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06|05 END OF SEASON REVIEW 2024/25

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.

SeasonSix.EpisodeFive | End of season review

MANAGERS WORDS

Another season where we look back and should be almighty proud of what we’ve achieved. But again, it feels like a disappointment. Even with the cup win, we felt like this league should have been ours. We need to keep up the recruitment of promising youth and selling players at the peak of their value in order to make this club one of the best.

We need to be smarter in the transfer window. We already have scouts all over the world trying to find the best young talent available, but we need to be picking them up at a younger age to develop them at our state of the art facilities.

We need to take more risks in the transfer market, but they need to be calculated risks. With just €11M provided for transfers this summer, we are certainly not going to be buying ready-made stars.

In order to do this, I made a decision not to renew Sabino Aguad‘s contract with us and made a move to sign Txiki Begiristain who was available after leaving Manchester City. He is was good enough for them and Barcelona, he’s good enough for me!

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He will take over all of Sabino‘s previous responsibilities immediately.

THE BOARD APPRAISAL

The board are very pleased with my management of the team. Finally, more than just satisfied!

Confidence summary B

Club vision

A slight increase in our rating this season. A C+ in terms of us meeting the club vision. I’m not really taking much notice of these ratings now and think I might stop reporting on them. To be honest they’ve not changed much at all and when considering our progress that’s a little unrealistic.

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. Something I think we should be able to achieve for the next few years.

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TEAM STATS

Last season we spoke about doing something better with set pieces, well, we’ve ever so slightly increased that, but as some of you will have seen on twitter, my new central defender cannot stop scoring from the couple of games he played.

I hadn’t really been paying much attention to the stats for the league and this is the first time I’ve seen that we hit over 100 goals in the league. Schmitt is an absolute animal!

Rennais Stats 2024/25 season Position 2023/24 season
Average possession 56% 2nd 53% (3rd)
Goals 106 1st 76 (3rd)
 – from set-pieces 19 15
Pass completion ratio 86% 3rd 86% (6th)
Cross completion ratio 29% 1st 27% (2nd)
Chances created 137 1st 135 (1st)
Shots on target ratio 52% 5th 47% (15th)
Conversion rate 11% 1st 9% (7th)
Conceded 29 2nd 20 (1st)
 – from set-pieces 10 3
Fouls committed 415 5th 462 (6th)
Tackles won 82% 19th 84% (15th)

Our average attendance in the new stadium was 39,735 and amazingly we sold out 100% of the tickets available. We really should have added more seats when building this stadium. Hopefully, there’s room for further development here.

Our first season at Parc de la Guérinais was more than we could have hoped!

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PLAYER STATS

Cristian Rivis continued to impress between the sticks, keeping 22 clean sheets in 52 games. Considering the rotation ahead of him due to injuries, this is quite an achievement.

On the left flank new boy, Greg Taylor who we signed from Celtic has been phenomenal He settled right in and contributed 9 assists in his 31 matches with a 7.73 average rating. On the opposite side, Barry and Abrigo contributed 10 assists between them. They both still have a lot of developing to do out there playing in the demanding Complete Wing-Back role.

All of my central defenders have played excellently, although I have to give a special mention to Savvas Nikolaou. Coming into the squad at the end of the season, he bagged 6 goals from 6 starts, including a hattrick in one match. He is going to be so important to us going forwards.

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Tomislav Duvnjak continues to keep us ticking over from defensive midfield. I’m getting him to learn traits and with each one he learns each season he is getting better and better. This year he finished with a 94% pass completion ratio, completing 64 passes per match on average.

Andreas Pereira continues to show up Camavinga, finishing the season with 14 goals and 13 assists. He’s wanted in China now (not surprising considering him approaching 30), so we will need to think about cashing in on him soon.

Camavinga signed a new deal which is great news! I just need to try get more out of him from midfield.

We’ve typically struggled a bit out wide, but Boyer and Ênio are starting to come into their own now with 26 goals and 18 assists between them.

Finally, the best until last. Gilles Schmitt. 40 goals and 15 assists in 43 starts. I don’t think there’s a deadlier striker in world football at the moment. It is frightening to think what he could achieve at a top club! It goes without saying that I’ll be doing everything in my power to keep him for at least one more season!

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

Top Goalscorer

  • Gilles Schmitt | 40 goals

Highest average rating

  • Gilles Schmitt | 7.99 rating

Most Assists

  • Gilles Schmitt | 15 assists

Best pass completion

  • Tomislav Duvnjak | 94% pass completion

Most player of the match awards

  • Gilles Schmitt | 14 Player of the Match awards

Most yellow cards

  • Matías Abrigo | 11 yellow cards

Most red cards

  • Michael Petersen 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

No one else came close. This boy is one of the best strikers I’ve ever managed. He rarely puts a foot wrong. If he stays for one more season I’ll be happy. His wages are now an eye-watering €210,000 p/w which makes him the top earner by almost double that of the closest behind him. But 40 goals will buy you that, I guess.

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

  • Hamari Traoré

Perhaps slightly unfair, but Hamari was hampered by injury this season and when he was given a chance he just wasn’t up to playing as a Complete Wing-Back. Not surprising, perhaps, given his age. He complained about being out of the squad but made no effort when in it. We will be looking to move him on this summer.

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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

Just look at those stats. The youth team play with the same tactics as us, so seeing 10 goals from 12 starts for a central defender makes me think that this guy could lead us to glory alone!

At 6’6″ there aren’t many who can stop him in the air! Having said that, he also has a 100% tackle success so if you’re up against him, you’re very unlikely to get past him.

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Fans player of the season

  • Gilles Schmitt (78%)
  • Tomislav Duvnjak (11%)
  • Jérôme Onguéné (9%)

Goal of the season

  • Jacky Rault vs Angers – Sunday 1st December 2024

A beautiful strike from the Box-to-Box Midfielder!

Young player of the season

  • Gilles Schmitt, 20 years old

OFF THE FIELD

We have around €50M in the bank, we’re probably going to have to make the tough decision to sell a few players. A few of the fringe players can go if we can bring through some of the younger players to take their spot.

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Finances are up across the board with the exception of a slight reduction in broadcasting revenues. We need to keep the money coming in so that we can continue to invest in youth and invest in our future.

To do that we’ll have to sell some of the older players. I have a long shortlist of potential youth targets that we will work through.

Oh, and in other news…

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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

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