“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough!” The cliche mantra that all aspiring young Olympique Lyonnais academy players whisper to themselves as they drift asleep every night, it’s also a mentality that runs rich through the veins of the clubs DNA. From the president Jean Michel Aulas and to the supporters Lyonnais and worldwide, it’s no longer a well kept secret that the club is topped to the brim with young talented players all fizzing to become the next breakout star, and add their name to the rich list of stars to have passed through the colours of Olympique Lyonnais.Continue reading “Out With The Youth, In With The Youth”
It’s no secret. France is England’s favorite hunting ground. From Alexandre Lacazette to Rachid Ghezzal, many players have given in to the temptation and crossed the English Channel. It’s just so easy – you can wrap Clinton Njie in a ribbon and call him the new Samuel Eto’o, and they just snap him up.
But this time, Manchester City do not come hunting for players. The Citizens are coming for all three points.
It’s been a week of champagne and chocolate. Last Wednesday’s entirely unexpected win at Manchester City, coupled with this weekend’s win over Marseille, has revitalized a Lyon side that’s struggled with form since August.
Their unconvincing season start against Ligue 1 bottom feeders Nice, Caen, Reims, Strasbourg, and Amiens – taking 7 points out of 15 – convinced both fans and pundits alike that Lyon would be lucky even to qualify for next year’s Europa League. But as usual, Lyon proved once again that they play better against bigger opponents.
Which is TERRIBLE because their next opponent is Dijon, a team that plays the kind of football that Lyon just don’t know how to deal with. It’s not going to be easy going from champagne football to sandwich toppings, and if any team can mess it up, it’s Lyon.
Wednesday, Septermber 26th, 2018
Stade Gaston Gérard, Dijon
1 PM EST (19:00 CET, 18:00 UST)
The battle of the Olympics has more narratives than you can poke a stick at, and it’s transforming itself into a derby and one of the fiercest in France! Coming away from a comfortable 2-1 win against English Premier League Champions and the apparent favourites to win the Champions League, Manchester City, Olympique Lyonnais are full of confidence heading into this must win tie. The form coming into this match for both teams has drastically switched from a week ago, with OM losing at home 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt, despite their positive results in Ligue 1.
Just a week ago, after another lacklustre performance in Ligue, President Aulas was scoffing at the idea of OL turning their season around against Man City and OM in the one week. However, since that glorious Wednesday night for OL at the Etihad Stadium which left all the English pundits in chaos control, trying to save their reputations while wiping the egg off their face, things couldn’t be more positive for OL. The form graph/chart/diagram/whatever you want to call it, couldn’t have swung more in OL’s favour.
From a purely sporting standpoint, even the most optimistic Lyon fans expect Manchester City to win on Wednesday. In all honesty, this preview should end right here because the game should be a foregone conclusion.
But if there’s one team on this planet that never does what they’re supposed to, it’s Lyon. They lose when they’re supposed to win, they win when they’re supposed to lose. I can’t remember the last time when everything went as planned.
So who knows what Wednesday will bring. After losing to a bunch of relegation-level teams these past two months, Lyon are ready to face one of the best teams in the world.
Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
Etihad Stadium, Manchester
3 PM EST (21:00 CET, 20:00 UST)
One year is long – far too long – to be out of the Champions League. Fans have to settle for Thursday night football, players look to move away for more glamorous nights, and most importantly, Olympique Lyonnais’ coffers weep quietly.
It’s fair to say that Lady Luck has smiled upon Lyon in recent Champions League campaigns, though in true Lyonnais fashion, they struggled to capitalize. This time, the draws brought mixed fortunes for Genesio’s side.
It’s been an emotional 24 hours for OL fans.
First, L’Equipe reported that the signing of Ruben Dias was imminent. Everyone started making posters for his arrival at the airport. The Groupama cafeteria placed an online order for salted fish. I personally downloaded a Portuguese language app so I would be ready to comment on his Instagram.
Lyon fans were overjoyed. Finally, the defender we all deserved.
Then, my friend Bilel posted this tweet: