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FM22: OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS — LES GONES


MattyLewis11
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A few days ago I stumbled across an open letter to the Olympique Lyonnais (OL) fans from their owner and president Jean-Michel Aulas. 

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Aulas has been fighting Lyon’s corner for more than 30 years and is renowned for being a gentleman who has a bit of a reputation for being outspoken and forthright with his views.

His letter was written with two rounds remaining before the close of the 2021–2022 Ligue 1 season, in which OL have failed to secure a European spot.

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Not everything is played out in a single season when you are an institution as solid as ours. Remember the failures and rebuildings of AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus or Atlético Madrid. 

 

Lyon is the home to Olympique Lyonnais, one of French footballs most storied clubs. OL were founded in 1950 but, for the most part played a bit-part role in French Football until they were purchased in 1987 by the eclectic Jean-Michael Aulas.

OL finally broke through for their first Ligue 1 title in 2001/02, following that up with seven championships in a row until the club’s last in 2008.

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We have already begun a deep self-interrogation at the end of this three-year cycle, marked by 175 million euros of investment in our men’s team.

 

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Underlying the club’s success in the 21st century has been the emergence of an abundance of elite academy talents. In total Olympique Lyonnais generated almost 200 million in transfer revenue through sales of their 1990–1998 academy crop.

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These are Les Gones, ‘the kids’: the products of a proud city, a proud region, with a deep connection to place and the football team that represents it. 
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This is not a revolution, our roots are there.

 

From the above quote my interpretation is that Aulas wants to bring the focus back to what has served OL so well for the past few decades, the integration of youth into the first team. 

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With the Under 18s winning ‘The Gambardella’ (U18 cup) this season, crowning an exceptional moment for both the club and les Gones, given the 25 year absence since OL were last crowned victorious, Aulas has good foundations to build on. 

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We want the DNA of Lyon training to be the key word for the future. We will be vigilant in parsing the profiles of our players who will join us, and will try to target as a priority those whom we consider to be compatible with our philosophy

 

However, the above quotation highlights that Aulas will not be dismissive of any external talent as long as he believes they are compatible with the philosophy of the club.

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This is a model that we want to develop within all teams, by including former club players at the highest level, with staff that also have our DNA

 

Again the understanding, appreciation and ability to resonate with these values are essential to recruitment of non-playing staff. I suppose the integration of individuals who have first hand experience of the club help to keep the core values at the forefront of Aulas’ club. 

THE OL DNA

Aulas has made reference to the OL DNA many times in his letter, which I have touched upon above. 

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I wanted to explore if I could pinpoint the OL ‘DNA’, this would be then used as a filtering tool when profiling players to ensure that external acquisitions maintained a synergy with the rest of the playing squad.

For me, when applying a DNA model I like to focus on the mental attributes of the team, the brain is the basis of everything we do: how we behave, communicate, feel, remember, pay attention, create, influence and decide.

Anticipation — How well a player can predict the movements and other actions of his teammates and opposition players. 

Composure — How unaffected a player is by mental pressure when making a decision or performing his chosen action. 

Flair — How well a player takes opportunities to attempt unexpected actions when he is on the ball. 

Leadership — How inspirational and motivational a player is to his teammates.

Positioning — How well a player moves and positions himself, in order to deal with an opposition attack. (Preferred)

Vision — How well a player observes the options available to him when he is on the ball. 

If you don’t have the right cognition, other attributes (Technical, Physical), for me don’t matter. The above attributes are those which are at least 0.5 over the league average and will be desired when scouting players.

First Touch — How well a player can control the ball and set it up for his next action when receiving it.

Passing  — How accurately a player can pass the ball to his intended target.

Technique — How well a player perform more challenging technical actions when he is on the ball.

The above technical attributes are those which will then be desired from individuals as these will ensure that the individuals can fit into the style of play which we will be looking to play, which is a quick passing style of possession and movement 

CLUB CULTURE

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The culture focuses on what Aulas delivered in his open letter, a need for the development of players using the club’s youth system and a preference towards domestic talent. 

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Looking into Olympique Lyonnais affiliate network you can see OL’s scouts have eyes not just all over the city, but the entire Rhône-Alpes region. The club has links with smaller local teams, creating two-way relationships that give them greater access to the cream of the crop. But Lyon pay attention to players all over France — Ben Arfa, picked up from Paris, was one of there best non-local recruits. 

THE SQUAD

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THE TACTIC

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This tactic is very much the out of the box vertical tiki-taka with a few changes to the player roles to suit the playing staff. 

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There are no PI at present, apart from those which I have selected for the DM, with the view to this player adopting a more riskier approach both on and off the ball with the ‘take more risks’ to get his creative juices flowing and ‘tackle harder’. The DM will often be the first player opponents engage with on transition, I want it to be an experience which they don’t forget too soon. 

THE DATABASE

1*yZfg0ktxValZSo13kRNsIw.jpeg Daveincid Medium DB

Check out the size of the boy… with 64 playable leagues in 41 Nations with 204,000 players, thanks to Daveincid and the reccomneded game and database setup which can be found on Passion4FM.

This setup will guarantee a well balanced transfer market, and strong competitors. All matches will be played out in full detail, resulting in comprehensive statistics for the other leagues, leading to a better quality of data analysis. 

THE OBJECTIVES

Aulas made reference to a three-year cycle, therefore my aim is to see how far I can take his club over that time period. I am well aware that if achieved, this will be my longest FM22 save (yes, I have had what we call in Bristol a mare!)

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The five year plan is to continue to be recognised as ‘the best of the rest’ which in my opinion translates as UEFA Champions League qualification through Ligue 1 and the ability to compete on all fronts year in year out. 

Given the nickname of the club, Les Gones (the kids) it would be rude of me not to try and hold some significance around this being a youth development save. 

Therefore I will look to apply some of my knowledge which I captured in FM22: Youth development — building a football club and focus on providing the first team with three players per season from either Lyon 2 or the U19s. 

 

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1 minute ago, SixPointer said:

I’m in for the ride…… once again 🤣. Please please stick this one out. Because I get so involved only too start over again ahahah. Best of luck mate.

After writing at least 10k words on intros in this edition I will 💯 be committed to at least the three year cycle on this save 🤥 jokes mate...you have my word. 

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@RageMaster Ligue 1 is grand, full of lots of potential talent and if you remove PSG from the equation it's a fairly competitive league.

@Jogo Bonitothanks for the good luck wishes, I will attempt to provide a brief update on the save to bring everyone up to speed along with sharing my methodology for giving those young pips some exposure 

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14 hours ago, SixPointer said:

I’m in for the ride…… once again 🤣. Please please stick this one out. Because I get so involved only too start over again ahahah. Best of luck mate. 

Haha i echo the same thoughts!

Very nice intro 

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Bringing you up to speed

Pre season for me is about getting an initial feel for the club, players and establishing which individuals within the club will become central to proceedings. It is fair to say that Lyon have a wealth of talent given their positioning within French football. However, this can sometimes make the process harder, given the need to also consider personnel and maintaining a good squad balance through managing playing time. 

Fortunately, at Lyon there are only five 'Important Players'

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Jason Denayer - despite not being a natural left-footed centre back Denayer at 26 years old is a better first-choice when compared to the true left-footed option within the squad, Castello Lukeba. This experience should be enough to see Denayer draw down a significant amount of minutes within the squad, keeping the Belgian happy.

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Emerson - the services of the 27 year-old Italian have been secured from Chelsea until the end of the 2021/22 season. Lyon are obliged to pay 100% of Emerson's wage (£42k per week), making him inside the top 10 earners at the club. The left-sided attack minded player is a natural for the wing-back on attack duty set out in our tactic and he has hit the ground running in this early period with two goals and four assists from his 812 minutes played at point of writing. 

 

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Jerome Boateng - this man needs no introduction, with 79 caps to his name for Germany, Jerome is by far our most experienced player, he is also our highest paid on £82k per week. He is our best defender who at 33 years old has some excellent attributes (Marking 15, Passing 15, Tackling 15, Anticipation 16, Composure 17, Decisions 15, Positioning 15, Jumping Reach 17 and Strength 16) he will no doubt be one of the first names on the team sheet.

 

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Anthony Lopes - with no other strong back-up at the club Lopes is our first choice keeper. However, he would certainly hold his own in most well established teams with Reflexes 16, One on Ones 16 and Agility 16. 

 

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Tanguy Ndombele - the services of the 24 year-old Frenchman have been secured from Tottenham until the end of the 2021/22 season with Lyon paying 50% of his £120k per week wage. The signing in itself was a masterstroke by Aulas who most recently persuaded Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, to part company with Ndombele who was a club-record transfer, moving to Tottenham for £51.3 million at the end of the 2020/21 season.  

 

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Pre-season results were grand, the one standout was the 3-2 victory over Real Madrid, the low come straight after losing to Getafe. 

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We have made a smashing start to the season only managing to drop three points in Ligue 1 and two points in the Europa League, Dembele has lead the line exceptionally well contributing with 10 goals and four assists in 987 minutes of football, making him have a goal contribution every 70.5 minutes.

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This form is a true replication of the player in real life with the Frenchman going about his business very much under the radar. 

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At present he is the second best performing striker in Ligue 1 only to be beaten by Wissam Ben Yedder of Monaco who is outscoring his xG of 8.72 (12 goals). 

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Looking at the current top five teams in France you can see that despite not being a volume shooting side we are generating 0.12 xG per shot which is higher than all other teams around us, other than PSG. 

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Given our focus on playing a possession based game, we are performing very well with only PSG attempting and completing more passes per game, there have been some key contributors to our passing game. Jerome Boateng, Thiago Mendes and Karl Toko Ekambi all are performing significantly above average in relation to passes completed when comparing them to individuals playing in a similar role. 

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I will look to provide another update, probably after the below run of fixtures. 

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Edited by MattyLewis11
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Off to a great start! While in the early stages of the season, have you identified anyone from the U19s who you will likely feature in the first team this season?    

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It is funny you should ask @haier_fm as I was going to save this for the next update which I will post a little into my methodology at the end of October on the game...(a few days) 

Bradley Barcola

Mohamed El Arouch 

Marley Felix 

If you are happy to wait all will be revealed as to my reasons why I have  chosen these players. 

 

Edited by MattyLewis11
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