Jorge Sampaoli dismissed comparisons to fellow Argentinian Marcelo Bielsa as he was presented as Marseille’s new head coach on Tuesday.
The former Atletico Mineiro, Santos and Sevilla boss, who has also managed Argentina and Chile, has inherited a team in crisis and will be charged with bringing coherency to Marseille’s play and an upturn in results.
Bielsa coached Marseille in the 2014-15 season, when OM led the way in Ligue 1 at the halfway stage of the campaign but fell away and finished fourth.
His enigmatic ways made him a hero in the city, and Bielsa is now being revered as manager of Leeds United. However, Sampaoli said he would not wish to be compared to his countryman, despite having enormous admiration for Bielsa’s methods.
“For many coaches, Marcelo Bielsa is a reference, ditto for me. I have followed each of his teams and I feel close to him in my game ideas, but I’m not going to try to be like him,” Sampaoli said.
“I’m going to change things quickly in my own way. I come for a project anchored in the present moment, my goal is not to be remembered for the long term. I just want to help the club out of this difficult situation and make the fans happy.”
[it’s not official until there’s a photo holding a shirt]