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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Time to face their demons: Lyon vs. Reims preview

Tomorrow, Lyon will face their most challenging enemy to date: Stade de Reims.

Reims set the tone for the year when, in the second game of this season, they imposed Lyon’s first defeat. It was a rather prophetic moment that heralded two things – Lyon’s inability to chain matches, as well as their propensity to drop points against smaller clubs.

Friday, January 11th, 2019
Parc OL, Lyon
2:45 PM EST (20h45 CET)

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Coupe de la Ligue Quarterfinals: Lyon vs. Strasbourg in the Less Popular Cup

After last Saturday’s Coupe de France clash against amateur 5th division side Bourges Foot, where Lyon struggled for a hard fought victory (no, seriously), Bruno Genesio and his merry men are setting their sights on that other French Cup.

Since winning the league is out of the question, and progressing in the Champions League is just as unlikely, Genesio is determined to win one of the cups. While the Coupe de France is more prestigious, he’ll take anything he can get, even if it’s the slightly more lame Coupe de la Ligue.

The reason Lyon are so desperate? The club hasn’t won any hardware since 2012.

Oh wait, they did win the Eusebio Cup. My bad.


Tuesday, January 8th, 2019
Parc OL, Lyon
21:00 CET (3 PM EST)

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Coupe de la Ligue : Amiens SC vs Olympique Lyonnais Preview

Amiens SC are hosting OL on Wednesday night in the round of 16 in the Coupe de la Ligue. Coming off the high of qualifying for the Champions League round of 16, most OL fans can be forgiven for not highlighting this match in the calendar with great importance.

Lyon’s first, last and only trophy in the Coupe de la Ligue came in 2001. In fact OL are more of the bridesmaids of the competition rather than the bride, as they equal AS Monaco with the most runners up “trophies” since the current competition started in 1994. Tonight OL can start their romantic journey to become the unsuspecting bride or simply be another ugly “one-match-stand”, to suppress into the subconscious memory bank.

Olympique Lyonnais CDL winners 2001

Wednesday, December 19th
Stade de la Licorne, Amiens
(18:45 GMT+1)

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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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The (Other) Olympico: Lyon vs Nîmes Olympique Preview

For years, Nîmes Olympique has been angling for a seat at the big table. Now that they have it, they are struggling to retain it, but the third Olympique in Ligue 1 has shown it can stand up to giants.

Nîmes experienced a strong start to the Ligue 1 season, including a 3-1 victory over Olympique Marseille. Since then, Nîmes’ progress has stalled, and after a winless run, they are flirting with relegation.

And that sounds like a problem that Olympique Lyonnais could fix.

Friday, October 19th, 2018
Parc OL, Lyon
2:45 PM EST (20:45 CET, 19:45 UST) Continue reading “The (Other) Olympico: Lyon vs Nîmes Olympique Preview”