Christophe Dugarry on Marseille’s season: “I find it to be a failure.”

Former Ligue 1 forward Christophe Dugarry has spoken of the predicament of one of his former clubs, Marseille, as a guest on RMC show Rother S’enflamme. The former World Cup winner held no punches as he gave his assessment of OM’s season, deeming it a “failure.” 

Reflecting on his recent visit to Marseille for the 30th-anniversary celebrations of OM’s Champions League victory, the 51-year-old, who played for Marseille from 1998 to 2000, believes that the season can be considered a failure. He emphasises the numerous areas where improvements could have been made: “We saw this fervour, it was incredible, you had the impression that OM had won the Champions League the day before. I think it’s one of the few clubs in the world capable of doing that and the next day you have this match against Brest, with the former players presented, the 30th-anniversary party, and there, once again, a defeat. I watched the match and I said to myself that it is incredible, during a moment of celebration, not to win. I say to myself that this season has been weird.”

He went on: “The next day, I read in L’Équipe that [club president Pablo] Longoria wants to create a ‘legends club’, but I have the impression that Longoria is a politician. Because when I take stock of OM’s season, it’s not a total failure, but I find it to be a failure nonetheless. There are key moments in a season: the match against Tottenham, when they need a draw and they lose in the last minute and don’t even go to the Europa League, the match against Annecy where they crash out [of the Coupe de France] after having beating PSG, the match against Lens where they did not show up, and this festive match. There might not be much at stake but you have to show your strength and you end up beaten by Brest.”

The high standards the ex-striker has set for his former team may be the right one to have for one of Ligue 1’s most historic clubs. Dugarry’s criticism of Longoria’s evaluation of the season appears to highlight a discrepancy between what the president sees as success, and the results supporters are looking for. He argues that the newfound enthusiasm is simply a mask for the shortcomings of Marseille’s season. Dugarry recognises a renewed energy, but pointed out a lack of toughness that the Marseille of his time would not accept. 

GFFN | Tony DesRois

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