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Red Bull In Paris : RB Paris

Started on 13 November 2020 by OohAhCantona
Latest Reply on 8 May 2021 by TheLFCFan

RB Paris’ less than stellar, yet not disastrous start, got even worse for Patrice Evra as injuries and roster changes made them vulnerable. It’s clear that Evra’s tactics are a work in progress, but a run of terrible results combined with offensive struggles make it seem like there is a long way to go.

The first shoe dropped in practice with Cristian Ferreira tearing a knee ligament, the injury would rule him out for (3) months and likely be the cause of RB Paris’ early offensive struggles. Jonathan Pitroïpa, who would score in their opening 1-1 draw with A.S. Béziers, would find himself the center of Evra’s attention with Ferreira out. The soon-to-retire veteran would find himself hitting the bench with AS Monaco loanee Wilson Isidor taking over the RW, his pace and technical ability have helped him rise up the depth chart while Pitroïpa’s form (excluding the goal) has never achieved the level Evra needs. Adding to the problem was Théo Sainte-Luce suffering a groin strain at the end of the month, knocking him out for (4) weeks, further compounding defensive issues.

The aforementioned draw with A.S. Bézier turned into (1) point after Axel Bamba made a monstrous defensive error that would let the visitors back into the game, a bit of an amuse-bouche for the rest of the month. The first three games of the month made it look like Evra wasn’t long for management, at least not in Ligue 2, the draw would be followed up by a 3-1 loss to AC Ajaccio and a frustrating 3-2 loss to US Concarnoise. Somehow losing twice actually managed to improve their place in the table, finding themselves in 9th after a putrid run more appropriate for relegation fodder.

“I think we are still learning to play as a team,” said Evra after the US Concarnoise game “we aren’t connected. We are moving forward quickly as I want, but our transition needs work, we are leaving ourselves exposed at the back.”

Evra’s synopsis was rather blunt while trying to put a good face on what some pundits deemed “atrocious” defending. A few have gone after Anthony Maisonnal as the problem, his performance when isolated has created near automatic goals for opponents, but in all honesty it’s a team problem. You can’t leave your keeper exposed and expect him to stop every shot all game every week.

While the team failed to play well as a whole against AC Ajaccio, the US Concarnoise seemed to highlight Evra’s most pressing problem. Despite appearing to play well, dominating their opponent even with a second choice squad, it didn’t really amount to much. Much like previous games, tactical discipline made things harder for them. Isidor had a hat-trick, which would have leveled the game 3-3, wiped out on an offside call. There are tantalizing pieces of a winning squad, but Evra needs to find out how to put them together.

The final game of the month would make it look like Evra had found a path, but beneath the pleasing score line there were still concerns. A 2-1 win over FC Metz, sitting on top of Ligue 1, would be quite a surprise after the previous run of games. Like the US Concarnoise game they would show the kind of pace and width that can help them beat anyone, but they were still exposed at the back with Ousmane Kanté and Axel Bamba getting caught out a number of times. Vincent Thill was FC for Evra Metz’s lone scorer at 31’, but Habib Diallo found himself with enormous amounts of space up top with Kanté and Bamba slow to keep up, it seems more luck than skill that RB Paris got out of this game with points. Two early goals from Julian Lopez (5’) and Isidor (26’) went from an encouraging 2-0 lead to 60’ of Evra’s side hanging on for their lives. Perhaps the squad is starting to turn a corner, or this is an aberration that will help keep them afloat while losses pile up.

A difficult run of results but hopefully the win against Metz can be the start of the team turning a corner and get back on form.

For the time being it looks like the win over FC Metz was the team turning a corner, either that or fixing their problems just enough to convert losses into draws and draws into wins. Patrice Evra would also get to take advantage of a two week international break, with none of his players involved, to rest the squad and focus on their defensive issues.

Le Mans FC would be a good team to face at the Stade Sébastien Charléty, an easier game to open the month before a long break. RB Paris’ recent habit of rushing out to a lead only to fall apart as the game went on would still hang over Evra’s head, but this time a 3-0 lead at halftime would be enough to win the game 3-1. What’s even more incredible is that RB Paris did most of their scoring down a man with Wilson Isidor collecting two bookings in rapid succession and leaving the field after only 11’. Lamine Diaby-Fadiga opened his Ligue 2 account with a goal just 4’ into the game on a through ball by PoM winner Florian Martin so it looked like they would be trying to hold a 1-0 lead for the rest of the game. Somehow being down a man is still a potent tactic for Evra, with his striker out of the game a 4-2-3 formation managed to top Le Mans FC 2-0 up to the half. As if things weren’t already bad enough Cody Drameh would be booked a second time at 60’ and leave Evra down two. Somehow they managed to shut down their opponents, Le Mans FC finally managed to score but it was at 90+2’ and the game was essentially over by then.

“I know Lamine [Diaby-Fadiga] doesn’t want to hear this, but maybe we don’t need a striker after this one!” joked Evra, calling back to their preseason prowess down a man.

Coming back from the break things seemed to be right back where they were before the win over FC Metz, a 2-2 draw with Le Havre AC and a 1-1 draw at home to Niort added points but still showed the team couldn’t get over its problems. The Le Havre AC game did show some promise, after giving up a goal on a set piece and a Route One attack the team fought back and Diaby-Fadiga scored late in the game to show some last-minute fight. This was probably the last straw for Axel Bamba, his mistakes and missed assignments on set pieces opened the door for João Paulo and he never looked back. Ousmane Kanté and João Paulo would take over as the first choice pairing in central defense, but the next game against Niort would show that the real problem is that Evra only has one reliable CB. Once again and early 1-0 lead, a 15’ goal by Julien Lopez, would vanish as the game went on. This time it was clear that teams had discovered RB Paris’ other weakness; set pieces. Bryan Passi would head in a goal at 31’ off a free kick taken nearly at midfield, finding separation between himself and Kanté at the back post that made it too easy.

A trip to the Stade de la Source and a date with US Orléans, a favorite for relegations, would prove a powerful elixir to close out the month. The hosts would hold out for the first half but João Paulo would start the flood with a header on a corner at 59’, with Ferreira out and key partnerships just starting to form, corners would start to become critical scoring opportunities. Kanté would be the one to make it 2-0 at 74’ off a corner as RB Paris looked to put US Orléans away for good. Edouard Butin would get a chance to halve the lead late in the game with a penalty, but Anthony Maisonnal would block it to deny them. Apropos to RB Paris’ struggle to focus, Maisonnal’s block didn’t go very far and the team failed to react which allowed Yohan Demoncy to rush in and chip the ball over Maisonnal before he could get back up. Isidor would continue his scoring ways with a 90’ strike, finishing the game 3-1 for an ending the team really needed.

In terms of the table, October was a very good month thanks to an undefeated streak of five games. Every point matters so not-losing is a bigger win than most would think. Evra would also feel good seeing a number of his players forming solid partnerships in key areas. Lopez and Florent Hanin have started to play really well together down the left, Hanin has provided the assist on all three of Lopez’s goals so far and should provide more as the season moves forward. Martin and Jason Kikonda, who benefited from the sale of Cyril Mandouki, have formed a good working relationship in the double-pivot. One thing Evra doesn’t need to worry about is his central midfielders, as long as those to stay healthy the central defenders have time to right the ship.

One final issue that Evra will need to address is RB Paris’ astounding rate of bookings. The team leads Ligue 2 in yellows, which isn’t really that bad, but they also lead in reds which is very bad. Most of those reds are the result of double bookings, but there is no reason for players to be sent off. If Evra doesn’t address this soon it could pile up into more problems later.

The 7th round draw for the Coupe de France was announced at the end of the month, a fortunate draw would land them in a matchup with Avoine Chinon. The Championnat National 3 side should be an easy matchup, RB Paris are heavy favorites to advance.

It seems that the players need to be told to back off a little bit because getting stuck in seems to be leading to far too much ill-discipline!

A few other areas to improve as Evra has mentioned but the league position could be much worse.

If RB Paris fans were pleased with October’s unbeaten run, then November would make them ecstatic. After an up-and-down start to the season the team would seem to make good on the promise of attacking football, it didn’t even matter that João Paulo would be out for two weeks with a pectoral strain. Facing relegation fodder (AJ Auxerre) and a Championnat National 3 side would present an opening for dominance, and RB Paris charged right through.

At first the AJ Auxerre game was most notable for an appearance by Eric Cantona, AJ Auxerre being his first professional club, but it quickly turned into the starting point for RB Paris’s offense. A 2-0 win would feature a Wilson Isidor strike, his second straight game scored in, and an astounding defensive effort that saw Les Diplomates held to zero shots. Turns out it’s very easy to win a game if your opponent never takes a shot.

“I’m very proud of them,” said Evra after the game “I believe Auxerre is better than people say, so shutting them down like that was a huge accomplishment. We just need to keep it up.”

They weren’t quite able to duplicate those efforts in the coming weeks but they certainly found their scoring touch. Specifically Isidor and Lamine Diaby-Fadiga, the two of them woke up and put on quite a show over a four game span. An easy 4-0 win over Avoine Chinon on the Coupe de France featured a Diaby-Fadiga double and Isidor’s third straight game with a goal. RB Paris carried a 1-0 deficit into the 74th minute against Amens SC before exploding for three late scores. This time Isidor had the double and Diaby-Fadiga added one. Things looked even more promising with a 2-0 win at home against Sochaux, a team many picked to finish well above RB Paris. Diaby-Fadiga and Isidor, his 6th in five games, would each score again as Evra’s unbeaten streak would be extended to ten games.

The four wins would help catapult RB Paris into 3rd, just a single point being FC Metz in 1st thanks to the leaders losing 5-0 to Grenoble. It took nearly three full months to get going, but things seem to be moving in the right direction. The club will be looking for some consistency if they have any hopes of being promoted, if Evra can avoid the kind of month they had in September (two losses) they could seriously outperform expectations.

RB Paris will face CSO Amnéville in the Coupe de France for December, a short month of fixtures before a potential glut of games in January. If RB Paris can keep advancing in the Coupe de France they could see eight games after the winter break.

Excellent work. The goals are starting to flow and they're importantly being kept out too.

December provided some good news right away with the return of Cristian Ferreira prior to their first game against Clermont. Lamine Diaby-Fadiga has developed a good relationship with CAM Said Arab so the return of Ferreira could have disrupted his form, instead it only improved.

Diaby-Fadiga would register a double against Clermont, both goals in a solid 2-0 win, with one coming from Ferreira and one from Florian Martin. The only thing that kept him from scoring in the 2-0 Coupe de France win over CSO Amnéville was that he didn’t play, Evra opted to rest his striker for the upcoming games against Nancy and Valenciennes. Morgan Guilavogui and Ferreira would get it done without him, and an easy win would earn them a date with Le Havre FC to start January.

Parc des Sports de la Plaine Sud must have something against RB Paris’ knees, because two players would go down with somewhat serious knee injuries in training. Ferreira would be right back in the physio’s office with a pulled knee ligament, ruling him out for three to four weeks, followed by Franck Ellé Essouma getting the same diagnosis. Losing one of your most promising players once again is never good, but Arab has played so well in him place that Evra might not miss him outside of his ability to deliver corners.

“We are concerned about these injuries, but the club feels good about the current team trajectory,” said Red Bull GmbH Global Head of Soccer Oliver Mintzlaff “if we need to address the issue in the winter transfer window we will explore all options.”

The response by Mintzlaff was the first time anyone has hinted at any movement in the January window, Evra actually has so much depth that many outside the team think they will sell one of their four viable CAM options. Veteran Marvin Gakpa has been the odd man out for some time, even taking his complaints to the media himself, so if anyone is leaving it should be him.

Some of Evra’s earlier problems reared their head in the next game, a tense 3-2 win against Nancy that shouldn’t have been tense at all. A 3-0 first half lead, with Diaby-Fadiga and Wilson Isidor scoring again, turned into a fight for survival late as RB Paris withered against set pieces. At 81’ and 84’ Nancy would catch them out with the only two shots they managed to put on target all game. Luckily in this instance they were able to hold the lead but the weakness is obvious, if Evra were to spend in the January window a better CB should be at the top of his list. If anyone doubted something needed to be done, they would have to change their minds after a disappointing 1-0 loss to Valenciennes to close out the month. Aly would head one in at 20’ off a free kick, a particularly poorly defended one, and half the shots they actually put on goal would go in. RB Paris enjoyed a whopping 71% of the ball, but couldn’t do anything with it as Valenciennes were happy to set up in a low block after going up 1-0. It’s easy to feel like the loss soured the previous wins, but a twelve game unbeaten streak with eight straight wins is very impressive for a first time manager.

Nice writing! Shame about the Valenciennes result, but you weren't outclassed and things are going well :)

Half a season down and some positive trends have developed with Patrice Evra’s squad. It took some time to get going but his approach has started to bear fruit. The majority of scoring is concentrated in two players, but that shouldn’t be an issue as long as both of them don’t miss significant time.

Wilson Isidor, who is unfortunately here on loan, is the headliner with a team leading (11) goals across all competitions. Close behind is Lamine Diaby-Fadiga, who had a slow start but looks to have really grown into the attacking forward role. Both of them have turned out to be nearly pure goalscorers with just (3) assists between them, just behind them are Cristian Ferreria (who has connected well with Diaby-Fadiga up the middle) and Julian Lopez who is excellent at picking out Isidor on the opposite side of the field. Having two players who can create as well as score themselves has really opened things up for Evra, Ferreira’s performance is rather impressive considering how much time he has missed.

The bulk of the assists have come from the Florian Martin (6), Florin Hanin (6), Said Arab (4), and Cody Drameh (3) group which shows some diversification of attack up the middle and out wide.

One pleasant surprise, which has fueled a number of wins, is the scoring on corners. Ousmane Kanté and João Paulo have scored (3) goals each, all on corners, and have proven to be a nightmare to opponents when the corner flag is in play. It’s hard to tell if this is a fluke or a feature of Evra’s setup, but having another dimension to the offense could earn the team promotion.
Looking very good. There are a number of players who have impressed this season and hopefully they can maintain their form to ensure the team remain in contention for promotion.
Just read all and I like it very much! I lived 500m to the Stade Charlety and went sometimes to the Stadium! I'm a PSG fan but also football! Wish RB coul took Paris FC to Ligue1!

Do you think you will share the data one day?

Keep it up! I will follow

Big news rocked the transfer window as Brexit became final, the news had no impact on RB Paris but the implications for the global market were the focus of most coverage. It’s going to be a long time before work permits scuttle massive bid from English teams, so for the time being Red Bull GmbH have continued on like Brexit doesn’t exist.

The long saga of Cody Gakpa finally came to an expensive conclusion after half a season of bad vibes. Word leaked out that Gakpa had rejected a contract offer from Leeds just before the season started, a €1M offer from the English club would have been a huge windfall for RB Paris, but this time around Leeds were only willing to offer €350K for the temperamental midfielder. Patrice Evra would need the money and the payroll relief so losing €750K wasn’t a barrier to getting this done.

While the money flying around wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in most leagues, the influence of Red Bull is already being felt. The amount of money being spent on youth players alone is new to the club, free transfers are slowly being phased out to increase the club’s flexibility on the market. The fact that Evra didn’t really need a LW, but went out and spent on some depth anyway, is an excellent sign that RB Paris is moving in the right direction. The purchase of Conrad Willem went very smoothly even with his agent apparently driving a hard bargain during contract negotiations. The sale of Gakpa made the signing even easier, the club put more effort into closing out their youth signings than the senior squad.

Senior / Major Transfers (Out)
Marvin Gakpa (CAM, Leeds) €350K

Senior Transfers (In)
Conrad Willem (LW, Arendal) €13.5K

Final Transfer List (Impact Signings)
Danny Malitoli (RB, LOSC Lille - Zambia) €35K
Leonardo (CAM, CAX - Brazil) €23K
Youssouf Camara (CM, Tours FC - Guinea) €16K
Dani Díez (CAM, Reinickendorf - Germany) €9.5K
Jocelyn Bailly (GK, SC Bastia - France) €7K
Marcel David (CF, Tours FC - France) €6.5K
Younes Boussif (CAM, Red Star FC - Algeria) €6K
Jean-Pierre Lachaud (CM, Louhans-Cuiseaux FC - France) €4.8K
Karim Soltani (CM, Olympia Wijgmaal - Belgium) €2.6K
Mauro Amorim (CF, Red Star FC - Mozambique) €1.2K
Pablo Sultuane (LW, Châteauroux - Mozambique) €550
Octávio Martinho (LW, Galitos - Portugal) €500
David (CM, Mogi Mirim - Brazil) Free
André Teixeira (CM, Dragões Sandinenses - Brazil) Free

It’s very obvious that RB Paris’ limiting scouting staff was very busy over the summer and will likely continue to be busy going forward. Limited finances mean that the club is forced into low-risk high-reward signings, and early returns show they may have struck gold already. Danny Malitoli is the major headliner in this group, it’s a mystery why LOSC Lille would let someone like him go for so little. RB Paris’ scouting staff love him so much if there weren’t so many RB on loan with the senior squad he might actually have a shot at playing immediately, next year he will definitely make Evra think hard about including him in the squad.

Three other players should have fans salivating over the future whether it’s still in Ligue 2 or in Ligue 1. Youssouf Camara, Younes Boussif, and Mauro Amorim look like exciting prospects. The number of players on loan and pending retirements make RB Paris an attractive landing spot for young players looking to break into the senior squad. Evra will likely need some of these players to step into the senior squad unless the transfer budget suddenly explodes. Either way, RB Paris will need to get the ball rolling on developing players for transfer profit and it looks like they may have a few in this class.
I love the concept of signing players that I could pay for myself
2020-11-28 20:42#279385 Tango : I love the concept of signing players that I could pay for myself

I have no money, and when you look up Paris FC's transfer history it's 99% free transfers ( I'd like to try and stick to that as long as it makes sense.

France Football’s Laurent Grandcolas had the opportunity to sit down with Red Bull Paris’ first year manager Patrice Evra to discuss the pressures of Ligue 2 and the unique challenge of rebuilding a club.

The start of the season was rough and fans were not happy with the club, on and off the field, but things seem to have turned around. How has that whole process been for you?

It was hard, definitely a shock going from getting my badges at [Manchester] United with the youth team to Ligue 2. There were also some questions at first, some people who didn’t like how things ended at Marseille, but those issues are behind me. Having the club, Red Bull, everyone on the coaching staff working hard as a team has made things much easier. We stumbled at first, but we all stayed focused, I knew that if we put in the work things would start going our way on the pitch and eventually it did. Getting the results to go with all the hard work felt great, I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.

With Red Bull taking over the club, do you feel any additional pressure to achieve promotion?

No, not at all. Every manager feels the push to succeed, to get to the highest level. Oliver [Mintzlaff] and everyone at Red Bull have been great, they have a long term plan for the club and they know it won’t be done overnight. Not to say I don’t need to win, but if you look at Salzburg, you look at Leipzig, you see the blueprint. Just look at Leipzig, they had to make their way through a number of tiers to get to the top, and they are still working toward their first title.

Everyone knows about your time at Manchester United, under Sir Alex Ferguson, how has that helped guide your style of management?

Less hair dryer (laughing), no I’m joking. I learned so much during my time in Manchester, how to be a leader, how to work within a club culture. I’m not in the same position as he was, I don’t have as much control over the organization but I don’t need it to be successful here. I think adhering to the culture, the Red Bull Way if you will, is something that I find to be very important. We won’t be successful on any level if everyone is going their own way, not working with the club.

Where do you see the club in five years? Do you see yourself staying here long term, or are there other places you would like to manage?

Ligue 1 for sure, hopefully playing in Europe for the first time. I know that’s ambitious, but that’s the kind of club we are trying to become. If we aren’t in Ligue 1 I will have failed and will probably get sacked, but I’m confident that won’t happen. If we can build a team of young players ready to compete on the highest level, guys who are good enough to play on the biggest teams in the world, I think we will be on track. Personally, you always dream about the biggest clubs. Manchester United would be a dream, I wouldn’t be able to turn that offer down, but I’m working my way up. I’ll see where I am when my contract starts to wind down, but I’m not looking to jump at jobs, any job. There are a few, but I need to earn it.

You have spent your career playing in a number of countries. How would you compare French football to Italy or England?

It’s hard to say, the game is changing so much across Europe. People always say ‘Italy, they play so slow, there’s no goals’ but Serie A is one of the leading leagues in scoring now. The game is becoming more attacking, and France is falling behind but not for long. You see what [Thomas] Tuchel is doing at PSG, it won’t be long before a French club team takes the Champions League again. We aren’t as physical as they are in England, but that’s what I’m trying to bring to our side, a strong defensive mentality to go with a wide open attack.

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