This is a guest article from Tom Randolph.
- 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
Football is back! Many fans around the world will have been drawn by the lure of watching the likes of Sancho & Haaland in the Revierderby. There was however a palpable excitement in the build up to this relegation ‘6 pointer’. Uwe Rosler, Fortuna’s manager, stated that there would be plenty of goals as both teams knew the importance of winning this match. A mixture of player rustiness, lack of energy and quality led to a bore draw.
On the ball, Paderborn in a 4-3-3 formation, tried to play out of the Dusseldorf high press. The lack of movement on the pitch, and Fortuna’s pressing meant that after a number of sideways and backwards passes, one of the centre backs would look to play an ineffective long ball in to the channels.
Defensively, they pressed Fortuna’s back three conceding the wide areas. Both teams were comfortable passing the ball in their own half but the lack of quality in the final third is why this game ended 0-0.
Paderborn’s lacklustre 20 out of 66 completed passes in the attacking third paints a picture of a frustrated side. In a 4-3-3, the movement of the midfield is imperative to a side’s ability to transfer the ball through the channels – something Paderborn did not do. Fortuna deserved to win the game, hitting the woodwork on three occasions. However, a Paderborn counter attack in the 86th minute nearly punished Fortuna’s lack of composure. Holtmann drove the ball down the right hand side, whipped a great low cross into the path of the tiring Antwi-Adjei who blazed it over the bar – he should have scored.
- Nationality: Tunisian
- Age: 23
- Date of birth: 25/06/2996
- Current Club: SC Paderborn 07 (L)
- Career: PSV Freiburg (Y), SC Freiburg (Y), SC Freiburg, SC Paderborn 07 (L)
- Position: Right-back
- Secondary position: right midfield and right winger
- Preferred foot: Right
The young right back saw a lot of the ball in this game completing 43 of his 48 passes attempted. He is comfortable and patient on the ball but in line with the lack of quality of the game itself, struggled when playing in tighter areas, completing only one of his six attempted passes in the attacking third and failing to have an impact in attack. Paderborn were unable to establish themselves in the final third or beat the press, therefore Drager couldn’t get into crossing positions.
In the second half, Thommy (Fortuna’s best player) drifted wide left and became more influential during the game. Drager coped reasonably well with him, considering he had no support from his midfield, and was able to use his speed to close him down quickly. Drager is worth watching again as he is technically and physically capable but needs more movement in front of him to become effective.
Rating – B2
- Nationality: Greek
- Age: 22
- Date of birth: 04/10/1997
- Current Club: SC Paderborn 07
- Career: TSG Backnang (Y), VfR Aalen (Y), VfR Aalen, SC Paderborn
- Position: Central Midfield
- Secondary position: Attacking Midfield
- Preferred foot: Right
As stated in the introduction, the midfield three were non-existent during this game. Slight midfielders are able to avoid physical duels due to their awareness and technical abilities, qualities Vasiliadis does not seem to possess.
After the first half had passed him by completely and an early yellow card for Gjasula, he was moved in to the holding role for the second half. Even in this deeper position, Vasiliadis struggled to get on the ball and distribute it with any quality.
Having said that, out of the three midfielders, he was the one he attempted the most progressive passes but still made few passes of note. If he wants to remain at this level, he will need to work on his decision-making and technical abilities. He dropped quite deep, creating triangles with the centre backs.
Rating – C
- Nationality: Polish
- Age: 20
- Date of birth: 20/02/2000
- Current Club: SC Paderborn 07, on loan from Hertha Berlin
- Career: Holstein Kiel (Y), Hertha BSC, SC Paderborn (L)
- Position: Left Wing
- Secondary position: Right Wing
- Preferred foot: Left
Dennis played this game on the left wing, he stayed wide in the hope of isolating Fortuna’s RCB. Unfortunately his team did not allow him to be in that situation enough to judge his dribbling abilities. From the glimpses that we saw he had no fear, driving forward with the ball at every occasion. The innocence of youth aligned with a potential lack of trust in his teammates, leads to dribbling being the only solution. As he progresses, he will need to improve his decision-making, knowing when to pass and when to take the defender on.
Defensively, his pace and work rate allowed Paderborn to press the back three reasonably effectively. The young man first Bundesliga’s start came to an end in the 62 minute when he was substituted. In a game lacking any kind of quality, it is unfair to judge an isolated winger. Let’s hope the rustiness of lockdown wears off soon and Paderborn set him free.
Rating – C