“If I'm here, it's because something wasn't working,” admitted Lyon's new coach, Fabio Grosso, presented Monday by its president John Textor, who still dreams of Europe although his club is 16th and relegated . After witnessing a draw at home at a fairly low level against promoted Le Havre (0-0) on Sunday, the Italian outlined his work plan in very good French, having played in Lyon for two seasons (2007- 2009).
“I don't care if I was the second, third or fourth choice but the most important thing for me was that OL was my first choice,” said the 45-year-old technician. The former world champion defender with Italy in 2006, who also wore the colors of Palermo, Inter Milan and Juventus where he finished his career, succeeds Laurent Blanc on the bench, for whom he says “have a lot of respect”. Upon his arrival, Blanc said the same thing after succeeding the Dutchman Peter Bosz, at the beginning of October 2022.
After the Brazilian Sylvinho, Rudi Garcia, Bosz and Blanc, Grosso is Lyon's fifth coach since June 2019 and the departure of Bruno Genesio without the results improving. Quite the contrary. For the third time in four years, OL is absent from the European scene. However, this remains a goal for John Textor while Lyon, which he took control of at the end of December 2022, is currently in a barrier position, with a fairly low level both collectively and physically.
They are the only club in Ligue 1 not to have led once this season, a first in the history of OL in the elite after five days. “Everyone at OL thinks that not being in Europe would be a failure. You have to take it game by game. We will see at the end of the season. There is an additional place for the Champions League but the return to the European Cup is the club's objective,” recalled the American leader. “The season is long. We see the quality on the pitch. We have the right coach,” said the manager, explaining “that it was necessary for him to meet several technicians before making his choice. When we make an important change for the future, we like to think that the coach will stay for a long time. When I saw Fabio Grosso, it was obvious that it was him and the decision was quite easy to make.
Grosso, who is committed until June 30, 2024 with an optional additional year, confided “having kept excellent memories of his two magnificent years spent in Lyon and his experience at Olympique Lyonnais, a club with incredible and progressing. Time passes and we change jobs. It’s really big for me to be OL coach,” he said. Fabio Grosso is due to lead his first training session on Monday afternoon. This session will above all be a refresher for those who played against Le Havre. Then he will coach his first match at the surprising runner-up Brest on Saturday.