DStv Channel 403 Sunday, 21 April 2024

Gattuso exits Marseille as Gasset takes charge

Marseille announced on Tuesday the departure of Italian coach Gennaro Gattuso after only five months in charge, with former Ivory Coast boss Jean-Louis Gasset named as his replacement.

Gattuso's exit came after he admitted to club officials on Monday that he "no longer had any solutions" for reviving Marseille's fortunes, a source close to the negotiations told AFP.

The former World Cup winner said Marseille had "hit rock bottom" after Sunday's 1-0 loss at Brest left them ninth in the French top flight.

Gattuso's place in the dugout will be taken by Gasset, the Frenchman who was sacked as Ivory Coast coach during this year's Africa Cup of Nations.

"It's an immense honour for me to join this legendary club. I can't wait to start working with the group to get ready for the upcoming games and to give the best of ourselves," Gasset said in a club statement.

Gasset, 70, was a former assistant to Laurent Blanc with France and Paris Saint-Germain. He has also had stints at Montpellier, Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux.

However, he was sacked by Ivory Coast last month after an embarrassing 4-0 defeat by Equatorial Guinea in the group stage of the AFCON.

The Ivorians scraped through to the knockout phase as the last of the four best third-placed teams to advance, remarkably going on to win the tournament for a third time.  

Gattuso, 46, arrived at Marseille at the end of September to replace Marcelino Garcia Toral who quit after just seven competitive games in charge.

However, he failed to turn around the fortunes of a team that has failed to win a league game in 2024 and is a long way from qualifying for European competition next season.

Apart from a narrow 1-0 win over fifth-tier Thionville in the French Cup, Marseille have not won since hosting Clermont on December 17. They were subsequently knocked out of the cup by Rennes.

Their one bright spot has been a 2-2 draw away to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League play-offs with the return leg at the Velodrome on Thursday.

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