Is there water in the gas between André Villas-Boas and its president Jacques-Henri Eyraud? To hear the statements of the coach of OM this Wednesday at a press conference, two days before traveling to Caen to face Granville (N2) in the Coupe de France, we can believe it. Arrived in Marseille last summer to replace Rudi Garcia, the Portuguese technician, under contract until 2021, even hinted that he could leave the club at the end of the season.
Despite an invincibility since late October, a 2nd place in Ligue 1 behind PSG and a game found, the former coach of Chelsea or Tottenham has visibly tasted and misunderstood certain choices of its president. And he did not hide it. Villas-Boas takes a dim view of the arrival in the organizational chart of Paul Aldridge, new "special advisor" to Jacques-Henri Eyraud, as announced by L'Équipe. The Englishman is supposed to prospect across the Channel to sell Marseille players there.
"I learned of this decision with surprise"
"It is a decision made by Jacques-Henri Eyraud, that Andoni (Editor's note: Zubizarreta, the sports director) explained to me last week, said the Marseille coach. It is up to the president to justify this choice and to explain it. I do not think it facilitates sales to English clubs, but hey … I learned this decision with surprise, but I do not want to comment too much. If it is to help OM survive on the economic aspect, I can understand, but the most important is to keep my whole group and achieve the objectives that I said I wanted to achieve, namely the qualification for the Champions League. "
Villas-Boas did not particularly appreciate not having been informed directly of this recruitment by its president. "Jacques-Henri did not tell me about this choice in person, I read his statements in L'Équipe …", he was surprised, while recalling that his future depended on that of Andoni Zubizarreta, the sports director. "I came here first for the size of the club, second for Zubi. I have already said that my future is intimately linked to its future. We managed to bring stability in one month to one of the most unstable clubs in the world, in sporting and emotional terms, with the media and the supporters. "
"Football is about having great experiences"
In other words, if Zubizarreta were to be ousted, the technician could go too. Asked if he could leave OM at the end of the season, even if he qualified for the Champions League, he left doubt.
"I should answer frankly, but I can't … I have to be careful what I say. You know that I am a man of the world. I left my post in China paid 12 million euros per year to do the Dakar (in 2018). I was closer to going to Mexico or Argentina than to come back to Europe and OM… As I said, I came here for my relationship with Andoni Zubizarreta. Once you take that into account, you have your answer. I really appreciate France, I was very well received, I am happy here. For me, football is about having great experiences. I have no geographic limit. I can train in Japan, in Brazil. The project of people in office, relationships of trust, that's my way of life. "