We attended the OM meetings against Lazio, Thursday in the Europa League, and FC Metz, Sunday noon in Ligue 1. Here are some observations.
? Guendouzi is the great leader of the team
And Dimitri Payet is the star captain of theIF and that Steve Mandanda, relaunched to everyone’s surprise by Jorge Sampaoli for the arrival of Metz, recovered his armband on Sunday, another player really stands out as a team leader: Matteo Guendouzi. It’s dazzling from the stands of the Stade Vélodrome. The activity of the midfielder on loan from Arsenal is pretty crazy. It is he who initiates the pressing in his midfield position (this was the case against Lazio, then he played 6 against Metz in the absence of Boubacar Kamara).
At 22, he constantly gives instructions to his teammates to relaunch and even “reframes” some during stoppages. He had passed a soap to Gerson a few weeks ago. Against the Messins, he came to berate Luan Peres, another Brazilian, who had let Fabien Centonze advance in the right lane.
?? The tactical variations of Sampaoli
OM failed to beat Lazio (2-2) then Metz (0-0) two and a half days later and only the first period against the Roman formation is to be remembered. The Ciel et Blanc have been impressive collectively. The Argentine coach, a fan of possession football, has very specific ideas for the game but, unlike other such dogmatic strategists, he makes corrections in relation to the players he uses and to the opponents. We have seen this over the two matches. Rongier is used to playing a double role, that of right back of a 4-4-2 in the defensive phase and defensive midfielder alongside Kamara of a 3-2-4-1 in the offensive phase. But, against Lazio, the former Nantes player remained right back during the short revivals of his team. A line of 4 defenders then ensured the recovery against the pressing of Lazio and Rongier only integrated midfield when OM were installed in the opposing camp.
Lirola, he, who started against Metz, played a triple role: right side in the defensive phase, then right runner or right winger depending on Ünder’s position (when one was a winger, the other was in half-space right and vice versa). Sampaoli’s choices are all self-explanatory, even if, to distant observers, it sometimes gives the impression that it is a mess on the ground.
? The enormous atmosphere of the Vélodrome
One stadium, two atmospheres. The Vélodrome was full as much for the shock of the Europa League against Lazio, a Thursday evening of school holidays, then the reception of FC Metz in Ligue 1, Sunday at 1 p.m. The stands have regularly caught fire, despite the lack of a goal against the Garnets and even if it was not the madness that we experienced during the last OM-OL and OM-PSG (or OM-Leipzig and OM -Salzburg in 2018). The North turn had been closed by UEFA for the European meeting but the Marseille management convinced the body to accommodate 10,000 children in this stand (young players from OM and clubs in the region). It was packed, it looked very lively and a … smoke was even cracked in the second half!
Sunday noon, the groups of supporters were furious with the LFP for the schedule of the meeting, but the atmosphere was there once again. Many families came to fill the bays of the Boulevard Michelet enclosure. ” It was too good, it was huge even if I still haven’t seen an OM victory », Launches little César, 9 years old, who was celebrating his 3rd passage at Vél ‘.
? The boos for Pau Lopez, the bronca for Gerson
If the Marseille supporters are delighted to see an offensive-style coach at the head of the team (after the too calculating football proposed by André Villas-Boas), and that they are not ready to claim the head of Sampaoli despite the sluggish results, that does not prevent them from attacking certain players. Thursday, the public of the Velodrome moaned several times against Pau Lopez, who respected the coach’s instruction to revive short and calm, at the end of the match against Lazio, when the score was 2-2.
Sunday is the whole stadium that booed the Gerson exit at the hour mark during OM-Metz. A huge bronca that must make the Brazilian midfielder, recruited 20.5 million euros last summer, understand that he does too little in the field. Ligue 1 is much more complicated than Brasileiro, especially for an axial midfielder, and OM may have been wrong by investing so much in a player who had already failed at Roma …
? The “haven of peace” of the RLD Center
Between the two OM matches, we were able to go for the first time to the Robert Louis-Dreyfus training center of the Marseille club. La Commanderie is located in the 12th arrondissement, to the east of the city, 35 minutes by car (30 euros by Uber, passage at the toll included). Marseille is in fact the 9th largest city in terms of surface area in Metropolitan France (240,000 km2) and “ we are a million in Marseille, we are not all in the city center », Remarks Morad, our driver on the way out, who even has the right to enter the parking lot of the center to drop us off just in front of the press building.
The RLD Center is a large sports area, surrounded by vegetation. ” A haven of peace “, As described by one of my colleagues delighted to discover the place of training of OM (while he is” supporter “of PSG). We are far from the invasion of the training center by supporters in January 2021, to oust Jacques-Henri Eyraud from the management of OM. Moreover, at the entrance to the RLC Center, the cypresses have come back to life.
“Match at 1pm: match without flavor”, really? It seems to me rather lively at the Vélodrome. #OMFCM
And it will always be 10 times better than a Real Madrid UCL match at 6:45 p.m., @siniecko… pic.twitter.com/Ec4ldjeSvT
— JS Ground-Tran (@JS_Ground) November 7, 2021
Read also: The Velodrome as you’ve never seen it