Jump to content
Vince193

Jonathan David

Recommended Posts

This game is a **** show. I didn't remember the French league being this clattering and disorganized. David hasn't seen much of the ball but Lille are up 1-0.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Lansdude said:

This game is a **** show. I didn't remember the French league being this clattering and disorganized. David hasn't seen much of the ball but Lille are up 1-0.

These are also the teams that finished 3rd and 4th last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Club Linesman said:

The second red card that went to Lille was weak. Do they not have VAR in Ligue 1?

Yes they have VAR for the game.

That should be a yellow card IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Lille unsurprisingly look like a team who lost their top striker.

They haven't found a way to use David yet. He is pretty isolated but seems to be doing his best to make runs off the ball into what little space there is. I feel David is best when he is given the freedom to find the game, but so far with Lille he is not afforded that freedom. Lille have other players who get on the ball and David looks to be the one to finish the plays and not create them. The problem is Lille isn't creating anything and so no chances have come to him so far. Kind of a frustrating watch, but it's the first game of the season.

The quality of the game is pretty good too, and this Rennes team is diligent with their defending. No wonder they finished 3rd last season. 

Hopefully there is more space later on in the game for David to exploit, now that we have 10-a-side. 

Edited by Obinna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Not much in this match for Canada watchers. Lille stuck to the outside for the most part and mostly couldn't but sometimes wouldn't feed balls through the middle. The passing in this match all around was pretty imprecise. David subbed out. 

Edited by Lansdude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yilmaz hasn`t touched the ball much so far. I never watched them with Oshimen, but I get the sense they were use to playing a certain way with him and are struggling to adjust without him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I just went to Youtube to watch a some highlights of Oshimen. Most of his goals came from defensive mistakes. I suspect Lille have trouble creating scoring chances. 

I will give it some more time, but so far it really looks like they need to change the way they play. They seem to rely on Bamba or Ikone to dribble their man to make something happen. Passing and moving and combining in attack is not their strength.

Jonathan David would thrive in a pass-and-move style team, but Lille do not play that way, so I am a little concerned.

 

Edited by Obinna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plus their best defender was kept out pending a transfer to Arsenal or Man U. I don't think David ever played as a lone striker at Gent...either as a 2nd or behind 2 strikers.  Still think he is more effective in that role. Not sure who on Lille is the playmaker in their midfield

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's only the first game of the season and David is capable of growing into the role. However, as both David and Yilmaz gain match fitness, I'd love to see what they can do if started along together. Ikone and Bamba seemed to have trouble finding either of their target men today, but Galtier is a good coach, I trust he will evolve his team's style to better suit his players.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Obinna said:

I just went to Youtube to watch a some highlights of Oshimen. Most of his goals came from defensive mistakes. I suspect Lille have trouble creating scoring chances. 

I will give it some more time, but so far it really looks like they need to change the way they play. They seem to rely on Bamba or Ikone to dribble their man to make something happen. Passing and moving and combining in attack is not their strength.

Jonathan David would thrive in a pass-and-move style team, but Lille do not play that way, so I am a little concerned.

 

Lille has been a counter attacking team but their opponents have been catching on, so the view was Lille needed to adapt this year.

Plus Oshimen is better in the air than David, so they need to play on the ground more.

But Lille didn't do much of anything offensively today except run down the wings before fizzling out. I can't think of any time spent passing/dribbling in the box.

I think once David is more fit and comfortable, he needs to return to moving around laterally more and also go get the ball deep when the service is weak.

Edited by red card

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone watch the feature of him on sportscentre? i highly recommend watching it if you can find it. Hearing his story makes me want to root for him even more (if that's possible). Crazy at his age how much character he already has! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's behind a paywall, but the Athletic have just posted a brief feature on Jonathan David.

https://theathletic.com/2017429/2020/08/24/inside-the-rise-of-jonathan-david-the-canadian-who-cost-more-than-alphonso-davies/

Inside the rise of Jonathan David, the Canadian who cost more than Alphonso Davies

One by one, a team full of grown men stood in line to shake hands with a teenager, each of them echoing the same sentiment: I hope I never see you again.

Jonathan David was 16 years old, playing in the Ottawa Cup, a tournament for amateur men’s sides from local soccer associations that included the best university players in the region. David’s Ottawa Internationals had just beaten Gloucester Celtic, with the teenager scoring in the final. 

Jay Da Costa, long-time technical director of the Ottawa Gloucester Hornets soccer association, watched as his team held on a little tighter in the post-game handshake line. Many players were previously unaware of David. He was, after all, just another teenager in a youth soccer association. 

“You’re way too good to be here,” Da Costa recalls hearing his players repeatedly tell David. “You’ve got to go somewhere else.”

Now 20 years old, David has done just that at the professional level with an August move from Belgium’s Gent to Ligue 1’s Lille OSC — a team with aspirations to return to the Champions League. 

A source confirmed the record-breaking transfer fee at €30 million. It is the most expensive transfer of a Canadian player — more than what Bayern Munich paid for Alphonso Davies, which could max out at €22 million —  the most expensive outgoing transfer from Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League and the highest fee Lille has ever paid. 

Back in 2016, Da Costa was impressed with David, but still had reservations.

“I wouldn’t have bet my mortgage that he was going to go as far as he has right now,” says Da Costa.

Few would have — except for David himself. His path to Europe was unconventional, and he only arrived in France by betting on himself.


 If you blink while driving east out of Ottawa on the Queensway towards Gloucester, you might mistake it for every other Canadian suburb. Movie theatres and strip malls dot the side of the highway.

 Take a right onto Bearbrook Road and the landscape becomes even less inviting: a massive asphalt site sticks out along the forest-lined road.

Just when there is nothing else to look at besides the road ahead of you, the forest clears and 12 soccer fields and a dome appear. This is the Hornet’s Nest, where David spent countless hours as a teenager, focusing on the one thing that led him to shatter those aforementioned transfer records: scoring goals. 

“He always put it in the right spot,” recalls Da Costa. 

Born in the United States before his family moved to Haiti when he was three months old, David and his parents then emigrated to Canada when he was six. He joined the Ottawa Gloucester Hornets when he was 11, after playing local house-league soccer. He was a raw talent, with quickness and a silky first touch matched with the ability to overpower defenders.

Like many young North American players, he dreamt of playing in Europe. He grew up watching the tail end of Ronaldinho’s career with Barcelona and AC Milan, and loved how he could impact a game with every touch.

His coaches remember players around him only wanting to show off their skills on the ball by taking on opponents one-on-one. David was no different at first, until he started working with Hanny El-Magraby, the Hornets coach who would stay with him for the rest of his time in Ottawa, including a move to another local association — the Ottawa Internationals. 

“That’s what gave him an edge: you could teach him something and he’d absorb it right away,” says El-Magraby.

For the next five seasons, as David developed both his tactical acumen and his finishing ability, scoring multiple goals per game became the norm. When he started playing on the club’s U-15 and U-16 teams in the same season, as well as Ontario provincial teams, he separated from the pack. 

“The guy never said no,” says Da Costa. “He always wanted to play more soccer.”

With that exposure came interest from Canada’s three MLS sides: the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC. They wanted him in their academy setups. The Whitecaps, who then had Alphonso Davies in their fold, made an aggressive push as some of David’s teammates moved to their academy.

He had a critical decision to make. Those closest to him did not want him to get lost in a North American academy. There was concern over the limited first-team minutes some Canadian professional clubs hand out to academy players and the fact that MLS clubs spend heavily on foreign attacking players, reducing opportunities for domestic forwards.

David seriously considered a move, but still trusted the plan that El-Magraby had for him. He wanted to take a direct route to Europe, while Canadian clubs could only offer one with stopovers.

Among Canadian men’s internationals, his decision is even more unique. Some, like Davies and Cyle Larin, have used MLS as a springboard to Europe. Others, such as Lucas Cavallini and Stephen Eustaquio, were developed in foreign academies. But given that no ability is more valued than goal-scoring, David wanted to dictate his own path. So he stayed with El-Magraby in Ottawa.

Opinion on his decision throughout Canadian soccer was split. Some believed he could have gained structure in his training habits, off-pitch lifestyle and tactical approach by joining an academy. He could have benefitted from the tutelage of professional players sooner. Others believed that a player of David’s immense talent is rare in Canada, and that he was right to have faith in his own possibilities. Even if he was on the fringe of a European side, his value would be higher than if he was on the fringe of an MLS team.

One person with knowledge of his situation in Canada said that if he went to an MLS academy, he would now be the equivalent of fellow 20-year-old forward Ayo Akinola, who only started to receive regular first-team minutes with Toronto FC this season. 

To ensure he would achieve his goal of playing in Europe, El-Magraby doubled down. He didn’t have the resources of an MLS academy, but that didn’t restrict him from placing lofty expectations on David and his teammates.

“As Canadians, we should aspire to do what a Brazilian kid aspires to do,” says El-Magraby. “Brazilian kids, yes they want to play for their local club, but their hopes are to end up in Madrid or Juventus. So I thought, why shouldn’t we have the same aspirations? As Canadians, it’s not naturally ingrained in us to feel that way. So I felt like I had a responsibility to push him on that and see what the result would be. Jonathan took that seriously.”

How seriously?

He heeded some particularly jarring advice from his coach: “You can’t just be a regular kid.”

El-Magraby wanted him to consider how to eat, hydrate and sleep properly, and how much time he spent with his friends versus alone with the ball. 

“Twenty-four hours a day,” he said, “you have to do something to help you.” 

Some of this advice rang hollow for El-Magraby’s other 16-year-olds. David was different. 

Paradoxically for a striker, he was never interested in bringing on more attention than necessary. He took after his father, who was an accountant at a bank in Haiti: reserved, and able to keep his emotions below the surface. 

“He already had a natural inclination to be a homebody,” says El-Magraby. “So that helped him.”

The seeds of the composed player dubbed the “Iceman” by Canada head coach John Herdman were planted. Take his answer to a question about what many people might not know about him. He paused for close to 10 seconds, rubbed his chin and shrugged. 

“I just like to chill,” says David, eventually grinning.

“He won’t give you too much beyond what you ask,” says El-Magraby. “You’re going to get the condensed version of what you’d like to hear.”

Only his teammates and coaches who have stuck with him since he was a child know him best. 

A “second family environment,” says Da Costa. So much so that, to help keep David playing, Da Costa remembers different parents of his teammates contributing financially to his club and travelling fees nearly every season. Loyalty became ingrained in him. 

“He was getting the improvement he needed,” says Da Costa, “and he hoped the stars would align.”

By the time he was 17, he had represented Canada at the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, scoring two goals. His agent organized trials in Europe: an unsuccessful, brief spell at VfB Stuttgart and six weeks at Red Bull Salzburg, who had interest in signing him.

It was at this time that Toronto FC also offered David a professional contract, but he continued to gamble on himself.

 In hindsight, his plan looks even riskier. Yes, other Canadians, such as Liverpool’s Liam Millar, were scouted directly out of their youth organizations. But the facilities, coaching and exposure that professional academies offer makes them hard to turn away.

David remained loyal, and confident that his scoring abilities would get noticed.

“Of course every time an opportunity came, it was difficult to refuse,” he says. “My mind was always set on Europe. I had to focus on that and stay on that.”

No person was more important to his development than El-Magraby, who he still credits consistently

El-Magraby remembers driving David to a game when he was playing up with the Hornets’ U-16 side as a 15-year-old. Before they arrived at the pitch, El-Magraby pulled over and told him that for all his goal-scoring prowess, he needed more from him. The players he was going to face would be bigger and more physical.

It was a challenge.

“Potential is empty if it’s not pushed,” El-Magraby said to him.

David responded.

“From the first minute, he was on fire,” says El-Magraby. “Chasing defenders, and on one play he went shoulder-to-shoulder with a defender and laid him out. He took it on his own to goal and scored. It just showed me the type of player and person he is. Something you told him 30 minutes ago immediately impacted him.” 

David summoned that intensity ahead of his trial with Belgian side Gent — the last shot on his European tour.

 “He realized he had more to give,” says El-Magraby.

Still 17 and unable to sign a European professional contract, David travelled back and forth multiple times from Ottawa to Belgium while on trial. His insistence on his path was justified when he signed for the Gent’s reserve team in January 2018. 

“I was in Ottawa almost my whole life,” he says. “What I’m most proud of is that I had the guts to wait and really go after what I wanted, which was to go play in Europe.” 

After a stint with Gent’s reserves, David delivered on his potential: he scored five goals in his first four first-team appearances, all off the bench. Just days after that fifth goal, Gent wasted little time extending his contract to 2022.

In his first full professional season, and still a teenager, he scored 14 goals across all competitions. Though his contract was again extended, this time to 2023, it felt likely the 2019-20 season would be his last in Belgium. 

He left on a high note, scoring 23 goals across all competitions, and tying for the league lead with 18 goals. 

Interest came from across Europe — Arsenal, Manchester United, Leeds, Brighton & Hove, and Crystal Palace. Borussia Monchengladbach were also in for him, given the connection between David and their manager, Marco Rose, who was managing Red Bull Salzburg at the time of his trial. 

But it was the opportunity to start in his favoured position as a striker every week with a side that could be in the Champions League in 2021-22 after missing out for the upcoming season by one point, and appears ready to build around him. Lille also has a history of selling players on to bigger clubs. Just in the last year alone, Lille has transferred young attacking players to AC Milan, Napoli and Arsenal.

“I think Lille is a club that gives a lot of chances to young players,” he says. “I wanted to go somewhere where I knew I could keep getting better, could keep playing.”

As the Ligue 1 season begins, he wants to do exactly what he did on those pitches off Bearbrook Road back in Ottawa.

“I want to score each chance I get,” says David. And in France he’ll be under pressure to do so. 

For now, he is a reminder of the quality that exists in different corners of the world, hidden in plain sight. David bet on himself, and on taking his own path to one of Europe’s top five leagues. And he’s willing to wager there are other players like him.

“Canada has a lot of talent,” he says. “Maybe we just don’t have the exposure yet. Let’s say there’s a player playing in the street, they may have more talent than all of us. We just don’t know. We just have to give the players chances to really prove themselves.”

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LeoH037 That rule was about posting OneSoccer links.

I regretfully have the athletic subscription, which rarely features Canadian content - so I can give two sheits if someone decides to post a paywalled article. Now if the article is created by a Canadian than that’s different. 

Support Local Football and everything Canadian  - anything contrary to that can get it how you get it. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...