One of the major discoveries of the season in European soccer.
Posted by: 2-03-2023, 10:49, , 175, 0
"Lans is one of the major discoveries of the season in European soccer. Now the team is in fourth place, 10 points behind the leading PSG, but more recently the club from a city with a population of just over 30 thousand people was fighting with the Parisian giants for first place. The fight for the championship is now, it seems, is out of the question, but Lance continues to show the bright soccer, and it has some interesting players, which we may soon see at big clubs.
Lance did not make their return to Ligue 1 until the spring of 2020 and for two seasons in a row they finished seventh in the elite of French soccer. This season the club held a record sale in its history - leaders Cheick Ducouré (Crystal Palace), Jonathan Clauss (Marseille) as well as strikers Simon Banza, Ignatius Ganago and Corentin Jean left the team in the summer. According to Transfermarkt, Lance made about 52 million euros.
But the money was not lying around for nothing - the club spent just over 38 million on reinforcements. Came midfielder Salis Abdul Samed, who since the summer rose in value five-fold (on Transfermarkt he is estimated at 10 million euros) and striker Lois Openda from Bruges (now top scorer of the team with nine goals and managed to go to the World Cup with the Belgian national team).
Also this season Florian Sotoka, 32, unexpectedly became the leader. He used to play at the sharp end of the attack, but now he acts as a pivot. This coaching move worked - he is the team's second-leading scorer and leader in terms of assists.
And what can you do without the captain Seko Fofana? He's the most creative player on the team, through whom all the positional attacks take place. Although he plays in the center of midfield, but loves to go to the left wing, get the ball there, move with it to the center and shoot from afar.
A coach who loves yoga.
"Lance is definitely a coach's team. Frank Es has been working here for three years - with him the club rose to Ligue 1 and successfully plays in it for the third season. Almost everyone who has worked with Es talks about his honesty, calmness, simplicity. "There wasn't a single player on the team who wasn't happy with Franck," said Patrick Leroux, who worked at Mayenne while Es was coaching there.
Many players of Lance in interviews attribute the success of the club to the excellent atmosphere in the team and motivation, which charges the coach. Thanks to this there are no conflicts in the team and everyone works hard in a given direction. All of this may be considered commonplace, but these details are extremely important in a poor team, where you have to fight for each other, for the coach, for the opportunity to jump over the top and achieve a historic result.
Since the autumn of 2022, Franck Es has expanded his responsibilities to take on the role of general and sporting director, since the former sporting coordinator Florent Ghisolfi left for Nice. The club extended Es's contract until 2027 and made his assistant Ghisolfi Gregory Thiel technical director. Es will also have more control over the Lansa youth center, and Thiel will become head of transfers. In general, Es works without vacations in several directions at once. A real manager.
By the way, another interesting fact about Franck Es: he loves yoga, and now it has become a mandatory part of every training session at the club. "We devote an hour each to yoga, it's a restorative routine that we need to work on our breathing. We have specialists, and in this respect I'm selfish, I don't make concessions to the players. As long as I'm at Lance, there will be yoga," the coach said in one of his interviews.
Tactical details.Frank Es uses only a 3-4-3 scheme with a bet on pressure, they are the fourth in the league in terms of pressing intensity statistics (PPDA).
Lance has the best defense this season in the French championship. 20 conceded goals in 25 rounds - even PSG has conceded more. At the same time, the team is an unusual set of three central defenders. The formation is basically as follows: Kevin Danso plays in the center, closer to the flanks - Facundo Medina and Jonathan Grady. But the best defense in France has a weakness - top tackles. While Danso has won 62 aerial duels, winning a total of 74% in the air (an excellent record), Medina and Grady have picked up just 21 duels each (the former wins overhead 42% of the time, the other 41% of the time). For central defenders, catastrophic numbers! But Lans is used to defending with numbers, plus actively moving midfielders help, so the factor of problems on the second floor can be leveled. Plus Brice Samba is very confident in exits. He has a unique ability to receive crosses with one hand. It's risky, but effective.
This season Frank Es is trying to develop positional attacks in order to score points in games with underdogs and not to fall out of the Champions League race. "Lance has indeed improved its ball possession figures. In the 2020/21 season it was 51.1%, in the 2021/22 season it was 50.7%. Now it is 59.1%, the fourth highest in Ligue 1 in terms of territorial dominance, but the efficiency of their positional attacks is not yet admirable. Basically, the positional attack is as follows: the edge defender makes a dash with the ball (Medina is second in this indicator, Grady is seventh, Danso is tenth in the league), where he passes to the attacking midfielders or to Fofan's holding midfielder. Then there is a pass behind the backs of the opposing defenders, where the striker runs in. If this scheme with a sharpening pass to the forward does not work, you can always transfer the ball to the flank Frankowski, who bombarded the opponent's penalty area with endless passes. Sometimes Lance lacks the speed to move the ball down, that is, quality short passes that stretch the opponent's defense. But as soon as the game speeds up, Lance immediately creates dangerous chances.
Opinion of the experts
Christophe Galtier after PSG's first Ligue 1 defeat to Lans, admitted that his team has never been so undone, and all thanks to the play of the opponent:
"It upsets me the way we conceded. We knew what Lance was strong at, we pointed out their strengths, we talked about it and worked on it. There is a little annoyance because we gave them two goals. But that doesn't diminish the quality of Lance, they played a great game. "PSG was split in two. We were disorganized. It was the first time I saw my team so disorganized."
And former Lance striker and coach Joachim Marks expects the team to fight for the top three in the French championship
"This is a great and cohesive team that always takes its chances. Es has created a great atmosphere at the club. I'm glad he's staying at the club for a long time."