A crazy week. Last Friday, Olympique Lyonnais conceded a 1-1 draw against Toulouse at home. A very poor result that cost Peter Bosz his job. On Sunday, the Dutchman was sacked as a precaution. To replace him, the Gones have opted for Laurent Blanc. The President, who held his first training session this Monday morning, was presented to the press in the afternoon. The opportunity for him to speak about his pride in joining the residents of Groupama Stadium. Something to delight Jean-Michel Aulas, Vincent Ponsot and Bruno Cheyrou, present at his side.
Cévenol then chained the whole week with collective and individual training sessions and interviews with their players. The coach, who screwed up his group, has finally re-presented himself to the press this Friday, two days before the trip to Rennes. Before his first match as OL coach, Laurent Blanc spoke about this match, where he will be able to count on his entire squad. Good news for the former coach of Paris. However, his troops are still not at the top physically but also mentally to believe his words.
A mind to recover
“I think the brains of the players were heavy because the results were not as good as expected and they were asking questions (…) There are things to improve in terms of confidence. It affects everyone’s mind. On a football level, we did the basics. We work a lot with the ball, we play a lot, confidence will come back with the results. But the more confident we are individually, the stronger we will be.. At the moment, Laurent Blanc and his squad are trying to get the team back on a physical level.
“I assure you that they are in very good health. The whole group is available. This is often the case with a new coach. It means that people want to show off and want to play. It’s already a good thing. We have to want to go and face Rennes.”. The coach also wants to manage a team that he plays. “I wish the beautiful game was right there. We had an interesting week of work. The players had an intensive but basic week in my eyes. We will have time to work since unfortunately we are not playing in Europe. Let’s be strong athletically and technically.”.
Improve at all levels
While waiting for the truce, OL will try to come back strong. “We can’t redo full preparation now and hopefully we can during the World Cup break. I think the players are aware of the start of the season and digest it differently. Some people find it difficult to digest. There are always delicate periods to manage in a club. Rennes had a tricky start but can go fast. We need points, we urgently need points. And the players know it (…) In absolute terms, 15 (out of 15 possible points) would be needed, but you can’t “.
For that, OL will have to be stronger in the back and even more efficient up front. “We are not that catastrophic in defense and attack, but when we score, we often concede a goal. It is not shameful to win 1-0 (…) I would have to find the right way for my attackers (Lacazette and Dembélé) to express themselves. We need a certain number of goals to be in the top five of the championship. It is a fact. When you have two people who together can score between 30 and 40 goals, that’s good. With 60 or 65 goals in Ligue 1, I think we can be in the top five or six..
White counts on the elders to straighten the bar
And White does not necessarily want to insist on a particular system, the one that has always been a follower of 4-3-3. “In collective terms, Lyon can do better. My way of playing will not be tied to the system. We want to cause problems for the opposition and have the ball as much as possible. Having the ball is having control. Not having it is defending, defending. It’s more fun to attack and create.”. Individually but also collectively, he expects more from his OL.
“Collectively we have to be better, that’s obvious. If the 11 think the same and have the same mentality, the better. We have to work on that. But everyone is aware that Lyon have not had a good start to the season. There are still points to collect. We have to add points before November 13.. To do this, it relies on experienced elements, rather than on young people. “I think it’s the experienced players who know how to better understand the time. Many things have been written or said, but the players take responsibility. To give your best you have to be at the top”. It’s up to the players to show what’s in their stomachs on Sunday in Rennes. The white is ready!
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