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FM21 - Le Grand Fromage (Montpellier HSC)


Jogo Bonito
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702455471_Montpellierheader3.jpg.35b4753250de26123040e225673aac7a.jpg

Montpellier Hérault Sport Club

Commonly referred to as Montpellier HSC or simply Montpellier, they are a French professional football club based in the city of Montpellier in Occitanie

The original club was founded in 1919, while the current incarnation was founded through a merger in 1974

Montpellier is one of the founding members of the first division of French football (1932-33) 

 The club won Ligue 1 for their first and only time in the 2011–12 season

Montpellier is owned by Laurent Nicollin, the son of the late Louis Nicollin (controversial owner from 1974 until his death in 2017)

Montpellier currently play in Ligue 1 - the top level of French football - at the Stade de la Mosson which is located within the city

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It makes a change to see a club culture keen on defensively solid football...

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Introducing the new manager - Le Grand Fromage

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Bonjour Laurent!

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Edited by Jogo Bonito
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Club Profile, General Information & Facilities

The game has a new stadium set for August 2022 (in reality this has been delayed and probably won't be ready until the 2024/25 season)

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Affiliated Clubs

I've trimmed down the number of affiliate clubs as there were far too many

All were/are lower level French sides plus an Academy club based in Cameroon (which has been retained)

Here is the revised list of clubs that have been chosen to keep their association links in place

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Edited by Jogo Bonito
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8 hours ago, warlock said:

Awesome - something different, and you're right about a "defensive football" club vision. Don't think I've seen that anywhere in FM21.

Love the kits, too :thup:

Thanks. Yes the defensive football thing has been hard to implement in pre-season but I like to have a solid defence so will work on it. I really love the home and away kits!

1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

Nice one Jogo, glad to see you back in the Careers forum. Will follow.

Thanks my friend. It's been a long time since my Parma effort ended without success.

6 minutes ago, Djecker said:

Haha love the manager name.

Merci beaucoup. I hope the manager becomes The Big Cheese rather than The Big Fraud!

 

Hoping to put a new post up this evening with a review of the squad and summary of pre-season.

 

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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1813672782_Montpellierheader3.jpg.c1007ed0d92e7488558669ad2bd654cd.jpg

SQUAD REVIEW 2020/21

PART 1 - GOALKEEPERS & DEFENDERS

Ex-Basel goalkeeper Omlin will be an automatic first choice in goal and I am very confident in his ability

Bertaud is home grown at the club and has the potential to be a capable understudy

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Souquet arrived in August 2019, he is probably my preferred option at right-back and should be a steady performer

Former Niort man Sambia has been at the club since 2017/18 and is at virtually the same level, so form & fitness will dictate who is selected on the right 

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I have just signed Kamara from OGC Nice to be the main left-back, as he is a player I rate very highly

Serbian international Ristic is a very good second option, he has been at the club since January 2019 and will expect to see some minutes

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New club captain Sakho has been added to the squad as it mirrors the actual arrival of the experienced central defender this summer 

His likely partner at the heart of the defence will be once-capped Portuguese man Mendes who has been a part of the squad since signing from Rennes in 2017/18

I have just recruited Gradit from RC Lens as I feel he can also stake a claim for a regular starting spot alongside the skipper

French U21 cap Cozza is a promising left-sided central defence option and I plan to start this home grown talent whenever the main man Sakho is unavailable 

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1799795146_Montpellierheader3.jpg.a46d3bee09882ccf8baac524700be0e2.jpg

SQUAD REVIEW 2020/21

PART 2 - MIDFIELDERS & ATTACKERS

Lusamba has French second nationality and I have just picked him up from OGC Nice as he can play central and defensive midfield roles 

Ferri arrived in July 2019 and is another strong and versatile central midfield option with over 200 Ligue 1 appearances to his name

Teenager Chotard is the third of four home grown at club squad members, and the man born in Orange is tipped to have a bright future

Montpellier-born creative midfielder Savanier is the fourth home grown at club man in the ranks, he left in 2011 and returned home in 2019 

Leroy has been added to the squad for extra depth as it mirrors the actual arrival of the player this summer

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Mollet has been at the club since 2018/19 and is primed to be the chief playmaker in the central attacking midfield role 

Makarov is a dangerous left-footed winger I have just recruited from Russia, he will play from the right or sometimes in the hole if required

Traore is another new signing I have made, the young Ivory Coast right-winger was at BK Hacken in Sweden and will be hoping to make the odd appearance  

I have also re-signed lively inside forward Ninga, he now has French second nationality and returns to the club he made his name at from 2015-18

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Laborde is arguably the most established of the striking quartet, he arrived from Bordeaux in the 2018/19 season but will probably leave within the next year

Experienced forward Germain has served Monaco, OGC Nice & Marseille, he has been added to the squad as it mirrors the actual arrival of the player this summer

Another signing I have just made is Senegal-born striker Ba, who has been plundering goals in the French lower leagues since arriving in 2017/18

And the last member of the 23-man squad is talented teenage striker Wahi who has been on the books since 2019/20 and looks like a really good prospect

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Edited by Jogo Bonito
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Glad to see you in France yet again.....

Matus Horvath has stopped keeping his diary, but his career continues, now on his third stop at Estac Troyes in 2029!

As always I will pull for anyone daring to overthrow PSG!

 

 

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15 minutes ago, KlaaZ said:

Welcome to the French league craze on this subforum. :D Good luck toppling PSG!

Thank you, yes I saw that France seems very popular in here at the moment!

1 minute ago, Hootieleece said:

Glad to see you in France yet again.....

Matus Horvath has stopped keeping his diary, but his career continues, now on his third stop at Estac Troyes in 2029!

As always I will pull for anyone daring to overthrow PSG!

Thanks for the re-welcome. I'm not sure I will have long enough to challenge or topple PSG, really just aiming to have a fun year or two if possible. The club finished 8th in the previous season, so that is my initial target. Good luck with ESTAC Troyes!

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8 hours ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Awesome squad analysis. You have some really good players there. I am looking forward to seeing how young striker Wahi does for you.

I got a feeling this will be a really good career to follow.

I love the French league so you got me hooked.

 

Thank you for the kind words on my squad review. Wahi looks very promising (in reality and in the game) and I'm currently playing two strikers so as one of four available, he should definitely get opportunities. I've only done pre-season and two league games so far, so very early days.

Hopefully my efforts will be a good read, time will tell!

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On 07/09/2021 at 16:42, warlock said:

Awesome - something different, and you're right about a "defensive football" club vision. Don't think I've seen that anywhere in FM21.

Love the kits, too :thup:

Funnily enough the board at Livorno (Italy) added “defensively sound” to the club vision when they were promoted to Serie B, and it’s stated three years later with the club now established in Serie A. 
On topic though, Montpellier seems like a fun one for what it sounds like you’re looking for - an interesting, top half team that won’t dominate but also doesn’t need to be built from scratch!

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5 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Funnily enough the board at Livorno (Italy) added “defensively sound” to the club vision when they were promoted to Serie B, and it’s stated three years later with the club now established in Serie A. 
On topic though, Montpellier seems like a fun one for what it sounds like you’re looking for - an interesting, top half team that won’t dominate but also doesn’t need to be built from scratch!

I guess if anywhere else is likely to have that defensive preference, Italy would be the place!

Yes, absolutely right, no pressure to get European football and not something I expect to achieve really. The board want to fight against relegation, which is generous as they finished 8th in the previous season. The first results update will follow when a few months are under the belt.

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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173779642_Montpellierheader3.jpg.c7d835e460535cd19c3473284bf42b81.jpg

Montpellier Hérault Sport Club - 2020/21

With the club philosophy expecting a tight defence, my first task was to find something that worked well in this respect. But I also wanted to utilise pace and power with swift counter-attacks when in possession, rather than just being dull. I'll leave dull to PSG. Anyway, it's fair to say that the early part of pre-season was not easy or enjoyable. Two narrow defeats to MLS sides on a tour Stateside wasn't ideal, but defensively there were early signs of encouragement. That dwindled as a 2-0 lead was surrendered against Dutch side FC Volendam and lower league French outfit AS Cannes also grabbed a late goal. Four games in, no wins. Sacrebleu! Somewhat ironically, the two tougher friendlies were the ones that saw my side finally perform well. And at least the Ligue 1 season would be able to start on a high after top flight sides AA Gent (Belgium) and Brondby IF (Denmark) were both defeated.

The French league season handed me a tough opener, hosting Marseille was not really what I wanted. However the team put on a fine display and a late penalty from sub Pape Ibnou Ba on his debut delivered a valuable 2-1 victory. A draw at Rennes was very satisfactory, and maximum points came from three excellent performances against Nice, Strasbourg and Lyon. Five games in, four wins and a draw, and 2nd only to PSG. That was way above expectations.

Since then it's been a bit more of a struggle. Injuries have forced some rotation and formation changes, and the goals have dried up with the absence of Gaetan Laborde. Four of the last five games have ended in narrow 1-0 losses, three of them away from home. The other game was a 1-0 home win over Bordeaux. Of this sequence of results, the smash and grab by Dijon late on when I was pressing for a win was the most hurtful, and it also ended the 100% home record at the same time. Unfortunately when a result like that happens you want your next fixture to let you go and put it right. And my luck was a trip to PSG so that was never going to happen. In truth, a 1-0 loss at the capital club was a decent effort given my side's recent form, and next month (on paper at least) gives some slightly kinder opponents to get over the slump.  

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If I had been offered 7th after 10 games, i would have taken it. It doesn't look good to have four losses from the last five though, and I feel there is much more to come from my side. Clearly the attacking play hasn't been outstanding, but I have at least got a solid defensive base to work from. I am hoping the board will appreciate that, being the second best goals conceded tally in Ligue 1 so far. Financially, the side is doing OK and that is another aspect I am keen to continue.

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The only other snippet of news surrounds my young striker Elye Wahi, who became the club's youngest Ligue 1 appearance maker when he was called from the bench on 31st August. He has so far done that seven times and accumulated 77 minutes of action, but has not yet managed to bag his first senior goal. He does score for Montpellier's 2nd team and is being selected by France at youth level. Below is his initial profile shot, created on the opening day of the season (23rd August).

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2125510825_Wahiprofile23_08_20.png.894dae3eb682c75e7754035621fc7f99.png

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

173779642_Montpellierheader3.jpg.c7d835e460535cd19c3473284bf42b81.jpg

Montpellier Hérault Sport Club - 2020/21

With the club philosophy expecting a tight defence, my first task was to find something that worked well in this respect. But I also wanted to utilise pace and power with swift counter-attacks when in possession, rather than just being dull. I'll leave dull to PSG. Anyway, it's fair to say that the early part of pre-season was not easy or enjoyable. Two narrow defeats to MLS sides on a tour Stateside wasn't ideal, but defensively there were early signs of encouragement. That dwindled as a 2-0 lead was surrendered against Dutch side FC Volendam and lower league French outfit AS Cannes also grabbed a late goal. Four games in, no wins. Sacrebleu! Somewhat ironically, the two tougher friendlies were the ones that saw my side finally perform well. And at least the Ligue 1 season would be able to start on a high after top flight sides AA Gent (Belgium) and Brondby IF (Denmark) were both defeated.

The French league season handed me a tough opener, hosting Marseille was not really what I wanted. However the team put on a fine display and a late penalty from sub Pape Ibnou Ba on his debut delivered a valuable 2-1 victory. A draw at Rennes was very satisfactory, and maximum points came from three excellent performances against Nice, Strasbourg and Lyon. Five games in, four wins and a draw, and 2nd only to PSG. That was way above expectations.

Since then it's been a bit more of a struggle. Injuries have forced some rotation and formation changes, and the goals have dried up with the absence of Gaetan Laborde. Four of the last five games have ended in narrow 1-0 losses, three of them away from home. The other game was a 1-0 home win over Bordeaux. Of this sequence of results, the smash and grab by Dijon late on when I was pressing for a win was the most hurtful, and it also ended the 100% home record at the same time. Unfortunately when a result like that happens you want your next fixture to let you go and put it right. And my luck was a trip to PSG so that was never going to happen. In truth, a 1-0 loss at the capital club was a decent effort given my side's recent form, and next month (on paper at least) gives some slightly kinder opponents to get over the slump.  

2099190777_MontpellierFixtures1.0.png.825e4667790609b7a48e4cf863e7c762.png

If I had been offered 7th after 10 games, i would have taken it. It doesn't look good to have four losses from the last five though, and I feel there is much more to come from my side. Clearly the attacking play hasn't been outstanding, but I have at least got a solid defensive base to work from. I am hoping the board will appreciate that, being the second best goals conceded tally in Ligue 1 so far. Financially, the side is doing OK and that is another aspect I am keen to continue.

1341527002_Montpellierprogress1.0.thumb.png.2c9fbd32b72193362573f0b6389f9844.png

The only other snippet of news surrounds my young striker Elye Wahi, who became the club's youngest Ligue 1 appearance maker when he was called from the bench on 31st August. He has so far done that seven times and accumulated 77 minutes of action, but has not yet managed to bag his first senior goal. He does score for Montpellier's 2nd team and is being selected by France at youth level. Below is his initial profile shot, created on the opening day of the season (23rd August).

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A good start to the season and nice to see Wahi progressing nicely.

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15 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

If I had been offered 7th after 10 games, i would have taken it

Well, you were aiming for 8th so there's a margin of error :D.

But that's not a bad start for a new manager at a club that overperformed last time. Just need to recover that earlier form.

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On 12/09/2021 at 00:58, Ronaldo Beckham said:

A good start to the season and nice to see Wahi progressing nicely.

Thanks. Yes, I watched him play at the weekend and he is raw but promising.

On 12/09/2021 at 14:49, warlock said:

Well, you were aiming for 8th so there's a margin of error :D.

But that's not a bad start for a new manager at a club that overperformed last time. Just need to recover that earlier form.

Yes, good point as I am one place up on the target! I've not played any more games since, but hopefully form will pick up again when I do.

On 13/09/2021 at 08:05, karanhsingh said:

Solid start - Wahi does looks good although his mentals need a lot of work.

Solid, yes. At least I'm fulfilling the defensively sound preference. Yes, Wahi is 'promising' but at 17 he has room to improve too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

329364840_Montpellierheader3.jpg.a30f003e1d5b797671a3b50235e0da39.jpg

Montpellier Hérault Sport Club - 2020/21

After enduring a torrid time in October with four 1-0 losses in five games, November gave my side a great opportunity to get back on track. Defensively the side still looked good, and whilst goals were not always flowing, three wins out of three was all I could ask for. The win over Lens on 30th November 2021 was also a landmark moment for teenage striker Elye Wahi who became the club's youngest goal scorer with a brace just before his 18th birthday.

December wasn't so good unfortunately. If defeats away to struggling pair Nantes and Saint-Etienne were not bad enough, shipping three goals to both of them was seriously disappointing. But the month ended on a high with a stoppage time winner delivering a 1-0 win over Lille. The new year started with a French Cup tie (9th Round) , and whilst some teams were rejoicing as they were drawn against minnows of the lower leagues, my side was handed arguably the second toughest game available. Unsurprisingly, a rotated side could not match Marseille and the Cup run was over at the very first hurdle. Two league draws followed as my side held a steady position in and around the continental spots, and then a stunning 4-1 win at Nice was more than a 'nice' way to end the month of January. Youngster Wahi made another headline as he grabbed a hat-trick and went to the top of my scoring charts. 

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With 21 of the 38 games in Ligue 1 completed, 5th position is more than acceptable to me as the manager - likewise the fans and the board. Whilst PSG have almost wrapped the title up already with their 20-0-1 record, special mention should be made to local rivals Nimes who have surpassed all expectations to maintain a lofty 3rd spot in the table. My side's 18 goals conceded ranks third best so  far, but goals scored continues to be average at best with none of the strikers really making a big impression in my dour tactical system.

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The winter transfer window is due to shut on 2nd February 2021, but as far as I am aware there will only be the one transfer in or out. That movement saw the arrival of striker Ibrahim Sissoko from Ligue 2 side Niort on 15th January 2021 for a modest fee of £400,000, a move which came about due to a couple of reasons. The process began when Nice offered £4m for my main striker Gaetan Laborde - my top scorer at the time, but he only had five goals to his name. With a contract expiring in June, the Nice offer was therefore accepted - but to my surprise he rejected their contract. I could have pulled the plug on the Sissoko deal at that point, but as Laborde and Germain would be moving on in the summer, I thought it made sense to complete the transfer anyway with one eye on next season.

Sissoko 15.01.21.png

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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4 minutes ago, warlock said:

Ups and downs, eh? Still, an excellent chance of matching or improving on your 8th place target. Let's hope you don't get one of "those" Februaries :lol:

Yes, certainly on target so far! Every time a month ends and the game is turned off, I wonder what the next game will bring. In the real world you would expect to back up a 4-1 away win at a good side like Nice, but in FM....

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