Dutchman Peter Bosz was appointed manager of Lyon in May 2021 to succeed Rudi Garcia, following the club’s disappointing fourth place finish in Ligue 1. His somewhat daunting mission is to revitalise the team and reintegrate the top three on a reduced budget due to the double whammy of the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse of the Ligue 1 domestic TV deal.
Top of his to-do list is to figure out a way to replace his compatriot Memphis Depay, who has left on a free transfer at the end of his contract. The departure of the club’s star player and captain leaves a big hole in the Lyon front line and a similar quality replacement will be hard to find.
Bosz is generally viewed as an attacking manager who demands a high-energy game from his players. Lyon will be hoping that he can improve the team’s fluidity in attack and also their efficacy in front of goal without leaving them any more open at the back than they were under Garcia.
Peter Bosz’s playing career spanned most of the 1980s and ’90s. He was a midfielder by trade and spent his early years in his native Netherlands before a spell in France with Toulon. A move back home followed in 1991 when he joined Feyenoord for a six year spell that represents the pinnacle of his career. During his time in Rotterdam he won the league once and the Dutch Cup three times and earned all eight of his international caps.
He wound down his playing days with brief spells at Hansa Rostock in Germany, NAC Breda and finally JEF United Ichihara in Japan before taking over as head coach at amateur side AGOVV in his hometown of Apeldoorn. Success there earned him a move to De Graafschap but his first taste of top-flight management ended in failure as his team finished bottom of the Eredivisie.
After a season out, Bosz bounced back at Heracles Almelo and took them up into the top division before consolidating their place with a mid-table finish the following season. His stock was rising and he was tempted back to Feyenoord as a technical director, where he worked alongside managers such as Erwin Koeman, Leo Beenhakker, Bert van Marwijk and Gertjan Verbeek.
In 2010 Bosz moved back into management in his own right with Heracles Almelo and steered them to three more comfortable mid-table finishes before a couple of successful campaigns at the helm of Vitesse Arnhem. A brief spell in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv followed before Ajax came calling for him to replace Frank de Boer as their manager.
Date of Birth: 21/11/1963
Place of Birth: Apeldoorn
Joined OL: 29/05/2021
Previous teams managed:
AGOVV Apeldoorn (2000-02)
De Graafschap (2002-03)
Heracles Almelo (2004-06 & 2010-13)
Maccabi Tel Aviv (2016)
Borussia Dortmund (2017)
Bayer Leverkusen (2018-21)
It was a season of near missed for Bosz in Amsterdam, with his Ajax side finishing second in the Eredivisie, just one point behind champions Feyenoord, and also losing the UEFA Europa League final 2-0 to Manchester United at the Friends Arena in Sweden. However, his team won many plaudits and Bosz himself picked up the Manager of the Year award.
On the back of that 2016-17 season, Bosz was headhunted by Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for Thomas Tuchel, but things didn’t work out for the Dutchman at the Westfalenstadion and he was dismissed a few months into his first campaign in Germany with Dortmund having crashed out of the Champions League. His thus far largely upwards career trajectory came to an abrupt halt, but he was given a second chance in Germany a year later when Bayer Leverkusen opted to employ his services.
Bosz had a positive impact at Leverkusen and turned around their 2018-19 campaign, culminating in Champions League qualification. He followed that up with a fifth place finish in the 2019-20 season and a German Cup Final defeat to Bayern Munich. However, he was unable to maintain the standard in his third season at the club and was sacked in March 2021 after a poor run in the Bundesliga, a cup exit to Rot-Weiss Essen and a Europa League exit against Young Boys of Bern.
Overall, Bosz has a decent record as a manager. He can be said to have done well in seven of his nine managerial posts, with the only unmitigated failures coming at Dortmund and in his very early days at De Graafschap. However, he has precious few trophies to show for it and has a reputation as something of a nearly man with several runners-up finishes on his palmarès. Lyon would probably be quite happy with a second place finish next season, but both they and the new boss would like to get their hands on some silverware sooner rather than later.