In the Ligue 1 game against Lille, Angers lost 2-1. They lined up in a 5-4-1, and conceded a lot of the possession to Lille in the first half particularly as they tried to play on the counter attack. Angers sometimes struggled to retain possession, but as they chased a 2 goal deficit in the second half they changed formation to more of a 4-3-3 when attacking and looked much more threatening than before.
- 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 in this match
Rayan Aït Nouri
- Nationality: French
- Age 18
- Date of Birth: 6/6/2001
- Current Club: Angers SCO
- Career: Angers
- Position: Left Back
- Secondary Position: –
- Preferred Foot: Left
Aït Nouri comes in at 5’10” with a slim build. He didn’t shirk physical encounters in the game, coming out on top in some situations and he showed he was capable of competing in the air too. There were times he lost out but at 18 years old he was quite impressive physically with a lot of obvious scope for development.
Aït Nouri played as a left wing back, playing in a 5 back formation afforded him a little more attacking freedom and absolved him of some defensive responsibilities which seemed to suit his game. He was a threat down Angers left, he made good forward runs, occupied good attacking positions and showed a good turn of pace down the left side. He caused problems for the Lille defence as he made good over and underlapping runs during the game. He was comfortable in possession, delivering the majority of his crosses into dangerous areas even if they didn’t always find a man. He was accurate with his choice of pass and chose the right pass in most situations. His movement was good off the ball and he was always keen to receive. It was also obvious that his teammates trusted him on the ball and were happy to use him in all situations. He showed good technical ability, carried the ball well and displayed some good touches.
When Angers were set up in their defensive shape he picked up good defensive positions however he sometimes lacked awareness of what was outside of his field of view and allowed players to run off him too easily. He was strong and didn’t shy away from any tackles, and made some good challenges. However, he was not as quick in defensive transitions as he was on attacking transitions, he seemed slow to get back into position on a few occasions and was drawn to the ball when defending instead of holding his position. He occasionally was slow to track runners in his area. He was also caught out slightly for Lille’s second goal; he started his run forward early and before possession of the ball had been secured by the midfielder who was subsequently tackled. The goal came from a run into the space that had been vacated by Aït Nouri trying to get a head start on the counter attack.
Rating – B2
He showed a lot of promise for an 18 year old, and his confidence in his ability was well founded as he demonstrated he was a very capable footballer in the attacking phase. However there are some defensive issues that should be addressed before he can really kick on and become an established left back.
Mathias Pereira Lage
- Nationality: Portuguese
- Age 23
- Date of Birth: 30/11/1996
- Current Club: Angers SCO
- Career: Clermont Foot, Angers
- Position: Centre Midfield
- Secondary Position: Left Midfield
- Preferred Foot: Right.
Pereira-Lage played this game on the right hand side of a midfield four. Although he often took up quite a narrow position on the right side which allowed his right wing back to use the space that was outside of him.
In the game he once again showed a willingness when pressing, and was particularly effective when pressing in tandem with the full back. He picked up good defensive positions and showed intelligence when it came to picking the right times to press. His pressing would often force mistakes from the opposition however sometimes his tackling was poor. He mistimed a few tackles which allowed Lille to break his press or gave away an easy free kick
He made some good runs off the ball and demonstrated his ability to cover ground quickly when attacking and defending. He was quick to react to loose balls that he could pick up; he showed some instances of good link up with others and some quick short passing moves and was capable of producing some decent deliveries from wide areas.
However, he was sometimes slow in transition and a lack of urgency when compared to other performances. He was not often in possession of the ball and despite being involved in a couple of good moves, for the most part he looked uncomfortable on the ball. He attempted a number of dribbles in the game, but lacked the close control to do so effectively. He would take big touches when there wasn’t space to do so which made him easy to dispossess and failed to complete any dribbles in the game. It was apparent that he became frustrated with his performance, and he began to try almost too hard to make improvements and started neglecting simple passes and decisions in favour of taking on more difficult situations that he struggled in.
Rating – C
- Nationality: Senegalese
- Age 24
- Date of Birth: 01/06/1995
- Current Club: Angers SCO
- Career: Nimes, Angers
- Position: Right Midfield
- Secondary Position: Striker
- Preferred Foot: Right
Thioub was used as a substitute in the 71st minute, and came on as Angers were chasing Lille’s 2-0 lead. He played on the right wing, a bit more advanced than the right midfielders had been previously in the game, Thioub showed greater willingness to involve himself in physical battles in this game compared to the cup game vs Stade Rennais. He was able to use his body effectively and was strong with the ball. Thioub also demonstrated much more urgency on the pitch in this game. He was a lot more active in the press and contributed on the defensive end. He was also a lot quicker in transitions and was quicker all round.
He still showed a preference to come and receive the ball short and to feet but also made more runs in behind in this game. He was regularly able to find space out wide to work in as well as picking up good positions centrally, in the box and was often able to drift away from defenders to create some separation so he could receive the ball.
He was keen to receive the ball at every opportunity while he was on the pitch and did well to create angles for good passing situations. He played a number of one twos round defenders and was able to use his pace to get away from them after he had moved the ball in the first instance. He was very direct in his play, he remained confident on the ball and was happy to dribble with it but he attacked dangerous areas when on the ball and looked much more of a threat in the build up. He liked to knock the ball past his opponent and run beyond them and he was successful in doing so on a few occasions.
His passing game remained quite simple but it was done with a lot more purpose, he played passes into more dangerous areas and more of his passes were forwards and he was able to break lines with some of them. He was able to to fashion a couple of opportunities to deliver crosses and while they didn’t connect they were delivered into decent areas. He was accurate with the majority of his passes and his pass and move game was good. He was rarely stationary and caused defenders problems with his quick direct running combined with his strength.
Rating – B2
During his short time on the pitch Thioub was an effective player for Angers and provided a threat from the right that they had struggled to create before that.