At the Commandery,
The president of Olympique de Marseille, Pablo Longoria, had invited the press on Monday to take stock of this 2022-2023 season, as he has now become accustomed to. No or few revelations, but the opportunity to slip in some very salty messages. This is not really the habit of the president of OM, but we felt that he needed to reassert his authority somewhat, after the resignation of Igor Tudor and a tail end to the season. of fish. “The primary value in football that is not negotiable is respect for authority. There are three levels of authority, the institution, the coach and the players. This is the red line”, he reminded several times.
On the end of the OM season:
Pablo Longoria has divided the season into three parts, the first before the World Cup on which he has no major complaints, the one until elimination against Annecy in the Coupe de France, and the end of the season ended in four defeats in five games and the loss of 2nd place in Ligue 1.
“Among the thing that I liked the least was the loss of humility just after the victory against PSG. We felt comfort, and we lost humility. From the president to the players, and I was the first to be contaminated by that, ”he has already put forward as an explanation for the poor performance against Annecy.
But what about the month of May and this feeling of letting go of the players? “The last four weeks are not acceptable. When you play for OM, even friendly matches are not purely friendly. There is a level of personal commitment, and love for what you do that is non-negotiable. Faced with the speeches of requirement and rigor, you cannot accept how this season ends. Playing against Brest with a stadium that has been with us all season and doing that for the last match… It’s not having a lot of respect for the institution and for yourself. You need to have more personality, courage and leadership. Because this situation is unacceptable and even lamentable. But it helps to draw conclusions, every act has consequences, ”he warned.
On the departure of Igor Tudor:
As he recalled from the outset, Pablo Longoria was not there to question the authority of his former coach. And even less to spit on his back, it’s not at all the style of the character. He nevertheless distilled some elements which give an idea of the possible reproaches of Longoria to Tudor, whose resignation he accepted at the end of last week.
“The game identity is the big question, we will stay in continuity. But I don’t think we’re going to continue to play in all-terrain individual marking. To succeed, you have to maintain a very high mental, concentration and physical level. In this diagram, individual errors are seen a lot, and it transmits collective errors, ”he considers. It is certain that seeing Balerdi in individual marking must have cooled off some potential buyers of the Argentinian.
Pablo Longoria also pointed the finger at Vitinha’s management on his arrival: “A player who needed a period of adaptation, he arrives on Thursday and plays the weekend against Nice before then being in the rotation” , and the lack of effort of the Croatian to handle the language of Molière. “The language of football is universal, but it’s a plus to speak French because it’s the language we all speak here. Even at the executive board level, when there is someone in the room, the rule is to speak French. It’s a question of respect. So I will no longer accept the fact that a coach does not speak French at the end of the season. When I arrived in Italy, after three months I had to speak Italian. It’s respect for the culture, and the supporters, ”he warned.
About the training center
A thorny subject for Pablo Longoria, as the OM training center is so lagging behind, to the point of talking about a “historic” problem.
“Training is very important whatever the club, it is a pillar of identification, an economic and sporting pillar. There is already an infrastructure problem that we want to change. Your second team, the women’s, the youth, play at the Campus and when it rains you have to have an umbrella. I went to see a Youth League game, they were playing below 50 degrees. It’s not possible to go from that to the Vélodrome. When I was in Valencia, the youngsters played in front of 4,000 to 5,000 supporters every weekend”.
“We also need to strengthen the values, the level and the conditions of the game and provide a higher level of requirement. Some players from the center came to train with the first team, they didn’t last 40 minutes. As a leader, this is unacceptable”.
“The first mistake comes from a lack of rigor, discipline and rules. It is shameful. The lack of rigor and discipline was shameful. This is unacceptable, and yet it has been present for a long time.
On the economic situation:
“With all due respect to my predecessors, OM was a money-losing machine. We managed to stabilize the economic situation. Take that Jacques-Henri Eyraud.
After a positive speech towards French arbitration, Pablo Longoria began by changing tone this season. Especially when Dimitri Payet was suspended a posteriori by the disciplinary committee for a slap on the lensois Cahuzac, thanks to images from Prime Video. “We waited a lot until we reached this breaking point. We have to improve the way we do things. But that you feel less respected when you try to be above reproach, it bothers me personally. We must improve our communication with a single objective of defending our interests in a correct and respectful way. We must protect the institution, like seeing the disciplinary committee re-arbitrate match decisions around the videos of the match.