I don’t even know why I bothered to watch this game when the players themselves can’t be bothered to play. They basically showed up an hour before the match and then had a casual game of kick about. At least that’s what it felt like to everyone except maybe Bruno Genesio, who seems to think that barely scraping by relegation-level teams is an ok result.
My 10 year old cousin has a more aggressive coach than Lyon does at the moment. Maybe Aulas should start looking for his next manager in the Washington DC youth league.
Here’s the weird thing. Even though OL won today’s game, it wasn’t any better than their 4-0 loss to Huddersfield. There was a massive disconnect between players, and the only one who seemed to remember he plays for Lyon and not some Championnat team was Betrand Traore, who’s been showing up to preseason like he actually cares.
Dubois – Marcelo – Morel – Mendy
Ferri – Tousart – Aouar
Traore – Memphis
Tete – Marcelo – Morel – Rafael
Ndombele – CMP – Caqueret – Diop
Cornet – Fekir
It’s a 4-4-2 really, but with Terrier nested right behind the front pair instead of deeper in midfield. Looking at the above first half lineup, it’s safe to assume that this probably the closest first 11 Genesio has at the moment, with the exception of Mathieu Gorgelin, and with Mariano Diaz and Tanguy Ndombele being used interchangeably with…someone.
Barring any new signings, that’s it, guys. That’s the team that’s going to fight for the title and progression in the Champions League. How do you feel about it? Because me – I’m not feeling great.
The obvious issues are Jeremy Morel and Jordan Ferri, the weakest members of the starting 11. Even if Lyon buy another defender this window, it will likely offset Marcelo’s potential departure, so we’re still stuck with Morel. As for Ferri…
Against Wolfsburg, the midfield just…didn’t exist. Most of the action seemed to go from the fullbacks to the front three. Houssem Aouar had a few good touches as well as a goal ruled offside, but he too was surprisingly transparent. Lucas Tousart did so little that I barely recall seeing him.
I know Genesio has amnesia where Pape Cheikh Diop is concerned, but he’s also been having a great preseason, and he’s been superior to Ferri in all possible ways. There is also Maxence Caqueret, whom I’m a total fangirl over, but is he ready to play day in and day out over Ferri? Probably not. Then again, could he be any worse?
On the other hand, Memphis Depay had a good match. He has yet to score any goals this preseason, but his work rate has been excellent. He just needs to work on his finishing. I’m going to chalk it up to the tumultuous few weeks he had prior. But you can tell that sooner or later (let’s hope sooner), the goals will come back.
Lyon debutantes Martin Terrier and Leo Dubois have both looked solid. Terrier has scored 4 goals in preseason already. It doesn’t mean that much because it’s preseason, but his productivity should ensure more playing time and at least a few starts next season. Dubois has been solid as well, nothing flashy, but to be honest, we have enough flashy players. I’ll take reliable and steady any day. He’s had some great crosses and seems better at defending than Kenny Tete. I peg Dubois to be the starting LB.
Man of the match – man of the summer, really – has been Betrand Traore. He’s been excellent, both in creating opportunities for others as well as scoring goals. If you’re gonna judge OL by anyone this preseason, pick Traore.
Wolfsburg came to play a more physical match, which I think gave Lyon some trouble. But tough, they have to get over it. Getting out-muscled and out-maneuvered is not an excuse. That being said, for a friendly match, the referee handed out seven yellow cards. I’m amazed that someone wasn’t sent off because it wouldn’t have been out of place.
As usual, we can count on Ferri to pick a fight when something isn’t going his way. What exactly that was, I don’t know. Maybe the Wolfsburg player called him short, but Ferri has a short fuse and can’t let things go. Thank god Anthony Lopes wasn’t there, or he would have found a way to increase the length of his suspension.
We all thought “Castagne FC” was cute last year. But the sheer amount of fights this team gets into is not something you expect to see from a “big” team. Once in awhile, maybe during a derby, a scuffle is ok. But in high pressure situations, the team that stays calm is the one that goes the distance. Our guys get frustrated and then lash out.
Lyon’s next three friendlies are against much bigger teams – Benfica, Chelsea, and Inter Milan. While they are friendlies, there is a lot of money on the line, so expect these teams to be fielding their strongest lineups. Lyon will face Benfica on Tuesday, and I can’t imagine Genesio figuring anything out before then. Five days after their last friendly, against Chelsea, the season officially starts.
I’m feeling a little anxious.
Someone has thoughtfully uploaded match highlights. Bonus: you get to see Remy Vercoutre. Unbonus: part of the audio was replaced with really weird music. But you get to see all the goals!