Aulas on Garcia: 'We wanted a fighter'
Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas has spoken about why he opted to bring in Rudi Garcia as Sylvinho's replacement at the helm of his club's first team.
Although much speculation had linked former Bordeaux, Paris Saint-Germain and France boss Laurent Blanc with Sylvinho's vacated coaching position at Olympique Lyonnais, the club announced the appointment Rudi Garcia on Monday.
"Along with [sporting director] Juninho, [advisor] Gérard Houllier and [deputy general manager] Vincent Honsot, we performed an exhaustive investigation. We spoke to the five candidates for several hours," Aulas told French sports radio station RMC. "We wanted a fighter, someone who takes quick action to win matches. All four of us chose Rudi Garcia. He was able to start quickly and he respects the internal organisation of the club. He arrives at the club with only one staff member. This structure will combine what worked well and what was missing. He brings his ambition to take the team to the highest level and he will have the means to make them happen."
While Garcia was coach at LOSC, whom he led to a league-and-cup double in 2011, and then more recently with OL's Olympico rivals Marseille, he crossed swords with Aulas on several occasions, but the OL supremo saw this only in a positive light.
"We laughed about it," chuckled Aulas. "I think that when someone, as a coach, can fight with an experienced president, it means that he is defending his institution and his club. It means he's a winner and a fighter who doesn't hesitate to fight the good fight. And we need people who will go fight at Olympique Lyonnais."