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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Deschamps unworried by poor Marseille start

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps is refusing to panic after his side suffered a second successive defeat in the defence of their Ligue 1 title.

• Marseille sent packing

Marseille lost 3-2 at Valenciennes on Saturday to follow their stunning upset at the hands of Caen in the opening match.

There has been turmoil at the club with Mamadou Niang leaving for Fenerbahce and Hatem Ben Arfa declaring his Marseille career over as he tries to push through a move away.

However, Deschamps, who oversaw Marseille's shock title triumph last season and resisted overtures from Liverpool during the summer, appears to be trying to remain calm.

"I'm not worried," the Marseille boss told L'Equipe. "The urgency is there. I made this choice [to stay at Marseille] because I was convinced with the players we had we could have the ambition to do as well again or even better."

But despite seeming optimistic about his side's future, Deschamps admitted it would be difficult to keep hold of Ben Arfa, who the club insisted was not for sale just last week.

"I never said I did not want him,'' Deschamps said. "But it is very difficult given his radical position and his attitude.

"I think I did a lot of him. He has talent, but still some weaknesses. I wish him the best for his career. I have spent a lot of time talking to Hatem, and told him many things.

"Some of it he has remembered, some of it not. Last Thursday he refused to speak to me, so it may be for the best.''

However, Deschamps admitted it was certainly not for the best to lose Niang, the club's captain and top scorer last season.

"To let him go with just a few days to find a replacement, it is a disaster,'' he said.

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