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With two draws so far, against Strasbourg and Rennes (0-0) and a defeat on Wednesday to Valenciennes (2-1), OM is “taking some time to light up” in the words of Pape Diouf.
After the match, in the corridors of the Nungesser, he announced a period of ‘soul searching’ before the next Sunday’s match in order to identify the problems and find solutions.
The President refused to reset OM’s goals to a lower standard in view of the sluggish start to the season, saying that making such a big call after just 3 matches would be useless and counterproductive. Especially when the object of any conclusions is a team that hasn’t had a complete squad available as yet and which had to play 2 of its first 3 matches on the road.
On top of that, the dual absence of Mamadou Niang and Samir Nasri through injury, two indispensable first-team regulars (in the words of Albert Emon) cannot have been without consequence.
During the summer, the friendly matches showed the vast potential of the squad, the result of having kept the strong skeleton of the side from last year, which won direct qualification to the Champions League, and reinforcing it with strong players in every line in order to narrow the gap between OM and Lyon. This potential hasn’t disappeared in the interceding weeks. The side simply needs time and confidence ion order to unleash its full potential.
And in order to lift their heads and the bar, to get the season on the right track and to win a first victory of the season against AS Nancy Lorraine, Olympique de Marseille needs its fans. You. The expectations are high, everyone knows that. With strong support from the fans, Albert Emon’s men will have an extra weapon with which to turn around the poor results from the beginning of the season and fight on to achieve their objectives.
In this task, Matt Moussilou and all the OM attackers, including Mamadou Niang, who rejoins the squad, could well be aided by a Samir Nasri storming back from a thigh injury. The young midfielder has just been recalled to Raymond Domenech’s France squad for the impending friendly against Slovakia and should be able to bring all his considerable qualities to bear to put the Olympien strikers back on the right track.
Sure, Nancy, with the 3rd-best attack in L1, played 2 games at home, but the ingredients that gave them such a good result last season are still there: defensive solidity, collective balance and a winning mentality.
Defenders : Beye, Bonnart, Givet, Rodriguez, Taiwo, Zubar
Midfielders : Cana, Cheyrou, M'Bami, Oruma, Zenden, Ziani, Valbuena, Nasri
Attackers: Niang, Moussilou, Ayew, Cissé
Defenders: Chrétien Puygrenier, Macaluso, André Luiz , Biancalani, Sauget
Midfielders: Berenguer, Guerriero, Gavanon, N'Guemo, Malonga
Attackers: Kim, Curbelo, Hadji, Dia, Fortune
OM’s record for hosting Nancy: 9 wins, 6 draws and 4 losses
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