Apart from the firing gunman, Gerard Moreno, another fantastic player in Villarreal’s forward line is the left-winger Moi Gomez. The Villarreal youth player featured for the yellow submarine a handful number of times in the La Liga before moving to Getafe and Sporting Gijon. At Sporting Gijon, the team got relegated to the Segunda Division. From thereon, he joined Huesca and got promoted to the La Liga.
Arriving from Huesca in the summer of 2019, Moi Gomez’s first season at Villarreal hasn’t lived up to the desired expectations. In this tactical analysis, I will give an analysis and scout report of Moi Gomez’s first season back at Villarreal.
Player profile and role
Moi Gomez is a pacy and technical forward who primarily plays on the left side of Villarreal’s front three. Due to his ability to play at different angles, he could also play on the right side of a front three.
The 26-year old Spaniard is fond of taking shots with either foot as he adept at using his weak and strong foot. Apart from that, he’s also an adept crosser of the ball as he whips in crosses from his right or left foot.
Due to his technicality and pace, Moi Gomez can also different roles on the left and right side of a front three. He could play as an inverted/inside forward as he can cut it and shoot or make a pass, as an outlet who makes runs in-behind and finally as a traditional winger who makes crosses into the box.
Off-the-ball movement and positioning
Moi Gomez has very fluid positioning and movement which is dependent on the game state. The phases of play and the zones which the ball occupies, affects the movement and position which the 26-year old Spaniard picks up. Apart from this, he uses the advantage of his pace to make penetrative movements behind the defensive line.
In the first phase build-up, Gomez positioning is in sync with Santi Carzola. As Cazorla moves out wide to offer width, Gomez moves in-field to occupy the left halfspace. This ensures the zones are perfectly occupied and gives support to the ball support. Subsequently, it fosters ball progression through combination play such as lay-offs, bounce passes etc. This mostly occurs in the ball-near side.
In the image above, Moi Gomez positions himself in the left halfspace. This position creates a diagonal passing lane for the ball-carrier to progress the ball.
On the ball-far side, Moi Gomez hugs the line and maintains width. Here, he maintains width by positioning himself towards the byline.
In the second phase transitions, apart from the usual build-up which spans from the first phase, Moi Gomez also makes out-to-in runs behind the defence line of the opposition. These penetrative runs are easier and dangerous due to the initial position he makes his runs from which is the halfspace. The halfspace is the next zone that’s closer to goal apart from central areas. This also happens during offensive transitions.
In the image above, Moi Gomez starts his run as he senses that Santi Carzola will receive a pass. As he makes his run in-behind the defence line, Santi Carzola finds him with a neat through ball.
In the 3rd phase, Moi Gomez positioning is dependent on the positioning of the ball. If the ball on the far side of the pitch, Moi Gomez moves in centrally either into the box or positions himself around the zone 14 area. If the ball is on his side of the pitch, he mostly as acts a traditional winger or an inside forward.
A common feature of Moi Gomez in the third phase is the manner which he creates space from himself. He moves away from the crowd whenever he wants to receive a cross or a pass(cutback). This, in turn, creates space and time for him to take any preconceived action.
In the image above, Moi Gomez creates space for himself. He does this by shifting away for the defensive block as the left-back controls the ball. This gives the left-back another passing option and he makes a cutback to Moi Gomez who slots a well-placed finish.
Off-the ball, Moi Gomez is tasked to protect the halfspaces and the wings depending on his position i.e either the left or right-wing. In the high press, he acts as the far sided midfielder in the diamond press. In the mid and low block, he stays mostly in the compact 4-1-4-1 midblock and protects the aforementioned zones. In transitions, he tracks back to defend his zones and support the fullback.
Moi Gomez has a decent level of technicality which makes it easier to execute any intended action.
As a traditional winger, Moi Gomez is a fond crosser of the ball. Due to his technique, Moi Gomez generates whip, height and pace on his crosses which makes it easier for the intended recipient to put away. Apart from this, the nature of these crosses is at times difficult for the opposition defenders to deal with. Also, he is able to make crosses which any choice of foot he wants.
Apart from crosses, he is also adept at ball circulation. He circulates the ball using long diagonal switches from one end of the flank to another. The 26-year old Spanish footballer is able to switch from either flank as he’s able to use both feet well.
In the image above, he circulates the ball to the right flank. As he controls the ball in midfield, he uses his right foot to switch play from the central position to the left flank.
Also, Moi Gomez’s eye for goal and his instincts makes him a voracious shooter of the ball. In any little space he finds himself in or around the box, he takes a shot on goal. The 26-year old Spaniard’s two-footed ability helps him shoot at different angles.
Here, The 26-year old Spaniard received a switched ball from the overloaded side to the underloaded side. As he receives he takes a shot with his left foot. Here is a right-footed player on the left halfspace taking a shot with his left foot rather than his right foot. This shows how well he’s able to shoot at different angles.
Weakness and Issues
As Moi Gomez’s instinct to shoot any given sight is commendable, at the same time it could be detrimental to the team. His ability to shoot at awkward angles and positions due to his two-footed ability disrupts and halts the flow of the teams’ attacks.
Here, he opts to shoot where there is a clear passing option. The distance from which he shoots is virtually impossible to score from. Apart from this, he clearly has a passing option in Santi Carzola who calls for the ball.
Apart from this, Gomez isn’t physically dominating as a forward should be. A forward who weighs 65kg isn’t going to stand a chance against an average centre back or an athletic fullback.
Also, as a modern-day forward, five league goals isn’t enough considering when the highest goalscorer in the team has 18 goals. Top teams like Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich have goals coming from wide forwards.
As stated earlier in this analysis, the lack of adequate goals from Gomez isn’t good enough. With Unai Emery coming in as the new manager, he’ll want at least one of his wide players adding to the team’s goal tally.
Apart from this, his abilities are easily transferable to Emery’s tactics as his pace and work ethic gives him the intensity with the Spanish manager prides in his players.