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[FM21] Bonjour, les Guêpes!


KlaaZ
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My HOYD still thinks it's a potential golden generation, I'm less convinced but we have two interesting prospects at least. Elias Rochas, a central defender with Chilean double nationality (but born in Saint-Jean-le-Blanc), and Juan Luis Sastre, a Spanish midfielder from Ceuta. Both have great personalities which should make sure they at least won't fall short. Abdel Gauthier, another central defender, might have some future as well.

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2025-2026: Season review

It's been a hell of a ride this year. Let's dive into it!

Ligue 1

We left off halfway through the season in fourth place on 41 points, one point away from a CL qualifying position and coming in on a high of form. We pulled this through January, winning all three leagues games including an impressive 3-0 runaround of Monaco and a very smooth 3-1 win in Marseille. 

February was almost as good, but we did drop two points drawing 0-0 in Rennes, where we just couldn't find the opening. Unfortunately, this meant that we dropped back from second to fourth place again. Apart from that it was a great month, with only one goal conceded in a home win against Lille.

We played away at a very, very strong Lyon side in our first game of March, and lost 2-0, putting an end to an 18 game unbeaten run. We were faultless in the three remaining other games, beating Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux and Brest without conceding a single goal. At this point, with eight games to go, this is how the table looked.

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If we had won the confrontation in Lyon, we would have been top of the league... That said, we had everything still to play for being only two points behind a very sloppy PSG and only four behind Lyon, with our next game away against the Parisians. 

And for twelve minutes it looked like we were going to do the impossible, with Laquintana erasing Elliot's opening goal with a brace and putting us ahead in the 57th. But Kulusevski equalized around 20 minutes before the final whistle and we were lucky that his winner five minutes later got chalked off. Still, we walked away with a very important draw and Lyon increased their lead to four points. Could it be?

No mistakes in our next three games of April. We beat Lens at home, then drove over both Dijon (1-5 win) and Guingamp (4-1 win). Both PSG and Lyon did the same though.

It looked like we were going all the way to the final day contending for the title when Lyon slipped up and we closed the gap to three points, with PSG inbetween only one point behind the leaders. But Lyon dropped two points in their final four games, drawing at home to Lille, and PSG leaped them by winning four out of four. They were lucky against Nice though, only scoring the winner in the 89th minute. Meanwhile, we also dragged ourselves over the finish line because of an undeserved 0-1 loss at home against Angers and a 1-1 draw in Nantes. But we ended with a clean 3-0 win versus Strasbourg, finishing in third.

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All in all, mixed thoughts. We did better than last season on points (86 vs 83), but OL had a very good year and only finished one point off PSG. But the most important thing is that we once again get into the Champions League, which will hopefully boost our rep and finances some more. Because our transfer kitty for next season is actually going to be lower than this year's. 

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Champions League

A very tough draw with Real, inter and Club Brugge ended in a very disappointing European campaign. We lost the opening game in Bruges, and never really recovered although we did draw at home against both giants and almost managed to sneak off with a point in Madrid. We were still in contention for third place with one game to go, but had a tough time in Italy and when Follesdal got sent off after 62 minutes, it became downright impossible.

Hopefully, we'll get a slightly easier group next year...

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French Cup

Another cup year, another ridiculous draw in the 9th round away at Ligue 1 compatriots Rennes. 0-0 after 90 minutes and eliminated on penalties. In hindsight, this was probably a good thing so we could focus on the league, but the board wasn't happy.

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In regards to next season, I'd very much like to strengthen my central defense and maybe bring in some more quality on the DM/CM position. A right wing backup for Laquintana would also be preferred. A lot will depend on money though, as we only got 11M to spend. The main question is what will happen with Leifsson. He's not gone yet and we refused offers from a few teams including Leipzig in January (who he didn't want to join anyway) running up to 65M, but his contract runs out in the summer of 2028 and he doesn't want to sign a new deal because he feels the strength of the team doesn't match his ambitions. So if he doesn't agree to an extension, we'll have to sell him at the latest in 2027. It's a shame, because he's obviously irreplacable. 

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Our full back problems seem resolved though. Clavijo who arrived in January did very well so far on the left, and on the other side loanie Borelli was actually gradually played out the first team by academy player Michel. The main question is if we keep Borelli (optional fee of 875k) or promote from within as we have another exciting prospect with David Lefeuvre. If we do keep Borelli, it might be worth retraining Lefeuvre to a central or defensive midfielder considering his defensive and passing qualities.

 

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Transfer news

As a result of the takeover, our transfer budget got an update to 18M, and there was also a substantial improvement for the wages (finally). One of the requests of the board is to spend the transfer budget this season, and I'm happy to oblige as a few sales have caused (unnecessary) concern in the squad. An overview!

First, the leavers. Joao Ferreira permanently signs for Montpellier after playing 20 league games for them, we get 1.4M. Raveloson leaves on a free and joins SC Lyon, while Tosic (who we picked up on a free last season) moves to Nîmes for 900k. Rua was (still) unhappy and as he would have taken up a foreign player slot, we finally found a place to permanently ditch him. He's signed by Belgian 1A side Zulte Waregem for a deal that can run up to 10M. And finally, Mehmet Topal moves back to Besiktas, the team where we picked him up on a free, for 5M. 

This means we had about 30M to spend, and we made the most of it. Six new players will be joining, see below for a detailed overview.

Dmitriy Burak

Dmitriy is an 18-year old Belarusian winger who joins us from Dinamo Minsk. He'll be rotating on the left wing where Roche and Héry mostly filled in last season. Both aren't natural winger though. Burak comes at a very modest transfer price of 750k and although my scouts may have overrated his potential, I'm sure we'll at least make a healthy profit off of him in the future, should he not make the cut.

 

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Armando Bomba

Another season, another Portuguese high potential. Bomba came very highly rated by my scouts and at only 18, should be able to improve substantially in the future. Not a finished product yet, but looks better than Pereyra, who's future is now quite uncertain. Just like Dmitriy, this was a bargain deal at 300k.

 

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Luis Cota

Borelli moved back to Fiorentina. We activated his optional fee but his wage demands were quite absurd (somewhere in the region of 25-30k) so we backed off. Our first idea was to promote Lefeuvre but it's still early days for him and he might be better off improving some more through youth training instead. We were lucky when Cota popped up in the scout reports, with his club Tigres just having received an offer from Premier League club Brentford. We swooped in and surprisingly, he chose us. Two-footed, very well developed technically and mentally and only 18 years old: A dream signing for us. He'll compete with Michel for the right back position, but can also provide cover on the other side or higher up the pitch. Another cheap one, at 2.1M.

 

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Jordon Roberts

The big one. After the sale of Rua (who ironically hasn't played a league game for us in two seasons due to loans and unhappiness), the squad complained about lack of depth in defense (despite us having four options there with Zouma, Millet, Dufour and Gaipo). My eye fell on Roberts who was listed for loan at Chelsea, but after enquiring with his agent it seemed like he was open for a permanent move AND Chelsea were willing to sell at an 'affordable' price. We took the chance and offered up a whopping 21M, which was promptly accepted. Jordon is a defender who can also play some football, a profile we've been sorely lacking in the past. He'll go straight into the first team, probably at the expense of Zouma who has pretty much reached his potential ceiling.

 

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Corentin Evrard

Tié is looking to leave (which makes sense since Carévic is just too good in goal), so we were in the market for a new backup goalie. Corentin had been on my list for a while but his price tag used to be too high. He was listed for 3.2M now though, so we fought off Leganes and signed him up in a five year deal as a cup keeper (with potential to maybe surpass Carevic). The only thing I'm not really convinced about is his personality, but finding good goalkeepers has been very hard. We do have our eyes on another one but as he's not European, we need to see if we can fit him into the registration.

 

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Issouf Doumbia

Doumbia will be the player to provide cover on the right wing, or if necessary in the striker position if anything happens with Perrin (let's hope not). He comes over on loan from Man United for a season.

 

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Transfer news

I thought our homework was finished but we signed one more player. Wahid Faghir is 22-year old Danish powerhouse forward who moved to Chelsea in the summer of 2022. He never broke through though, and was finally transfer listed for 4.2M. Faghir is an old favourite of mine who did very well in my first attempt at a career in Denmark with Kobenhavn, where he eventually moved to Juve for a record fee of 38M. 

He hasn't developed as well as he did back then but there is still some room for improvement at his age and he's the kind of striker we lacked, tall and strong but with surprisingly good feet.

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Transfer news

Two more signings. One in August, the other will join us in January!

David Slovak

Slovak, not surprisingly a Slovak, was picked out by one of my scouts playing for Slovan Bratislava. As he was still on a youth deal, we managed to sign him in a  compensation deal of 500k. Only 15, he will spend a few years practicing his trade in the youth squad before we gradually introduce him to the first team. Lots of positives though: Young, European, decent attribute spread and great bravery, aggression and determination (things I look for in all of my central defenders). One to keep an eye on!

 

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Dustin Kurz

Kurz is an 18 year old German left back who currently plays for the reserves at Augsburg. He's also capped at U20 level for the German national team and looks like he has a bright future ahead of him. Another kid with a great attribute spread and very few weaknesses at a young age. Once he joins, Danicic will probably be forced out of the club as he doesn't have the same level of ability as either Clavijo or this lad. We paid Kurz' release clause of 4.9M, which leaves the transfer budget completely empty. All done for this season!

 

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Had everything to play for with one game to go but once again, we blew it. It's really tiresome to see we're making zero progress here. We play very good football, create plenty of chances but if you can't score goals and concede too easily, you're not getting anywhere. 

 

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Plenty of examples. At home against Bayern:  Better team, find ourselves 2-0 down, fight back until 2-2, concede 2-3 in the 95th minute.

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In Madrid: Played for an hour against ten men, had the chances, didn't convert, conceded the only goal of the game in the 90th minute.

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At home against Madrid: The better team throughout despite going behind after only 10 minutes. Even with a red card just before half time, kept banging on the door but once again no goals.

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Feyenoord away, final game: Went 2-0 down, twice from a defensive set piece. Plenty of chances to draw, didn't take them.

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Halfway again! Doing very well defensively in terms of goals conceded this season (11 vs 20 at the same time last year), but have only two extra points to show for it. Still doesn't feel like the season where we'll topple PSG but the big games are getting a lot closer now, which I assume is progress of sorts. 

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It was close, but it's a done deal: Leifsson signed a new deal which will keep him at the club for an additional five years. It's expensive, and I actually had to wait until we got next season's transfer budget available as I needed to shift half of that into wage budget in order to offer him the wage he wanted, but it's done. It was either this or sell him in the summer as his current 6k p/w deal ran out in 2028. 

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On 15/09/2021 at 22:37, KlaaZ said:

My HOYD still thinks it's a potential golden generation, I'm less convinced but we have two interesting prospects at least. Elias Rochas, a central defender with Chilean double nationality (but born in Saint-Jean-le-Blanc), and Juan Luis Sastre, a Spanish midfielder from Ceuta. Both have great personalities which should make sure they at least won't fall short. Abdel Gauthier, another central defender, might have some future as well.

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Great mental attributes and personalities for these guys, solid group. Rochas would make a great full back with a bit of quickness work IMO.

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Great season last year, making progress and 3rd place not far off the top is decent. It's good that Lyon didn't win it in the end because you want to be the side to break PSG :brock:. Solid signings, young as per usual and the previous intake looked decent. Biggest news is Leifsson signing a new contract! Good luck in this season's run in!

Oh and don't worry about the CL too much, it'll click together soon no doubt :).

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3 hours ago, smp20 said:

Great mental attributes and personalities for these guys, solid group. Rochas would make a great full back with a bit of quickness work IMO.

I've actually considered that but (without going into too much detail because there's a writeup on youth coming up that I don't want to spoil) I think that position is pretty much taken for the next ten years if all goes well. Plan B would be to retrain him as a defending central midfielder, but I wouldn't mind a fast defender option.

3 hours ago, smp20 said:

Great season last year, making progress and 3rd place not far off the top is decent. It's good that Lyon didn't win it in the end because you want to be the side to break PSG :brock:. Solid signings, young as per usual and the previous intake looked decent. Biggest news is Leifsson signing a new contract! Good luck in this season's run in!

Oh and don't worry about the CL too much, it'll click together soon no doubt :).

Cheers! I'm just waiting for PSG to have an off season now really, and for me to defeat them in the direct confrontations as that's the bit of edge I'm still missing. 

Leifsson (and Perrin until 2029 with optional extension until 2031) was a huge relief, because losing him/them would have meant a step backwards at a time when we're really, really close. It also means that if they leave, it'll be for such a load of cash that I'd probably be able to replace them with almost equal quality and still make a profit. 

I've been prioritizing league games over the CL in terms of starters actually, so I can't have too many complaints. But still, it hurts because I felt that in terms of performance we deserved more. But it is what it is!

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2026-2027: Season review

Ligue 1

We did well. We did really well, and we did better than expected. But it still wasn't enough to topple the giants from Paris. Three consecutive wins were a great start to the season, and after a tiny blip loss against Lyon where we dropped back to fourth place, we immediately bounced back to third where we stayed right on the trail of Monaco. We finally overtook them after grabbing a clean 0-2 in their own ground, jumping to second place. In an amazing run of games in the second half of the season, I felt like we might actually edge but two pivotal games ruined that plan. We played a very good game in Paris and actually had both more shots, but they were clinical and we were unlucky with an owngoal from Dufour. Final score was 2-1. The other game was at home against Lille in the fourth last game of the season, where the same pattern repeated itself and we lost 1-2. If we had turned those two games into victories, we'd have edged it, but you don't win trophies on ifs.

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That said, I can be nothing but happy with how our season went. We scored two more goals than last season, conceded six less and finally broke the 90 points barrier for the first time. I think that if PSG has a tiny offseason now, and if we can reinforce the wings a bit more, we may be able to pull it off soon.

Champions League

Already pointed it out, another tough draw with Bayern, Atletico and Feyenoord but nontheless we should really have gotten third place. Alas, we were unlucky, especially in the direct confrontations with the Spaniards, and threw it all into the bin on the final day when we lost in Rotterdam.

French Cup

Another year, another tough run of draws. We first got fellow Ligue 1 outfit Brest at home, who we beat 3-0. Then we got an away game against Monaco, who we also beat 2-1. But our luck ran out at home against Marseille where penalties decided in their favour. It would be nice to have a cup run where we meet some weaker opposition though, especially since the board now want me to get to the quarter finals on a consistent basis.

Player accolades

Two players in the top ten of goalscorers: Faghir (thanks to a great run of form when he stepped in for an injured Perrin) and Doumbia, who forced Laquintana to the bench. I'm hoping that we can extend his loan for another season but it's probable that United will want him for their first team.

On the other end of the pitch, Carevic kept 21 clean sheets this season, four more than second placed Arrizabalaga from Lyon. It's a bit of a skewed stat though because PSG rotated their goalkeepers.

We also got a 100% attendance record but unfortunately, the local council is blocking off a new expansion (for now). 

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On youngsters and breakthroughs

With a lot of improvements to both the youth setup and the training facilities, we're finally in a place where more youngsters are flowing through to the first team. Perrin was the first one because he's looking more and more like a potential world beater, but this season has seen quite a few others make the step up or edge closer. An overview!

Olivier Perrin

Obviously the biggest diamond of the academy ranks, Perrin has finally replaced Chrigor as number one choice up front. Unfortunately, the second half of his season was riddled with injuries which kept him off the pitch for over two months. With a contract that can optionally be extended until 2031, he looks set to have a bright future with us for years to come.

 

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Ludovic Michel

Ludovic already established himself as a member of the first team last season but with Cota brought in from Mexico, I was very curious to see how he would respond to the extra competition. He stepped up his game though, and is looking like our first choice for a while yet (as there is someone else in the waiting room who can become potentially better). He was also promoted to captain in January, taking the armband from Ackermann who was unhappy about his lack of playing time and left to Belgium. Michel is also on a long term contract which, just like Perrin, can be extended until 2032. 

 

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Fréderic Millet

Millet was part of our first youth intake and has come up in leaps and bounds from then. A few loan spells at Ajaccio in the Ligue 2 helped him progress to the level he's at now, where he's become a useful rotation option in the first team. Not a finished product, but probably close to his full potential which means he won't be more than a squad player.

 

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Jean-Baptiste Roche

Not an academy player but joined us at a very young age from Caen and although his technicals are not that great, he has been doing very well as a rotation option on the left wing. Currently contending with Burak and (sometimes) Héry for that position.

 

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Abderrahim Jaaouani

This young midfielder was promoted to the first team after some great training progression in the U19 squad and when we started getting plagued by some midfield injuries, he really stepped up and contributed massively with six goals in nine appearances, two of which were as a sub. Performed especially well in an attacking central midfield role, with traits that compliment this a lot. If he keeps performing like he did so far, he'll probably become a starter before long, at the expense of Héry who has been disappointing in comparison.

 

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Donald M'Barga

Donald was promoted to the first team because we lacked depth on the left wing and both Roche and Burak had a bit of a dip of form. Got one start and came off the bench eight times to provide two assists. As he's only 18, there's quite a bit of room for him to improve but he has quite a few problems with injuries so we need to monitor his playing time carefully. 

 

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David Lefeuvre

The probable replacement of Michel in the future, at the expense of Cota. Lefeuvre had two injuries this season that hampered his progression a bit at only 18 years of age, he has plenty of time and if he can improve his physical ability a bit more, looks like potential world class at right back. On the plus side, he's very very well developed mentally already.

 

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David Slovak and Elias Rojas

One signed for compensation at the age of fifteen, the other straight from the academy, these two currently form the heart of defense in the U19 team and if all goes well, will do the same at senior level in a few years. Judging by his rate of development, Slovak will probably be the first one to reach the first team despite being younger as Dufour hasn't really progressed much and will need replacing by another left footer. Rojas will have more work as Roberts did really well in his first season.

 

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Benjamin Robin

Benjamin will turn 18 this summer and could be a potential rotation option for Leifsson in a year or two. Good progress and a serious threat from distance, but still an unfinished product for now.

 

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Mohamed Ghimouz

Mohamed was the player that I started retraining as a left back because we were really lacking quality in that position but with the signings of Kurz and Clavijo that was no longer the case, so he was loaned out to Dunkerque to get some first team experience in the Ligue 2. Has had some ups and downs since then but generally had an improvement and will be promoted to the first team next season to make minutes as a defensive oriented midfielder when Carraro needs a rest. 

 

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Jean-Pierre Guilloteau

A rough diamond who could make it to the first team as a winger but he really needs to start improving his speed first. The only thing that worries me a bit apart from that is his (serious) lack of bravery, which I consider a key attribute.

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Transfer news

A new season, new opportunities to strengthen the squad with future stars. Sign them young, mould them well is what we do!

Out

Andrade leaves the club as his contract was up and he kept throwing tantrums. He ends up signing for Fiorentina a short time after being released. Apart from that, Can Coskun never made the grade and is released as well. Danicic joins Maritimo as we have two better left back options with Clavijo and Kurz, Di Dio does the same and moves to Caen.

In

Two new faces on the incoming side!

Joakim Nilsen is a 19 year old Norwegian goalie who will challenge Carevic for the number one spot (if the latter isn't being sold because we have a lot of interest). Technically excellent and decent mentals for his age, he can only get better. He commands a fairly hefty transfer fee of 8M but we have plenty of money in the bank and the board want me to spend it again.

 

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On the right wing, we were looking for a replacement for Doumbia as we couldn't renew his loan deal. My scouts came up with a 17-year old Swedish kid who was putting out some great performances for his club IFK Norrköping. We moved in quickly and signed him up for 4M before anyone else came sniffing. Two footed, iron willed and fairly well developed already, he will start the season as a backup for Laquintana but I imagine he will be getting plenty of game time and eventually replace him.

 

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Essential game time for the youngsters. Just beat Brest 0-2, M'barga scoring the first on assist by Michel and Perrin bagging the second on assist by Jaaouani. Two goals, two assists, all academy players. We also finished the game with six academy players on the pitch: Michel, Lefeuvre, Perrin, M'Barga, Jaaouani and Ghimouz, who made his debut.

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Also, as a tip: Always (!) discipline your players for a poor performance with something between an official warning and 1/2 week's wage fine. Even youngsters in youth/reserve games. If they react well to it, it will improve their work rate and/or determination, and it's an easy way to boost both attributes. ;)

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9 minutes ago, KlaaZ said:

No sure if I'm gonna replay this one as the ship had sunk already, but Dufour just got sent off after receiving a second yellow card despite not picking up a first one...

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Yeah, so it's clearly a bug as he also didn't get suspended (contrary to Kurz, who also got sent off). I'll log a bug report and simulate the game until I lose again.

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Even if it takes us a while yet, we are closing the gap. While we were happy to keep it respectable in our first years at the highest level (and didn't always manage to), we've only lost one of our last five direct encounters with the Parisians, and even that could have been a different result. Very happy  with the last win, considering we went behind on a penalty and it really wasn't looking good. 

 

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Transfer news

Another new face for the future joins the Orléans academy, although it's possible that he will move into the first team during the course of the season. Dominique N'Doye is a youth product from Reims who already made six first team appearances despite his young age. With his professional attitude and great skill set, he may be the one to finally challenge Leifsson. Even better, he only commanded a transfer fee of 2.1M. I'm not really sure why Reims let him go for that amount, but I'm not having any complaints!

 

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We're halfway, and it's so close that I'm not going to post a screenshot. Suspense!

And because I don't want to set myself up for disappointment when things go south. I will reveal however that PSG have scored 15 goals less than at the same time last season, which means they're having a bit of an offseason for their standards. 

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Jinxed it and might as well fast forward to next season at this point. Lost in Nantes after an appalling performance and we imploded in Monaco after behind ahead. PSG meanwhile have picked up form and won all of their games since the break, scoring four or more goals in four of their last six games. And not conceding a single one. 

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One game to go. We need to a) put eight more goals past Nice than PSG will against Nancy, or b) need to get a better result away at Nice than PSG does away at Nancy.

It's not going to happen. :(

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Gutted. We were champions for eight minutes with PSG on level terms in Nancy and Li Ting scoring a penalty to put us ahead. But PSG pulled it over the finish line when Declan Rice scored their winner in the 94th minute. 

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Big writeup will probably follow tomorrow, when I'm through the disappointment phase. Either way, we have a lot of work on our plate because the last ten games were really, really bad. We had a fantastic season but we're not at the same level as PSG, by far. Central defense remains an issue, with Dufour being a very weak link. The left wing is also problematic because Roche and M'Barga are not of the required level. 

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2027-2028: Season review

Ligue 1

We hit the winter break on 51 points, unbeaten and only drawing three times. We also won away at Parc des Princes. Despite that, PSG were only two points behind. Our second season half was (only slightly) less impressive though, and it started in January where we lost two points drawing away at Strasbourg, which lead to PSG jumping over us on goal difference. 

Things went from bad to worse in February where we lost two out of five games (away at Nantes and at Monaco). PSG meanwhile found their rhythm and built a six point gap. 

We picked ourselves up in March with three wins out of three, and PSG dropping the ball once away at Marseille. Three points remained. We started April at home against the Parisian giant and when we couldn't finish an even game in our advantage (final score 1-1) it looked like we lost our chance. But PSG had a shock result at home to Brest in the next game, losing 0-1, which put us on level terms again with only goal difference keeping them in first place.

The next game day we seemingly threw it all away again when we lost at home to third placed Lille, and PSG once again went three points ahead. But Lille went on two games later to repeat this against PSG, which meant we went into the final two games on equal points. We did our jobs and for eight miraculous minutes, we were actually champions, but Declan Rice destroyed that dream in the 94th minute in Nancy.

Champions League

Our good form carried over into the Champions League, where we surprisingly came out first in a group with Dortmund, Ajax and Dynamo Kiev, one point ahead of the Germans. 

The draw of the first knockout round gave us RB Leipzig and with the Ligue 1 as it stood, we played the second string. For some reason it was still enough to pull us through! We won 3-2 in Leipzig thanks to a 10 minute substitution appearance from Perrin who bagged a brace in the process, and (only) lost 0-1 at home.

In the next round we met Arsenal, who just eliminated PSG. After my reserves lost 0-1 at home I figured we were done for, but Laquintana and Bomba actually stole us a very undeserved 1-2 win in the Emirates stadium.

We then went out to a surprisingly strong AS Roma who ran over us with a 6-2 aggregate score and then went on to win the final against Liverpool.

French Cup

Once again an annoyingly difficult opening draw in the ninth round, away at Rennes, which we lost 1-2.

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Transfer news

First order of business is done: We signed a replacement for Dufour. Vincent Boucher is a 20-year old versatile defender who can play both in a central position and at left back. Very strong physically and some room to improve, but I really like his profile. Boucher's a bit of a coup as we signed him for only 1M from Bordeaux, where he was listed after they got relegated through the playoff this year. 

 

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Two deals out, two deals in! Jean-Baptiste Roche hasn't progressed anymore and isn't of the required standard if we want to continue challenging PSG. Espanyol offer a way out and we pick up 8M in the process. The same goes for Luis Cota who we picked up for 2.1M in Mexico in the winter of 2026. He's a good player but lacks technical ability and his defensive qualities were limited as well (which is annoying for a full back). A few Premier League teams offered up to 47M but he didn't want to join them, so he ended up only bringing in 27.5M because I had to offer him out. He'll defend Arsenal's colours for the next five years.

All of this upped my already substantial transfer budget to about 60M, and the board want me to spend. First player on the list is Brazilian Valdemar, who we can now register after getting rid of Cota. A striker by nature, he's already accomplished on both wings and will train mainly for the left wing position where he'll be first choice. Great speed, balance and agility, and technically quite proficient, I'm curious to see what he can bring to the table. Gremio put up quite a fight though, so we splash out 36.5M for his services. 

The second player to join us will probably replace Faghir in a year or two as a standin for Perrin. Andre Aarseth is a young Norwegian striker who we sign from Brann for 7M.

 

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Not a bad start. Pretty much plugged my tactic from Orléans, which shows that the points we drop are probably mostly down to a lack of quality in certain areas of the pitch rather than a tactical issue.

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