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PSG – Monaco – 3: 3, January 12, 2020, Golovin vs. PSG

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PSG - Monaco - 3: 3

Mikhail Goncharov
Mikhail Goncharov

Golovin is the absolute top for Monaco. But it is time for him to break into the elite

You need to take only one step: add to the level of decisions in the final stage and the specifics.

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Sunday’s match, “PSG” and “Monaco” was not just exciting, over-productive and flavored with intriguing intrigue. For all Russian football fans who are not indifferent to talent Alexandra Golovin, he also painted in bright festive colors, because we saw a compatriot, if not in all its glory, then in a state as close to this as possible. Even if you turn on the internal mode of maximum severity and take a red fountain pen to emphasize all the shortcomings during parsing, the final score will not be lower than four. And this is in the match against the top club not only in France, but throughout Europe.

That’s why it’s pleasant in our hearts: we are used to treating our players in such situations with a certain indulgence, but here it is absolutely not required. Golovin is an absolutely top player for Monaco in such a top match, and now it is really possible to say that he should strive for brighter stars. He has almost everything for this.

Intensity? Alexander works with the ball at speeds not inferior not only to partners, but to most PSG players. Its extremely fast legs allow you to keep the ball under pressure, easily release from pressure and quickly disperse attacks. The same Arshavin, Pavlyuchenko or Bilyaletdinov weren’t able to play at that pace for 90 minutes, and Golovin could.

Ability to develop an attack? This is Golovin’s advantage that most of his actions are aimed not just at preserving the ball, but specifically at development. Against the Parisians, he accumulated 44 assists (36 accurate), of which 39 were constructive (aimed at developing an attack) and only three were preparatory. Also, the Russian has two sharp programs. And in total for the season – 39, he leads the team by a wide margin (25 each Zhelsona Martins and Ben yeddera) and takes fifth place in the championship.

Equipment? Golovin is fast and effective in dribbling (five strokes, three successful), saves a lot of goals (five losses per game – a decent indicator for a player with such tasks).

Engagement? It gives the necessary amount of movement and struggle (19 martial arts per game, 9 won), including in defense (12 and 6). Alexander is useful in the pressure and active phase of defense, he enters the selection very well (8 attempts, 4 successful, and also 5 interceptions and 5 rebounds).

Versatility and adaptation to tactical changes? An example from yesterday’s match – Golovin started the match on the left flank of the midfield in the attack phase, during defense he became the central midfielder, and after a break, occasionally turned into a lower defensive player.

Even Alexander, due to speed, technology and light legs, can easily go on strike. In the match with PSG, he shot on goal five times (one attempt on target), and on average for the season he has a solid midfielder 1.8 shots per game. He is not afraid to hit from afar, and from both legs, and most of the episodes he creates for himself with simple, but very quick offsets.

To add to the transition to a new level and to transfer to the top club a la Chelsea or the same PSG, Golovin needs only one thing: in the decisions made and the specifics. And this we also clearly saw yesterday. His two dangerous approaches, at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second, Alexander used so-so. In the first case, he shifted the ball under the right for a long time and dragged on with a blow, in the second, on the contrary, he did not wait a pause and uncomfortably rolled left to a partner who did not have an obvious option for completion.

If Golovin knew how to perform such episodes in at least half the cases, then he would no longer be in the semi-crisis and unstable Monaco. If he added more and more stable performance to his ability to strike from an average distance, he would also run among the elite a long time ago. Still, people who can solve moments are appreciated all over the world.

This step – perhaps not so simple, but absolutely possible and tangible – Alexander needs to be done in the coming seasons. And then we will definitely get a football player whom we have not had for a long time.

Used data InStat and Understat.

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