Catch-up with Jordan Amavi

15 nov 2017
Photos ©
Jordan Amavi is in life how he is on the pitch. Generous, open and always with a good sense of humour: it's in his DNA. Interview with this true joker of undeniable talent...

Jordan, what do you think of OM's start to the season?

It's not too bad. We're fourth, which is good, even if we could have done better. We slipped up twice, in Monaco (6-1), then against Rennes (1-3). The defeat in Monaco? It's hard to explain. I think we were still trying to find our feet on the pitch. The team faced up to it and got it together by the next match, but those two losses are still there... just like our draw against Strasbourg (3-3). We drew, but we could have won.

OM is fighting to get on to the podium, who are your competitors for the top 3?

I think our main rivals will be AS Monaco and Olympique Lyonnais. Everyone puts PSG on another level. I don't think like that. I'm a competitor at heart. When I get onto a pitch, I play to win, regardless of who I'm against. I think we are equipped to rival any adversary in L1.

Against PSG, OM almost took the points (2-2) A few seconds before the final whistle you could have taken all three points...

That match was so frustrating. We had "grinta" - grit. We got to the pitch to win, we played well and, in the end, it ended up a draw. We had to win: we were at home in front of our supporters!

Last season, PSG imposed themselves at the Orange Vélodrome with a score of 1-5...

This shows the team has progressed. There's been a lot of work since. But we have to aim even higher. This match proves this season is the start of good things.

We often talked up the strengths of Ligue 1 over the last few years. In this new season it seems the French championship has literally been taken up a notch. Do you feel that's the case?

Yeah, this year the standard has gone up. The 'Big Four' that's emerging is very interesting to follow. There are loads of goals. OM, PSG, Lyon and Monaco scored 21 of the 34 goals during the last L1 matchday. That just shows there's a very - very - high standard!

Despite the fourth place, OM is still sometimes the object of criticism. What do you make of that?  

Personally, I'm pretty spared from it, but my turn will inevitably come (laughs). These criticisms shouldn't affect us any more than that. They should allow us to move forwards and progress.

In the UEFA Europa League, the last two matches will be decisive. To put ourselves in the draw, we have to win away, something OM hasn't done in Europe this season...

We've had a bit of trouble. It's hard to work out. But we make it unnecessarily hard for ourselves. We still have our destiny in our own hands and it has to stay that way so we can qualify in the next round.

Your injury kept you off the pitch for several months. Do you still think about it?

I'm not worried. But I do think about it. I've come a long way. I struggled a bit at Aston Villa. I needed time to get playing time and confidence. That's what I experience at Marseille and that's showing on the pitch.

On a personal level, it seems like you've been playing for the team for years...

I'm like that. I adapt quite easily. People have talked to me about the "Marseille factor," but you shouldn't forget that you're playing football! It's nothing but a joy to have that kind of job. I came to Marseille to enjoy myself. I'm loving it: I play for OM and the best fans in France. And there's also a real team spirit. Everyone's put me at ease. That's going really well. We laugh, we work, we take the mick out of each other, we lay into each other: it's everything I like! Take the example of Valère Germain. On my social feeds, I put a video of him and his lisp doing the "sosh" challenge. It creates a dynamic. It's all good fun, and we really enjoyed the moment. I'm always smiling, I'm like that, it's in my nature. I don't think I have much to complain about (laughs): I play for Marseille. For an incredible club. We're in the South, it's always sunny. My family lives in Toulon. I can see them more often than when I lived in England. What else could you ask for?