At a time when the major national and European deadlines are starting to show up, the “new-look” LOSC, since the upheaval of its organization chart, is keeping pace.
Leader of the French championship with one point ahead of PSG and two over OL, Christophe Galtier's men receive the prestigious Ajax Amsterdam this Thursday (9 p.m.) on behalf of the round of 16 of the Europa League.
The opportunity for Mastiffs to treat themselves to an end of season with an exhilarating scent.
If during this 2020-21 financial year, the LOSC never really had time to doubt on the sporting level by never leaving the podium since the 5th day of Ligue 1, within it, the club has experienced a real upheaval.
Last December, Gérard Lopez and the investment fund Eliott Management, at the head of the club since 2017, stepped down to make way for a new shareholder of the same ilk, Merlyn Partners SCSP.
The former president of Stade Rennais, Olivier Létang, has been appointed head of the club by the new Luxembourg owner.
Fortunately for the Lille fans, the first team was never really disturbed by these changes.
Europe, the championship or both?
Second in Group H of the Europa League just two lengths from AC Milan, the Northerners have given themselves the right to dream of a European epic in addition to posting a very positive record in the league and a qualification in the 32nd finals of the Coupe de France after the victory in Dijon on February 10 (0-1).
The schedule will then tighten and Lille are preparing to play their next five games in 14 days.
Christophe Galtier's speech now oscillates between the concern to rotate its workforce and the desire to display a conquering LOSC on all fronts.
Sometimes announcing “an arbitration which will be done with the president”, before affirming “there is not to choose”, the technician from Lille prefers to keep in mind that “victories bring victories”.
By playing their luck fully against teams transferred from the Champions League, the Mastiffs could lose bite against the sharp fangs of Lyon or Monaco, which do not have the weight of European matches to carry on their shoulders.
LOSC's main man?
Yusuf Yazıcı = 6 goals, 2 assists in 6 Europa League games this season @losclive |
# UELpic.twitter.com / f4rtwOGSFh
- UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) February 17, 2021
Jonathan David back from vacation
But Lille have a workforce full of talent that could well allow them to rise to the challenge on the European scene while remaining on their way in the league.
If some players present in the workforce since last season are starting to find their marks like Yusuf Yazici, the latest recruits also bring their share of satisfaction.
Jonathan David, Canadian international striker (12 caps), is the symbol of recent Lille performances.
After a delicate start with the northern club due to a longer acclimatization than expected, the former La Gantoise striker has finally found his rhythm in the LOSC workforce.
“We never doubted (him),” commented his teammate Benjamin André after the victory on the Rennes lawn (0-1) at the end of January where David had been decisive.
A five-time scorer in the last six Ligue 1 games, David is building up confidence at a time when LOSC may need a prolific striker the most.
The opportunity for him to justify the amount of his transfer (27 M €), the highest in the history of the club.
A successful coach
A return to form that the young Canadian also owes to the style of play and the philosophy put in place by Christophe Galtier.
The Lille technician is one of the most prominent coaches of the moment in the French Championship.
Capable of renewing itself despite the many departures that the Mastiff's workforce must wipe each summer according to the trading model on which the LOSC has been built in recent years, the Marseillais has shown an insolent success this season with the Lille club.
Galtier has suffered only three setbacks in all competitions.
More than the results, the way in which Lille prevails is to be underlined.
With a play on the offensive, the Mastiffs can also rely on a particularly effective defensive base.
With 15 goals conceded, Lille is the best defense in Ligue 1 tied with PSG.
What to be optimistic about the outcome of the LOSC season?
First element of answer this Thursday with the reception of Ajax Amsterdam (9 p.m.).
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