Marseille sacked manager Gennaro Gattuso on Monday after the French club opened 2024 without a win. The Italian coach only arrived at Marseille on Sep. 27 as a permanent replacement for Marcelino. Despite a four-game win streak in December, Marseille failed to get a win in any competition at the turn of the calendar year. As a result, Marseille slumped to ninth in the Ligue 1 table after once sitting at sixth.

Crucially, Marseille has the second leg of its Europa League playoff phase coming up on Thursday. The French club drew in Germany against Shakhtar Donetsk, which came down from the Champions League. The second leg on Thursday presents Marseille with a chance to reach the round of 16 in a major competition. Despite its poor form, Marseille would remain a strong team in the Europa League.

Regardless, the most recent result was Gattuso’s last straw. Marseille fell at Ligue 1 upstart Brest despite the hosts playing the last half-hour with 10 men. Even with the numerical advantage, Marseille had fewer shot attempts than its counterpart. It would be one thing to lose on the road to the team ranking second in this season’s Ligue 1. However, Gattuso’s Marseille has failed to pick up points against teams lower than it in the table. Draws against Strasbourg, Montpellier and Metz, the latter of which is in the relegation zone, flank a loss against Lyon. The three draws were all at home.

Marseille replaces Gattuso with former Ivory Coast manager

Early reports indicate Jean-Louise Gasset is stepping in for Gattuso in Marseille. While the club has not confirmed any managerial changes, the French Gasset is a relatively safe choice as Marseille’s next boss. Before coaching the Ivory Coast for the last two years, Gasset was the manager of Montpellier, Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux. The most successful of that bunch was his stay with Saint-Etienne, where Gasset helped the club to a fourth-place finish in Ligue 1 and a place in the Europa League.

Transfer budget disputes with the Saint-Etienne board led to Gasset departing, and his lone season with Bordeaux led to a mid-table finish. That performance looks more impressive after seeing Bordeaux finish bottom of the league table after Gasset left.

He opted to go international with his coaching capabilities, and the Ivory Coast hired Gasset over a year before hosting AFCON 2023. That was a relative disaster for Gasset. After the Ivory Coast picked up four points in the group stage of the tournament, the Ivory Coast sacked the French coach. Yet, the four points qualified the hosts for the knockout stage. Emerse Fae stepped in as a caretaker manager, and he eventually led the Ivory Coast to its third AFCON title.

Latest cog in Marseille’s coaching carousel

With Gasset stepping in, the Frenchman joins several other managers to manage Marseille in recent years. Over the last 10 years, Marseille has had 10 different managers. Granted, some of these coaches worked in caretaker roles. Still, there has been a noted lack of consistency at the club. Rudi Garcia provided three years of management for Marseille, and he finished in the top five each season.

Gasset’s contract with Marseille will be a short-term deal, as it will expire at the end of the season.