The truth will not be known before the start of the championship but there are many concerns: defensive shortcomings, lack of realism, injury to incumbent goalkeeper Pau Lopez… The Tudor touch is struggling to imprint itself. And the discomfort is perceptible among the players: “We cannot, we, shoot to the right and he to the left, otherwise we will not advance. We have to trust him and believe in his words. Let’s pull in the same direction, ”launched defender Jonathan Clauss, the summer’s flagship rookie, after the defeat against Milan. A few days earlier, the hasty departure of deputy Mauro Camoranesi for « personal reasons », after barely a week in office, reinforced the questions of the summer.
Marseille is however coming out of a good season, with a second place in L1 synonymous with the Champions League. Enough to validate the decisions of President Pablo Longoria, the man who chose to appoint Jorge Sampaoli as coach. But the Argentinian coach, cooled by OM’s tight finances, preferred to leave the ship on July 1, once again opening a period of uncertainty at the club.
« We can’t shoot to the right and he to the left, otherwise we won’t move forward »
Longoria quickly rebounded by turning to the Italian Serie A and the Croatian Igor Tudor, a bold bet which he must now justify, after very turbulent first weeks. Inevitably, the rather light CV of the former defender of Juventus Turin, who only really succeeded in one season, his last with Hellas Verona, could quickly fuel the debate. Because Tudor’s previous experiences in Croatia, Greece, Turkey (Galatasaray) or already in Italy (Udinese) have been much less convincing.
To the Marseillais, who have not necessarily all followed the Italian championship diligently, the club president promised « a game of great personality, with heart, ambition, intensity ». Everything that Tudor achieved with Verona, in short… But he is struggling to decline in the Marseille city, for the moment.
While he advocates a deliberately attacking and aggressive game, his attack remained silent against Norwich and Middlesbrough, English second division clubs. And his defense, so solid under Sampaoli, was feverish, with 8 goals conceded in 5 matches. One of OM’s objectives is, however, to exist again at the best European level and in particular in the Champions League, after two ordeals in 2013 and 2020…
Ligue 1 is not an objective but an imperative, a new qualification in C1 being a quasi-economic obligation for OM, whose annual losses amount to tens of millions of euros. To achieve this, Tudor will rely on Gerson, who gained momentum throughout last season. The involvement of playing master Dimitri Payet will be a key issue, like that of Arkadiusz Milik, who has often suffered from Sampaoli’s tactical choices.