OM vs. Nice – Recap and Player Ratings

In a crucial game against a strong opponent, OM showed that there is little drive and talent to push for a European spot. There was little offensive cohesion, an invisible midfield and an inconsistent defense. In a team where the problems seem to be all over the field, it is difficult to find a specific reason for OM’s shortcomings this season.

In defense, Rekik and Sparagna were very strong in tackles, but were on several occasions no match for the speed and efficiency of the Niçoise attaque, notably against Ben Arfa and Germain. Manquilo and Mendy moved up the field and were very involved in attack, but struggled to provide good crosses. Their movement forward also left the center defense exposed to the piercing runs of the Niçois midfield. Poor defending by both full-backs allowed Nice to expose the flanks frequently. Mandanda made crucial saves throughout the game, but will be left wanting on the goal by Germain, where the striker was able to split two defenders and hit a 22-yard shot into the left corner of the goal, that did not look very powerful.

OM’s midfield play could only be described as weak. Lucas Silva showed little command of the ball, giving away possession often and offering little service forward. To think that this player is on loan from Real Madrid seems less and less believable with every poor performance. Romao made several defensive mistakes, and missed an unforgivable chance in the 50th minute when he sent a ball into the stands 15 meters from goal. Barrada, while showing tremendous effort, has simply not been able to work consistently in the No. 10 role. He seemed too slow to respond to situations and did not provide any service to Batshauyi, preventing the striker from finding any space. It is evident that Diarra is a one-man midfield, and without him, OM cannot possess the ball.

In attack, Ocampos and Nkoudou were effectively shut down by the Nice full-backs. Jeremy Pied was able to keep an in-form Nkoudou completely out of the game. Ocampos, while showing glimpses of his classic creativity and drive, lost possession often and failed to provide dangerous service into the middle. Batshauyi tried to create chances alone, but the real issue was he had to create them alone. With the wingers and midfielders failing to create any separation, it seemed like Batshauyi was entirely alone against the Nice defense. Without any penetration on the wings, Batshauyi would get the ball 30m from goal, where the only option was to dribble and pray for a lucky bounce. The entry of Bouna Sarr provided a spark on the right flank, but with little results.

In a game without four starters, OM was absolutely non-existent. If poor performances continue, how much time will Michel have before the attention is suddenly focused on him? It is tough to say, as he has been given a very weak team by the club leadership. The team lacks a philosophy, and Michel must act quickly to turn this team lacking experience and leaders into a cohesive unit.

Team Report Cards (x/10)

Mandanda – 3/10

Manquilo – 3/10

Sparagna – 3.5 / 10

Rekik – 3.5 / 10

Mendy – 3/10

Lucas Silva – 2/10

Romao – 3.5/10

Barrada – 2/10

Nkoudou – 3/10

Ocampos – 3/10

Batshauyi – 3/10

Sarr – 4.5/10

Michel – 3/10. Without essential starters, he struggled to establish a philosophy in the team.

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