first team / During the break

July... a promising return

Published on the 29 December 2007 à 08:01 by R.B

The customary training camp at Tignes… victory in the Peace Cup… and another Trophée des Champions… OL started the season with its foot to the floor, finalizing the departures of Abidal, Malouda, Berthod, Caçapa and Diarra as well as the arrival of Bodmer, Grosso and Keita…

Everything started at Tignes… as it does every season. Some old faces were missing; new ones were there for the first time. Malouda left the camp early… for Chelsea. OL won a friendly against Lille 3-1. Then it was off to Korea from the 12th to the 22nd to take part in the 3rd edition of the Peace Cup. An injured Juninho returned to Brazil. Fred injured his foot while on national team duty with Brzail and was forced to miss several weeks.

[IMG42791#R]For the 3rd time, OL made it to the final of the Peace Cup, finishing on top of their group that included Reading, Shimizu and River Plate and then beating Bolton in the final. Benzema and Ben Arfa made themselves very apparent and the former was chosen as the player of the tournament. The OL squad also spent the tournament getting used to the new coaching pair of Alain Perrin/Christophe Galtier and a new formation.

During this competition, Alou Diarra transferred to Bordeaux. An injured Squillaci left the squad to return to Lyon. Sylvain Wiltord’s messy saga continued but he joined the squad at the end of the trip in Korea, without playing. As for Jérémy Berthod, he signed for Monaco at the beginning of the month.

The new players? Grosso, with a light injury, didn’t play. Keita, who was still recovering, showed some promise. Belhadj brought his game to the left flank while Bodmer adapted to a new position. A promising victory.

The return to France was just days before the Trophée des Champions, not played in China as had been previously planned. But there was no match between the champions of L1 and L2 (Metz). So on July 28, Coupe de France winners Sochaux came to Gerland. The Doubistes opened the scoring but just before half time Govou and Cris clinched the match for the 6-time French champions, who were still without the services of Juninho, Squillaci and Fred, players integral to Alain Perrin’s preferred system of 4-4-2. Cris had assumed the captain’s armband from Juninho and the season seemed set for a glorious start.
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