Former Olympique Lyonnais centre-forward Moussa Dembélé (27) had a lot to say about the men in charge at Lyon. The French striker, who left Les Gones on a free last summer to join Saudi Arabia and Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq, has given a wide-ranging interview to Foot Mercato in which he has heavily criticized the OL bosses, including Director of Football Vincent Ponsot or the club’s former head of recruitment Bruno Cheyrou.
Dembélé also adds that the current atmosphere at the club is unhealthy and unsuitable for players’ development. The former Celtic man explains this is the reason why so many players want to leave the ship. “I left like Malo [Gusto], Castello [Lukeba] and Bradley [Barcola] did, and they did well to leave in order to improve, enjoy better momentum for their development and earn more money. Lucas Paqueta and Bruno Guimarães were also right to leave. Look at the fun they’re having!“
The 27-year-old centre-forward singled out the Olympique Lyonnais executives for their alleged mismanagement of Les Gones. Some of their media interventions did not go well at all in the dressing room, Dembélé relates. “Bruno Cheyrou said the players were assets, what a lack of respect. Where did he think he was? A slave ship? In a cotton field? I’m not an asset, I’m a human being! If we’re assets, what are the fans? Consumers? This is such a dangerous and disrespectful take.“
Five different coaches in as many years
Lyon’s Director of Football Vincent Ponsot was also at the receiving end of Dembélé’s ire. The Al-Ettifaq striker accuses Ponsot of lying to him regarding his potential transfer away from Lyon. “He said in an interview that he received bids for me and that I have turned them down. He’s lying. If he had received bids for me, he didn’t talk to my agent about it, and that’s professional misconduct from him, not me.” Dembélé doubles down on Ponsot in saying that Lyon’s Director of Football knows nothing about football. “It’s like if I was editor-in-chief of Foot Mercato without knowing the alphabet or how to read (…) The executives are all incompetent and arrogant.”
Dembélé also mentions that, during his five-year stay at Lyon, he worked with five different managers (Bruno Genesio, Sylvinho, Rudi Garcia, Peter Bosz and Laurent Blanc) chosen by three different Sporting Directors (Juninho, Florian Maurice and Cheyrou). “How many more are they going to sack like that before they call themselves into question?
GFFN | Bastien Cheval