Hannover 96 took on SV Darmstadt 98 away from home and lost 1-0 after going down to ten men following a first half hand ball by Phil Neumann. Ron-Robert Zieler made an impressive save on the penalty afterward and it looked like Hannover was safe. Darmstadt would keep firing long shots, though, and one would finally make it in the second half, as Marvin Mehlem got his name on the score sheet. Running a 3-4-1-2 to begin the match, Hannover looked to press high and attack from the wings using crosses. After the red, they moved into a four at the back and sat back and allowed Darmstadt to possess while they defended. This slowly built-up pressure on them, but the defending was sound, and they got lucky a few times. Once, possession was lost in their own third and Darmstadt’s Phillip Tietz had an easy goal to finish them off but missed wide. Despite the luck, being a man down and losing the xG battle decisively meant Hannover never had a chance.
- 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
- Nationality: Germany
- Age: 19
- Date of birth: 26/03/2003
- Club: Bayern Munich
- Career: SG Kaarst (Y), Bedford FC (Y), Norwich City (Y), Chelsea (Y), FC Köln (Loan), Hannover 96 (Loan)
- Position: Left Center Back
- Preferred foot: Left
Bright Arrey-Mbi is a left-footed center back that started and played the full 90 minutes for Hannover 96 in this match. Arrey-Mbi is a physically mature 187 cm. He utilizes this build well and gets very physical. His body control is usually very good, but he can get over aggressive and fouled a few times. Nothing malicious, just a big player getting too physical, he will learn to tone it down effectively with time. He is also very pacy for a center back and his recovery runs into the box with that quickness were key to keeping the score line as low as it was. Arrey-Mbi’s athleticism made last ditch efforts and hustle plays common place on his side of the back line. Additionally, his agility was impressive, too. Arrey-Mbi performed a quick turn after receiving under pressure then passed out untouched clearing pressure. This situation best exemplified his composure for his age and his athleticism, specifically sneaky quickness and agility.
Defensively, his athleticism and reactions were really on display. Arrey-Mbi took advantage of that and his intelligence to time interceptions and tackles so well in this match. He was willing to go to ground or put in a physical stand tackle, and if Arrey-Mbi lost the duel, the hustle to get back and try to win the ball again deserved applause. His hustle put his defensive performance above and beyond. Not only is Arrey-Mbi talented in his technique, but his athleticism makes up for any mistakes made. In a lost duel where physicality got the better of him, he made a recovery run into the box to force a bad angle on the shot. Another recovery turned into a stand tackle for a corner, and this did not just happen once. Arrey-Mbi over pursued in a physical press in midfield but then recovered all the way back in to make a block for a corner. His readiness to cover in rotation at the back made up for a lack of defending prowess from his teammates. He also displayed good positioning to stick to his line and stick to his marker, all while communicating with his teammates. Taking angles to close space on passes and dribbles was also a key to his good positioning and 1v1 success, this allowed him to position his body for blocks, too. Arrey-Mbi took charge and was a large reason there was not even more goals against. His clearances after interceptions were nearly all long and effective, but there were some mistakes, especially once Hannover went down to ten men. One example was when he forced a bad touch in the box and then made a tackle but could not make a meaningful clearance, leading to some danger in the opposing attack. Aerially, Arrey-Mbi was reliable and made clearances with his head and won his fair share of duels. His size and athleticism in the air made him hard to handle and his accuracy with his head was serviceable, too. There is still some refining to do but his work on headers was a big positive.
On offense, Arrey-Mbi was calm and collected on the ball and showed some dribbling ability, too. He mainly distributed short, safe passes with space—but under pressure he still performed well. Occasionally he made intermediate passes to advance past midfield on the left wing, displaying some potential as a ball-playing defender. He only used his left foot, though, but the passes were quick and snappy and carried the right amount of weight each time. He did not get too involved with the buildup, but he did not make mistakes on his limited opportunities which is the minimum wanted from a center back of his style.
Rating – A1
Arrey-Mbi showed his dynamic athletic profile combined with his growing defensive skillset in a very meaningful way. During a match when the rest of his defense struggled, he was able to shine a bit and uplift them to nearly a draw. Arrey-Mbi flashed so much potential to possibly make it in the Bayern Munich first team one day and has all the tools. He is an athletic and rangy defensive-minded center half with shades of Mohamed Simakan. If Bayern do not provide him with the pathway, RB Leipzig would do well in one or two summers by signing him to replace Simakan.
- Nationality: Germany
- Age: 23
- Date of birth: 04/02/1999
- Club: Hannover 96
- Career: Bramfelder SV (Y), Hamburger SV (Y), Bayern Munich II, Willem II
- Position: Left Wingback
- Secondary Position: Left Back
- Preferred foot: Left
Derrick Köhn started at left wingback in this match for Hannover but moved into a deeper left back position after the red card. Köhn is a summer signing from Willem II in the Netherlands. He played the full 90 and had just an average performance, surely affected by the higher defensive work rate he had to take on and the great performance from Darmstadt’s Patric Pfeiffer and Matthias Bader on the right. The announcers noted that he is the best offensive left back statistically in 2. Bundesliga right now.
Köhn stands at 180 cm tall and is very pacy with great burst and agility, too. He displayed good communication in the back line on defense and was willing to be get his body involved on loose balls and duels. Despite his average build he did not shy away from contact.
On offense he looked so comfortable on ball. His left foot had the ball on a string and his dribbling was so tough to tackle. Köhn also displayed great vision always looking up field for a cross. Hiss crosses were largely accurate in this match when he got the opportunity, but the chance was either not taken or the duel lost. When distributing he did not hesitate and was patient, never succumbing to pressure when advancing on the wing. He won a couple fouls, too, once on the wing for a free kick and once on a duel in his own box. Köhn was the one of the only players up front he could create at all against Darmstadt, albeit not that much. Off ball, he mainly found space to come short for the ball to then ball carry up the wing. His confidence dribbling with skill was probably a big factor in him not stretching the left wing with his pace. Overall, Köhn showed some creativity and skill but was too quiet to affect the match the way he probably could.
On defense, he pressed up high at times, but was also very quick to track back and stick to his line. Köhn was always ready to cover and when very advanced up the pitch used his pace to recover in a blink. He displayed good timing on interceptions, too, and his body positioning helped with blocks, although he did not close out in time for the block on a long shot that scored the winner. He was also active in trying to cause turnovers but did not have the most success in duels. Köhn was keen on interceptions (both simple and athletic/sliding) and timed them well but was not as effective making tackles. Although he could put his foot on the ball during the tackle, he did not always have the physicality to finish the win or track down the loose ball afterward. Although Köhn made many defensive actions, he was prone to affording too much space to his marker on the wing, playing it far too conservative in 1v1s.
Köhn seemed to have trouble on the wet turf. Once, he made an interception on a clearance but slipped, causing transition danger from the wing. A time when he overcame the rain was when he tracked down the ball after a save but lost control, he then put in a good endline tackle to win the ball back and play a nice through ball down the left to start transition play. Köhn was also effective on clearances—he made a nice sliding clearance and had one that he pushed long and safe with his left from the back line.
Rating – B1
Köhn disappointed me in this match but did not play badly. He was only average, and I need to see more out of him in 2. Bundesliga before I recommend him for Bundesliga level football. His statistical dominance on offense suggests in a better situation he will perform better, so I am looking forward to scouting him again. Köhn has an attractive play style on offense and great pace, so I am sure his performance was more a byproduct of a rainy day and ten-man Hannover squad than anything else.