Pau Lopez spoke about the competition and the cohabitation with Steve Mandanda, after having deprived him of the starting place in the Olympian cages.
This is one of the hot issues that Jorge Sampaoli has to manage this season, and for the moment, the Argentinian seems to be in control of the situation rather well. A true monument of Olympique de Marseille, Steve Mandanda has been relegated for months to the role of understudy of Pau Lopez, the Spanish goalkeeper who now belongs entirely to OM after having been initially loaned by Roma.
“I know very well that Steve is an idol of the club, he has to fight against a present, a system in addition to a partner who has arrived. There is a competition between the guards. There are also comparisons to be made between the two, but again, as I said before, they are also related to the results because the result changes the functioning”, explained the Argentine coach at the start of the season. Since then, there doesn’t seem to be any debate.
And how does the Spaniard deal with this situation? He spoke in an interview with theTeamfirst wanting to clarify that his relationship with Steve Mandanda is good. “I could never speak ill of Steve. I am an intruder who entered his house and he has always been great with me, he trains hard, we talk, even if I still have to work on my French. He is always smiling, and I can only thank him. He could have behaved differently and I would have understood him. But he’s a great teammate, and a real captain, who puts the interest of the group above his own. It’s a privilege to train with him. I know that at the slightest drop in speed on my part, he will be there to take over.said the doorman trained at Espanyol.
“You have to be mentally prepared for it. Because no matter who would have come, whoever would play in Mandanda’s place would be in the fire, criticized, we would wait for his mistakes. It’s a reality, but I never took it personally. I understand that I am in a place that has been Mandanda’s home for so many years, people are used to seeing him in goal. I focused on me, on my training, and I worked”, he also explained. He also clarified that before landing in the south of France, his compatriot Pablo Longoria had warned him of the presence of the tricolor porter, whom he himself already knew anyway. Something to reassure many supporters about the cohabitation between two doormen who are generally very popular on the Canebière…