Ligue 1 Talking Points writer Paul Bathurst explains the gravity of the situation developing at Marseille, with manager Michel’s position rapidly becoming untenable.
Last week I spoke about the struggles that head coach Michel is currently experiencing. Steve Mandanda was at the centre of attention last weekend, after he undermined his manager by effectively making a substitution himself.
The team’s latest saga came against Lorient and involved star man Michy Batshuayi and attacking midfielder Remy Cabella. Les Olympiens received a free kick roughly 25 yards from goal and Cabella collected the ball as usual, after all he is the designated set piece taker.
As the former Newcastle man was considering his options, teammate Batshuayi stripped him of the ball and placed it down himself. The Belgian international turned his back to the French midfielder and did not even offer explanation.
The free kick came to nothing unsurprisingly. Cameras worldwide picked this exchange up and everyone now has an opinion. With plenty of scrutiny from various sources, there is more weight than ever on the shoulders of Michel.
You have to wonder, could this be the straw that breaks the camels back? With the club in turmoil on and off the pitch, this kind of thing is just unbelievable and occurring far too often.
It is one thing when the players don’t agree with the manager, but when they are arguing with each other you have to really consider the state of affairs at this prestigious club.
Disconnect between the manager, the board, the fans and now seemingly the players, is a serious cause for concern. This season now has to be written off for the 9 times Ligue 1 champions.
After a good showing the previous year, Marseille must now get back to the philosophies they had success with, and they should start by reconnecting with their faithful supporters.
Perhaps a fresh change is the solution to most of their problems. With that in mind, I wouldn’t back against the next Ligue 1 managerial departure coming from France’s south coast.