“Europe is shredded” but for OL what is left to play?

By Tom Gagniare



Olympique Lyonnais still have so much to play for. Frederic Chambert

For the second time in a row, Lyon should not play the European Cup but the end of the season remains crucial on several levels.

For Europe, it’s gratedadmitted Laurent Blanc After the defeat against Clermont (2-1) last Sunday. Lucidity or defeatism. Both. Certainly, one more than the other. Seventh in Ligue 1 with three games remaining, OL are three points behind Rennes (6th) and four behind Lille, fifth and last European qualifier. For Lyon, Europe always seems further away but the challenges remain numerous.

Tiny hopes and places of honor

This Friday, Olympique Lyonnais receives AS Monaco (9 p.m.) inopening of the 36th day of the championship. A victory at home would allow Les Gones to keep tiny hopes for a European qualification. “We know that it will be very difficult (to qualify for Europe, editor’s note) because we have grilled jokers, umes Castello Lukeba. It’s up to us to transform ourselves to get the nine points in the last three games. We are quite a few points behind. The goal is to win these three matches. We’ll figure it out at the end.“After this match, Laurent Blanc’s players will receive Reims before going to Nice for the last day.

Three last crucial matches for the Gones who must collect points, under penalty of plummeting in the standings. Failing to play Europe next season, Lyon must fight for places of honor in Ligue 1, synonymous with greater revenue for the club. And right now, every euro counts. OL must remain at least attractive if they want to be able to recruit this summer. Especially since the Rhone club will face many departures. Jerome Boateng, Houssem Aouar and Moussa Dembélé will leave free. Malo Gusto will definitely join Chelsea. “The transfer window is a very important period. It is the construction of a group, ures Laurent Blanc. We have players on loan who will come back. You have to think carefully and answer fundamental questions: where you want to go and how you want to get there.»

Youngsters and rookies must show up

Other players, coveted by more upscale clubs, could also leave the club with seven consecutive titles of champion of France (2002-2008). Castello Lukeba, Maxence Caqueret or Rayan Cherki could leave their training club and allow it to make a nice gain. “In the French championship, it is difficult to compete. If a big European club lands on a player, it’s tricky, blows the Lyon coach. Very few clubs can afford to say no. French football has more and more means. But on the transfer market, it is difficult to resist English clubs for example.»

At the end of the contract or about to leave, many players therefore have every interest in showing themselves at the end of the season. This is also the case for young people who could scratch even more playing time.When I arrived in October, there was an overstaffing, insists the 1998 world champion. We had to make decisions during the transfer window. Everyone said there were good youngsters but they weren’t playing. We decided to make room for them to see if they had any quality. We took a risk, and we had to take it. This allowed us to confirm or not certain potentials, and to live better inside the group.»

Prepare for reconstruction

Other players have played less this season and must take the opportunity to convince the coach and get a better place. This is particularly the case of Jeffinho, always interesting but very often on the bench. Also recruited this winter, Amin Sarr has been unconvincing since his arrival in France. Only one goal in 13 games. Little to his advantage in recent weeks, Sinaly Diomandé also has the opportunity to reure.

Rookies must perform. Young people could show up. However, this will not be against Monaco, Laurent Blanc having chosen not to call any youngsters from the reserve but to reconvene Jerome Boateng. The end of the season of the club which must now do without Jean-Michel Aulas has its presidency – “We can only thank and honor him for all the work he has done. Before the Clermont match, we thought it would be great to win for him. We’re sorry we didn’t.regrets Castello Lukeba – remains exhilarating on several levels. OL must now show that they have courage, desire and continuity of ideas. And it is perhaps ultimately the most important for a club in reconstruction.

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