OM’s reliance on ageing stars could be nearing a conclusion as young players begin to make their presence felt
Footballing ideologies have come to define many French clubs. While for Monaco and Nice, pioneering with their youth driven models, this has been positive, Marseille’s often derided Champions Project, conversely focusing on established, ageing names, has struggled to coalesce. With Adil Rami (33), Steve Mandanda (33) and Dimitri Payet (31) prominent, the Vélodrome had come to resemble something of a retirement home for French internationals. As a result, in a league ruled by youth, there was a sense that OM were becoming dinosaurs. However, that is finally changing.
A swashbuckling run to the Europa League final last season seemed to signal genuine progress for the Champions Project but, with an almost identical squad, this season has been disastrous. A fan banner reading: “Humiliated in Europe, Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France. Executives, manager, players. You are a disgrace to Marseille,” summed it up as OM managed just one Europa League point, fell into midtable and suffered a humiliating cup defeat to fourth tier opposition in early January. Rami and Rolando formed the most porous defence in the top half, Payet remained anonymous for long spells while Luiz Gustavo struggled as he was constantly moved around the team. The required €15m severance payout likely saved Rudi Garcia’s job after three wins in 18 across all competitions between October and February.
Source: Football News
Link : Marseille hint at change of focus as Champions Project hits the rocks