Meet the Family – Part 2By: Tom B | April 12th, 2010
The centre back in France’s lower divisions needs to be physical – it’s a must. The leagues are very physical and you come up against some large strikers (none larger than my very own Jan Koller however). Jan also allows me to be a little bit more direct in my play, either out from the back, or getting lots of early crosses in. Thus I’m not so much looking for my centre backs to be ball playing virtuosos, rather, I’d like them to win the ball and get it away. Also – I’ll be looking for a partnership, rather than my best 2 centre backs. Unfortunately – my squad looks a little threadbare when it comes to centre halves.
I only have 2 specialist centre backs worth their salt – I’ll need to strengthen here – and a makeshift defensive midfielder and a utility player.
First choice has to be: Mr Steven Paulle – a 6′2″ 23 year old brute . He’s a bit of a thug, not so good technically, but very good in the air. He’s surprisingly strong mentally for this division, and he might well be good enough to stick with me for the next little while. The fact he’s a local boy also is a massive tick in his favour.
Second up would have to be Vincent Di Bartoloméo. He’s a little older, a little more cultured (tenchique 12, passing 11) but lacks a little more physically (pace 9) and mentally (aggression 8, determination 10). Personality wise – he’s from Montluçon which is almost in the middle of France.
Providing cover (when fit, he’s out for 3 months) is Ted Mondésir Lavie Mienandy, or Ted Lavie. A southener, from Montpellier, with a Congolese (Democratic Republic) background, he’s a holding midfielder who played 3 games for Girodins de Bordeaux in the mid 2000s. He’s pretty handy, hard working and mentally strong, with a good long shot (14) and an ability to break up play (tackling 12, work rate 16). As a centre back – out of position – he is solid (detemination & decisions 11, tackling 12, marking 9, heading 11, concentration and composure 14) without pressing to be first choice.
Finally – my utility man (can play in the centre and left back, but prefers right back) is Mr Stéphane Léoni. He’s being paid a pittance (230 Euros a week) but is solid enough, tackling, marking, heading and physically. Definitely fourth choice, but first choice as a sub because he is useful in a variety of positions.
So I need a fast, strong man to either replace Di Bartolomeo or act as cover – good to know.