SeasonEight.EpisodeTwo | Matchs aller
Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 blog with Stade Rennais. If you missed by previous post, you can catch up with everything that happened, here:
There was a lot of pressure heading into this season with Stade Rennais. We had just won the league comfortably and PSG had spent another €300M reinforcing the side that had already won the Champions League last season.
Arsenal had offered me an interview to see if I would be interested in taking over there. I decided to turn down the chance to speak with them. As fate would have it, a few days later Tuchel was announced as their new manager. PSG were weakened in the process.
Armin Veh left his position as the German national team manager to take over. I had a new rival. I deployed Timon Pauls to get a team report to see what we might expect from them. It seems he favours a balanced 4-1-4-1 system so I can expect them to be difficult to break down, as if they weren’t already, but perhaps not as attacking as they were!
September 2026 – December 2026
Here’s what has been going on at Parc de la Guérinais over the last couple of months.
I decided to keep with the same system as last year and it as it had done so well for us. I’ve been playing about with some of the player roles to get the best out of those I have available to me and it seems to be doing okay.
With Schmitt leaving Stade Rennais in the summer, our goal threat hasn’t been as great. Fortunately, we have one of the meanest defences in the league. Ayari and Le Bras have done okay in the Advanced Forward role, but they’re gone missing in a lot of the games. I think earlier we could afford Schmitt more time as we weren’t really challenging much, but now we really need to think about getting in someone in the short term and perhaps send these boys out on loan.
I’ll need to make a decision on this before the January window. The good news is that goals are coming in from all over the pitch so it’s not costing us points. At least not many… 4 points dropped this month but they were two of the hardest games we face in France.
Back to business in the league. Clean sheets all over the place.
Liverpool gave us a lesson in the Champions League, reminding us that while we might be quite comfortable in France, Europe is a whole other ball game.
The goals continue to be spread about the team which is good, but looking at our match analysis shows that we’re dropping in the number of clear cut chances we’re creating. It’s not too much of a problem right now, but we’ll need to keep an eye on that in case it starts to affect results.
I decided to make a slight tweak for the Liverpool game. Realising that I couldn’t just play the same way and expect to win. It worked and Le Bras bagged a couple of nice goals.
Impressed with the changes I decided to stick with them to see how they would do in the league. I had the mentality at Balanced and changed the roles and instructions of the middle players. Turgruk Öztürk came into his own. Match ratings were all 8+ and he was starting to shine.
This upturn in form coincided with Petersen getting an offer from Napoli and while I was happy to let him go, the finances were not as good as I would have liked. However, we did say at the end of last season that he might be off due to his contract disputes, so it’s perfect timing that the form of Öztürk takes a huge upturn now!
What has happened to Öztürk? A simple switch from Box to Box Midfielder to a standard Central Midfielder and he is like a new player!
We qualified from the Champions League group stages as winners. Everything in the league was all too easy. We had gone about 500 games without conceding a goal and I had just turned Öztürk into a world class midfielder.
Here are a few of his goals, if you missed them on twitter. View the whole thread for them all.
Back to the league for a moment and what I was watching at Stade Rennais week in and week out was nothing short of amazing. Despite the PSG and Lyon results, we were by far and away the best team in the league. PSG had even been slipping up more than usual. A sign of things to come I hope.
We have the training facilities being upgraded to the highest level, another 10,000 seats going into the stadium and our youth recruitment is now at it highest, also.
Finally, I set-up an affiliate link with Le Havre to give some of our younger players better experience at a higher level than our seconds can give them.
All in all it’s a cracking season. Long may it continue! The future is very bright indeed!
Dare I say it but we’re on course for another title win if we can keep this up. My hope is that PSG continue to struggle now and go through a succession of managers and lose their way. They’ll demand the league and nothing less!
My next post will be a short one covering the January window at Stade Rennais.
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.