Deschamps Decides to Depart
Monday brought about the long awaited confirmation that Marseille and Didier Deschamps would be parting company. After the disappointment of last seasons’ ligue finish it had been widely reported that Deschamps wished to leave his post, the strained relationships with Sporting Director Jose Anigo and Director Vincent Labrune, hardly helping matters. Many now expect Deschamps to take the vacant national team position left by Laurant Blanc. On behalf of MarseilleUK, after one Ligue 1 championship, three Coupe de la Ligue wins and two Trophee des Champions as manager, we’d like to say ‘merci’ to Didier and good luck with all you do.
No sooner had the club released a statement confirming Deschamps departure, rumours were rife about who would fill the vacant OM hot-seat. One of the early favourites was Rennes’ Frederic Antonetti, also linked was the now ex-national team coach, Laurant Blanc. Next to put his name into the hat was Ravanelli. Finally, on Thursday evening Marseille announced their new manager, Elie Baup. Baup was not many fans first choice as a coach, with many worrying about his previous posts and the fact that his only involvement in the game recently has been through TV punditry. However, in the last 18 years he does have 14 years managerial experience, coaching Saint-Etienne twice, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Nantes. During those posts he managed to win the 1999 Championat with Bordeaux, 4th place with Bordeaux, 6th with Saint-Etienne and 3rd with Toulouse. What we will not worry about now is the fact that after the 6th placed finish with ASSE, they finished next season 13th, and Toulouse managed to avoid relegation by only 2 points the season after their 3rd place finish. It is well publicised that Baup will have to manage a number of high-profile, large-ego players, and will try to improve the squad with a minimal budget. From the press conference it would seem both manager and club have started with an understanding of a budget that Deschamps had never been happy with as Labrune commented ‘We wanted a French-speaking coach with experience, who has won things and wants to rely on our internal resources’ (thanks to Goal.com). If this is the case we can expect to see more of the youngsters given a chance this season, most likely in the early stages of cup competitions before some gaining more ligue experience later on covering injuries and possible African Cup of Nations absentees.
Within 24 hours of taking over as Marseille’s manager, Elie Baup made his first signing, bringing in 23 year old Nantes striker Florian Raspentino. After being linked with Le Havre’s Ryan Mendes, it would appear this was seen as the better option with other clubs being linked with Mendes, and other teams being able to offer significantly more money. He appears to be a player who is quite versatile and has an eye to get in good positions. For FC Nantes, he often used this get in behind defences and score, or at least trouble the ‘keeper. If nothing else, this part of his game will be invaluable in OM training sessions as our defence were continually torn open by strikers who could effectively do this. He managed 7 goals last season from 30 appearances, 21 starts, in a mid-table Nantes team. It remains to be seen if Raspentino is a replacement for anyone or just an addition to the squad as back-up. Baup may see Raspentino as one of the young players who he will develop over time therefore giving him pitch time in cup games. During his interview with OM.net Raspentino explained how he can play as one of two strikers, preferring to play off-centre, allowing him to make diagonal runs into dangerous areas. He also commented on not being worried about not being a first choice player. He likened this to when he joined FC Nantes, and through hard work and natural talent he found himself starting games, and more importantly scoring too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR-0rO8REtw
As with every season players are signed, given new contracts but also some fall out of favour and are released. During this summer OM decided to part company with ‘keeper Elinton Andrade, Brandao, Djimi Traore and Jean-Phillipe Sabo. Andrade, will most likely be remembered for his goalkeeping howler against Bayern Munich in the Champions League ¼ finals and there really isn’t too much to say about the loss of Traore and Sabo. A special mention should go to Brandao, however, as he was controversially brought back in during January and stepped up with important goals when needed. Perhaps the most important coming in the Coupe de la Ligue victory over Lyon.
Marseille will kick off the new Ligue 1 campaign away against newly promoted Stade de Reims. Reims finished 2nd in Ligue 2 last season and will look to make a solid start at home in an attempt to secure another season in Ligue 1, just like Evian and Ajaccio did last season. Other standout fixtures are below (for a full break down of fixtures see our fixtures page).
Week 1 – Reimes v OM
Week 3 – Montpellier v OM
Week 8 – OM v PSG
Week 10 – OM v Lyon
Week 14 – OM v Lille
Week 21 – OM v Montpellier
Week 26 – PSG v OM
Week 28 – Lyon v OM
Week 32 – Lille v OM
Week 38 – OM v Reims
Friendly Battles Planned in Switzerland
Marseille are currently in Crans-Montana in western Switzerland for their summer training camp. Having been recently joined by Elie Baup and Florian Raspentino, the squad have been put through their paces ahead of their scheduled friendlies. During their time in Switzerland OM will play 2 friendlies in FC Sion’s Stade de Tourbillon. The first against FC Sion, then against portuguease side Benfica before returning to France to face local neighbours, Nimes.
13th July – Stade de Tourbilon – 20:45* – Benfica v OM
20th July – Stade des Costieres – 19:30* – Nimes v OM
New season new kits. As usual for Marseille, and most top tiered teams now, 2 kits aren’t enough we need 3, often changing to 4 through the season. As expected we have a white home shirt, blue away and a more unusual reversible 3rd/4th kit.
The home shirt has caused a great deal of controversy with fans’ disliking the appearance of the orange on the shirt trim. Although the inclusion of the colour orange was explained as a homage to the South-Winners anti-racism stance, this is why the 3rd/4th kit contains the colour too, many feel that the group are counter-productive, having lead a number of the complaints and protests throughout last season. Personally, most of the design is simple and elegant, however, there are too many colours. The white and turquoise are fine, standard OM colours. The inclusion of orange would look ok if there wasn’t also red and navy blue in the sponsors logo. It could have been improved by altering the sponsor’s logo to match the rest of the kit, the red becoming orange and navy becoming turquoise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubun-yJmue0
Now the new away kit is splendid (in my own opinion). The shirt has a simple blue and white colour scheme, with a retro feel with the matt and shiny stripes. The tricolour collar and cuffs offer a nice contrast, but are subtle enough to not draw attention away from the main body of the shirt. We also have a different OM badge which again has a complete retro feel to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfUNmBR3L5w
As explained earlier the inclusion of orange on the home shirt caused a great deal of displeasure amongst fans, and if it had have just been kept to the 3rd kit, it wouldn’t have been a problem. Again, this shirt has a plain and simple design, however, this time the sponsors logo and club crest have been altered to match the colour scheme and we are left with a beautifully crafted, stylish shirt. With the way the fabric has been stitched the orange under-layer almost seems to burst out from the black when the shirt is stretched, ensuring that the anti-racism stance is seen as being part of les phoceens blood and fabric. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rF-Z6yHrn4
We are currently working with a very well-known online football shirt retailer to see if we can bring these shirts to you at a reasonable price. In order to gauge interest could you either leave a comment on this post or contact us through twitter, @MarseilleUK
Swanny (@Andrew_Js3 and @MarseilleUK)