Toulouse FC – Match Report vs Olympique de Marseille 08/02/2020

Olympique Marseille ran out 1-0 winners in what was a tightly contested encounter against a struggling Toulouse side. Despite Marseille seeing more of the ball, it was perhaps Toulouse who had the best chances in the match with their young striker Iseka hitting the post in the opening minute and then forcing Mandanda into a good save in the second half. OM created overloads effectively in wide areas and got into good positions, but lacked presence in the opposition penalty area and struggled to find a killer ball in the final third. In the end it came down to Dimitri Payet finding the top corner with one of his trademark shots from range to split the two teams.

Toulouse set up in a 4-1-4-1 system with Sangaré sitting just deeper than Makengo and Koné in midfield, whilst Boisgard and Saïd provided support from wide areas to the lone striker Iseka. Toulouse manager Denis Zanko fielded a very young side, with only three players over the age of 25 in the starting eleven. There was plenty of energy and endeavour from the Toulouse players, but perhaps they lacked that experience and killer instinct in the final third that their opposition had through the likes of Payet.

Unfortunately for Toulouse, they were unable to avoid the drop, finishing bottom of the table by some distance and they must now start the rebuilding process in Ligue 2. However, based off this performance, they certainly have some youngsters with a lot of promise and it is important that they hold on to as many as possible, with other clubs certain to hold an interest in a couple of their young talents.

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 in this match

Ibrahim Sangaré

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Ivorian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 02/12/1997
  • Current Club: Toulouse FC
  • Career: Toulouse FC
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ibrahim Sangaré was highly influential for his side in this match and displayed his quality both with and without possession throughout. Playing as the deepest of three central midfielders, he played an essential role in his team’s build up play and defensive set up. In possession, Sangaré had the most touches and made the most passes of any Toulouse player and was particularly efficient with the ball at his feet, progressing his team up the pitch and confidently playing out of trouble. He never seemed rushed in possession, cutting a calm and composed figure even when under intense pressure and his big frame and tremendous strength allowed him to fend off or ride challenges.

The Ivorian demonstrated great control and awareness to turn out of the press and beat his man on several occasions, whilst despite being a big physical presence, his close control and skill allowed him to drive out from deeper areas with the ball and draw defenders in, regularly freeing up space for teammates. When in a position to release the ball, Sangaré’s first thought was to progress the ball forward, and he split the Marseille midfield line on several occasions to find passes into players in more advanced areas.

He also made some effective switches of play to shift the point of attack for his team and find teammates in space, however, he does need to be careful not to be overconfident in possession, seeing one or two passes easily telegraphed or overhit and exposing his team to a counter attack. Overall he was impressive on the ball and had the capability to put his team on the front foot with progressive passes or powerful drives from midfield, which is a very useful tool for any team to have at their disposal.

Meanwhile, defensively he was very solid as well. The 6’3 midfielder has a sturdy build and is strong in the challenge, having the ability to use his strength to muscle off opposition players and win possession – he is a big physical presence at the heart of the midfield. He timed his tackles effectively and stepped in well at times to clean up any loose ball and put an early end to any potentially dangerous counter attacks by the opposition. He used his body well to put himself between man and ball, whilst displaying controlled levels of aggression in duels. Sangaré also provides an aerial presence and, although this wasn’t called upon too often in this match, it was clear that he is more than capable of dominating in the air.

Overall, it was a very promising display from the young defensive midfield player who will have felt hard done by to be on the losing side having had a very positive impact on his team’s performance. It would be very surprising to see him in Ligue 2 next season and there is sure to be a large amount of interest in the Ivorian.

Rating: A1

Jean-Victor Makengo

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 12/06/1998
  • Current Club: OGC Nice
  • Career: Caen, Nice, Toulouse (L)
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfield / Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Playing in a slightly more advanced role than Sangaré, Nice loanee Makengo also had an impressive match in the engine room of the Toulouse team. Aside from battling away tenaciously in midfield, the Frenchman demonstrated some real quality in possession that allowed his team to progress up the pitch in transition and he possessed a threat in the final third. His biggest asset in this match was his close control and burst of acceleration when driving with the ball – he was able to pick the ball up in the middle third before beating two or three players and driving his team forward and then finding a pass to a teammate.

He completed the most dribbles of any player on the pitch, and his low centre of gravity and awareness in possession allowed him to be very productive with the ball at his feet. As he was playing alongside Sangaré and Koné, Makengo was tasked with providing a lot of the attacking impotus from midfield areas and was granted the freedom to make supporting runs when his team had the ball. He linked up well, primarily down the left hand side, and made some impressive bursts from deeper areas to offer support to the wide player or striker and he was able to retain possession under intense pressure which allowed his team to progress.

Makengo was inventive on the ball and often looked to find creative outlets that would threaten the opposition, and he completed some effective and accurate switches of play as well as seeing a deflected shot from range spin just wide of the post. One criticism that could be made of him in this match is that he had a tendency to try and overplay rather than play a simple ball to retain possession, as although his role was to provide an attacking threat, there were a few occasions where he dribbled down a blind alley and found himself isolated.

Defensively, Makengo looked promising yet exposed some areas of his game that could be improved upon. He showed a willingness to work hard for the team and provided cover effectively if any of his teammates were caught out of position, mopping up loose balls in midfield areas. He battled well and was not afraid to put his body about in duels, standing at 5’10 and with a stocky build. However, his reaction speed could have perhaps been quicker at stages, as he was late with a couple of clumsy challenges that resulted in him eventually receiving a yellow card.

Overall, Makengo looked impressive in this match and displayed real quality in possession as well as having a high level of work rate and a willingness to fight for his team. The 22 year old has since returned to Nice following his loan move and could definitely be of use to Vieira next season as he seems to fit the mould of some of the midfielders in their current system.

Rating: A1

Bafodé Diakité

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 06/01/2001
  • Current Club: Toulouse FC
  • Career: Toulouse FC
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Secondary Position: Right Back / Left Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Diakité had as fairly quiet game but looked more than capable of handling his defensive duties when he was called upon. Playing at centre back alongside Gabrielsen, the young Frenchman seemed to have a good understanding of the game and read the play well to decide whether to drop deeper or step up, and very little got past him as he kept Marseille striker Germain quiet for the entirety of the match. He communicated well with his teammates and could often be spotted gesticulating to the midfielder to slide across or clearly passing on the striker to his centre back partner.

In possession, the 19 year old looked comfortable but seemed to lack some invention and self-belief to make passes into midfield. He did make some good passes into wide areas and was happy to step up with the ball, but rarely played any passes that weren’t obvious or easy and instead opted to retain possession. He often went back to his goalkeeper, which immediately put his team on the back foot and he was quite negative, offering little in the way of an option to the keeper once he had passed backwards.

Overall, he seemed competent in his defensive duties but was rarely put under much stress, whilst he was accurate with the ball at his feet but lacked progression and confidence when going forward. I would need to see him face more of a defensive challenge and have more creativity when playing out from the back to know whether he could play at a higher level.

Rating: B1

Wesley Saïd

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 25
  • Date of birth: 19/04/1995
  • Current Club: Toulouse FC
  • Career: Rennes, Laval (L), Dijon, Toulouse
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary Position: Striker / Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Saïd didn’t see a lot of the ball before being withdrawn for the final 15 minutes, but he showed some quality in possession at times. The 25 year old winger played on the left hand side in this match and showed good levels of close control as well as skill on the ball when running at the defence. His ability on the ball allowed him to beat his man with ease on occasion and bring some wayward passes under control expertly in tight spaces.

He had good quick feet and linked up effectively in wide areas, he also made some accurate switches of play and seemed comfortable either cutting inside or going around the outside. He played some dangerous crosses towards the back post that his teammates failed to attack but at times seemed devoid of ideas in the final third and lacked a killer instinct that made him less of a direct threat to the opposition goal – with him completely missing the ball with one shot and firing another well wide despite working his way into a good position.

He added some flair to the Toulouse team and was happy to drive with the ball at his feet and seemed composed when passing around the fringes of the final third, playing some well executed passes into teammates and making the most key passes for his team (3). Furthermore, he made some good supporting runs off the striker and showed for the ball off the midfield players, drifting inside into the half spaces that made him difficult to mark for the Marseille defence. The 5’7 winger is not much of a physical or aerial presence but has a decent burst of pace when required and used good levels of aggression in shoulder to shoulder duels.

Saïd got back into his defensive position in the Toulouse shape quickly when his team lost the ball, however, that was about as far as his defensive contribution stretched. He was very passive when defending and lacked awareness and work rate to track back. He made several half hearted attempts to track the full back only to then seem to give up and leave the Toulouse full back in 2 v 1 situations. He seemed to lack the motivation and willingness to track his man and this caused problems for his team as it meant Marseille had an almost constant overload down that side.

The Frenchman had quality in possession and offered a spark to the Toulouse attack, but in this match he lacked a bit of end product and was let down by his defensive work rate and inability to track his man.

Rating: B1

Kouadio Koné

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 17/05/2001
  • Current Club: Toulouse FC
  • Career: Toulouse FC
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfield / Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Making up the three man central midfield alongside Sangaré and Makengo was 19 year old Kouadio Koné. He displayed glimpses of quality in this match but perhaps showed some naivety at times to expose areas of his game that require improvement as he develops further. The 5’11 midfielder has a strong build and worked hard for his team to cover a lot of ground. He was energetic and forced Marseille backwards a couple of times with some effective presses where he used both his physicality and anticipation to close down the man in possession.

This energy and aggression resulted in him completing 5 tackles (the most on his team), regularly forcing turnovers in possession throughout, though this eagerness to get in the opponent’s face and win the ball meant that he overcommitted on occassion and as a result was beaten by the forward. However, when he was beaten or lost possession, his reaction was positive and he worked hard to get back in position and recover from his mistake.

The young midfielder displayed promising signs in possession, but was also a bit wasteful at times. He had impressive close control and good quick feet to manoeuvre out of tight spaces and at stages he linked up well in midfield transitions to move his team up the pitch. Though he also overran the ball on a couple of occasions and saw several passes fail to find the intended target. He adopted some promising positions in the final third and had two attempts at goal; the first was a difficult volley from the edge of the box that went well wide, whilst the second was from a corner routine that saw him run onto the pass on the edge of the box and put his shot just over the bar when he really should have hit the target.

Koné showed good stamina levels and an excellent attitude to put in the hard yards for his team, but was sometimes a bit overeager in the tackle and lacked some composure on the ball, although he also displayed some promising attributes. Having joined the club’s youth set up in 2016, he could be an important midfield asset for the team in the second division, especially with Makengo’s loan coming to an end and the potential summer departure of Sangaré.

Rating: B2

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