L’Équipe have reported new details this morning about why Lyon manager Bruno Génésio saw it fit to bench Dutch international forward Memphis Depay for Saturday’s match vs Angers, which OL went on to win 2-1.
Depay reacted furiously in front of reporters in the mixed zone after the match, claiming that he “deserves more respect” and “should be starting every game”.
Before Saturday afternoon’s match vs Angers, Depay sat on the Lyon coach in the Stade Raymond-Kopa parking lot for a long time. Then during the warm-up, Depay spent most of the time sitting on a ball and then sitting on the bench, not participating fully or conducting himself in a manner that could be seen as even quasi-professional, the newspaper alleges.
Although the Lyon coaching staff expected this reaction, hoping to capitalise on his anger as a game-changer as a second half substitute (which he was, grabbing a goal), his team-mates were less than impressed and happy.
Depay’s behaviour already angered colleagues on Tuesday night, when Lyon conceded late on to take 1 point from their 3-3 Champions’ League draw with Hoffenheim. The Dutchman performed poorly in the first half, but followed that up with an impressive second-half goal. But his behaviour was at its worst when he shouted at team-mates in the dressing room for letting the lead slip, having been replaced in the 81st minute by Moussa Dembélé himself.
The situation got so tense in the dressing room post the Hoffenheim match that manager Bruno Génésio was forced to intervene, informing Depay that this was neither the place nor the time to debrief on the team’s performance.
Following that incident and Depay’s hot and cold performance in mid-week, Génésio decided to bench the player, something that he did not take kindly to:
“I am fed up of hearing that each time I changed the game. I do not always feel like I am a player who is respected. I do the job each time, I am mentally strong. I have to accept the decisions of the coach. I am a bit disappointed, I think I deserve more respect. I deserve more than this and I should be playing each match.”
Where do we go from here? The coming weeks will decide that…