Tactics: Alexis Sánchez, the brain of Tudor

Tactics: Alexis Sánchez, the brain of Tudor

Received like a king in Marseille at the end of August, the Chilean international landed at the OM with the pressure of being one of the most beautiful resumes, if not the most beautiful, that has worn the Marseille tunic in the 21st century. Author of an excellent start to the season, the headliner of Chile’s golden generation, accustomed to big venues, has already become an essential pawn for Igor Tudor. explanations.

His sky and white adventure could have started in an incredible way after a slip from a smoke bomb thrown on the Marignane airport esplanade, but the support of Alexis Sánchez endured. Lined up since then at the head of the Marseille attack instead of an Arkadiusz Milik who crossed the Alps to join Juventus, the wonder boy offers a different approach and profile to the polish trigger. Used on the right side at Barça, on the left side at Arsenal and second striker at Inter, Sánchez collects, at 33 years old, both in leading clubs and in attacking positions and has seen his sample grow a little more since his arrival at the OM club, where he showed up with a bunch of physical questions in his bags. Questions that quickly erupted: the one who played less than 900 minutes last season for Inter is having a great start to the season, in the statistics – four goals in six games in France – as in the game.

small but strong

Known for his liveliness and tonicity, the 169-centimetre-tall Chilean international has shined above all so far thanks to his precision with his back to goal and his endurance in duels. Although the Talent League carries a reputation as a champion with a great physical density, thus requiring some time to adapt to new signings, the caliber and experience of Alexis Sánchez seems to have offered him a shortcut. While he isn’t necessarily dominant in duels won stats, OM’s new number 70 stands out for his ability to turn every battle won into gold. A quality that allows variety to be offered to a group that seeks to gain meters quickly without really having any other specific point of support.


Illustration against LOSC, this weekend: Veretout extends towards Alexis Sánchez who arrives to stick to Bafodé Diakité. The former Inter player is well anchored in his support and resists the duel against the former Toulousain…


So it is impossible for the Lille defender to intervene. Sánchez can then serve as pivot Cengiz Ünder delayed near the surface…


The Turk passes the ball to Pape Gueye who can put together a good shot that Lucas Chevalier stops.

Despite the combative character that he has carried in his bags since Tocopilla and that is known by all who have followed him since the early 2010s, his resistance to duels on the attacking front and his success in this pivot role can be more surprising. However, it is above all technically what Sánchez excels at Tudorball. Available between the lines, he represents both a breath of fresh air for the Olympic renaissance and a breath-hold for opposing defences.


Example in the field of Brest (1-1), where Guendouzi finds a very nice pass to Sánchez that breaks two lines. The ball arrives strong and medium height, but the Chilean returns it perfectly to a touch on the run by Milik…


Everything is ready for the Pole to go on goal with his left foot, but he misses the ball and allows Brendan Chardonnet to recover it.


Despite his small size, Alexis and his excellent relaxation can win certain aerial duels and offer a bit of diversity to OM. Against Clermont, he perfectly headed a long ball from Chancel Mbemba towards Payet, thus offering a great chance to the reunionenses…


The Clermontois will have time to come and press to prevent the 10 Marseillais from taking risks in an area that he particularly likes.

Santa Claus, a gift for Sánchez

Second most used route behind the one leading Matteo Guendouzi since the start of the season, the Sánchez-Clauss route is one of the strengths of the start of Tudor’s tenure at OM. Accomplices from the first game they played under the same tunic, the two Marseille signings already show a natural and resolute understanding. The Chilean, many times with his back to the goal, being right-handed, has a logical tendency to orient himself towards the side of the French piston, while the former RC Lens, who has occupied an average position above the average since the start of the championship , is naturally tempted to play inside. The first goal scored at the Allianz Riviera against Nice is a good example of this agreement after Alexis pierced Kasper Schmeichel’s skylight after a good percussion from Clauss…


Against Brest, Alexis gets up between the lines as usual after a good serve from Valentin Rongier and drives in a touch to the right side and then open for Jonathan Clauss (off the field)…


The Chilean’s ball is excellent, and the Marseillais block quickly projects in numbers towards Marco Bizot’s goal…


Alexis followed the action and made himself available on the edge of the box for Clauss, then headed inside. He serves you his piston and he will attack the goal line with his ball grip…


From behind, he crosses at the end of the run, but Clauss, who also followed his partner’s movement, comes up a bit short to retrieve this life-size one-two-three.


Against Clermont, Alexis Sánchez once again leaves the mark of his defense to make himself available between the lines and is touched by Matteo Guendouzi. At the moment of his loss, Clauss makes the opposite move to take advantage of the opposing alignment and the foot of his partner…


The Frenchman will offer, as usual, a good center in the area. Mateusz Wieteska must intervene in front of his goal with the presence of Payet behind him…


The Clermont defender will make a mistake and offer a goal ball to Payet, who will not be able to complete this movement started by the Sánchez-Clauss duo.

“He is a champion. He brings a lot in terms of desire, intelligence, being professional. He is not here to have fun. He is an example for everyone. » Igor Tudor

Physically it is already in place

Before facing Brest at Francis-Le Blé on matchday two, Igor Tudor said of Alexis Sánchez: “You shouldn’t expect him to be at the top right away, but in a month he’ll be fine. » The South American finally did not need the mattress that his coach offered him to gain a foothold in the Marseille house. Already efficient and physically strong, the striker is sure to win in consistency over time (just 64 minutes per Ligue 1 game on average so far with only one full game played against Clermont out of six played). Nevertheless, the wonder boy he is willing to monetize every minute he spends in the Marseille robe. For this reason, the number 70 perfectly assumes the figurehead status granted to it, both at a collective and institutional level. Hyper generous in the effort without the ball, Alexis is a true leader in pressure within the team that has the second highest PPDA (number of passes authorized by OM to the opponent in his half of the field) Liga 1 (8.74). His aura and his leadership are such that he influences and draws the entire team into a common energy, as his coach pointed out at a press conference on August 18: “He is a champion. He brings a lot in terms of desire, intelligence, being professional. He is not here to have fun, he is serious. He is an example for everyone. He positively influences the entire team. »


Against Clermont, Sánchez shoots the Olympian pressing Auvergne’s back pass. Guendouzi, Rongier and Gueye are then activated to follow him and try to recover the high ball…


The individual pressure wanted by Coach Tudor is in place, Diaw is pressured by Sánchez and has only one obvious solution near him, the one offered by Wieteska…


The Polish defender is then also under pressure and is forced to extend, which will return the ball to Samuel Gigot.

As well as being able to repeat high-intensity runs to initiate the pressure so dear to his coach, Sánchez is also proving to be crucial off the ball when his team has possession. As smart to move as he is precise to finish, the Chilean makes life easier for his teammates thanks to his runs and his mobility, things that have long been criticized by his predecessor, Arkadiusz Milik.


Facing LOSC, Harit, Alexis and Ünder are quickly projected towards the opposite goal in a quick attack carried out on Tudor. Sánchez no longer looks at the ball and attacks the space to push back Lille’s defensive line and offer meters, times and solutions to his Moroccan friend…


Despite the three against four in favor of Lille, Harit has two good options after setting the median until the entrance to the opposite surface. Finally you will choose the Ünder option on the right side…


The Turk will serve Alexis in a touch that he will calmly equalize with his flat foot. The Chilean has scored all of his Olympic goals so far in the penalty area (three of the four he has completed with a touch).

Last physical doubt that remained at the time of Sánchez’s arrival in Provence: did he still have enough kidney left to make a difference on his own? If the VMAs and sequence of matches shouldn’t pose a problem with managing his playing time well, the liveliness and tone of his support seem less manageable. Key color of his palette, he must follow the attacker’s support to make the most of the latter’s technique and mobility. So far he looks reassuring once again, always displaying that ability to turn quickly and confuse the opponent with the ball with spontaneous changes of direction.


Against Clermont, Rongier touches Sánchez, then sticks to Alidu Seidu. The Chilean fakes his ball and finally moves towards the axis thanks to an outside right hand that eliminates the Ghanaian…


He then bypasses the Clermont defender and then resists the duel to serve Pape Gueye down his left…


The former Le Havre and Nuno Tavares get in the way by exploiting this ball that then ends up being blocked by the first Auvergne obstacle.

“Sánchez had clear ideas of where he wanted to go, in what game system…” Pablo Longoria said during the presentation of his latest jewel, while Tudor was amazed at the versatility of his new striker: “Sanchez can play anywhere in attack. We can see him on the right, on the left, in the middle… With this type of player, not much changes. » For now, the tripartite seems satisfied. Longoria has found a leader for his project on and off the field, Tudor can count on a first-rate flexible player and Alexis Sánchez is recovering his brilliance in an environment that suits him perfectly. It will be necessary to see if he will continue to hold that status in the greatest of competitions, where he missed OM in certain sequences during the defeat against Tottenham (2-0). First element of response, this Tuesday night, against Frankfurt, at the Vélodrome.

Little by little, Randal makes his Kolo Muani

By Matias Ribeiro

#Tactics #Alexis #Sánchez #brain #Tudor

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