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[Fake players, as always]

 

Season 1: Clermont Foot
French National,

I holidayed until June 2027 and took over Clermont who'd been relegated the previous season and failed to go back up again.
They had some decent players, but they were mostly overpaid and by the time the wage budget adjusted, we were £25k p/w over. So that had to change. We flogged anyone we could and tried to plug the holes the best we could.

French National

The first few games made me think we were going to walk the league - an 8-2 obliteration of poor Le Puy Foot 83 in the second round of games a key factor in that assumption - but we were never quite good enough for it to be that easy. That said, we basically led the league from matchday 2 and while we had our poor performances - and the second half of the season saw me shrieking muffled abuse at my players in an almost-comfortingly familiar way - we stayed clear enough of the chasing teams to clinch the title with a couple of games to spare.
P:34  W:23  D:7  L:4  GD:+43  Pts:76  Pos:1st  PROMOTION!

French Cup
Qu'est ce que la Coupe de France?

Summary
Our loanee ST - chosen carefully for a change - was great, bagging 33 goals for us. He'd have had more if not for his 20% conversion rate from penalties. A young MR/ST also played really well, with 13 assists and 7 goals and had mostly edged out our previously first-choice MR by the end of the season. In midfield, we got a loanee from Bayern who should have been amazing, but was never more than adequate. His usual midfield partner - an Angolan international freebie - was very solid, however, with 10 assists and 8 often sublime goals to his name. Defence is eh, and I've got another Angolan coming in at DR for reinforcements. Our DCs are pretty mediocre and I could really do with improving there. GK is good, though. For a change.


Season 2: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 2

Finances were baaad (~£4m in the red), so 14 players left for the freedom of the 'Unattached' list at the end of their contract and another 7 left with the blessing of St Jean-Marc. At one point, we only had about a dozen players in the first-team squad. We also made £900k from player sales - all young players; none missed.
To fill our ranks, I spent hours identifying triallists and scouring U-xx international squads hunting for potential cheapo signings. We picked up quite a few for nowt, our marquee signing an ST from AFAD Djekanou for the princely sum of £50k. We also grabbed a loanee DC again - there were some decent options out there, but their wage demands were horrific - as well as a DL from Inter for backup and injury cover. We ended up with what seemed a much stronger squad without paying any more on wages than we had been at the end of last season.
We didn't stop there, though, and incrementally improved our squad bit by bit as the season progressed. The final piece was put in place when we picked up an Irish DC ex- of Fulham on a free just before Christmas. He - alongside our loanee DC - made for a very dependable backline. 

Ligue 2
Our moderately-suicidal tactical approach paid dividends. We tended to create a good number of good chances (our xG was usually more than 2 per game) and, erm, not give away as many chances per game. I don't know how.
We didn't really need to go hogwild with tactical changes, but a couple of tweaks in the latter stages of the season made us a bit more solid and we just... kept winning games. We signed off the season with a 4-1 win over Paris FC, having wrapped up the title 3 games previously.
P:38  W:28  D:5  L:5  GD:+54  Pts:89  Pos:1st  PROMOTION!

French Cup
We beat a couple of no-hopers and then successfully lost to Le Havre in the 10th Round

Youth Intake
I didn't mention it last season, because it was okay. I'll mention it this season because it's one of the worst I've seen in any season, at any level, in the last 4/5 years of playing FM. Truly, a remarkably awful intake.

Summary
For the first half of the season our two strikers were each at around a goal a game. As it was, they both ended up on 28 goals for the season (joint top scorers for the league) and the rest of the team chipped in around them. Assists were spread around, with our myriad wide players getting most of them (we didn't really have any who stood out). Our new Angolan DR was pretty good - good enough for Porto to have a looksie, anyway - and our new midfield recruits did a very solid job all round. The young strikers who came in as injury cover (we didn't really have a 3rd choice this season) performed pretty well as well and nabbed a few goals. 
GK was - again - surprisingly good. I don't think he's Ligue 1 material, mind. 

 

I haven't started the next season yet, so here are a few of our best players who'll be utterly outclassed in the coming campaign:

U1jjYmt.png?1  Rather underwhelming last season, but didn't actually do much wrong. I assume he'll have more defensive stuff to do in Ligue 1.

fx50syF.png?1  The guy who put the finishing touches to our defence last season; he looks rather uninspiring out of context.

9tIkXZb.png?1  Our main Angolan. Rarely has a bad game. He wanted a new contract at the end of the season and I was dreading how much he'd ask for; when he came back with demands of just over £2k, I actually increased our offer because it clearly wasn't nearly enough for what he's worth to us.

TdOcgUj.png?1  Not much technical ability, but lots of pace. Looks very good when he's running... less so when he has to actually do something with the ball.

61muY81.png?1  Our ML was pretty good last season, but when this guy was available on a free, it was a no-brainer. Crap moustache, though.

65manYG.png?1  I don't think I've ever signed a Rwandan player for anything other than a laugh, but this guy looks like he could do business.

YH9OoYE.png?1  Our Jamaican ST. He looked okay in our first season, but spent most of the last campaign being the Roadrunner to central defenders' Wile E Coyote.

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Always interested in Clermont and French Football....

What formation's are you using? and what type of football are you trying to play.

 

I have found that playing a possession game can help you stay in the league when overmatched....

If your team has the ball....it is hard for the other team to score....lol

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Season 3: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

August & September

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A decent start to the season so far. We haven't played any of the really big teams (although Rennes always seem very strong in FM, and Lille rarely do badly), but we've got points on the board and are playing quite well.
The last 3 games were a strategic gamble: with 3 games in a week, I gambled on us getting a result against Angers and Reims, while figuring Rennes would be too strong for us, so played full-strength XIs in the Away games and sent the backups for the Home match. Probably justified, as we didn't pick up any injuries, but we'll see.

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Season 3: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

October, November, December

yjoOyKL.png?1

Still going well - the losses to PSG and Lyon were both as one-sided and predictable as expected, but the point we gained against Monaco was nice (a new-build (that seems like the appropriate phrase) tactic doing a good job there). We were pretty lucky against the synth-pop group and... well, most of the teams we beat, but we outplayed Dijon and our Jamaican striker got a well-deserved perfect hattrick for his efforts.
I persuaded the board to increase our wage budget, which let me offer some of our - ahem - 'better' prospects a new contract and sign a new DC (a Mexican kid we had in on loan over the summer, but couldn't afford at the time). 

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Alarming Edwyn Blackman-related news as the transfer window opens:

cq4WsdA.png?1

 

I've logged this in the Bugs forum. 

I'm not happy that they're accepting bids for him in the first place - he's the top goalscorer in the league and a huge part of the reason we're doing well - but we don't have much money in the bank and even though I can't see this happening in real life, I can accept that it could happen.

What I logged was that when I protested, the board left the Shenzhen offer alone and only renegotiated the Wuhan offer - which was already higher. If I'm going to lose my most essential player, I don't want to get £5-10m less for him just because the game isn't able to recognise which number is bigger and respond to player input accordingly.

 

Oh, and for extra fun, here's the Youth Intake preview, to whet your appetite:

EiehAcU.png?1

Edited by turnip
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Season 3: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

January, February
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Most of the players we sold were youngsters I don't think much of, but we also sold our playmaker (not the Angolan) to Milan for a decent amount, while the splendidly-named Pham Van Nam was a young ST who hadn't really featured for us (we've got 50% of next sale clauses on each of those deals). The big absence from that list is Blackman, who turned down what I assume was some serious money to stay on his £6k p/w wage with us. Love you, buddy!
Incoming players were mostly youngsters, but Godfrey Meleka was a replacement playmaker (and U20 international for England). Wonkoye is a Nigerien defender who'll probably end up with 120 caps or something, while Emeka is a Nigerian U20 DC who was inexplicably plying his trade at a very non-league English club.

fqutXb0.png?1
We successfully bowed out of the French Cup at the stage the board required of us (albeit to a Ligue 2 side).
Otherwise, it's been two very good months in the league. The points we dropped were against bottom-of-the-table Sochaux (a midweek game) and 4th-placed Rennes, so I'm happy with how it's going. We're currently 5th in the league, above Bordeaux on goal difference and with a 5-point gap either side of us. March looks like a tough month, so we'll see how it goes. 

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lPwXUja.png?1

How squeaky is your bum right now?

Marseille, Rennes and Monaco have all got roughly as difficult run-ins as we do. The worst part is that Dijon won the Cup, so European slots only go as far down as 5th. 

I'd say we've got 2 winnable games and possibly 2 points aside from those... but I wouldn't want to say that too loudly, in case the FM gods hear me.

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Season 3: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

Le Finale
uKDvi25.png?1

A 1-0 win to PSG would be a highlight of many a season in Ligue 1, but to get it while in a genuine challenge for Europe was extra-special. It was 3 points we weren't expecting, as were the 3 points and 4 goals we got Away at Bordeaux, and the jammy 1-2 (A) at Lyon. For some reason, most of our games this season were late evening kick-offs, which meant that going into our game against Dijon, we knew that a point would be enough to guarantee hot Euro Cup action next season. We duly obliged with a win and followed that up with a swashbuckling 5-3 win over Monaco. That meant that on matchday 38 - where Lyon played PSG for the title - we knew that if Marseille were beaten by Lille and we could get a win against rock-bottom, woeful Strasbourg, we would finish 3rd. 
PSG thrashed Lyon 0-4, we scraped a 0-1 win, and Marseille eked out a 1-1 draw. C'est la vie.
3c5FAtC.png?1

P:38  W:24  D:8  L:6  GD:+42  Pts:80  Pos:4th  European Qualification!

Summary:
Amusingly, considering we finished 4th in the league, with an impressive goal difference, only 3 of our players finished the season with an Average Rating of over 7: our GK and both strikers. The GK got 4 PoMs along with his 14 clean sheets (but wasn't even up for the Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year, despite having a much higher Average Rating than the next GK) and the Rwandan bagged 22 goals and 13 assists, but it was - inevitably - Captain Jamaica who stole the show with his 37 goals and 8 assists in the 32 league games he played, including 5 hattricks (of which he scored 4 goals in three of those). 
Elsewhere: our new ML got 12 assists and the Angolan DR got 8 assists - as did our MR. They're all kind of crap, mind you. 

I'll post some sort of thoughts once I've had some sleep and the beer has worn off.

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Blackman won the Ligue 1 'Most Promising Player' award, as well as the 'Best Player', 'Top Goalscorer' and 'Best Goal' awards. While - obviously - breaking the league goalscoring record along the way. He's gonna need a reinforced shelf, but we gave him a new contract, so he can afford to pay a handyman. [edit] He also - equally unsurprisingly - won European Golden Shoe with a massive score of 74! Yeah, me neither; what even is that number?

His strike partner - the Rwandan - was the league's 'Best African Player' and also came third in the 'Most Assists' award. 

 

Good though we were, I think I need to re-build in the summer. Our GK did pretty well making the step-up from Crewe and I'm happy with both our first-choice and back-up DRs.

Central defence is an issue - the guy we got from Fulham last season was okay, but doesn't have any outstanding qualities that make up for the fact he's just okay; his main partner this season is similar, but is a little quicker, so I might keep him as a rotation option. 

At DL, the guy we signed last season as a "yeah, he's kinda crap, but he'll develop" has failed to develop at all despite two seasons as first-choice. I've already transfer-listed him and will pay out part of his wages just to be rid of him. His backup isn't ready for regular football yet, so we'll need new blood. 

I am happy with my midfield. The Angolan did well again and continued to develop (albeit slowly), while the new playmaker - despite a pretty horrific first 3 games - was solid enough. We could do with some more backup - Chelsea have been sniffing around one of our rotation options, and while the Canadian kid we have was solid on his 15(16) appearances, I doubt even his biggest fans would say he was 'good'. I'll also need a new ML; last season's model didn't get much game time, kicked up a fuss and then was distinctly unimpressive when I gave him a run of games, so he's off too. Actually, I just remembered we've got a young Faroese kid out on loan who can take that spot. Noice.

And we could do with 2 new strikers. I already know who one of them will be, and I might get a loanee for cover. 

 

Off the pitch, the board have started work to expand the stadium by 5825 seats. The extra money from that will be nice and we're ground-sharing with the synth-pop group while the work is done (likely next summer). I also managed to get a Training Facilities upgrade through. We started last season at -£3m and finished at around £22m, so the board didn't really have a strong case to deny my request.

Edited by turnip
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Great Season!

Beating PSG with a team like Clermont or ASSE is ALWAYS the best and good fun as well. Probably why we play FM as well....

In my Clermont save over the summer I called them the "Galactic Empire"....of course was in the role of Rebel Alliance.....Nael Jaby was our Luke Skywalker. He turned into a Pirlo, pinging balls all over the pitch to set up scoring chances....

Was kept out of the French National team by two guys you might have heard of....Camavinga and Pogba...

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Season 4: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

Transfers
A busy summer. Having mulled over what to do, I ended up spending £9.5m on new players. The only player who got any real attention from other teams was our Angolan MC, but his Asking Price of £7.5m put off most of those tea- ah, who am I kidding, 3 clubs spent most of the summer bidding between £750k and £1.7m for him and annoying the crap out of me by doing so. 


Anyway, we allowed our 'best' DC to leave on a free along with a couple of young players, flogged our second-choice ML for £250k and loaned out a bunch of young players.


We signed a few youngsters of the 'glass half-potential' variety, 4 new DCs (albeit one - the most expensive - as a prospect), got a backup GK, new DL (from Boca) and a Saffer MC, as well as a new rotation-option ST. I then found an out-of-contract Czech Wonderkid MC, who I was able to get for £70k compensation, a transfer-listed French Wonderkid ST (who I got on loan) and then I had an almost-panic on deadline day and signed a Danish AMR because our Panamanian had been earning his new 'Blind Alley' nickname.

T6poVCM.png?1 uCLF2p0.png?1

I wasn't planning on signing another MC, but both Jiri and his price were too good to turn down. I don't think he's here for the long-term, but we should be able to get £15m+ next summer if he does want to leave.

We spotted Darwin playing amateur football in Portugal. The standard he was playing at makes me think there's a bit of potential for development, but he's a good option to have as a 3rd-choice even if he's hit his PA already.

p0WgTXr.png?1 RFfPqiS.png?1

Florent was transfer-listed for £23m, but is only costing us £1.5m for the season. Another good option to have, even if it's just for the European registration requirements, and there's little chance we'll be able to sign him next summer, so basically a perfect loan player. Guillermo, meanwhile, was a cheap option from Nacional. Not outstanding, but no massive gaps in his game. Should pair well with our new Faroese DC...

ZM5O6J6.png?1 wiI494g.png?1

Gunnar had been on my radar for a couple of seasons and he was transfer-listed for £525k after Strasbourg got relegated, so that was a no-brainer. Physicals could be better, but I think his Tackling/Marking will go some way to making up for that, and he can play at DM in a pinch as well, which is nice. Our new DL, Alan, looks somewhat 'meh', but is two-footed, and again doesn't have any real holes in his game. Scouts and Coaches both think he's got significant room to develop, so he could become a very good player. Even if he doesn't, he's a good - and reasonably-priced, at £2.9m - player for us.

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South America is always a great place to find talented youngsters...but Clementsen is revelation! A good CB needs to work on positioning, but should be great for set pieces.

Reis would make a good 2nd or 3rd option AML-IF-A .

Build around Albert and only sell if a REALLY Big Team offers $100M+ for him.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Season 4: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

August - November

3oqyji1.png?1

A very good start to the season saw us top of the league going into December - albeit on Goal Difference. 

The reason for our 5-2 trouncing of a still-very good Rennes team was Blind Alley getting a hat-trick. The rotation hasn't exactly helped, as the AssMan (who I always get to pick the European squad) left some sizeable holes, so we haven't been able to play our strongest XI for more than a couple of league games. Not that you'd really know, from looking at the results. 

The game against Monaco was a pleasant surprise - we defended well and posed a threat on the counter. Generally, our Jamaican Captain looks really dangerous when we're breaking - his ability to receive the ball and steer it past the defender on the turn and then sprint in behind is poetry in motion. We are having to mix and match formations, though. Our trusty 4-4-2 doesn't work well against decent teams who defend.

Finally, the second win against Napoli meant that we qualified top of the group with a game to play. And you know what that means... bring on the kiddies!

We do have the January transfer window ahead of us - there isn't much of a budget left to work with and I'm loathe to spend much given that we're never likely to make much from attendances. Still, there are a few teams hovering around some of our players so there's a decent chance we could raise £10m+ in the window if we play our cards right.

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Season 4: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

December - January

pm6foJC.png?1

A tricky couple of months. We played well in the two league games we lost (Lyon overtook us at the top after their win) and we should have had Dijon on toast, but I gave them too much respect and only started going for it after they went in front (we still had a lot of chances, mind you). The kids played well in the draw against Basel, and we had a few players absent for ACN/injuries in January, so the performances suffered as a result. 

qQnRl5q.png?1

We ended up getting rid of our GK - he wanted a new contract and despite playing well, I wasn't sure he was worth what he'd have asked for - and replaced him with Mejia, from Colombia, whose contract was expiring. I actually think Mejia is the better keeper, but Jackson was playing very well for us, so if you told me I'd ****ed up, I'm not sure I could argue with you. (He's on £38k p/w now, so that's nice for him).

Oliseh and Joachim were youngsters whose contracts were running out; how we got that much money for them, I have no idea. Oliseh, at least, had made a few sub appearances for our First Team as a DM; I had to click on his profile to remind myself who Joachim even was (a crap striker).

I've shown Caetano above, and Santana and Alexandre were a couple of other players on Amateur contracts, Alexandre the better of the two. Tratter, Canhoto and Caravella are all 16-year olds who look like they could be good. Yeliseev is a young Georgian MC international who will get some game time from the bench.

We also fielded bids from Chinese teams for Blackman and Senyange. They went up to £25m + 25% of next sale for each, but both players turned them down. I had done some pre-emptive scouting, but I was pleased I didn't have to sign anyone new.

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Season 4: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1

February - March

ssdM5Rv.png?1

Another good couple of months. The draw against Monaco threatened to rouse the God of Tedium from his sofa to complain about how boring it was, but whatever; we don't answer the phone when that dude calls.

The EURO Cup games against the team that definitely aren't called Real Sociedad were nice - I sent the 2nd XI and they did exactly what they needed to do to ensure themselves some more game-time. Milan are up next, which should be an extra level of challenge. We definitely had some luck, though. The game against Bordeaux was... not good for my blood pressure. The only shot we had in the first half was our goal and we never really looked like scoring another until Blackman (who was playing a 6.2 at that point) latched onto a knock-down, made a bit of space and blasted one into the roof of the net from 18 yards. 

XWL75Ys.png?1

 

We also had Youth Intake day. A more pathetic band of algae-encrusted tapeworms, I've never s-  [what's that? we got a good player? Nah, I don't believe you]

Spoiler

5du4aB4.png?1

Clearly, there's work to do, but I'm actually pretty happy with him. And, to be fair, the rest of the intake wasn't that bad really; we ended up signing a bunch of them even if for no other reason than because we could do with filling out our U-19s

Fire the HOYD, etc

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Two league games left. We are 2 points behind Lyon, one ahead of Marseille and 3 clear of PSG. Top 3 should get Champions League.

Lyon have to play Nice and Bordeaux - both potentially tricky games.

We have to play Angers and Lille - both tricky games. 

Marseille have Dijon and Troyes, and I'd back them to win both of those.

PSG, meanwhile, are playing 18th and 17th, because of course they ****in' are.

 

If it comes down to results between teams, we are screwed. :( 

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Season 4: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1

April - May

fenBUsU.png?1

Thankfully, it didn't come down to head-to-head results. We did sort of run out of steam. The loss to Marseille was pretty indicative - the results against Brest and Caen look good, but they were both pretty awful this season. The Lorient game looks emphatic, but we only scored our 3rd goal in the 78th minute. I was really cross at the Angers game, since we conceded a late equaliser, but it didn't matter.

YF1qbQ2.png?1

PSG's manager had a pop at me before our game, so I'm personally delighted that the sort of useless twatmonkey who spunked £100m on transfers this season could only 'inspire' his club to the EURO Cup next season. There are, by my reckoning, 7 players in their squad whose weekly wage is more than that of our entire squad. They'll probably spend £400m this summer, but I'll take my moral victories where I can, thankyouverymuch.

ppwyori.png?1

I'm pretty happy with player performances, too. We rotated heavily, with Europe being a thing this season, but no-one got too annoyed about game time unless your name is Moses "Ooh, I've got the sniffles and need 10 days off" Buthelezi. More like Moses Buthelazy, am I right? On the opposite end of the spectrum, Brahimi was permanently in need of a rest from the moment he returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in January, but Thomsen's performances in the second half of the season were awful so he basically played 130 minutes each week and did really well, all things considered.

My thought - approaching the end of the season - had been to let Blind Alley and Brahimi leave, since I don't think they're quite good enough. But... 17 goals and 11 assists between them is still pretty good, so I'll have to have a think about it.

We did manage to agree terms with Albert, mind you, so he's joining permanently in the summer. I think he's probably not far off his PA, but he's still a damn good player who can play in at least 3 positions very well, and he signed for £13.5k p/w which is an absolute steal for someone of his quality. I also want at least 1 new DC who can partner Caetano; mindboggling though it is that our new best DC came from an non-league, Amateur Portuguese club. 

 

The club also had a takeover  just before the end of the season. The new owners are happy with me as manager, and decided to sign some random Saffer midfielder I'm not sure I want. But if I can massage some facility upgrades from them, that's fine by me. For now.

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Coming in ahead of PSG is always good.....maybe the team needs more conditioning and recovery so they don't run out of steam at the end.

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Yeah, probably. I'm too lazy to spend much time on training, so I just queue up 12 months of the same schedule, put in some Match Review slots and then ignore it for another year.

The fatigue issue is a little complicated. Brahimi's backup was... I was going to say inconsistent, but unless he scored a goal, he was just ****. And so Brahimi had to play too many games, even after ACN duty. We had a string of injuries in central midfield in the back-half of the season so, again, a couple of players shouldered the burden. We didn't really have any issues in central defence, because other than Caetano, they're all the same level of rubbish, so I could pretty much throw anyone in and not notice a change in quality. We also didn't have Senyange for the last 7-8 games of the season after he got injured, and we missed his combination of aerial presence and running ability.

If we'd been mid-table, I'd probably have been quite happy to rotate some development players in and sacrifice a bunch of points, but the chance of Champions League football made me greedy.

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Yeah, it's probably our main formation.

We've got that, a 4-3-3(DM) Wide for when we're getting overrun in midfield; and a  4-2-3-1 (Wide) for when teams just want to defend.

 

I dunno, I just seem to get quite a lot out of a 4-4-2 when we're a smaller club. It can stink once clubs start taking you seriously, though, although I do like switching to a 4-4-2 if we have the lead and our opponents are attacking.

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1

Transfers:

aBvyOqk.png?2

As mentioned previously, we managed to get Albert on a Free at the end of his contract. Most of the players who came in were youngsters for 'development' and off the top of my head Capek, Montazeri, Hosni, Davies, Sylla, Ba and Mohamed all went pretty much straight out on loan. The sale of Senyange wasn't one I wanted to do, but he had a year left on his contract and wanted in the region of the £65k p/w he's now on at Lyon, which was just far too much for us. I would have liked a bit more for Brahimi, but I also wanted rid of him so... eh; the same with Ricardo, who was one of our first-choice DCs for a season. We did bring a loanee in from Porto to provide cover at DR - another player whose contract is up next season and might be worth a punt depending on his performances before then.

fCtlKt4.png?1 ZlaJJpd.png?1

The replacement for Brahimi is a younger, better model. Should be plenty of space for development, too, so it'll be good if we can get his Dribbling up a bit. Started the season well, which is always a plus.

Similarly, Renovica is the new Blind Alley, but better in almost every respect (he's a little slower). I'm not expecting much development, but I wanted someone who can get the ball and run and be able to cross the ball (something Blind Alley was hopeless at). 

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Khomuka was brought in to provide some decent cover at DL and I'm really happy that we've got him as an option. Not as good going forward as Munoz, but just looks solid.

Calogero was brought in as our 4th striking option when Senyange left. Not the same sort of player - he lacks the physical strengths - but looks very handy overall, and when I saw the personality, I had to have him. 

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Finally, the big signing of the window. I did a 'lot' of scouting for centre-backs over the summer, but although I found lots of young DCs who'll be good Ligue 1 players in time and went back to scout a bunch I already had on my shortlist including waiting until deadline day for the last few reports to come in, Djordjevic was the stand-out in terms of looking like he was ready. £11.25m was steep - it was his Min Fee clause buyout - but if he's as good as he looks he could be, he'll be value for money. Also, his wages are reasonable, he didn't ask for any annoying clauses, and it's a 5-year deal. Ideally, I'd like Positioning, Strength and Composure to be a little higher, but he's a seriously good player for his age, so whatever.

Results:

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A good start to the season, although the results are a little misleading. We were a little fortunate against Lyon and Rennes. The Nantes game was pleasing, though, particularly since we had 9 members of the squad injured.

We've also had the Champions League draw. We were 4th seeds (of course), but I don't think it's as bad as the game seems to do:

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I reckon we're in with a shot at getting 2nd. 

 

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1  - September - October

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We deserved the loss against Valenciennes (although our DC who's on loan with them this season had a fantastic game), and I'm not unhappy with getting a point each against Marseille and PSG.

The Rangers game was fun: it was 0-1, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2, 2-3, 3-3, 3-4. Would have been annoying to lose. And it's obviously good to get the win against Atletico. The game against Atalanta was a snooze-fest

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1:   November - December

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A very good couple of months. The draw against Monaco, we probably deserved to win, but not by much. The shellacking of Rangers was a bit harsh, with every one of our on-target shots going in. That still left us needing a point to be certain of finishing top of the group, but Atalanta drew with Rangers, so our belly-up performance against Atletico didn't matter in the end. 

We're 3 points clear of Lyon at the top of the table, which is a nice place to be halfway through the season. 

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1: January Transfer Window

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Estrela was a decent DR, but he never seemed quite as good defensively as he should have been, and he never really offered as much going forward as I would have liked. The £7m is nice, and we'll get 25% of his next sale, too. Chabula was our nth choice DC who made a few sub appearances last season. He was better than a kid on a Youth Contract, let's say. 

As always, most of the incoming players are youngsters. Scardina looks like he could be a very good goalkeeper given some time. Kolios came with a very impressive scout report, but let's just say it's fortunate he's only 17 at the moment.  

dtUkdPK.png?1 Pule was a semi-last minute purchase, as I wanted a DM with some technical ability whose name doesn't rhyme with Bliri Jazek.

 

But Rengifo was the signing of the window. I was pre-emptively looking around to see who we could move for if we had bids on any of our STs, and he stood out like a sore thumb. (That a few big clubs were also interested helped him stand out, tbh)

I love his technical attributes, I love his physical attributes, his mental attributes are a definite 7/10 for someone who's only 18 years old; I love the fact he's two-footed, and I really like his personality. 

I also - as it happens - really like the fact that he's got 5 goals in 5 appearances since joining. 

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1: January - March

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We're at the business end of the season and it's still going well. We're in the Final of the French Cup where we'll face the Paris side I don't despise, who overcame [ahem] tough opposition in the form of 4th-tier Gazelec FC Ajaccio in their semi-final. 

We've also got ManShitty in the Champions League QFs, so I think that's where that campaign will end. 

 

In the league, we deserved our losses against Lille and PSG. We also deserved Toulouse against them, but a missed penalty and a late goal spared us. It's one of those games that we're increasingly getting where teams sit back and defend, and we don't quite have the footballing savvy to break them down yet. See also: the 0-0 against Nice and the game against Dijon where we were lucky to get the win.

We're 6 points clear of Lyon with 8 games to play. We play Lyon on the last day of the season. I'd really like to be at least 4 points clear of them by then...

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1: April - May

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So... yeah. That happened.

Our results are misleading. The bonkers +60 GD is - in large part - due to the fact that we tend to hit teams on the break when they start pushing for an equaliser/winner. The little Analysis graph below shows that we score significantly more goals than xG would predict (and the discrepancy is higher than for the rest of the league) and that teams' xG when playing us is generally higher than the number of goals they score. So we get them both ways. The biggest offender here was - surprisingly - our Colombian Wonderkid, whose Goals/xG ratio was 1.7  (as in, 1.7 goals per xG); although Captain Jamaica wasn't far off with 1.65, and Reis, Albert and Renovica (our MR) also overscored on that metric. 

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Significantly, this is the first season where we've had over half of our first team players finish the season with an Average Rating of 7 or more. Thirteen of our regulars achieved it, and six players finished the season with 10 or more goals (Renovica, Rengifo, Czarniecki (backup ML), Albert, Reis and Blackman).

The two separate XIs worked well this season, mostly because we had the strength in depth to have a long European campaign and also do well in the French Cup. I moved Djordjevic and Rengifo over to the Weekend XI once we were out of Europe, because I thought the extra game time would keep them happy, and they slotted in well. Our strongest combined XI - on paper - is very good, albeit still a bit flimsy in central midfield. 

 

Summary

Mission accomplished, here in Clermont. I'm very tempted to move on. This is in no small part because half the team want new contracts and we don't have the financial muscle to give them what they want. Which probably means a fire sale. And don't get me wrong - I enjoy a good ol' rebuild as much as anyone, but we're still only a moderately-sized club in the Massif Central, with a National reputation and a 17.5k seater stadium. I've painstakingly dragged some facilities upgrades out of the board, but even once they're completed, they'll still be significantly below where they should be for a Ligue 1 side. 

I've added a few active leagues, partly to give me some options, and partly to improve AI transfers. We'll see what happens next.

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PSG doesn't know how to handle this....! LOL:cool: 

Great Job...but you are right about the problems....

In my Clermont save over the summer I ran into the same problems....which made me decide to stop playing the save!

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