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Olympique Lyonnais - Returning To The Pinnacle

Started on 12 January 2016 by Feliks
Latest Reply on 23 January 2016 by Yanic
  • POSTS21
  • VIEWS11008


Welcome to what I hope will be my first prolific FM16 save and story, after multiple slip-ups and tactical errors over multiple saves. FM16 just hadn't been working out for me but after constructing a tactic for my Chelsea-United story with Maximus, I tried it out on a new save and by November it was working reasonably well. As such, I'm prepared to take a punt and present to you the story of my career as manager of Olympique Lyonnais. May it be long and prosperous.

The 2007/08 season was the last of seven consecutive titles for Lyon as they established themselves as one of the best clubs in Europe, let alone France. Boasting players such as Karim Benzema, Juninho and Michael Essien, they were unchallenged domestically for most of the 2000s until a league-changing moment occured.

In 2011, the Qatar Sports Investments group purchased Paris $aint-Germain, reinforcing the capital city's biggest clubs with some huge and expensive signings and making them the pre-eminent club in the Ligue 1. Bordeaux, Marseille and Montpellier all won titles before P$G stormed ahead, winning 3 consecutive titles and heading into the 2015/16 season as clear favourites once again. Lyon, on the other hand, had 7 consecutive top 5 finishes and ended the 2015/16 season in 2nd - their best finish since their last title. But the return to the pinnacle still eludes them. And I'm going to make it my duty to help them reach it again.
Good luck, I had a great game with them on fm14 and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Nice choice. If you do some realistic transfers and give chance to young players of your U21/U17 teams I'll be following for sure.

I am french and Lyon is my team. I had a save last year with them and I bought players like Lemar, Valbuena, Jean or Arbeloa and kept Lacazette/Fekir/Umtiti to finally win the Ligue 1 in the 2016/17 season.

Sorry if my english, once again, I'm french.
Good start, Lyon are a good team to manage every year so good luck, I'll be reading.
Will definitely be following this, hope it's going well
walkinshaw: I hope my save follows the same path as yours :)

Erdnaxela: The plan is to definitely keep the big names and push for a title by that time, yes

MaxLuxon: Thanks mate, I've never played with them before now so hopefully all goes well

joethequin: Cheers! It is indeed going well

Squad Report and Tactical Plans

The reason I was so attracted to Olympique Lyonnais is that the squad is all but set-up for the next 5 seasons with a majority of vibrant, up and coming young players that can improve to European level. Alexandre Lacazette, Clement Grenier and Corentin Tolisso are 3 of the bigger names in a squad which is dynamic, energetic and fun to play with. In this update, I'll go through my tactical plans and the players that I'll use to implement. Fair warning, I'm playing this on FM Touch and I'm not the best tactician so don't expect fireworks.

The tactic I'm gonna run with is a 4-2-3-1 on Standard mentality. I originally started with a 4-1-1-3-1, with a DM and a MC, but found it made my midfield too narrow and so I pushed the defensive midfielder up the pitch. It doesn't give me much possession, and I rarely dominate the game, but the front 4 is fluid and dynamic and gives me plenty of chances whilst my defensive players do their job well. Here's the player instructions.

As you can see, I kept it relatively simple as that seems the way to go on FM16 this year from my own experience and others'. As I don't have a big target up front, I mainly want my players to keep it low and fast, playing out of defence and working it into the box where my front 4 can work their magic. For away games against the bigger teams, I'll most likely drop the defensive line and add 'be more disciplined' in a bid to be even more stable.

Now here's a run down of each position, it's first team player and the role they will play in my tactic.

Goalkeeper - GK (D)
First Team - Anthony Lopes
Backup - Mathieu Gorgelin

The goalkeeper's job is quite simple - keep the goals out. In this tactic, I'm not looking for any sweeper keeping or moving out of the box. Lopes' only instruction will be to pass it to the centre backs and not blaze down the pitch when he kicks. He looks like a very dependable player.

Full Backs - FB (s)
First Team - Henri Bedimo, Rafael
Backup - Jeremy Morel, Christophe Jallet

I've never been a fan of purely defensive full backs, no matter what the team, and at Lyon I want my full backs to have a supporting role on top of their defensive duties. Rafael in particular will be very damaging from the wide position and I expect them to be very busy over the course of the season.

Centre Backs - CD (d)
First Team - Samuel Umtiti, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Backup - Milan Bisevac, Bakary Kone, Lindsay Rose

My centre backs are very capable of doing a solid defensive job and that's what I'll be expecting of them, with Umtiti and Yanga-Mbiwa filling a conventional centre-half role and working as a defensive unit. No fireworks in this area of the pitch.

Holding Midfielder - BWM (d)
First Team - Maxime Gonalons
Backup - Sergi Darder

Gonalons, the club captain, will play a crucial role as the side's holding midfielder and will be responsible for shielding the back four from a lot of attacks. His defensive duty means the bulk of the midfield play will be left up to his midfield comrades - Gonalons and Darder's role will be simply to win the ball back with grunt.

Midfield Playmaker - RPM (s)
First Team - Corentin Tolisso
Backup - Arnold Mvuemba, Steed Malbranque, Jordan Ferri

The crucial role of the playmaker is going to be taken by young gun Corentin Tolisso, which is a risky call from me but one that I think will work out very well. RPM is a role I haven't used often but seems to be working well in the save, with the BWM doing the grunt work whilst the RPM does as he pleases, dictating tempo. The fact that I have 4 players for this role will almost definitely cause complications and I suspect at least one of the backups will want out.

Left Winger - IF (a)
First Team - Nabil Fekir
Backup - Rachid Ghezzal

In a team with 2 wingers, I decided to make the left one an inside forward in the hope that Fekir can put his great dribbling skills to work. Ghezzal is another viable option and the joy of my front 4 is that Lacazette and Valbuena will most likely get gametime here as well as I try to change things up in-game and frustrate the opposition.

Central Attacking Midfielder - AM (a)
First Team - Clement Grenier
Backup - None

When he returns from injury, I expect Clement Grenier to be amazing in this position, given a free role to tear apart the opposition with a combination of dribbling, passing and finishing. However, the star is out for 6 months at the beginning of the game and with no natural back-ups (unless you count Valbuena and Fekir who are first teamers in another positions) it's going to be an area that I need to fill in the transfer window, albeit temporarily.

Right Winger - W (a)
First Team - Mathieu Valbuena
Backup - Claudio Beauvue

To avoid the wingers ruinning into eachother, my right winger will stay wide most of the time and look to send quality crosses and passes into Lacazette up front. Valbuena should fill that role superbly, with his excellent technical ability, and the aforementioned Lacazette can also move out to this position if he's having an off day up front.

Striker - DLF (s)
First Team - Alexandre Lacazette
Backup - Maxwel Cornet

The magic word, Lacazette. He will be so crucial for me this season that selling him is off the cards until at least 2016/17, where I'll be demanding a huge fee for his services. As part of my fluid front 4, Lacazette will not be an out and out striker but will instead be a more supportive striker looking to link up with his teammates rather than purely finish off chances. Maxwel Cornet will hopefully get some gametime as well as his understudy.
Did you think about a dm and 2cm's bud or is Grenier an out and out ACm this new fm bud?
walkinshaw: Grenier can play MC but I'm not a fan of purely attacking MCs

Player Watch #1

In these segments I'll be taking a look in-depth at some of my biggest names and how they're heading, their biggest strengths and also what they bring to my side. Lyon have a lot of players I admire and I'd like to share them all. In reality however, I'll have to keep it to the best. The first one I want to show is defensive midfielder/central midfielder/right back/wing back Corentin Tolisso.

Tolisso is probably my favourite player in the Lyon squad, narrowly ahead of Clement Grenier, because he is exactly the kind of player I'd want to be if I was playing professional football. A solid defensive midfielder with the ability to push forward or wide, Tolisso is just 21 but I have deemed him worthy of playing in the first team due to his outstanding teamwork and work rate, which is imperative for his role which involves controlling the tempo and dictating the game. He also has great stamina and good technicals, with the technicals bound to grow as he gets older. He forms a great central midfield pairing with Maxime Gonalons, the club captain, and I hope Corentin can learn a lot from him because although he's not much of a natural leader, I can see Tolisso becoming an on-field leader for years to come.
Just caught up with this and I'm loving it! Great work.
Fantastic start mate, wish you all the best in Ligue 1, having found myself its a tricky league to do well in
Jack: Cheers mate, it's a very enjoyable save and it's fun to do the graphics as well

mgriffin2012: Yeah definitely, I've got P$G, Monaco and Marseille to deal with mainly but then there's teams like Montpellier, Bordeaux, Saint-Etienne and Lille who are real pains in the arse too.

Transfer Update

With Clement Grenier officially out of action until December, I needed more cover in the attacking midfield position. Even though I have Valbuena and Fekir, both capable of playing at AMC, their primary positions will be the wings so I needed someone to fill in albeit temporarily.

After mainly looking through the loan, transfer and free transfer lists, I managed to scrounge up 3 main candidates. I'll go through their pros and cons before revealing just who I signed.

He might be aging but I still believe Ronaldinho would be a superb signing for us. In a side lacking experience, the 35 year old Brazilian would bring a history that includes Champions Leagues, World Cups, a Ballon D'Or and a spot in the FIFA 100 - the 125 greatest living footballers as chosen by Pele - at the age of just 23. He's not very quick anymore, so if I did sign him, he'd most likely play as an Enganche, doing as he pleases as the play unfolds around him. I don't think wages would be a problem, and he's available on a free, so Ronaldinho will be the first I go after.

A loan signing to consider heavily is Atletico's Angel Correa. At 20, he looks like the real deal as an AMC with fantastic dribbling, passing, technique and flair. He's also versatile, capable of doing a job on a left wing and up front and the only downside is that I can't afford him permanently. Atletico are willing to let him out on loan for just 8,250 pounds a week so if Ronaldinho doesn't work out, Correa is the next best option.

The final option isn't a natural AMC but if I signed him it would free up another player to play there instead. Munir El Haddadi is one of the top prospects in Spanish football but is obviously not ready to claim a starting spot at Barcelona. He lacks the class of Ronaldinho and Correa but would bring a youthful spark on the wings nonetheless and is a viable option should the first too not work out.

But in the end, I could only sign one.....

Ronaldinho pulled some sort of trickery on me, refusing to enter contract negotiations and then going onto sign for my Ligue 1 counterparts Stade Rennais! I mean, I get he played for P$G but that was 12 years ago and the 2 clubs aren't even really rivals! But nonetheless, he was out of the picture so the best option was Angel Correa. For just 8,250 pounds a week, I've loaned a brilliant young AMC who, like Ronaldinho, can pull off the impossible but is far quicker. I'm hoping Correa can live up to his attributes and become a key member of the side this season.

Pre-Season 2015/16

I've never placed that much importance on pre-season results, with my main focus being getting the boys into good shape with their fitness as well as making sure they know how to play my tactic. Over the course of July, we played 6 friendlies so I hope that can get them into a state of mind befitting a ready-to-go team.

In the first 2 weeks of the month, we travelled to Austria to play 4 of their Bundesliga clubs. We started with a 1-0 win over the best club in the country, FC Red Bull Salzburg, before dispatching of Wolfsberger AC 3-1. A disappointing draw to SV Ried was followed by a comfortable 3-1 win over SV Grodig to complete the tour.

Our only big test of the pre-season was the hosting of Juventus, which I regrettably didn't attend and instead left it to my assistant manager. Our players, presumably too unfamiliar with the tactic, were no match for the Champions League finalists with goals from Simone Zaza and Juan Cuadrado relegating us to a 2-0 loss.

Our final test of the season was against club affiliate Club Africain, with an Alexandre Lacazette brace firing us to a 3-1 win to finish off the pre-season.

Our trusty right winger Mathieu Valbuena turned it on over pre-season, playing a vital role in almost every game as he found his feet in my fluid front 4. His link up play with Lacazette has been especially impressive so I can't wait to see how he does in the season proper.

My next update will be our first competitive game of the year, playing Paris Saint-Germain in the 2015 Trophee des Champions, which is the French equivalent of the Community Shield. We travel to Montreal to play our counterparts in what should be a fantastic game, and a chance to win our first piece of silverware awaits. Can we do it? You'll have to wait and see.

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