OFFICIAL: Rudi Garcia to Coach l’OM

The Americans are wasting no time at the head of l’OM. In an impressive and swift move, McCourt and co. announced the appointment of Frenchman Rudi Garcia as head coach, effective immediately. A coach with vast experience in the French Ligue and with AS Roma, he is a perfect fit for the hot seat in Marseille. Continue reading to hear my takeaways from this move.


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McCourt is Taking the Project Seriously

After the long and arduous sale of the club, the stakes are high for the new owner to impress the fans. After McCourt’s episode at the Dodgers, there was plenty of skepticism about his ability to manage a soccer team. With no history in the sport, and deep pockets, there were fears of OM becoming a poorly-organized mess, flooded with cash but without a club vision. The signing of Garcia proves these fears are not to be realized. Garcia is a highly-respected, well-traveled coach. He knows Ligue 1 well, has developed many stars (Hazard, Cabaye, Aubameyang, Rami, Gervinho), and has had experience in Champions League. With his fierce and passionate demeanor, he has the personality to manage the pressure of being coach at l’OM. McCourt is showing he is creating a well-structured club with a clear vision. With money invested in the right places, this OM team could rise into a formidable team over the next couple seasons.

OM will Return to Attractive Football (Soccer, Futbol, etc)

Garcia runs a 4-3-3, with a theme of triangles. In his system, he has the defensive midfielder drop towards the CBs, with the two other midfielders creating two options furhter up the field. Garcia has also implemented a False 9 system, where the center point man in the attack drops into the attacking midfield. This creates more angles to get the ball to the wings, or back into the center midfield. Whatever system he implements, Garcia is looking to move the ball and score. This is the type of system that is perfect for l’OM. OM fans want teams to push forward at every moment and give everything on the pitch. Garcia’s system is what OM fans desire.


A simple example of Garcia tactics –

The Fans will Return to the Vélodrome in Droves

What Marseille fans want above all else (besides wins) is a club that has a good culture and vision. Marseille fans will only support the club if they feel that from the top-down, there is a common motivation to give their all and have as much success as possible. What we have witnessed the past few years, is a decline in passion and trust in the club. The fans, feeling that OM was not a priority for the club leadership, no longer felt that the club could achieve greatness. With this appointment, even if the team struggles, the fans will be excited again. A good result (a tie) against PSG this weekend would further fan the flames that have sparked in the hearts of Marseille fans.

Certain Players on the Team will Fit into Garcia’s Lineup

Looking at this Marseille team, there are various players that could fit well into the system. Cabella plays well in a false 9 role, though I feel Gomis has to remain the point man up top. Thauvin will work well on the wing with his speed and hard work, and will benefit from his experience with Bielsa. Njie’s speed will also be a huge asset for Garcia. I see Vainqueur being the sentinel in front of the defense, with Diarra benefiting from a higher position in the midfield. Pushing Diarra closer to goal could improve OM’s ball movement in the final third. Machach could develop well in the center midfield, bringing his strong technique and energy to the center of the park. In terms of defense, I believe Sakai can develop into a solid offensive option on the right wing. Doria continues to improve in the defense, and could develop nicely under Garcia with his strength and good instincts in the back.

Only time will tell whether Garcia will succeed, but I have full confidence he will. He is a good tactician and has a strong personality: the ideal candidate for l’OM. Check out the video below for highlights from Garcia’s Roma team. Perhaps we will be witnessing similar events at OM in the weeks to come…

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