Amiens SC

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Season Guide
2019/2020

Amiens SC

In


Ulrick Eneme Ella (mid) (Liefering); Chadrac Akolo (att) (Stuttgart, loan); Christophe Jallet (def) (Nice); Jayson Papeau (mid) (Genevieve); Haitam Aleesami (def) (Palermo); Yannick Mamilonne (att) (Paris FC), Rafal Karzawa (mid) (Midtjlland), Mahdi Talal (mid) (Entente SSG), Sanasi Sy (def) (Tubize) (all loan ends)

Out


Brighton Labeau (att) (Rapid Bucharest); Khaled Adenon (r)(def) (Al-Wahda); Reda Rabei (mid) (Fremad Amager); Gauthier Banaziak (gk) (AC Amiens); Oualid EL Hajjam (sp)(def) (Troyes); Gaoussou Traore (mid) (Quevilly)

Amiens have enjoyed two seasons in Ligue 1, where a club of their size would appear to have little right to spend any time. Their task in extending their stay in the top flight, however, is arguably harder than ever this year. Although they have retained all their key players from last season, they have lost head coach Christophe Pelissier, who is one of the best in France. Surprisingly, he has gone down to Ligue 2 side Lorient, but that serves only to highlight how fragile Amiens’ project is, particularly in terms of finances. In his place they have drafted in well regarded young Slovenian coach Luka Elsner, who is noted for his attacking style, but it will be a hard transition for the inexperienced 36-year-old to come to France and hit the ground running. Recruitment was a major problem last season, but this time around they have opted for more security by completing a number of signings of players who were at the club on loan last season. Among such figures as Emil Krafth (though he may yet be sold on at profit), Alexis Blin and, most pertinently, Eddy Gnahore. They still appear quite solid at the back, but having lost Pelissier’s renowned organisational skills, life is sure to become more difficult for the defenders, who have also seen the vastly experienced Khaled Adenon depart. Prince Gouano, Bakaye Dibassy and Jordan Lefort are the natural centre-backs, though it would be no surprise to see Christophe Jallet fill such a role after arriving on a free from Nice. Left-back Haitam Aleesami is set to be the only new face in the defence, while the midfield will also be largely untouched. Bongani Zungu returning to full fitness after struggling last year will be a big boost if he can regain his best form. Offensively, little has changed. Saman Ghoddos has the potential to be a smash hit but struggled at points last season, as did Moussa Konate, whose injury really hit the side hard. With Serhou Guirassy also joining up, there is a decent corps to build from in attack.

Target


Coaching upheaval means that simply surviving would constitute a good season. Offensively, they look good enough, but there are fresh questions over the defence.

Season Review
2018/2019

№15: Amiens SC

Amiens achieved their aim of Ligue 1 survival, ultimately finishing the season four points clear of the drop zone in 15th, punching above their weight financially to boot. The club had approached this season with a sense of great optimism, having surprisingly avoided the drop the campaign before. Their budget was inflated and they sought to recruit more ambitiously. It was in this regard that they irked excellent head coach Christophe Pelissier as they did not sign the profile of player he wished. The coach complained that integration was a problem because they had a group of players who did not speak French thrust upon him. Consequently, Amiens’ ‘star’ summer arrivals largely flopped. Rafal Kurzawa and, more notably, Ganso, were both shipped out by the end of January, wasting valuable resources for a club that has to cut its cloth carefully. Amiens had other problems to attend, such as serious injuries to Moussa Konate and Saman Ghoddos, one of the few summer arrivals who seemed capable of making a positive difference. This limited them offensively and indeed they would finish the campaign with just 31 goals scored, one of the poorest tallies in the league. Konate and Ghoddos combined for 11 goals in 54 matches, but their other attackers failed to contribute in such a positive manner. The midfield can be a source of greater satisfaction, particularly from a defensive standpoint. Thomas Monconduit had perhaps his best season to date with a string of solid displays in the heart of the midfield, while Alexis Blin had a very strong campaign, albeit one that was interrupted by injury – a theme for Amiens’ best players. Strongest in this area of the field in terms of his attacking contribution was Eddy Gnahore, who was on loan from Palermo. Swedish full-back Emil Krafth proved a strong addition to the defence, but there was a good deal of chopping and changing otherwise in the side. Once Erik Pieters was signed in January, that helped to steady things, but a lack of consistency centre-back pairing did not help the Amiens cause, although once again Regis Gurtner had a season to be proud of, despite a couple of high-profile errors. Amiens’ biggest worry is that they have lost Pelissier to Ligue 2 side Lorient, and without their inspirational coach they could face a struggle for survival. Their transfer work will have to be smarter.


Player of the Season: Thomas Monconduit

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