OM's Sampaoli: 'A common passion'

OM's Sampaoli: 'A common passion'

Publish on 03/10 at 10:00


OM's new coach Jorge Sampaoli was presented to the press on Tuesday and vowed to bring attacking football and passion for the embattled club back - but he's not trying to be Marcelo Bielsa.

Good football at the centre of everything, defending the jersey and creating a "contagious passion" to share with the fans. New Olympique de Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli detailed on Tuesday his first ideas to start moving out of the crisis that the Provençal club currently finds itself in.

Why OM?
"It's a club I've known for a long time, because of the culture of the people and the city. I see a great identification with the way I experience emotions. It's a great joy that I've been offered this project. Of course, the ideal is to start a season with a chosen group. But I liked this project. I said yes before analysing the squad. Being here is a challenge, not a risk. Not speaking the language was the same in Brazil. You have to speak a common language with the players. You need a common passion with the players and the fans, a contagious passion."

What will be the short-term objectives?

"I'm working to try to change the current dynamics that are not the best for OM and our supporters. We're evaluating the squad for short-term decisions, to choose a way to play and to adapt to a philosophy which, as you know if you know my teams, is to turn more towards the opponent's goal than towards ours. We have to try to go back to the fundamentals, the rhythm and the desire and to have each player be aware of how lucky he is to wear this jersey. The idea of this project is to convince the group to fight everywhere, by being on the front foot, by putting the attack and good football at the beginning of everything. We are going to try to get them to adhere to this philosophy. Some players will adapt quickly, others less and others not at all. But it is the role of the staff to convince and try to restore the image of the club."

Is Marcelo Bielsa your biggest inspiration?
"Bielsa is a reference point for many coaches. For me he has been. I have followed his teams a lot. I feel very close to his ideology, his way of playing. But I'm not going to try to be him or resemble him. I'm going to try in my own way to change things very quickly. I believe that certain idols, in certain places, are impossible to imitate. It's a project concerning the here and now. I'm not interested in being remembered; I want to help redress a difficult situation and return joy and hope to the fans. I am totally dedicated to that."

Can you tell us about the importance of the jersey?
"I want the players to feel my philosophy but also what the fans feel for this jersey, which should unite us, bring us together. The jersey is somewhat forgotten in today's football. But I want to try to remind people that defending a jersey is the most important thing. This is the message this group will hear, that we must savour the game, the victory and win for a jersey."

Will OM play in a new tactical system?

"My quarantine seemed extremely long to me, but I've had plenty of time and I've been totally focused on analysing the club and looking for solutions. I suffered watching Sunday's defeat, which took us out of a tournament. But everything in my life is an opportunity. We're thinking about system changes to capitalise on the quality of the players in the areas where they feel most comfortable. The system will be chosen as a function of the opponent and the quality of the squad at our disposal. This style of play isn't my invention but it is through attacking football that the team will try to assert its superiority."

(Photo: OM)

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