the metamorphosis of OM to be confirmed in the Champions League

the metamorphosis of OM to be confirmed in the Champions League

The mistral may be blowing with all its might on the Old Port, but it will not be able to dissipate the sweet perfume that perfumes the Marseille city, this Tuesday, September 13. That of a great European evening, those which Marseille loves. And for good reason, at 9 p.m., OM receives Eintracht Frankfurt, the last winner of the Europa League, for its second Champions League match of the season, the first at home.

It will also be a reunion expected between the Marseille public and the cup with big ears, since the matches were behind closed doors during OM’s last participation in 2020-2021, because of the Covid-19. It has thus been almost nine years since the Vélodrome last roared in C1, and a match against Borussia Dortmund on December 11, 2013. Impatient, the sky and white people are too because OM are making the best start of their season. league history. Results to extend on the European scene.

Last Wednesday, for their entry into the competition on the lawn of the ogre of the group, Tottenham, the Olympians convinced, despite the 2-0 defeat. Spurs coach Antonio Conte did not fail to underline the quality of the Marseillais: “OM are an excellent team, physically very strong, with good markings, duels everywhere on the pitch. In the first half, we had difficulties, especially in the duels.”

And the Italian strategist is far from the only opponent impressed by OM at the start of the season. Saturday, after the defeat of his team at the Vélodrome (2-1), Lille coach Paulo Fonseca had the same speech: “Playing against OM is different. Marseille is a very tough team to play with incredible players. (…) Did you see how impossible it was to pass them to eleven against eleven, at Tottenham? my experience in Serie A, all the teams play like that. Here, in France, there is only OM”. Praises that no one would have suspected hearing at the start of the season, when Igor Tudor was whistled by part of the public even before the first official game.

But since then, the Croatian technician, who arrived to replace Jorge Sampaoli during the summer, has put his mark on Olympian play. The direct, offensive and combative style of play advocated by Tudor, which fits perfectly with the “right to the goal” dear to OM, won over the players and the public. And proved itself in Ligue 1 with six wins for a draw, the best defense in France and a historic start for the club in the league.

It is an understatement to say that the vice-champions of France have come a long way. The departure of Jorge Sampaoli at the start of the summer was indeed linked to the Argentinian’s concerns over the club’s lack of ambitions in the transfer window. Doubts that Pablo Longoria has raised, by recruiting the Chilean star Alexis Sanchez, but also a slew of experienced players (Chancel Mbemba, Eric Bailly, Jordan Veretout, Jonathan Clauss), and successful bets so far (Nuno Tavares, Luis Suarez). Despite the downsizing, the Marseille workforce has therefore gained in quantity and quality.

So that at the time of an overloaded calendar, Igor Tudor can rely on a workforce provided. Faced with Lille, he has thus largely reorganized his eleven, with success. The repeated presence of Dimitri Payet on the bench is almost no longer felt, where OM were totally dependent on it last season. Returning to Arsenal, William Saliba was also quickly forgotten, thanks to the contribution of solid new Marseille defenders, including the rocks Mbemba and Bailly.

On the pitch, OM de Tudor is therefore having a dream start to the season. This has not escaped the notice of the supporters, as evidenced by the home games, which were all sold out. Tuesday evening, the atmosphere will undoubtedly be even more electric, with the arrival of 3,300 German supporters, in a context of fears over the possible arrival of hooligans who follow the movements of Frankfurt, a week after the events in Nice. On the eve of the match, midfielder Mattéo Guendouzi also called for calm: “It is expected by the supporters, this return to C1 at the Vélodrome, I have full confidence in them. I hope there will be no excesses”.

“The first match of C1 gave us a lot of confidence despite the result, we were able to put Tottenham, a very great European team, in difficulty. We are confident.”

Matteo Guendouzi

at a press conference

On the lawn, OM will also have to enforce their law, facing an Eintracht formation slapped 3-0 at home by Sporting Lisbon last week. But if OM deliver a performance consistent with their start to the season, they should start their European campaign in the right direction. That’s what this match is all about: confirming the promises of the end of summer, to afford the right to dream in the spring.“There will be a lot of games left afterwards. It will be important, but if we win, we won’t qualify. And if we lose, we won’t be eliminated”, relativizes Matteo Guendouzi. Be careful though because we know, in Marseille, the mistral can quickly turn.

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