Lyon started the year with high hopes after reuniting their academy stars Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso. However, that hope has simply not materialized into success. Even the arrival of Laurent Blanc has not been able to change the mentality of OL’s team.
To make things worse OL lost 1-0 at home to Clermont. Tolisso spoke about the lack of toughness from his teammates stating, “What we do in training is very good. We see a lot of involvement from everyone. The technical level is high, there is a lot of aggression, work, and push. We need to translate what we do in training during our actual matches.”
For a team who has mascots of a Lion and “bad boys,” there has been a lack of positive aggression from the team that now sits in 8th place in Ligue 1 for some time now. OL Has now had several different coaches who were given the chance to change the culture of the team. Yet, without the players on board, the ship is powerless.
One player that may be able to help make that shift that the 28-year-old French international is speaking about is returning veteran 33-year-old defender Dejan Lovren. The Croatian international is a player who is known for his toughness and physical effort and is in a position where OL desperately needs help.
The French midfielder spoke about his arrival explaining, “Aggressiveness is mental. In training, I can tell you that there is a lot of it. We have to be more mean during matches, although I’m not saying that you have to be dirty, we lose a lot of duels. We’re not there to win the second ball. It’s these little details that give the ball to the opponent. We have to work on that. I think the arrival of Dejan Lovren will allow us to progress at this level.”
OL has very little time to get back in the race for a European finish. Their next match is against a starved Nantes team who is facing their own battle to stay in Ligue 1. Lyon has already let one very winnable match slip away. If they want to turn things around the time is now.
GFFN | Tony DesRois