Brest is fifth in Ligue 1, and the advancing season is not taking the Bretons away from the top of the table. Are Eric Roy's men on their way to a historic European qualification?
In Brittany, the seasons follow one another and are not alike; at least, when it comes to football. Stade Brestois is 5th in Ligue 1 with 28 points at the time of hosting this Wednesday evening 9:00 p.m., FC Lorient, 17th and relegated. At the same stadium last year, it was the Merlus who had 28 points and were close to the European places, while the Brestois occupied 17th place in the championship . The Lorientais lost several important players in 2023: Terem Moffi, Enzo Le Fée, Ibrahima Koné, Dango Ouattara, Armand Laurienté… But the Brest workforce is not ;has experienced only very slight adjustments this summer: how to explain this European form?
It's difficult to hope for a sunnier start to the season. on the side from Finistère. Without committing large financial resources, Stade Brestois already seems to be ready for success. having ensured its maintenance: 28 points acquired before mid-season, i.e. Just 10 less than it should be to stay in the elite. Above all, comfortably seated at home. 5th place with two points behind on the podium, Eric Roy's men would have to be immensely reasonable so as not to get caught in the race. dreaming of Europe. Soft illusion or realistic horizon?
The quest for balance
The start of the Brest season is based on solid and immovable foundations: firstly a midfield which combines work and quality; technical, à the image of Pierre Lees-Melou, one of the best recoverers in the championship, and Mahdi Camara, who adds greater ability to score. &agrav; carry the ball and &agrav; progress the game. While the men in midfield rake, the creative aspect is left to play. to eccentric players.
Romain Del Castillo is at the top of his game, and is responsible for most of the Brest offensives. The former Rennais is the team's top scorer and best passer (5 goals and 4 decisive assists). He also has 44 key passes (passes leading to a shot), which is three times more than anyone else in the squad and second ;thth total in Ligue 1, behind Téji Savanier.
Head in the clouds
The Brest team can also be explained by the new contribution of its full-backs. Kenny Lala, who arrived at &agrav; last winter, shows that he is still one of the best specialists in the position in France. On the left of the defense, Bradley Locko has been unboltable since his arrival this summer. from Reims (100% minutes played). A great deal only half a million euros for a 21-year-old player, who is the defender who completes the most dribbles in Ligue 1 this season. Offensive qualities that Jean-Kevin Duverne, who held the position last season, did not have before leaving to join the team. Nantes.
These formidable corridor entertainers fuel a dominant attack in the air: Steve Mounié is the player who won the most aerial duels in the league this season, but Brestois can also count on J&rémy Le Douaron and Martin Satriano in this area. Brest is quite simply the best team in Ligue 1: 54.9% of aerial duels won.
Bizot and Del Castillo, the strong links
So the question arises: can Stade Brestois maintain this form? A priori, nothing stands in the way: the The team does not outperform offensively and does not enjoy exceptional success in relation to the chances it creates or suffers. Certainly, Marco Bizot is one of the most decisive goalkeepers in the championship this season, but his past performances take away his chances. believe he can maintain these standards.
Still, the team is very dependent on the creativity of the team. of Romain Del Castillo, and that few players have the profile to replace him in the event of a drop in speed or a physical problem. Franck Honorat, the most decisive player last season, left for Borussia Mönchengladbach for eight million euros. Billal Brahimi, on loan by OGC Nice, barely à to move away from his "super-sub" label. The young Kamory Doumbia is gaining strength but is not a real corridor player.
A fragile dynamic ?
Until'à now, injuries have spared himé the Ty' Zefs, who will still only be deprived of Achraf Dari and Jordan Amavi on Wednesday evening against Lorient. Stays & The infirmary for executives could break a dynamic which is based on a very restricted group (9 players started at least 14 of the 16 players). first championship matches) and experience (27.4 years on average, third oldest squad in Ligue 1).
The winter transfer window should not make it possible to strengthen the squad, because Europe does not seem to be an objective for the team. short term and the guiding idea remains to perpetuate the club in the elite. There is also no reason for the team to weaken: no player is particularly ” ;bankable", the best elements being experienced players who do not stand out statistically. It is therefore difficult to predict the second act of the Brest season, but it would be very presumptuous to forbid ' such a team to think, in secret, of the little music of Europe.