The period of uncertainty will not have lasted forever at Olympique de Marseille (OM). While the departure of Jorge Sampaoli caused amazement on Friday July 1 among all Marseille supporters, after a season ending in 2nd place in the championship, the club reacted by formalizing, on Monday, the arrival of Igor Tudor on the bench. The Croatian technician, free since leaving Hellas Verona (Italy) at the end of May, has signed up with OM for two seasons.

If the operation was carried out with such speed – when Paris-Saint-Germain is slow to formalize the identity of its new coach – it is because the president of Marseille, Pablo Longoria, had felt the wind. shoot with Sampaoli. The latter, unhappy with the direction taken by the recruitment of OM at the start of the transfer market, therefore chose to leave the club.

By engaging Tudor, Marseille believes in the “continuity and ambition of the project”, as the club writes in its official press release. The 44-year-old Croatian coach indeed resembles the eruptive Sampaoli in many ways: constant intensity in training, attacking play and the aggressiveness required when losing the ball.

Tudor is “recognized for its forward-looking philosophy of play”, adds OM in its press release. A statement that has been verified in recent months in Serie A, for his first and only season on the bench of Hellas Verona. Appointed coach in September when the Italian championship had already started, Tudor transformed the face of Hellas, making them an attacking team which finished in 9th place, with the 5th best attack in the championship.

Accustomed to hot environments

Former Croatian international (55 caps), Tudor established himself as a rough defender during his time at Juventus between 1999 and 2007. It was in the Turin club that he experienced the Champions League as a player, then as a coach… assistant. While OM will play in the Champions League group stage next season, Tudor’s lack of experience as number 1 in this competition could do the club a disservice.

However, the Croatian has the advantage of being comfortable with contexts similar to that of OM, where the pressure of the position is daily. Tudor has indeed coached Hajduk Split in Croatia (2013-2015), PAOK Salonika in Greece (2015-2016) and Galatasaray in Turkey (2017), clubs where the public is able to set a whole stadium.

His profile, which seems to have pleased Longoria, a connoisseur of Italian football, sticks to OM. It remains to be seen whether the results will follow. But by settling the question of their coach in the space of three days, when the surprise departure of Sampaoli could have destabilized the whole club when training resumed, OM removed a thorn of the foot. Tudor will now be able to get to work with their squad during all the preparation, before the start of the Ligue 1 season on the weekend of August 6-7, when Marseille host Reims.