Tour of Ligue 1 clubs: Strasbourg, caution after a brilliant season

It will be difficult to do as well. Last season, the Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace collective surprised, rising to sixth place in the standings. A reality that supporters, like Yannis, are aware of: “We know that last season was limited perfect, he declares to franceinfo: sport. After a calm transfer window and good preparation, Strasbourg begins its season at home against Monaco on Saturday August 6 at 5 p.m.

The objective: to maintain

After the friendly match lost against Cagliari (1-2) on July 27, Julien Stéphan was hardly optimistic. “The championship is going to be difficult this season. We have to prepare for this difficulty”he explained, according The Latest News from Alsace (DNA). “We have to be aware that this is a special year, with four runs at the end of the season. Apart from seven or eight clubs (…) which are preserved, with the 12 other teams, we are going to a first time to fight for the maintenance. It will not be a copy-paste from the previous season“, he explained on July 10 to DNA.

Strasbourg midfielder Sanjin Prcić celebrates with his teammates after scoring during the friendly match between Sporting Charleroi and RCS Strasbourg, Saturday July 16, 2022 in Charleroi.  (VIRGINIE LEFOUR / AFP)

With an almost unchanged workforce, RC Strasbourg plays the card of continuity. Stéphan wants to find the game that made him successful last season: “Strasbourg must be hard to play, combative, aggressive, committed, generous in the races. Strasbourg, it must be vertical, it must be able to create danger and goal-scoring situations”he added after the Cagliari defeat.

The player to watch: Nordine Kandil, the pocket esthete

Fire support, shovel dribbling … At 20, the small attacking midfielder (1.66 meters) Nordine Kandil makes fans dream. “His performances are stunning”, says one of them, when almost everyone cites him as the player to follow this year … if he stays at the RCSA. Born in Strasbourg, this child of the club only made a few appearances last season. For his first, during the 10th day against Saint-Etienne, it took him three minutes to deliver a magnificent decisive pass which, on its own, eliminated the entire opposing midfielder (see below from 1’28).

Injured from March to May, the No. 34 showed his advantage in preparation, equalizing against FC Sion (2-1 victory) after putting the defense in the wind on a nice feint strike.

The rookie: Colin Dagba, the good year?

Landed from Paris, on loan, the young right-back, spotted with the PSG U19s and projected into the pro group by Thomas Tuchel in 2018, did not play last season under Mauricio Pochettino. At 23, he arrived in Alsace to revive himself, arousing the curiosity of supporters: “I would like to know if he will make us forget Guilbert, who unleashed passions”, says one of them.

In general, the transfer window of the RCSA is, for the time being, particularly quiet. Five loan returns, the final transfers of defender Lucas Perrin and defensive midfielder Jean-Eudes Aholou, and only three new recruits (two loans, with Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel and Colin Dagba, a transfer with Thomas Delaine). The club could however react to the possible departures of defender Alexander Djiku, and especially of center-forward Ludovic Ajorque (12 goals and 5 assists last season).

The 11 kind

The 11 type of Strasbourg for this 2022-23 Ligue 1 season (demivolee.com)

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