Marseille’s Mattéo Guendouzi in altercation with manager Igor Tudor

L’Équipe report in today’s issue that Marseille midfielder Mattéo Guendouzi is the latest player to have had an altercation with new manager Igor Tudor, after Gerson and Jordan Amavi confronted the Croatian coach in pre-season as well.

The French international reportedly had a “lively altercation”  with his manager at half-time during last Sunday’s friendly defeat to Milan, of which the exact cause has yet to transpire.

In any case, the former Arsenal man then went off to have a shower, packed up his things and did not appear again for the second half.

Club president Pablo Longoria has sought to remind players that despite their nostalgia for Jorge Sampaoli, no attitudes of the sort would be accepted. He reiterated his support for Tudor, underlining that he had chosen the former Hellas Verona man himself, and that any player who wanted otherwise could come to his office to ask for a transfer.

The club had leaked on Monday that the players had asked for a meeting with the management themselves over their dissatisfaction with Tudor’s methods, when in fact the initiative was from Longoria, with captain Dimitri Payet later confirming that no player had ever made such a request. In any case, it remains that the new manager’s more authoritative and distant methods of coaching are seen as a far cry from those of Sampaoli, and the players are dissatisfied with this state of affairs.

This also includes what is said to be a very physically demanding pre-season programme, which includes training sessions at 7pm. The players are also confused about Bamba Dieng’s apparent freezing out by the former Croatia international, with the Senegal international being shown the exit door despite appearing as an ideal fit for the manager’s style of play.

Tudor was originally planning to start Guendouzi on the bench on the opening game of OM’s campaign on Sunday night, against Reims, although Pape Gueye’s suspension will likely change that. 

This season, the former Juventus assistant is setting out to impose his authority, and will not hesitate to drop high-profile players every now and then – the likes of Dimitri Payet, Gerson and Guendouzi can all expect to have less important roles than under Sampaoli. The upper management are aware of the potential issues with some of the stronger characters in the team, but are hoping that with the World Cup in view players will not step out of line too much.


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