Olympique Marseille

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Champions League

Round Grp D (3)

2022-10-04 17:45:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2022/2023

Olympique Marseille

In


Pau Lopez (gk) (Roma); Cengiz Under (att) (Roma); Matteo Guendouzi (mid) (Arsenal); Luis Suarez (att) (Granada); Arek Milik (att) (Napoli); Jonathan Clauss (def) (Lens); Isaak Toure (def) (Le Havre); Chancel Mbemba (def) (Porto); Ruben Blanco (gk) (Celta, loan)

Out


Luan Peres (r)(def) (Fenerbahce); Lucas Perrin (def) (Strasbourg); Boubacar Kamara (r)(def) (Aston Villa); Steve Mandanda (sp)(gk) (Rennes); Luis Henrique (mid) (Botafogo); Nemanja Radonjic (mid) (Torino);

Nothing ever seems to be straightforward with Marseille, who managed to make life difficult for themselves this season by parting company with head coach Jorge Sampaoli in the midst of pre-season training. Igor Tudor has been hastily appointed as their new manager after an impressive spell in Serie A. These background issues, though, have made fans jumpy about the new season. What they have seen from their team in pre-season matches has done little to assure them. They might have picked up a 1-1 draw with Real Betis, but they also suffered humiliating defeats against English Championship sides Norwich and Middlesbrough in recent weeks. Such setbacks have been overcome by OM in recent years but there is a sense that this is a squad that is rudderless at present. The pre-season transfer campaign for Marseille has also been frustratingly slow. Duje Caleta-Car is a player widely expected to depart, yet he remains on the books. Similarly, young attacker Bamba Dieng is a player there has been much noise about only for nothing to happen. This has also been the case with incomings. Alexis Sanchez and Nuno Tavares are both linked with moves to the club but they are not over the line days before the season begins. OM have conducted some nice business to make loans permanent for four players, including Matteo Guendouzi, Cengiz Under and Arek Milik, while the arrival of Jonathan Clauss from Lens is a nice fit for this side. Equally, young centre-back Isaak Toure is a good pick up to replace Boubacar Kamara, who moved to Aston Villa in the summer for nothing. Certainly, selling has been a problem for OM, who have seen players like Kamara and Steve Mandanda go for nothing, meaning they have limited investment opportunities. Dimitri Payet is set to be made the centrepiece of the team once again, while the midfield looks in a strong state with Gerson and Guendouzi at its heart. Defensively, though, OM clearly have issues having lost Kamara and Caleta-Car also likely to go. Chancel Mbemba has arrived, but they look soft at the heart of their backline and even in goal Pau Lopez was not overly convincing last season.

Target


Marseille are chasing the Champions League again, but they face a difficult transition to another new manager. With the fans restless, their efforts could easily be undermined.

Season Review
2020/2021

№5: Olympique Marseille

Marseille overperformed under Andre Villas-Boas in 2019-20 as they finished second in Ligue 1, and they were unable to repeat that trick this time around, instead coming in fifth to secure a Europa League berth next term. Given the limited investment in the squad, which was already rather thin, and the packed schedule that the club faced, it should be no surprise that they found the going difficult in the early months. Indeed, they broke the record for Champions League defeats in succession, which was humiliating, but at least they impressed in the league, grinding out victories as they did last season. When the results in Ligue 1 stopped coming, though, the tension ratcheted up and ultimately Villas-Boas quit in January over the signing of Olivier Ntcham a day after the training ground had been stormed by fans. New life was brought into the side by Jorge Sampaoli, which bodes well for next season. He lost just two of the 11 games he oversaw. OM were much more direct and more energetic in their play. Florian Thauvin will depart, but his influence was not as significant last term as he would have wished, with Dimitri Payet important but Arek Milik, who joined in January, absolutely key. Marseille’s most important work this summer will be keeping the Poland striker, but after finishing joint top scorer with 10 goals in 16 games, that promises to be a challenge. Meanwhile, there will be a midfield overhaul, with too many players not contributing enough in that area, including Michael Cuisance, while Boubacar Kamara is their most sellable asset after another strong campaign. Valentin Rongier was quietly excellent. In defence, too, there will be changes. Pol Lirola is a loan player Marseille will seek to keep as he brought much needed dynamism out wide, which would surely have been more effective had Jordan Amavi been fit. In the centre, meanwhile, Duje Caleta-Car was the star man, while Alvaro Gonzalez was often hot headed. Long-time first-choice goalkeeper Steve Mandanda had a mediocre campaign. If Marseille are invested in smartly, they could make a big stride in the summer. The raw materials for a good team are there, but it needs help to bring it together.


Player of the Season: Dimitri Payet

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