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OM: Longoria responds to the Tudor, Veretout and Dieng controversies – Interview

By putting Igor Tudor at the head of OM, we understood that you wanted to completely change your style of play. We go from a rather patient possession game to a very vertical transition game as you said . The question is non-judgmental, anyway the season hasn’t even started. But haven’t you been too ambitious in relation to the context, knowing that there is the Champions League, you have to be ready right away…

Pablo Longoria: “Naturally, for any change, you have to take time to adapt. An athlete who runs a 100 meters cannot perform overnight in a 1500 meters. He must go through 400 meters, after 800 meters and then we can go to 1500 meters. In football, there are different things and I believe that strongly. The first thing is that I believe that the natural evolution of football is towards more physical football, more based on transitions, more based on physical intensities. If we take the data of all the high-level teams, there is something in common: very important physical data. Normally, physical teams often perform well on different championships. The club wanted to take this direction. It’s normal to ask questions: should we take this direction right away? Not right away? I think that as soon as we take a path, we must adapt. sure that we are not going to judge the Olympique de Marseille of Igor Tudor in the month of September. It’s a process. But there is also a building base, it is a group of very good players. They finished second. We have a very good squad, we have recruited players who are adapted to the game methodology that we want to put in place. The arrival of new players will help speed up this type of process. The club is sure of the path it has taken.”.

Pablo, it looks like one of the next signings is Jordan Veretout. Since yesterday, there has been a controversy over a court case involving his in-laws. Some of the OM supporters who therefore do not want the player. It’s a moral judgement, how do you feel about this situation?

Pablo Longoria: “There is a question in life, it is to make moral concessions and to judge a situation. I ask questions: is he doomed? No! Ok, first question… There is a guess that he did something. Is it a guess or a fact? Because I can make guesses about other things. Afterwards, there are always other questions. You have to look yourself in the eye, be honest. In the life, of course, you have to have ethics, values, righteousness. But be careful of people’s judgment. A rumor is a reflex of current life with social networks. Judging someone popularly for a guess, is it right? Is it morally acceptable? You need to reflect on this current society. That’s my point of view, you always have to respect people.”

What can you tell us about your intervention yesterday with the group? And incidentally, what can you tell us about the case of Bamba Dieng? What are the club’s intentions towards him?

Pablo Longoria: “An intervention in front of the group, that’s part of the codes. Normally, all the private conversations I have with people, I don’t say it publicly. Things from the locker room must always stay in the locker room. And that’s one of the codes in a football team and in a sports group. This is the first point. The second point that I consider important is to remind you of the day of the presentation of Igor Tudor. The message of the club hasn’t changed since that day. Since day one, we’ve talked about demands, work, discipline. Everyone’s been heading in the same direction since I arrived at OM. I think it’s was important to remember all these things. Everyone must take the same direction: supporters, players, coach, club… I would also like to recall what I said during Igor Tudor’s press conference, he was about his first question, there’s the club, the coach and the players (with a hand gesture to indicate gold dre). Yesterday, we recalled all these things”.

“On the individual case of Bamba Dieng, he is a player under contract with the club. The performance of the player is judged in training on a daily basis. There is no past in football, it is now, the next training, the last game, the next game, what you did yesterday, what you did today. He is a very important player. We know the player: we are talking about a real talent, “a player with a lot of impact in his first season in Ligue 1. He is also a player who has value, but we must remember the values โ€‹โ€‹of modern sport”.

In relation to the objectives set in terms of purchase or sale, where are you in the transfer window? An update on the Jordan Veretout and Alexis Sanchez files?

Pablo Longoria: “We are happy with the development of the transfer window so far. It’s true, as we said last time, there are too many players to start the season, we want a group of 22 players, counting 2 goalkeepers, that’s the end goal to finish the transfer window. We need to recruit players, because we want to speed up the process of changing from one style to another. But we also have to get players out, that’s is the truth. Some moves are getting closer. And we have to keep developing our strategy until August 31.”

“I don’t like to talk about players individually, as always… We’re talking about two players with an international level. Of Jordan Veretout, who has performed well for 5 years in a demanding championship like the Italian championship. Alexis Sanchez, if we look at his history and current stats, very high level, he’s won in every country he’s played in. They both have a high level of adaptability to our squad, but they’re players still linked to Roma and Inter. We must respect the choices of each of the clubs”.


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