If Montpellier (6th in Ligue 1) asserts itself week after week as a serious candidate for European places, it does not owe it only to the paws of Téji Savanier. As valuable as he is (5 goals and 6 assists in 18 matches), the Pailladin captain also drags his shadow side, and his team had to learn to deal with his excessive nervousness. Expelled for having wiped a cramp on the leg of Oualid El-Hajjam on January 19, against Troyes (0-1), Savanier will serve his third and final game of suspension this Saturday afternoon against Saint-Etienne, the fifth already this season. But the results of the MHSC do not suffer, because Olivier Dall’Oglio and his players know how to adapt.
A more direct game and a more decisive Germain
As he is now used to when he is deprived of his playmaker, the Pailladin coach should swap his traditional 4-2-3-1 against a flat 4-4-2 on the lawn of Geoffroy-Guichard. The recipe has proven itself, since it is in this system that Montpellier beat Nice (1-0, November 7) and Monaco (3-2, January 23). Without Savanier, therefore, but with a more direct game and a more incisive Valère Germain. This confirms once again that the Hérault number nine is more comfortable in a two-man attack. And that the MHSC is not dependent on its master to play, even though his teammates are impatiently awaiting his return.
“When you have a player like Teji, of course, you build around him. When he’s not there, you have to do things differently. The 4-4-2 is an interesting alternative because players have embraced it. But I think a lot of things come from defensive stability.”, remarked Dall’Oglio before the trip to Marseille (1-1, 4-5 on tab) last weekend, in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France. The MHSC has “really evolved in mentality”, and the successor of Michel Der Zakarian insisted on this point again on Thursday: “Everyone is much more concerned with protecting our goal. » No matter the system and the players.