Welcome!

FM Base has been serving the Football Manager community for nearly two decades and we're keen to ensure that we are here for two decades more.

Become a part of our community today, and you'll quickly realise that the Football Manager community is the best community.

Register
Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
2,566
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Please comment or leave some sort of feedback so I knwo where I can improve. This is my first sstory with this type of writing, so any help would be appreciated. :)

Gérer les Gones

Chapitre I - Si cela a été une mauvaise année...
Première Partie - An Unexpected Visitor

As he drove into the car park outside the Stade Gerland, Claude Puel peered up at the sky. It was a clear day and the sun was beating down. As he stepped out of his Citroen C5 and strolled calmly towards the door of the stadium, nodding at the stadium staff as he passed them, Puel pulled out his mobile phone, which was vibrating in his pocket.

'Board meeting at 2pm tomorrow, you're invited. Stay safe.
Georges'

His smile faded as he read the message sent from the club's director, and frown replaced it, before putting the phone back in his pocket and continuing his journey to his office.

As he pulled out his keys, jangling them around in his struggle to find the right one. Eventually he found it, and duly unlocked the door to the room. It was tidily kept, with several folders and pieces of paper paper clipped together neatly on his wooden desk. Taking off his jacket and putting it over his chair, he sat down in his black leather chair and opened his drawer. There he found a number of folders, bursting with papers, photos and other items bearing information on players.
He pulled one out and licked the tip of his index finger, then proceeded to leaf through it. He read over the notes supplied by his chief scout, Remi Garde.

Garde had been sent by Puel to scout one player in particular, a player who Puel had been monitoring himself for some time. He studied the notes carefully, highlighting words and sentences written by his scout that he judged to be important. Sweating heavily in the heat, he flicked a switch on the wall, turning on a fan, which slowly rotated, giving him a welcome cool breeze every few seconds. After a while of looking at the reports, there was a knock on the door. He called for the visitor to come in, and they obliged, closing the door and shuffled over to his desk.
"Bonjour, Monsieur Puel." said the visitor, whose voice Puel did not recognise.
"Bonjour. Please, have a seat."
Puel gestured towards a seat, far less inviting than Puel's super comfortable leather throne. He sat on the cream colored chair, squirmed to get himself comfortable, and smiled towards Puel.

An awkward silence lasted for a few moments before the visitor peeped up.
"I'm here to negotiate a deal with you over our client."
The silence continued while Puel tried to guess which 'client' his unexpected guest.
"Monsieur Briand?" the guest said, trying to establish who he was talking about.
Puel nodded and pulled from his drawer the file on Jimmy Briand, the Stade Rennais striker who scored 8 goals in 27 games for Les Rouges et Noirs last season. He also played 3 times for France, and the 23 year old was estimated to be worth €6,000,000. Puel was instructed by Jean-Michel Aulas, the chairman, not to exceed this amount.

"I was not aware that you were coming, Monsieur..."
"Monsieur Puel, I am Patrick Rampillion and I am the director of football at Stade Rennais. I'd like to get this over with quickly as I must catch a flight to Geneva, so I'll only take offers for Monsieur Briand upwards of €12,000,000."
Puel chuckled and shook his head.

"I'm sorry, Monsieur Rampillion, but that is far too much. I will pay nothing above six."
Rampillion lit a cigar and blew it towards the opened window next to him, and he looked out towards the field in the Stade Gerland, observed the groundsmen chatting at the side of the pitch. He took the cup of coffee that Puel had made for him, and nodded in his direction, before turning back to the field.
"Jimmy Briand is our best player, six million is derisory."
Puel stood firm. "Six million - take it or leave it."
After much deliberation, debating and negotiating, and several hours later, the two sides struck a deal. And Puel had gotten his way. Jimmy Briand would be a Lyon player for just €6 million, an absolute bargain.

Puel and Rampillion shook hands (although somewhat begrudgingly on Rampillion's part) and the Renne director was on his way. Puel sat down in his seat and pondered whether or not the directors and chairman would take pity on him for his somewhat poor season.
 
Last edited:

Dan

I'm back!!!!!
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
4,144
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Good start pal. Looks interesting. Keep up the good work!
 
Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
2,566
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Cheers, mate :D

---------- Post added at 06:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:58 AM ----------

La Deuxième Partie - The Meeting
 
The weather on the day of the meeting wildly contrasted that of the previous day. Claude Puel stepped out of his car and pulled up the hood of his Lyon-branded waterproof jacket and trousers jogged towards the front door, taking a moment once inside to dry himself off. Taking off his waterproof clothing, he revealed a tailored Armani suit, with an Olympique Lyonnais badge sewn into the breast pocket and he was wearing an official club tie as well. He put his wet clothes in his office and made his way to the boardroom.

Always keen to make a good start, Puel arrived 30 minutes early for the club meeting, which he had been invited to the day before. He was anxious about the end-of-season review meeting. His side had failed to retain the Ligue 1 title they had held for so long (7 times in a row), and lost it to their rivals Marseille, who won their first league title since 1992. However, his side did make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League and that, thought Puel, might be the only thing keeping him in a job.

Pacing up and down the corridor, Puel greeted the members of the board who arrived, then finally, his assistant manager Bruno Genesio, and then he took his seat. The boardroom was very modern, a white frosted glass table with similar seats, tinted with blue. A large club crest was placed on the wall behind the chairman's seat, and memorabilia was plastered all over the walls. The various board members refreshed their memories of the season just passed.

"So," began the chairman, taking his glasses off and looking across the table at Puel, "you finished six points behind Marseille in the league, you got to the semis of the Champions League, you were eliminated by Bayern Munich 4-0 on aggregate, you were put out of the Coupe de la Ligue by Lorient and dumped out the Coupe de France by Monaco. Not the greatest of seasons, gentlemen?"
Puel and Genesio looked at each other, and both shook their heads slowly, like a pair of schoolchildren who had just been scorned by their teacher.

"But you did very well in Europe, and you gave Bordeaux a showing up in the process...very well done there." he smiled, and a number of board members chuckled.
"Well, messieurs, if that is a bad season, where you finish top two in the league and go that far in Europe, then I can't wait to see your good season. I'd like to offer you both an extra year extension to your contracts."

Puel and Genesio both nodded and smiled at the chairman, and, after arranging a date to plan the season ahead, Puel and Genesio left the Stade Gerland in positive moods.

*****

"Well," said Puel, sighing with relief as he poured out two glasses of whisky for himslef and Genesio, who had returned to Puel's office after the board meeting, "that went well."
Genesio nodded and drank the whisky in one swig.
Puel sighed again after drinking his whisky. He picked up his jacket and a briefcase containing another of the dossiers compiled by his chief scout Remi Garde.
"I'm meeting Remi at the training ground, are you coming?"
Genesio nodded and followed Puel out the door.
 
 
 
Last edited:
Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
2,566
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Chapitre II - La jeunesse

Puel and Genesio met Garde at the Centre Tola Vologe, near the Stade Gerland. It is named after former Lyon sportsman Tola Volage, who was murdered by Adolf Hitler's 'Gestapo' during the Second World War. The centre, directed by Remi Garde himself, has produced such players as Karim Benzema, Hatem ben Arfa and Ludovic Giuly.

Garde was busy coaching a session with some of the reserve and youth players, who had their final game against Sochaux Reserves and, having already won the reserve league for the season, they were giving the younger players a game.
"Well, how are they getting on?" Puel asked, while observing the strikers' shooting practice.
"Not too bad, just a light session, they've worked very hard." Garde grinned at Genesio, who was busy watching the shooting practice as well.
"Good, good. May we watch?" Puel asked, genuinely interested in seeing the session. Some players had spotted Puel, and were murmering and whispering to each other, and pointing in a very un-subtle way at the coach. Puel waved at one player, who then rapidly turned away, pretending that he hadn't been looking in the first place.

"Of course, of course." Garde responded, before jogging back over to the players and splitting them up into two groups: strikers and 'keepers went to one goal while midfielders and defenders went to the other. Puel, clealy impressed by the organisation of the session (which both Garde and Genesio took, given the shortage of coaches due to an illness going through the club), spotted a number of young players he was particularly impressed with.

One was Yannis Tafer, who had put a number of shots past reserve 'keeper Remy Vercoutre. Also scoring were Alexandre Lacazette (who had scored a particularly sublime goal, rounding the 'keeper before slotting the ball into the corner) and Ishak Belfodil, whose powerful strikes had Vercoutre, a very capable and experienced 'keeper, helpless.

In a small sided game afterwards, a number of other players showed Puel their abilities. Defensively, the two lights shining through were Nicolas Seguin, whose strength and heading ability was fantastic, and in the midfield, Clement Grenier showed his abilities as a deep-lying playmaker, spreading pinpoint passes out to wide areas and in front of the strikers to great effect.
As the players went back to the changing rooms, the downpour over Lyon continuing, Garde came over, sniffing and sneezing.

"Remi, have you got a bit of a cold there?" Puel asked, wondering if Garde had succumbed to the virus sweeping through the club.
"No,no, I'm fine, honestly, I'm - ACHOO!!"
Puel shook his head, patted Garde on the back and told him to go home, saying he would see the players off.
"Well," Puel began, talking to the players in the changing rooms, "you guys did well. I watched you and I was very impressed."
The youngsters faces lit up with the compliments, and they left in in high spirits.

So did Puel, smiling as he stepped into his Citroen, safe in the knowledge that Lyon's thriving academy was but another option in a sea of oppotuinities for him to strengthen his squad for the new season.
 
Last edited:
....
Joined
Dec 22, 2009
Messages
11,876
Reaction score
0
Points
0
One was Yannis Tafer, who had put a number of shots past reserve 'keeper Remy Vercoutre. Also scoring were Alexandre Lacazette (who had scored a particularly sublime goal, rounding the 'keeper before slotting the ball into the corner) .
Great Update! :)

Taffer and Lacazette were amazing on my Lyon FM2010 save which i really enjoyed
 
Complete Legend
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
3,437
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Great update mate, this has really got a lot of potential. I'm enjoying the read so far :) Lyon have some quality youngsters in their ranks too
 
Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
2,566
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Whens the next Update? :D
Tomorrow maybe? :D

---------- Post added at 07:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:50 AM ----------

Chapitre III - "Cette fois-ci pour l'Afrique"
 
"Oui. Au revoir, Monsieur."
Claude Puel put the phone back on the hook and turned to his assistant, Bruno Genesio, who was pulling threads from his club jumper.
"We're going to Cape Town." Puel said, out of the blue.
Genesio turned round, still pulling threads from his jumper.
"Why?"
"I just got off the phone with Jean-Michel [Aulas, club chairman] and he's sending you, Remi and I to scout some players at the World Cup, all expenses paid." He grinned, and Genesio giggled childishly.

"Who are we scouting?" Genesio asked inquisitively, fidgeting with excitment at his trip.
"A few, but mainly Gourcuff."
"Good, good"
"We will watch the games separately, since there are three each day, compile reports then meet in Soccer City for the final."
Genesio nodded excitedly, grinning.

*****

Bruno Genesio took his seat in the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg on June the 11th, ready to see the first game of the World Cup.
"TSHABALALA!!!"
Genesio jumped out of his seat to applaud the spectacular goal, a splendid counter-attacking move that Brazil themselves would be proud of.

He enjoyed the game, and had compiled a large report on the game, and pointed out a player he admired and thinks would be a good signing; this was also one of the things the three had to add.

Remi Garde, in Cape Town to watch Uruguay hold his home nation to a goalless draw, he failed to find a single player who shone.

The next day, Claude Puel watched South Korea beat Greece two-nil, and saw Park Ji-Sung as a possible target. Bruno Genesio, still in Jo'Burg but instead at the Ellis Park stadium, picked out Vincent Enyeama as the star performer, despite his side's loss to Argentina.

Remi Garde picked Tim Howard as a star in the USA-England match, which finished one-all, thanks to some dodgy goalkeeping from Howard's English counterpart.

The three decided not to go to the Slovenia-Algeria or Serbia-Ghana games (not a bad idea, as they were two of the worst games at the finals) and met up to watch the Germany-Australia game.

They all came up with ideas for German signings - Ozil, Muller, Khedira - but one name was agreed on - Lukas Podolski.

"Get a hold of Koln's chairman, I want to have a chat."

---------- Post added at 11:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:18 PM ----------

Chapitre IV - Camp d'été

As Claude Puel tried to thrash out a deal with Koln, whose chairman demanded no less than €15,000,000 for the German star, he welcomed the players not currently at the World Cup (which had reached the quarter-finals) for the dreaded summer camp.

Puel had come home for the camp, and left Bruno Genesio and Remi Garde to finish the scouting trip alone.

Not many of Lyon's big name stars joined the squad at the training camp; this year's camp was located in the Austrian town of Reutte, free from the glare of journalists and photographers. Only the club photographers and journalists given special permission were granted access.

Puel had the players flown to Vienna and driven by coach to the town, which is located near the Alps. Despite being a popular tourist resort with skiiers and cultural explorers, Lyon trained there with little or no recognisation from locals.

The camp is designed to get the players back to peak fitness before the new season begins, however players taking part in the World Cup are exempt, and rest up before the big kick-off.

Puel sat next to Miralem Pjanic, Kim Kallstrom and Dejan Lovren, whose nations had not made it to South Africa, on the coach. They talked about the season past, and how the camp would work.

"It's mainly fitness, but there's obviously more to it than that."

*****

Upon their arrival at the Die Reutte - Tirol Fußball Komplex, the players put their bags in their rooms and went straight down to the pitch for their first session.
The session began with 15 laps around the 11-a-side pitch, before doing a 'beep test', one of the most feared fitness training excercises in football. Many players managed to reach level 23, a highly impressive level. However, some bowed out at level 7.

Next up were some excruciating laps of the athletics track (18 in all) before a break to watch the Brazil-Holland match, which Lyon winger Michel Bastos was involved in. Puel was disappointed when Bastos was brought off in the 62nd minute, and at that, took the players back out.

More tough fitness training followed, and by the end the players were exhausted.
Puel announced the players were free to go and watch the Uruguay - Ghana game, which Lyon defender John Mensah was involved in as Ghana captain.

Ghana were cheated out of a winner by Ajax's Luis Suarez, who handballed the Jabulani on the line. Asamoah Gyan missed the following penalty.
Mensah missed a penalty in the shootout, which Ghana lost.

The players fell silent, many with tears in their eyes, genuinely distraught at how the night had went for a man who was their team-mate and friend.

Puel ordered the players to their rooms, disappointed to end the day on such a sour note.
 
Last edited:
Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
2,566
Reaction score
0
Points
0
great update mate top buy in poldolski
Cheers, not quite signed him yet but still negotiating with Koln. :)

---------- Post added at 06:16 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 11:59 PM ----------

Chapitre VI - Pre Season - Prologue

Puel returned from Reutte after 4 days very pleased with the physical condition his players were now in. Back at match fitness, he decided to pit his fringe and youth players against Nantes.

He arranged a fixture with Nantes boss Baptiste Gentile for the Saturday coming, behind closed doors.

Puel decided he would play the strongest team possible, and he was confident that the side he put out would be good enough to beat Nantes.

He would play Remy Vercoutre in goal, a back four of Lamine Gassama, Cris, Dejan Lovren and youngster Timothee Kolodziejczak. In the hole is Maxime Gonalons, just behind Clement Grenier and Miralem Pjanic. Kim Kallstrom and Harry Novillo were on the wings, while Yannis Tafer started up front. However, Puel intended to bring Alexandre Lacazette at half time.

The game kicked off on the pitch at the Stade Gerland, the only 'fans' in attendance were coaches and some directors from either side.

Puel watched on as Yannis Tafer and Harry Novillo kicked off. Novillo passed the ball back towards Miralem Pjanic. Pjanic took a touch, then looked up. Seeing no options at this early stage, he took the ball for a run. He faked past Serge Deble and laid the ball off to Kim Kallstrom on the wing. Kallstrom stormed down the side, pushing one defender aside as he thrashed towards the goal-line. He turned. Yannis Tafer was at the back post, unmarked. Kallstrom swiped the ball towards the youngster. Tafer rose and met the ball at it's peak. He smashed it downwards into the corner.

The net crunched as the ball hit it with an incredible force. Two minutes in, 1-0.

Puel smiled.

Nantes kicked off, and Monaco's on loan prospect Frederic Nemani tried to get past Maxime Gonalons. Gonalons swiped the ball from Nemani's feet, and it took the youngster a moment to realise the ball was gone. Gonalons played the ball out wide to Harry Novillo. Novillo took on the full back and beat him. He surged down the left side. He saw Yannis Tafer, again free of any defenders, looking for the ball. He swung the ball towards him. The 'keeper had seen this, however, and rushed out to beat the ball away.
He punched the ball out of his box, where it fell to Miralem Pjanic. The Bosnian, with the 'keeper of his line, coolly chipped the ball into the empty net.

2-0.

Puel looked round at his assistant, Bruno Genesio. Genesio nodded in his direction, raising his eyebrows. Puel then looked round to the director's seats, where Jean-Michel Aulas was sitting. Aulas put his thumbs up, and laughed. Puel smiled, and turned round to see Nantes had already kicked off. Nantes went on the defensive, and Lyon's inexperienced side found it harder to break through. Harry Novillo did, however, but the post denied him.

At half-time, it was still 2-0, and Puel took his players to the side of the pitch.
'No point going back to the dressing room for a bounce game' he thought.
"Okay guys, that was magnifique. Harry, you're doing well. Kim, try to draw their full-back out and look for balls over the top. He hopeless. Clement, I'm going to move you to just behind Alex, who's coming on for Yannis. Miralem and Maxime, you sit a bit deeper and spray balls out to the widemen and Clement. Let's get back to where we were at the start. Alex, you do what Yannis was doing and poach, these centre backs seem to get caught too far out. Guys, exploit the holes behind them, **** it over."

*****

Nantes kicked off for the second half, and went at Lyon. Bruno Cheyrou beat Maxime Gonalons and had a shot at goal. Remy Vercoutre parried it away, but Filip Djordjevic beat Cris to the ball and hammered in the rebound. 2-1.

"Cris!" Puel screamed at his captain, "move your cul and get there first!"

Cris looked at the ground and sighed heavily. He looked at his coach and nodded. He knew he had to be better there. Lacazette and Novillo kicked off, and Lyon had a few more chances, but still no more goals.

Then, Miralem Pjanic received the ball at the halfway line and gave it to Grenier. Grenier saw a space behind the full back, and he dinked it into the path of Kim Kallstrom. He ran towards the goal and drew the keeper out. He chipped it over him and into the 6-yard box. Alexandre Lacazette was there to finish off a brilliant attacking move. 53 minutes in, they were 3-1 up.

Lyon continued to pressure Nantes, but they didn't add to their tally.

Clement Grenier picked the ball up inside Nantes' half and beat Aurelien Capoue. Capoue ran back and scythed Grenier down, 23 yards from goal. The referee blew his whistle and gave a free-kick. He called Capoue over. He spoke to him, and Puel looked on, mentally demanding a red card. He got his wish. Capoue walked, and Lon had a chance to make it 4. Kim Kallstrom and Miralem Pjanic stood next to the ball. Kallstrom walked away after chatting to Pjanic and went back out wide. The Bosnian stepped back. He looked at the ball, then the goal. He exhaled heavily.

He ran up and struck the ball with the inside of his foot. He curled the ball around the leaping Nantes wall and watched on as his free-kick hit the post. He groaned and held his head in his hands. He then found himself being embraced by his team-mates, who were laughing.

The ball had hit the post and then hit the goalkeeper's back, and went in.
78 minutes in, and Lyon won a corner. Pjanic went to take it. He swung it in, where it was met by the head of Cris. He struck the ball and it beat the 'keeper and went in. 5-1 to Lyon, and still 12 minutes to go.

Lyon went in search of a final goal. Grenier played a short ball to Ishak Belfodil (who replaced Maxime Gonalons as Lyon went from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2). Belfodil took it past one defender, then gave it to Lacazette. Lacazette held the ball up, then cut the defence wide open with a through ball to Belfodil, who had snuck in behind the centre-half. Belfodil latched onto his pass, rounded the 'keeper and slotted the ball into the net. 6-1, and

Nantes had received an absolute tanking.

*****

Claude Puel sat next to Bruno Genesio in his car, waiting at a Burger King 'drive-thru'. They were discussing whether or not to include the younger players in their first-team plans for the year.

"Send them out on loan for a year. You're forgetting that you'll have your stars coming back from the World Cup soon, and the young guys won't get a look-in when the seniors are in form."

"But I would be giving them game time if they played as well as they did today," Puel argued. "They looked like a real team today, a real unit."

"Well," Genesio shrugged his shoulders. "it's ultimately up to you. But I think when the World Cup ends you'll change your tune."





 
Last edited:
Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
2,566
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Very good update. Have inspired me to start a Lyon save :)
Aw, ta :wub:

---------- Post added at 05:07 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 06:29 AM ----------

Pre Season Part One - FC Evian Thonon Gaillard

Puel made a few calls that night and arranged another four friendlies for in the next two weeks. Evian, Bastia, Amiens and Colmar would provide the opposition. The first game, against Veian, was in two days, and Puel decided not to play any of the recently returned national team players, instead telling them to go home and rest. He would again play the young team that played Nantes. Of all the teams they would play, Evian were the 'biggest', playing in Ligue 2 following their recent promotion. Bastia, Amiens and Colmar played in the Championnat National.

Puel told the players that he would be putting out the same team that played Nantes, and took the training for the squad the next day.

Evian rocked up at the Centre Tola Vologe for the bounce match, once again behind closed doors (as each game would be). The pink-clad visitors made their way to the changing rooms and changed into their kit. Claude Puel was impressed by Evian's highly professional set-up, the players arrived wearing black suits with pink ties, no players wearing oversized headphones, chewing chewing gum or looking fed-up. The Ligue 2 club were chatting, sharing a joke and the manager was planning with his assistants. 'They're taking this very seriously' Puel thought to himself.

Puel played the exact same squad he started with against Nantes, and laid them out in the same fashion. Pjanic and Gonalons' job was to distribute to Grenier or the wingers, and Pjanic also was to go forward.

Evian kicked the game off, and played a possession game, knocking around in their own half, trying to frustrate Lyon. However, Puel instructed his side to lay back and let them do this.

Evian then started to go at Lyon. A few nice passes let Cedric Barbosa free in the space behind Lamine Gassama, and Barbosa crossed the ball in to the near post. Herve Bugnet headed the ball goalwards, but Remy Vercoutre tipped the ball over the bar.

Ten minutes in, and Evian had had the lion's share of possession and chances, Lyon limited to long range efforts. Finally, a breakthrough from the underdogs. Mohammed Rabiu went past Maxime Gonalons and sent a through ball into the path of new signing Youssef Adnane, who calmly stroked the ball past Vercoutre and into the bottom corner. It was one-nil to the visitors.

Soon, Lyon were under more intense pressure. Adnane tackled Dejan Lovren just outside the box but blazed his effort wide of the post.

Evain pressed and pressed, and in the 34th minute, Mathieu Lafon's long ball was picked up by an unmarked Adnane, who then chipped it over Remy Vercoutre and it was 2-0.
Puel withheld his anger for now, saving it for half-time.

As the whistle went, Puel decided to take his team back to the dressing room, despite the game only being a bounce match.

"Well, what the baiser was that?! That was pathétique! Too slow on the ball, too slow out wide, too many gaps at the back and too weak in midfield!"

The players looked at their feet, not wishing to face Puel's fiery gaze.

"Now, you get out there and get me a win, or else."

Puel kicked open the door and walked out.

*****

Lyon restarted the game, and looked a far better side than in the first half. Evian immediately decided attack was the best form of defence, and sent more players forward. Lyon exploited the gaping holes, with a long ball from Miralem Pjanic played through into Yannis Tafer's path for the equaliser.

Evian made two changes, with goalscorer Youssef Adnane and his striking partner Yannick Sagbo coming off for Felipe Saad and Aldo Angoula, both defenders. Evian were now playing a 6-2-0, with two holding midfielders and ten minutes remaining.
Lyon pressed and pressed, but Evian held firm, and went home with a win.

*****

Claude Puel led his players back to the changing rooms, angry at his side's surprise defeat to Evian.

"Well," he turned round, smirking, "I'm sure you'll enjoy training tomorrow. Six o'clock, sharp."

The players looked at each other. They knew what he meant.

Fitness training.
 
Top