Club Libertad – Match Report vs. Guarani (07-11-2021)

Libertad played against Guarani in the Paraguayan league. They set up in a 4-4-2 and played defensively, opting for a direct approach. Occasionally they tried to build up through Hugo Martinez, but often they were forced to play a long ball. Libertad managed to create multiple chances and was unlucky not to score in the first ten minutes. Guarani only created one big chance in the whole match and eventually lost the match 2-0 against Libertad.

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, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Hugo Martinez

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Paraguayan
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 27/04/2000
  • Current club: Libertad
  • Career: Libertad
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Hugo Martinez played as a left central midfielder in the match against Guarani. The midfielder looked confident and comfortable in possession and was the main player in the first phase of the build-up. Martinez moved between the lines very well and always turned the right way. He has an excellent first touch and always scans before receiving the ball. It is impressive how he always manages to find space, even though his intensity seems to be very low at times.

This is also the main red flag for me. In the 65 minutes that Martinez played, I have only seen him sprint at full speed once. He mainly stayed back when Libertad were in the final phase of the attack and when he closed down opponents it wasn’t at the highest intensity. When Guarani were in possession in midfield, either Martinez or his teammate in midfield stepped up and closed down the gap towards the opponent, while cutting the passing lane. Even though Martinez’s actions were sufficient, he could have gotten more out of those moments and given the opponent less time on the ball.

At times when the opponent would play a line-breaking pass, Martinez did not sprint back to defend. He ran back into position in his own tempo, which occasionally was too late. Guarani sometimes managed to progress the ball quite easily to the final third, just because Martinez failed to cut passing lanes after he was not back in position at times.

Martinez’s short passing was really good. I think he only had one or two wrong passes in the whole match. As mentioned before, apart from his low intensity on the ball I don’t think he could have done much more in possession.

Rating – A1

Even though I think his intensity needs to be a lot higher, I think he did not do much wrong and he could be a good player in a 4-2-3-1 formation. In a possession-based team, he could grow a lot and become a very good central midfielder for the Paraguayan national team if he ups his intensity. I want to rewatch him a few times to see if his intensity is higher in other matches.

Julio Enciso

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Paraguayan
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 22/01/2004
  • Current club: Libertad
  • Career: Libertad
  • Position: Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

In the match against Guarani it became really clear that Julio Enciso is not suited to the role he was assigned for this match. He looked really unfamiliar with his positioning and movement when Libertad were building out from the back. Enciso was not involved in the build up at all and did not drop deep.

Julio Enciso’s technical ability is really good. He controls the ball really well when dribbling and his kicking technique is decent, too. His first touch is more often good than bad, but sometimes when is put under pressure, he receives the ball with his wrong foot which means that it makes it harder for him to turn away from his opponent. In these situations, he should recognize when to receive the ball with his left foot and when to receive the ball with his right foot.

He is really quick on the first meters and has good speed over long distances. Enciso has good balance when he takes on opponents and is capable of changing directions quickly when sprinting. It happens quite often that Enciso tries to get a foul awarded, but as he has a relatively small build he gets pushed over quite easily. The referee does not often award a foul when Enciso falls over.

Enciso’s attacking vision is the main issue I had when watching him. He failed to spot spaces in behind (e.g. in a 3v2 situation he came short instead of making a run in behind which ruined the attack), he sometimes tries to take his actions too far, he fails to spot his teammates in space because he keeps his head down when dribbling and he sometimes shoots from (a very long) distance when he can also pass it to a teammate.

Defensively, he showed good perseverance in the defensive duels. He did well to put pressure from the in- to outside on the Guarani defender which forced him to either play a long ball or pass it short to the right-back of Guarani.

Rating – A2

For Julio Enciso, it is important to find a club with very good training facilities. He needs to be supported and work on his weaknesses. Having a good coaching staff around him who do video analysis with him and tell him what he needs to do better is very important at his young age. I think he could become a really good player, considering his technical ability, but his attacking vision needs to be better if he wants to reach the top 5 leagues.

I am not sure what his next step should be at this point, he might needs to join a big club (with a very good youth academy) where he can play in the U19’s/U23’s and work on his weaknesses.

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