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Existing in Europe, click in Ligue 1, revives the ghosts: the many challenges of OM and Gasset


Highlights: Olympique de Marseille faces Shakhtar Donetsk in the second leg of the Europa League play-off (9 p.m., W9) Jean-Louis Gasset, the new coach, could not dream of a more beautiful baptism of fire. The last French club to reach the semi-final of a European Cup (elimination from the Europa Conference League against PSV Eindhoven in 2022) Marseille, second budget in Ligue 1 (€270 million), is in a sad 9th place.

With its new coach, the Olympian club is eagerly awaited on Thursday in the second leg of the Europa League play-off against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Fear in the city.

Thursday evening, Olympique de Marseille should not be missed.

Like always.

But a little more today in view of the current crisis.

With the volcanic reception at the Vélodrome of the Ukrainians of Shakhtar Donetsk in the return play-off (2-2 in the first leg) of the Europa League (9 p.m., W9), Jean-Louis Gasset, firefighter on duty presented Tuesday afternoon, could not finally dream of a more beautiful baptism of fire.

To discover

  • Schedule and results Europa League

  • Schedule and results Europa League Conference

A qualification for the round of 16 of a competition never won by a French club would launch the commando operation for the next three months and offer a (small) breather to a Marseille contingent on oxygen.

Between the European Cup and Ligue 1 between now and the end of the season, the challenges are numerous in the face of a catastrophic situation, but not impossible to remedy.

State of play.

Staying alive in the European Cup

If OM and its new staff want to create momentum and break with the ambient gloom, the European Cup evening on Thursday evening is shaping up to be the ideal meeting.

Opposite, Chakhtar, whose championship has been on hiatus for two months, is nothing like war lightning.

An observation which also prevails for the Marseille club, only winner of Thionville, National 3 club, in 2024. Far too thin for such an institution.

The last French club to reach the semi-final of a European Cup (elimination from the Europa Conference League against PSV Eindhoven in 2022), Olympique de Marseille has every interest in avoiding a new hiccup that the supporters, in anger after the appointment of the former Ivory Coast coach in place of Gennaro Gattuso, would find it difficult to forgive.

Read also: Results at half mast, new coach, disrupted sports management: OM, a monument to drift

We need to change the current dynamic and Jean-Louis is the ideal person to create a spark and make the season a success

 ,” declared Tuesday, in an expected communication game, Pablo Longoria.

Why did I accept OM



 ,” says Gasset, 70, who knows the importance of this first European meeting.

A qualification in the round of 16, with a Vélodrome behind its troops, would start something going.

Conversely, an elimination would further dampen a season which has already seen four technicians (Marcelino, Abardonado, Gattuso, Gasset), who have almost nothing in common.

A click in Ligue

1, and quickly

Three days after the European evening, OM will continue on Sunday with the reception of Montpellier during the 23rd day of the championship.

Here too, no calculation is possible when Samuel Gigot's band has not tasted success since... December 17 against Clermont (2-1).

An eternity.

And a nightmarish period which caused the departure of Gattuso, who left disillusioned, exhausted and above all without solution from his Marseille experience.

Since this victory, Marseille, second budget in Ligue 1 (€270 million), has moved backwards (5 draws and 3 defeats) and is in a sad 9th place.

8 points from 4th place, which can offer a ticket for the Champions League... and 16th, occupied by Nantes, play-offs.

But the weakness of our championship suggests some hope in the event of a positive series, hence the importance of negotiating the upcoming meetings (Montpellier, Clermont, Nantes, Rennes), before the shock against PSG on March 31 .

We need to find a more attractive place

,” points out Gasset, whose contract will end at the end of the season.

We don't ask for the impossible



Also read: Le Figaro editorial: “In football, the ball no longer spins”

A vital European place for the institution

Not seeing OM play in a European Cup next year is a reality.

Synonymous with fear and fear at all levels of Marseille management.

In a tense economic context, with a negotiation of TV rights which everyone knows will not offer 1 billion euros to French football, Pablo Longoria knows the importance of obtaining a continental ticket.

Since the arrival of Frank McCourt in 2016, the Marseille club has never appeared beyond 5th place (5th, 4th, 5th, 2nd, 5th, 2nd, 3rd).

Whether in terms of finances, project and attractiveness, European qualification remains vital for Marseille.

Reviving ghosts, finding a team

To succeed in raising his head, Jean-Louis Gasset, also affected by his failure in Ivory Coast, calls for “

sacred union


An element of language as old as time, but there are not many levers to activate for the former deputy of Laurent Blanc with the Blues or at PSG.

With a poorly constructed squad, between overrated players or lacking confidence, and unreplaced captains (Sanchez, Guendouzi, Payet), the new staff must make do with the means at hand and restart the machine.

There must be people who take leadership, others who take those who doubt a little higher, and it snowballs

 ,” he explains.



To have.

What about the attitude of Jonathan Clauss, crushed in the press by Medhi Benatia, advisor to the president, and one of the least bad Marseillais this season?

This team in distress must find life again.

The ghosts wake up.

The only condition to avoid a resounding fiasco.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2024-02-21

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