L’OL: the loyalty project

ol badgeI had just won a treble with Tottenham (Europa League, Premier League and FA Cup) and a new season was beginning but we started the season poorly and my best players were not ‘turning up’ for games and we struggled to score even against mid-table teams.

So, for now, I have put the Spurs save on hold in 2036, saved the game and resigned and created another save to look for something new. Olympique Lyonnais were the first club to offer me a job and I took it without looking where they were in the league or the state of their squad. It turns out they were bottom of the league, with a very average squad, but a healthy £19m in the bank (which would however drain away at a rate of knots).

One reason I had no hesitation in signing was I had a fantastic save at L’OL in FM09 with Lisandro Lopez my star goalscorer.

wiki kits

A brief overview of Lyon’s history (from their Wiki page here):

Founded in 1950

Nickname: Les Gones (The Kids)

Ligue 1 winners: 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08

Coupe de France winners: 1964, 1967, 1973, 2008, 2012

UEFA Intertoto Cup winners 1997

LOL historyLyon have fallen far since they won Ligue 1 seven years in a row so my long-term aim is to get them to the level of AS Monaco and PSG and compete for the league title every season. One thing that will help me do this is our extensive youth recruitment. My sides will be built on a foundation of local/ French lads who will know what it means to wear the white, blue and red of Olympique Lyonnais.

I will try something new as well. I have realised I am very impatient with my players and when I join a club I tend to sell or release all of the veterans straight away. I am easily persuaded to sell any player if I am offered an attractive sum of money but I do not want to be ‘that guy’ anymore.  Even my manager profile highlights I lack loyalty so this is something I will improve by keeping faith with my players for longer.

manager profileLet me detail my philosophy for my journey with this great French club:

  1. Take advantage of great youth system and facilities to produce new first team players who will be the basis of the squad for seasons to come as we push for domestic glory
  2. Play exciting football utilizing players with high flair attribute
  3. Can only buy/ sell players when we have at least 10 players who have been at the club for five years OR at least three players who have been at the club for 10 years (currently nine and four respectively)
  4. Taking a leaf from Shrewnaldo’s book I will try to scout players realistically, i.e. without the use of the ‘player search’ feature

If you ever notice I am contradicting these four principles, please do not hesitate to tell me in the comments or on Twitter @FMScrapbook

Surprisingly, we already have a high number of long-time servants at the club, which is heart-warming but could also suggest a reason the club has regressed in recent seasons.

ol LEAGUE HISTThe veterans are not causing the problem though, it is the lack of an injection of precocity but this is something I have always prided myself on so Lyon and I could be a match made in heaven.

First signings at L’OL boss:

Matias FrancoYoung signing:  I have discovered one of the best and easiest ways to find new players presents itself when someone has a bid accepted by one of your feeder clubs. As your club tends to have first refusal on buying the affiliate’s players, if another club has a bid accepted they have to accept a bid of the same amount from you too.

So I often have a quick look at players who are attracting interest as they must be doing something right. This is how I found Matias Franco who I bought for only 500k although he looks like a really good player already.

BrazilepoBrazilepo was the top scorer in Ligue 1 and I desperately needed (probably still need) back-up in the striker department. I bid his current value by accident, it was immediately accepted, so I decided to go through with the purchase. He has 19 finishing and several more impressive attributes in key areas so hopefully he can bang in some winning goals. Although I bought these two before I chose to prioritize flair Brazilepo has it to an extent.

Most exciting youth prospect:

boris picBoris Perret has the potential to be a world class attacking midfielder one day, little surprise considering he was tutored at the prestigious INF Clairefontaine football academy, which produced eminent talents, such as Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka, Hatem Ben Arfa, William Gallas, Louis Saha, Blaise Matuid and Gabriel Obertan. Basically, if you play football at this academy and you have ability you will become a professional footballer.

Unfortunately, Boris has little in the way of flair at the moment, but I guess I can encourage this with individual role training.

From Wikipedia: “Le Centre Technique National Fernand Sastre (English: Fernand Sastre National Technical Centre), commonly referred to as INF Clairefontaine (“Institut national du football de Clairefontaine”), INF, or simply Clairefontaine, is the national football centre that specializes in training French football players.[2] The academy is one of twelve élite academies located in and around France that are supervised by the French Football Federation.”

That is it for now. I am excited about this new challenge and hopefully it can be a real French adventure 😉

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