Marseille already under pressure against Reims

Facing a much more turbulent off-season than expected, OM resumes competition on Sunday against Reims in Ligue 1 (8:45 p.m.), in a Velodrome suspicious of its new coach, Igor Tudor.

On May 21, in their last championship match, Olympique de Marseille crushed Strasbourg (4-0) and capitalized on Monaco’s draw in Lens (1-1) to become vice champion of France. Directly qualified for the Champions League in a Velodrome drunk with joy, Mattéo Guendouzi celebrated this result in the arms of coach Jorge Sampaoli and president Pablo Longoria left the presidential stand in tears. “It’s the magic of Marseille!“, exclaimed the Spaniard once down on the grass. But the magic of Marseille is also to go from the big blue sky to the storm in less than three months. It all started with the resignation of Jorge Sampaoli on July 1 and the arrival on the bench of Igor Tudor, with radically opposite methods.

In the countryside, “it’s a match that goes against what we did last year. It demands depth, occasions that arrive quickly, pressing“, confirmed Dimitri Payet on Friday. Behind the scenes, Tudor has already clashed with certain managers, which forced Pablo Longoria to come and remind the group of the hierarchy of a football club. “There is the club [en haut]the coach [au milieu] and the players [en bas]“, insisted the Spaniard, joining the gesture to the word, on Wednesday in front of the press.”Any change takes time (…) Surely we are not going to judge the real Olympique de Marseille of Igor Tudor from the month of September. We, the club, are sure of the path we have taken.»

I have been coaching for ten years, and I have always said that there is a big difference between preparation and official matches.

Igor Tudor

If Tudor has the support of the president, he does not have that of the supporters, who expressed no reaction when his name was first called by the announcer at the Velodrome on Sunday. Worse, it was under the boos that the Marseilles left the field after 90 minutes after the defeat (2-0) against AC Milan. “We worked well this week and I get on well with the players“, the ex-coach of Hellas Verona wanted to reassure the media on Friday.But I guess what you are interested in is the question of results. I have been coaching for ten years, and I have always said that there is a big difference between preparation and official matches. (Physical) coolness is not what I was looking for so far“.

remodeled eleven

Here, then, is the Croatian at the dawn of his first big meeting on Marseille soil without great certainty and his players, without great automatisms. The defense, especially worrying during the preparation matches, should be made up of five new players, from the three central players (Mbemba, Gigot, Touré) to the two pistons (Clauss, Tavares). In the middle, Jordan Veretout, eighth debutant of the summer, could already play his first minutes in the white shirt. “He already knows what we want to put in (…) He studied everything and watched all the preparation games“, assured Longoria on Friday evening, at the time of the signing of the French international (five selections).

As for the offensive sector, quite ineffective in the friendlies (four of the five goals were scored against the fans of Marignane), it will be based on the duo Payet-Gerson, in charge of providing the position of top striker coveted by Arkadiusz Milik. and Luis Suárez. Even in defeat, Tudor will be able to argue that one of his predecessors, André Villas-Boas, had barely done better when he arrived. In the summer of 2019, the Portuguese had accumulated two wins and three defeats, before attacking the Championship with a setback at the Velodrome against… Reims (2-0). “AVB» would then bring OM to second place in L1.

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