Laurent Batlles’ men have been back to training for 3 weeks. Several lessons can be learned in terms of compatibility and projection on the different players in the squad. The 3 preparation matches give us first trends which are obviously not definitive but which are to be taken into account.
Young people are knocking on the door…
During the 3 friendly matches, Batlles left the young people of Saint-Etienne an honorable playing time. Planned for the reserve, several players have shown that they have the shoulders to play second fiddle and that they will fully enjoy the minutes of play offered.
The young player, born in 2004, is making his first professional appearances. The preparation gives him a certain credit since in 3 games, he scored a goal and delivered an assist. The player stands out in particular thanks to his passing game and his ability to organize / direct the game brilliantly.
In a role of playmaker in support of the attacker, he gives satisfaction for the moment. His room for improvement is still great and the player must get used to the adult football he has been discovering for a few months. Nevertheless, one thing is certain, he has the qualities required to exist at the top level. It is now up to him to get as much playing time as possible.
The winger who signed professional last May for 3 seasons is the good surprise of this preparation after 3 meetings. Following an excellent last season during which he became European U17 champion, he is slowly gaining playing time with the professionals. He even offered himself the luxury of scoring a goal in the first match against Thonon Evian Grand Genève.
Also, he delivered a good performance against Le Puy and his entry against Grenoble was close to tilting the match in favor of the Greens.
In the Batlles system with a piston-winger role, he seems to have the qualities required to perform and exist.
The neo-pro, Louis Mouton, takes advantage of this preparation to show the extent of his talent. Used in a remote playmaker role, he delivers interesting performances.
With his technical accuracy, his intelligence in placement and his reading of the game, he has great qualities to perform in this role. He could become a good alternative to a defensive midfielder position.
Moreover, the face he displayed at the internship in La Plagne pleased the technician from Stephanois a lot. He could earn his place in the rotation by continuing to provide the same kind of performance.
The manager said he wants to tighten the group from next week. In our humble opinion, the players mentioned should continue the adventure with the Ligue 2 group. In any case, they have done what is necessary so that we can count on them if necessary.
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… while others disappoint
While some give the best version of themselves, others struggle to show their best side. They do not seem compatible with Laurent Batlles’ playing principles. Indeed, their profile does not seem to correspond to the expectations of the position of coach.
The Stephanois striker is struggling at the start of the season. After a difficult season on loan at Guingamp, he is unable to make the leap. Worse, its services are insufficient and its shortcomings are too visible. He was used as a piston against TEGG, then center forward against Le Puy and again piston against Grenoble.
The coach seems to be looking for the formula for the striker to perform but each time it remains mediocre. We can logically wonder about the real contribution of Charles Abi within the Saint-Etienne workforce.
The midfielder seems to have trouble assimilating the coach’s principles. While playing in a possession team should correspond more to his characteristics, his performances are currently not up to par.
Courted by league 1 projects (Brest and Lorient), the midfielder may not see his future written in Forez. In addition, one year from the end of his contract, he will not be retained by the Stephanois board!
The central defender is struggling at the start of the season. Probably marked by his last season, he is in total lack of confidence. His attitude and his choices are parasitized by this lack of confidence which makes him miss easy passes.
In a defense at 3, it seems difficult for him to get a starting place. Indeed, Giraudon and Briancon will be the first 2 holders. The 3rd position will be played between Sow, Nade, Bakayoko, Gabriel Silva and Moukoudi. The Cameroonian international does not seem to be the first choice… quite the contrary!
The first choices are expected
To conclude, the first lessons learned are not definitive. They are a trend and allow you to project yourself on the possible team that will start the 2 BKT league championship.
In the meantime, there are 2 games left for the men of Batlles to convince the coach to be one of the 20 players who will be traveling to Dijon. A first day which will launch a long season of 36 or 38 games (note: decision COMEX Bordeaux, Quid de Villefranche?).