Having secured new sponsorship deals with BNP Paribas and Kappa we had our new kits designed just in time for the first match of the season. I had decided to call in a specialist designer. I wasn’t happy with the previous kits but I knew there was a friend in England who would be able to create something special and I am very pleased to present the new Olympique Lyonnais home and away kits, designed by kit specialist Louis O.
Damn them injuries. Hopefully they don't hold you back too much. Just read through he whole thing after missing the start. Some really nice tactics. You just had to sign Hughes and Fierro didn't you. Also some really good results. Keep it up
Sunday 16th September 2012 – Ligue 1 – Stade de Gerland, Lyon – Att. 26,513
Lyon starting XI – De Vries, Muniesa, Gonalons, Umtiti, Giaccherini, Mvuemba, Fofana, Hughes, Malbranque, Eduardo, Watt
Subs Lacazette, Grenier, Abenzoar
Having so many players out injured I had to use a formation completely unknown to the boys and one I never considered playing. With the players I had, and even playing one or two out of position, we lined up 3-5-2 and to my surprise we controlled the game but we just couldn’t score. Eduardo had a shocker and I was fed up with him. He was in the team to provide experience and be our main striker but after 4 games he hadn’t scored. I decided enough was enough. I had plenty of youth ready to play and I terminated his loan. We drew 0-0 but I couldn’t complain with the injuries we had. I was just disappointed we couldn’t put away our chances.
Olympique Lyonnais 1 - 1 Napoli
Thursday 20th September 2012 – Europa League – Stade de Gerland, Lyon – Att. 24,877
With Dabo back from injury I decided to throw him straight in to the team but my CB pairing had an average age of 19. Going up against Cavani and Pandev I was worried but I knew I had to put my faith in them. We lined up 4-2-3-1 and absolutely dominated the game. We had 61% possession and had 9 shots on target compared to Napoli’s 4. But we couldn’t score! Umtiti put us ahead late in the game and I immediately told the players to drop back and contain Napoli. It wasn’t enough and Maggio got the equaliser only 2 minutes later. I threw on Benzia and Eduardo late on to push for a winner but Morgan De Sanctis was in unbelievable form and we couldn’t get the winner we deserved. I was proud of how Muniesa and Umtiti handled the pressure and knew I could rely on them in the future. Our Europa League campaign was off to a decent start and I knew we would do better in our next match against Hannover.
Lille 0 - 3 Olympique Lyonnais
Sunday 23rd September 2012 – Ligue 1 – Grande Stade Lille Metropole, Villeneuve-d’Ascoq – Att. 40,029
Lille were in 5th and us in 3rd at this point. I decided we would set up 4-3-3 with an anchor man to counter the AMC Lille had planned to play. Things didn’t get off to a good start as Muniesa got injured in the 5th minute and it turned out he suffered a torn hamstring. I was gutted for him as he was settling in to the team and playing very well. With no other defenders on the bench I pushed Mvuemba to the LB role and brought on Fofana to play the anchor-man. This didn’t stop us and we pushed on and scored 3 goals to take the match comfortably. We aren’t playing the fast attacking football I want us to play yet but as players return to fitness I am confident we will get there.
Olympique Lyonnais 1 - 1 Bordeaux
Sunday 29th September 2012 – Ligue 1 – Stade de Gerland, Lyon – Att. 31,699
Not having my 1st choice defenders fit was affecting the team. We conceded on the stroke of half time from a free kick despite bossing the first half. We were creating chances but weren’t able to put them away. I knew we had young strikers playing and I knew as time went on we would score more. Bordeaux were 4th at the time and we were still in 3rd. I need to see the net ripple more than it is but I want to keep my faith in the youngsters. I wasn’t going to make any drastic changes just yet and I didn’t have any money to really do anything.
At the end of September, we had played 7 games in the league and 1 in the Europa League. The amazing thing was we were unbeaten and having so many injuries hadn’t stopped us from playing well.
2013-05-17 09:46#101767gambit84 :
Given your injuries, wonderful results mate! Especially the victory in Lille! And despite your young defense, you're taking few goals...
Thanks mate Given the first few games I had in charge we had conceded a lot but now we were a lot tighter at the back even though my first choice CBs are injured...maybe the youngsters deserve more game time :p
Europa League football was on the horizon. We were drawn with Napoli, Hannover 96 and Academica. I didn’t know how strong this young team would be; our average age was only 23!! It was the 2nd youngest team in Ligue 1 but we were unbeaten in that competition. It would be a challenge to get this young team firing in Europe as well and be a success. I had promised the board we would qualify for the UEFA Champions League and to be honest that is where I wanted to take this team. Europa League just didn’t appeal to me but that didn’t mean I was going to ignore the competition.
With such a young team I knew the expectation would be heavy on Vercoutre, Bisevac and Malbranque to guide the youngsters, especially against such strong teams like Napoli. We had already played our first match against them at home and got a 1-1 draw. I was proud of them and I automatically knew we were going to be okay in this competition. Atletico Madrid were the current holders and this time there were going to be other teams that would be battling for the title. I set our boys a challenge – I wanted to get to the quarterfinals. Deep down I knew it may not happen but I had to give them something to work towards and use the experience positively.