Before Marseille – Strasbourg: transfer window, preparation, Sampaoli … What a third place would change for OM

Before Marseille - Strasbourg: transfer window, preparation, Sampaoli ... What a third place would change for OM

Marseille will have waited for the 37th day to put its destiny in the hands of another. By losing to Rennes (2-0) last Saturday, OM took the risk of exposing themselves to a much more difficult summer than expected. Between a direct qualification for the group stage of the next Champions League, the privilege of second place in the championship, and a ticket for the preliminary round, offered by the third, the prospects are very different. The Marseille club needed certainty and a bit of peace. If he fails to regain the position he has held for more than two months on Saturday, he will have neither.

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The last step of the podium is the assurance of experiencing a month of August conditioning the whole season. “There will be differences for planningexplained Jorge Sampaoli before the trip to Brittany last week. It would be great to finish second, a little harder to be third with the play-offs…“As it stands, OM will play two to four additional matches in August (the home and away matches of the 3rd qualifying round, then the home and away play-offs). This supplement is certainly not negligible on a physical level. , with players not having quite finished their preparation at this time of year.

Longoria will not have free rein

Jorge Sampaoli and his historic physical trainer Pablo Fernandez are also used to compacting a large part of this revving up before the first deadlines, in order to only perform sessions with the ball afterwards. This season, the method has worked rather well and allowed OM to maintain a form of consistency despite a squad deemed to be limited by the Argentine coach and the injury of Dimitri Payet in the final sprint. The equation should not be radically different in the next exercise: the club will lose many players due to departures (Kamara? Milik?) or loan returns (Saliba?).

Strengthening the workforce quantitatively and qualitatively, taking into account its still very fragile financial situation, seems utopian. Especially since a third place finish would make Pablo Longoria’s task even more complex. Condemned to work miracles with limited resources, still under threat from FIFA, the strong man of Marseille recruitment will have to redouble his ingenuity.

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Both to convince potential reinforcements without being able to advance with certainty the argument of participation in the C1, and to negotiate without really knowing its financial possibilities, since a qualification for the group stage offers several tens of millions more. If he qualifies for the play-offs, OM will know if he is participating in the C1 or the C3 just a few days before the summer transfer window closes on September 1.

A semi-failure for Sampaoli

Longoria, which has already started maneuvers to attract players this summer, could therefore also have to review everything. “We know the needs of the clubsaid Sampaoli when discussing the importance of second place last week. The C1 is important for the club, for its finances, the supporters, the players. It can change a lot of things for the men who are in this project.” Including… himself. Linked to OM until 2023, the Argentinian has still not extended and it is still unclear whether a third place finish, which would constitute a partial failure, will weigh in the decision to continue the adventure beyond this summer.A fourth place would make the outcome… more obvious.

Last week, the 62-year-old coach hinted she could have an impact. “We will discuss with the president on what will be the best for both of ushe confided. What the club can offer me, what I can offer him. […] The president deserves a sincere decision“Saturday, after the loss at Roazhon Park, Sampaoli admitted”to have had some responsibility for what happened.” Proof that for him too, the sequence of events is perhaps no longer as obvious as it was a few weeks ago.

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