Masculins / OL - PSG

OL - PSG : Grégory Coupet fits like a glove with Lyon [Tribune OL]

Published on 18 January 2018 at 2:28 PM
Lyon’s new goalkeeping coach, who started the job on December 31st - his 45th birthday - is a worthy successor to the legendary Joel Bats. Despite having huge shoes to fill, Coupet is already off to a great start and rapidly adapting to the group. A seamless transition, thanks to his natural enthusiasm and positive personality. No surprise there.

Watching how he oversees a warmup prior to training is enough to see what he’s all about. Grégory Coupet has done things his way since taking over from mentor Joël Bats, a much more reserved personality. A different style of coaching, highlighted by shouts of encouragement, jokes and playful yelling. « I’m going to change some habits, while brining my enthusiasm and putting a lot of life into my work. I need the sessions to be interactive, I want my keepers to respond to my madness and feel like they’re a part of this story with me. »

Their joint story began last December 31st for a first training session under the highly decorated former OL netminder. « I was made to feel welcome by the staff and the players, even though I already know everyone here. It’s a real pleasure to be part of this adventure. » The good vibes continued last Sunday, during the team’s first home match of the year against Angers. A special moment, made even more special by taking the Groupama Stadium pitch for the first time in front of the Lyon fans. « There was a lot of excitement. I was looking forward to this moment. I had no apprehension at all. I had only one desire, to live in the moment. To step on the pitch, feel the atmosphere. It was all good. »

« Greg » will experience another special moment this Sunday when Lyon host PSG, a team he spent two seasons with following his long love affair with OL and a brief stint at Atlético Madrid. The former French goalkeeper with 34 international caps admits that times have changed since his Parisian experience. « It’s not the same PSG that I knew. It will be interesting to see how it feels on the sidelines because they’re an amazing team to watch. » While things are different there’s still one familiar face, fellow keeper Alphonse Areola, who was just a 17-year-old kid during their time together in Paris. « It will be a pleasure to see him. I enjoyed my time with him. He has evolved a lot. »

Grégory Coupet has yet another reason to be excited for Sunday’s match: Anthony Lopes. Despite only working together for three weeks, « Greg » already has complete faith in « Antho. » He knows what he’s capable of and believes he can do great things against Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani… « There has been no specific preparation. Antho is very good, you just have to keep his confidence up and not change anything. The fact that it’s PSG doesn’t mean that we need to do anything new. These are things that come natural. There’s no need to do anything different. »

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