The fourth coach to sit on the very unstable Marseille bench this season, Jean-Louis Gasset is the first Frenchman appointed by Spanish President Pablo Longoria and the first to occupy the position since Rudi Garcia (2016-2019).

Having noted the failure of Gennaro Gattuso after the defeat conceded on Sunday February 18 in Brest (1-0), the Marseille management therefore turned towards a profile very different from its previous choices.

Former Italian coach of Marseillle, Gennaro Gattuso, reacts during his team's defeat against Stade Brestois in Ligue 1 at the Francis-Le Ble stadium in Brest, February 18, 2024 © FRED TANNEAU / AFP

Exasperated by OM's bad season, Marseille supporters welcomed the arrival of Laurent Blanc's former assistant to Paris SG and the French team with a certain skepticism.

Jean-Louis Gasset has just come out of a very special experience with Côte d'Ivoire, who won the CAN after dismissing him during the competition. Sacked after three matches and a humiliating defeat against Guinea-Bissau (0-4), he was replaced by his assistant, Emerse Faé, who led the Elephants to the final victory. Faé was also confirmed as coach on Monday.

Gasset's last club stint, at Bordeaux during the 2020-2021 season, was mixed, but he had previously helped Montpellier (2016-2017) then Saint-Etienne (2017-2018) to get out of difficult situations.

This will also be his mission in Marseille, where he recovers a team in ninth place in the L1 standings, eliminated in the Coupe de France and which has not won against a professional team since mid-December. To avoid a blank season, he will have to move up the rankings or hope for an exploit in the Europa League, the competition where he will make his Marseille debut, Thursday at the Vélodrome against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Longoria's failed season

This umpteenth change of coach also confirms that Pablo Longoria, for whom everything seemed to succeed during the first two years of his mandate, has conversely failed almost everything this season, marked by an even more frantic turnover. than usual.

The players who left (Sanchez, Guendouzi, Payet...) are missed, the summer recruits (Sarr, Ndiaye, Correa...) disappoint and those of the winter (Garcia, Onana, Moumbagna, Merlin) will not be enough not to remedy the situation.

And on the bench, he chose Marcelino and Gattuso, two coaches with principles and systems of play opposed to those of Igor Tudor, whose football had often delighted the Vélodrome last year.

Press conference by Pablo Longoria announcing the arrival of Gennaro Gattuso on September 28, 2023 © Nicolas TUCAT / AFP/Archives

In this poorly handled season, the famous meeting in September between the club management and the representatives of the supporter groups necessarily also carried a certain weight.

After this very tense interview, Marcelino, sporting director Javier Ribalta and strategy director Pedro Iriondo left OM. The team was then undefeated in the league.

A touch of Green

The arrival of Gasset, who passed through Saint-Étienne, also underlines the increasingly “green” coloring of OM. In recent months, several ASSE alumni have joined Marseille in important positions, such as commercial director Grégory La Mela or communications director Franckie Tourdre.

But it is above all the weight of another former “Green”, the general director Stéphane Tessier, which continues to grow.

Arriving in March 2022 as deputy general director in charge of finance and investments, he has, since leaving Ribalta, been responsible for five divisions: “operations, business, administration and finance, communication and sports”.

“He is someone who is very discreet and who cultivates this discretion, which is an asset in this environment. But he is in charge at the club, and when we have control over HR, finance and legal matters, we have power. He's a real contender in the event of Longoria's departure," a source familiar with the power games at the Commanderie told AFP.

With AFP

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