Football: it is the movement that makes FC Sion alive

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FootballIt is the movement that makes FC Sion alive

Since the start of the season, the Wallisers seem to have rediscovered an approach based on the use of the ball. The mobility of the midfielders allows them to set it up.

Nothing special at first glance. FC Sion’s results are correct since the start of the season: four points in three matches. The content is encouraging as there is the feeling of a team united and motivated by the idea of ​​playing a little more than in previous seasons. does it peak? No.

FC Sion of Paolo Tramezzani has been much more mobile since the start of the season.

FC Sion of Paolo Tramezzani has been much more mobile since the start of the season.

fresh focus

But Paolo Tramezzani’s training has adopted principles that should guide him in the right direction. And you have to admit it works when it comes to getting to the last third of the field. The midfielder Anto Grgic – Denis Will-Poha – Musa Araz complement each other well in this area. Because it is fluid and mobile. This calls for a thoughtful use of the ball. Deciphering what gives color to the Valais.

A liquid medium

After taking advantage of a diamond midfield (where Baltazar was a playmaker) in Lugano and against Young Boys, Paolo Tramezzani opted for a 4-3-3 against Servette on Saturday. Not enough to rate the overall animation and intent. It’s just the targeted spaces that have evolved: where the game’s interior was often the target for the first two days, during the derby, Sion tried to attack the deep in the half spaces much more.

But the construction in the first two play areas has not fundamentally changed. Because the three midfielders have remained the same, with the dynamism they have had since the first game. This dynamic is one where nothing is set in stone. The behavior of the middle trio is very “fluid”. In other words, their movements seem very free and rarely square. They move according to what the game inspires them.

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The mobility of the circles: At the start of the action, Grgic, Poha and Araz are on the same line.

The mobility of environments: At the start of the action, Grgic, Poha and Araz are on the same line.

As the action progresses, they move, like Poha taking the ball to the center of the game.

As the action progresses, they move, like Poha taking the ball to the center of the game.

Then, a few seconds later, it is Grgic projecting himself, Poha placing himself between the lines, served by Araz.  The action allows Grgic to get into a standout position.

Then, a few seconds later, it is Grgic projecting himself, Poha placing himself between the lines, served by Araz. The action allows Grgic to get into a standout position.

For example, it has become common to see Araz on one action near the center and attacking the surface on the next. It also happens that at the start of a series the three midfielders are very close to each other, and they move as they go. In short: with the ball, Sion does not have a very established structure. But the interpretation of this freedom is sufficient for the time being to allow the game to run smoothly without taking great risks when losing the ball.

Easy Progress

With this FC Sion we are therefore far from a calm and organized positional game. But that doesn’t stop us from resorting to certain ideas that come close. If only the quest for superiority. The opponent presses the central defenders to two? Then unhooking a middle makes it possible to pass this first line. And so on. The fact of zoning makes it possible to move forward. So the Sédunois circles do not deprive themselves of it. Above all, they try to provide simple solutions to the ball carrier, to secure possession and to find low-risk passing lines to progress.

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Create the Excess: Poha approaches his central defenders, who face two Napkins.  His presence allows Saintini to find him and eliminate the Genevans.

Make your own risk: Poha approaches his central defenders, who face two Servettiens. His presence allows Saintini to find him and eliminate the Genevans.

He moves forward with the ball.  At the same time, wingers Bua and Itaitinga are also mobile and place themselves at the heart of the game.

He moves forward with the ball. At the same time, wingers Bua and Itaitinga are also mobile and place themselves at the heart of the game.

Grgic comes in to offer an easy pass to Poha on the side and then he can send the game to Itaitinga.  The action will result in a strike.

Grgic comes in to offer an easy pass to Poha on the side and then he can send the game to Itaitinga. The action will result in a strike.

This is already reflected in the figures. The sample is small with only three games played, but there is a trend that is different from what Sion was like last season. If possession is slightly higher (48% versus 44% for the entire 2021-22 fiscal year), it’s worth looking at the types of passes. And so, while last year Sion averaged 65.83 progressive passes (which get significantly closer to the opponent’s goal) per game, that total rises to 81.67 so far. A clear increase, without affecting the success rate (about 70%, like last season).

The quest for disorder

Since the start of the season, Sion has therefore used the mobility of its midfielders to move from one area to another, while maintaining possession. But not only: it is also a matter of taking advantage of it to throw the opponent off balance. This is one of the other advantages of this football that is almost permanently in motion: there are pass lines that open into the opponent’s block.

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Destabilize the opposing block: As Poha moves towards Grgic, Araz picks up in the middle.  The three Young Boys midfielders are focused on their closest opponents.  They fall apart in the game and Grgic can find a vertical passageway to Baltazar.

Destabilize the opposing block: As Poha goes to Grgic, Araz picks up in the middle. The three Young Boys midfielders are focused on their closest opponents. They fall apart in the game and Grgic can find a vertical passageway to Baltazar.

Another example here, where Poha is in possession.  Grgic's movement is not followed by anyone and he can be hit.  This will trigger a shot.

Another example here, where Poha is in possession. Grgic’s movement is not followed by anyone and he can be hit. This will trigger a shot.

Against Servette, Araz descends to Cavaré.  This move worries Pflücke, who doesn't know what to defend: the axis or the pass to the wing.  This small move opens a pass line in the game to Cavaré.

Against Servette, Araz descends to Cavaré. This move worries Pflücke, who doesn’t know what to defend: the axis or the pass to the wing. This small move opens a pass line in the game to Cavaré.

In a football where the teams defend most often in zone, but with an orientation to the man once they have possession of the ball, anticipation returns. The duel is sought and the opponent relies on surprise and the time in advance to get the ball back. Thus the simple movement is spied on and followed lightly: it makes its movement in relation to each other. The more mobile he is, the more the lines stretch, the more spaces are created and passing lines open up.

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Complementary movements: Situation where Poha picks up low, up to the centers.  Bua takes the opportunity to position himself in the game, in the half space, while Baltazar's side takes the hallway.

Complementary moves: Situation where Poha picks up low, near the centers. Bua takes the opportunity to position himself in the game, in the half space, while Baltazar’s side takes the hallway.

The Servetian defenders are scattered and watching what happens in front of them (Bauer targeting Baltazar).  So Bua can call behind their backs and be served by Poha.

The Servetian defenders are scattered and watching what happens in front of them (Bauer targeting Baltazar). So Bua can call behind their backs and be served by Poha.

He heads for Araz (who has thrown himself into the area), whose header forces Frick to intervene.

He heads for Araz (who has thrown himself into the area), whose header forces Frick to intervene.

There is therefore a search for disorder in the movements of the Sédunois since the start of the season. And this concerns not only the midfielders, but also the fullbacks and the most attacking elements. It gets difficult to defend and Servette has regularly encountered problems, especially when he lost the numerical superiority in the zone of the ball.

So encouraging signs. There is a fledgling identity that seems to emerge from this “new” FC Sion. In offensive production it still requires some concretization, although at 4.85 Expected Goals made in three games, there is an interesting total, which must be maintained.

This is indeed the challenge of Paolo Tramezzani and the Valais: to be part of a momentum where ideas would remain fixed. Something to arouse our curiosity.

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