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Mandanda could have been rewarded for this performance with a start for the clash against PSG last week. It has not happened. The 36-year-old goalkeeper has returned to his usual role as Pau Lopez’s understudy. From the bench, he saw the Spaniard miss his exit on Neymar’s opener. Three days later, he was again assigned to substitute status during Marseille’s victory against Nantes at the Vélodrome (3-2). That he is efficient does not change the hierarchy of goalkeepers set up by Sampaoli.
It’s hard and he doesn’t hide it. So Mandanda relishes every opportunity to be on the pitch. As in Reims, where he was aligned to prepare for Thursday’s match against Feyenoord in the Europa League Conference, for which he should still be a starter. He shone with his anticipation. And his parade on the head of Marshall Munetsi in the last quarter of an hour was essential to allow Marseille success. “He saved them, he maintains themrecognized Reims captain Yunis Abdelhamid at the microphone of Prime Video after the meeting. He did his job and good for their team.“
“It’s football, that’s how it is”
Yes, Marseille can be happy to have Steve Mandanda in its ranks. To be able to rely when he needs it on a man capable of accepting this double situation. It is even less easy to hold for a goalkeeper who has made more than 600 appearances in the jersey of OM. “It’s football, that’s how it ishe dropped on Prime Video. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it goes differently… This season is as it is, I’m taking the matches as they should be taken, then we’ll see and we’ll enjoy it like tonight.”
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Even if he knows that a return to the bench is likely next Sunday for the meeting with OL, regardless of the quality of his performance against Feyenoord. Mandanda is aware of this. He accepts it. “I know my situation this seasonhe insisted. There are two goalkeepers, the coach chooses, I train every day to perform when called upon. It’s not easy, but at the same time I play football in a big club. We have a string of victories, we have to be ready, focus and we will see at the end of the season.”
It is a strength for Marseille. Because in addition to performing well on his rare starts, Mandanda is a real example to follow for any player in the Olympian squad. “The most important thing is the team, the clubhe points out.. The coach makes a decision, the team is doing well and we are second. Pau is very efficient and has been consistent and decisive. As long as the team is doing well and the club is doing well, personally, it’s not easy. But I put the team and the club above meOM came out of it stronger. Mandanda too.
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