Stade de Reims – Match Report vs FC Nantes 15/09/19

In what was a tight league game that both teams struggled to control, FC Nantes came out the eventual 1-0 winners over Stade de Reims thanks to a second half strike. Reims set up in a 4-2-3-1 system with the wingers encouraged to stay high and wide when in possession but to track their full backs when defending. They set up in a fairly low block in an effort to make themselves hard to break down and this worked effectively for long periods of the game with chances coming at a premium. They looked to hit Nantes on the counter attack using their pace and directness and created a couple of openings but failed to produce enough in the final third to worry the opposition defence in what turned out to be a scrappy midfield battle.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average, don’t follow up

Dereck Kutesa

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Swiss
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 06/12/1997
  • Current Club: Reims
  • Career: Servette, FC Basel, FC Luzern (L), St. Gallen, Reims
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary position: Right Wing / Central Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Dereck Kutesa had a fairly quiet yet promising display on the wing for Reims. Physically, he is 5’9″ but with a fairly big build and is very strong in duels and with the ball at his feet. He worked hard to track back in defence when the opposition had possession, tracking his full back to prevent an overload on the wing and won the ball on a couple of occasions with some sharp tackles. When his team had the ball, Kutesa’s positioning was intriguing, staying very high and wide – hugging the touchline like a traditional winger in order to maintain his side’s width. Perhaps as a result of this he saw less of the ball than he would have had he drifted inside, but he was also able to isolate the defender at times.

With the ball, the Swiss winger is very powerful and drives at the opposition, forcing them onto the back foot and is capable of using an impressive burst of pace to beat his man. Once in a position to deliver, his final ball was decent yet unspectacular and his decision making could have been better, shooting when a teammate was in a better position and trying to pass when perhaps a shot would have been more effective. The 22 year old also showed good awareness to make some clever first time passes in the middle third to set his team up for a counter attack and he only lost possession once or twice when tackled whilst dribbling.

Overall, Kutesa provided a threat for his team and was exciting to watch in possession but due to his constant width, he did drift in and out of the match at times before being withdrawn with 15 minutes left to play.

Rating: B1

Axel Disasi

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 11/03/1998
  • Current Club: Reims
  • Career: Paris FC, Reims
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Secondary position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Disasi had a mixed game against Nantes, showing good defensive qualities and attributes for the most part yet also making some near-costly mistakes. The Frenchman was confident on the ball, perhaps overly so at times, making some sharp passes into the forwards and seeming happy to square the ball to the other central defender, but he also hit some loose passes into midfield and was caught on the ball by the striker in the first half which lead to the forward going through on goal before another defender made a good recovery tackle. He was capable of driving out of defence with the ball or playing some decent passes into the channel, but took too long in possession which lead to his options becoming increasingly limited.

Physically Disasi is very imposing, standing at 6’3 with a strong build and a good turn of pace, the 22 year old’s physique suits his position well. He was strong and didn’t take many prisoners in challenges or duels and showed impressive bravery to make some tackles and blocks. Aerially, at 6’3″ he would be expected to dominate but in this game it was a mixed bag, winning some but also missing a couple of potentially dangerous opposition crosses, one of which was lucky not to lead directly to a goal for Nantes. Disasi’s positioning was to a good standard, rarely being drawn out of the defensive line by attacking runs and showing good awareness to cover for his teammates or make blocks.

On the whole, it was a fairly promising defensive display from the Frenchman, whose lax attitude in possession let his performance down. I would be interested to watch Disasi again to see if he improved later in the season as Reims had the best defensive record in the league.

Rating: B1

Predrag Rajkovic

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Serbian
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 31/10/1995
  • Current Club: Reims
  • Career: Jagodina, Red Star Belgrade, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Reims
  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Preferred foot: Right

Rajkovic had a solid game in goal for Reims, doing his job well for the most part. The Serbian held on to shots and loose balls, preventing them from rebounding to an opponent. He showed good awareness to be quick off his line and was decisive in his decision making to come out of his area to sweep up balls over the top. He had little to deal with in terms of dangerous shots, making one very good save of a shot that seemed destined for the top corner from 20 yards. However, he could also be open to criticism for being caught with his weight on his heels for the Nantes goal as the ball flashed across him from a relatively tight angle and he was unable to use either his hands or feet to block the shot, despite his initial positioning being good.

The Serbian international made some confident aerial claims, using his 6’3 stature to jump and catch the ball from crosses or long balls. He was capable of long clearances with either foot but his long kicks were also often inaccurate even though he was under little pressure, Rajkovic seemed confident when passing out from the back to his defenders.

Overall, the 24 year old put in a solid performance for his team, though may feel he could have done better for the goal.

Rating: B1

Boulaye Dia

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French / Senegalese
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 16/11/1996
  • Current Club: Reims
  • Career: Jura Sud, Reims
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing as the lone striker for Reims, Dia had to feed off scraps for a lot of this game, but showed some glimpses of promise along the way. At 5’11” Dia was capable of competing aerially, winning some good defensive headers whilst making some clever flick ons in the final third, especially one dangerous flick on from the near post at a corner. He was strong with his back to goal, winning fouls or holding up the play, and showed a good turn of pace when required. The striker made some good runs into the channels and adopted some promising positions when receiving the ball to feet.

His first touch varied, sometimes getting away from him, and he also overran the ball on a couple of occasions, consequently losing possession. However, he also showed some good close control to beat his man and found some smart passes to teammates. Perhaps Dia’s attitude could have been more proactive, seeming fairly passive when defending and showing his frustration at committing a foul by kicking the ball away. The 23 year old had very few chances in front of goal and therefore failed to provide any real threat (this could be blamed on service at times), and he looked isolated when driving at the opposition defence on occasion.

Dia had a difficult game as the lone striker and failed to cause much danger for the opposition defence, but he showed glimpses of his capability and that he had potential.

Rating: B2

Remi Oudin

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 18/11/1996
  • Current Club: Bordeaux
  • Career: Reims, Bordeaux
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary position: Left Wing / 10
  • Preferred foot: Left

Remi Oudin showed some quality, but also lacked a killer final ball and made some sloppy mistakes that lead to a loss of possession. Defensively he tracked back well, making some good recovery runs and hustling the attacking player. He won possession on a couple of occasions but also committed a reckless late foul and failed to maintain his concentration and track the full back once or twice.

With the ball, his first touch was mixed and he was dispossessed on two or three occasions, but he also made some very good progressive passes that helped his side move up the pitch. He showed good vision to find teammates and linked up well in the middle and final third. Oudin showed a decent turn of pace and was able to deliver a few crosses with varied success. The Frenchman had a good chance that he should have done better with, and also overhit some through balls in promising areas.

Overall, the winger demonstrated good vision and creativity but was unable to competently execute his final ball to a consistently high standard and this let down his game before being withdrawn for the final quarter of an hour.

Rating: B2

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