Indian Super League has always explored their options in the A-League when it comes to signing new players. Last year, the likes of Roy Krishna and David Williams joined ATK from A-League. This year, Hyderabad FC made one of their most important signings from Australia; Joel Chianese.
The attacker comes with a lot of experience from Perth Glory. He has been a regular name for his side since the past two seasons and has helped them win A-League Premiership in 2018-19. He scored 13 goals and provided nine assists in his time at Perth Glory.
In this scout report, we will present the analysis of Joel’s game-play and how he played under Tony Popovic’s tactics. This tactical analysis will help us examine how Hyderabad can benefit from this signing under former La Liga coach Manuel Márquez Roca.
Positioning and movement
Perth Glory played in a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 system under their head coach Tony Popovic. Joel Chianese was deployed in the right-wing role for his team. As the team’s progression majorly focused from the left, Joel had a tendency to shift inside close to his number ‘9’ Bruno Fornaroli.
He stationed between the opposition full-back and centre-back to operate in the half-space. Despite positioning as a winger his role transitioned into an inside forward. In the course of the season, he looked comfortable playing on the left-wing and was seldom used as a wing-back too.
His positioning helps him manoeuvre in both central and wider regions of the pitch. Joel likes to drop in spaces and positions himself between the lines while ensuring a good passing angles for his team-mates. Otherwise, he slips behind the full-back to receive the ball parallel to the touchline. Joel’s movement is often towards the ball-carrier. Thus he is an ardent supporting player.
Joel’s movements and positioning make him very difficult to mark. He challenges the defensive marking by positioning in the gap between the two. He likes to play off the shoulder of the defender. The Australian is well aware of opposition’s positioning and is rarely caught off-side as he times his runs to perfection.
In order to provide support, he uses double movements which are disruptive for his markers. He uses them particularly to be a passing option for his peers.
A quick change of direction buys him time to receive the ball without any pressure.
Joel is a dominating factor in link-up play. He averaged 27.8 passes per 90 with 77.4% accuracy. We already saw that he has an urge to drop in space to help out his midfielders. When under pressure, he is quick to lay off the ball to his midfielders and run into space.
He is good at exchanging quick passes to shift the pressure from the opposition. Due to this, he is pivotal in patterned and combinational play.
His quick one-two with Kilkenny and ability to play in space for Fornaroli lead to an important goal against Wellington Phoenix.
The Australian works very hard to help his team in keeping the possession. He supports the defenders and midfielders to redistribute the ball.
He helps them in finding the pass which is formerly blocked/shadow marked by the opposition players. Thus he facilitates the third man runs and changes the point of attack.
When stretched wide, he possesses the ability to cross with either of his feet. This enables him to be patient on the ball and disbalance the opposition’s full-back.
Once the full-back shifts the weight on one side, Joel is quick to switch the crossing angle to deliver with the other leg. Joel Chianese delivered 3.06 crosses per 90 with 25.45% accuracy for Perth Glory last season.
As he is absorbed centrally, he gets on to the ball on the edge of the penalty area conveniently. Joel prefers to keep his crosses low and focuses being precise. He glances on the stride to look for space for his low crosses.
Joel is extremely dangerous with his cut-backs as he targets the open area for deep-runners and dropping back striker. He played 19 (7 cut-backs) ground crosses out of the total 37 crosses played in the box.
He had a special bond on the pitch with Fornaroli. The target man was at the end of 12 crosses (seven ground crosses) from Joel, out of which three led to a shot. Perhaps Joel’s true forefront is inside the box while crossing.
Joel’s prudent actions on the ball impede his creativity and goal-scoring opportunities for his team. While he is competent to play menacing passes, he still opts for the simpler ones.
In the game against Sydney FC, he had the ball in a great position with two passing options in his proximity. Erstwhile Serie A forward Fornaroli made a smart run behind the defender and Sydney’s LCB had already committed on his right. Joel had the perfect chance to play it on the left of LCB in the direction of Fornaroli’s run (1).
However, he delays the pass and goes for the easier option to Castro (2). Sydney’s defenders retain their shape in the meantime and the chance was gone for Perth Glory. His bias to play secure passes is evident from his display and statistics.
He played 24 key passes out of which only two were inside the penalty box. As he has all the required skills of an attacker, being audacious inside the final third will elevate his game to the next level.
Hyderabad has got themselves an ambipedal in Joel Chianese. He shoots with either of his feet with ease and keeps his opponent guessing which side to block.
He took 11 shots with his right-foot and nine shots with his left-foot last season. In which he scored three with is left and one with his right.
In total, he took 25 shots last season and he struck them prolifically. He managed to get 60% of them on target. Through which he scored five goals securing a terrific 20% conversion rate. Angles are least of his problems to get a shot on goal when he is in the box. However, all his goals have come when he is in front of the goal (central channel).
Joel has shown his potential to convert aerial balls as well. He stands 176cm tall and did a fair job with that height. Joel attempted five headers in the box and got a goal from it. He also managed to assist his team-mates in scoring goals on two occasions through headers. However, given his role in the team as a second striker or wide forward, it’s difficult for him to get into higher positions for meeting the crosses.
Joel is a direct player who believes in taking responsibility to create chances for himself. He likes to approach the players upfront and then weave his way through.
He attempted 5.29 dribbles per 90 with 50.53% success rate. His dribbles have been functional in leading to goals for Perth Glory. He attempted 73 dribbles in the final third out of which 11 led to shots. This translates to 0.15 shot per dribble in the final third and eventually resulted in three goals for his team.
At times, the direct approach blinds him of some easier and better passing options and hence affects his decision making. Perhaps, a blend of both his dribbling and then playing the final ball can be devastating for his opposition.
He fancies doing step-overs while looking in the eye of his foe. The Indian Super League will surely witness his 180 spins from time to time.
Tony Popovic could trust Joel even as a wing-back because of his good defensive work-rate. He has enough fuel in his tank to sustain 90 mins with ease. His defensive recovery distribution can be held evident to showcase his efforts in defence. He made 37% recoveries came in the final third, 35% in the middle third and 28% in the defensive third.
On losing the possession, he rushes back to help his team and helps them retain their defensive shape. He provides adequate cover for spreading wing-backs and fills the holes in the back-line when needed.
The ability to read the game well doesn’t just help in attack but also in defence. Joel positions himself wisely to cut the passing lane effectively. He also stands his ground to cut the angle and block the crosses from the opposition.
He made 3.38 PAdj (Possession Adjusted) interceptions per 90 last season. Despite committing 1.5 fouls per 90, he was fortunate to be booked only once in the previous campaign.
Area of concern
Joel Chianese has a good stature yet his game deprives strength. He is outmuscled by his opposition who use their shoulders as he doesn’t offer optimum resistance. This brings difficulty in turning on the ball when under pressure and affects his hold-up play drastically.
Lack of strength affects his defensive performance as well. Despite having the pace for getting in front of the opponent, Joel tries to win the ball from the back or on the side. His strength is not enough to put pressure from the back or to get in between the player and the ball using his shoulders from the side.
He doesn’t put his body behind the tackle instead lunges in for poke tackles. Due to this, he doesn’t get the ball back easily as he gives himself only one chance to win it back. Also, there are higher chances of committing a foul by tackling from the back.
There is no doubt about how good Joel’s positioning and movement is in the game. But it’s more vital to produce something of it though. Occasionally Joel is let down by his first touch to seize such opportunities.
Against Sydney FC his lateral movement was brilliant to receive a chip a pass inside the box. However, his first touch with his toe was poor as it bounced back on his knee.
The ball progressed in a different direction than the intended. Therefore, the defender could get in the way of Joel’s movement and get a goal-kick for his team.
The two-footed attacker has got the Hyderabad fans excited. After losing their star player Marcelinho, the club has done a great job by signing Joel. He seems to be a like for like replacement. Hyderabad scored the second-lowest goals in the league last season and they just needed lethal players like Joel. The Australian continues to get better even after the age of 30. With more vigour and strength in his attack, Joel Chianese can have a solid impact in the ISL next season.