OM 2-1 Nantes Review and Ratings

What a rollercoaster! After letting in a goal in the first 3 minutes, OM showed resilience, and grabbed 2 goals to take the lead. However, as full-time approached, OM allowed Nantes to pile on chances, and nearly get an equalizer. Despite the typical struggles, OM’s attack is showing lethality, and the defense is improving (slowly). Continue on for review and player ratings.


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The Defense

The defensive unit is showing signs of improvement. After a horrid start (Nantes scored in the third, the defense shored up their line, with tackles and possession. Fanni added a lot of stability, allowing Sakai to move forward. Doria looks better and better, and is turning into a fine center back. Bedimo, despite his age, is very solid in tackles. Pelé had some great saves, as well. I think, with more and more games together, this could be the final starting unit in the back (assuming Fanni stays healthy).

The Midfield

Vainqueur and Zambo had ups and downs. Despite certain lapses where they gave up possession, they won a lot of tackles and tried to move the ball forward. They both definitely struggle in the offensive side of the game. Zambo has shown improvement in tackling and possession, and could prove to be a super sub when Diarra returns (assuming he returns from his “injuries”). Cabella had a relatively quiet game, and wasn’t able to be as effective as normal. The biggest issue is his dribbling: he simply does not have an instinct to pass the ball. Not the best trait for a #10. He is effective as a false 9, but cannot be allowed to sit deeper than that. Without Diarra, the center midfield of OM struggles to deliver effective passes to the attack.

The Attack

Njie – Gomis – Thauvin is forming into a strong attacking unit. They all linked up well, with Gomis assisting Njie’s awesome goal. All three of them work hard for each other, and are all dangerous in their own right. Gomis had good passes, but will rue his pathetic miss when he found himself alone in the box in front of the goalie. He did well to win a penalty, and convert it to put OM ahead. Njie was dangerous whenever he touched the ball, showing off pace and incredible technique. He really is turning into one of the top players at OM, after only a couple games. This makes it all the more maddening when he was subbed off after an hour by Passi. Taking off Njie took pressure off of the Nantes defense, and allowed Nantes to start controlling the ball. I truly believe the Njie switch is why Nantes dominated the last twenty minutes. With OM’s countering ability crippled, Nantes suddenly moved 10 yards up the field, allowing them to possess closer to Marseille’s goal. Thauvin struggled with eliminating defenders, but made several incredible passes, and worked hard. Sarr came off the bench and provided hard work and a couple key passes. Khaoui also added a lot of energy and technique off the bench, and Passi should look to put him in earlier (but not for Njie in the 66th minute). Given Khaoui is a natural #10, Passi should consider giving him opportunities to sub for Cabella. This offensive unit is the strongest part of the team, but will need to be more clinical in order to win further down the season (Gomis – we are looking at you).

Player Ratings

Pelé – 5

Sakai – 5.5

Fanni – 5.5

Doria 5.5

Bedimo 5.5

Zambo – 5

Vainqueur – 5.5

Cabella 4.5

Thauvin – 5.5

Njie – 7

Gomis – 6

Merci, et allez l’OM !

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