Olympique de Marseille have officially announced the departure of Spanish head coach Marcelino this Wednesday.
After only seven competitive games in charge with Marseille, the former Valencia CF coach was left stunned and shocked following the heavy criticism aimed at him by representatives of fan groups on Monday evening during a meeting between fans and four of the club’s executives, including club president Pablo Longoria. The latter four have taken the decision to step back from their roles.
On Tuesday, Marcelino reportedly told his players that the dour home 0-0 stalemate against Toulouse on Sunday was his final game in charge of Les Phocéens. The Spaniard also hinted that his presence in the Velodrome would be meaningless in the event that Longoria – his close friend since their time together at Valencia CF – leaves the Ligue 1 club. Longoria reportedly admitted he had made a mistake in appointing Marcelino as Marseille head coach.
Marcelino did not start his tenure as OM manager brilliantly. Les Phocéens have been thrown out of the path leading to the Champions League group stage in losing to Panathinaikos in a two-legged tie. Some of Marcelino’s tactical choices during the tie, such as keeping a booked Geoffrey Kondogbia on the pitch before his eventual sending-off in the first leg or changing his goalkeeper for the penalty shoot-out for the return leg, were called into question.
In Ligue 1, despite clear room for improvement when it comes to his tactical nous and game management, Marcelino has an acceptable record of three draws and two wins. However, the ongoing crisis at the Vélodrome proved the last straw for him.
“Following on from the press release published yesterday evening regarding the management team, Olympique de Marseille considers that the events of September 18 do not allow Marcelino and his technical staff to exercise in good conditions the function for which they were hired”, reads Marseille’s latest press release. “As a result of this regrettable situation, Marcelino and his staff will not continue their mission at Olympique de Marseille. Given the context, the entire club is extremely disappointed to have to face the departure of a coach and technical staff, who only arrived in Marseille on June 23 and were fully committed to the club, for non-sporting reasons.”
Marseille will face AFC Ajax for their Europa League opener on Thursday at Amsterdam. Pancho Abardonado is poised to take over Les Phocéens on an interim basis.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval