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Marseille is a volcano

Louis Michael Pascual

Paris, Aug 6 Olympique de Marseille is a volcano that does not find the right channel, a few hours before starting its league season in a season that should mark its return to stability among the greats of the continent.

The Croatian coach, Igor Tudor, who replaced the Argentine Jorge Sampaoli in a few hours after his unexpected fright, is not finding a way to calm a dressing room that multiplies friction.

As published this Saturday by the sports newspaper L’Équipe, the president himself, the Spanish Pablo Longoria, had to go down to the locker room to try to calm the waters and show the absolute support of the coach, while opening the exit gate to all who doubts his methods.

Because that seems to be the problem. Tudor is more authoritarian and hierarchical than Sampaoli, who played the psychological card to try to get the most out of his players, a recipe that led Marseille to runner-up last season.

Everything was going smoothly but the demanding Argentine coach was dissatisfied with the reinforcements, which he found rickety ahead of his return to the Champions League, so he decided to slam the door a month ago.

Tudor came to a team that had a well-established dynamic and his way of being does not seem to convince everyone. The Croatian coach has already faced Gerson, Jordan Amavi, Kevin Strootman and, finally, Mattéo Guendouzi.

This last altercation, during the break of last Sunday’s friendly against Milan, led to Longoria’s intervention.

The team left a bad image that night and the friction between the coach and the midfielder was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Guendouzi is the stronghold of the new Marseille, a player who has been reborn in the club and whose level has even led him to the national team.

But what seemed like a love story with Samapoli is not having the same continuity with Tudor. He is not the only one who, in private, complains about the new coach, about the hardness of the training sessions that sometimes last until late at night.


Nostalgic for the Argentine, the players multiply their complaints, although according to L’Équipe none of them dared to do so in front of Longoria.

But the concern has reached the highest levels of management, which cannot afford another false step on the bench, after the difficult maneuver involved in replacing Sampaoli.

Barely a day after the departure of the Argentine, the president presented Tudor, a technician without much of a resume, but with an authoritarian reputation that seems to be confirming in Marseille.

Former assistant to Andrea Pirlo at Juventus in Turin, the 44-year-old Croat has trained in Turkey, Greece and his country and his last experience was on the bench for Italian Verona.

Former Juve player, in times of Zinedine Zidane, however, he does not have a clear past on the bench, as if he had Sampaoli, something that is difficult for the players to digest.

The first games will be the thermometer to measure the depth of the crisis that appears in the club.

The management, for now, continues to strengthen the team and after the arrivals of Rubén Blanco, Jonathan Clauss, Issak Touré or Cengiz Under, announced last night the signing of French international Jordan Veretout, for whom he has paid Roma 11 million euros.

After these reinforcements there is the will to increase competition in the locker room to give the coach tools to impose his authority. EFE


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