Le50 2017 – Enzo Crivelli
Bastia finished the season bottom of the league, and joint-lowest scorers with only 29 goals – but they had on-loan striker Enzo Crivelli to thank for ten of them. Having scored six in his first full season for Bordeaux, this was a significant improvement in rather difficult circumstances. Nobody else on the Bastia roster came close – Gael Danic was second with four – so Crivelli’s ability to score reasonably consistently in his 24 games was key in the team having any chance at all of staying up. Notable, too, that seven of his goals came away from home, out of only 12 for the squad overall.
Crivelli’s build might suggest a lump up-front, but he is more mobile and agile than that – his brace against Lorient early in the season were both headers, but despite some very near misses after that, his goals were mostly scored with his right. He has a poacher’s instinct – even one longer-range effort, a volley from the edge of the area against Nice, showed this, as the ball looped towards him after Yannick Cahuzac’s attempt was blocked by the goalkeeper – but also has much more to his game. He likes a flick-on, a lay-off and a knock-down – in a couple of senses of the word.
In last year’s Le50 we identified that Crivelli’s discipline needed work, having picked up 13 bookings and one red card in the 2015/16 season, so it seemed a little frying pan / fire to loan him out to Bastia, who have traditionally loitered at the foot of the fair-play table. He certainly seems to have tried, on that front, with just six bookings, but still has a wild streak in him as was seen when he picked up two of them in a matter of seconds against Guingamp. The first was for crashing into the goalkeeper; the second for getting in the referee’s face as a result of the first. This copped him a four-match ban.
Also compromising Bastia’s ability to get anything in the net was a run of six matches out through injury in February-March, which coincided with a managerial change as Francois Ciccolini was replaced by Rui Almeida. In this run they contrived to lose away to Angers, Guingamp and Metz, where Crivelli’s goalscoring form would definitely have been useful: Bastia only won three matches away from home all season, and he scored in all of them – first that headed brace away at Lorient, last a close-range sliding left-foot to open the scoring at Dijon in a key match at the bottom – and Rui Almeida’s first win. In between, probably his best performance came in the fog at Rennes in December, where he motored past Romain Danze to score a low opener from the edge of the area, and also set up Danic with a cushioned header in in the space of five minutes to put them 2-0 up.
Crivelli sought a loan to Bastia for playing time, which paid off, but this left an opportunity open at Bordeaux that Gaetan Laborde grasped with both hands, scoring 13 goals. With les Girondins finishing sixth and playing some lovely football, this left them maybe not needing Crivelli back, given the range of attacking options at their disposal, even with the Europa League to manage as well. And Crivelli was still looking for starts – according to Jocelyn Gourvennec, he didn’t want to come back to Bordeaux.
Instead, he has moved to Angers, on a four-year deal, with the opportunity to establish himself in slightly calmer surroundings – with Famara Diédhiou off to Bristol City, he should be the main man in Stephane Moulin’s attack. Having proved himself in extremis, Enzo Crivelli now gets to carve himself a longer-term niche.