In Marseille, Tudor « the pragmatic » transcends OM
Nothing is ever stable in Marseille when it comes to OM, but there is an unexpected feeling of confidence among OM supporters at the start of the season. At the time of finding the Champions League at the Stade-Vélodrome, Tuesday September 13 at 9 p.m., with the arrival of the Germans from Eintracht Frankfurt, last winners of the Europa League, the whistles of August 7 targeting the new coach, Igor Tudor, seem forgotten.
Barely more than a month has passed since this first match of the Ligue 1 season at the Stade-Vélodrome against Reims (4-1), and the public, journalists and players have changed their outlook on the former player of the Juventus of Turin, 44 years old.
“Tudor, I love it”laughs Laurent Garibaldi, known as “Gari”, singer of the groups Massilia Sound System and Oaï Star, an old regular at the Vélodrome. « He’s a pragmatist. He uses the means at his disposal without qualms, always favoring the collective. His choices are very readable and the game produced is pleasant”, continues the Marseille artist, summarizing an opinion shared among Olympian supporters.
Second in the Ligue 1 standings, level on points with Paris-Saint-Germain but with an unfavorable goal difference, Igor Tudor’s OM have made the club’s best start to the league in more than two decades. Six wins, one draw, no losses in seven days. Only shadow, the defeat in London against Tottenham for the first match of Group D of the Champions League (2-0).
For the rest, the OM Tudor version surprises its world and, even if it has not yet met any team from the top 7 of Ligue 1, generates real hopes. « This team reminds me of the one from 1993. A group of outsiders, with a big physical base, brutal in midfield, solid behind, without a real star, but with a great state of mind… », resumes Gari, who almost thirty years ago traveled to Munich to witness the Champions League victory, 1-0 against AC Milan.
On the eve of the reception of Frankfurt, direct rival for a possible qualification for the round of 16, Igor Tudor appeared relaxed at a press conference on Monday, September 12. Monolithic in the face of journalists at the start of the season, the Croatian coach, deep voice and answers in Italian, did not turn into a big talker.
But he now allows himself small smiles when asked, a recurring request, about his way of managing Dimitri Payet, local star regularly sidelined. “If you come to training at 6.45 p.m., you will see that I am not that quiet”however, wanted to correct the Marseille coach in the face of a journalist who was surprised at his relaxation.
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