close to the club.
Emphasizes physical work.
He then added: “The coach wants to play a direct game, where everyone participates. If he doesn’t like something, he stops the game and says what to do. He expects everyone to be ready quickly to adapt to his style.. Another source told us: “It was very well received. He arrives with his aura, his trajectory as a player and as a coach. We feel that he has credibility. He doesn’t have the same philosophy, he prepares the game well. He is not a coach who plays politics, he is a soccer fan. He talks a lot with the players, who know that the cards are going to be redistributed..
Precisely, the tricolor coach, who makes the players work a lot, some of whom also have discomfort, indicated during his presentation that he will make his group work hard during the November break and that he will have everyone, in particular with elements who play less like Rayan Cherki, Jeff Reine-Adelaïde or Houssem Aouar, close to an exit this summer. “My gameplay and composition are taking shape for the next game. We are lucky to have the entire squad, although at different levels of form. Every player at my disposal is likely to be picked..
The French coach has carte blanche
The former coach then added on the subject of young people and the OL DNA project: “We are in an emergency period, it is good to give playing time to young people who deserve it, but in this particular period, it seems to me that it is more judicious to be able to count on these young people for a certain period. of the match than lining them up from the start. You will see that there will be players who will prove otherwise and will probably line up against Rennes, but there will not be many.. However, he called some youngsters to train, including Florent Da Silva and Mohamed El Arouch. But obviously, he intends above all to rely on more experienced elements in this complicated period, as he has specified elsewhere.
Blanc thus refines the preparation for the match against Rennes as well as his starting eleven, he who is a follower of the 4-3-3 but who also used the 4-4-2 on a few occasions in Paris when he had the pair. Cavani-Ibrahimovic under his command or the 4-4-2 diamond in Bordeaux. However, he assured during his introduction that he would compose with the manpower he has at hand. A squad where captain Alexandre Lacazette has repeatedly indicated that he wants to play with Moussa Dembélé. It is therefore not impossible that he changes his habits in Lyon, as Peter Bosz did before, or that he remains faithful to his game principles and bets on a 4-3-3. Laurent Blanc has carte blanche in Lyon!
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