SeasonEight.EpisodeFive | End of season review
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:
The highs of last season were never going to be felt again after this title win. It was a great season, but with the cup final loss and being dumped out of the Champions League it kind of felt a little flat towards the end.
However, we’re little ol’ Stade Rennais and we’ve won the bloody league again against the riches of PSG! I’ll take that every season from now until we finish up.
I’m proud of the team and where we’ve come. Especially considering we have the lowest average age again. The lack of experience doesn’t seem to hinder us and I’m enjoying managing this group of players still.
THE BOARD APPRAISAL
The board are still only very pleased with my management of the team. Still, it’s better than just being satisfied.
Confidence summary B
No chance here. B- in terms of us meeting the club vision.
The board continue to be delighted with the club culture.
- Desired: Develop players using the clubs’ youth system | Delighted
Fortunately, the board haven’t raised their expectations! 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.
Having lost Schmitt this season to Manchester United I feared the area we might struggle would be scoring goals. We scored 24 fewer goals this season. A 2.92 goals per game average last season dropped to 2.28 and you can see we’ve struggle to created as much as last season.
Up until now it has only been a feeling that we’ve not been as good attacking as we were last season. A lot fewer goals scored and chances created compared with last season. This could be a result of the opposition being more defensive against us now with our increase in reputation. I’ll have to see how this is going into the next season.
|Rennais Stats||2026/27 season||Position||2025/26 season|
|Average possession||56%||2nd||54% (3rd)|
|– from set-pieces||21||—||20|
|Pass completion ratio||86%||4th||86% (5th)|
|Cross completion ratio||28%||1st||30% (1st)|
|Chances created||127||1st||154 (1st)|
|Shots on target ratio||45%||20th||51% (6th)|
|Conversion rate||10%||7th||11% (2nd)|
|– from set-pieces||5||—||7|
|Fouls committed||437||7th||353 (5th)|
|Tackles won||86%||4th||85% (7th)|
Our average attendance in our thir season at Parc de la Guérinais was 39,742 so again a complete sell out every single match for the third season running. The board have agreed to increase capacity by adding another 16,000 seats which will take our capacity to 55,742 which will be above PSG and the third biggest in France.
A brilliant third season at Parc de la Guérinais.
In goal it was another phenominal season by Cristian Rivas. He doesn’t get the recognition he deserves being a keeper, but just the 10 goals conceded in the league this year and 13 overall in 41 games is just ridiculous. 31 clean sheets in total.
My Wing Backs have not been as productive this season as they were last season. 27 assists between them, however, is still a brilliant return, with Abrigo getting just under half of all those.
Quite a bit of rotation this season in the centre of defence, but it didn’t affect performances. Each one of them with a rating over 7.00 as well. We got a few goals from set-pieces, with 13 coming from the centre of defence. I’ll be looking at my corner routines again to see if we can get some more goals this way.
In the centre of midfield we were pretty light on bodies. Young Verbeek came in to learn the Deep Lying Playmaker role at DM and did well. His 7.26 average rating and 2.59 key passes p/90 isn’t bad for an 18 year old. Jacky Rault started his 7th season with us and is still only 23 years old. He has had another excellent season before dissapointly getting injured in the run in. 15 goals and 13 assist for him is a great return.
Out wide the Inside Forwards have stuggled to dominate games as much as they did last season. With teams being more defensive I might look to drop them back a bit so they can be more effective from deep, or perhaps drop their role to Inverted Winger as to being their mentality down a little and get the Wing Backs overlapping a bit more. It’s something I’ll explore in preseason anyway. Free signing Serrano hit 14 goals and 10 assists while Sabiá took his new role as a wide player well and chipped in with 15 goals but just 3 assists.
With Schmitt leaving us I knew goals were going to be the area we’d struggle in. I’ve given Ayari a season with 30 apperances but his return of just 9 goals for an Advanced Forward isn’t good enough. I will likely look to move him on in the summer and give another striker a go there. We have a lot of promising strikers so I’ll promote from within rather than sign one.
As rated in-game, the following end of season awards were presented to the players.
- Erwen Le Brass | 20 goals
Highest average rating
- Jacky Rault | 7.52 rating
- Jacky Rault | 13 assists
Best pass completion
- Jordy Verbeek | 93% pass completion
Most player of the match awards
- Jacky Rault | 11 Player of the Match awards
Most yellow cards
- Nei | 11 yellow cards
Most red cards
- – | – red card
END OF SEASON AWARDS
Oliver Jensen’s golden spoon award
Awarded to my stand out player of the season.
- Christian Rivas
Goalkeepers don’t get enough recognition in this game. But for me, Rivas has been a solid and dependable player for years so he deserves this. In his 41 games he has conceded only 13 goals and kept 31 clean sheets. That for me is player of the season form!
Oliver Jensen’s wooden spoon award
Awarded to my stand out player, for all the wrong reasons.
- Zied Ayari
Stepping into Schmitt’s shoes was always going to be a big ask so perhaps this is a little unfair, but with just 9 goals this season and plenty of chances, I expected more. I’m tempted to sell him now but it might also be an option to loan him out for a year and see how he does at another club. I feel there’s a player in there so perhaps it’s on me that I didn’t get the best out of him, but this was a dissapointing season nonetheless.
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.
- Erwen Le Bras
The young striker has had a good season with us playing second string to Ayari for most of it. I will see how he starts in preseason but he could very well be my number 9 going into the new season. His development has been good and looking at his goals scored so far there’s a player in there who could be great for years to come.
What’s more, he’s a product of the Stade Rennais academy, so that’s always a bonus.
Fans player of the season
- Jacky Rault (63%)
- Tomislav Duvnjak (15%)
- Jérôme Onguéné (13%)
Goal of the season
- Tomislav Duvnjak vs Amiens – Wednesday 21st April 2027
Young player of the season
- Jacky Rault, 23 years old
OFF THE FIELD
We still have a very healthy bank balance at €179M which puts us in a strong position to continue to improve the club. We have another 16,000 seats going into the stadium. The money coming in is rising year on year. We’ve managed to clear the debt that the club took on to build the new stadium, too.
Despite another league title, there was still no manager of the year for me. FM Grasshopper was right, the results are fixed in France. A 34% win ration, no trophies and no European football. I’m not sure what I have to do to win this damn thing. It certainly isn’t doing the double, or winning back to back league titles in spite of PSG being out main rival.
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.