after the Annecy fiasco, OM owe the Vélodrome a revenge
The Marseille public, very close to their team this season, is struggling to digest the elimination in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France against Annecy.
OM have bounced back, but their public has not yet digested: by winning in Rennes last week, Igor Tudor’s team left behind the painful defeats suffered at home against Paris SG and Annecy, but the Vélodrome is now waiting for a victory against Strasbourg on Sunday to really pass the towel.
Like Alexis Sanchez, who spoke of “worst defeat of (his) careerRuslan Malinovskyi assured Friday that he had a very bad experience of elimination against Annecy, modest 10th in Ligue 2, in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France 10 days ago.
“I lost two Cup finals, in Italy with Atalanta and in Belgium with Genk. It was two defeats less hard than that of Annecy. It was very difficult, we lived two very complicated days“, explained the Ukrainian in a press conference.
But the Marseille public, who already saw themselves in the final at the Stade de France, ready to celebrate a trophy that they love and have been waiting for since 1989, undoubtedly experienced it even worse.
“Warm heart, cool head»
The anger was all the stronger because if the Marseille season is satisfactory for the moment, most of the real disappointments have come at home, with defeats against Paris, Nice, Lens and Ajaccio in the league, in addition to those conceded against in Frankfurt and Tottenham in the Champions League.
The victory brought back from Rennes on Sunday and the four margin points taken over Monaco and Lens in L1 certainly made it possible to partially appease the disappointment of the setback suffered against the Haut-Savoyards, three days after the passage of the Mbappé tornado in Marseille.
But Sunday, in front of a Vélodrome which will once again be sold out, the Marseillais know that they must offer their supporters a convincing success to really be forgiven.
“All the matches here are special and it’s always a show. But after two defeats, people expect a strong reaction. We will have to play against Strasbourg with a warm heart and a cool head, with great concentrationMalinovskyi confirmed.
“You can’t joke with the tifosi, you mustn’t disrespect them. You have to have the right attitude and you have to react strongly. We managed to win in Rennes, with a good reaction. We prepared well for Strasbourg and we must have the same desire to win, the same mentalityAdded the former Atalanta player.
Memory of 2022
Igor Tudor, for his part, was rather skeptical about the idea of revenge. “The players don’t think about that kind of thing, home game, away game… They always want to give the maximum. When you play for a club like OM, every game is special“, he judged.
But the Croatian technician also acknowledged that this privilege comes with some responsibilities. “This jersey has a weight because there are these supporters, here and everywhere where we play. It’s very beautiful, very stimulating. But it can also take something away from you, weigh you down a bit. But I think there’s enough personality in the team to face that and make something positive out of it.“, he explained.
To face the Alsatians on Sunday, Tudor may be deprived of Cengiz Under, feverish at the end of the week, but should have the reinforcement of Samuel Gigot, back from injury. The approximately 63,000 spectators of the Vélodrome will come with their memories.
The most recent are therefore not brilliant, but Strasbourg’s last visit to Marseille, in 2022, was memorable: OM won 4-0 in an exceptional atmosphere and after a crazy match which offered them, with the help of Lens, the qualification in extremis for the Champions League at the expense of Monaco.