IFK Norrköping – Match Report vs Hammarby IF (22/05/2022)

IFK Norrköping visited Hammarby IF on matchday 9 of the Swedish Allsvenskan and went home without points. Norrköping lined up in a 5-3-2 against Hammarby’s 4-3-3 mixed from playing a very low defensive line to trying to press far up the pitch. The visitors got a couple of huge chances but simply weren’t efficient enough. Hammarby led 1-0 at halftime and scored two more screamers in the second half, winning the match 3-0.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Ishaq Abdulrazak

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 05/05/2002
  • Current club: IFK Norrköping
  • Career: Unity Academy (Y), IFK Norrköpking
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

I saw Ishaq Abdulrazak struggle as right wing-back a couple of times last season so I didn’t have very high expectations of him against Hammarby, but he was actually one of Norrköping’s best players this match. Ishaq lined up as Norrköping’s right-sided central midfielder and played a very solid match. Ishaq Abdulrazak reminded me a LOT of Alhassan Yusuf, who used to play in Sweden for IFK Göteborg and now plays for Royal Antwerp. Physically the two are basically identical, both standing at 175cm but still doing very well in their offensive- and defensive duels. Ishaq covered a lot of ground and worked very hard against Hammarby. He was often pressing high up the pitch but would always track back, often sprinting to get back.

Tactically I feel like Ishaq still has some steps that he can make if you compare him to someone like Yusuf who made a move abroad from Sweden. He seems a bit reckless at times when pressing forward for example, not really taking into account the gaps that occur behind him. Of course, it could be the instruction of his coach to press very aggressively but better teams could easily exploit this and will get a lot of space in the midfield. Overall though he positioned himself fine, moving well with the ball and helping his wing-backs when needed. Also, there were a few tackles which were quite risky, with one standing out. In the 59th minute Hammarby’s winger Lahdo dribbled in Norrköping’s box and Ishaq was too late with his tackle. Fortunately for him Lahdo dodged his tackle instead of going down in the box, which would’ve been a penalty for sure.

With the ball at his feet though Ishaq Abdulrazak looked very strong. Just like Yusuf he is a midfielder who isn’t afraid to take his man on and did so quite well. Ishaq was easily able to turn away from his opponent with the ball and did some smart body feints to beat his opponent. He showed that he has good dribbling but also that he shouldn’t overcomplicate things on the ball. A few moments he took on a bit too much which resulted in loss of possession. His distribution of the ball was very good against Hammarby but again simplicity looked to be the key for him. One other moment stood out to me this match looking at Ishaq. Just after Hammarby scored their 3rd goal Ishaq received a simple pass in midfield with a lot of space around him. He took a horrible first touch however, still managing to lose the ball despite the time he had. This lack of concentration can have big impact on the game and just can’t really happen.

Rating – A2

Ishaq Abdulrazak looked like a solid central midfielder against Hammarby and if he continues like this he can surely make a step up. I’ll definitely keep my eye out for him throughout this season and watch him a few more times.

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