Football

Lyon grab their first win in their new home.

Bruno Genesio's appointment is start of new era at Lyon

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Prior to Hubert Fournier's recent dismissal, there was constant paper talk speculating just how little time the Frenchman had left at Lyon.

Yet despite his name popping up everywhere, it was nowhere to be seen in the club statement that decided his fate. No mention of him being sacked (though heavily implied), no words of thanks or even of criticism directly. The club named his successor, and moved on, which seems to be the motive for 2016.

2015 proved to be a year of both great triumph and great misery for Lyon. Having come so close to toppling PSG in May, this season seemed the one where they would push on and do one better.

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But as the champions soared, Lyon stuttered both domestically and in Europe. The Champions League group stage hit Les Gones like a sledgehammer, and they limped out of the competition rock bottom of their group.

Losing to newly promoted Gazelec Ajaccio seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for Fournier.

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Should Fournier have been sacked?

The ex-manager was responsible for much of Lyon's recent shortcomings, but in that, all the achievements which preceded the poor run have seemingly been forgotten. He transformed the club from also-rans to title contenders in just one season. The board were clearly impressed as they renewed his contract in the summer.

And on paper, he did everything right. Despite enormous interest, he was able to lock both Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir on new long-term contracts.

While he lost Clinton Njie to Tottenham Hotspur, they didn’t recruit too badly either. They acquired the prolific Claudio Beauvue from Guingamp and brought experienced French international Mathieu Valbuena back to the country, as well as splashing out on Sergi Darder and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

Things seldom work out as planned. Fekir suffered a serious injury, while Lacazette has misfired for much of the season.

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When Fournier was shown the door, his team sat ninth, only five points from third-place Angers and a Champions League spot. With the winter break to sort things out, there was every chance that he could have turned things around. Fournier had at least earned the chance to try.

But looking purely at the numbers, they sat 25 points off leaders PSG, which for a club of Lyon's ambition is simply unacceptable.

New start

With Fournier out of the door, the Lyon board turned to his assistant Bruno Genesio in the hope of steadying the ship. Not a decision the fans took too well.

Over 2,400 fans petitioned against his appointment, as they believe he was promoted to save money, while also offering little difference to his predecessor.

Despite the emphasis on change, it looked very much like the Lyon of old against Troyes. 
Lacazette was back on target, while Rachid Ghezzal and Jordan Ferri hit thumping efforts and even the reportedly outgoing Beauvue got in on the act.

It is only their first league match of the new year, and against bottom-dwellers Troyes at that. 2016 is still young and Lyon have a way to go until they are back on top. But it's a start.

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Topics:
Football
Lyon
Ligue 1

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