Masculins / Le Mans - OL D -1

All minds focused on Le Mans!

Published on 15 February 2008 at 6:48 PM
OL's away form has dipped considerably over the last 4 games. They have only taken 2 points compared to the 15 from their first 7 trips away! It would be good for them to refind their form for the voyage to Le Mans, where they were recently eliminated from the Coupe de la Ligue…
Only once since the 2001-2002 season have OL fared as badly during a run of 4 away games : en 2001-2002, they took 1 point from the 22nd, 24th, 27th and 29th round games. Twice after that they took 2 points in as many games (in 2004-2005 and 2002-2003). The worst 5 game run? 3 points (3 draws) in 2002-2003. A little history lesson to put into context the “surprising” weakness of the tam at the moment. For Alain Perrin his team is not fighting hard enough against teams desperate for points. On a more broad scale he also says there are other areas where things have to be perfected espeially the link up play between the lines.

OL have not shown their best side since the winter break. An obvious assessment . One of the biggest disappointments was the elimination from the Coupe de la Ligue by Le Mans on the 16th of January. For that game Le Mans didn’t exactly have their habitual team in place. Gervinho, Camara, Romaric, Sessegnon, Basa, Cerdan, Geder, Ben Frej were all absent. The majority of them should, however, be back in the squad for Saturday’s game. Including, possibly, their front man De Melo, injured against OL in a collision with Cléber Anderson.

MUC 72, who will play at home against Lens in the Coupe de la Ligue semi-final, are still in the running for a European spot inthe League, even if there defence isn’t exactly watertight, in fact after Metz they have the worst! After the victory in the Coupe de la Ligue, Le Mans will certainly be looking to record their first win in the League over the 6 times French champions.

OL needs to take points from their travels as the title race is much more tight than it has been in recent years. With the game against the Mancunians 4 days later, Alain Perrin will have to take a lot of factors into consideration, for example the need to play certain members of the squad without sacrificing the possible victory. Will those of the squad who have played a lot recently be given a break ? Those who are just back from injury, will they play ? The quality of the players available to the coach will help him make the right decisions. As much as the 3 points are desired, it would be good for everyone if OL could show the power, the serenity and the quality teamwork that have been their trademark for so long. The talent of individual players has it’s limits …

This game is not just a stepping stone to the match against Manchester. It is part of the road to the 7th title of French Champions, where there are still 42 points to be played for including 24 away from home. The countdown has well and truly started…

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