‘Everyone has only one word on their lips’ – Jean-Louis Gasset embraces Marseille’s Europa League expectations

On Thursday evening, Olympique de Marseille will host Benfica at the Stade Vélodrome as they hope to overturn the 2-1 deficit and secure passage into the Europa League semi-final

Anticipation for the night has been building in the city as the club’s hopes for qualification to Europe next season appear as if they could rest solely on the unlikely event that Marseille win the competition outright. 

The club are off-the pace in the league where inconsistent results have seen them drop out of the top seven (a position that would be good enough to secure European football for next year) and the Europa League remains a difficult pathway to succeeding in their end-of-season goal.

The manager Jean-Louis Gasset has been in the role of firefighter for the club for less than two months since he replaced Gennaro Gattuso, but he is keenly aware of the weight of expectation in the city. 

The one word on Marseille’s lips

Speaking exclusively to La Provence, Gasset explained how Thursday night is all that people can talk about. “Everyone has only one word on their lips: Thursday. It’s incredible, you go to eat at a restaurant, they tell you “Thursday.” We take a photo, they tell you “Thursday.” It’s a crucial moment of the season, we can erase a lot of things because it’ll give a lot of hope.” 

If the team responds as it has done so far in the European Cup at the Vélodrome, it will mean that I did not come for nothing and that I will have experienced the moments that I wanted to experience here,” Gasset states. 

The task is not impossible for Marseille, but the club come into this game on a five-match losing streak and the new manager bounce that arrived with Gasset long gone.

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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