Tag Archives: Thauvin

Cabella – a gamble not paying off

It’s 2:45pm local time and the eerie silence has just been severed by the piercing sounds of whistles on the South coast of France. With two sides closed off by the LFP, and the other two half-empty, le Vel’ has barely looked sadder in its 80 year history.

The whistles in the stands follow that of the match’s referee, Mikael Lesage, who has just signalled the end of Olympique Marseille’s latest disappointment in Ligue 1. The Phoceéns, who have lost the core of their side, their manager, their Ultras, and their fourth game in eight, now find themselves in 14th position after one of their worst ever starts in the top division.

It’s been a pretty tough 10 days for all those involved at the club, in a season full off disappointments so far; poor results against Toulouse and now Angers followed a 1-1 draw against Lyon, in a game that’s antics did more to damage the club than the point gained could ever repay.

More worrying however for the Phocéens, were the limp and insipid displays that followed on the pitch against Toulouse, and then on Sunday against newly promoted Angers. Fingers have been pointed squarely at Vincent Labrune, and rather unfairly in my opinion at Michel, come in to right a listing ship, but in truth much of the blame must lie with the players themselves.

Take the case of Remy Cabella; the 25 year-old had already won a Ligue 1 title with Montpellier, and signed a six-year deal with Newcastle United in 2014 and was expected to do great things on Tyneside. However, in reality the midfielder was largely disappointing, and with only one goal and two assists in 31 appearances, the Toon were only delighted to ship him back out on loan, and welcome Florian Thauvin, a far more consistent performer.

Cabella’s was Marseille’s biggest signing in the summer (Unless you count sicknote Abou Diaby from Arsenal), and it was hoped the French international would at least partly make up for the losses of Dimitri Payet, and the aforementioned Thauvin; yet nothing could have been further from the truth.

Cabella has done virtually nothing positive to contribute since he’s arrived in Marseille; six games, zero assists, zero goals. As a matter of fact, the only number to his name has been the two yellow cards he’s picked up, and the consistent low scores he’s been receiving on his player ratings. Conversely, the Corsican native has contributed directly to Marseille’s last two disappointing results, missing a sitter against Toulouse on Wednesday, and committing a criminal foul for Angers’ penalty on Sunday.

Angevian left-back Arnold Bouka Moutou’s run down the flank was threatening, but Manquillo had come across the cover, and with the visiting defender facing away from goal it seemed like the situation had been contained. That was, until, Rémy arrived, scything through the back of Moutou and changing the game. Having dominated the early exchanges and out-shooting their opponents 5-1, OM were now a goal behind and chasing the game in the second-half.

Cabella himself admitted his own poor form after the game in Toulouse, and perhaps his rashness in Sunday’s game was an over-zealous attempt to put things right; however as a now seasoned professional that expected level of maturity has been badly lacking thus far. It also must be said that the Gazélec Ajaccio youngster isn’t the only expected leader on the pitch who has failed to show the way.

Going through the squad; N’Koulou, De Ceglie, Dja Djé Djé, all players on Sunday who you’d expect to galvanise the side following the penalty, and all players who where nowhere to be found as Olympique’s lack of  backbone was plain to see. Romain Alessandini was watching from the stands, still suspended after a needless sending off for a brainless tackle on super-villian Valbuena the week before. Lucas Ocampos summed it up in the final moments; caught in possession dawdling with four team-mates unmarked in the area, the chorus of whistles were frankly merited.

It comes as no great surprise, however, as Marseille try to deal with the gutting of their side in the off-season, and though it’s still early, Michel will almost certainly have to target the next transfer window to make up for the trail of destruction left behind by Marcelo Biesla’s departure. Key players in key positions have not been adequately replaced, and the new players are trying to stamp their authority under extreme pressure, as the older heads, Steve Mandanda to name one, try to hold everything together.

Will things get better for Les Phocéens? Possibly. But with a trip to Paris on Sunday to face a supremely confident PSG, things are very likely get a whole lot worse beforehand.

Marseille v ESTAC Troyes – 23/08/15

OM.net

OM.net

This weekend brings around OM’s 3rd game of the season, with their 3rd manager of the season as they still look for their first points of the campaign. New manager Michel was appointed earlier in the week and quickly took charge of training sessions, pitting the pro team against CFA squad and made it clear that he requires some investment into the squad. The week also brought about the much expected departure of the inconsistent Florian Thauvin that brought in Remy Cabella as part of the deal.

Michel brings experience having managed Getafe, Sevilla and Olympiakos and has experience in European competitions. He is expected to play a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation that the squad should be comfortable enough playing. Immediate changes Michel brought about is the first inclusion in the match day squad this season for Doria, the hot prospect, whose purchase caused so many issues between Bielsa and the board. Frank-Zmabo Aguissa also makes the squad alongside new-boy Remy Cabella. There is no Romao in the squad who is expected to depart imminently.

The full squad consists of: Pele, Madndanda, Manquillo, Nkoulou, Rekik, Doria, Sparagna, Mendy, Dja Djedje, Lemina, Diarra, Alessandrini, Cabella, Nkoudou, Sarr, Barrada, Frank-Zambo Aguissa, Ocampos, Batshuayi.

Off the pitch the Virage Nord closed again after incidents at the end of last season, their absence from the Velodrome today will be the last as the Yankee Nord groups return to the terraces for the next home game.

OM expected line-up:

Mandanda

Dja Djedje, Nkoulou, Rekik, Mendy

Lemina, Diarra

Alessandrini, Cabella, Ocampos

Batshuayi

Troyes have picked up 2 sraws from their opening fixtures, both of which have came at home (0-0 GFC Ajaccio and 3-3 with Nice). This is their first Ligue 1 game on the road this season, and you have to go back to 2001 to find their last win at the Velodrome, having lost the last 4 and drawing once since.

In their ranks they have Fabien Camus who began his career at OM and has just joined ESTAC from Genk, new signing Chris Mavinga is suspended, but striker Brayan Perea has joined the matchday squad after his switch from Lazio.

Predicting performance and results is always difficult and with new signings coupled with a new manager who knows what will happen on Sunday evening. Let’s hope for some stability, a solid performance, and the introduction of some new signings (and old signings). I’m sure Michel has learned a great deal about his team during the week, and will learn even more tonight.

Allez l’OM

@aswanny84

@MarseilleUK

Antalyaspor 2-5 Marseille

Antalysaspor 2v5 Marseille
(Simsek, Chico; Lemina, Alessandrini 2, Batshuayi, Sarr)
Mandanda – Sparagna, Nkoulou, Rekik – Dja Djedje, Lemina, Mendy – Barrada – Thauvin, Batshuayi, Alessandrini
Subs: Andonian, Aloe, Tuiloma, Dubois, Sane, Boutobba, Nkoudou, Pele, Sarr
Subs N/U: Escales, Romao, Ocampos

After the defeat at the hands of Fenerbahce, it was important to get the pre-season on course again to hit the Ligue 1 groiund running, and that’s exactly what OM did as they swept aside Turkish Super Lig side Antalyaspor.
Despite the lack of difficulty that the opposition provided it was good to see more positives from OM with Lemina, Alessandrini, Thauvin and Sparagna in particular continuing to impress ahead of the new season.
As would be expected in an OM game, Marseille kept control of the possession well, showing that Bielsa will continue with this sort of game plan next term, though it will be interesting to see if his pre-season option of a 3-3-1-3 formation (as like last pre-season) continues into Ligue 1, whereas last year this fell by the wayside relatively early on.
OM started well and found themselves 3-0 just after 30 minutes. Well worked and excellently taken goals from Lemina and Alessandrini were followed up by a good strike from Batshuayi who showed strength and determination to turn the defence and shoot.
After a wealth of changes from both sides, Antalyaspor started the second half brightly and were soon rewarded with a well struck goal from Simsek. Minutes later though Alessandrini extended the OM lead with an excellent solo effort, akin to the likes he seemed to score at Rennes.
Sarr’s goal was another well worked goal as some neat play down the left saw Mendy cut a cross back and Sarr powered home the finish.
Antalysapor reduced the arrears just before the end, but it can’t take away from an emphatic attacking performance for OM. Bielsa will be buoyed with the result and much of the performance, but thankfully the acquisition of Manquillo will hopefully help to solidify the defence, who are still allowing the opposition in behind all too often.

om-text-title
Pre season stats:

Goals:
Batshuayi 3
Thauvin 2
Alessandrini 2
Ocampos 1
Boutobba 1
Lemina 1
Sarr 1

Playing time:
Mandanda – 243
Sparagna – 230
Dja Djedje – 215
Rekik – 209
Lemina – 195
Nkoulou – 180
Sarr – 180
Barrada – 180
Alessandrini – 180
Mendy – 170
Batshuayi – 167
Thauvin – 149
Aloe – 123
Ocampos – 117
Sane – 88
Nkoudou – 88
Tuiloma – 73
Boutobba – 55
Romao – 45
Andonian – 34
Pele – 27
Dubois – 22