True Identity – A Journeyman Adventure – Player Spotlight

Title picture of the True Identity series
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Welcome back to our adventure through the medium of FM 21.With this update I would like to steer away from the story a little. Eeeek! Missed the last update? Catch it here

It was season three, 2022/23 to be exact. And we found Manager Jean Pierre Blanc in France, Marseille. A growth of reputation had been enough to convince Frank McCourt, owner of Olympique de Marseille, to hire Blanc after his successful spell at Grasshoppers Zurich.

Now I am probably not the only one who will join a team and think, ‘I can make my trusted tactic to work here’. Am I?

I have used a 41221 or 433Wide DM since that start of this game, most of the time, when I have not gone bonkers and gone all strikerless.

A snapshot of the Front Three positions and roles within the tactic used.
The Front Three .. AMR is highlighted.

Something borrowed, from the Blues…

Aside of some obvious replacements to the opening squad, the first thought is always in defence. We made shrewd loan deals for Malang Sarr and William Saliba from Chelsea and Arsenal respectfully, note both are young and French, something I felt OM lacked was quality in defence and a bit of French ‘je ne sais quoi’. Pardon the French idiom.
I also looked from within and pinned a little hope on Sergio Gomez to be a creative spark. What I hadn’t banked on was how much I would subconsciously rely on Gomez. I’ll comment a little more on the Gomez factor in a moment.

Buyers’ Market….

After a brief search with OM DoF Pablo Longoria (I call him Eva at the weekends). We identified two players as urgent must buys. The first, Kaio Jorge, the 21-year-old Brazilian striker, from Santos. A bid was placed to purchase Jorge in August 2022, it met his release clause of €15m. However, he wasn’t ready to leave Brazil just yet. We waited and swooped back in with the same bid in January. This time he was ready to learn French and come to Marseille.

Our attentions then swung to the second player on our list, Harvey Elliott. Yes, the young lad of Liverpool and Fulham before that. He had spent the last two seasons learning his craft at Blackburn. Elliott, hadn’t dazzled but his media description was enough for me to want his name on the books at OM. He was being touted as the next “Chris Waddle”. I saw the star potential and hit Diamond Lights on Spotify, ‘ask yer Dad!’

Anyway €28.5m is what it took to get the new ‘Diamond light’ to the Stade Orange Velodrome.

Diamond Lights with Hoddle and Waddle. Credit to Rignellio on YouTube.

When a Star is Born ….

I touched briefly about Sergio Gomez, about how I hoped he would be a creative spark to all things going forward. Needless to say, he excelled beyond my expectations. The key figures from his season show that he went on to play 40 games (competitive) across the season, starting 35 and coming on from the bench on 5 occasions. Gomez scored 19 goals (in all Comps) and assisted 18 times. As well as these impressive attacking stats, he also shows his strong commitment to the OM cause, by not only putting in 74 tackles but, he won 62 of them, which in away shows that he fits the tactic well by pressing high against the opposition.

To show some comparison with the impressive tackling. Gomez was our 5th highest tackler. Naturally he was below four more defensive players in Tin Jedvaj (77), Boubacar Kamara (75), Rayan Ait-Nouri (740 and Lucas Tousart (71) respectfully. You would expect your defensive players to be putting in tackles but to see our leading marksman putting in the challenges, it was a surprise.

One of the other factors I noticed was that Sergio was primarily deployed as an AMR with his role set as inverted winger (s), although do note he was given freedom to roam or switch with his AML counterpart.

Wonderful Wingers

I then decided to look back at Jean Pierre Blanc’s previous clubs in Sirens and Grasshoppers to see what stats I could pull together from the wingers during those seasons.

Paul Mbong – Sirens FC

Firstly, there was Paul Mbong who spent most of season 2020/21 on loan at Sirens FC, Malta. He would go on to play 2444 minutes of match time, and in that time, he would score 15 goals, assist 5 times and win 23 tackles, predominantly playing from AML.

Elmin Radstoder – Grasshoppers Zurich

Secondly, there was Elmin who not only broke my heart when he chose not to renew his contract with Grasshoppers. He went on to break some Grasshopper fan’s hearts too. His phenomenal output for the club during the 2021/22 season. In 2717 minutes of Football Elmin went on to score 28 goals, assist 18 times and win 50 tackles. He was third highest with number of tackles won, and again he played from AML.

Below I have made a confusing donut to show the stats together. I’m sure it’ll mean something to someone.

A dodgy looking Donut chart.

Lets Draw a Line Under it

In conclusion, I have found that the inverted winger role, positioned from either the left or right is effective against the opposition. Not only do they look to create chances for others in the number of assists. The player in the role will also look to carve out chances for themselves. And surprisingly, they can prove to be the first line of defence through the instruction to press high.

Music – One More Time by Ofshane

Au revoir pour le moment! Enjoyed this post but haven’t read any of my other content? Check out the latest posts below.

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