The Monday Profile: Yann Kermorgant
Cornish footballers have been notably thin on the ground over the course of the history of the game with Nigel Martyn, Matthew Etherington and Exeter City legend Tony Kellow the most famous of a very rare bunch indeed. Oddly, the case is different across the Channel, where Cornwall’s close cultural brethren in Brittany have produced more than a few well known stars. Amongst these, one finds ex-Rangers boss Paul Le Guen, current Champions League starlet and the latest to be afforded the label, “the new Zidane”, Yoann Gourcuff, ex-Nantes star Yvon le Roux, French league title winner Patrick Colleter and Laurent Viaud, who became a scout for Liverpool. The Breton national team has only ever played three matches but two of those have resulted in victories and Wales have been rumoured to be lining up a friendly. Add to that, clubs like Nantes, Rennes and Guingamp have employed some of the biggest stars in the world game including Didier Drogba and Marcel Desailly.
One of the newer talents to emerge from the rocky outcrops of the French Atlantic coast is Leicester City’s Yann Kermorgant. Joining the Foxes last Summer after a decent scoring spree at Stade de Reims, the 28 year old’s barrel chested appearance and considerable height appeared tailor made for the English game. Earlier spells at Châtellerault and Grenoble had also been productive and a strike rate of 1 in 4 before arriving in the UK was respectable if not scintillating.
But Big Yann’s enjoyed no Life of Pi fantasy thus far. 17 appearances failed to see him net a single goal and even the cruel absence through injury of Matty Fryatt has allowed him little chance to make an impact. Built to play on the shoulder of the last man, Kermorgant has tended to drop too deep or wide – OK if you are Wayne Rooney – but not if you are a fairly lumbering Frenchman. The word from Leicester message boards is that he appears to be something of a loner (although how they work this out, I cannot conceive), but a rare French voice claims that his best position would be just behind the front man and that the likely departure of Steve Howard in the Summer will present him with opportunities. Add to that the fact that the Vannes born player has played the full 90 minutes only twice this season and one does begin to feel sympathy.
However, the presence of one of those fabled youtube videos makes you think that Leicester may have been diddled. After Steve Howard and Martyn Waghorn made hay against QPR today, “Kermo” is unlikely to be overly called upon to provide ballast for Leicester’s promotion challenge.