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Ligue 1: OM, champion of the projects
The new coach of OM, Andrà © Villas-Boas during the friendly match against Naples, August 4. GERARD JULIEN / AFP

Do better with less. This is the difficult challenge proposed to the new coach of Olympique de Marseille, Andrà © Villas Boas, who begins his season with the reception of Reims, Saturday, August 10 at the Stade Và © lodrome. Constrained by the financial fair play, the direction of the phocé club has made a change of course in its strategy of conquest of the summits. Finished the "Champion's Project", its transfers and its salaries, place at the "Training Center" project and its perspectives of budget balance. A real challenge for OM, which has historically never been a training club and whose supporters are known for their fervor as well as their impatience.

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In an interview given to the journal l'Equipe on July 10th, the president of OM Jacques-Henri Eyraud had developed the new axis of development of the club based on the formation and the post-training. "Financial fair play or not, our financial trajectory was no longer sustainable over such a long cycle. We would have headed for financial equilibrium, it is necessary. A club is not a dancer or a gadget, it's a company. "he had then pointed out. "We will move to a model that will be based on training, post-training, profiles to train, to value, and diversification of sources of income. AT"

New organization chart for the training center

In addition to the Portuguese technician, the OM leadership has also, and especially (?), Brought Nasser Larguet, former national technical director of Morocco, to take the head of the club's training center, a new cornerstone of the OM project. . Nasser Larguet, unknown to the general public but reference to training passed by Cannes, Caen and Le Havre, will have the heavy task of developing the project initiated since the club's resumption of the club. ™ American Frank McCourt. Peter Luccin, Jonathan Zebina, Bernard Mendy, Lassana Diarra, Mathieu Bodmer, Steve Mandanda and Kevin Gameiro, to name only the best known, are all players who have passed or been trained in a center directed by Nasser Larguet.

This is not the only change made by the club management. Former professional striker Philippe Anziani (57) has been named to lead the OM reserve team, which is playing in National 2 this season, assisted by Maxence. Flachez. In charge of under 17 years last season, the duo composed of Olivier Jannuzzi and Jacques Abardonado rises to a category and will now be under 19 years old. Stephane François and Eric Berberian, as deputy, thus receive the U17 category.

With this new organization chart, OM intends to better structure the program launched by the new management at the time of the club's takeover and start-up entitled "OM next Generation. This project aims to recreate a link between the amateur clubs of the city and OM to encourage young hopefuls from the region who are more inclined to join Monaco, Nice or Montpellier. A communication operation for some, an essential step for others.

"The season will be difficult"

Today, the club has 22 partnerships with clubs such as AS Gemenos, FC Martigues, Burel FC, Luynes Sports and Marignane Gignac FC. The biggest amateur clubs, for their part, benefit from an "elite" or "champion" partnership. "Deals are also underway with the Air Bel club, considered the best training club in the region, who rejected a first proposal for rapprochement three years ago. years.

"We can not compare the OM in Dijon, as at amateur level we can not compare Air Bel with another club, justified the founder of the club, Chaib Draoui. In this partnership, we must put ourselves in a category apart, not in the same as everyone else. Today, OM management is looking to find solutions. It's a good thing to advance the Marseille club and football. ".

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In any case, this program will only bear fruit in a few years. The coach of the OM will in the meantime do with the means on board. "The squad is going to be a little shorter and made up of young players, the season will be tough."he had pointed out, with a hint of disappointment in his voice, in a press conference. Jacques-Henri Eyraud said he was very transparent with his new coach: "We clearly announced the color and explained that we were going to turn a page, have real financial constraints. He accepted it. AT" After Boubacar Kamara and Maxime Lopez, worthy but only representatives of the Marseille team in the first team, Andrà © Villas-Boas will integrate several young people from the training center into the professional workforce. .

Young people integrated this season

Lucas Perrin, 20, will be the fourth central defender of the group behind Kamara, Caleta-Car and Rami, against whom a dismissal procedure is initiated. Midfielder Florian Chabrolle, 21, very much in contention at the Olympian against DC United (8-1) in the pre-season match and impressed his coach with his technical fluency, should also see playing time this season. It remains for the Marseille leaders to conclude negotiations with the young and talented hopeful Isaac Lihadji, who is at the heart of the OM training center courted by many European clubs, but whose signature of the first professional contract late to conclude.

Usually the great organizer of the summer transfer window, the OM has therefore for the moment been shown very wise on the front of transfers. Only two rookies came to fill the Marseille squad: Spanish defender Gonzalez, coming from Villareal, and Argentine striker Dario Benedetto, who has left Boca Juniors. At the same time, OM has only registered two departures (Clinton Njie and Lucas Ocampos for around 20 million euros) and has not (yet) succeeded in to score from his players at the mirific salaries and who weigh heavily in the club's budget.

With a brisk schedule (OM will not compete in Europe this season) and an almost unchanged squad, the team has the potential to finish on the Ligue 1 podium The pre-season games (victory at the EA Ligue 1 Games tournament and a short game against Napoli in particular) have given hope to some Marseille fans, warmed up after a 2018 season. / 2019 catastrophic. It will take them a bit more to join the new project of the Olympian leadership.

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