Torino visited a low-lying Genoa win whom prior to the game had only won a single game this season, and were yet to pick up a win at their home. These previous damming and dim records were shattered as Genoa ended up 1-0 victors despite their numerical disadvantage for over an hour of the match. Furthermore, the hosts were only responsible for 25% of the possession. Albeit, their xGOT value amasses to 1.01 in comparison to only 0.82 for Il Toro. This win for Genoa was not one for the purists, a gritty, ugly (at points) and most prominently ‘Catenaccio” win. I analysed the performance of Wilfried Singo (21).
- 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
- Nationality: Ivorian
- Age: 21
- Date of birth: 25/12/2000
- Current club: Torino
- Career: Denguélé, Torino
- Position: RWB/RB
- Preferred foot: Right
In this game, Singo was deployed in the second bank of ‘4’ in the 3-4-2-1 Juric deployed for this fixture, operating in a role akin to a ‘wing back’ on the right flank. His main tactical responsibility was clearly to stretch the pitch. He rarely left the wing, truly hugging the sideline. Yet, his intelligent positioning in attacking transition allowed for Singo to operate in ‘acres’ of space. He often positioned himself very high up the pitch when Torino were in possession (so, very often) and was almost exclusively occupying a space which provided a viable passing lane for the concurrent ballcarrier yet also was rarely picked up due to Genoa’s narrow shape. Unfortunately, a lack of dynamism in Torino’s attacks did not allow for Singo to always exploit this space. Nevertheless, this positioning allowed for a greater composure and more time on the ball to carry forward and in most cases drive towards goal. This extremely wide positioning is proven by the below ‘average positions’ graphic (Wilfried is #17). This positioning greatly aided his synergetic and progressive passing sequences in wide areas with fellow team-mates.
In my opinion, Singo’s greatest quality lies in his progressive ball-carrying ability. This is a byproduct of his profile yet also incorporates innate athleticism and a nous/cuteness to his technique. At 6 foot, 3 inches tall and around 80kg, the Ivorian has the ability to both be a physically dominating, domineering and overpowering figure yet also a nimble, nifty and tricky player due to his speediness, whilst usually maintaining fairly good ball control. A ideal co-existence. This co-existence of traits was exemplified in many of Wilfried’s carries within the game. Singo would often go on marvelling, inverting runs, seamlessly bypassing players with minimal contact yet also was cute and skillful enough to draw 4 fouls, which were caused by small evasive movements and a nous to draw the foul. Albeit, this ploy failed once and the precursor (a purposeful heavy touch) resulted in a loss of possession. He often bypassed his marker during Torino’s initial build up phase with a ‘darting’ run down the byline. Furthermore, he often carried rapidly towards the byeline before whipping his right foot round the ball, in many cases causing a degree of fear in the opposition box-something rarely seen. His pace was also on show, when roles were inverted as Singo became the man on the end of the cross; as he made a untracked sprint to the backpost, catching the ball on the volley and missing narrowly-arguably Il Toro’s finest chance on the night.
Technically, Singo is somewhat secure. His aforementioned crossing and ball-carrying stand out yet other elements of his game seem somewhat underdeveloped whilst also having some more technical prowesses. To start with the latter, in early stages of build-up when Singo is slightly withdrawn he shows exemplary technique and decision making. He often controls the ball well, regardless of its trajectory before playing a pass which never resulted in dispossession. Singo’s passing (and the decision making involved with such), when looking with a wider scope is in somewhat of a purgatory. He was not dispossessed in any way, shape or form during this encounter yet he often seemed reluctant to play a penetrative ball, therefore he is an effective ball retainer yet disregarding his progressive carrying, he is not a progressive player. Furthermore, his decision making in the final-third seemed suspect, often resulting in indecision succeeded by a ‘recycling action’. Singo rarely adds tempo to attacks through any passing. It was tough to assess Singo’s defensive capabilities due to the small sample size available (due to the lack of possession for Genoa) yet he seems somewhat underdeveloped in 1v1 duels. He enters a process of jockeying far too early which allows for his opposition to dictate his own movement and have a minimum of concern about the defender he is approaching. Yet, he did make an important tackle when Genoa were on the break, using physicality and composure to dispossess the player despite being behind him when going to make the tackle.
Despite his aforementioned technical deficiencies, I believe that Singo’s greatest weakness lies in his mentality and work-rate. There is a degree of selective attention to his style, he only seems to track back on certain (and very few) attacks. It is irrefutable that he has the recovery speed to be much more effective and meaningful in defensive transitions yet this was only portrayed a fraction of the times it was required. As is evidenced by the only goal of the game, a counter attack from Genoa. The goalscorer, Manolo Portanovo was found unmarked at the backpost and tapped in to put Genoa ahead (albeit a fortunate consequence of poor goalkeeping) yet as the ball left Portanovo’s foot, Singo was still tracking back and was yet to reach his 18 yard box.
Undoubtedly, Singo has great potential due to innate characteristics, his profile, his technical ability yet there is a plethora of elements of his game which require improvement to excel at the highest level. I would like to watch him again, when the game state is altered and see how this changes his overall game.
Rating – B1