Luis Suarez, Nuno Tavares, Jonathan Clauss… OM recruits are off to a strong start

After an all but convincing preparation, OM were announced to be under-regulated when it was time to start Ligue 1. Against Stade de Reims (4-1), it was quite the opposite, Sunday August 7. Apart from a real slump in the second half, Marseille raced against the Rémois, imposing a hellish pace, thanks in particular to its two pistons Jonathan Clauss and Nuno Tavares.

“We are very happy that the squad is strengthening with quality players, they showed it tonight. This season is going to be long, we will need everyone”, was also delighted at the end of the meeting, at the microphone of Prime Video, Valentin Rongier, captain on Sunday evening. Aware that “everything was not perfect”the Marseillais admitted that his people had missed “a little juice in the second half”before specifying that the Olympian game “requires a lot of intensity”.

This intensity came from the wings. For the Larousse, a piston is “a machine component (…) intended to transmit a motor effort”. In the eyes of Igor Tudor, it is the same thing. That’s what Jonathan Clauss and Nuno Tavares set out to do against Reims. Released in the atypical 3-4-2-1 advocated by the Croatian coach, the two recruits were untenable. Thanks to his quality as a centre, the French international was a constant source of danger, provoking the first goal, against his camp, by Reims defender Wout Faes.

On the other side, Nuno Tavares showed him his athletic and technical abilities, multiplying the breakthroughs in his lane. He also opened the way to the goal on his own, allowing OM to make the break. According to statistics account OptaJean, the player on loan from Arsenal is the only Marseille defender to have scored in his first official game since Laurent Blanc in 1997.

In one match, the two pistons have established themselves as the centerpieces of Tudor’s device. Faced with the Reims block, usually difficult to handle, they broke the lock. Asked by Prime Video, Jonathan Clauss, who had a similar role last year at Lens, spoke of Marseille’s new style of play which seems to fit him like a glove: “It’s a lot of pressing, it’s very athletic, it’s a notch above what I experienced at Lens. The coach doesn’t let us down in training. We want to go quickly towards the before, look for the adversary high in his camp”.

With this energy-intensive style of play, OM will have to avoid a breakdown. If the defense weakens, Marseille can nevertheless count on other assets. Entering the hour mark, the Colombian Luis Suarez was thus very restless. He breathed new life into his new club by being spontaneous and skilful after a scramble in the box, then taking advantage of a serve from Cédric Bakambu after a long run initiated by a high recovery… Jordan Veretout, another Marseille recruit. Thirty minutes were enough for him to show much more than the holder in attack, Arkadiusz Milik, invisible for an hour. In any case, competition will be necessary if OM wants to keep up this pace over time.

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