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Champions League: these five strong men of Tudor who carry OM


After 11 matches, Olympique de Marseille version Igor Tudor sees executives emerge in different positions.

A ship needs captains, mates and sailors to sail to its destination.

Olympique de Marseille, second in the Ligue 1 standings and undefeated after nine days (7 wins, 2 draws), sees a hierarchy taking shape under Igor Tudor.

Will the work finally bear fruit in the Champions League, this Tuesday (6:45 p.m.) against Sporting Portugal?

If so, it won't be without these five strong men emerging under the Croatian coach.

To discover

  • Champions League standings

  • Champions League fixtures and results

Jonathan Clauss, the stainless

With 892 minutes played (out of a possible 990), he is the player most used by Tudor this season.

And he also played a match and a half with the Blues at the end of September.

Jonathan Clauss, 30, will need a rest at some point.

But his hair-raising match last Friday in Angers (0-3, one goal, two assists), suggests that he still has something on his mind.


Clauss is an incredible player, but I knew it from the first training

," marveled Tudor after the game.

The right piston had then just played the match … on the left, in the absence of Nuno Tavares, suspended.

Suffice to say that OM do not regret the €7.5 million spent to snatch him from RC Lens this summer.

The tricolor international (6 selections) does not lack volume of play. He is technically easy and one of, if not the best centerer for Marseille.

Revealed late, the old Blood and Gold does not make waves.

He is also playing his ticket, more and more acquired, for the World Cup in Qatar.

I want to prove that I have the level for the France team

”, he declared in our columns less than two weeks ago.

He has at least proven to have the level for OM.

Chancel Mbemba, the rock

OM have only conceded five goals in nine Ligue 1 matches, and Chancel Mbemba has something to do with it.

This “

golden boy

”, as Igor Tudor described him, brings solidity and serenity to the Olympian rearguard.

He is "

a leader, a very important player for the team from all points of view

," added the Croatian.

Apart from the second period of Marseille-Lille, Tudor never did without Mbemba by choice.

He was imperial against Tottenham, until … a late tackle to prevent Heung-min Son from spinning in the 47th minute.

A mistake

”, by his own admission.

Logical red card which dragged his people down (2-0 defeat) and which deprived him of the reception of Frankfurt (0-1 defeat).

With his return, it is OM who find their bearings to receive Sporting.

In addition to his defensive reading, Mbemba, Congolese international (66 caps, 4 goals), showed the confidence and the audacity to project himself with the ball at his feet.

It was by overstepping his position, almost in the right-back position, that he obtained a penalty at the end of the match against Clermont (1-0).

The 28-year-old has 27 Champions League appearances.

The former Newcastle and Anderlecht player brings welcome experience to a group that is struggling to tame the European context.

Mattéo Guendouzi, the tightrope walker

Jorge Sampaoli praised his "

exceptional physical condition

", considering him

the "soul

" of the Marseille team last season.

He had then played 56 matches out of … 56, including 52 as a starter.

It is inconceivable to imagine OM without Mattéo Guendouzi, a 23-year-old midfielder.

His activity, his regularity, his desire to play forward, to attack the opponent, are qualities that Igor Tudor cannot do without either.

In 2021-22, Guendouzi was the second player in Ligue 1 in the number of forward passes (219) and the fourth in the number of fouls caused (84).


The best of Guendouzi with OM last season

However, there is room for improvement.

The former Lorient player weighs too little in the box.

He has no sense of goal and prefers to start from afar to impact in the last 20 meters.

The question of its positioning was posed to Tudor before the reception of Sporting.

If he plays lower, the team is more offensive but less balanced.

If he plays higher, the team has more balance but is less offensive

,” analyzed the Croatian.

One thing is certain: he will play against Sporting, he who has still not missed a single match since joining the club in the summer of 2021.

Valentin Rongier, the good Samaritan

It's the soldier.

The loyal.

It does not make children dream, but it is no less important.

Valentin Rongier is, with Mattéo Guendouzi, the lungs of the Marseille game.

He gives me everything: intelligence, racing, offensive and defensive quality,

delighted Igor Tudor in early September.

In my opinion, he's a bit underestimated by the public and the media.

I think he is very strong.

It's the confidence, but also the captain's armband that Tudor gave him at the start of the season.


It's a source of great pride, but not something I was looking for

," shyly thanked the 27-year-old defensive midfielder.

If his teammates can let go offensively, it's because Rongier plays the defensive backer for the Phocaeans.


It's a lot of good to know that we can project ourselves because he is there to do the work in the shadows

", thanked Jonathan Clauss.

The product of the Nantes formation was rewarded two weeks ago: a contract extension of two seasons, that is until June 2026. Enough to reinforce his status as a pillar on the Old Port.

Amine Harit, the detonator

The four players mentioned above are part of the top 7 Marseille players most used by Tudor this season.

In this ranking, Amine Harit is only 17th.

But OM cannot do without the one already on loan from Schalke 04 last season, and whose loan was only renewed on September 1.

His technical quality and his ability to eliminate one-on-one ranked him among the Olympians could turn a match upside down.

This is what could have happened against Frankfurt (0-1 defeat), where he showed more in half an hour than Dimitri Payet, Gerson and Alexis Sanchez, all three holders in attack.

Amine Harit against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League on September 13, 2022. Norbert Scanella / Panoramic

He had already created a goal on counter-attack to equalize against Lille, on September 10 (2-1 victory), and again ignited the game last Friday, after entering in the 67th minute at Angers (0-3 victory).

The random states of form of Gerson and Payet suggest that Harit will take the lead in this month of October.

To the point, perhaps, for the 25-year-old Moroccan, to turn into a lethal weapon for OM Tudor.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2022-10-03

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