Lorient

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Round 9

Lorient 2 - 1 Lille OSC
2022-10-02 12:00 More Reports
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2022-10-09 14:00:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2022/2023

Lorient

In


Montassar Talbi (def) (Rubin Kazan); Darlin Yongwa (def) (Niort); Gedeon Kalulu (def) (Ajaccio); Yvon Mvogo (gk) (RB Leipzig);

Out


Pierre-Yves Hamel (att) (Paris); Houboulang Mendes (r)(def) (Almeria); Moritz Jenz (r)(def) (Celtic); Thomas Callens (gk) (Annecy); Fabien Lemoine (k)(mid), Jeremy Morel (r)(def), Jerome Hergault (r)(def) (all released);

Lorient flirted with relegation last season, finishing the campaign on only 36 points and struggling to achieve eight victories. They finished with a huge negative goal difference of 28 and knew issues at both ends of the field that new head coach Regis Le Bris, who has stepped up from the B team to replace Christophe Pellissier, will focus. Unsurprisingly, it has been the defence that has been the focus of the efforts. Lorient were woeful at the back last season, conceding nearly two goals per game on average. Four of the regular back five from last term have departed the club, while veteran central midfielder Fabien Lemoine, who spent much of the season injured, has also gone. The changes are likely to start in goal, where Yvon Mvogo arrives from Leipzig with the ambition of displacing Paul Nardi, who was questionable last term. Meanwhile, the defence will be much younger than last season, with Montassar Talbi, Darlin Yongwa and Gedeon Kalulu all arriving at the club. What they gain in energy and vivacity they will lose in experience, though these are all up-and-coming players. Elsewhere, Le Bris is ready to put faith in the squad Pellissier had last season. They look a little short in central midfield with Lemoine’s departure, but in a more attacking sense they will be looking for Enzo Le Fee to continue his development. Perhaps the area where the easiest gains are to be made, though, are in attack. Terem Moffi is an amply capable striker but seemed to lose his confidence last season. If he can regain it, he will be very dangerous indeed. Similarly, Ibrahima Kone arrived in January half fit and contributed excellently off the bench. He should benefit from being at his full capacity. Meanwhile, Le Bris will look for the likes of Sambou Sissoko, Armand Lauriente and Stephane Diarra to continue their improvements. This is a very young squad with a good deal of potential. They will have gained from last season’s experience but there is still a sense that they could improve with another old head in their team.

Target


With a rookie manager and a young team, survival would be a solid achievement.

Season Review
2020/2021

№16: Lorient

Lorient survived their first season back in the top flight, though their finishing position of 16th was far higher than their average position in the league. Les Merlus spent most of the campaign in 17th, but, in spite of this, head coach Christophe Pellissier was nominated for the league’s Manager of the Year prize – testimony to the difficulty involved in keeping Lorient up. There was a period they looked in real trouble, having avoided falling to the foot of the table only for an incredible 3-2 home win over Paris Saint-Germain to really kickstart their campaign and drive them up the standings. If Adrian Grbic was expected to be their key summer signing, the Austria international ultimately proved a disappointment as he scored only four goals – no more than Pierre-Yves Hamel. Instead, it was Terem Moffi who exploded for Lorient as he scored 15 times in 34 outings. Meanwhile, he was ably supported by Yoane Wissa, who got 11. Having two players with such tallies was a major boost to Lorient’s survival push. There were some positives in midfield, which worked best towards the end of the campaign when they adopted a 5-3-2 shape. Enzo Le Fee caught the eye at times but could have done with more end product, while it was Laurent Abergel who was surprisingly the most effective of their central players. At the back, there were clear weaknesses at times, with a lack of concentration costing Lorient on several occasions. Furthermore, they had perhaps the weakest goalkeeping in the league outside of Dijon, which did not help their cause any. Injuries to centre-backs were frequent – January signing Tiago Ilori did not even get the chance to play for the club – but it was still surprising to see Lorient lean on Trevoh Chalobah in the heart of their defence. Lorient had a close call this time around, and they will face another difficult campaign in 2021-22 – especially if they lose Moffi.


Player of the Season: Terem Moffi

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