After a month away from the pitch
it feels good to be together again. “Still here with your camera?” “What’s up Steve?” “How are you?” Welcome. I left before the end of the season and I’m very happy to come back. We have important goals. We’re responsible for delivering results. Come on! New coach, new staff. New players, a new group too. We didn’t meet our targets last season and we must do better now. Everyone is back working hard
from the very beginning, from the first session. Every player
wants to make it. We’re committed to succeeding. England: where football was born.
And where OM will start its pre-season.
The St George’s Park National Football Center,
between Leicester and Birmingham will be OM’s home this July. At the English national team training center, new manager André Villas-Boas
will establish the first rules of the new season. It’s important to get to know each other, to understand each player’s own abilities
to get the best out of them. That’s what we’re here to do. The way we want to play hasn’t changed: keep the ball,
attack quickly, move quickly. « … » Very well. The first 10 days with the new coach are important, That’s when we learn our new tactics, what he expects from each one of us, etc. We spent a lot of time on our tactics. It’s fundamental. We will try several things, it’s good to have time to do that. It’s what players at this level are used to do. We haven’t defined all aspects yet, since there might be some changes
before the end of the transfer window. The group is smaller this season. We’ll have to rely more on younger players. It can be a good thing for us, since they all want to prove themselves. Lucas Perrin scored the only goal
of the opening match. 1-0 win over U23 Stoke City. Youngsters like Lihadji, Aké
or Chabrolle got noticed too. Some already have a professional contract, others … not yet. All dream of becoming the “next Bouba Kamara”. During my last year at the Academy,
I was playing with the youngest kids. I was the oldest in the group.
It’s nice to see them now with the first team. They’ve integrated very quickly.
You wouldn’t know they’re fresh out of the Academy. They’re doing well and I hope they’ll stay
with us until the end of the season. The competition is getting harder the week after with the international players
joining the team in England. “How are you?” “Alright?” “You?” “Very well.” “What’s up?” “All good?” “All good.” “How are you?” “What are you doing there?
Did you think you’re on “Survivor” or something?” “You know it!” “Good morning.” “Ready?” “Three, two, one! Let’s go!” Florian, Hiroki, Kevin and Duje first meet
the Villas-Boas method. A new method that the group is already developing. “He expects us to take risks,
but also to keep possession. We must keep the ball all the time.
It’s working out well.” “Good Simon.” “Six minutes.” “Come on!” “The manager wants us to keep the ball, to play an attractive football. For me, I like attacking,
so it’s nice!” “Ball!” “Good!” “Come on, come on! Defense!” “Her you go Bouba! Lucas!” “Lucas, pass it back.” “Come on!” To execute his vision,
the Portuguese manager relies on his trusted technical staff: Daniel Sousa and European champion
Ricardo Carvalho. This is Ricardo’s first job
in a coaching role. “We were together in Shanghai,
where I coached and he played. I asked him if he wanted to join the staff. I’ve never been a footballer myself.
No one in my staff played professional football either. Ricardo makes it easier between the technical staff and the players. Ricardo gets it. The players trust him.
He also knows what to tell them. “Yes!” Ricardo and Daniel are manager’s assistants. They are responsible for organizing training sessions, following individual development, and
preparing against our opponents. Responsible for fitness: Pedro Silva and José Mário Rocha. José Mário is focusing on collective form, Pedro is looking at individual stats, checking each player’s performance. “Come on!” Pedro is also responsible
for each players’ recovery. When a player gets back from injury,
he’ll start with Pedro before joining the group. José Mário is more focused on best practices. “Faster, come on! Faster!” “Faster, faster!” Players need to become faster, more resilient, stronger… We help them in their improvements. “Good Yohann! Good Yohann!” Dutchman Will Coort is in charge of our goalkeepers. He was with me at Porto,
Zenit and then Shanghai. He’s got the same vision of football as me, and particularly
what goalkeepers should do. It’s very important to be aligned on this. Finally, Sam Dorin is our video analyst
working with Antony Santiago. We analyze our workouts and matches
every day. Sam Dorin is in charge of finding our opponents’ weaknesses. He will also prepare videos for each player, and for the whole group. That’s my team.
Maybe it’s going to get bigger. What I’ve learnt from my years
in football, is that you need to work with people you can trust. That’s my first rule when I come to a new club. “What are you doing?
Are you filming?” New ambitions, familiar faces, nice happy chats.
The training camp has started well. The light mood goes sour though, when Accrington, an English third division club, beats OM 2-0.
And Glasgow Rangers win 4-0. It couldn’t get worse when Florian Thauvin gets hit badly on his ankle in Scotland. The trip back to France feels horrible. But no time to dwell on this,
the summer program is busy. “We left Glasgow, we’re back in Marseille.
We had one day off to spend with our family. And then we go out to the U.S.” “You never stop filming, do you?” “Even in Washington.” “It’s like 3 consecutive weeks of training camp. It’s long, but it’s important to be together
and take the time to do things right. The players make a half-hour commute each morning to reach George Mason University, which offers top facilities. “You can do CrossFit, you can play baseball, basketball… only in America!” “They don’t leave anything to chance. It’s very interesting to be able
to work in such an environment.” Hot temperatures
and high humidity make it hard for players to train. “Right.” “We suffered
for the first two sessions. Some of us almost fainted!” “Is it a heat wave?” “Right, it’s really hot today.” “2 or 3 of us didn’t feel well because of the jetlag. It took us 2 days to adapt.” “Your French is so good!” “Nah…” “It is!” “Thank you.” The training camp is also a chance to meet
fans in the U.S:. “Hi!” “Hi!” “Mr. Basil Boli.” “How are you?” OM is open to the public: access to players, special supporter events, and unforgettable experiences such as playing football with Basile Boli! “Looks like people had some fun during their holidays…” “Well…” “I can see few extra kilos here and there… Not sure the diet program has been followed! But it’s nice to see you all wearing the colors of OM!” “We want to make you proud!” “And I want to be your coach!” “Let’s go!” Meanwhile, André Villas-Boas’ team
is meeting their first new signing: Álvaro González, from Villarreal. The experienced Spanish central defender
received a warm welcome by the team. “He looks happy to be here,
and he’s already trying to speak French. He wants to integrate quickly and that’s a good thing.” “He looks very friendly.
He makes us feel he wants to be part of this group. He’s also a great addition to the team.” But the real test
in this U.S. trip is the tournament organized by the
Professional Football League. “What’s up?” The “EA Ligue 1 Games” is a tournament featuring OM,
Bordeaux, Saint-Étienne and Montpellier, with 2 knock-out matches per team. “We’re here to win it. I’m happy that we’ve come to the U.S. at a time when we can compete against those teams.” OM will dominate the tournament: 2-1 vs. Bordeaux. Same score vs. Saint-Étienne
three days later in the final. “Nema!” “Allez l’OM!” “You won the Cup, well done!” “Nice!” Olympique de Marseille. “It’s good to start the season like this. I hope we can win many more games.” This Cup itself doesn’t mean much but it’s good to build confidence. OM, once again becomes the first French club to win a trophy. “We’re first today beating 2 good teams who compete for qualifying spots
for European Cups. Saint-Étienne finished the season
ahead of us last year so we can’t say these 2 victories meant nothing. “How important is it?” “Winning matches lead to success.
This feels good. We’re proud.” “What’s going on here?” “Get out!” “Can’t stand this any more!!” “You crack me up!” The OM players enjoy some typically American moments
in their last days in the U.S. The group seems to gel quite nicely. “We’re doing well.
We’ve been on the road for practically one month but it only feels like one week.” “I agree.
Everyone is very positive. Everyone feels good after some well deserved holidays.” “Hit it. Go on!” “Last season wasn’t good enough,
and we all want to prove we can do better. We all made mistakes and
we all want to get over it.” After some very hot weather,
Les Olympiens experience heavy rain in the U.S. capital. It’s a rainy end to the trip, but time well spent in Washington
for OM: against DC United, home club of the Audi Field, André Villas-Boas’ boys
score 8 goals to 1! The spirit is high on the way back to France. “We want to finish at least 3rd in Ligue 1.” “Let’s hope so.” “I love the show “Marseille Insider”. I watch it every week. You should produce more things like this because it’s really important
to connect with fans around the world. So, thank you very much.” In Marseille, the pre-season is coming to an end with a gala match. “Who is not jumping
is not Marseillais!!” Against a strong Napoli team,
involved in the Champions League, a young OM team shows that
they’re able to compete against anyone. But Carlo Ancelotti’s team wins 1-0 at the Orange Velodrome,
completely packed for a friendly match. “To arms! We are the Marseillais! And we will win! Go OM!” “We see young players mixing well with senior players. “Is that wrong?” “Can you feel pressure?” “I think he’s panicking!!” “Great!” “Why are you talking about the Youth Cup?” “They asked me how I felt playing in front of 50,000 people. “Hi, my name is Darío Benedetto. I am very happy to join
Olympique de Marseille. “Allez l’OM.” André Villas-Boas is happy with
the latest news that a new player he’s wanted to sign is on his way: Argentine Darío Benedetto. “Welcome to Darío Benedetto! Álvaro González!” Darío and Álvaro are introduced
to the fans the following weekend, at the first Ligue 1 match: OM vs. Reims. “Olympique de Marseille!” All the hard work during summer
will now be put to the real test: the 2019-2020 season. Here we go. But sometimes, the first step is the hardest to make… Who would have thought that OM would be losing at home against Reims on their first day? Poor start to the season. Matchday 2 in Nantes isn’t much better either. “Mandanda!” The highlights are Steve Mandanda in great form and a missed penalty by Benedetto. 0-0 vs. Nantes. “Same thing again?” 1 point out of 6 available.
Not good enough. “Here’s how we’ll do: pass me the ball, and go
behind Bouna. Nevertheless, the team remains calm. Everyone is confident that better results will come soon. “Germain!” “We must focus on working hard
and keep united.” We tried not to listen to
what people say, and to focus on improving.” “Good game!” “We know our strengths.
As soon as we win our first match, things will be better. “Tonight we win, right?” “Right. The victory must be ours. I don’t even want to hear about Nice.” 10 days after the missed penalty, Darío Benedetto sets the record straight. “Vamos!” “Like a boss!” “Yes!” Great win. The last victory for Luiz Gustavo
in an Olympien jersey, coincidently in Nice, where he started
with OM two years ago. The Brazilian looks touched to say goodbye: “Thank you, Olympique de Marseille, for making me feel so welcome all this time. You’ll stay in
my heart forever. For all the things we’ve shared with the fans, with the people of Marseille,
with the employees of the club, I just want to say thank you very much
everybody! And, “Allez l’OM!”” “Luiz!” Luiz Gustavo on his way out, Florian Thauvin back in. “Brilliant!” “Vamos! Vamos! Vamos! Vamos!!” Thauvin, on the verge of scoring
100 goals for OM back after his injury
in Scotland, that meant he couldn’t fly to the U.S. More good news comes via winning 1-0 vs. Saint-Étienne in a vibrant Orange Vélodrome. “Vamos !!!” “Good!” “Good Sakai! Good!” “Good game.” “Well done to you all” “Hi all. I’m Valentin Rongier. I am now an OM player. See you soon at the Orange Velodrome
and “Allez l’OM !” Things are going OM’s way, with the signing of Valentin Rongier
in September. “Yes!” OM is back on track: a new coach, a new staff,
Steve Mandanda captain again, three signings to help the group, and many young players becoming professional. In September, the FIFA week is
a chance for players to rest a bit. “He needs to rest…” “Hey!” “Come on!” After two victories in a row,
OM seems To be back on track But on matchday 6, the momentum comes to an end with Thauvin taken off the team due to his ankle again:
the French international must be operated on and will be unavailable for a long time. “Marseillais allez!” With no Thauvin, but 3 new players, OM will produce a fantastic match
vs. AS Monaco. “Come on, Marseille!” Leading 2-0 in half an hour, OM will win
4-3 after a crazy match with 2 goals by Dario Benedetto. “Well done!” “Hi!” “Vamos!” “Hello.” “Come on!” “Vamos Kevin!” “Yeah!!” 4th in Ligue 1, OM are close to the Top 3
with 3 consecutive wins, and look able to overcome all their challenges. Who could have predicted what was about to happen? Saturday, September 21st: Montpellier at home sounds winnable. But very quickly things don’t go according to plan. Álvaro González needs to come off in the 1st half. The Spaniard had quickly become one of the best defenders, and he’ll now be missing out for a few weeks. Frustration is visible and the referee gives 3 red cards in the last few minutes. 1-1 full-time score. OM drop two points and lose
three players in just 90 minutes that day. It can’t get much more complicated than that. With so many players injured or suspended, OM concedes a 2nd draw in Dijon. 0-0. The only good news from this match will be the promising start of young Lucas Perrin in defense. “Álvaro, how are you?” “Things are going well!” “Nice to see you smiling.” “Always be positive.” “Always.” “Are you coming back soon?” “Yes. One month, I guess.” With his usual starting 11
not available, André Villas-Boas will turn to young players probably earlier than he had planned this summer. Against Rennes, young forward
Marley Aké comes on, but cannot help prevent another draw. 1-1. OM goes from 9 points in 3 matches,
to 3 points in 3 matches. The match in Amiens
will prove very frustrating with the suspension of Kevin Strootman too. It is no longer four
but five players now unavailable. Les Olympiens are fighting strong, though. After a difficult start, a new Benedetto goal
puts OM back on track. But some strange referee decisions put the victory out of reach. Unbeaten for 7 games, the Marseillais
lose 3-1 in Amiens. This OM team feels defeated, treated unfairly. And very unlucky too. With a series of tough matches coming up, vs. Strasbourg, Monaco, PSG,
Lille and Lyon in less than a month, André Villas-Boas has to rebuild a
positive mindset in his group fast. After 9 Ligue 1 matches already,
the “honeymoon” period is over. His players are strong technically and mentally, and the new talents coming from the Academy are a great asset. But he also knows that if he wants to
achieve his goals this season, things will have to turn into OM’s favor quickly, because the competition ahead will be fierce.