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Gasset becomes new Marseille coach following Gattuso's firing

Tue, Feb 20, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Gasset becomes new Marseille coach following Gattuso's firing

Jean-Louis Gasset is back in a coaching job less than a month after getting fired by Ivory Coast.

The veteran Frenchman was appointed as Marseille's new coach on Tuesday, the replacement for Gennaro Gattuso. Terms of the deal were not revealed.

Looking for a jolt in the middle of a mediocre season, the 1993 European champion announced Gasset's appointment a day after parting ways with Gattuso.

Gasset coached Ivory Coast at the start of the Africa Cup of Nations but was fired on the same day the team qualified for the knockout stage after a poor start to the competition. Ivory Coast edged into the last 16 only because Morocco defeated Zambia to leave the Elephants among the best four third-place finishers in the six groups. The team went on to win the tournament under the helm of successor Emerse Fae.

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Although little known abroad, Gasset has huge experience in France, having spent years at various clubs including Montpellier, Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux.

"It's a huge honor for me to be joining this legendary club," the 70-year-old Gasset said. "I can't wait to start working with this group to prepare for the upcoming fixtures and give the best of ourselves."

Gattuso was fired on Monday after less than five months in charge. He was relieved of his duties after Marseille lost to 10-man Brest 1-0 in the French league last week, a result that dented the club's hopes of qualifying for a European competition next season.

Marseille is ninth in the standings after 22 matches, trailing leader Paris Saint-Germain by 23 points. It has failed to win any of its five league games this year.

Since American owner Frank McCourt bought Marseille in 2016, the former powerhouse of French soccer has failed to find any form of stability, with a succession of coaches and crises that sometimes turned violent. The club has changed coach 30 times since the beginning of the century, the highest total of any top-flight club in France over the period.

Marseille needs to bounce back quickly to stay in contention on the European stage this season. The nine-time French champions take on Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday at Stade Velodrome in the second leg of their Europa League knockout round playoff. The teams drew 2-2 in the first leg.

Marseille dominated French soccer in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is the only French team to win the Champions League. It hasn't won the domestic league since 2010.


AP soccer:

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