Albert Emon has stepped aside as Olympique de Marseille coach following the French side's disappointing start in Ligue 1 with Erik Gerets taking his place.
'A fresh start'
The 54-year-old Emon, who took the top job in summer 2006 when Jean Fernandez left for AJ Auxerre, will remain at the club while former Belgian international defender Gerets will take on the coaching role, signing a two-year contract. Marseille president Pape Diouf said: "Our team needs a fresh start. Eric Gerets is the coach who can provide this without breaking up the work done over the last three years. His coaching career in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey will help the team hit the targets we set."
Marseille dropped to 16th place in Ligue 1 after losing 2-0 at Auxerre on Saturday and have won just once in nine league games this term. After six years as an assistant coach at the Stade Vélodrome, Emon guided Marseille to second spot last season. This brought a return to the UEFA Champions League after a four-year absence, but his side have been unable to recapture that form this campaign. Emon becomes the fourth coach in the UEFA Champions League to lose his job since Matchday 1 following the departures of José Mourinho from Chelsea FC, Gheorghe Hagi from FC Steaua Bucureşti and Anatoliy Demyanenko from FC Dynamo Kyiv.
Gerets, 53, had been out of work since leaving Galatasaray SK in May. He previously coached RFC de Liège, K. Lierse SK and Club Brugge KV in Belgium, before moving further afield for spells at PSV Eindhoven, 1. FC Kaiserslautern and VfL Wolfsburg. He won two league titles in both Belgium and the Netherlands and one in Turkey. His appointment will revive positive memories at Marseille – their triumph in the inaugural UEFA Champions League in 1992/93 came under a Belgian coach, Raymond Goethals. Marseille defeated Beşiktaş JK 2-0 on Matchday 1 and will attempt to build on that result away to Liverpool FC on 3 October.
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