Elche’s coach, Jorge Almirón, made a virtue of necessity when he bet at the beginning of the season for the defense of five with three centrals due to the delay in the arrival of the signings. In addition to the success in that choice of the game scheme, which keeps him in the temperate zone of the demanding Santander League, the greatest success of his bet has been to turn two pure wingers like Josan Ferrández and Fidel into “laneers” back and forth. Chaves, already in his thirties, have become leaders of all the team’s attacking statistics. Both top the scorers’ table with two goals each (the other three have been scored by Lucas Boyé, Tete Morente and Pere Milla); also that of assists (they have even given each other the goal pass in both of Fidel to Valencia and in that of Josan to Betis) and that of shots on goal (the crevillentino is the one who has finished the most between the team’s clubs with three shots). Both bring seniority, commitment and imbalance at the service of a team in which the collective prevails over the individual.
The break will be good for them to recover oxygen to these two extremes who have entered into full personal and football maturity, who have started the seven games played so far and are also the ones who are most in contact with the team’s ball. Only captain Gonzalo Verdú gives more passes than they (349) because the Cartagena is in charge of starting the plays from behind. In Almirón’s scheme (5-4-1 in defense and 3-4-3 flexible in attack), Josan and Fidel are forced to make a considerable effort in the offensive and defensive phases. Not only do they carry the weight of this team’s attack on the wings, but they must multiply in support behind when the team withdraws. Surely as a result of that accumulated effort, Fidel had to retire last Friday in the 38th minute of the match against Celta (1-1) due to discomfort in the calf of his left leg, which makes him doubtful for the renewal of LaLiga on 21 November at the Ciutat de València against Levante UD.
Josan Ferrández (Crevillent, December 3, 1989) is one of the great sensations of the remarkable start of this Elche, in which he has played 605 minutes. Beginning in the First Division, he completed his fourth season at the franjiverde club, where he arrived from Albacete in the 2017-18 season to achieve promotion to professional football that year and culminate the feat of returning to the First Division on August 23 in Girona with Pacheta on the bench, for which he was also a permanent fixture in his «eleven-type»,
Quick, skilled in cutting and very gifted for the centers from the right, the Crevillentino also stands out this season for his great finishing efficiency. He has shot three times on goal and has scored two goals, both with his left leg, the least good. Against Valencia (2-1) he opened the scoring with a left foot after completing a slalom from the side parallel to the edge of the area and on the visit to Betis (3-1) he surprised Claudio Bravo from the front after a good pass behind of his “partner” Fidel. Three shots, two targets. Josan perfectly embodies the quality of this Elche as the most effective team in the League, since 28% of his shots on goal have been converted into goals. Josan has also had to suffer in this new lane role. Betis winger Cristian Tello gave him the day last November 1 at Benito Villamarín after winning his back several times and his loss of the ball last Friday against Celta was a goal for Santi Mina to draw. Disadvantages and handicaps that occur to the occasional defenders who have the soul of strikers.
At the same level of efficiency as Josan is Fidel (La Dehesa de Riotinto, Huelva, October 27, 1989), who lives his second season in his second stage at Elche, which he arrived in 2012-13 to participate in the success of the team of the records of Fran Escribá that rose to First as champion of Second. He has played 579 minutes this season and his goals came from a penalty last Friday at Celta (the only one so far pointed out in favor of the franjiverdes) and from the edge of the area with a dry shot and placed for 2-0 at Valencia. Specialist in the launching of maximum penalties, six of his nine goals last year came from the fatal point.
But Fidel’s contribution to this Elche goes much further with his push and overflow on the left wing, as well as his ease of hanging tense centers and placed in the race to the far post, such as Tete Morente’s goal in Vitoria against Alavés (0 -2), traced to the historical both of the rise of Pere Milla in Girona on 23 August.
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