Ligue 1, 7th day: in Reims too, which the TFC receives on Sunday, the data has made its way


the essential
As in Toulouse, statistics have taken an increasing place in recent years in the sports policy of the Stade de Reims. With differences between the two clubs. Decryption.

Branco van den Boomen, Azor Matusiwa, Zakaria Aboukhlal, Jens Cadjus, Naatan Skyttä…

Whether they landed in Occitania or Champagne, these players have one thing in common: they were all recruited thanks to the support of data. If this method of recruitment has been widely highlighted since the arrival of RedBird in Toulouse in 2020, it has also made its way to the Stade de Reims, in particular under the leadership of Enzo Djebali, recruiter for the Champagne club for three years. . With notable differences in methodology, as schematized by the one who is now educational director of Formations Football, a training platform for apprentice scouts and recruiters. « In Toulouse, it’s more radical: data is a filter before the eye, while in Reims it’s a filter after the eye. »

At the TFC, « the data is pushed to the maximum » before checking the profiles that stand out, on video and on site, unlike in Reims, where potential recruits are first observed on video before the use of data confirms or invalidate the visual impressions. « These are two methods that use the same tools but different processes », summarizes Enzo Djebali.

Two methods not yet shared by the world of French football, even if « the success of the TFC is putting a slap in the face of a lot of people », but which have allowed the two clubs to make very good moves on the market for transfers. In particular in the Netherlands, where Reims and the TFC have sought among their best reinforcements in recent seasons: Branco van den Boomen or Stijn Spierings for Toulouse, Mitchell van Bergen or Azor Matusiwa for Reims.

« Toulouse and Reims had the courage to do »

« For a long time, the Eredivisie had the reputation of a championship with a lack of intensity. But I think there was a problem with the selection of profiles », replies Enzo Djebali to try to explain why few other clubs operate the Dutch channel. « Compared to a Matusiwa at 4 million, many French clubs will still favor free players, known to the coach, preferring to pay more salary and less transfer. » A way to reduce the risk, in an environment where « it is sometimes not the recruitment unit that is at the heart of the decision, where there are networks to be favored, sometimes a little politics; full of elements that can explain the renunciation », still poses Enzo Djebali.

What finally brings Reims and the TFC together is confidence in the process: « There is a difference between declarations of intent and the fact of doing. What I see today is that Toulouse and Reims are two clubs who have had the courage to do so » greets Enzo Djebali.

If the method of recruitment by data is not, logically, without its hiccups and casting errors, it has so far borne fruit in the two Ligue 1 clubs which meet this Sunday afternoon at the Stadium (3 p.m. , Prime Video). Make room for ground truth.

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