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[FM19] The Kings of Brittany - War Raok Gwengamp!


higgins

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A brief intro to this career...

The Club: En Avant Guingamp, French Ligue 1

The manager: me, Thomas Paine
Where: Guingamp is in Brittany (Bretagne) , in northwestern France
The Stadium: Stade de Roudourou, capacity: 19.000
Media prediction: 13th
Budget: 4 M, nothing available for wages
Key facts: in spite of having played only 12 seasons in French top tier, they won the Coupe de France twice (2009 & 2914), Guingamp is a town of only 7200 inhabitants, one of the smallest in Europe to have a club in top flight football.
There are more season ticket holders than inhabitants, in modern football they shouldn't even exist.
Goals: develop an entertaining brand of football with limited resources and build an integrated training-tactical system; establishing EAG as the best club in Brittany (Rennes, Nantes, Brest and Lorient are the major competitors here), then trying to regularly challenge French powerhouses like OL, OM, Monaco and obviously PSG.
But most importantly it's vital to celebrate this tiny and glorious club, where players like Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda began their journey into professional football, unfortunately there's a huge chance they could go down this season (they're struggling at the bottom of the table right now), but until then...Allez Les Guingampais! 

 

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Stade de Roudourou, 19.000 seats

 

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Brittany (Bretagne)

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Team Overview & Transfers

Let's start this journey, first of all, the number you could see at the top of this post is there to show the season we're in, I thought it could have been useful to follow what's happening here.

The plan about the squad was to have 2 players per role and play a 4-5-1 tactic, the players available suit this formation, I didn't want to make a revolution in the dressing room and change too many players, so few players had to leave:

  • Denis Petric (GK) - 375k to Dijon
  • Frank Tabanou (DL) - 3M to Bordeaux

The goalie was only a backup option at Guingamp, while Tabanou had an expiring contract and being 29 yrs I had no intention to offer him a new deal, this was the last time to get some cash from him.

Money was still tight though and so I had to focus on few targets, mainly one for the present and one for the future:

  • Lincoln (ST) - 500k (1.5M overall) from Flamengo
  • Denis Vavro (DC) - 2.5m (3.1M) from København

The well-known Brazilian wonderkid is a brilliant striker who, still seventeen (that's the reason why he'll join in January), will have time to develop and find his feet in the new league, Vavro is a powerful centre-back, fresh blood for my defensive line.

The final touch was to bring in some loans, five youngsters who will be deeply tested and nurtured at Guingamp, all of them signed a 2-year loan deal with optional future fee included:

  • Thomas Basila (DC), 19 yrs from Nantes
  • Cristopher Rocchia (DL), 20 yrs from OM
  • Jean-Manuel Mbom (MC), 18 yrs from Werder Bremen
  • Zaydou Youssouf (MC), 19 yrs from Bordeaux
  • Tyler Boyd (AMR/L), 23 yrs from Vitoria

At the end of the market this is the squad that will face this first Ligue 1 season, a right mix of more experienced players and young prospects

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Best players: Ludovic Blas (a classy mezzala), Marcus Thuram  (Lilian's son is a powerful winger) and Nolan Roux (versatile and experienced forward) are probably my key players.

Stay tuned!

 

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Tactics & Training

As I  wrote before the starting tactic is a 4-5-1, an attacking 4-5-1, but not possession based, the aim would be to start slow from the back and then, when the right chance occurs we should reach the opposite area as quick as possible.

Playing this way will oblige my opponent to leave room behind them, or at least this would be the masterplan.

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Still not convinced about all the roles employed here, but I like the flexible/fluid shape so to allow my squad to defend in a more cohesive way, will make some examples later on.

Regarding training I was used to employ the default schedules or leaving it to my ass.  manager, this time I built them from scratch, cause I think it's possible to do a better job than leaving the whole training thing to your coaches, some marginal gains are possible and, as a bonus, I could now try to adapt them to my team ongoing needs.

I created three schedules so far: 

  • Pre-season
  • Play on Saturday 
  • No games

The first one is self-explanatory, 5-6 weeks of hard work, with friendlies played often on Saturday, this schedule has got three goals: build fitness,  improve cohesion and let my boys learn the tactical side of the game.

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The second is our ordinary weekly schedules when the season finally starts, in French Ligue 1 we usually play on Saturday, as you see I give great importance to match preparation, I'm confident this will add something to my squad in-game performance.

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The last one is the schedule used when there aren't games to be played during the week, it's mainly a technical-training regime to better develop the players not busy with their national sides.

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There will probably be another schedule, another fitness based one to be used at the end of the year to boost a bit our condition for the second half of the season, not ready yet.

What's your approach to training?  How do you custom your schedules?

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End of December break

First half of the season is gone and while the players enjoy their very short holiday, I can write down something about what happened during these months in charge.

I'm overall satisfied with the boys, we're punching above our weight and being 4th is a great achievement for the club, unfortunately, the season is not over and our recent run of results hasn't been so exciting: only 3 wins out of our last 9 games played.

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A quick look at my stats can explain better than many words what worked in this first part and what could be a cause for concern...

  • Average possession 52% (4th) in spite of our fairly direct passing system and "pass into space" team instruction always set
  • Goals scored 29 (4th) not bad here, PSG scored 45
  • Cross completion ratio 18% (1st) this is good, even if I didn't realize it, the match engine keeps showing me tons of blocked crosses...
  • Pass completion ratio 81% (2nd) another brilliant outcome, for the reasons explained before
  • Chances created 46 (1st) here I'm impressed!
  • Conversion rate 9%  (7th)  in this area we should improve, wasting many good chances lately

As you see there are more positives than negatives, anyway we had some issues converting chances and once again the numbers regarding my striking force don't lie:

  • Nolan Roux  (DLP) 7 goals in 17 games
  • Ronny Rodelin (DLP)  3 in  12
  • Marcus Thuram (IF)  3 in 18
  • Marcus Coco  (W)  2  in  19

If it's true that many players take part in our overall scoring record, these data are not so great, Roux scored his last goal at the end of September, something is clearly not working.

Lincoln will join in January but, being 17yrs old only, he'll need time to grow up, meanwhile I'll try to fix this thing tactically, 

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1 minuto fa, Hootieleece ha scritto:

Breton Challenges are the new thing in Career Updates! (There are now 3 including this one)

Will this one continue?

 

Really?

Regarding mine I think so, as far as I enjoy it...

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The winter transfer window

Planning is vital if you're a virtual football manager but sometimes you need to react quickly to unexpected scenarios.

When many European clubs came with good offers for my Portuguese left back Rebocho , who was performing brilliantly (7.46 avg. rat.), I had no intention to let him go, but when I realized that the dressing room didn't react so well in a key moment of the season, I took the decision to sell him to Schalke for 10.5 M overall, a good deal that allowed me to improve the squad, most importantly signing experienced striker Le Bihan from Nice  we could have more tactical flexibility and play 4-2-4 when needed and fix our recent goalscoring problem.

I signed Raoul Petretta (3.5 M) from Basel to replace Rebocho, a 20 yrs old with plenty to offer, then I added two wingers to the squad: highly rated Portuguese Francisco Trincao (4.5 M) and cheap Georgian Papunashvili for 350k.

2018.19 Transfers Overview

  • Total spent: 13.75 M
  • Total received: 13 M

 

Check all my transfers here

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4 ore fa, DefinitelyTaylor ha scritto:

I love Guingamp and so have followed this with intrigue. Very pleased to see you doing so well with them, especially as they're struggling in real life. Keep this up! :D 

Aye, they're struggling a lot in real life. 

A nice little club, I'll try to keep them in the top half without overspending

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As far as training is concerned I let my assman take charge. Then I add the extra recovery and team bonding training blocks as necessary. The Assman often has rest everyday in the 3rd block. I find it still allows for injuries. Do you find yourself with more injuries with your custom training weeks?

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23 minuti fa, Hootieleece ha scritto:

As far as training is concerned I let my assman take charge. Then I add the extra recovery and team bonding training blocks as necessary. The Assman often has rest everyday in the 3rd block. I find it still allows for injuries. Do you find yourself with more injuries with your custom training weeks?

I had some more injuries at the end of December but nothing too severe, anyway in the 2nd half of the season I toned it down a bit, it's still worthwhile to custom your training imo.

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A good first season finishing 4th in Ligue 1just behind Monaco, surely a brilliant result for EAG, but it could have been even better, we had two miserable draws vs. Amiens and Nimes, respectively 20th and 18th in the final table, in the last games of the season and missed UCL qualification by one point. 

Anyway we'll play in Europa League next year and we must be glad about our effort, it was an unsaid goal when I started this save now it's a reality. Continental football will raise our reputation and bring some money in, an opportunity to grow up.

We're miles behind PSG and Lyon but we knew this would have been difficult, right?

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2018-19 EAG competitions recap

  • Ligue 1: 4th
  • Coup de France: 9th round
  • Coupe de la Ligue:  4th round

A new tactic has been implemented, in the 2nd half of the season we played this 4-2-4, it still employs the same low-medium block concept like the previous 4-5-1 did, we scored 64 goals overall, improving a bit over the first part of the year, but we controlled the game more.

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Goalscorers

  • Nolan Roux  14
  • Ronny Rodelin  13
  • Marcus Coco  7

Assists

  • Coco  8
  • Roux  8
  • Blais   6

 

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If you think that Guingamp is a small town, perhaps your next career could be in Hoffenheim (3266 inhabitantsin 2017), or even at Mjällby (Hallevik, 813 inhabitants in 2013). The absolute smallest town in Europe to ever have a team participating at the highest level of any European football pyramid is Nieciecza with only 750 people living there. Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza played in the Polish Ekstraklasa last season but relegated.

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7 ore fa, Jorgen ha scritto:

If you think that Guingamp is a small town, perhaps your next career could be in Hoffenheim (3266 inhabitantsin 2017), or even at Mjällby (Hallevik, 813 inhabitants in 2013). The absolute smallest town in Europe to ever have a team participating at the highest level of any European football pyramid is Nieciecza with only 750 people living there. Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza played in the Polish Ekstraklasa last season but relegated.

I know, but I was talking about top European leagues and to be fair Hoffenheim is part of the municipality of Sinsheim, a bigger town. 

Most importantly limited resources make EAG a more interesting club than Hoffenheim. 😉

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