Jean-Michel Aulas still does not digest the decision of the League and the French government to end the 2019-2020 season. By all means, he tries to replay the match. An old boxer who goes up to the night ring and who fights alone, in the dark, when there is nobody in the room even if he is convinced to be in the spotlight. It is the equivalent of a six-point match that JMA and its team have just lost. OM supporters also understood this when reading the final classification of Ligue 1 and jubilant: not only the Marseille club qualified for the Champions League BUT ALSO Lyon is deprived next season of all competitions European. It is not just a childish brawl between supporters, there is a strategic dimension to all of this. Lyon and Marseille have been interested in the same players for 20 years, competing on the same issues: since the crossover between Sonny Anderson and Bakayoko at the time of Rolland Courbis. Since there has been Réveillère, Drogba, Karim Ziani, Nkoulou, Mvuemba … In recent seasons, when changing clubs, Martin Terrier, Moussa Dembélé, Léo Dubois, Morgan Sanson, Adil Rami and even Patrice Evra can boast to have received approaches from Olympique de Marseille but also from Lyon.
Manolas’ terrible anecdote
The pattern is always the same: the player who wants stability chooses the Gones, the one who knows he can sublimate himself in a bubbling environment takes more risks by signing for OM. And in general, what allows a player to decide is to know which of the two clubs will play the Champions League. It is this competition that all footballers want to play. This is the goal, more than the coat of arms on the jersey. We can find it sad but it is a reality, even more for foreign players. In the summer of 2018, Lyon was in the Champions League, not OM. Rudi Garcia, then Marseille coach, had made Kostas Manolas his priority in defense. During a telephone interview organized with OM, his agent and the player, the Greek international declares himself interested before asking for assistance: “It was Olympique Marseille who finished third in the championship, right?” When he learns that this is not the case, he immediately retracts. OM will turn to Duje Caleta-Car, and, a few days later, Manolas will be in discussion with Lyon for a transfer which will never be made, because of Nabil Fékir’s defective medical visit to Liverpool.
Lyon on MBaye Niang to hinder OM?
This season, it could therefore be the year when Marseille takes revenge. Because if Aulas spends his days worrying about the financial situation of OM and seems to bite his nails at the idea of seeing the Marseille club having trouble figuring well in the Champions League and in the league with such a workforce , it will do well to look first at the difficulties of his club. Because Lyon will have 28 players under contract to compete only in the championship and the French cup. So if the Rhone club still has good market values in its ranks (Aouar, Dembélé, Depay), there are also elements with high salaries which are not with a view to making concessions (B. Traoré, T .Mendes, Andersen …). In addition, for a player, the prospects of evolving under the orders of André Villas-Boas are much more gratifying than being around Rudi Garcia. Still, with Lyon and Jean-Michel Aulas, we should not cry victory too quickly: according to our information, the Lyon leader would have contacted Rennes to in turn declare his interest in MBaye Niang. With Cherki, Depay, Terrier, Cornet, Traoré and Moussa Dembélé, while waiting for the emergence of Gouiri, the planned transfer of Kadewere and the possible extension of Toko-Ekambi, Lyon nevertheless seems more than armed in this sector, even if there is a major departure. But to harm OM, Aulas is ready for anything: as in 2004 when he made a golden bridge to Pierre-Alain Frau, annoyed to see Pedretti prefer Marseille to the outgoing French champion. Suddenly, OM will not be in a strong position when negotiating with Breton leaders. But MBaye Niang, who wants to play the Champions League, knows where he has to sign to hear the famous little music midweek …