April 17, 2024

Marcelino, the backlash

Three weeks after his departure from OM, which he felt should have been a collective one – including the management – following the altercation with supporters at La Commanderie the day after Marseille’s goalless draw with Toulouse, Marcelino set out to settle scores in an interview with L’Equipe. I’ve spent twenty years as a coach, and almost twenty years as a professional play…

Three weeks after his departure from OM, which he felt should have been a collective one – including the management – following the altercation with supporters at La Commanderie the day after Marseille’s goalless draw with Toulouse, Marcelino set out to settle scores in an interview with L’Equipe. I’ve spent twenty years as a coach, and almost twenty years as a professional player before that, and I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. And I don’t think I’ll ever see it again. At least I really hope not. It’s a way of doing things that’s a long way from what the reality should be, in 2023, in a civilized country. Soccer is all about passion, but there are limits, says the 62-year-old Spanish coach, who also believes that OM is a club that is regressing.

Naturally, this interview did not go unanswered in Marseille, where Eric Di Meco was particularly keen to hit back on Wednesday evening on RMC: As far as I’m concerned, Marcelino is disqualified.iĆ© to talk about OM, says the former Olympiens full-back. He left like a coward after two months, even though he was never questioned. You have to explain why he’s doing this interview. He’s talking to potential clubs who would like to bring him back, so he’s trying to clear his name for a fiasco. When you leave after two months, when you haven’t succeeded in your first objective, which is to qualify the team for the Champions League, and when you play a game that’s unreadable for your players and even worse for the followers, you don’t use reasoning.

A small-club coach

Marcelino managed seven matches in all competitions at Marseille, with a record of three wins, three draws and one defeat. His team, admittedly placed in L1 when he left, failed to qualify for the C1 play-offs, exiting prematurely at the hands of Panathinaikos. You can’t, having spent two months here and having failed, say what’s right and what’s wrong. says about the club, insists Eric Di Meco, before acknowledging one thing in the Iberian strategist’s criticism. The better to tackle him: OM is a historic club, but it’s no longer a great club today, we all agree. But do we need him to tell us that? Because if OM were a great club today, Marcelino wouldn’t have come to coach. He’s a small-club coach.