“Le Meilleur Reste À Venir!” the Marseille Twitter account proudly boasted before Christmas, trying to flog the half-season tickets, with the club resting a reasonably pretty 6th after a pretty pitying start.
In the league since the beginning of 2017, Rudi Garcia’s side have won three games against Montpellier, Guingamp, and Rennes. All teams, one would hope that Les Phocéens would harbour ambitions of comfortably finishing ahead of in the table.
However, against sides around OM’s stature, the story quickly changes. Four games this far against reasonably big sides, and all resulting in crushing defeats.
The latest against a Paris Saint Germain admittedly on-the-up following their recent defeat of Barcelona, but handed the game against a Marseille side that were more than happy to disclose all of their weaknesses against a record crowd at the Vélodrome.
65,252 turned up to the stunning venue to see their side technically, tactically, and mentally outfought and outplayed by a PSG that continued to capitalise on Garcia’s side’s continuing ineptitude in front of the prime-time cameras.
It seems that every time OM play on a Sunday night they completely bottle it. Including these last four games against Monaco (1-4), Lyon (1-3), Nantes (3-2), and the latest debacle against the Parisians, they haven’t won a Sunday evening game since Nantes on the 25th September 2016; while a second heavy defeat against Monaco (away 4-0) and a 3-2 loss to Nice early on has defined the season.
However, last night must have been the epitome of all that is wrong with OM as a team at the moment. In front of the crowd they froze, and as our delicate defence once again crumbled with the slightest bit of pressure, the Parisians knocked goals in for fun. This commentator fails to recall an entire set-piece in the course of the game that didn’t result in a chance for the visitors.
A total lack of communication in the back-line plus a dread of marking made OM look like a side that had never practiced a defensive set-piece in their lives; navy bodies queuing up at every opportunity to profit from Marseille’s ineptitude. OM have conceded more than two goals on eight occasions this season, including against the aforementioned Montpellier and Rennes; leaking over two goals a game since the new year.
Last night’s Marseille was the same OM we saw against Monaco, the same we saw against Lyon, and the same we saw in that midweek loss to Metz. Four atrocious performances in less than two months for Les Marseillais; sitting seventh in the table, it seems like the best is very much yet to come.