Reims – MHSC: post-Wahi, a delicate season for the pailladine attack, which is struggling to find its center forward

Reims - MHSC: post-Wahi, a delicate season for the pailladine attack, which is struggling to find its center forward

Akor Adams et Wahbi Khazri peinent à se montrer décisifs, Arnaud Nordin tire son épingle du jeu. – JEAN MICHEL MART

Montpellier, longtemps plombé par le rendement offensif, revoit ses plans d’attaque avant de défier Reims ce dimanche (15h).

They share a football life. Entrepreneurs anchored in reality and their city, Laurent Nicollin and Jean-Pierre Caillot, president of Montpellier and Reims, share the same management principles.

They sell their young according to the market, like Azor Matusiwa or Maxime Estève this winter, and thus anticipate the uncertain tomorrow. Men close to Vincent Labrune, boss of the LFP, they are feverishly watching the outcome of the TV rights market to renew their attack as best they can.

Also read: Reims – MHSC: one last push to maintain Montpellier hopes

If Reims advances in the courtyard of Europe and Montpellier wants to put an end to the maintenance, both are exposed to the same breakdown of their attack (36 goals). They meditate on the post-Balogun (21 goals) and post-Wahi (19 goals), which panicked the summer transfer market. One towards Monaco, the other towards Lens.

And if Montpellier's season came down to this simple fact. The raw fact of a lack of goals. And a scorer. Because the shortfall in scoring, or the shortfall in winning, is abysmal for Montpellier. Thirty goals separate his last season (65 goals) and the current one.

Adams down, Khazri in doubt

A season which also follows the yield of an attack, rather sparkling at the beginning of autumn, sluggish during winter and somewhat resurgent in spring.
"In front of Clermont, we failed to capitalize on our chances, we could have won this match in the second half, but we didn't put them in. What we lack is finishing things", notes Michel Der Zakarian.

Montpellier has not completely resolved its long slump (8 goals in thirteen matches), between the interrupted match in front of Clermont (4-2), on October 8, and the end of the CAN. Akor Adams, down since the end of October and the success against Toulouse (3-0), like Wahbi Khazri have a doubt that sticks to their skin and paralyzes their scoring instinct.

For the first time since 2016, the center forward has reached below the symbolic bar of ten goals. With five games remaining, the Nigerian has enough matches left (7 goals) to break his silence.

Holder in Clermont, “Der Zak” maintains his confidence in him, seeks to revive him through away matches, but cannot neglect the emergence of winter recruits: Tanguy Coulibaly or Yann Karamoh, authors of their first goals in the final two matches ahead Lorient and Clermont.

In the absence of a real finisher, Montpellier draws on the sides. On the new wingers therefore, who compensate for the delayed combined departures of Mavididi, Maouassa or Germain, on Arnaud Nordin, so effective when he plays, and of course on his playmaker Téji Savanier, with chiseled kicks.< /p>

Delort for a providential return ?

"The attack regains color. When your players have legs, their heads are better, their feet are better and they are able to score goals,” assures the Pailladin coach, full of pragmatism, whose team has scored at least a goal in each of his final eleven matches.
Montpellier does not want to relive a season on the edge, at the risk of falling into an unknown void. He doesn't want to relive a season without a scorer who soothes his nights, catalyzes connections with the public and symbolizes his face.

This winter, he did not replace the Italian-Ghanaian Kelvin Yeboah, with another “point”, but renewed ties with Andy Delort. Can the Sétois, who will be 33 in October, return to the circuit after six months without playing ?
Laurent Nicollin and his sporting director Bruno Carotti met him at the start of the week to probe the intentions of the former La Paillade scorer (106 matches, 47 goals) and assess the transfer fee. Everyone gives themselves time to think.

Also read: MHSC: Andy Delort and President Laurent Nicollin will meet this Monday to clarify the situation

And to see if with a new scorer, Laurent Nicollin's club could not share the ranking with that of Jean-Pierre Caillot. Seven points difference, that’s an ambitious difference.

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