ansan fc
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Player Focus - Emmanuel Frances (MF – 5)
James Finnie 31st March 2011

(signed from Primera B Club Atlético San Telmo - Argentina)

Last week’s defeat at the hands of Goyang offered the chance to see how Hallelujahs new Argentine signing has bedded into the side. The first glimpses in the opening 10 minutes did not offer much encouragement; Ansan conceded early and appeared totally overwhelmed by a Goyang side that combined both pace and trickery. The game passed the Ansan midfield by for most of the opening exchanges, however, little by little; Frances was able to exert some influence on the game.

Playing in what appears to be a defensive midfield or ‘holding’ role, when on the ball, Frances is comfortable and more than able to distribute well, if not expansively. Generally, he looks to play the ball easily and often gives the simple pass, even appearing on the wing on a couple of occasions to swing a cross in. As the half wore on, Frances was able to get on the ball more and spread the play to either wing in order for Ansan to get on the front foot and get forward.

Without the ball seems to be a different matter, his positioning gives little indication as to what his role adds to the team. Much of the time, Frances seems incapable or unwilling to leave the middle third of the field. If he is merely being employed as a defensive midfielder, then this would be considered just fine. However, for a man of his size and stature, Frances did not offer a great deal in defense, I can’t remember an occasion where he smothered a Goyang attack or flew in with a crunching tackle. Perhaps this is why Goyang were able to attack with such freedom, but, it is unreasonable to pin all the blame on the new signing.

Unfortunately, after a much improved performance as the half wore on, Frances was substituted at the interval (the reason is unclear, but can only be assumed that it was down to an injury), so it’s unfair to judge him on just 45 minutes.

It’s clear that it will take time for Frances to bed into his new team, to become used to Korean football and most importantly, adapt to a new culture and way of life. However, there are definitely signs that he could develop into a key player for Hallelujah, if he can continue to impose himself on games and begin to ‘boss’ the midfield. He certainly has the physical attributes to do so and also the composure when in possession; if only he can incorporate a more robust defensive approach then Ansan might just have a player on their hands.

(image from




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