Ligue 1

Ligue 1: Rudi Garcia And Big Defensive Problems At Marseille

Marseille's French coach Rudi Garcia holds a press conference at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southeastern France, on August 23, 2017 on the eve of the UEFA Europa League play-off football match between Marseille and NK Domzale. / AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVAT (Photo credit should read BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Ligue 1: Rudi Garcia And Big Defensive Problems At Marseille

Here at the Stoppage Time, we have a stake in Paris Saint-Germain’s proceedings as they embark on the Kylian Mbappe era starting next week at the home of the best team in French club football (at least in terms of trophies won), managed by Mr. Unai Emery. But what about Paris’s historic rival to the south, the working class brethren of Rudi Garcia’s Olympique de Marseille, the club of Emmanuel Macron, that which is owned by a certain Frank McCourt?

You know how McCourt’s ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers was not the most fruitful in the history of the organization? Well, it may be early in the Ligue 1 campaign, and the Europa League may not have gotten off the ground, but the Champions Project that Frank’s setting up…is starting to see its wheels come off.

You don’t need to look further than what may go down as the worst loss off the season (unless PSG smell blood in the waters whose marine life fuels their bouillabaise and decide to open them up in similar fashion): a home loss to Leonardo Jardim’s AS Monaco at the Stade Louis II, a 6-1 hiding that already have the calls for a sacking to be in order by those out of the woodwork of the streets of Marseille, the long-suffering fans who lament being upstaged by their bourgeois rivals to the North, armed with the combo of MEN—Mbappe, Edinson (Cavani) and Neymar (Santos Jr.)—heading into next week, where hapless, hopeless, winless FC Metz lie waiting for the end of that Friday night Parisian light show to finally end.

Marseille just don’t have a defense against big names, and big watered-down names at that. Even with Monaco shipping out its prime players they made OM look like their amateur league counterparts, Consolat. Compounding matters further was their inability to bring in Chelsea rebel Diego Costa to their ranks. Instead, as the transfer window wrapped up, Tunisian international Aymen Abdennour was signed on loan from Valencia.


Indeed, if there is to be a resurgence of form for OM and their hopes to chase the teams at the top to receive a golden reboot, it will depend on Abdennour’s effectability. 15 starts will activate an option to buy and it will not be surprising if Abdennour’s services are enlisted for the long haul. One thing to his advantage is this: one of Abdennour’s former clubs? Monaco. His experience playing in Ligue 1 could be just what Rudi Garcia needs to fix this big problem of no defense at Marseille and in the process, prevent a sacking not unlike that of Michel, who is now managing the situation at Malaga CF of La Liga.

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Ligue 1

Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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