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[FMT 21] - En Avant les Costarmoricains de Bretagne


Muttley84
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Update Career Objectives:
v - Promote to League 1 in a maximum of 3 seasons (May 2021, 1st in Ligue 2)
x - Build a squad of only Bretons and Academy Products (WIP)
v - Qualify again for an European Competition (May 2022, Europa Conference League)
v - Finish higher than 7th in Ligue 1 (May 2022, 6th in Ligue 1)

x - Have a positive record against Breton clubs (WIP)
x - Win another Coupe de France to make it 3 trophies (WIP)
x - Have a player called up to the France NT (WIP)
x - Have a player score more than 69 league goals (S. Guivarc'h) (WIP)
x - Have a player with more than 386 appearances (C. Michel) (WIP)

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We got a large sum of money from the TV rights this season, around 19M, which should be a nice addition to our budget. And we also had the biggest average attendance ever as 19.163 people on average watched our home games this season.

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The expectations for the next season have shifted a bit (although when we negotiated the new contract they seems a bit different to me). But they are now more consistent with our performances the previous season, as the board now expects a mid-table finish in the league, reaching the group stages of Conference league and the 11th round of the cup. Let's do this! 

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After the season reset date we brought in another three players: veteran Romain Thomas on a free, Denis-Will Poha for 2.1M and Gaetan Courtet for 500k. In the same time a lot of players left the club, some on transfers for good fees (well, on Hamel we lost money cause we bought him in last summer for much more), and most of them on loans as I am looking to renounce on arranging friendlies for the reserves team.

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This is how the squad looks like going into the second season in Ligue 1 and first in European competitions with me as a manager. A nice mixture of older players and younger ones, just a single player in on loan, and only a handful of them who are not born in Bretagne or produced by our club (Mellot, M'Changama and Rodelin - I think next season we could realistically aim to have a full squad of Breton players). 
Positives:
- We are really strong in the center midfield, with Poha and Dabo superb options who will probably start together most of the games.
- Youan started with the second change as striker last season but he proved to be the best option and this season he's going to be the lead man upfront.
- The three attacking midfielders (when we are going to be playing like that) are experienced players which have been with me since the start: Livolant, M'Changama and Pele.
- We are really good in center back, with Thomas and Gelin the starting options, while we also have decent cover.
Negatives:
- I consider our GK to be the weakest link in the squad. Although Desmas and Carvalho are decent options, ideally they will only be backups for a much better GK, which now we can't have.
- On the left side of the defense I gambled a bit selling Rebocha and going to start by pushing Enzo Hamon in the first 11. IF that doesn't work out we only have veteran Morel as backup.
- On the right of defense we have a good option in Mellot, but behind him we only have center-backs which are competent, but going to limit attacking options a bit.
- Not sure about the 2nd options as a Striker, brought in Courtet mainly because the others where only younger players natural at wingers.  

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A mostly quiet pre-season as we let the assistant manager schedule the matches, me focusing more on the final look of the squad. I guess we are ready for the new season.

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Although they are eligible for us being born in Bretagne, some of our players are playing for other national teams: Poha and Nyamsi for Cameroon, Morel for Madagascar. M'Chamanga plays for the Comoros but he won't be with us much longer, while one youngster from our youth intake (Sadiki) plays for Albania.

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Not the best start of campaign in the league, with only two points from the first 4 games, and some heavy defeats against Lyon and Lille. I blame it on the squad thinking more about Europe and that the new players are not fully integrated, hoping to slowly improve as the time passes. Speaking of Europe, we were lucky that the away goals rule is still in place in FM21 as we beat by it Spartak Moscow. We got rewarded with a group with CSKA Moscow, Malmo and Hapoel Be'er Sheva, and I do fancy our chances in it.

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As previous stated this year we have taken a whole new approach for the reserves team. We loaned out most of the players in order for them to get to play competitive matches (rather than numerously friendlies I set up for them). I've seen the assistant manager taking over the remaining few players and scheduling a friendly a month for them. Most of the players are out on loan to lower league clubs, but going to assess next summer how their game time influenced their development. We do have some nice prospects in there and would be a shame to lose them.

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We started off like rockets in the Europa Conference League group stage with 3 wins out of the 3 games and without receiving a single goal. We recovered a bit in Ligue 1 also, as we won the Breton derby with Rennes (3-0) and away at Reims, before losing at St. Etienne. However we are still sitting way to low in the table for my expectations, but it is still early in the season.

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Three Breton clubs (Rennes, Nantes and us) in the top for producing Ligue 1 players is really good for our capacity of attracting players in the future. Rennes are actually not that far behind the leader Monaco, while we have 13 players who came through the academy of Guingamp and are now playing in Ligue 1 (top of the pick being Laurent Koscielny and Ludovic Blas), a good proportion of those being currently at our club.

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I can not believe it is (only / already) 100 games in charge of Guingamp. Not a lot of trophies or performances in the roughly 2 years and a half since I've take the reigns at the club, but we still have room to grow and hoping this season we at least manage to level performances of last season.

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Despite the loss at home to Hapoel we were superb in the Conference League overall and manage to finish 1st in the group ahead of CSKA, which means we will enter directly in the 2nd knockout round in the spring. In the league we picked some pace winning 2 games and drawing 2, as we are now sitting 12th but the schedule is pretty disturbed by the upcoming World Cup 2022.

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We are sitting in mid-table and performing around the average statistically. Our positive comes especially from the passing games (we have one of the best pass completion ratios in the league), with good performances also in the tackles won and although we are poor at shots per game, almost one in two shots is on target.  Some interesting statistics telling us what we need to improve for the second part of the season.

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Wonder what are the odds that 3 years in a row we are set up with PSG in the French Cup. So far we won one (when we were in the Ligue 2) and lost the other. In other news we sold Jeremy Mellot to Montpellier for 2.6M and sent Rodellin and M'Chamanga to the reserves, so that starting with this winter transfer window we achieve another milestone in the career - all of the players in the playing squad are going to be Bretons or produced by the club.

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Update Career Objectives:
v - Promote to League 1 in a maximum of 3 seasons (May 2021, 1st in Ligue 2)
v - Build a squad of only Bretons and Academy Products (January 2023)
v - Qualify again for an European Competition (May 2022, Europa Conference League)
v - Finish higher than 7th in Ligue 1 (May 2022, 6th in Ligue 1)

x - Have a positive record against Breton clubs (WIP)
x - Win another Coupe de France to make it 3 trophies (WIP)
x - Have a player called up to the France NT (WIP)
x - Have a player score more than 69 league goals (S. Guivarc'h) (WIP)
x - Have a player with more than 386 appearances (C. Michel) (WIP)

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We had a really busy month of January due to fixtures congestion resulting from the winter world-cup. Still we managed to perform admirable, the highlight being that we took out PSG from the cup, giving them a trashing as we won 4-1. Heck, we struggled more away at Villefranche in the Cup and needed penalties to get through, while we also won with Toulouse for our longest run in the Cup since I took over. PSG took revenge in the league, but that was our only defeated of the month, which also saw us wining two Breton Derbies (1-0 to Lorient and 2-1 to Brest). Following the good results we climbed to 5th in the league, but with little changes to go higher than that, as PSG, Lyon, Monaco and Marseille are performing good this season. Oh, and I rejected a contract offer from Lille, which is pretty much the biggest I have received so far.

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You know how every career you get like one boogie team, the one you can not beat no matter what you do. Well, for us that team is Lyon. They been trashing us everywhere they catched us, and this time was no different, with a 5-0 loss away at them. 

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Biggest news of the day is that we have made it to the Cup Final! After passing over Nimes in the QF we won at penalties the SF played at home with Marseille. In Ligue 1 besides the heavy beating who took at Lyon we performed rather well, so we are still sitting 5th in the league, but with little to none changes of going upper.

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Due to the winter world cup we only had one leg in the knockout round of Conference League, and we managed to win it at home against Dinamo Zagreb. In the league we alternated between wins and defeats, as we are now very much focused on the cups. We are still sitting in 5th place and actually managed to reduce a bit the gap to those ahead of us.

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We were lucky enough to be setup in the French Cup Final with Strasbourg who is battling relegation from Ligue 1. However, they did put up a good fight and the match went all the way to penalties, where our players were the stronger mentally and scored all of them. We lift the Coupe de France for the third time in history and its the first big trophy for me at the club.

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Update Career Objectives:
v - Promote to League 1 in a maximum of 3 seasons (May 2021, 1st in Ligue 2)
v - Build a squad of only Bretons and Academy Products (January 2023)
v - Qualify again for an European Competition (May 2022, Europa Conference League)
v - Finish higher than 7th in Ligue 1 (May 2022, 6th in Ligue 1)

x - Have a positive record against Breton clubs (WIP)
v - Win another Coupe de France to make it 3 trophies (April 2023, PK vs. Strasbourg)
x - Have a player called up to the France NT (WIP)
x - Have a player score more than 69 league goals (S. Guivarc'h) (WIP)
x - Have a player with more than 386 appearances (C. Michel) (WIP)

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Our schedule in the next weeks looks a bit hectic. I will probably have to prioritize the Conference League over Ligue 1, given that we reached the (spoiler) semi-finals there. We are already qualified for Europa League by winning the French Cup and given that Champions League spots are out of reach not much to lose there.

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3 minutes ago, Muttley84 said:

Our schedule in the next weeks looks a bit hectic. I will probably have to prioritize the Conference League over Ligue 1, given that we reached the (spoiler) semi-finals there. We are already qualified for Europa League by winning the French Cup and given that Champions League spots are out of reach not much to lose there.

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Makes total sense mate, I have been heavily rotating my side in the Eliteserien to ensure my UCL qualification progress takes priority. 

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Unfortunately we lost the first leg in the Conference League semifinals, 1-0 away at Leicester. Hoping we can turn things around in the second leg at home and qualify for the first European final. Of course, our performances were a bit down in the league in this time, and therefore we dropped down to 6th in the league.

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Some pretty hard-to-please fans here in Guingamp. It doesn't matter to them that we won the Cup and are qualified in the SF of an European Competition, they keep complaining about the tactical side of our manager. Well, there's no pleasing you is there guys?

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9 hours ago, Muttley84 said:

Some pretty hard-to-please fans here in Guingamp. It doesn't matter to them that we won the Cup and are qualified in the SF of an European Competition, they keep complaining about the tactical side of our manager. Well, there's no pleasing you is there guys?

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One of those things that FM just hasn't modeled correctly I think. The fans and board will always find something to moan about even if you've led a club to the CL from the 5th division.

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3 hours ago, rafaelbenitez said:

One of those things that FM just hasn't modeled correctly I think. The fans and board will always find something to moan about even if you've led a club to the CL from the 5th division.

Yeah, it would seem that expectations rise faster than the club growing. Which would be totally understandable if it was somewhere in my native Romania, but not in places like France...

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The disappointment of losing the return leg in the semifinal of Conference League was to much for us to handle, and with the criticism from the board and fans I could not be convinced to play the remaining matches. I went in an early vacation and left it to the assistant manager who made an embarrassment out of the two of us and only got 1 point out of 5 matches (including a loss to rivals Brest). We therefore finished the season in 8th place.

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20 minutes ago, MattyLewis11 said:

Will you be documenting the Youth Challenge? Have you thought about FM22??

It has been an epic journey, I have thoroughly enjoyed following your save. 

Thanks for the kind words. The Youth challenge will be documented on that section of the forum on here. Will be easier with only 2 or 3 updates per year in there. No plans yet for FM22, probably starting in my Romanian leagues till I get the hang of it and only after look for something more serious.

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