My first look at the club, I have decided to strengthen the coaching staff with additions that will take us to the next level on the training ground, my first addition is that of Zinedine Zidane as my assistant manager replacing Frank Passi who has left the club. Zidane comes to the club with some very good coaching stats and of course it’s a return to his birthplace. Another coach and former Marsielle player Frank Ribery is another addition with links to the club, he also brings with him good attacking stats. The Spaniard Aitor Karanka is my 3rd addition to the training ground along with Peter Crouch the former England International.
With these additions we have very good cover across the board in training at the club.
I am looking to bring in more scouts in the near future to enable the club to set up a successful scouting network. I have decide to retain the current Director of Football, Head of Youth Development and Chief Scout for the time being but will be looking to improve in all 3 areas.
I believe with a couple of additions to the playing staff we can be competitive in all competitions this season, which brings me nicely on to incoming and outgoings at the club.
I will start by saying in weird twist this is my 3rd club and 3rd time I have joined a club with Andy Carroll is at, he will no doubt be thinking here we go again has I have transfer listed and sold him both at West Ham and Newcastle Utd, I had a look at him in pre season and decided to let him go again as he didn’t fit in to my system, so he has signed for Levante. I have strengthened our attacking options with the signings of Moussa Dembele who I signed last season at Newcastle and Munir from Barcelona for a combined sum of £35m, I feel both these players will be pivotal to Olympique Marseille during my reign. Another player incoming is Uruguayan defender Martin Caceres signed by the previous manager on a free transfer, Caceres will give us a number of options across our defence. Belgian forward Michy Batshuayi has left the club on a free transfer and has joined Besiktas again this deal was done by the previous management.
I have promoted 3 youth team players in to the first team squad they are Brazilian forward Oliveira who looks a red hot prospect, 18 year old Uruguayan full back Sergio De Los Santos and Norwegian defender Elrik Haugan.
We have received a massive £46m bid with the potential to rise to £60m for Lucas Ocampos, I was pondering over the deal so delayed the decision then Ocampos requested I let him speak to City, so I did and the transfer was completed. Another player to move on was Brazilian midfielder Denilson who has moved to Santos for 950k.
I have re invested the Ocampos transfer back in to the squad with 3 players coming in, they are French players Anthony Martial from Manchester United and Geoffrey Kondogbia from Arsenal. I have also purchased Eric Pereira from River Plate for £3m, Pereira has gone straight out on loan to Spartak Moscow.
We started pre season with a 2-1 defeat in Russia against Dnipro with Oliveira netting for us. Next up was a trip to Denmark and a 7-1 win v FC Kobenhavn in a game which we had 76% possession playing a 4-2-3-1 formation. We then went on to have wins against Ajaccio,Angers and Club Brugge before losing 1-2 against Borussia Dortmund.
Next up was the 2 legged Europa League 3rd qualifying round games against Croatian club RNK Split. The first leg was away in Croatia were we laboured to a 2-1 win with goals from Giovani Dos Santos and Moussa Dembele in the first half. We looked poor on the night and lucky to have come away with the goals. The 2nd leg was much better has we scored 3 2nd half goals via Munir 2 and Oliveira in a 3-1 win to set up a playoff tie against Spartak Moscow with the 1st leg in Russia with the prize being a place in the group stage.
OLYMPIQUE DE MARSIELLE SQUAD 2018-2019
So thats the squad with a few days left until the transfer window shuts, we have a blend of experience and youth has we embark on the season ahead. I am looking forward to trying to instil the Juego De Posicion philosophy here in France…………