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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.