Gourvennec, adoption through qualification

In case of victory against Salzburg on Tuesday (9 p.m.), LOSC would take a big step towards a first qualification in the eighth of C1 since 2007. A first feat of arms which would legitimize the new coach Jocelyn Gourvennec.

What if Jocelyn Gourvennec was the coach who allowed Lille to regain the eighth of the Champions League? Criticized on his arrival for the lack of flashiness of his game … and his name, the Breton technician would approach a first qualification in the next round since 2007 in case of victory against Salzburg on Tuesday (9pm). Conversely, Gourvennec and his family would also go down in history in front of the first team to chain 14 games without a win at home in the history of C1.

Which is not really the starting point for the idea of ​​competing against the dashing and no less surprising leader of Group G, with two points ahead of the Mastiffs. True, no one imagined the band at Yilmaz second just a few weeks ago, after a failed start again. But after having emerged victorious from the quagmire of Seville (2-1), where they gleaned their first victory in the competition since November 2012, Lille are more than ever in the race for qualification. This feat gave an extra soul to a group which could well have passed a course on the European scene.

Regain d’ambition

Gourvennec illustrates this perfectly, he who discovers the most prestigious of European competitions this season. The victory in Sevilla allowed him to show an ambition far more important than coming out of the draw against Sevilla on October 20 (0-0), when he was pleased that his team had doubled the total of points (1 ) of the last Lille campaign at mid-term. “There was satisfaction in the locker room but it was not exuberant because the players know that nothing has been done so far ”, tempered the Breton after the meeting.

A whole different story therefore for a LOSC resigned not to give in to the runaway two meetings of the final verdict. Especially since in Ligue 1, the account is not there for the defending champion, who has not won for nearly two months and a victory against Marseille (2-0, October). And the draw conceded in Monaco on Friday (2-2), while the Mastiffs led by two goals after only ten minutes, is not likely to reassure the ability of the Northerners to go the distance, unlike Seville, where Gourvennec had greeted the debauchery of energy of his family. A tendency to redouble the efforts on which it will be necessary to build against the Austrians: “We have regular athletic statistics from one match to the next, which means that we keep our level of performance., welcomed the Lille coach on Monday. It will be important to be very balanced, especially in the heart of the game and pressing to avoid the opponent’s transitions.»

SEE ALSO – The goals of Diatta and Ben Yedder for Monaco against Lille last Friday (2-2)


A close-knit team built on the foundations of last year. Because the former Bordeaux coach has not disturbed anything since his arrival to replace Christophe Galtier. The 4-4-2 that was the strength of the club last year remains unchanged, with its base men at each line. If Gourvennec has tried some experiments, such as the unsuccessful replacement of Yusuf Yazici in the midfield, the same men (except goalkeeper Mike Maignan, who left for Milan) are the guarantors of a team which is now performing better on the stage. European than domestic.

Because if Lille had not yet won in C1 at the end of October, the northern team is no longer as pale as in the 2019 campaign. The inaugural draw against Wolfsburg (0-0) was for example very poorly paid. And the victory of the Germans against Salzburg before the truce (2-1) reshuffled the cards in an ever more open group. Beaten on the way to Austria (1-2), Lille would thus take control of the pool in the event of a victorious revenge. “We know what a victory on Tuesday would bring us, declared Gourvennec on the eve of the crucial match. We will have to make a maximum of efforts so that all the people who follow us and who make up the club have a maximum of strong emotions on arrival.»

But if the cerebral Gourvennec can rely on the psychological springs of his group, he will also have to deal with the means at hand for this already crucial meeting at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium, where he is still trying to be adopted behind the cumbersome legacy of Galtier. Thus, Jonathan Ikoné, who sounded the revolt in Seville, was also carried away by his ardor and will be suspended, like the metronome Benjamin André. On the other hand, the attacking duo Yilmaz-David is there, and it is through these two men that will pass a great happiness. “For the players, for the staff as for all the people who work in this club, this can be a very important moment in a career and we must have it in the back of our mind, without playing the match before“, Urged Gourvennec, whose reputation would be increased tenfold in the event of qualification.


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