Crisis meetings to avoid the crisis: after its defeat in Lyon on Sunday, OM tried to remobilize through group therapy and a lot of positive messages, while knowing that a new misstep on Friday against Metz would plunge again the club in the storm.
The first warning arrived Monday morning in the form of a banner displayed in front of the Commanderie, the training center of the Marseille club: “Wake up!”.
A few hours earlier, OM had been beaten 1-0 in Lyon, without offering much or displaying much spirit of revolt, which quite irritated central defender Leonardo Balerdi.
“We can't do that, we have to give more, it's not possible,” summed up the Argentinian, while OM slipped to 8th place and posted its worst record at this stage of the season. for eight years and the pitiful passage on the bench of the Spaniard Michel.
In the process, President Pablo Longoria called a meeting attended by all the players, the entire staff and even all OM employees in direct contact with the first team.
Presented as “incisive” by a source within the club, the Spanish leader first reminded his players that they were very lucky that things were not moving faster in front of them.
But above all he regretted in general the absence of “a collective, a grinta, a leader, a mentality, rigor” and recalled “the small delays, the small SMS messages to the leaders to complain, the laughter despite the results”.
“Lyon was the last straw. It’s the manner, the indifference that drove him crazy,” another source within the club told AFP.
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On Wednesday, at a press conference, Longoria returned to this first meeting of the week. “It was time to step in and ask the right questions. But I don't believe in words, only in actions and consequences. We are all in the same boat and we must seek to bring it to the best possible position. Players have pride, self-esteem. I think we are going to see a reaction,” predicted the Spanish leader.
This is also what the supporters are hoping for, more and more exasperated by the current results - OM, already eliminated in the Coupe de France, remains with three draws and one defeat in L1 -, and who had been at their tour invited to a meeting with the players and staff on Tuesday.
Unlike the famous meeting in September, which precipitated the departure of coach Marcelino and half of the club's management (Javier Ribalta and Pedro Iriondo), that of Tuesday took place without outbursts. But the supporters still conveyed the idea of real discontent and the need for an immediate reaction.
“It happened in a simple, logical and I hope effective way. I hope there will be response and bite,” summarized Rachid Zeroual, the influential representative of the South Winners, on site.
But the absence at the meeting of two groups of supporters, the Fanatics and the Commando Ultra 84, suggests that some have already moved to the side of anger and that the reception at the Vélodrome should still be very cool at best on Friday .
The Marseille players are therefore warned and know that victory is essential against the Lorraines. It is all the more so as the Garnets are going through a terrible period with seven defeats in a row in the championship.