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The October Crisis. Three years ago, on October 7, 2019, Olympique Lyonnais decided to sack Sylvinho the day after a defeat against AS Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 (1-0). The Brazilian, chosen by Juninho to lead the new Lyon project, had only held ten games on the Rhone bench. With a record of 3 wins, 4 draws and above all 4 losses, he had barely had time to get through the fall and clap the hands of the supporters present at training before the derby, that it was time to go. But Sylvinho left with a title, that of the OL coach who took the fewest points on average in L1 (1 point per match) under the Jean-Michel Aulas era.

He is ahead of Raymond Domenech (1.26 points), Guy Stéphan (1.27 points) and…Peter Bosz (1.6 points). Appointed coach of Les Gones on May 29, 2021, the Dutchman, recruited to bring his experience and his very offensive game philosophy, is not doing much better than his Auriverde counterpart when he has had much more time to express himself. After a very disappointing first season at all levels, his OL finished 8th and did not qualify for a European Cup. Despite everything, Jean-Michel Aulas and his teams have decided to trust him. A daring choice but assumed by the management and which even surprised Bosz. The latter admitted that he should have been fired at the end of the season after such results.

Peter Bosch, season 2

The Dutchman also clarified that his second season would be very different from the first since he had a year to know his group and approve the French championship. It is therefore with positive energy that he left for a new year, he who was generally spared by the supporters. To help him in his mission, Peter Bosz was able to count on his management, which set up a new project based on OL DNA. In addition to contract extensions or the signing of the club’s first professional contracts for children, Lyon has decided to bring back former players, namely Alexandre Lacazette, Corentin Tolisso and Rémy Riou. Tetê (on loan again), Nicolas Tagliafico, Johann Lepenant and Saël Kumbedi complete the 2022-23 cast.

An exercise which had started well since OL, which benefited from a favorable calendar, were undefeated during the first 5 days of L1 (4 wins, 1 draw, 14 goals scored). But all was not perfect. In addition to conceding 4 goals (1 goal in each game during the first 4 days) and the suspension for three games of Anthony Lopes after an unnecessary red card, Lyon has not always been consistent throughout a game, an old habit. He lacked connection and creativity in the game. Aligned in the central axis alongside Castello Lukeba, Thiago Mendes was not always very reassuring. Certain elements, such as Corentin Tolisso or Maxence Caqueret were not at their best level, those who were returning from injuries should be noted.

Lens, one defeat too many?

On the other hand, the bench contributed on the first meetings. We think of Rayan Cherki (3 assists) or Moussa Dembélé (2 goals). This deserves to be clarified since Juninho had railed several times about the fact that the substitutes did not bring enough. Despite everything, Peter Bosz persisted with the same eleven (within one or two players), with the same system (4-3-3) while captain Alexandre Lacazette admitted to preferring to evaluate two ahead. He had the opportunity against PSG (September 18, 1-0 defeat). It was then that Bosz tested this system, he who did not deign to do so during the preparation. Definitely a mistake.

The former Ajax coach seems to be looking for the right formula, while his team has just chained its fourth defeat in a row. After Lorient, Monaco and Paris, Lens offered the scalp of Lyon last night (1-0, sp). The Northerners dominated head and shoulders the Rhodaniens who were not up to it. OL lacked a lot of things. Leaders, game, aggression, intensity, etc… the list is long. Only satisfaction, the performance of Anthony Lopes who stopped a humiliation. The Lyon goalkeeper was also angry after the match, just like Maxence Caqueret. Alexandre Lacazette also tried to re-motivate the troops on the ground. But Lyon a dark one.

The coach is not solely responsible

With 4 defeats in a row, OL have also achieved their worst series since 1991. How can this terrible fiasco be explained? The choice to keep Peter Bosz, who remained on a failure, was certainly not the best. How to start a new project with a coach who failed almost everything? In 47 games in total on the Rhone bench (75 points), he took fewer points than Rudi Garcia (76 points) during his last season with the Lyonnais. The Dutchman, who received an ultimatum from his management according to our information, is sometimes a little too stubborn, especially with certain elements. Thiago Mendes in central defense is a stopgap solution but not a long-term option.

But Bosz, who is guilty of many things, is not the only one to have made mistakes. The transfer window was not completely successful. Yes, OL and Bruno Cheyrou can rub their hands having freed the Lacazette-Tolisso duo. A fine performance, it must be said. But the leaders failed to sell elements that will be free in June 2023 (Aouar, Dembélé, Boateng, Da Silva). This is a problem since they will not bring anything (unless they are prolonged) and the coach has a squad that is too rich in quantity. As a result, the young people to whom we had sold the OL DNA project and who were waiting are not in the group for the moment. What frustrates a lot since, without the European Cup, it was the ideal year to start including them slowly in the workforce.

From leaders to players, everyone takes a lot

The club also finds itself with players who wanted to leave. We think of Houssem Aouar. Professional, the environment will be at the service of his coach, but it is never good to experience such events. Finally, the biggest fault this summer is certainly not having recruited a central defender, especially having lost Jason Denayer. A real competitor to Malo Gusto on the right would also have been a plus. Injured yesterday, the side right was replaced by Henrique, a solution which was not very good. Something to annoy the supporters, some of whom point to the duo Vincent Ponsot (director of football)-Bruno Cheyrou (head of recruitment). And they are not alone. yesterday on RMC SportsJuninho, who has still not been replaced as sporting director which is problematic, tackled Ponsot.

“You already why are you talking about football, you are not a sports director. Vincent Ponsot must not get involved already. You meddle publicly, you put your coach in trouble, it’s not done. You talk behind closed doors. You talk to the coach, it’s the reality, we haven’t had good results lately, but behind closed doors. You discuss, you explain but each time, it becomes public, it’s tiring. We have to stop always messing up the club. It is also so as not to assume”. Yesterday after the match, Jean-Michel Aulas, who called on the media to stop the bashing against OL, gave his support to his director of football. He had already supported him internally last year when it was starting to get fried on the line between Juninho and him.

A reaction is expected

“We are going to prepare the match against Toulouse (Friday) to win it and then we will take stock, replied the Lyon president. We lose against a very good team and especially by a referee who decides the fate of the match. The fate of the matches is decided on not much. We are 7th and we have to win on Friday. Vincent (Ponsot) and Bruno (Cheyrou) are doing a very good job… And you have to be patient with Peter»commented by JMA in The Team. Despite everything, the pressure is increasing on Peter Bosz, who plays big against Toulouse on Friday. But he remains calm. “No (he does not feel threatened, editor’s note). All matches are decisive. We can’t keep slipping. Four defeats is too many. All the matches are key for the future but the pressure is still there, especially in Lyon.. A city where supporters are tired of words and want action.

They want to see the great game they were promised and not a team that seems lost. Peter Bosz tried to defend his training last night. “I don’t want to look for excuses and we mustn’t forget that Lens are a good team. But there were a lot of absences, almost half of the team. It was hard but we could do better. We have to do better”. He is not the only one. In Lyon, we expect more from the players, in particular Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso, who have returned to supervise the team and pull up. They must do better. The solution can also come from young people like Caqueret, who has more responsibilities, Lepenant, best rookie, Cherki, who must respond when he is established, or players who come off the bench like Diomandé, not so bad yesterday. In short, it’s all of OL who must wake up and unite because between now and the next break, Les Gones will have a hell of a schedule (TFC, Rennes, Montpellier, Lille, OM, Nice). It remains to be seen whether Peter Bosz will still be there to lead the troops.

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