Angers SCO

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Round 27

Stade Brestois 0 - 1 Angers SCO
2020-02-29 19:00 More Reports
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Angers SCO

In


Saba Thioub (mid) (Nimes); Rachid Alioui (att) (Nimes); Danijel Petkovic (gk) (Lorient)

Out


Flavien Tait (k)(mid) (Rennes) ; Harisson Manzala (mid) (Le Mans), Thomas Toure (att) (Sochaux), Pape Djibril Diaw (def) (Caen), Alexandre Letellier (gk) (Sarpsborg), Baptiste Gauillaume (sp)(att) (Valenciennes), Dorian Bertrand (att) (Nancy) (all loans) ; Yoann Andreu (def) (retired);

Angers are becoming something of a fixture in Ligue 1, with Stephane Moulin bringing about a period of long stability at Stade Raymond Kopa. In finishing 13th last season, they were not at their best, and yet they have only once picked up more points than the 46 they finished with. Little of note has changed over the summer in terms of their playing staff. Flavien Tait’s departure is the only one that will seriously impact the quality of the squad, though as one of their best players last season, it will be one that bites hard. The rapid Sada Thioub has joined up from Nimes as a replacement but, while he offers more pace, he has less trickery and craft, and should be considered something of a downgrade. Given that Angers will probably continue to play in a rather vertical manner, he should be a good fit for the squad, though. They have strengthened their options at centre-forward by also raiding Nimes for striker Rachid Alioui, who had a hard time last season as he returned from injury. There is not great depth in this area, with Stephane Bahoken undoubtedly their first choice in that sector. Uncertainty still swirls around the midfield, with lynchpin Baptiste Santamaria linked with a move to England. Although he does not contribute in terms of goals or assists, he is a vital pivot in the team and would be tough to replace. Angers will likely go 4-3-3, Moulin’s favoured formation, with Jeff Reine-Adelaide having settled into a new position of box-to-box midfielder. He excelled in that role late last season and started to bring goals into his game – precious for a team that is lacking real class in attack and has seen its set-piece threat diminish over the last year. They do lack creativity in that sector, though. Of course, Angers remain imposing at the back. They have a string of strong defenders, good in the air but technically limited. They will be looking for an improvement from young left-back Rayan Ait Nouri over the next year, but again they will prioritise functionality over aesthetics. Goalkeeper Ludovic Butelle faces additional competition from Danijel Petkovic, though the 36-year-old remains first choice. He was not at his best last term.

Target


If Angers can match last season’s effort, they will be doing well. In reality, they will likely be closer to the drop zone.

Season Review
2018/2019

№13: Angers SCO

Angers had few big problems securing their place in Ligue 1 for next season, though they were given a scare at the start of the campaign as they lost their opening three matches to plunge them into the relegation zone. Once out of the bottom three, however, they would spend much of their time in the lower part of mid-table. Stephane Moulin’s side had carved a niche in Ligue 1 largely off the back of their excellent defensive record, though they moved away from that to some extent over the last year, managing an average tally in this regard. A stunning collapse on the opening day against Nimes hinted at problems ahead, but while these never truly manifest, they were certainly weaker in the rearguard than in previous seasons. Romain Thomas was a key player when the club arrived in the top flight but there is no doubt his level has dipped somewhat over the past 18 months and that Mateo Pavlovic and Ismael Traore are not key in the defence. Indeed, so concerned was Moulin with this area, he even shifted briefly away from his four-man rearguard, which he has used almost exclusively as a his time as a coach. The midfield also did not work quite as well as hoped, with the return of Cheikh Ndoye something of a flop. The giant midfielder did not impose himself physically as before when fit and ended the season seriously injured. Baptiste Santamaria was a solid performer and the key man in this sector. Something of a solution to the club’s midfield troubles was found thanks to Jeff Reine-Adelaide, who had been disappointing on the wing. Asked to play as a box-to-box midfielder, he started to contribute goals and assists, something that had previously been missing from his game. Going forward, Angers leaned heavily on just two players. The first of those was wide attacker Flavien Tait, who mustered five goals and seven assists, and was the club’s major creative force. When it came to scoring goals, meanwhile, Stephane Bahoken was essential. Had he spent a long period out of the team, they could really have struggled as they had no other centre forward who came close to impressing. Moulin has signed a new contract with Angers, and while the loss of key players such as Tait is inevitable, they are in as stable a position as they might have hoped for approaching the summer.


Player of the Season: Flavien Tait

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