IBWM StaffComment

Vincent Koziello

IBWM StaffComment
Vincent Koziello

Vincent Koziello    21    Midfielder    OGC Nice    France


Vincent Koziello is a midfielder that can do both.

He can defend smartly. He gets around the pitch quickly, tracks his marker well, retains his concentration and does a good job of getting in the way of the opposition.

He can also attack. The 21-year old is a decent passer of the ball but really likes to cut loose when driving his team forward with the ball at his feet. Every time he receives or intercepts the ball just outside his own penalty area, you can tell he takes a moment to see if there is space for him to roar forward in to.

If he can continue to develop and improve he will become one of the first names on the team sheet for his side. He can tweak his game and style of play to suit every opponent – sitting deep and remaining disciplined to frustrate the big boys while also trying to get forward quickly when there are defences to be breached.

Admittedly he’s not super creative so he’ll never be the guy threading a pass through the eye of a needle; but he will be the one winning a tackle and then making sure to find the aforementioned eye threader.

2016 has been…

Have you noticed Nice are top of Ligue 1? Yeah, that’s pretty decent. Unfortunately for Koziello, that has been managed sort of without him. 

After having a very solid season last term there hasn’t been much change in the standard of Vincent’s performances. Nice just happen to have Jean Michael Seri, Wylan Cyprien and Younes Belhanda all playing better than him right now.

The club are prioritising the league over Europe and that has meant Koziello has spent a high proportion of his time playing on Thursday nights. He has so far played 400 minutes in the Europa League – starting all five group games – but only 564 minutes in the league, with just six starts from 15 games. Compare that with Cyprien – 208 minutes in the EL compared to 1206 in Ligue 1. 

Basically Vincent isn’t the flavour of the month right now.

What’s next?

There is no need for panic, because well he is only 21 and it is very easy to lose a sense of perspective when worrying about young footballers.

The Nice squad has been improved with a string of good signings in the summer. Both Cyprien and Belhanda are new to the club – as are Dante and Mario Balotelli. It also hurts his chances that the team are currently sitting pretty in the league. No manager wants to mess around too much with a winning formula.

These sorts of setbacks are perfectly normal in football and it should be treated by Vincent as a challenge to improve himself. If he can do that, rather than through his toys out of the pram, he’ll come back a better and more mature footballer.

After 35 league appearances in 2015/16 he hasn’t been allowed to rest on his laurels and coast through a second season of Ligue 1 football; and he should be good enough to go past it. If not, his contract is up in 18 months and he’ll get plenty of offers from around Ligue 1 should he want to move in search of first-team football.

He’ll do fine.

C-    Next seven months will tell us a lot about his mentality

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