SeasonTen.EpisodeOne | Pré-saison
Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 blog with Stade Rennais. If you missed the previous post, you can catch up with everything that happened, here:
Read more » 09|05 END OF SEASON REVIEW 2027/28
After the disappointment of last season, we’re back again for more fun and games. We have made it to the tenth season, which I think is where we called time at Dortmund after finally winning the Champions League. I was amazed we got to the final quicker than Stade Rennais, but unfortunately, we just couldn’t win that final match.
I will be taking a slightly different direction with these posts now. It is inevitable as saves progress that the level of detail needed to update on the happenings at the club reduces. We have scouting setup, training and tactics. There’s little I need to change. Just keep developing players and bringing them through and making a push for the Champions League.
That’s where the focus for these blogs will be now.
June 2028 – August 2028
We’ve become pretty self-sustaining, however, the money generated from sponsorship, TV and competitions is not enough to keep us going. I’ve noticed that this season since there have been no major player sales.
While the board were willing to give me over €100M to invest in the club, it would have left us with around €20M had I spent it all without selling players. With this in mind, I needed to try to cut the wages down and move some players out on loan and sell others who were surplus to requirements.
So, onto the rest of the update.
The Transfer Window
Here are our summer transfers in and out of Stade Rennais.
Stade Rennais Transfers in
First up, the players I have brought into the club this window. If I could keep onto the core of the squad who reached the Champions League final I wouldn’t really need much in the way of reinforcements, and that’s exactly how it unfolded.
IN | Marcel Baumgärtel | FREE from Hertha BSC
I cannot believe we managed to make this signing. My scouts came to me last December with a list of players whose contracts were expiring. Typically this will be a list of older players who we tend to avoid signing. However, I noticed 23-year-old Marcel on there. I asked Txiki to see if he’d be interested to come and to our surprise, he agreed to a pre-contract with us.
He looks like he has nearly reached his potential, but he comes in as one of our better central midfielders already.
IN | Daniel Wald | €22M from Schalke 04
The second German to join us this window. I’m not quite sure why Schalke let him come to us for such a low fee, perhaps they know something we don’t. Either way, I have been looking for a natural right-sided Inside Forward and glad to have Daniel on board. He will go out on loan for a season but I hope to have him around the first team for next season.
IN | Aleksander Nacev | €76M from Villarreal
I know, I know. This goes against our philosophy of buying low, developing and then selling high, however, we were running out of options for a right-sided player to come in. We had attempted to sign three other players before Aleksandar and all three were well over €100M which we couldn’t afford.
The scout reports say that he can improve a lot in the future, he has so much pace and acceleration which is what I think we need out wide. Hopefully, the scouts are right and he can kick on to be a class player.
IN | Thiago Almada | €41.5M from Monaco
We actually tried to sign another left-winger from Monaco, but our bids were rejected. I noticed, however, that Almada was transfer listed and since I already know all about him from my time in France decided to pivot and go for him rather than the players already on the list. He lacks the pace I usually like from my wide men, but I’m very confident that he can be a big player for us.
He also has the trait curls ball which I’ve been looking for in a player for a few years now. He will be put into a mentoring group with the rest of my technical players.
Stade Rennais Transfers out
I wanted to sell more than we did. We’ve managed to bring in €90M from player sales which come close to covering the €139M we spent on players. I won’t go through all the transfers, just those more notable ones.
OUT | Julien Bey | €24M (rising to €30M) to Celtic
Bey has been a great servant over the years. He came through the academy and he’s never complained about his lack of game time and always done well when he’s come into the squad. Just one goal and one assist last season made me think that we needed some better quality out on the left, which I think you’ll agree we now have.
It’s good to see he has four goals in nine games for Celtic, though… Plus, he looks damn good against the green hoops.
OUT | Malo Boyer | €33.5M (rising to €39M) to Shanghai Shenhua
Malo came through the same youth intake as Bey, and like the aforementioned, it was his time to go.
I loaded the Chinese leagues a couple of seasons ago to help with shifting out players who I wasn’t too keen on keeping and it has helped with this sale. Boyer was very hot and cold for me. He’d get a hat trick one game and then be ineffective for the next three. I was happy to let him move on.
PRESEASON 2028 RESULTS
I’ve made a couple of tactical tweaks to the system this season. I’ll keep the same system we used last year, but I have another version loaded into the third tactical slot which looks to retain possession of the ball better by removing pass into space and adding work ball into box to try and open teams up and get clearer shots at goal.
In terms of the results, I tend to not worry too much about preseason since I usually pick teams smaller than us in order to rotate and keep morale high. It was, however, pleasing to see Nacev hit the ground running, albeit against much weaker opposition. His six goals in six games gives me a lot to be hopeful for as I didn’t expect him to break into the scene too much this season.
With Amro Hossam making the step up to the first team, the clinical striker (in-game description, not mine) was a joy to watch. Hopefully, he can keep this up moving into the season.
He has the big three attributes in Finishing, Composure and Decisions. He is going to be an excellent player if he keeps improving for us this season. Unfortunately, he does take up a foreign player spot so I needed to send out a player on loan who was in and around the first team last season.
Preseason results were good though. No real injuries and the squad had this shooting boots on!
As has become customary, we had the season opener in the Trophée des Champions. This year against PSG who were really poor. I think they managed one off-target shot all game. Nacev took just 32 seconds to get his first goal for the club, and pleasingly Almada (a late signing) playing his first game for us also found the net.
Our first three games of the season against Strasbourg, Saint-Étienne and new boys Caen went as well as I could have hoped. Three games, seven goals and none conceded. The new tactic was working well when called upon.
Disappointingly, Hossam didn’t seem the same as the player we had with us on preseason. He managed a couple of scrappy goals in a 4-0 win against Caen, but the usually so clinical striker was missing easy chances. I don’t know if it’s just because he’s a young player so there will be a level of inconsistency there, but I’m pleased I kept Ayari around (or rather that no one would pay the €60M I wanted for him.
Ayari spared our blushes with an 84th minute equaliser against Brest which kept us unbeaten, but really we were poor.
We head into the international break now so I will hopefully get a full squad of fit players back to kick on for the rest of this half of the season.
The Champions League draw hasn’t been too kind, Inter Milan, FC Reb Bull Salzburg and Sevilla are our opponents in the group stages. We have a big squad so hopefully, we can deal with the games better this year.
As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, or via twitter @fmfutbolmanager
Until next time, à tout à l’heure.