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07|02 MATCHS ALLER: If There Was a Trophy for Being Top at Christmas…

Welcome to the latest instalment of my journey with Stade Rennais F.C. Last time out, I took you through preseason, up to an including the end of August. In this update I'll be reviewing our matches up to the end of the calendar year.

SeasonSeven.EpisodeTwo | Matchs aller

It is often said that by season six you really should have won the league in France.

Okay, I don’t know if this is often said, or just said to me, but by now I kinda think that we should have won it at least once. When you think about the past couple of seasons, finishing on 97, 91, and 92 points that would be enough to win any league in Europe, especially when you score 106 goals in 38 games. Alas, we still don’t have a title and no matter how many games we keep winning, PSG are there winning all of theirs, too.

The last couple of months we have played probably the best football under my management. We’ve blown away pretty much all of the competition domestically. We’ve been that good I’ve not even bothered to check the league table, but it’s like that chase scene in RocknRolla when One Two thinks he has escaped the Russian’s only to look over his shoulder and see the stacked dude still there.

We are One Two, and the Russians just won’t give up!

September 2025 – December 2025

Here’s what has been going on at Parc de la Guérinais over the last couple of months.


I made a slight change to the system for this year. I wanted to give us more bite when we needed it

The Metz game aside, we’ve been amazing. The whole team seems to be playing exactly as I envisioned when I started out using the 433. The adjustments have been plenty, but we seem to be hitting that sweet note and the results are showing. Even Schmitt’s understudy, young Ayari is getting in on the act!


Ah yeah, so about the Champions League, well I made a calculated judgement that we needed to be at our best in the league so may have played a few of the kids in these games for match experience. To be fair they did well and we were never really going to compete with Liverpool and Juventus so happy to take the losses if it meant we could keep winning in the league.

Except that didn’t really happen. Strasbourg were in 20th position when we played them, and yet again we struggled to come up with an answer to a lower level team parking the bus. 29 shots and 18 shots on target wasn’t enough to get one over on the team who hit our goal just twice all game, but as we’ve found out so many times this season, we need a lot more shots on target compared to the opposition to find the back of the net.


I decided to field a slightly stronger side for the Liverpool match. It didn’t help.

An early Camavinga goal in the 5th minute gave me hope that our new attacking system might compete with Europe’s best, but we were pegged back on 18 minutes. It looked like we might have earned a draw, but then on the 92nd minute we conceded a penalty and that was that.

Back to the league and it was business as usual. The 6-0 hammering of Bordeaux was a particular highlight. New boy Serrano was back from a long term injury and was on the score sheet for the defeat of Angers. Things were looking rosey!


Champions League again was a disappointment

We didn’t qualify for the Champions League knockout rounds, despite the boards expectations, but they forgave us considering the group we had. It did, however, mean we were put into the Europa League. Aberdeen will be getting the kids this year!

But let’s just rewind a little. There are a couple of results at the beginning of the month that have started to make me dream. More than any other season. Defeating Marseille 3-1 and Lyon 4-1 who are arguably the two biggest challengers to PSG along with us, has given me hope that perhaps, just perhaps we can topple PSG this year.

However, they just will not relent. They have matched us punch for punch and sit just behind us in the league table.

Oh and the fun part? Our next match is against them. At least we get that out the way with early and then we can concentrate on the rest of the season, however, the winner of that will be top of the league. PSG then have Marseille and Lyon in quick succession after us so it could be an opportunity for us to put some real distance between us.

One thing is for sure, this is going to be another, to the wire league race!

I’m shitting it, I’ll be honest with you. For the first time my January transfer window update will actually be exciting!

(Click here for the full table)

Another post finished. Another thrilling title race. I can see it ending in tears, but you have to dream! Dare to dream!

My next post will be a short one covering the January window.

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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