The England international was satisfied with his performance in the Ligue 1 debut for Olympique de Marseille but the midfielder’s return from suspension means that Elie Baup will have to make a few tactical choices
Joey Barton has indeed waited long for his Ligue 1 debut for Olympique de Marseille. The midfielder, who is currently on a season-long loan from English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers, was a happy man in town following his first Ligue 1 appearance
for the nine-time French champions which was a 1-0 home win over Rudi Garcia’s Lille.
While talking to Canal plus reporters following the game, the Englishman expressed his pleasure at being able to play almost 75 minutes of Ligue 1 action even though it’s hard to do so after playing in the Europa League.
“I am very happy to be in Marseille and being in the league before the fans. Even if it is a little hard to string together 75 minutes after playing in the Europa League on Thursday, I am very happy,” said the former Newcastle United who before his Ligue
1 debut, had admitted that his move to QPR was because of the money.
It must be said that Barton played an intelligent game against Les Dogues and chose not to show his impulsive side on his debut. The expulsion of Florent Balmont in the 22nd minute changed the complexion of the game and Elie Baup is of the view
that the debutant was very disciplined throughout the game and was clever enough to not to be provoked by opponents.
“Joey Barton? He was disciplined, but he should not become a target for our adversaries. Fortunately, he was smart enough to do so.”
And, the fans at the Stade Velodrome really appreciated the midfielder’s commitment and gave him a rousing standing ovation when he was substituted later on in the game.
Nevertheless, Barton’s return from suspension means that Baup has to ask a few tactical questions. On Sunday, the former Toulouse coach let go of the traditional 4-2-3-1 formation and went for a more consistent 4-3-3 formation in which Mathieu Valbuena played
down the right.
Although Balmont’s expulsion saw Valbuena return to his preferred position at the centre of the park, it remains to be seen if he will form a good partnership with Barton or not considering the fact that the duo hasn’t really played together that much.