A disappointing campaign saw one of France’s most successful club’s fall short of the mark.
Marseille finished the Ligue 1 season in 5th place, bringing to an end a disappointing campaign for the south coast side. Their tally of 61 points is a staggering 16 less than the season before and means they won’t be playing European football next season.
There are a wide range of factors contributing to last season’s downfall. A lack of goals, a struggle for consistency and the simple fact that the player’s performances on the pitch were not at the level of the season before.
Players such as Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet shone throughout the 2017/18 campaign and naturally attracted attention from some of Europe’s top clubs. Marseille eventually managed to keep hold of them but they proved to be nowhere near as effective last season and it exposed the club’s reliance on them.
Payet notched up a remarkable 22 assists in all competitions in 17/18 but managed just 4 goals and 7 assists domestically last season. Despite Thauvin’s 16 Ligue 1 goals last season, he still finished the campaign with 6 less league goals than his tally for the season prior. The dip in form of these two players alone is a major reason for the club’s less than satisfactory campaign.
Their failure to qualify for Europe has meant Rudi Garcia will step down as manager. The 55-year-old guided the club to the 2017/18 Europa League final but fell short last campaign. Marseille failed to progress from the group stage of the tournament last season. A record of 0 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses saw them finish bottom of their group with just one point.
And is if their exit from the Europa League wasn’t embarrassing enough, the club then suffered a humiliating departure from the French Cup, losing to fourth-division side Andrezieux in January.
Marseille finished the 2017/18 Ligue 1 season with just 5 losses and a goal difference of +33. Last season they lost an inexcusable 13 times; six teams below them in the table finished with less losses to their name. A goal difference of +8 is also a stark contrast from the season before.
Reports are suggesting that former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is close to being named as the new manager of Marseille. Everyone connected with the club will be hoping he can bring a sense of stability back to the Stade Velodrome and see them back to their best next term.