why Payet spoke of “heads to deflate” after the defeat against Clermont

Dimitri Payet criticized the attitude of the Marseille players – without quoting anyone – on Sunday evening after the defeat of OM against Clermont (0-2) at the end of the 25th day of Ligue 1. A media projection which is explained by multiple causes as the club struggles to secure their place on the Championship podium.

A post-match declaration which sows a little trouble, and which necessarily highlights some tensions in the Marseille locker room. Who was targeted by this media release by Dimitri Payet, pointing the finger, Sunday evening, at “heads to deflate”, after the rout against Clermont?

Like Valentin Rongier or Pau Lopez who, themselves, mentioned concerns in “attitude” or in “mentality”, Payet would first target a state of mind… less collective, where everyone plays a little too much for their apple . All this at the heart of a period where there are many frustrations for the Marseille captain.

Payet in the hollow of the wave

After carrying the team at the start of the season, OM’s No. 10 makes less difference, alone. He is a little tough physically, at the start of 2022, and feels that it is difficult to count on the collective to make OM win. Which would annoy him deeply.

The transfer window also had some undesirable effects. Jordan Amavi, very close to Payet and very important for the good mood in the locker room, is no longer there. Other players arrived (Kolasinac and Bakambu), and during this same period a man began to score and take up a lot of space in OM’s offensive animation: obviously, Arkadiusz Milik. For the past few weeks, Jorge Sampaoli has been groping, looking for a real game system… which would sometimes suit the Polish striker, sometimes Payet, if possible both. While sometimes inserting new arrivals there… Even if it means sometimes shifting Payet to the left side, where he feels less and less comfortable.

Little complicity with Gerson or Milik

A feeling of helplessness undeniably emerged from Marseille’s performance throughout the match against Clermont-Ferrand. With around Payet, teammates less prominent, less fit. The Payet-Gerson technical relationship leaves something to be desired. The attitudes of the Brazilian, sometimes sulky, not always very hardworking, annoy some players a little. Cengiz Under, whom Payet found his eyes closed at the start of the season, is on his side less regular, and would tend to often complicate the task in his sequences, when he is not on his plate.

Finally, the Milik case is complex. Should OM play for him? Should Sampaoli ensure him a starting place or not? The debate is permanent… and it has also tensed the atmosphere internally. It’s hard to say that Payet was directly targeting the Polish striker in his statements on Sunday… but some voices within the club think they guess that this speech was also there to remind that no one is essential and that everyone must stop. with his moods.

A locker room lacking leaders?

OM therefore experienced one of their first real broncas on Sunday evening since Jorge Sampaoli and Pablo Longoria took over. Out of the question, however, to give in to panic. OM remain second in the championship, and are keeping their spirits up on the eve of their journey to Baku, taking off on Tuesday. With a few pilots on board to boost OM? In times of doubt, managers are important. However, over the choices of Sampaoli and the bets on the bench of Steve Mandanda or Alvaro Gonzalez, a crisis of “leadership” may threaten the locker room of OM.

Mandanda and Alvaro are, or rather were, strong and respected voices in the squad. Put aside, less involved by the coach, the two leaders have given up a little and logically feel less legitimate to raise their voices. The challenge of the next matches will also be there: to assess the reaction capacity of this OM. And scrutinize the future decisions of Jorge Sampaoli whose tactical choices never cease to amaze… the supporters, the observers, but also, it is a reality, the players themselves.

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