Sonntag, 17. Februar 2013

Luca Siligardi (AS Livorno Calcio)

Strengths: First and foremost, his tremendous left foot, especially from mid and long-range. If you give him space, you're done. Very quick in his mind, once he controls the ball, he already knows which teammate he has to pass the ball to. His passes lead to promising attacks if it's not the assist. Once he passes, you can be sure that these are accurate and sharp. Good pace on longer distance. He can take free and corner kicks and also penalties if needed. He controls the ball fairly close on his feet which makes it hard for defenders to steal the ball. Despite being left-footed, he can pass and shoot with his right foot as well. He can play on the right or left wing in a "Tridente". He is not he best team defender but very smart if he does defend, sneaking from behind to steal the ball. Moves inside from the right wing to finish with his left foot. Mature.

Weaknesses: Physical side of his game. Sometimes falls easily (he is not a diver, though!). In some periods of a game you don't get to see much of him. He seems to be shy in his body language, so he needs more determination off the ball. Speaking of his off the ball actions, his zonal marking could (or even should) be a bit better. Needs quicker feet when switching from defence to offence without the ball. Some of his corner kicks didn't impress me. 

Conclusion: Growing up at Inter's youth academy, he surely can provide some quality football. There might be a few reasons why he didn't succeed in Serie A yet. Maybe because his game is too predictable at times? Or his coach in Bologna put him in the wrong position? Siligardi has a good vision on the pitch but this doesn't mean automatically that he can play as a playmaker (which in return also doesn't mean that he couldn't, though). There is a reason, why his current coach Davide Nicola uses him as a right winger in a "Tridente" although he is left-footed. It's also difficult for him to play as a striker being not the strongest physically. Livorno is on a good way towards Serie A and we will see how he will adapt there. Serie A is way more physical and tactically challenging than Serie B, of course. But if he is allowed to play in the position he feels comfortable most, I don't see a reason why he shouldn't share the same faith as Alessandro Diamanti who years ago was at the same position as Siligardi, leading Livorno to Serie A and then establishing himself there after a short spell at West Ham United (first with Brescia Calcio then with Bologna where he is still playing).

Samstag, 25. August 2012

Me with two of the greatest in football history

Pictures taken on 14th August 2012 prior to the testimonial game for Aberdeen FC legend Neil Simpson vs. Manchester United

Montag, 23. Juli 2012

Fabián Orellana (Granada CF)

Full Name: Fabián Ariel Orellana Valenzuela
Date of Birth: 27.01.1986
Place of Birth: Santiago de Chile, Chile
Height: 1.71m
Position: Attacking midfielder / Left/Right Wing
Current Club: Granada CF (on loan from Udinese Calcio)
Citizenship: Chile
Foot: Right

I love players like Orellana. I really do. I love players who try to produce something on the pitch regardless of being able to produce anything or not. Orellana, though, is more than capable. He is owned by Udinese Calcio but spent the last season with Celta de Vigo (and the season before with Granada) where he promoted to La Liga along with Iago Aspas. He is a very fast dribbler with a great first touch. Once on the ball, it will be hard to steal the ball unless the defenders get help from other teammates. He can't accept a loss and is particularly determined and motivated when the opponent takes the lead. When they played the first derby in 2011/12 at Deportivo La Coruna, he came in at the 65th minute and was the best player for his team. He scored the equalizer but also made the mistake when Depor scored the second goal and won the game. Speaking of that, he has to learn to pass the ball quicker. He sometimes tends to dribble past a defender first and then pass it to a teammate. He hesitates too often and so did he in the derby against Depor and got punished. Besides, his ball control is not always "clean" when he sprints. Being flexible offensively, he also played as an offensive midfielder behind the forward players but he clearly is more successful on the wings, because there his pace comes into its own. Plus, as an offensive midfielder/playmaker you must be able to shoot precisely more than once. It's not that he can't shoot, it's just they aren't accurate most of the times and he rushes too often. Not a good basis if you play as a playmaker.

What he does great as well is getting himself into a great position (for example by moving behind the opponents' defenders back). He moves during the game quite often so you will not see him on the wings only, he will move to the center and demand the ball. He always wants to be prepared to receive the ball. Hence, he wants to take responsibility. His long passes are very nice to watch, even with his (weaker) left foot. He once scored a beautiful direct free-kick, too. Long story short, Orellana is a creative midfielder with a great technique. If he stops rushing and starts being calmer, he will become a better player. He hesitates when he has to rush and rushes when he has to hesitate a bit. Strange situation indeed. The only question is: Why didn't Udinese Calcio keep him this year? They lost Isla and Asamoah, after all. They signed him 3 years ago and never made use of his services.

Sonntag, 22. Juli 2012

Carlos Carbonero (Arsenal de Sarandí)

Full Name: Carlos Mario Carbonero Mancilla
Date of Birth: 25.07.1990
Place of Birth: Bogotá, Colombia
Height: 1.74m
Position: Midfield - Right
Current Club: Arsenal de Sarandí (on loan from Estudiantes de la Plata)
Citizenship: Colombia
Foot: Right

When I published the posts for Guillermo Burdisso and Lisandro López in September 2011 and January 2012, respectively, I knew they would perform incredibly well. In my opinion they were the best defender duo in the league. What I honestly didn't expect was that they would win the league title so soon. What I also didn't expect is the fact that a young colombian guy performed as good as the two above mentioned guys, if not better. If Estudiantes de la Plata knew he was going to erupt, would they send him to Sarandí on loan? I doubt it.

Carbonero's energy drove Arsenal to the title. A creative midfielder who not necessarily is planted on the right side. He often moves to the center and tries to get something going (on and off the ball). So, he had all the things which were missed at Estudiantes. Crazy, isn't it? A very smart player who thinks of his teammates first, 7 assists should be proof enough (the pic at the bottom is obviously not complete). Dribbling, passing and team work are some of his strengths. Besides, his crosses are quite good, too. What I like about him is that he has a great zone defence despite not being a defensive player. He is determined and does everything for his team. Hence, work rate is outstanding. He has the potential to play as an offensive midfielder due to his qualities. But in order to put good performances on that position he has to be stronger. He is falling quite easily when facing a challenge. Alternatively, he has to learn how to use his body. Sometimes when his team is attacking he just stands on his position and doesn't take part on the offence. Having another man up front could be useful at times. He would be deadlier If he had a more reliable shot and a left foot. He is fast but not that fast that you could say he is emerging. Still, fast, especially on the first metres. Teams like Udinese or Palermo like this kind of players. They experience European football without huge pressure on their shoulders and if they succeed, a bigger club knocks on the door. But even if there is high pressure, Carbonero is good enough to handle it. If you watch the game against Boca Juniors in "La Bombonera" from June 18th 2012, you will know what I mean by that. At the age of 21, the future is bright for Carbonero.

Fagner (Vasco da Gama)

Full Name: Fagner Conserva Lemos
Date of Birth: 11.06.1989
Place of Birth: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Height: 1.68m
Position: Right-back
Current Club: Vasco da Gama
Citizenship: Brazil
Foot: Right

Little man Fagner may play as a right-back but in my opinion he could also play right midfielder because his focus is clearly on offence rather than on defence. He is very fast when attacking. His passing game is magnificent especially when he accelerates. Sometimes his teammates can't keep up with his passing game and his team loses the ball but Fagner is not to blame (mostly). I have seen many one-two passes in his games and they worked really well. Important is that his team knows his playing style and path on the pitch. His long passes are accurate, too. He creates many chances by moving inside and passing the ball to a teammate who is in a promising position. After all, he is an unselfish player. Once near the penalty box area (and he will find himself there very quickly and often with his great pace), he will deliver really good crosses. Not all of them will find the target but they will be dangerous. On defence, however, he often ignores his opponent behind his back and tries to compensate his mistakes with his pace. This can work a few times but sooner or later he will pay the price. I felt that he kind of is reluctant to play good defence. He is not the best defender around and this is surely one of the reasons. But he can't always rely on his speed to correct a mistake. He urgently has to work on his zone defence. He is a dynamique player and if he improves his defence he will become a much better one.

Although, I have to admit that he was very concentrated against Sao Paulo last week and minimized his mistakes. In big and important games he seems to be more focused than he is anyway. As a right-back you are also rated by your decisions in the game. He makes very good decisions to be honest and this is not easy when you haven't got much time as you are defended by a few opponents near the line. However, he has to work on his ball control. Sometimes he loses the ball when he runs with it at full throttle. Same applies to his technique. There is not much to say about his shots as he didn't shoot many times when I was watching him. He managed to score a goal last week, though, with a hard shot that should (or at least could) have been saved by the goalkeeper in my opinion. Altogether, I think Fagner is a very good offensive player. Yes, he struggles with his defence but he is versatile. He could play as a right midfielder/winger, especially in a 3-5-2. Plus, if he gets along with his teammates and understands his coach's tactics, he can carry on as a right-back. It all depends on his team's tactics. The only thing they had to worry about then would be the transition. They must know their respective roles very well and switch in a few occasions but this will be difficult at the beginning in Wolfsburg. As of 21 July 2012, he seems to have agreed to terms with them. As there is no contract signed yet, I didn't change the team name.

Mittwoch, 18. Juli 2012

Milton Caraglio (Rangers de Talca)

Full Name: Milton Joel Caraglio
Date of Birth: 01.12.1988
Place of Birth: Rosario, Argentina
Height: 1.87m
Position: Forward/Striker
Current Club: Rangers de Talca
Citizenship: Argentina
Foot: Left

When I think of Caraglio, I say: What happened to you? Such a talented player ends up in a mediocre team in Chile due to injuries. After his ACL he wasn't the same anymore. He gained some pounds (or the quality of Chilean TV is really bad), he lost some of his quickness and now he is trying to revive his career. He grew up playing for Rosario Central in Argentina. He had (still has of course) a good technique and was regarded as their best player. He may have gained some pounds like I said (he is not overweight!) but on the other hand he uses his physique smartly to protect the ball and to pass it to a teammate. He literally battles with the opposite defence and accepts every challenge. What didn't change, though, is his jumping ability. Is this important? Yes. It is. If you play as a striker it's even very important under certain circumstances. While he was able to play all roles up front he now seems to have become a classic number 9 (curiously, it's his current shirt number). Putting pressure on the opponent, protecting the ball, opening the game with good passes to teammates. All these things he does really well. He has a huge left foot and once in a good position he will hammer it towards the goal. If he had scored regularly in Argentina, I'm sure he would have found another team than Rangers. He is not a goalgetter (though has the talent to score often) but a gifted forward with good fundamentals and a bit of playmaking ability. Step by step, he will hopefully become the player he was at Rosario Central. I saw some of his last games and I'm impressed. If he keeps up his good performance he is showing for months, he will probably find a better club in another country very soon.