Zinedine Ferhat 2020/21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat has many solutions

Algeria has presented many distinguished players in recent years, such as Riyad Mahrez, Ismaël Bennacer, Aïssa Mandi, and several other players who shined in the last African Cup.

But Zinedine Ferhat did not participate in the cup run that his country won last year, which made him unknown to the Algerian fans, despite his excellent performance in the Ligue 1.

In this tactical analysis in the form of a scout report, we’ll look at Zinedine Ferhat’s quality, and his roles in the tactics of his coach, Jérôme Arpinon.

Player profile

Ferhat plays most of the time as a right-winger, but he can also play as a right-fullback or on the left flank if the need arises. The 27-year-old winger is known for his technical ability and good positional play on and off the ball. This trait is important because his team Nîmes lack the technical quality, and this creates some difficulties for them in the offensive stage.

So far this season, Zinedine Ferhat has played 584 minutes in Ligue 1, scoring three goals and an assist. Moreover, he scored against some of the best teams in France like Rennes and Nantes. Frankly, it is the best start for an Algerian player this season.

Dribbling

Zinedine Ferhat has extraordinary technical abilities and is an essential creative tool for his team. Ferhat is considered one of the most dribbling players in Ligue 1, with a rate of 7.55 dribble per match and a high success rate of 58.54%.

Ferhat’s technical abilities made him the most important player during the build-up phase, as his coach Jérôme Arpinon relied on him a lot to transfer the ball to the opponent’s half, even though he was a winger.

The reason why Zinedine Ferhat is an essential player in the build-up phase is Nîmes’ players lack technical quality, and since most teams in France play with a middle block, this makes coach Jérôme Arpinon struggle in finding ways to reach half of the opponent.

In this picture, we see that Zinedine Ferhat is the player who received the most forward passes, and all of these passes were from the right full-back. But most importantly, most of these passes were played in half of Nîmes, and Ferhat received them in the opponent’s half.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Forward passes

Nîmes coach Jérôme Arpinon put together a great idea that made Ferhat able to use his technical abilities to help his team reach to opponent half.

Coach Jérôme Arpinon’s idea was to swap positions between full-back and winger. This will distract the opponent’s players. At the same time, Zinedine Ferhat will be free and can receive the ball.

In this picture, for example, full-back Gaëtan Paquiez moved forward, and winger Zinedine Ferhat pulled back. In this way, Ferhat became free and was able to receive the ball in the opponent’s half.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Positional swaps

Nîmes coach Jérôme Arpinon put together a great idea that made Ferhat able to use his technical abilities to help his team reach to opponent half.

After receiving the ball, one of the opponent’s players will move to press him, but by that time Ferhat will have controlled the ball and will be positioned well to dribble past the opponent’s player.

For example, in this picture, Zinedine Ferhat controlled the ball and directed his body towards the opponent’s goal, and thus he could dribble past Issiaga Sylla, and attack the opponent’s backline.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat dribbled Sylla

Usually, Nîmes defends with a middle block, with a 4-4-2 formation. This forces the opponents to place a large number of players in the offensive phase.

In this case, the technical ability of Zinedine Ferhat becomes very important, to lead the counterattacks and break the counter-pressure that the opponents apply when they lose the ball.

Not only gifted with technical ability, but Zinedine Ferhat is also physically strong, and when he merges these two features, the result will be imposing.

For example, in this picture, Ferhat covered the ball and then used his technical ability to move the ball into the empty space.

In the second picture, Ferhat took advantage of the empty space and passed to his team-mate behind the opponent’s backline.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat in a counter-attack

In this picture, Ferhat transfers a ball from the right side to the left side, then passes to Renaud Ripart, who can transfer the ball to Sidy Sarr between the lines.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat transfers a ball from the right side to the left side

Aerial duels

Zinedine Ferhat is one of the best players in the aerial duels in Ligue 1. This is due to his physical strength and fantastic leap.

Ferhat enters 6.33 aerial duels every match with a success rate of 58.54%. This is an astonishing number, especially since we are talking about a wide winger.

Nîmes coach Jérôme Arpinon took advantage of this advantage enjoyed by Zinedine Ferhat and tried to transfer the ball to the opponent’s half through long balls and take advantage of Ferhat’s strength in aerial duels.

Here’s a map of Nîmes’ long passes, in the six matches they have played this season. As you can see, most of the long balls were directed towards Zinedine Ferhat.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Nîmes long pass map

This was due to the tactics put in place by coach Arpinon to take advantage of Ferhat in aerial duels where he developed a set of ideas that helped his team a lot in attacking the opponent team.

This is the most common idea used by coach Arpinon: trying to create numerical superiority in the area where ​​the ball falls, after which you play a long ball towards Zinedine Ferhat. In this way, Nîmes will be able to win the first ball due to Ferhat’s strength in aerial duels and also be able to win the second ball due to the numerical superiority created by the team coach.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
The long balls structure

Coach Arpinon had another idea to take advantage of Ferhat’s strength in aerial duels, but it was not applied much, because Nîmes had not yet played against teams pressing in the final third.

The idea was to fix in the opponent’s wing in the first third and pull the opponent’s pivot away from Ferhat. In this way, the Algerian player will be in a 1 v 1 situation and can convert the long ball into half-spaces.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
The long balls structure

For example, in this picture, Ferhat can transfer the long ball towards his team-mate in half-spaces.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat can transfer the long ball towards his team-mate in half-spaces

Positioning

Zinedine Ferhat is not only good at dribbling and air duels, but he is also a genius in his positioning and his movements, and he creates many opportunities through this feature.

For example, in this picture, Ferhat fell back and dragged with him the opponent’s centre-back (Lens’s team was playing in a 3-5-2 formation).

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat dragged the opponent’s centre-back

Then he quickly moved behind him – he took advantage of the opponent’s poor positioning.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat moves behind the opponent’s defence

Zinedine Ferhat also has good vision, and with his technical capabilities, Ferhat will be an essential player for his team in the final third.

For this reason, his coach Arpinon was asking him to go deeper to have more solutions and be able to use his technical abilities or his excellent vision to play passes towards the opponent’s box.

As you can see in this picture, most of the passes that Ferhat played to the opponent’s box were from the deep, in addition to this, the Algerian player dribbled the opponents’ centre-backs a lot even though he was a wide winger.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics

As I mentioned above, all these are thanks to the instructions of his coach, who asks him to go deep. For example, in this picture, Ferhat is positioned in depth and can receive the ball without pressure.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat can receive the ball without pressure

Now Ferhat has three passing options, and all of them are dangerous for the opponent’s goal. He can also choose the solo solution and dribble past the opponent’s centre-back.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat has many solutions

Even on counterattacks, his positioning and good vision are critical to the team, especially since his Nîmes team does not have fast players like Kylian Mbappe in PSG or Vinicius in Real Madrid.

As you can see in this picture, Ferhat’s accelerations, his dribbling and passes helped his team a lot in counterattacks.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Actions in counterattacks

For example, in this picture, Ferhat is positioned in an empty space, and he can receive the ball and then play a pass behind the opponent’s backline.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat playing a pass behind the opponent’s backline

In this example, Zinedine Ferhat was positioned in an empty space, which gave him some time and allowed him to examine the final third well. Then he played a pass towards teammate Sarr on the left side.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat played a pass towards team-mate Sarr on the left side

His smart moves help his teammates a lot. For example, in this picture, Ferhat leaves the side and enters the depth; in this way, he created numerical superiority and gave the ball-holder Yassine Benrahou many solutions.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat created many solutions

Crossing

Zinedine Ferhat plays 4.01 crosses every 90 minutes, with a success rate of 50%, as Ferhat’s crosses are the most accurate in Ligue 1.

The thing that made Ferhat special in the crosses is his excellent vision: the Algerian player scans the opponent’s box well before playing the cross. This helps him to discover the empty spaces, and thus his cross will be more dangerous.

For example, in this picture, Ferhat discovered an empty space in the opponent’s box and took advantage of it.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat discovered an empty space

In this example, Ferhat scanned the opponent’s box well, then played a cross in the area where Nîmes had created numerical superiority.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Accurate cross

Coach Arpinon has devised some tactics to take advantage of Zinedine Ferhat’s precision crosses, and these tactics have been somewhat successful.

For example, in this picture, four Nîmes players are positioned at the deep, forcing the opponent’s backline to take a narrow shape. This way, Zinedine Ferhat will be free on the right side, and he can play a cross without pressure.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Zinedine Ferhat will be free on the right side

Scoring goals

Zinedine Ferhat is the team’s top scorer, scoring three goals in six games. This number is staggering, mostly since Ferhat spends many efforts in creating opportunities. So how did Ferhat score so many goals?

The secret is in Ferhat’s abilities. The Algerian player is quick, smart, and has a good vision – this makes him always dangerous for the opponent’s goal.

For example, in this photo, Ferhat moved towards the penalty mark and shot without pressure.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat shot without pressure

This is a similar example. Zinedine Ferhat moved to the deep, after noticing the opponent’s centre-backs busy with the attackers.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Zinedine Ferhat moved to the deep

Ferhat can pose a danger to the opponent’s goal even from outside the box: as you can see, most of his shots from outside the penalty area were accurate.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat shots

As I mentioned above, Ferhat has special technical capabilities – this makes him able to create space for himself. If you look at this shot, Ferhat dribbled past the opponent’s full-back and created space for himself, after which he shot and scored a goal.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat scores a goal

Defensive roles

Ferhat is a physically strong and fast player, which makes most players unable to dribble past him. However, the most important is the roles he plays in the defensive phase.

Usually, Nîmes plays with a middle block. In this case, Ferhat’s role will be to pressure the opponent’s full-back when he receives the ball in the centre of the field.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics
Ferhat presses the opponent’s full-back

If the ball is on the left side, Ferhat will move to deep, to block nearby passing options.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics

If the opponent switches play, Ferhat’s speed will make him able to reach the right flank at the right time.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics

Due to Zinedine Ferhat’s commitment to his defensive roles, the right side became more organised. Therefore, most opponents prefer to attack from the left side.

Zinedine Ferhat 2020-21 scout report tactical analysis tactics

Conclusion

As stated in the analysis, the Algerian has good vision, is distinguished in aerial duels, can create chances and score, in addition to this, he is terrific in the defensive phase.

He is essential to his coach’s tactics, he is 27 years old, which means he can still do more in the near future.