Lille OSC – Season 2019/20
The French soccer team from the north of France, Lille OSC, was founded in 1944. They have been playing in the top division since the 2000/01 season. In their long history, several trophies have been won. They won the national championship 3 times, the last one in 2011. They managed to add 6 victories in the French Cup, the last ones again in a very successful 2011 year. So far, the French club lacks success in the international arena.
Since 2012, Lille players have been playing their games at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy stadium. Up to 50,000 people can attend matches.
On June 10, 2019 Jake Sullivan, an Australian 29-year-old retired footballer, became the new manager of the French club. As he said in one of the first interviews, he wants to add more trophies to the shelf.
Lille did not have a huge budget, so the new manager tried to look for free transfers. They managed to transfer in 6 players for free. For cash, they managed to buy players such as:
- Paweł Stolarski, right defender from Poland, to the first squad
- Gonzalo Villar, spanish center midfielder, as the player for bright future
- Goncalo Paciencia, portuguese forward, brought from German Eintracht. The most important transfer due to lack of quality attackers in the squad.
- Florent Da Silva, young attacking midfielder, costing the most in this window.
In order to facilitate all these transfers, 3 players said goodbye to the club during the summer window, for a total amount of 14 milion EUR. The biggest part of that amount of money was the young, prosperous Ferhat Cogalan who joined Manchester United.
First part of season
The first half of the year brutally showed the new manager that a coaching career is definitely different from a football one. Of the 57 points possible in the league, Lille had only 26 points at the end of December. 19 played games have ended:
- 7 times Lille won
- 5 time a draw
- 7 times a failure
Despite a surprising win against Liverpool at their stadium, Lille said goodbye to the European cup after the group stage.
The scandalous result also happened in the Coupe de la Ligue BKT, where in the first match, against Auxerre, Lille lost.
The results achieved did not cause a nervous search for rescue in the transfer market. The only transfer moves in the winter window were transfers from the club, which were two young players.
Second part of season
In the next part of the season, Jake Sullivan and his players scored exactly the same number of points in the league as in the first half, 26 points. This gave a total of 52 points and a place almost in the middle of the league table, 11th place. The results differed because this time it was 8 wins, as many as 9 losses and only 3 draws. In addition, the French Cup ended in the 10th round, losing in the 2nd match.
The best player of the season was Gonzalo Villar, who scored 6 goals and 3 assists in 29 league games. These are not the highest-level numbers, but thanks to his good performance, he ended the season with an average rating of 7.20. The other players played below expectations. Only Victor Osimhen can be distinguished, who, being just entered into the squad, scored 8 league goals. Compared to a completely missed purchase, which was Paciencia, who scored 4 goals in 22 games, the number of 8 goals is impressive.
Despite the unsatisfactory results, the management of the French club decided to leave Jake Sullivan as manager and give him one more chance next season.