Laurent Blanc criticises Lyon’s fitness levels

Speaking ahead of Olympique Lyonnais’ Ligue 1 fixture against Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace, Laurent Blanc was critical of his side’s fitness levels.

Blanc took over from Peter Bosz in October. Despite a gut-wrenching 2-1 defeat against fierce rivals Olympique de Marseille at the weekend, Les Gones still have a shot at competing in Europe next season, despite a chronic inconsistency that has gripped the club this campaign. 

Upon his arrival at the Groupama stadium, Blanc hinted at discontent at the physical condition of his squad. “I think that the players must be in the best physical shape because when you want to play football a certain way, you have to be physically fit,” said the former Paris Saint-Germain manager. 

In February, Blanc complained about the fitness of January arrival Jeffinho, who arrived at the Ligue 1 club injured. “He arrived injured and is not at an acceptable physical level,” said Blanc in late February. 

The French manager has once again sought to criticise the physical levels of his squad ahead of Friday’s match against Strasbourg – a crucial match for both sides. Asked how to match Strasbourg’s physicality after Les Gones failed to do so against Nantes, Blanc replied, “It’s not just against Nantes that we didn’t manage. Even against Marseille, we struggled to compete. Our profile is like that. We can’t exactly get them to grow 10cm and gain 10kg. I tell the boys, there’s no point in entering into a physical battle.”

Despite stating that his side struggled to compete physically in the Choc des Olympiques Blanc believed that his side still deserved a draw. “We could have left with a draw. In any case, OM may have accepted the 1-1 at the end. They were satisfied,” said the OL manager, in a press conference transcribed by L’Équipe

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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