Balma SC: Parking The Bus
It was a very active season in the transfer market for us, as I knew that we had to massively improve the squad if we were to stand any chance of competing in the French second tier. Over the course of the year, my scouts have done a terrific job, tracking down some absolute bargains (especially in Turkey!), and building up a decent shortlist for me to work with over the summer.
Finances | Transfer Summary
Domestic Football - End of Season 2040/41
Position Graph | Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Season Summary | Equipe des Etoiles France Football
The second half of the season was pretty much a replica of the first half; scrappy wins, clean sheets and plenty of failings in front of goal. Not that I'm complaining, as we managed to improve to 6th place when the curtain was brought down, and were only three points off the promotion places. For one week only, we did get as high as 4th, and were always being considered in the race for a place in Ligue 2. Like the Championship in England, this league is very competitive, and pretty much any of the teams in the top half could have snuck in behind Caen to take the remaining two promotion spots; to have been in contention for this all season long is real vindication of how well we've played.
Next season is going to be difficult, though; I will need to decide whether to go on the offensive foot, playing a more attacking brand of football, and try to improve our weak goals scored column. But, at the same time, I don't want tarnish the excellent defensive record that our slightly cautious approach has bred, either. Ultimately, I'll be more than happy with a similar points total, and another top half finish.
AC Ajaccio 1-3 Balma SC - Playing against ten men made it easier, but it was still a great team performance.
Balma SC 3-0 Guingamp - Three big points that kept us in touching distance of the top three.
Valenciennes 3-0 Balma SC - A very poor show.
Havre AC 4-1 Balma SC - In the end, Le Havre achieved promotion, but it was another disappointing display by us.
Balma SC 2-0 FC Lorient - We secured a very handy league double over Les Tangos!
Caen 0-2 Balma SC - Travelling to the Champions on the final day of the season was always going to be tricky. However, we somehow managed to rob them of all three points, and finish the season off on a huge high!
Key Players: Henri Joinville (11 goals), Léo Bertrand (7 assists), Tarkan Topalak (5 assists), Eddie Marchand (18 clean sheets), Mohamed Saïdi (AvR: 6.97)
Fans Player of the Year: Mohamed Saïdi
Team of the Year | Overall Best XI
On paper, our players don't look that much, but they fit the system well, and have all been fairly consistent over the course of the season. That said, there's plenty of areas that need improvement, with the biggest need being a regular goalscorer. This is nicely summed up by the fact that our topscorer only found the net 11 times, despite making 33 appearances for the club. I also need to look at the midfield too, as in some games we've been severely over run in the centre of the park; we need some more physical athletes in there, the type who use their strength and determination to break-up play and stop the opposition.
Although we have suffered a couple of hidings against tough opposition, all-in-all, the back four and 'keeper have been resolute all season long. Signing a French international in goal was a huge coup for us, as his presence has helped to galvanise the defensive unit, but I will still need to strengthen in the centre-back department due to there being very little cover behind our first choice partnership.
Season Team League Finish Cups
2012/13 Kingstonian Blue Square Bet South 3rd FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 2nd Round
2013/14 Kingstonian Blue Square Bet Premier 3rd FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round
2014/15 Kingstonian npower League Two 16th FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT 1st Round
2015/16 Kingstonian npower League Two 17th** **Resigned 19/12/2015
Hull City npower League One 6th FA Cup 4th Round
2016/17 Hull City npower League One 1st FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT Winner
2017/18 Hull City npower Championship 2nd FA Cup 5th Round, Carling Cup 2nd Round
2018/19 Fulham Barclays Premier League 5th FA Cup Semi-Final, Carling Cup Semi-Final
2019/20 Fulham Barclays Premier League 7th Europa League 2nd KO Rd, FA Cup 6th Rd, Carling Cup 3rd Rd
2020/21 Fulham Barclays Premier League 8th** **Resigned 13/11/2020
Liverpool Barclays Premier League 6th Europa League 1st KO Rd, FA Cup 5th Rd
2021/22 Liverpool Barclays Premier League 3rd Europa League Winners, FA Cup 4th Rd, Carling Cup QF
2022/23 Liverpool Barclays Premier League 1st Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup 3rd Rd, Carling Cup QF
2023/24 Liverpool Barclays Premier League 1st Champions League SF, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup QF
2024/25 Liverpool Barclays Premier League 2nd Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup Winners
2025/26 Estudiantes Primera División Apertura 4th N/A
Primera División Clausura 3rd Copa Argentina QF
2026/27 Estudiantes Primera División Apertura 1st Copa Sudamericana SF
Primera División Clausura 3rd Copa Libertadores RU, Copa Argentina 7th Rd
2027/28 Estudiantes Primera División Apertura 2nd Copa Sudamericana Winner
Primera División Clausura 1st Copa Libertadores SF, Copa Argentina RU
2028/29 Leverkusen Bundesliga 1st Champions League 1st KO Rd, DFB-Pokal QF
2029/30 Leverkusen Bundesliga 1st Champions League Winners, DFB-Pokal Winners
2030/31 Leverkusen Bundesliga 2nd Europa League Winners, Club World Cup Winners
2031/32 Leverkusen Bundesliga 1st Champions League Runner-Up
2032/33 Leverkusen Bundesliga 3rd** **Resigned 25/11/2032
Genoa Serie A 7th TIM Cup Quarter Final
2033/34 Genoa Serie A 3rd TIM Cup Runner-Up
2034/35 Genoa Serie A 2nd Champions League QF, TIM Cup QF
2035/36 Genoa Serie A 1st Champions League SF, TIM Cup Winners
2036/37 Real Madrid La Liga 1st Champions League Winners, Copa del Rey Winners
2037/38 Real Madrid La Liga 1st Champions League Winners, Copa del Rey Winners, CWC Winners
2038/39 Real Madrid La Liga 1st Champions League SF, Copa del Rey Winners, CWC Winners
2039/40 Balma Championnat National 2nd Coupe de France 10th Round
2040/41 Balma Ligue 2 6th Coupe de France 7th Round, Coupe de la Ligue 4th Round