Football Tactics for Beginners: The Makelele Role

Very rarely are football terms named after the footballers themselves, one example is of course the famousCruyff turn,but the most famous of our generation is “The Makelele Role”. ...

Latest Posts

The Power of Football in Politics and Society

Football, and footballers, have long been stuck with a bad reputation. Hooliganism colours many people’s opinions of the sport just as much as the...

Mourinho’s return to form makes Spurs Premier League contenders

When any club hires Jose Mourinho, they do it to win trophies. Daniel Levy had the same expectation when he appointed the Special One...

A look at Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics at Leeds United

Leeds achieved the perfect start in their comeback season to the Premier League. Leeds’ amazing beginning of the season has been mostly because of...

PSG 1: 2 Man Utd- Tactical Analysis

In this analysis, we will be looking at the tactics of Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Thomas Tuchel in PSG and Man United's most recent...

Man United’s possible lineup against Chelsea based on the new and exciting back 3 formation used in the PSG victory

Manchester United's victory against PSG came after a tumultuous start to the season with questions already being raised over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's eligibility to...

Serie A’s Last Outsiders Part 1: Hellas Verona, 1984/1985

With the 2020–2021 Serie A underway, there is a general sense of uncertainty about a league that has fallen from the heights of its...

Have Opponents Got Used To Liverpool’s 4-3-3 Formation This Season

Liverpool are conceding goals at an alarming rate when you consider that they only conceded 33 Premier League goals throughout last season’s title-winning campaign....

Football Books

Foul- The Beautiful Game, An Ugly Truth [Book Excerpt]

The clip-clop of football boot studs on concrete echoed through the tunnel over the hum of distant crowd noise. A drenched team of players...

Best Football Analytics Books

We have compiled a list of the best football analytics books for the casual football fan. Football analytics and data science/machine learning in general...

The Best Football Books of 2019

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2020, we have compiled a list of the best...

The Best Football Books of 2018

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2019, we have compiled a list of the best...

5 Books every Soccer fan needs to read before the FIFA World Cup 2018

The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner and it's the perfect time to brush up your history and facts about the World...

The ironic situation at Olympique de Marseille

Since the American Businessman, Frank McCourt bought the club in 2016, and despite a Europa League final two years ago, OM has failed to finish in a UCL spot for three years straight. They finally did it thanks to a competitive team and a great manager. In the wake of this success, the sporting director left the club, the manager was about to leave but ended up signing an extension, and the fans are sending threats to the board while asking the owner to leave.

2016 – 2017 Season

In the summer of 2016, after numerous years of failure, both on and off the pitch, and as Marcelo Bielsa‘s season felt more like a last stand, Olympique de Marseille sold many of its key players, including keeper Steve Mandanda who served the club for 8 years and Michy Batshuayi for a record €40M. In October 2016, ex-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt bought Olympique de Marseille for €45M. It was time for a new era.

McCourt named Jacques-Henri Eyraud as the president who appointed Rudi Garcia as the manager and Andoni Zubizarreta as the sporting director. Those were great moves, considering Garcia was considered one of the best French coaches at that time, thanks to his Ligue 1 title with LOSC and his spell at AS Roma. Zubizarreta was known as the Barça director who brought Neymar, the biggest transfer deal in football history so far. More than the big names, McCourt promised a ~€200M investment to get the club back into UCL, even competing with PSG. Unrealistic, but that’s what any new owner would say.

The 2016/2017 season had already started, and obviously the goal wasn’t to get a 2nd place in Ligue 1 right away (NB: 1st and 2nd place are the qualification for UCL group stage, 3rd place is qualification for UCL preliminary round). Rudi Garcia’s first game was against PSG where he managed to get a draw. OM ended the season at 5th place, qualified for Europa League third qualifying round, as Dimitri Payet made his comeback to the club after a promising but ultimately bitter experience at West Ham United.

2017 – 2018

The goal now is to qualify for the Champions League. Bonus point for having a good run in EL. For that, the club brought back Steve Mandanda and bought experienced Brazilian Luiz Gustavo. That year turned out to be a roller-coaster. After Patrice Evra’s infamous kick to a fan during the group stage, everyone thought this would be another long and ugly season for OM. Rudi Garcia’s team being unable to beat any of their direct rivals in Ligue 1 didn’t help either. Everyone was wrong. The quarter-final against RB Leipzig will stay in memory for a long time for all the OM fans. Many goals scored, including this stunning goal by Payet and a last-second goal from fans’ favorite Japanese defender Hiroki Sakai meant that Marseille moved onto the semi-finals.

They did it again in semi-finals. For the first time since AS Monaco and OM in 2004, a French club was going to play a final in a European competition. Of course, they didn’t stand a chance against the experienced Atlético players who capitalized on major mistakes from OM. But what was important wasn’t so much the result, as it was the recognition. After one complete season, McCourt’s OM went to a European final. But winning the Europa League was never a goal. The goal was to get back to UCL. They failed, ending 1 point behind 3rd place from rival Olympique Lyonnais. One could argue their extremely long season (from 3rd qualifying round to final in the Europa League) didn’t help.

2018 – 2019

2018/2019 was important, as failing to get to UCL now would be a blow to McCourt’s project. But it’s OM, and if you’re familiar with the club, you can predict exactly what happened. They failed miserably. Kevin Strootman’s experience wasn’t enough, and OM finished at 5th place after going out early in Europa League. The euphoria from the previous season was gone and the club had to become more realistic. Eyraud stepped in to bring some pragmatism. Rudi Garcia left his place to André Villas-Boas.

2019 – today

With FFP being more aggressive with the club, AVB couldn’t spend blindly. He did a smart job along with Zubizarreta, bringing Argentinian Darío Benedetto, Villareal’s Álvaro González on loan, and Valentin Rongier as Florian Thauvin was out for the season – and so were his 15-20 goals he regularly scores each season. Regarding the club project, 2019/2020 was very much a last chance to succeed. FFP will have them sell many players at the end of the season, and getting a UCL spot next season would be much harder.

The season ended early (28 games played out of 38) due to coronavirus pandemic and OM finished at 2nd place, qualified for the UCL. AVB was praised by the fans, by the press, and even by his board despite some unsavory incidents during the season. He had a 2-year contract and was set to adjust the team in order to comply with FFP and compete in UCL next season.

Finally, OM was back in the UCL, and the future wasn’t so dark anymore.

In May, president JHE announced that sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta left the club. AVB, who had made it clear that he wanted to work with Zubizarreta, went back to Portugal after a meeting with the president. In a few weeks, the club went from being qualified to UCL to not being sure who their manager will be next season. Following this announcement, Eyraud explained that the club will have to sell players for ~€60M. Fans went berserk over this announcement, asking for Eyraud (and owner Frank McCourt) to leave the club. They’re blaming them for the poor financial state of the club, as well as the decision to sell the players.

Finally, OM was back in the UCL, but the future still remained dark.

Today – ???

President JHE made it clear that the club had to sell players. He made it clear even before the whole AVB drama. Although. AVB confirmed that he would be continuing on, but how do you compete in UCL and in the League with a significantly weaker team?
Rumors of Saudi business man Alwaleed Bin Talal being interested in the club only add to the confusion, as his cousin Mohammed bin Salman has made Newcastle United his target.

This post first appeared on r/soccer by u/HappyLaifu

Related

The Power of Football in Politics and Society

Football, and footballers, have long been stuck with a bad reputation. Hooliganism colours many people’s opinions of the sport just as much as the...

Mourinho’s return to form makes Spurs Premier League contenders

When any club hires Jose Mourinho, they do it to win trophies. Daniel Levy had the same expectation when he appointed the Special One...

How the signing of Osimhen changed Gattuso’s approach

Napoli has started this season in an incredible manner. Unfortunately, Napoli didn’t show up to the Juventus game, which meant they would receive a...

A look at Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics at Leeds United

Leeds achieved the perfect start in their comeback season to the Premier League. Leeds’ amazing beginning of the season has been mostly because of...

PSG 1: 2 Man Utd- Tactical Analysis

In this analysis, we will be looking at the tactics of Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Thomas Tuchel in PSG and Man United's most recent...

Man United’s possible lineup against Chelsea based on the new and exciting back 3 formation used in the PSG victory

Manchester United's victory against PSG came after a tumultuous start to the season with questions already being raised over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's eligibility to...

Serie A’s Last Outsiders Part 1: Hellas Verona, 1984/1985

With the 2020–2021 Serie A underway, there is a general sense of uncertainty about a league that has fallen from the heights of its...

Have Opponents Got Used To Liverpool’s 4-3-3 Formation This Season

Liverpool are conceding goals at an alarming rate when you consider that they only conceded 33 Premier League goals throughout last season’s title-winning campaign....

A brief history of the footballing aesthetic (and its gradual death)

The death of football at its most beautiful peak, is nigh ‘Football is the beautiful game.’ A statement we have heard since childhood. Words which...

Latest Posts

The Power of Football in Politics and Society

Football, and footballers, have long been stuck with a bad reputation. Hooliganism colours many people’s opinions of the sport just as much as the...

Mourinho’s return to form makes Spurs Premier League contenders

When any club hires Jose Mourinho, they do it to win trophies. Daniel Levy had the same expectation when he appointed the Special One...

Barcelona plot final bid to bring Premier League star to Camp Nou in January

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:'SW9InB3wQvFgzlegD2mLlQ',sig:'KGb3mzJds9Dl0oHdVay70nKo-0sGTXn0i9QWapQLbMM=',w:'594px',h:'420px',items:'1184273934',caption: true ,tld:'com',is360: false })}); According to the English outlet, Mirror, Barcelona are ready to make one last offer in order to...

How the signing of Osimhen changed Gattuso’s approach

Napoli has started this season in an incredible manner. Unfortunately, Napoli didn’t show up to the Juventus game, which meant they would receive a...

Don't Miss

The long & bizarre history behind why Red Bull chose Leipzig as the hub for their football club

When Red Bull tried to set foot into German football for the first time, they initially tried to use the same method they had...

Dimples, Kangaroos and Bohemians

One of the main tram routes in Prague is the 22. This goes all the way from Bíla Hora, the site of one of...

FC Start and The Death Match

“Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we must not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived.” – John...

Hungary – The Golden Team that never quite made it.

When you look back at the history of past World Cup winners and European Championship winners the usual names by in large stand out....

Remembering Arthur Wharton: The First Black Professional Footballer

In an interview from 1888, Arthur Wharton recalled overhearing a conversation between two fellow track competitors some years before. “Who’s he,” one rhetorically asked,...

Football History

The Football match which started a war

Plenty of football stadiums have statues standing outside of them. There's strange one here and there (Michael Jackson formerly outside Craven Cottage springs to...

The long & bizarre history behind why Red Bull chose Leipzig as the hub for their football club

When Red Bull tried to set foot into German football for the first time, they initially tried to use the same method they had...

The Forgotten story of the Basque in South America

This article is sourced from a string of Twitter posts by Impedimento, translated by the author.Exactly 80 years ago, a French steamer called SS...

Serie A’s Last Outsiders Part 1: Hellas Verona, 1984/1985

With the 2020–2021 Serie A underway, there is a general sense of uncertainty about a league that has fallen from the heights of its...

Football And Alcohol

“When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.”Football and booze go a long long way back, in...