In this last straight line of the transfer window, OL are seeking to get rid of certain psychologically marked and “unhappy” players. A mental aspect that the supporters do not understand.
In Lyon, the gods of football have decided to do nothing to bring some joy back to the ranks of Lyon. When the sporting crisis has been going on for ten years now, OL were counting on the winter transfer window to almost wipe out a workforce at the end of the pace and no longer really concerned for some. A little over a week from the end of the transfer window, the bricks finally seemed to fit together for the Lyon management to achieve its ends. Only, Jeff Reine-Adelaïde saw Sevilla FC backtrack after the medical visit while the agreement with Rennes for Karl Toko-Ekambi remains pending, the player finally having a preference for Celta Vigo.
The puzzles of the field are also found behind the scenes and seven days from the end of the winter transfer window, the “undesirables” are still present. A situation which is not easier to manage for Laurent Blanc who has to juggle between the moods of each other with the preparation of the matches in the middle. As he recalled in a press conference at the time of speaking of Romain Faivre, the Lyon coach cannot concentrate on a single player, having a squad to rotate. However, it is above all a role of psychologist that he is playing as well to put “the heads in the bottom of the seal” straight after defeats like against Strasbourg or quite simply individually.
“It’s hard to retain a player who isn’t happy at Lyon, but that doesn’t date from when I arrived. I’ve only been here three months, Romain has been here for a year. We can change things but it takes a lot of energy and both parties have to be ok to find something. If the desire is not there, how do we do it? I tried to revive him but he is not the only player in the squad.
The mental aspect forgotten at the time of recruitment?
By declaring that players were not happy in Lyon, Laurent Blanc showed a certain sincerity rare in the world of football but also widened a little more the gap which can exist between players and supporters for a few years with social change and “a class struggle” as Nicolas Puydebois would say in As long as there are Gones. “They only knew that today in their career, they don’t know the future. When you see the living conditions, their salaries, you can wonder how a player is not happy. But a player is only happy when he plays and finds himself fulfilled. Only, we get into psychology there.”
Despite everything, it is difficult to make this understood by supporters who “put themselves in the red to come to the stadium” and who want to see players wet the jersey for the club and those who support them. This is what is now blamed on players like Karl Toko-Ekambi or Houssem Aouar whose attitude, more than the statistics, does not convince in the spans.
The whistles therefore appeared and created a vicious circle with players losing confidence because of the supporters and the critical supporters against the performances of the Lyonnais… “This resistance to pressure is now part of the baggage of a professional footballer. And normally the criteria of a recruiter with a recruited player who must be equipped for. A player who goes to Marseille, he must know how to withstand popular pressure , the Commanderie, etc. You don’t need the same mental qualities in Marseille as in Bordeaux, Paris or even Lyon, so you have to recruit based on those criteria.”
A mental coach at Les Fenottes
With the examples of Faivre, Toko-Ekambi, the cases of unhappy players at OL are numerous and raise questions about the recruitment put in place by the club for a few years. After years of sniffing out bargains, did OL attack average players and not take this mental aspect into consideration? For many, the answer is yes when the club has not provided a mental coach for the men’s team, unlike Les Fenottes.
A criterion yet more important than ever between a good player and a very good player. As was able to say in TKYDG Raphaël Jacquelinegolfer, “The best manage to adapt and react well to the pressure that big clubs can create. But even for the greatest of talents, the mind is most important.” At OL, an example had highlighted this mental aspect despite all the technical qualities: Hatem Ben Arfa.