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05|05 END OF SEASON REVIEW 2023/24

Welcome to the latest instalment of my journey with Stade Rennais F.C. Last time out, I took you through the final few months of the season. In this update I'll be reviewing our season as a whole compared with our objectives we set.

SeasonFive.EpisodeFive | End of season review

MANAGERS WORDS

It’s hard to feel positive after a season like that. We were top and then we were third in the blink of an eye.

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Excuse the weird bug, we never finished first, we finished in the position we never dropped below, third. And to think the board are not happy with me after this season.

I have to be proud of what we’ve achieved. The 7 draws against lower opposition are what cost us, again. We just take our foot off the gas and cannot seem to find an answer to the more deep defensive teams, but when you compare us to PSG, I think finishing a few points behind is still some achievement.

Net transfer spend

  • PSG = €112M (total spend this season €455M)
  • Stade Rennais = (€40.11M (total spend this season €38M)

Annual salary

  • PSG = €307M
  • Stade Rennais = €58.09M

I will take a third-place finish and I will learn to be happy with it. Even if the board arent.

THE BOARD APPRAISAL

The board are satisfied with my management of the team. Satisfied.

Confidence summary C+

Club vision

A slight decrease in our rating this season. A C in terms of us meeting the club vision. I’m starting to get a little pissed off with this board and their highly unrealistic expectations. An offer to join another club in the summer might just be too tempting.

Club culture

The board continue to be delighted with the club culture.

  • Desired: Develop players using the clubs’ youth system | Delighted

5-year plan

The 5-year plan is to carry on getting qualification for the Champions League. I hope they remember that this is the plan. Not winning the league…

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TEAM STATS

Statistically, we are very good defensively. Conceding just 20 goals this term. The problem is clearly in the attacking third.

We created the most chances of any other team in the league, 135, but the goals just don’t show for it. I think a lot of our chances are from set-pieces and fall to the heads of players which are a much lower percentage chance than say to the foot facing goal.

I might look to see if we can do something with our set pieces to put the ball to a better option. Perhaps short passes or low crosses. It’s something to ponder over preseason at least.

Rennais Stats 2023/24 season Position 2022/23 season
Average possession 53% 3rd 53% (4th)
Goals 76 3rd 75 (3rd)
 – from set-pieces 15 22
Pass completion ratio 86% 6th 86% (5th)
Cross completion ratio 27% 2nd 25% (3rd)
Chances created 135 1st 90 (5th)
Shots on target ratio 47% 15th 49% (10th)
Conversion rate 9% 7th 10% (6th)
Conceded 20 1st 19 (1st)
 – from set-pieces 3 5
Fouls committed 462 6th 415 (10th)
Tackles won 84% 15th 85% (9th)

Our average attendance yet again is 29,194 as it was the year before and the year before that, which has seen us sell 100% of the tickets available. We move into our new stadium next season so it’ll be interesting to see where they are at the end of next season.

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PLAYER STATS

One thing is for sure this season is that we’ve got through it with a much smaller squad. A lot of players leaving on loan, contract expiry or being sold has meant we kept a lean squad.

Cristian Riviş took over from Mendy in goal after the latter refused to sign a new deal. As a result, I kept his contract rolling and left him as reserve keeper. Riviş ended the season with 19 clean sheets (17 in the league), proving that he is already more than capable of taking over between the sticks.

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Outfield it has been another excellent season for most of the defenders at the club. Gélin and Onguéné have formed a formidable partnership in the middle.

Out on the flanks Doumbia and Traoré have been as reliable as ever chipping in with 13 assists between them and creating 37 chances. We rely on them a lot in this new system, so it’ll be important to find the right replacement out on the left since Doumbia’s contract is up and he’s refusing to sign the deal our Director of Football is offering.

Traoré has a year left and at 32 will be surplus to requirements when his contract comes to an end. We have 16-year-old Amadou Barry already rated as the better option to come through and 19-year-old Matías Abrigo returning from loan who will go straight into the first team.

In the middle of the park, Tomislav Duvnjak has been outstanding in his first season. Not only has he scored 7 goals from defensive midfield, but he also chipped in with a couple of assists. He has the highest number of passes completed p90 (59.27) and completes 92% of all attempts which shows his importance to us in the build-up.

Camavinga has similar numbers but being further ahead on the pitch, I need to find the right role for him to flourish and Andreas Pereira by comparison to last season was even better with 9 goals and 10 assists.

Out wide it has been a mixed bag and I’ve really struggled to get any consistency from my wingers. Only Malo Boyer has a positive rating, just scraping a 7.00 average. I think with the wing-backs having such prominence in the system, I probably need to get the wingers into better areas to receive the ball further up the pitch to do more damage from there. Another thing to ponder over the preseason.

Gilles Schmitt continues to impress as the loan striker. We moved back to an Advanced Forward from Trequartista this season. He has 19 goals for us, taking his professional tally to 52 in 92 at the age of 19.

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As rated in-game, the following end of season awards were presented to the players.

Top Goalscorer

  • Gilles Schmitt | 19 goals

Highest average rating

  • Gilles Schmitt | 7.41 rating

Most Assists

  • Gilles Schmitt and Andreas Pereira | 10 assists

Best pass completion

  • Jacky Rault | 93% pass completion

Most player of the match awards

  • Gilles Schmitt | 9 Player of the Match awards

Most yellow cards

  • Souleyman Doumbia | 15 yellow cards

Most red cards

  • Jérôme Onguéné and Jacky Rault | 1 red card

END OF SEASON AWARDS

Oliver Jensen’s golden spoon award
Awarded to my stand out player of the season.

  • Gilles Schmitt

I mean who else could I pick other than our own youth product, Gilles Schmitt? He has been sensational again with 19 goals and 10 assists. He has signed a new contract which takes him to 2029 so hopefully, that’ll put off his suitors.

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Oliver Jensen’s wooden spoon award
Awarded to my stand out player, for all the wrong reasons.

  • Edouard Mendy

Refusing to sign a new deal which ultimately cost him his place which with hindsight might actually be a blessing. He’s now 32 and has dropped in my coaches assessment in terms of suitability for the team. He will have his contract terminated and will leave on a free.

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Oliver Jensen’s silver spoon award
Awarded to the best youth player (under 23) to break into the squad, either new signing or from the youth teams.

  • Tomislav Duvnjak

This was a tough one as Rivaş has had a great first season in goal, but Duvnjak has been excellent in defensive midfield and has played his part in an excellent season. His value has skyrocketed as a result of his performances as other teams start to take note. I’m excited to see how good he can get.

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Fans player of the season

  • Gilles Schmitt (74%)
  • Tomislav Duvnjak (10%)
  • Jérôme Onguéné (9%)

Goal of the season

  • Julien Bey vs Lens – Sunday 17th December 2023

Again a strange choice for the goal of the season but a nice finish nonetheless.

Young player of the season

  • Gilles Schmitt, 19 years old

OFF THE FIELD

We are doing a bit better financially now following the €100M sale of Palacios and frugal transfer activity last season. We have €66M in the bank but those loan repayments are going to hurt us.

The 4-3-3 is working well but I need to get more out of my wingers so there will be much work over preseason to try and get them more involved in the matches. I would like more goals and assists from them so we will see what we can do.

I need to find a new left-back and possibly a central midfielder but that’s less important. Given our budget is just €23M a lot will depend on any outgoing players.

So that just about wraps up the review of this season.

As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, via twitter @fmfutbolmanager, or my slack channel #fmFutbolManager — if you’re not a part of the Football Manager Slack community, then you can join here!

Until next time, à tout à l’heure.

Oliver Jensen

Please leave me a comment below.

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