Category Archives: News

Europa League & Internationals

Europa League

Europa League Consequences

Having finished 4th in the ligue, OM will qualify for the Europa League having missed out on Champions League football by 2 points. But all is not confirmed yet, OM need psg to beat Auxerre in the Coupe de France on Saturday in order to qualify directly for the group stages. If Auxerre were to beat psg, thus denying them a domestic treble, OM would have to play 2 preliminary rounds in July and August in order to qualify for the group stage.

Important dates:

Preliminary Round 1, Game 1: 30th July

Preliminary Round 1, Game 2: 6th August

Ligue 1, Game 1: 7th August* (OM play 9th August)

Preliminary Round 2, Game 1: 20th August

Ligue 1, Game 3: 21st August* (OM play 23rd August)

Preliminary Round 2, Game 2: 27th August

Ligue 1, Game 4: 28th August* (OM play 30th August)

Europa League Group Game 1: 17th September

Ligue 1, Game 6: 18th September*( OM play 20th September)

Europa League Group Game 2: 1st October

Ligue 1, Game 9: 2nd October* (OM play 4th October)

Europa League Group Game 3: 22nd October

Ligue 1, Game 11: 23rd October* (OM play 25th October)

Europa League Group Game 4: 5th November

Ligue 1, Game 13: 6th November* (OM play 8th November)

Europa League Group Game 5: 26th November

Ligue 1, Game 15: 27th November* (OM play 29th November)

Europa League Group Game 6: 10th December

Ligue 1, Game 18: 11th December* (OM play 13th December)

**(Ligue 1 game dates in brackets are the Sunday’s that OM would play if still in Europa League)

Summer Hasn’t Started For OM Internationals

A number of OM’s stars and fringe players are participating in post-season tournaments.

Wed 27th May

Stephane Sparagna – France 3-1 USA – Toulon Tournament

Fri 29th May

Stephane Sparagna – Qatar v France – Toulon Tournament

Sat 30th May

Bill Tuiloma – New Zealand v Ukraine – U20 World Cup

Mon 1st June

Alef Dos Santos – Brazil v Nigeria – U20 World Cup

Tue 2nd June

Staphane Sparagna – France v Costa Rica – Toulon Tournament

Bill Tuiloma – New Zealand v USA – U20 World Cup

Thur 4th June

Alef Dos Santos – Brazil v Hungary – U20 World Cup

Stephane Sparagna – France v Netherlands – Toulon Tournamet

Fri 5th June

Bill Tuiloma – New Zealand v Burma – U20 World Cup

Sat 6th June

Nicolas Nkoulou – Cameroon v Burkina Faso – Friendly

Sunday 7th June

Steve Mandanda & Dimitri Payet – France v Belgium – Friendly

Alayxis Romao – Ghana v Togo  – Friendly

Alef Dos Santos – Brazil v North Korea – U20 World Cup

Tue 9th June

Nicola Nkoulou – Cameroon v DR Congo – Friendly

Thur 11th June

Bejamin Mendy & Baptiste Aloe – France U21 v South Korea U21 – Friendly

Sat 13th June

Steve Mandanda & Dimitri Payet – Albania v France – Friendly

Alexander Ndoumbou – Gabon v Ivory Coast – CAN 2017 Qualifier

Gael Andonian – Armenia v Portugal – Euro 2016 Qualifying Round Group 1

Sun 14th June

Nicolas Nkoulou – Cameroon v Mauritania – CAN 2017 Qualifier

Tue 16th June

Benjamin Mendy & Baptiste Aloe – France U21 v Paraguay U21 – Friendly

Hommage A Depe

Depe 1

Hommage A Depe

When most think of ‘ultras’, they see a faceless mass of men, often viewed from the outside as intimidating and hooliganesque. Most don’t see the people behind the group, the individuals who love their team and club, who follow them to opposite ends of the country and across continents. They don’t see the people who live for the match day, who round up the supporters, start the chants, organise and unfurl the tifo banners and stay behind to tidy everything up again. Patrice de Peretti, more affectionately known as Depe, was one of those men, and he died 14 years ago at the tender age of 28.

Depe began his support with the ‘South Winners’ group. He attended most matches, and in 1989 when travelling to see OM take on AEK Athens, he saw a group of AEK ultras shirtless. That inspired him to attend all OM matches shirtless, whatever the weather, it didn’t matter if it was 30*C in Mediterranean sunshine or -12*C in Berlin winter.

Depe 3

He became well known and was popular with players and other supporters groups, even being permitted to lift the Champions League trophy at the Velodrome. In 1994, Depe left the South Winners group and set up the MTP (Marseille Too Powerfull) ultra group in the Virage Nord, the group now boasts over 3000 members.

Unfortunately Depe died of an anuyrism on 28th July 2000. The north corner of the Velodrome bears his name in honour of the man who inspired thousands of OM supporters. The following game the crowd and players united in remembrance for Depe, the players even standing in front of the Virage Nord topless in honour of the hero.

Depe 2

RIP Depe


Mercato Movement

With the delayed arrival of new manager Marcelo Bielsa, many wondered how long it would take OM to get going into the transfer market. But within the last week Marseille have announced 2 new signings: Romain Alessandrini from Rennes and Michy Batsuhayi from Standard Liege.

But it’s clear that Bielsa has been doing his research as well as taking info from his assistant Diego Reyes and the clubs hierarchy about who will be staying and leaving from the current crop of players and which areas need strengthening. That said, most will hope that OM make a move for a couple of defenders soon too.

The first signing was Marseille native Romain Alessandrini from Rennes for around 5m euros.


It’s been no secret that Marseille, perhaps specifically Labrune, have been after Alessandrini for some time now. They were linked with him last summer, but had also been tracking him when he initially signed for Rennes in 2012. The 25 year old is an attacking midfielder who can dribble well, cut in and shoot as well as take set-pieces. After a lengthy injury that ruled him out of the end of 12-13 season and beginning of 13-14 he returned and still managed 6 goals and 6 assists in 27 games, admittedly taking a while to feel his rhythm again.

In his first season at Rennes he set ligue 1 alight with scintillating performances, terrorising defences up and down France. Before his cruciate knee injury he’d managed to amass 10 goals and 5 assists in 22 games, but more importantly had been continually improving as was knocking on the door of the French national team.

Alessandrini told ‘I am very proud and I am very happy to sign today. We have big objectives for this season. It’s a big club, I will do all I can and give them the best possible’.

His arrival is hugely exciting for Marseille, as they have another of the ligue’s most exciting young French players at their disposal. With Bielsa at the helm, hopefully Alessandrini will continue to improve and refine his technique. The down side to the move is that it suggests to most that it will spell the end for one of Marseille’s more experienced attacking options, either Mathieu Valbuena or Andre Ayew. After both have managed excellent World Cups, it seems highly probable that OM will cash in on at least one of them.

Our second signing, Michy Batsuhayi, is probably a lesser known player in France, but the 20 year old Belgian striker arrives from Standard Liege with impressive statistics and was the stand by striker for the Belgium World Cup team.


In 36 appearances last season he netted 21 goals for Liege, making him 2nd top scorer in the Belgian Jupiler League (39 in 97 in total). But what about the player behind the stats? This is what Anne Ruwet (journalist for Standard TV & RTL Sport) and Stephane Pauwels (former manager, and recruiter for Valenciennes and Monaco now working with TF1, RTL, TVI & RMC) had to say on the player.

He has talent that is undeniable. He has great technical expertise, he can beat opponents in tight spaces and score from impossible angles. He can use both feet, a hard shot and is very fast with the ball. If I was manager of a foreign club, Michy is one of the few players in the Belgian league I would buy. He can be one of the best in Europe if he is well surrounded. He needs support and confidence from a manager, who can set specific rules and be strict, as he had a few problems at Liege.’ (link to original article)

The problems mentioned are a few run-ins with Liege fans and also the Belgium coach Johan Valem. He also had a confrontation with Ibrahima Cisse after inviting some young women back to the players’ hotel. But, if it’s support, structure and guidance Michy needs then Bielsa and he could be a perfect match. As part of the above interview, Ruwet and Pauwels, highlight Michy’s weakness in the air, but also that this is an area that the player is keen to improve. They also don’t see him as a replacement for Gignac, but someone who can complement him instead.

Given that APG has been linked with moves elsewhere, it will be interesting to see how Bielsa lines up his squad in friendlies, as it could be suggested that Gignac and Michy would be best suited as a joint strike force in an attacking two. This is different to the 4-2-3-1 formation the squad played with last season, but as most readers will know, Bielsa doesn’t conform to ‘normal’ formations or disciplines. He has been known to play an ultra-disciplined 3-3-1-3 which alters between a defensive 5-3-2 to an attacking 3-6-1, which could utilise both Gignac and Michy.

Whatever the outcome, the start of the summer has been a good one for OM, let’s hope that it continues!

Allez l’OM!

(@MarseilleUK & @aswanny84)