Odds BK – Match Report vs Vålerenga IF (26/06/2022)

Odds BK visited the struggling Valerenga IF on matchday 11 of the Norwegian Eliteserien and took the three points back home. The away side started in a 4-4-2 against Valerenga but at times it looked more like a 3-5-2. The two fullbacks would push very high up in possession and one or two of the central midfielder would stay back a bit to support the flanks. This didn’t really work too well for them as they barely used the fullbacks in possession and left huge gaps in defensive transitions. Fagermo’s Valerenga didn’t manage to find the net, due to some poor finishing and a great performance by Odds’ goalkeeper Wahlstedt. After an hour Odds BK then managed to score the only goal of the game when Tobias Lauritsen was left unmarked at the second post.

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

Filip Rønningen Jørgensen

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 27/05/2002
  • Current club: Odds BK
  • Career: Odds BK
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Filip Ronningen Jorgensen played as Odds’ most offensive midfielder in their 4-4-2. Jorgensen was very important for his side in the final third as they were often looking to create chances through short combinations in the middle but he also dropped back multiple times to collect the ball in the short build-up on his own half. Jorgensen displayed excellent composure on the ball throughout the match and played some great line-breaking passes.

Even though the 20-year-old midfielder probably has some steps to make physically, this didn’t set him back at all. Standing at 1.75m he has a fine build for a playmaker like him. He doesn’t have explosive pace but showed decent acceleration with the ball at his feet and fine top speed when tracking back. Jorgensen may be a little bit of a lightweight, but as I said that didn’t really show against Valerenga. He did very well in his defensive duels winning most of them but it was more a matter of tapping the ball away instead of outmuscling them. Aerially Jorgensen is of course quite vulnerable with his height and he lost the few aerial duels he had.

After his abilities on the ball, which I will touch upon later, I was probably most impressed by his work rate. Out of possession Odds BK often even played a 5-3-2 with either Owusu or Kitolano dropping back and Jorgensen would always track back very well. On the other side of the pitch he was constantly moving well with the ball horizontally or making good runs in behind the opponents’ defenders. He was also very alert when his side lost possession with some great (counter) pressing and recovered the ball multiple times. Like in the example below where he follows his man well, recovers the ball and a bit later plays a great pass to Lauritsen who can shoot.

Jorgensen’s composure on the ball was a pleasure to see sometimes. The 20-year-old had great spatial awareness and always seemed to know where his teammates were. He showed a very good first touch and was easily able to turn in very small spaces. The youngster’s dribbling also looked very clean, using both feet to keep distance between him and his opponents. Jorgensen really liked to play short combinations in his teammates around the edge of the opponent’s box and played good first touch passes.

Rating – A1

I can definitely see Filip Ronningen Jorgensen play for one of the top sides in Norway. If he continues to play like this though, clubs abroad should have him on their shortlists as well, with his contract expiring at the end of the year. I hope he makes a step to the Netherlands or Belgium to develop even further.

Tobias Lauritsen

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 30/08/1997
  • Current club: Odds BK
  • Career: Herkules Fotbal, Uraedd FK, Odds BK, Pors Grenland, Odds BK
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Tobias Lauritsen played as the deepest striker for Odds with Milan Jevtovic kind of playing around him. Lauritsen had multiple moments though where he dropped back quite far on his own half to collect the ball but would then play a simple pass and move back. Playing with a striker like Lauritsen, it quite surprised me how little Odds BK was using the wings. They were mostly trying to find gaps in the centre with short combinations and quick one-two’s. Throughout the whole match, they only put in five crosses, where Valerenga tried to cross 21 times. In the 60th minute Lauritsen showed why they should utilise the wings more. After a good cross from the right Lauritsen was completely open at the second post and easily headed the ball in the net, scoring the only goal of the game.

Standing at 1.92m I expected Lauritsen to do well in the air, which he did with his goal and throughout the whole match, winning all of his aerial duels. He doesn’t have an enormous leap but his height and good timing make him a threat in the air. As you could probably see in the picture he has quite a skinny build. In the more physical duels he lost balance quite quickly and this is definitely something that can be exploited by defenders. His skinnier build makes him quite agile though. He was easily able to turn with the ball and looked quite technical for someone with his height. Technically he looked alright. He had quite quick feet for a striker like him but I didn’t see enough from him on the ball to properly judge him.

Lauritsen had a few more chances besides his headed goal but didn’t really trouble the Valerenga goalkeeper. Two shots with his weaker left foot were easily saved and one first time shot with his right foot completely missed the target.

Rating – A2

After this half of the season, Tobias Lauritsen is moving to Sparta Rotterdam together with Joshua Kitolano. If they utilize him properly he could be a decent striker for them, although I worry about his physicality.

Joshua Kitolano

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 03/08/2001
  • Current club: Odds BK
  • Career: Gulset, Odds BK
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Joshua Kitolano played as the left-sided centre midfielder against Valerenga but had a pretty weird role overall. When Odds BK were in possession the two full backs would instantly push very far forward, providing width for their side. This could’ve been pretty dangerous, but as I pointed out earlier Odds almost never used these pushed-up full backs, constantly looking for combinations in the centre. In the end, this only resulted in a multitude of very dangerous counter attacks from Valerenga, which miraculously didn’t end in a goal. Here one of Kitolano’s weaknesses became pretty clear, which is his speed. There were a few times when Valerenga’s right-winger Layouni easily sprinted past Kitolano with the ball at his feet since Kitolano was basically playing as left-back in these moments of transition. Standing at just 5’7” his whole physical profile

Defensively I thought he was a little naïve in some moments, blindly pressing or committing to a challenge when the opponent still had a lot of time to easily turn away from him. There was also a different moment where Layouni went for a simple one-two in the box and Kitolano didn’t track back or cut the passing line, which resulted in another big chance. Mostly though he did pretty well, always dropping back well and helping his left back when needed.

There were also positives to take away from this match for Kitolano. On the ball the 20-year-old midfielder did quite well. His distribution of the ball was very good and he played a couple of great long passes, opening the play. He also showed that he has a good eye for spotting his teammates making runs. There were also some frustrations for me watching him on the ball though. My main issue was how long he often took to make a pass. He often slowed down the tempo a lot, which really didn’t benefit Odds in my eyes. As Valerenga didn’t really press him often, I’m curious to see how he does against a team that presses him a lot more.

Rating – B1

I would be suprised if Kitolano would be an instant impact at Sparta Rotterdam as I feel like he has a lot of steps to make still. However, in a rule that suits him better he could do a lot more than he showed today.

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