After an exciting start to the season, OM, which remains on four games without a win, seems to have lost the winning formula. Explanations.
In Marseille more than elsewhere, the truth of one day is never that of the next day. And after a more than exciting start to the season, OM found themselves running out of fuel with a series of four games without a single victory, punctuated by a tactical mixture offered against Lille (0-2) on Sunday at Pierre-Mauroy, as part of the 9th day.
OM conqueror, then OM hesitant
While supporters have dreamed of being able to compete for the Ligue 1 title at Paris Saint-Germain for a while, the Marseille team is only fifth in the standings before the international break. With, of course, a late match, but against Nice, dashing third in the championship which had already caused enormous problems for Jorge Sampaoli’s team at the end of August before the meeting was stopped and then postponed.
There was the conquering OM, which tamed Saint-Etienne (3-1) at the Vélodrome, Monaco (2-0) at Louis-II and Rennes (2-0) during a day marked by the tribute to René Maleville. And OM hesitant, unable to find a solution against Angers (0-0), Lens (2-3), Galatasaray (0-0) and therefore Lille.
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How to explain these two faces? First of all, the European Cup did not do that good to the Marseillais. Whether in the heads, or in the legs.
One game every three days, the start of trouble
In mid-September, the first day of the group stage of the Europa League began the poor Marseille series. On the lawn of Lokomotiv Moscow (1-1), OM dominated their Russian opponent in a very good way, but he was unfortunately caught in the last seconds, thus paying for his cruel lack of efficiency.
A first hard blow, quickly forgotten thanks to the victory against Rennes who showed nothing for 90 minutes the following weekend.
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But this first chain of two matches in three days hurt Marseille organizations, even more for some players like Gerson, a Brazilian neo-international who did not have full summer preparation. And it is no coincidence that OM then failed to find the loophole on the Angers lawn (0-0), especially since several important players like Payet and Milik were missing. call. On this side, the international break should do good to the men of Sampaoli.
Sampaoli has its share of responsibility
The Argentinian technician is also no stranger to the period of turbulence experienced by the Olympian club. Its hybrid system with three defenders has certainly proven its worth, and the objective is not to question it, but the use of the players has something to question. Sampaoli never renews the same starting XI from one match to another: this favors the recovery of his men, but certainly not the fluidity of the game and the creation of automatisms in a team that has been largely reworked this summer.
And some players, in addition to alternating between an incumbent role and a replacement, are carried around to different positions. Valentin Rongier is the perfect example of this, even if the former Nantes resident for the moment manages to pull out of the game. Luan Peres, positioned as the left piston at Pierre-Mauroy, also illustrates these failed tactical choices by Sampaoli, who did not t was certainly not helped by the injuries of several executives like Payet, Milik or Kamara.
The bench brings almost nothing
In his changes, whether in terms of composition or during the match, Sampaoli is therefore not very inspired compared to this summer. And this can also be explained by the incessant turnover of the Argentinian.
De la Fuente, so attractive at the start of the season, for example brings almost nothing more when he comes into play. The player trained in La Masia is certainly still in apprenticeship, like Gueye and… Luis Henrique, catastrophic in Angers before d ‘enter without any conviction against Lens and Lille, but the supporters are entitled to expect more.
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An attitude problem? Time will tell us. The same goes for Harit, author of successful debuts against Monaco, Moscow and Rennes – against whom he scored his first goal – before declining. Another player whose summer preparation was not optimal, yet another player forced in spite of himself to alternate between chasuble and titular tunic depending on the physical form of Payet. Sampaoli will undoubtedly take advantage of the truce to re-mobilize his troops, and they need it, mentally and physically.
The adversaries have learned the lesson
The Argentine technician will also have to question himself. If its system and its animation, both offensive and defensive, proved their worth at the start of the season, the opponents have now learned the lesson. And when the latter inflict on OM the same pressing that Sampaoli asks his players to perform, the task quickly becomes complicated with big defensive errors, as against Lens on the opener.
The meeting against the Northerners remains apart as it could have turned in one direction or the other, but Franck Haise nevertheless won the coaches’ duel. His tactical organization in the midfield, ideal to cut the circuits of axial passes of the Marseillais, paid off.
By also preventing the Olympians from using the width, they were forced to rely on the individual exploits of Payet and Ünder. See you on Sunday October 17 at the Vélodrome, opposite Lorient, to see if the truce has borne fruit.