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David — FC Nantes Introduction and Pre-Season

Hello and welcome to a new story!  Unfortunately my Ultimate European Challenge game has died a slow and painful death.  However, this means I can start a new game in a country which I have rarely played in before — France!

France is a bit of an odd nation when you think about it.  They have a superb youth set up and very decent National side yet you don’t hear many people raving about the league.  My aim is to familarise myself with the nation and bring up the reputation of the league so the best players actually stay in the country (hopefully in my team!)

Why did I choose Nantes?  Well, I did spend a lot of time deliberating who to be and managed to whittle my selection down to 3 teams.  Auxerre, Toulouse and of course, Nantes.  All have excellent training and youth facilities.  Auxerre has FM11 legend Yaya Sanogo in their ranks (but he has a broken leg at the start of the game), Toulouse has Moussa Sissoko and Etienne Capoue in midfield who I was sure I could build the team around.  Nantes don’t really have anyone of note!  I eventually chose them because they are in Ligue 2 so I can use them as a long term project with the aim of getting them promoted.  I also remember when I used to watch Eurogoals on Eurosport in the early to mid nineties where they had a decent team which contained Patrice Loko!  Legend!  Plus I quite like the Yellow and Green striped kit…..

I decided to set myself some ground rules with this challenge.  The main one is that I will only sign French players and ending up with a predominantly French squad.  I will be bending this rule slightly by including French colonies in Africa too.  For that reason,  I have loaded my game up to look like this

I have deliberately not loaded up any other nations which will force me to stay in France!  I am undecided on whether to include other French speaking nations such as Belgium and Switzerland though.

Another rule I will impose is that any club comes with a bid of around double what the players valuation is, then I will sell them no matter how important they are to the team.

Before getting my teeth into the game, I thought of a suitable French pseudonym.  Let me introduce you to……

….. Mr Au Revoir!  Sorry, i’m terrible when it comes to making up aliases!

Finally, lets get into the game!  As mentioned earlier, FC Nantes have very good facilities which is part of the reason why I chose them.

Obviously, as time goes on, I will try and convince the board to improve these further.  Having good youth facilities, the youth academy and the established recruitment there will enable me to develop my own youngsters.  In theory, this will help with my first rule with having a French squad.

First impressions of the team are that it looks fairly promising

I am quite pleased with what I have got there.  Majority of the squad are French.  Most of the Africans have French dual nationality and those that do not, at least speak French.  I have 3 players who are not from France or Africa and they are Brazilian, South Korean and Serbian.  The latter being Filip Djordjevic who is possibly my best player.

The screenshot is just of the first team squad.  I also have 10 players in the reserve team and my under 19’s team is slightly bigger than the main squad.  Every one of them having the potential to play first team football!  The problem I always have with FM is that I hoard players and with this big squad, I could have a problem!  Hopefully rule number 2 of letting anyone go at around double their valuation will help with this.  Despite this I made a couple of transfers in anyway!  I felt the team still needed a left back and a right winger.

Really pleased to get Lucas Digne in.  I have managed to include a 1.8 million buy clause in on it too so maybe I could make the move permanent.  Jean-Jacques Pierre was 29, Haitian and contract expired at the end of the season so it made sense to cash in on him now.

So with what looks like a good strong squad and with just the 2 additions, I will be going into the season quite confident

Not much help from the board though!  Whatever option I chose would give me no money to spend and the same wage budget.  I chose top half finish.  I am right up to the limit on the budget which doesn’t help so I will see if I can loan some players out or even sell.  I did approach the board about increasing the wage budget but it is greyed out.  When I hover over it, it says that we have a restrictive budget.  Not sure if this is self-imposed or the league restricts it or if it is just that we don’t have enough cash!

Before starting the season, we played a few friendlies.  I hate friendlies.  I really should pay more attention to them to maybe tweak things but i’m not that clever!  I just use them to get everyone fit.

Bit of a mixed bag really.  Draws against Feyenoord and Werder Bremen are encouraging whilst a draw against my reserves is concerning.  I am using Darren’s 4-5-1 formation but done a couple of changes to the players roles to better suit my players.

Next update will be at the winter shutdown in France.  Hopefully I will be challenging for honours straight away but I see this more as a long term game.  I also hope to have a tan by then but Nantes is in the North West of France so it is unlikely!

If you would like any screenshots, don’t be afraid to ask.  Also, I would love to hear from you if you have any tactical advice.

33 комментария


  1. hils

    1 апреля, 2011 at 17:30

    Hi Dave,or should i say mr Au Revoir!!!!!!!!!!!! Good choice of game there!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck!!!!!!

  2. Kevin

    1 апреля, 2011 at 17:34

    Hello David
    Greetings from Canada and welcome to the site. Very nice introduction to your game and a good choice of team and country. Good to see something a little different. Looking forward to seeing how this story progresses and in particular your youth development. I like the fact too you just loaded up Africa that maybe adds some additional realism? Good luck :)

    • David Wiggins

      1 апреля, 2011 at 23:30

      Thanks Kevin. I wanted to try something different too plus writing about it here means I will have to stick to it too!!
      Glad you like the idea about trying to make it realistic. I am just scouting around Africa to build up knowledge which may help me at the end of the season. Not really required just yet though!

  3. Johnny Karp

    1 апреля, 2011 at 17:48

    Hey Dave, welcome to the site! I like your choice and also the self-imposed restrictions, those will make the game a bit more difficult but a lot more rewarding. Lucas Digne is a great talent, you should do your best to get him on a permanent basis. Best of luck, I’m looking forward to the next updates!

    • David Wiggins

      2 апреля, 2011 at 00:03

      Thanks Johnny! I am not that good a manager so this could be a complete and utter disaster — something different for the visitors to this site to see I guess!
      At the moment, Digne is not in the team but I am hoping to give him enough football to convince him to join permanently

  4. Vaibhav C.

    1 апреля, 2011 at 17:56

    Hello Dave
    Great introduction there, you got me totally hooked. I think maybe you should put up the profiles of your players so we can see how good your squad is.
    P.S. I hate friendlies as well, they are an utter waste of time.

    • David Wiggins

      2 апреля, 2011 at 01:41

      Hi Vabihav, thanks for the vote of confidence! Hopefully I can keep you and everyone entertained. I will see if I can fit in the key profiles in my next update and there is a promising youngster I have coming through as well. Post would be huge if I put all the profiles up!

      I am finding friendlies more useful during the international breaks rather than in pre-season. Gives me the chance to re-evaluate the team by using reserves mixed with first teamers and also I can adjust the tactics to see if they work!

  5. Timmy

    1 апреля, 2011 at 18:06

    Salut,M Au Revoir :P
    le choix est tres difficile j’espere que vous boites a promouvoir la Ligue 1
    bonne chance
    cheers :)
    (hope you get promotion :) )

    • David Wiggins

      2 апреля, 2011 at 01:59

      ha! Thanks Timmy!

  6. Laxeyman

    1 апреля, 2011 at 18:14

    Bonjour Dave! Good choice with Nantes, I’m sure you’ll do well with them, especially now you’ve got Digne, you probably should try to get him on a permanent deal at the end of the season, although of course it depends how well he does. Anyway, I reckon you can challenge for at least the Ligue 2 play offs this season, good luck!

    • David Wiggins

      2 апреля, 2011 at 03:24

      Bonjour Laxeyman! I am pleased I decided on Nantes in the end — Starting in Ligue 1 might have been a bit too boring. This way, I can get more acquainted with the style of football and push on from there. It is seen as a long term sort of thing but secretly I think I would be disappointed if I wasn’t in the play-off picture at the end of the season!

  7. Darren Smith

    1 апреля, 2011 at 19:00

    Nice to see you back Dave and a great introduction…I love the name btw! :)

    You seem to have a good squad and should be hoping for a top six finish this year. I find your rules interesting and should make for a better story. Good luck mate.

    • David Wiggins

      2 апреля, 2011 at 03:56

      Thanks Darren! It’s good to be back but a bit annoyed that it is not with my UEC game!

      My media prediction is 9th so I always try and beat that! Top 6 sounds good to me :)

      I was going to implement more rules but couldn’t think of anymore when I was writing this up!

  8. Sears

    1 апреля, 2011 at 21:16

    Great to see you posting again Dave, this has the ingredients to be an exciting story :-)

    • David Wiggins

      2 апреля, 2011 at 04:26

      Thanks Sears! I hope so!

  9. CsAtlantis

    2 апреля, 2011 at 02:30

    Dave it’s going to be a huge challenge for FC Nantes, the club is struggling to get even 10,000 fans into the stadium at the moment so it is struggling financially, hopefully you can turn it around

    The club does have the facilities to help you though

    • David Wiggins

      2 апреля, 2011 at 05:03

      I didn’t realise that! Just had a quick look through the games I have played at home so far and the average attendence is around 16500. Ground holds 38000 which gives me more reason to use rule number 1 then!

  10. Lye

    2 апреля, 2011 at 13:00

    Hi David,

    Glad to see you continue your story over here. You must be loving those challenges as the self-restriction will be tight for your transfers. But i don’t foresee any problems. There are a lot of good players in France. I love French players in FM. It’s tough with no transfer fund but this is a building process. Good luck on your new venture.

    • David Wiggins

      2 апреля, 2011 at 20:36

      Thanks Lye! At the moment I don’t see any problems with the lack of transfer budget — all the youth team look more than capable of stepping up. The problem will be later down the line if too many experienced players go!

  11. MRDNRA

    2 апреля, 2011 at 22:19

    This is going to be an interesting story for sure.

    As for player hoarding, I too had a very major phase of that a few years ago playing Championship Manager 3, when I wasn’t even very good at the game at all, with Celtic I had something like 10 strikers with 20 finishing in the first team squad!!!!! That was back when all I looked for in players was passing, finishing, and tackling, so my whole squad consisted of defenders with 20 tackling, midfielders with 20 passing, and strikers with 20 finishing! And I still managed (coincidentally enough) 20 seasons before being sacked being 8th half way through the season.

    I sincerely believe you’re a better manager in terms of judging player ability than I was back then, so I can’t imagine you’ll have problems in finding good enough players, so hopefully they perform well for you. Good luck, and looking forward to seeing how the first half of the season goes.

    • David Wiggins

      2 апреля, 2011 at 22:54

      Thanks very much for the vote of confidence. I could possibly have my next installment up tonight so will be interested to see how well you and everyone think I am doing!

  12. Liam101

    3 апреля, 2011 at 01:16

    Hey Dave. this looks like a really interesting story. Not many people know about the french leagues in fm so hopefully this will teach us all something new.
    Good luck

  13. Ana Garcia

    3 апреля, 2011 at 15:51

    Really interesting story!

    Am looking forward to seeing just how you get on, France is a league I dont know much about so hopefully you can reach some success!!

    Good luck!


    • David Wiggins

      4 апреля, 2011 at 19:56

      Thanks Ana! Hopefully I should be ok. New post will be up as soon as I have finished my workshift and am back at home to write it!

  14. Excessive

    4 апреля, 2011 at 09:36

    Alright Dave, nice introduction their. Nantes have some great potential, underfilled stadium, good youth facilities and in ligue 2. Should be a great story!

    Mr Au Revouir, watch out for A.Baby ;)

    Good luck! Looking forward to the winter break upate.

    • David Wiggins

      4 апреля, 2011 at 20:05

      Thanks Jake! I have certainly got a team here that have a good base and I can build on!

      WIll I get done by the NSPCC if I set hard tackling on A. Baby?!

  15. Ben mr torquay united

    4 апреля, 2011 at 13:20

    your young left back looks a real talent. hopefully he doesnt rip to many trees up so to speak and flies under the radar of the big lads. i think give it 2/3 seasons when your challenging with the likes of lyon marsielle and that your struggle and regret selling your players for double the cash. but its all to frequent to hoard players. what tactics do you use and is there any chance of a screen shot??

    • David Wiggins

      4 апреля, 2011 at 20:14

      Thanks Ben! I know on other games I have played that Digne does well so hoping to get him permanently at the end of the season, keep him for 2 or 3 then sell for lots of money!
      It would be nice to be challenging the big boys by then but as you say, my self imposed rules could scupper that! After a while, I would have a lot of cash behind me to buy better players and maybe even sell them on for more. So in theory, it would help the club grow in the long term but who knows?!
      I will be writing about tactics in my next post but it is basically the same as Darren’s 4-5-1 which I have slightly adjusted to suit my team. There should be a link on the main page about it

  16. Alex

    7 апреля, 2011 at 10:55

    Hello David,

    Interesting challenge you have there, the ‘cash in for double’ rule seems like it could cause problems but at the same time it could help your club grow financially. I think promotion will be easy and I hope that in your next few updates my prediction will prove to be correct :D

    • David Wiggins

      7 апреля, 2011 at 18:02

      Yea, I’ve been thinking a lot about that rule the past couple of days and may have to adjust it slightly. I don’t want my rivals stealing my players so will still cash in for double the amount but only to clubs outside my current division!

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