Award-Deserving Anthony Lopes (And the Defense He Has to Thank for It)

Lyon currently sits third in Ligue 1, just one point ahead of Saint-Étienne. That point could be the bare minimum to stay ahead of the local rivals as Lyon is behind in goal difference. The culprit: Lyon has the tenth-worst defense in Ligue 1. Paradoxically, Anthony Lopes is nominated to win the UNFP Best Goalkeeper award, and he would be a deserving winner.

Cover: L’Équipe

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Bruno Genesio: Anatomy of a Crash-and-Burn

It made for a pitiful sight. On Saturday afternoon, Bruno Genesio presented himself at a press conference to announce his decision – no longer Jean-Michel Aulas’ decision, but his – that the 2018/2019 season would be his last at the helm of Olympique Lyonnais.

Genesio was all alone; there was no Jean-Michel Aulas, who had had his back for years on end. Against Dijon and Nantes, it seemed even the players were no longer behind their coach anymore.

As for the supporters, many had abandoned him long ago, and with good reason. Lyon had the second-highest operating budget in Ligue 1 at €285M, but you would not know it by watching them play. On Saturday evening, they found themselves in third place deservedly behind Lille.

Genesio’s press conference brought to an end a will-they-or-won’t-they saga surrounding his future at the club. It was a drawn out story, unworthy of a club of Lyon’s stature – a tale that, much like Genesio’s own tenure, should have ended far earlier than it did.

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The revolving door comes to a halt?

Benzema, Lacazette, Martial, Tolisso, Ben Arfa, Umtiti, Fekir, Aouar, Lopes etc… Okay! We get it! The Olympique Lyonnais academy conveyor belt’s ability of producing quality footballers, gift wrapped and ready for a high level international career is well documented, and to quote Moussa Dembélé #IfYouDontKnowNowYouKnow! Around the academy is an incredibly successful recruitment cell led by OL’s secret weapon and chief recruiter Florian Maurice, whose ability to still find hidden gems at low prices in this modern age of football is both astounding and vital to the OL DNA and its ongoing success.

Despite only Anthony Lopes and Nabil Fekir left at the club (Jordan Ferri is currently out on loan to Ligue 1 club Nîmes Olympique), supporters and onlookers have become accustomed to the revolving door of exciting young talent passing from the academy through to the first team. Youngsters at the club are drawing more and more attention from supporters and the footballing world alike as the next big talents.

The strong generation of Ferri, Lacazette, N’jie, Grenier, Fekir, Umtiti, Tolisso, Benzia, Plea and Lopes, most of whom came into prominence during Rémi Garde’s tenure as coach between 2011-14 came to fruition during the 14-15 season under new coach Hubert Fournier. Fournier himself greatly benefited from the trust that Garde was somewhat forced to place on the academy players coming through at the time. Since these players came through, there had been a frustrating gap in quality between the reservists and the first team causing OL to rely more on canny and smart recruitment. Now it’s far different, the current crop of u19 players (not to mention a handful of 15/16 year olds), are already starting to knock on Genesio’s front door for a first team place.

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Women’s International Round Up: Red, White & Bleue

France put an end to top-ranked USA’s 28-game unbeaten streak, Shanice van de Sanden racked up the air miles, and Jess Fishlock is a superhero. As the teams turn the corner for the final stretch before the World Cup kicks off, we’re catching up on all the international break action from the stars of OL Féminin.

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Champions League Draw and Other Irrelevant News

It’s Barcelona.

Blah.

To be fair, any of the teams Lyon could have drawn in the Round of 16 would be a difficult challenge, but I really didn’t want to see Eric Abidal’s face again. Now I’ll have to suffer through multiple pre-match interviews where he’ll talk down about his old Lyon days. Can’t wait.

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A New Olympique For Jordan Ferri

It was announced yesterday that Lyon academy graduate Jordan Ferri has left on loan to join Nîmes Olympique. While not a fresh face out of the academy, he has only known Olympique Lyonnais as a professional player. It’s a new chapter for Jordan Ferri in a career that has never reached the heights of other famous OL graduates.

Ferri derby

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Weekly Update: L’infirmerie est Pleine!

It’s only October, but the hospital wing of Olympique Lyonnais is running out of beds. While injuries are bound to happen, having so many at once is a headache for any manager. Fortunately, it’s not red alert just yet, but Lyon’s medical staff will be extra vigilant because any additions to the below list will definitely push the men’s, women’s, and reserve teams towards a crisis.

Nabil Fekir: This is the big one. He sustained an ankle injury in the early minutes against PSG, and while he tried to play on, he went down a few minutes later and signaled for a substitution. As we all know, OL’s fortunes went kaput after that.

All things considered, the injury is relatively minor. He has been ruled out for a month and is expected to miss the games against  Nîmes, Angers, Bordeaux, as well as both games against Hoffenheim. This is a heavy blow, as we’ve seen the team struggles when he is not on the pitch.

Fekir picked up an ankle injury against PSG.

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