With Erovnuli Liga in full swing, FC Dila Gori played hosts to a Shukura side that have struggled to get going this season. The newly promoted team have found the step up to the top tier a rather difficult one having only picked up one win from their opening four games. Dila, on the other hand, are looking to establish a credible push for the European places following last season’s third place finish. It hadn’t exactly been plain sailing for Dila going into this match as they too had struggled having lost one and drawn three ahead of this match up.
Truthfully, FC Dila Gori ran out deserved winners from this game, they dominated from start to finish, having maintained over 70% of the possession they easily ensured that Shukura didn’t get a look in. Their 4-2-3-1 formation meant they could comfortably find spaces between the lines that Shukura’s rigid 4-4-2 couldn’t cope with. Goals from both wingers, Honore Gomis and Thierry Gale sealed the points for Dila. Interestingly, both goals stemmed from well worked free kicks, perhaps something they have been focusing on in training. This victory could be the catalyst for Dila to kick on and pick up the points they vitally need if they are going to challenge for the European places.
- 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: Barbados
- Age: 20
- Date of birth: 01/05/2002
- Club: FC Dila Gori
- Career: Honvéd, Dila Gori
- Position: Right Winger / Left Winger
- Secondary Position: Centre Forward
- Preferred foot: Right
The young Bajan lined up on the left wing of Dila’s 4-2-3-1 formation which gave him licence to constantly cut in onto his favoured right foot – something that Shukura repeatedly struggled to deal with. He was always the favoured outlet when his team was in the attacking phase and whenever he received the ball, you always felt like he was the one who would make something happen. He showcased great technical skills throughout, he looked relaxed and composed with the ball at his feet. The close control ability he possesses is fantastic, there were multiple occasions where he was able to dribble his way out of a tight situation with two or three Shukura players surrounding him. His dynamism and tenaciousness was on show throughout and to be honest, it was a joy to watch.
Physically Gale is not the biggest as he stands at 168 cm and weighs in at approximately 65 kg. He held his own for the most part, although there were odd occasions where it was rather easy to hurry him off the ball. The former Honvéd man possesses a fantastic turn of pace that meant the defenders would often stand a fair few yards off him and he would still be able to breeze past them. The Dila man stayed wide on the left for as long as possible which presumably was a tactical instruction from the manager. He showed great tactical awareness with his positioning and was a constant thorn in Shukura’s side.
Throughout the game Gale showed his willingness to work off the ball, constantly making runs to drag defenders away and create space for his teammates. On the rare occasion that Shukura would attack he would always track back and closely mark the player he was assigned to. The young winger got his reward for all his hard work as he ghosted in at the back post to tap the ball home for his fifth goal of the season after a wonderfully worked free kick.
Rating – A1
Thierry Gale is a brilliant young winger who stands out as one of the best in the Erovnuli Liga. There is no doubt in my mind that he could play at a higher level if the right club made a move for him. He is dynamic, skillful and with great awareness of what he needs to do on the pitch. A wonderfully talented player whose career I will watch with interest.
- Nationality: Georgian
- Age: 22
- Date of birth: 14/03/2001
- Club: FC Dila Gori
- Career: Gagra, Dila Gori
- Position: Central / Attacking Midfield
- Secondary Position: Winger
- Preferred foot: Right
Otar Parulava is a new signing at Tengiz Burjanadze Stadium having signed for Dila in January 2023. Whilst he hasn’t chipped in with goals and assists, Parulava has made a steady start to life with his new club. He boasts an 83% pass completion rate and frequently looks like he has all the hallmarks of a potentially very good playmaker. Utilised in the number 10 role of Dila’s 4-2-3-1 formation the 22 year old Georgian had the opportunity to showcase some of his best qualities in this game.
Technically, he is a very adept player, constantly made himself open to receive passes in tight spaces and displayed good ball control and awareness as he was often able to play his way away from the Shukura press. He showed good vision and was able to play passes through the lines for the forward line to latch on to. He displayed a good tactical awareness of his positioning on the pitch and found pockets of space that meant Shukura struggled to deal with his movement. The best way to describe Parulava’s style of play is forwards, literally, he rarely looked to make a lateral pass, whenever he received the ball his first thought was play it forwards. This was actually a great asset to Dila and a big part of why they were able to consistently be on the attack in this game.
His physical profile is quite good, he stands at 178cm tall and was able to hold the ball up well throughout, displaying good strength and determination. I’d say that he won approximately half of the duels he engaged in, though he did struggle aerially and didn’t really look to win the ball in the air, in fact he misjudged the flight of the ball a few times. Although Dila were on the front foot for the majority of the game, when Shukura did break out of the defensive structure and launch a counter attack, Parulava made little to no effort to track back. Whether this was a tactical instruction from the management or just an unwillingness to take part in defensive duties is unclear.
Rating – B2
Otar Parulava is a talented Georgian playmaker, he has shown some big improvements already this season. It’s a little difficult to guess where his ceiling is as I think a lot of it will depend on how hard he wants to work. With the right application and attitude he could be a good player at this level or a little higher.