Valbuena: “It’s professional misconduct”


Valbuena: “It’s professional misconduct”
Written by madishthestylebar

In 2011, it was he who sent OM to the round of 16 of C1 after a solo number in Dortmund. Eleven years later, Mathieu Valbuena was in front of his TV, hoping to finally have a successor. But Petit Vélo watched helplessly as OM suffered a cruel elimination against Tottenham, which he analyzes with a clear head. “That the players were not made aware of the Frankfurt result is moonlight. It’s professional misconduct.” he believes.


Like all Marseillais, we imagine you still sounded. What feeling prevails?
There are several feelings: regret, incomprehension, annoyance, anger. We do not know what to think, there are many things to say about this non-qualification. This pool for OM, which came out of pot 4, was very affordable, with homogeneous teams, and a not terrible seed. OM had enough to play for second place, by a wide margin. To finish last in this group, when you had third place in hand until the last second, is a failure. That the players were not made aware of the result of Frankfurt, it is lunar. It is professional misconduct. Even if we want to play the qualification, at this time, we must secure at least the place in C3. It would have been a disappointment, but also a lesser evil. Result this morning: OM have nothing, apart from the tail between the two legs.

Did you fall asleep easily last night?
It was a nightmarish evening. We did not see a big difference in the game, and we are punished at the end. It’s hard, because the first half was really successful. Marseille had a great start to the match, without being flamboyant, but by being serious, by getting them high, they put them in difficulty. The problem is, they didn’t kill the match in the big downbeat. They did not take shelter. As soon as Tottenham responded with intensity, and played higher, OM were in big trouble. It’s unfortunate to see these two faces, you can’t do that in C1. Even against a very average Tottenham – I insist, because I have seen them play a lot this season – it pays off. Especially since you know before the game that Tottenham often scores late in the game, and often from a set piece. Results ? A goal from a free kick, another in added time. You finish last, when you had nothing to envy to the first, but they knew how to kill when necessary.

“We can talk about Tudor’s choices, about his incomprehensible changes. When you play the game of the year and you don’t bring in Payet…”

Beyond this last cruel match, the balance sheet of this campaign is positive or negative?
The balance sheet is negative overall, because you finish last. We will not remember the two great victories against Sporting, even if you had favorable circumstances. We will remember that you finished last of this homogeneous group from which you should have extricated yourself. We will remember this big stab in the last seconds.

What leaves you with the most regrets?
We can talk about Tudor’s choices, about his incomprehensible changes. When you play the match of the year and you don’t bring in Payet… Even if he’s not in great shape, at the end of a match like that, he can make a difference on a free kick, or on a gesture. Same: leaving Clauss for Kaboré, without throwing stones at him, it was not the wisest choice. When you set your sights on a match that conditions your season, the future of your club, these choices leave you perplexed. Marseille had its destiny in hand, but did not hold its intensity throughout the match. The entrants must then bring something, but Ünder and Kaboré did not respond. Meanwhile, Payet and Gerson were on the bench. I don’t understand. It’s a shame, but it’s the responsibility of the coach and the players on the pitch. OM had experienced a worse situation in C1, so not leaving is infuriating. Especially since the table looks more open than usual in the eighth…

Can this elimination weigh down the rest of the season?
We will have to get up, but it announces a difficult period, yes. The fans had high hopes, the atmosphere was incredible. But they experience a new disillusion that follows others. The players will have to show character, especially given the two games to come against Lyon and Monaco. Afterwards, sometimes it’s better to follow up with such posters to wake you up quickly. It can be a blessing in disguise. But for OM and its European history, this campaign was again disappointing. I hope it won’t weigh down the season… In the immediate future, it can especially weaken Tudor, yes, because his choices are questionable. The players will have to put their heads back in place, the C1 uses a lot of physical and psychological energy. We’ll see if they bounce back on Sunday, that will say a lot about what happens next. We must remobilize in the league, and get the Coupe de France.

OM had the C1 level this time?
It’s always a fair bit. But each time, we say that it was takeable, doable. During my last campaign, we had a big group with Napoli, Arsenal and Dortmund. But each time at home, we dominated them, we could win, and we were punished on one occasion. We didn’t take advantage of our highlights. Eleven years later, it’s still the same thing. This place is hard for OM, they were better than Sporting, than Frankfurt too. They did not have a bad game against Tottenham, which did not exist in the first leg at eleven against eleven. But OM lacked experience, lack of necessary vice, as for example on the goal of Lenglet, who pushes just enough Rongier. These little things that gave the feeling of being so close, but which ultimately make OM so far away.

Interview by Adrien Hémard-Dohain


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