"I believe in this team". Sylvinho, the new coach of Olympique Lyonnais (OL), had reiterated, in recent days, his confidence in his players, the question now is whether the Rhone club still believes in him.
A few hours from the second meeting of the UEFA Champions League, against Leipzig (Wednesday at 9 pm), the Brazilian's day (45 years), appear already counted.
The coach who arrived this summer on the bench club Rhone replacing Bruno Génésio, is under pressure. The defeat against Nantes (1-0), Saturday, September 28, synonymous with a seventh consecutive game without a win has officially put a target behind his back.
Everything started as in a dream: two games, and two against Monaco (3-0) and Angers (6-0). It was late August, the championship of France had just returned, but already it seemed that the transplant had taken, that Lyon would come back stronger this season (after his third place last year) and perhaps, who knows, bother the Paris Saint-Germain in his quest for a third consecutive title.
"Even if we managed this Saturday to create some opportunities before the goal of Nantes, it's very poor what we do with the ball. Juninho, sports director
A month later, the cards were totally rebutted. Since the success against Angers, OL has not won any game: four draws and three defeats.
This is a series that the club had not known since 1996, and that plunges into crisis, while he occupies the 11e place of the ranking of Ligue 1, and is already nine points behind the PSG, and seven on Nantes, third.
Very discreet since his arrival as the club's sporting director, this summer, the Brazilian Juninho had to leave his reserve after this new setback, and attacked his team on Saturday. "Even if we managed this Saturday to create some opportunities before the goal of Nantes, it's very poor what we do with the ball. When we do not have it, I have the feeling that any opponent will succeed to play against us. "
Sylvinho does not hide the current problem himself: "We are in a crisis situation. But it is essential to be in a work dynamic to regain confidence. "
The problem is that Lyon and Sylvinho are short of time. The coming week promises to be crucial: Lyon are facing Leipzig (second in the German league), having already dropped two points on the first day of the Champions League against the Zenit St Petersburg (1-1) . Then there will be the derby on Sunday night in Ligue 1, against a team of Saint-Etienne convalescent after a catastrophic start to the season (19e).
"The law of football"
If Juninho confirmed, Saturday, that the future of Sylvinho in Lyon was threatened – "The coach is the first (fuse) because it's the law of football" -, Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of Lyon, explained to The Team refuse to make any decision before the end of the week: "We are on a series of three games. Despite the defeat, our last meeting showed some things that go in the right direction. We must not forget that we are still at the beginning of the season. Some believe that the situation of Sylvinho and Juninho is inescapable. I do not think that's the case. "
To separate from Sylvinho would be a turning point in the history of OL. Since the arrival of Jean-Michel Aulas in 1987, the waltz of coaches is not really part of the habits of Lyon leaders. We must go back to 1988 and Marcel Leborgne to find the trace of a coach who spent less than a season on the bench Rhone.
If he came to leave, Sylvinho, imposed by Juninho this summer, would not necessarily bring his compatriot in his fall. Jean-Michel Aulas refuses, in fact, to tie the fate of his sports director to that of his coach.
If he continues to call Juninho"Man of the situation", the Lyon president, on the other hand, wanted to remind him that he must be more involved in sports:
"Because he's the one who picked him, his fellow countryman, and his first experience as a head coach, Juninho certainly had the modesty of not imposing on Sylvinho more than that. 'He did it. It took this early start of the season to understand that he should not stay within the daily operational management. "
Lyon has less than a week to find solutions, and reassure themselves. Because if the Lyonnais have the support of their supporters for the moment, a new setback in the Champions League in a group that seems within reach and, especially, a counter-performance against Saint-Etienne Sunday, could change the situation.