Relegated to Ligue 2 this summer and favorite for the title for several bookmakers in the wake, Amiens SC has not achieved the start of the season of a contender for the rise. But is all hope lost?
“To be a top-of-the-table team, you have to score more than sixty goals. Once we have said that, we know how far we have to go. With five goals in nine matches, we will be far if we continue at this pace. With this average, we will finish with twenty goals over the season. “ This is what explained Oswald Tanchot before the meeting against AJ Auxerre. And it is not the meeting against the Burgundians that risks making him change his mind. After a quarter of the season, Amiens SC is 15th with 11 points in 10 matches, the worst attack from L2 (tied with Ajaccio), to respectively 7 and 5 points of the 2nd place and the last place of jump-off. An ambition for an immediate recovery therefore seems more and more compromised.
Delay at (almost) all levels
For most indicators, Amiens SC is far from the standards of a promoted team or even among the top 5, a sine qua non condition to compete in the entry-blocks. Starting with the most important indicator in the standings, the number of points scored. With an average of 1.1 points per game, the ASC is very far from 1.74 points per game from Troyes, less good 2nd since the 2015-16 season or even 1.66 points per match of Lens, less good 5th during this period, the same season as Troyes, that of the rise in L1 of the Picardy club. To reach one of these averages at the end of the season, far from ensuring a rise, but at the very least making this scenario credible, it would be necessary to score respectively 55 (1.96 per game) or 52 (1.86 points) points more than at present. A pace from which Oswald Tanchot’s team is for the moment very far. A rhythm involving winning again about between 14 to 16 met.
However, inevitably, if the pace in terms of points does not follow, that in terms of victories is not in the nails either. So with 3 wins in 10 games, Oswald Tanchot’s men are on a tempo that would bring them to 11 wins at the end of the season, far from 17 minimum successes to go up, and the rhythm ofone win every two games that should now be held in order to return to the struggle for accession. And for that, we will have to correct the main flaw, clearly identified by Oswald Tanchot, of this team: offensive efficiency. Because with an average of 0.6 goals per match, the ASC are light years away from most of the top 5 teams over the past five seasons, with only the PFC having finished the season with an average of less than one goals per game (0.95), all others exceeding 1.13, and even the 1.39 to enter the first two, respectively 43 and 53 goals. Far from 23 buts that the Amiens would achieve by continuing on the same dynamic. To catch up on the offensive delay on direct promotion, it would be necessary to register 47 buts by the end of the season, an average of 1.67 goals per match reached only by 3 teams in 5 seasons. Or more modestly 37 buts to consider hanging a dam, which already seems a bit more affordable.
A tight championship, the main reason for hope
If returning to the usual offensive standards still seems complicated as it would be necessary to reverse the trend by making the worst attack in the championship one of the best in recent years, other indicators can however qualify the pessimism. On the one hand, we can put forward defensive impermeability of the Samarians. While the shallow depth of the bench, the great change in the sector this summer and the youthfulness of most of the players who make it up could be worrying when starting the season, we can say that it gives any satisfaction, the Amiens not having cashed that 0.7 goals per game, an average beaten only by 3 of the 25 best ranked clubs over the past 5 years and which would bring the Picards to only 27 goals conceded at the end of the season. A profile that ultimately looks quite like Paris FC (36 goals scored, 22 goals conceded) who finished 4th in 2018-19 … but had been eliminated by RC Lens in the first round of the play-offs.
The other reason for hope for Oswald Tanchot and his men lies in the start of the season for all the L2 teams. Indeed, if Paris FC is at the top of the standings, its pursuers do not dominate the championship. Thus, the 3 teams in the jump-off position are in rather low standards compared to the same positions at the end of previous seasons. So, Niort, 3rd is the worst defense a top 5 team since 2015, Caen, 4th is the worst attack over the same period and Clermont, 5th, has the worst point average. Caen and Clermont are also 27th out of 30 respectively in terms of number of points and offensively. In short, the prospect of a top 5 most achievable for a long time gives the possibility to Amiens SC to still believe in the play-offs against opponents who have not made the difference, the direct rise seeming, on the other hand, already far away, despite a season still far from being played.
Still, a delay has already been accumulated and we will have to react quickly. A series of 7 games in a month looming, no doubt that it will clarify the objectives that Amiens SC may aim for the rest of the season.
Morgan thatched cottage
Photo credit: Leandre Leber – Gazettesports
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