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 By Ian Holyman
Aug 22, 2014

Bielsa: Marseille broke promises

New Marseille boss Marcelo Bielsa insists he is not trying to lead 'a revolution' at the Stade Velodrome, despite the controversial exits of Mathieu Valbuena and Souleymane Diawara.

Marcelo Bielsa has suggested Marseille can already no longer fulfil the promises that convinced him to take charge at the Stade Velodrome.

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Bielsa, 59, took over at the Ligue 1 club as first-team coach only this summer, and expectations were high the former Athletic Bilbao boss could help rejuvenate a side that finished sixth in the French top flight last season.

But with just one point from their first two league games, OM have taken stuttering steps towards their goal of a top-three finish for the 2014-15 campaign.

Bielsa appeared to pass the responsibility for the slow start on to his bosses, highlighting broken promises in terms of summer recruitment.

"I thought it was interesting to come to Marseille, because there were four key points, and the club thought it was possible they could satisfy them," he told RMC. "The first was to have a squad of 22 players of a similar level, so as not to establish first-choice players and substitutes.

"That required buying seven players, and an investment of 35 million euros. That figure has been brought down from 22 to 20. But I have now understood we won't even get to 18. And today, we are barely at 16."

Only young Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi, French midfielder Romain Alessandrini, Morocco international Abdelaziz Barrada and Brazilian starlet Alef have bolstered the OM ranks this summer.

By contrast, Bielsa has lost France international midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, experienced centre-back Souleymane Diawara and Ghana international forward Jordan Ayew, while being told the club does not wish to keep the likes of Rod Fanni, Morgan Amalfitano and Foued Kadir in a bid to cut costs.

"There are two realities," Bielsa explained. "A project which does not correspond to that imagined at the start, and the efforts of the institution and myself to handle what we cannot resolve. I don't want to play the demagogue. The institution's interests are my responsibility."

He added: "No player came to the club on my say-so, and I consider Barrada, Michy and Alessandrini great players."

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