Villas-Boas navigates storm in Marseille as title probabilities fade


Marseille are by no means distant from a disaster and the southern French giants are in hassle once more after a run of defeats which have led to educate Andre Villas-Boas admitting to some uncertainty about his future.

Former Chelsea boss Villas-Boas needed to be persuaded to remain at Marseille for this season regardless of main the 1993 Champions League winners to second place in Ligue 1 within the final, curtailed marketing campaign.

He clearly sensed that repeating that efficiency can be a really tough, if not unimaginable, job and Marseille have been dreadful within the Champions League group section, shedding 5 of their six video games.

Nonetheless, all was going properly in Ligue 1 as OM received six video games in a row to take a seat proper in competition in mid-December.

Since then, although, they’ve received simply as soon as in seven, and suffered dwelling defeats to struggling Nimes and Lens within the final week. That has left Marseille sixth, 10 factors off leaders Paris Saint-Germain, albeit with a sport in hand.

After shedding 2-1 to Nimes, membership president Jacques-Henri Eyraud fumed at his gamers, telling them they have been “not match to put on the shirt”.

“I’m on the service of the board. I’m not right here to be an impediment,” Villas-Boas mentioned after Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Lens, a sport performed out to a backdrop of banners within the empty stands on the Velodrome with messages akin to “you’re disgusting” and “you’re a humiliation to us”.

Villas-Boas did, although, make it clear he was not about to surrender the struggle forward of an enormous match at fourth-placed Monaco on Saturday.

“We might be enjoying all our direct rivals in our upcoming matches. We missed an opportunity to shut in on the edges above us however I hope to show issues round. I do not assume that is lifeless but.”

Participant to observe: Paul Lasne

Brest midfielder Lasne, 32, just isn’t one of many extra exceptional gamers in France. Nonetheless, he has change into an integral a part of the Brittany facet since Ibrahima Diallo was bought to Southampton for a reported 15 million euros ($18.2m) in October.

In the meantime, off the pitch Lasne has written a e-book to be launched on February 1 and referred to as MurMures (the second capital ‘M’ is deliberate and the title interprets as ‘Murmurs’).

The e-book — conveniently printed by the publishing home based by his father — just isn’t about soccer however a sequence of tales associated to Lasne’s expertise throughout France’s first coronavirus lockdown in early 2020 — the title of the e-book maybe additionally makes reference to being walled in as a “mur” in French is a wall.

He informed AFP he was impressed to write down by a visit to the grocery store simply earlier than the lockdown.

“There was a kind of anxious environment. You might inform one thing was up,” he mentioned.

“Once I bought dwelling I wrote some stuff down about. My spouse learn it and inspired me to do some writing daily.”

Key stats

7 – The variety of factors collected, out of a attainable 9, by Paris Saint-Germain in three Ligue 1 video games below Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine missed his workforce’s 1-0 win in Angers final weekend after testing optimistic for Covid-19. Compelled into self-isolation in his Paris lodge room, it’s unclear if Pochettino might be again for Friday’s sport towards Montpellier.

7 – Rennes are unbeaten in seven video games, the longest streak within the division. They will transfer to inside three factors of second-placed Lille with a win when the edges meet on Sunday.

17 – Lyon go into Sunday’s Rhone-Alpes derby towards Saint-Etienne having misplaced simply as soon as of their final 17 video games, though that loss got here final weekend towards Metz. In distinction, Claude Puel’s struggling Saint-Etienne have managed only one win of their final 17 matches.

Fixtures (occasions GMT)

Friday

Paris Saint-Germain v Montpellier (2000)

Saturday

Lens v Good (1600), Monaco v Marseille (2000)

Sunday

Bordeaux v Angers (1200), Dijon v Strasbourg, Metz v Nantes, Reims v Brest (all 1400), Rennes v Lille (1600), Saint-Etienne v Lyon (2000)

Postponed on account of coronavirus outbreak

Nimes v Lorient

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