Arrived in Marseille at the beginning of July to take over from Jorge Sampaoli, Igor Tudor is already evolving in troubled waters on the Old Port. Between a locker room and a skeptical public, his style of play, unlike that of his predecessor, is struggling to emerge. The season has not yet started and the Marseille ship is already rocking. Stop the mutiny.
In a single unofficial match at the Vélodrome, Igor Tudor has already managed to offer himself what Jorge Sampaoli never had the luxury of experiencing at OM: a bronca stronger than the Mistral. Sometimes called into question during his year and a half in Marseille, the Argentinian has always been able to raise the bar to avoid the storm. Arrived on July 4 to take over from him, Igor Tudor is having a lot more trouble and is heading straight for a particularly early hurricane. The season has not yet started that the place of the Croatian technician on the Marseille bench is already questioned by a public which made him understand after the recent defeat against Milan, but also by a locker room not really seduced.
A bottom of the game reduced to nothing
In six friendly matches, OM have only won once, against the neighbor of Marignane Gignac, resident of N2 (4-1). The rest of the balance sheet quickly cools the expectations of the Marseille people, with three defeats and a draw in four games against Norwich (0-3), Middlesbrough (0-3), Betis (1-1) and Milan (0-2 ), so. Worse still than the anecdotal results of these preparation matches, it is the way that freezes the atmosphere at the Commanderie. If it is stupid to rely on these summer friendlies to draw conclusions on the outcome of the coming season, the Marseillais have not found any branch to hang on to during these meetings.
In their defense, going from the hyper possession game of Sampaoli to the all-terrain pressing of Tudor, who willingly abandons the ball, is not done in a day. At the time of replacing his coach who left by surprise at the beginning of the summer, the president Pablo Longoria should perhaps have taken this point into account, because not only the locker room was affected by the departure of the Argentinian, but he must also do the exact opposite of what he has been asked to do for a year and a half. Three months into a new Champions League campaign, the choice of Tudor thus destroyed all the foundations on which OM had begun to rebuild successfully.
And that’s not all. What also weakens the Olympian edifice are the methods of the new Croatian site manager. The entourage of the players begins to leak the methods of Tudor, the type to return to the bacon of his troops without taking too many tweezers. Since his arrival, the new boss of OM would have taken the cabbage with Jordan Amavi, Gerson and Cengiz Ünder. For the moment calmly seated on the bench, Bamba Dieng could also come out of his hinges. Coming into play in the first friendly match of the season, the Senegalese scored a hat-trick. Since ? Almost nothing. The African champion no longer even takes part in the tactical set-up. Tudor doesn’t like his profile and blames him for being overweight.
Dieng, symbol of misunderstanding
The Dieng case – who has made it known that he intends to stay and win at OM – alone symbolizes the misunderstanding that reigns between the coach and his locker room, but also his public. In this emerging conflict, supporters are almost unanimously behind their attacker, and #TudorOut are flourishing on social networks. Luckily for him, Tudor has some backers. “We have a new coach, a new system. Everything is not done in a day. We will do the best. We will see what it gives. We follow the guidelines. (…) You have to trust him, otherwise it will be complicated » , pleaded Jonathan Clauss after the defeat against Milan. The former Lensois then continued: “We can’t shoot to the right and he to the left, otherwise we won’t advance. We have to trust him and believe in his words. Pull in the same direction. »
Even Gerson came to his aid on Twitter after their altercation, which isn’t enough to calm things down. The attitude of Tudor, already at the origin of the early departure of his ephemeral deputy Mauro Camoranesi, no longer works. According Provence, the locker room executives, led by Dimitri Payet, would have requested a meeting with the president and the coach to smooth things over. The main request does not concern the game plan, which on paper corresponds word for word to the motto of the club, but on the lack of pedagogy of Igor Tudor. After the defeat against Norwich, the Croatian technician gave some clues about a beginning that would be complicated: “We work very hard. I’m the kind of coach who likes to do big pre-season preparations to reap the benefits later.
After the one against Milan, the Croatian jukebox changed discs: “It’s not a problem of preparation, it’s a problem of level. We have to be realistic: there is a gap between the two teams. We were a little better in the second half, but we weren’t ready to face this kind of team. » Not enough to reassure Marseille supporters a week before the launch of Ligue 1 and a month before a Champions League where OM will face precisely this kind of team. If he wants to leave a better mark than his five Croatian predecessors on the OM bench (Ivan Marković, Tomislav Ivić, Luka Peruzović, Josip Skoblar and Zoran Vujović), Igor Tudor will have to quickly raise the bar. A victory against Reims on Sunday, from the first day of L1, would give him some respite.
By Adrien Hémard-Dohain