It is well known, the pre-season never brings any certainty but always its share of lessons. Four of the five meetings of SM Caen’s summer preparation were not broadcast, but Malherbe inside didn’t miss any. The opportunity to take stock player by player, while Ligue 2 begins on Saturday in Nîmes.
Small precision: the training oppositions behind closed doors against Deauville-Trouville and Niort do not fit into this report, no reliable information having filtered.
The hierarchy is clearly defined and Anthony Mandrea (360 minutes of play), number 1 in the position, was able to assert some interesting qualities. Explosive, quick on the ground, very communicative with his teammates, he never seemed to be in trouble on his line and had nothing to do with the four goals conceded (including a penalty). On the other hand, the Algerian international showed certain shortcomings in his aerial outings and on the game on foot. His confidence and understanding with his defense grew game after game.
Yannis Clementia (90′)who we should finally see as a professional this season thanks to his understudy status, had no intervention to make during his only match against Le Mans.
No surprise: Ibrahim Cisse (263′) will again be the boss of the Caen defense this year. Reinforced in the axis of the hinge, “Ibra” brought a lot of security and accuracy without ever panicking, and even offered himself a few overruns, like this full axis breakthrough finished on the ground in the Rennes area. Preserved in the last match because of a small alert, his absence was felt in the cohesion of the rearguard. His return on Saturday would be welcome.
If he has proved valuable in the aerial game and his leadership is already felt, Roman Thomas (360′) was sometimes behind defensively and imprecise in his transmissions, putting his partners in difficulty as on the second Nantes goal. Planned on the left side of the three-man defense, the new Caen captain, a flagship rookie in the transfer window, will have to step up in the league.
Quite surprisingly, Adolphe Teikeu (319′) was the second most used outfielder. Hard on the man but also feverish and insecure with the ball at his feet, the Cameroonian is struggling to regain his Sochalian level which had allowed him to win the CAN 2017. imagine him as a starter all season.
Emmanuel Ntim (164′) has evolved more in the axis of the hinge, in Cissé’s lining, than on his right where he is expected. While Valenciennes alternated defenses at 4 and 5 last year, the Ghanaian confirmed that he had the necessary qualities to be one of the three starters once he had digested his adaptation time and served his suspension in Nîmes.
Framework of the 2004 generation of which he is the most capped in professional, Brahim Traore (142′) looks like the biggest loser in summer recruiting. The young Ornais finds himself fifth axial in the hierarchy, despite diligent appearances and a margin of progress always present.
Re Ali Abdi (121′), the question is less about his status as a holder than about his presence at the club after the end of the transfer window. Captain in the absence of Romain Thomas, the Tunisian international has assumed his status and brought a lot offensively as usual, in addition to sketching a beautiful emerging complementarity with Bilal Brahimi.
As he prepares to start his eighth season in Ligue 2 (after Châteauroux, Troyes and Rodez), Johann Obiang (178′) offered a lot of serious defensiveness, in addition to an appreciable quality of center. Missed his match against Nantes, the Gabonese international was injured at the end of the game and did not appear again afterwards. Now recovered, he will start in Nîmes in the absence of Abdi.
Workforce framework since last year, Hugo Vandermersch (290′) will once again be an important part of the eleven and the dressing room. Serious behind without being flamboyant in front, the Ch’ti had the merit of trying to project themselves, as evidenced by their head-to-head loss against Mandanda from the first minute at d’Ornano.
Aligned on the right axial during the first two games then on the left side during the last three after Obiang’s injury, Lamine Sy (243′) will never have evolved to his position as right piston of all the preparation. He still has to improve defensively but already shows great promise as a counter-attacker.
After spending his six months last season in defence, Djibril Diani (286′) should be one of Stéphane Moulin’s basic men in midfield. Interesting in his role as a sentry, present in the duels, he seems more comfortable than when he played in the same position last year. However, the former Grasshoppers suffered as soon as the opposition hardened. Despite some vertical runs, he will have to show more confidence in his transmissions and manage to steer the game forward.
The Comorian international Iyad Mohammad (164′), unknown on his arrival from Auxerre, has similar defensive qualities, with his great compasses and his aggressiveness on the carrier. Still young and full of desire, good in his position and more comfortable with the ball than Diani, he will have to progress tactically to hope to shake up the hierarchy during the season.
Worker and hard at evil, player of character, Quentin Daubin (130′) was hampered by a minor injury that kept him out of action for three games. We imagined him in front of the defense when he arrived from Pau, he seems to be a torchbearer in the mind of the Caen coach who has always lined him up with Diani or Mohamed behind him. Given his profile as a destroyer more than a builder, positioning him so high is useful for pressing but gives the second torchbearer a lot of responsibility.
Most used player in the middle, Yoann Court (300′) remained faithful to its register: precious in the distribution of the game, precise in the small spaces, but sometimes exceeded by the intensity and guilty of some mood swings. He seems to be favored by the coach as a left torchbearer.
Injured since February, Caleb Zady Sery (245′) grew in power over the meetings. Despite a physique that quickly fails, the Ivorian recalled than its unique profile in the workforce, all in percussionwill be essential to pack some matches and destabilize opponents in place.
Third and last suspended against Nîmes, Bilal Brahimi (151′) is one of the revelations of this pre-season. A good ball player, creative and technical, capable of directing the game as well as breaking lines by passing and running, the former Dunkirk is not afraid to approach the opposing surface either. Judging by the qualities demonstrated, he is already applying very seriously for a place in the eleven.
If he more often evolved right piston (where he lacked benchmarks and seemed uncomfortable) than in his real position, Noah Lebreton (184′) was uninhibited during his entries in the middle. He should get playing time this season.
Least used player and left at the disposal of the reserve last weekend, Mohamed Hafid (81′) will probably have to harden up in N2 before becoming a solid option in the mind of the Caen technician. Used in a more remote role than in Gambardella, he still confirmed his ease with the ball and in the orientation of the game.
If he had few opportunities to get his teeth into despite one of the highest playing times in the squad, Alexandre Mendy (317′) did not convince the supporters who hope to see him start again on his bases of last year (16 achievements in 32 games). Very little in sight in front of goal and often ill-inspired in the game, Mendy still finished top scorer of the pre-season thanks to a penalty in the first game and a flat foot in the six meters in the second. The tenor of his season will inevitably depend on his agreement with his attacking partner.
Not always a starter with Pau last season, Samuel Essende (316′) is one of the least expected recruits who were able to convince observers. A very complete, powerful, mobile and technical striker, the former Avranches is as capable of descending between the lines as of engulfing himself in depth. Associated with Mendy in the last three oppositions, the two players have struggled to find each other.
Revelation of the National last year, Godson Kyeremeh (148′) returned from loan this summer, with his fast and punchy attacking profile which has been lacking since the departure of Nuno Da Costa (minus the experience). Interesting against Ajaccio, scorer against Rennes, Kyeremeh must now prove that he has the ability to put on the stuff of a starter in a second striker position that he knows little about, since he was playing on the side in Annecy ( 8 goals, 10 assists last year).
To finish, Norman Bassette (104′) has undeniable qualities in the surface, already glimpsed in Gambardella and in reserve. But the young Belgian still seems to be keen to hope for better than ends of the match, the time to get used to the rough defenses of Ligue 2. Nothing abnormal for a player who will not celebrate his 18th birthday until November.
- They didn’t argue for a minute
Installed as third goalkeeper, Destined Jopanguy should only be made to appear in the pros as a last resort.
Often holders at the start of last season before plummeting in the hierarchy, Jonathan Riverez and Franklin Wadja were not integrated into the professional group, while two central and two defensive midfielders were recruited this summer. Stéphane Moulin even preferred to align Lamine Sy in third axial rather than recalling the Martinique international. The latter comes from elsewhere to commit to Bourg-en-Bressewhile the mass seems to be said for the second.
Diabe Bolumbu saw his recovery delayed by his participation with France U18 in the Mediterranean Games, of which he returned victorious. He is expected as a professional this season but should first prove himself in reserve, unless Abdi leaves.
Great unknown, the future of Jessy Deminguet is still as vague as at the start of preparation. The player wants to leave and the club is open, but the Lexovian resumed reserve team training last week. His future club will therefore have to deal with a player who will not be operational immediately. And if no agreement was finally reached before September 2, in what physical and psychological state would he be for the coming season? Let’s hope the soap opera gets its epilogue soon.
Injured in training before the first opposition against Ajaccio, Benjamin Jeannot only reappeared in reserve last weekend. He is for the moment one of the losers of the pre-season, even if his legendary good humor, his status as a former locker room and his undeniable technical qualities will give him the opportunity to integrate the rotation in attack each time his body will leave him alone.