And so my career with Lyon started. I set out my season expectations to qualify for the Champion’s League. None of the cups really concerned me, and my main goal really was to beat PSG out to the title – though I didn’t feel I could necessarily place my job on the line with that as my official target! I began with a 4-2-3-1 tactic, with fast, direct play moving forward and sharp ball recovery.
The full strength first team set out something like this: GK – Lopes, LB – Mendy, CB – Denayer, CB – Orban, RB – Tete, CM – Ntcham, CM – NDombele, LW – Depay, CAM – Fekir, RW – Traore, ST – Dembele
The season got off to a blistering start, winning all 8 Ligue 1 games in the first two months, albeit against fairly weak opposition. I was expecting PSG, Monaco and Bordeux to be the teams I would really struggle against, though I was very pleased that I’d managed to kick off without even the odd draw here or there. The cherry on the cake was a fantastic home performance in the Champion’s League against Man City. Not only an amazing one-off performance, but it also helped my early season buzz be maintained. I started rotating Auoar in for Fekir as he picked up little niggles here and there, and the rotation didn’t seem to affect performance levels at all.
An away defeat to PSG started a small blip in form in the Champion’s League, with the four games after resulting in two draws and two defeats. I managed to continue my winning form in the league though, until Monaco won at our stadium and then we drew away against Montpeillier. All of our wins up until this point helped us gain a small advantage over PSG, but by the time January came around, the points were tied and it looked like a tough run in to the end of the season.