Monday's tackle - Olympic Doctor, Mister Marseille

Since 2012 and their success in the Coupe de la Ligue thanks to a goal from the fantastic Brandão, Olympique de Marseille have not won a single title

Monday's tackle - Olympic Doctor, Mister Marseille

Since 2012 and their success in the Coupe de la Ligue thanks to a goal from the fantastic Brandão, Olympique de Marseille have not won a single title. An anomaly for a club of this size which never ceases to accumulate disappointments. The excuse of the arrival of the Qatari ogre at the helm of Paris Saint-Germain is not even valid: for ten years, Bordeaux, Saint-Étienne, Rennes, Strasbourg, Nantes or even Guingamp have won a title. And it will probably not be this year that OM will reopen their trophy cabinet, the fault of yet another improbable elimination in the Coupe de France against Annecy on penalties.

Despite chronic instability, the era started two years ago by Pablo Longoria has brought a real breath of fresh air. We have seen recruits of international caliber, such as Alexis Sanchez and Chancel Mbemba, land on the Canebière. In terms of points, Igor Tudor even broke Ligue 1 split time records ahead of Marcelo Bielsa, Eric Gerets and Didier Deschamps. The game offered is often entertaining, intense and spectacular. OM have become competitive again and will no doubt even clinch their qualification for the Champions League again with flying colors. The reaction of pride in Rennes on Sunday evening proved it. So how do you explain these old demons resurfacing?

��️ Igor Tudor: "We're having a fantastic season. The French Cup is like that and you can see it, apart from Lyon the big ones came out, and they're still 10th." The Marseille coach looks back on the two consecutive defeats of his players and in particular that in the Coupe de France.

This club is very unique in France, and the example of Igor Tudor is striking. While he had not led a single official match on the Marseille bench, the Croatian coach was whistled by a good part of the Vélodrome during the opening of Ligue 1. The fault of a jagged preparation , but above all to an incredible impatience where the slightest spark can ignite everything. The Marseillais live everything with passion, in victory and especially in defeat. The players do not escape this particular atmosphere, and know themselves on an ejection seat at any time. Do they play accordingly with this fear that paralyzes them in key moments?

As for results, it's hard to forgive when golden opportunities, like the Coupe de France 2023, arise. After taking the club out of the capital in the round of 16 after a high-level match, Igor Tudor's men made a fool of themselves against Annecy, a modest team from the soft underbelly of Ligue 2. The Savoyards are added to the long lunar list of the executioners of the Phocaeans who are Carquefou, Andrézieux, Quevilly or even Canet-en-Roussillon. Since the beginning of this century, OM have been knocked out ten times by lower division teams.

The Olympians cherished the sweet dream of a league and cup double, they were quickly brought back to earth by Annecy but also by PSG, who took their revenge in Ligue 1 with a merciless Kylian Mbappé. Whether David or Goliath, in the long run Olympique de Marseille always ends up losing. This was also seen in the Champions League this season where despite an affordable group on paper, Dimitri Payet and his family finished last after an incredible scenario on the last day.

This OM will no doubt still be slapped and won't win a title anytime soon, but the path taken for several months seems to be the right one. On paper, the team built by the Marseille leaders looks good. Even in the middle of the season, OM were able this winter to attract Ruslan Malinovskyi, confirmed Serie A player, Azzedine Ounahi revelation of the last World Cup and Vitinha, announced hope of the Portuguese championship.

The foundations are there, all that remains is to lay the finishing touches. We cannot be lenient with its repeated failures in the Coupe de France or its monumental crashes in Europe, because such a titled club should not wear the dunce cap so much. It's up to Pablo Longoria and his staff to change mentalities and make Olympique de Marseille a team safe from hiccups.