Vanarama’s Deal In Focus: Manny Monthé

By Tom Scott

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

It’s a cliche but it’s one that applies to new Oldham Athletic signing Manny Monthé. This week the 29-year-old swapped Northampton Town for Boundary Park and the chance to link-up once more with Micky Mellon, writes Tom Bodell.

Together, the pair won promotion from the Vanarama National League in 2018 as Tranmere Rovers beat Boreham Wood in the Promotion Final at Wembley.

Twelve months prior, Mellon and Monthé had been at Wembley too. But on opposing sides as Forest Green Rovers beat the Wirral outfit to reach the EFL for the first time in their history. Monthé played 90 minutes at left-back for FGR that day.

Two promotions in the bag, Monthé is going for the hat-trick with Oldham who have recruited impressively this off-season.
Tellingly, those victorious campaigns were the only two in the National League. The rest of Monthé’s career has been spent in Leagues One and Two.

Speaking to Oldham Athletic’s website, Mellon said: “I’ve said all along that we need players to be able to push us on to that next level as a squad and Manny is one of those types of players.

“I know Manny well, I’ve worked with him for a long time before and he’ll be a huge signing for us.”

A left-footed centre-back who has also clocked up minutes at left-back, the most noticeable thing about Monthé is his size.
At 6’4 he is hard to miss and even harder to beat in the air.

In his solitary season at Sixfields, the only Cobblers defender who clocked up more successful aerial duels per 90 minutes was Jon Guthrie – 5.01 to Monthé’s 4.74.

Furthermore, Akinwale Odimayo was the only Northampton defender to record more successful defensive duels (4.4 per 90) than Monthé (3.97) last term.

The graphic above shows where Monthé won those duels – a number of which were higher up the field.

However, looking purely at his defensive attributes does the Cameroonian a disservice. For all his physical prowess, Monthé is comfortable in possession of the ball.

Among all centre-backs in EFL League One last term, he ranked eighth for both attempted (1.43) and completed dribbles (0.99) per 90.

The graphic above groups his attacking ground duels by zone, and we can see he regularly did so in more advanced areas that might typically be expected of a centre-back.

In the next graphic, we can see where Monthé made most of his passes from (indicated by the dashed lines) and to (the three players highlighted). Again, his comfort stepping out of Northampton’s three-man backline to start moves is evident.

From this graphic, we can see Monthé’s default position for making passes was higher than either of Northampton’s two other centre-backs (denoted as CB and RCB).

Furthermore, he often stepped forward into a more advanced position or came inside to find his teammates.

Added Mellon: “He’s still ambitious to be successful and I’m looking forward to the supporters seeing him play.”

Will Monthé prove to be Oldham’s lucky charm? We’ll find out in the next nine months.

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