“We really can't take it anymore”… Why isn't there total fervor in Lyon in the Europa League?

“We really can’t take it anymore”… Why isn’t there total fervor in Lyon in the Europa League?

Remember last fall, when the north corner of Parc OL was screaming its song to the glory of Lucas Paqueta, and communing as rarely with his team, even when it was only a match? group stage of the Europa League against Sparta Prague (3-0). This connection has since continued to weaken, as Peter Bosz’s group got bogged down in the soft underbelly of Ligue 1 (it is 10th with 7 days remaining). So even the prospect of a fifth European semi-final in club history, Thursday (9 p.m.) against West Ham, does not transcend most supporters.

For this quarter-final second leg of the Europa League, the attendance at Décines should be lower than that of the round of 16 against FC Porto (54,551 spectators). “It must be an opportunity to give everything in the stands and on the ground in a full stadium”, unsurprisingly urged Jean-Michel Aulas, Tuesday on Twitter, calling for “sacred union” for the 178th time under his presidency. A string that is too recurrent to really bring together Lyon supporters.

“We all had a hard time letting go”

“We are at a stage where we really can’t take it anymore, says Lisa (25), a North Bend subscriber since 2013. We have everything to be hyped by this season in the Europa League, but we are angry with the club and the players. Imagine, I didn’t even celebrate our goal at the end, Sunday against Strasbourg (1-1). “Present at the London Stadium last Thursday (1-1), in the middle of a moderately full Lyon parking lot (1,200 people), Richard felt this currently very limited fervor: “It was clearly not madness. There wasn’t a big rhythm on the pitch and we all had a hard time letting go. And then it was hard to go as if nothing had happened from a cheering strike throughout the first period against Angers (3-2) to a big European match four days later. Something broke”.

This “trick” is not limited to the symbolic milestone of 10 years without the slightest trophy which is reaching out to OL next month. No, it is also a lack of strong emotions experienced at the stadium, especially in comparison with the previous successful course in the Europa League in 2017, with a place snatched into the last four. No one at Lyon has forgotten the memorable qualifiers against AS Roma and Besiktas.

The end of the state of grace, even for Lucas Paqueta

“It had absolutely nothing to do, I was in tears at the final whistle after the elimination in the semi-finals against Ajax Amsterdam, says Lisa. There, I can’t imagine crying at all if things go wrong against West Ham. Nothing is going well this season so it would almost be logical for it to end on Thursday. ” Accustomed to the south bend, Richard completes with a smile: ” It was nice to eliminate Porto this season, I admit that with my friends, we didn’t even remember the scorer of the first leg.

Lyon supporters keep in mind the atmosphere of madness experienced during the semi-final second leg of the Europa League, in 2017 against Ajax Amsterdam.
Lyon supporters keep in mind the atmosphere of madness experienced during the semi-final second leg of the Europa League, in 2017 against Ajax Amsterdam. – Laurent Cipriani/AP/SIPA

Quite simply because even Lucas Paqueta (because it is indeed him), absolute idol of Parc OL at the start of the season, is now most often unrecognizable. Also jaded by the hasty departure of Juninho and, to a lesser extent, by that of Bruno Guimaraes during the winter transfer window, are the Lyon supporters still ready to give their all on Thursday? Peter Bosz insisted on this issue, this Wednesday, during the pre-match press conference.

The atmosphere in London was extraordinary in favor of West Ham. In our stadium, the supporters will be for us, and that will be the biggest difference. I have the experience of these big matches and the atmosphere can really make the difference. If the players put a lot of energy and a very good state of mind, the supporters will be behind us very quickly. »

“Many people are disappointed in the turns”

“I think there will be a big atmosphere on Thursday but it’s not a match that excites me more than that, nuance Richard. If nothing happens on the pitch again, there is clearly a risk of losing interest in this team by the end of the season. I feel that many people are disappointed in the turns. »

Even during the round of 16 second leg of the Europa League against Porto, which allowed Moussa Dembélé and the Lyonnais to qualify, the supporters did not really let go.
Even during the round of 16 second leg of the Europa League against Porto, which allowed Moussa Dembélé and the Lyonnais to qualify, the supporters did not really let go. – Laurent Cipriani/AP/SIPA

Starting with Lisa, tired of traveling 100 km from Oyonnax (Ain) to attend such disappointing matches of her favorite team at Parc OL. “We are with a view to returning the stadium against West Ham, confides the young woman. But if we take a goal, it will be a monumental air conditioning and the atmosphere will deteriorate. Morally, this season is exhausting. It’s up to the players to earn their supporters. »

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