Crisis at Olympique de Marseille: the club announces the departure of Marcelino, its coach, after only seven matches

His fall took place in barely twenty-four hours

Crisis at Olympique de Marseille: the club announces the departure of Marcelino, its coach, after only seven matches

His fall took place in barely twenty-four hours. In a press release published on good conditions for the function for which they were hired.

In the same text, the club argues that it was “the events of September 18”, namely a stormy meeting between the management of OM and its supporters, which led to the departure of the 58-year-old technician. Referring to a “deplorable situation”, Olympique de Marseille said it was “extremely disappointed to have to face the departure of a coach and technical staff, who only arrived in Marseille on June 23 and were fully committed to the club, for reasons non-sporting reasons”.

Arriving in Bouches-du-Rhône less than three months ago, Marcelino was quickly criticized by Marseille supporters and only lasted seven matches on the bench. After the surprise elimination of OM against the Greek club Panathinaikos during the third preliminary round of the Champions League on August 16, the Spaniard – although undefeated in five league games and currently ranked 4th – did not failed to impose his style of play in Ligue 1.

The failure of Pablo Longoria

His rational football, based on a balance between the lines, seemed hardly compatible with the aspirations of a club which loves nothing less than madness. His academicism, honed in around ten major Spanish clubs, had nothing to ignite supporters capable of going en masse to the airport to welcome, with smoke bombs and songs, a player from the English second division like Iliman NDiaye.

Since his arrival, the coach has repeated that he is short of days to implement his new game plan and prove that his method, based on an immutable 4-4-2 system and zone defense, is the right one to bring back lastingly the Marseille club in the elite of French football.

Before him, in June, Igor Tudor, the Croatian coach adept at all-terrain pressing and individual marking requiring the sacrifice of players, had resigned. Like his predecessor, the Argentinian Jorge Sampaoli, who left OM in 2022, upset at not obtaining players who matched his ambitions.

During his press conferences, Marcelino liked to act as an educator, defending the merits of his certainties in long, applied answers. A radical change from the lapidary and sometimes arrogant formulas of Tudor. The Spaniard may have defined himself as an eternal optimist, but he did not transmit that grain of madness which has carried the most beautiful Marseille teams of recent years... like those led by the Argentinians Bielsa and Sampaoli or the Croatian Tudor.

Marcelino's failure is also that of Pablo Longoria. The Olympian president has known the technician for seventeen years and considers him his friend. Marcelino was, however, chosen by default after the failure of negotiations with the Argentinian Marcelo Gallardo, number one target after the departure of Tudor.

From Thursday, for OM's Europa League match in Amsterdam against Ajax, Marcelino will be replaced on the OM bench by a former club warrior, "Pancho" Abardonado, whose coaching experience is non-existent at the highest level. Another consequence of the September 18 meeting, Pablo Longoria and three other members of the board announced on Tuesday evening that they were “stepping back”.