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Evian – Season 2 Report

Hello friends! Welcome to another episode of my journey through French football. I wanted to post this yesterday but I was having internet troubles. I hope you guys don’t mind so much FM in one day (shout out to Stromson: I hope you get your save to work, man). Anyway, here goes my second season with Les Savoyards.

We had a short pre-season. For some reason a lot of my scheduled friendlies fell through. But the team was going through changes for most of the summer, so I couldn’t put a lot of stock in them anyway.

We were supposed to play Ajax, Everton and FC Nantes, but they all fell through because of random scheduling conflicts. So on to the real season.

August

We started out with an annoying loss against Toulouse. We controlled most of the game but couldn’t put our chances away. Toulouse had a few decent chances and they managed to capitalize on one of them, unlike us. I really hope that this isn’t some kind of indication for the rest of our season! Our next game was at Lille, where we graced their brand new stadium as the first opponents. And we spoiled their celebrations with a win thanks to a brace from Faye! Before our next game, I was able to quickly tie up another striker and send Adnane packing. New Iranian international Hosain Ebrahimi. His agent offered him to me and he has some good stats. He was pretty expensive (half a million pounds) given our but Adnane’s transfer more than made up for it.

As you can see, his stats are pretty solid for a player of his age. He will definitely have his chances this season to shine and I think we might have a star in the making. We won our next game against Nancy-Lorraine, with Faye getting on the score sheet again. It was a scrappy game and I am proud of our win. This was followed by a draw against Nice; a game we really should have won but we couldn’t find the back of the net.

September

We started the month with 2 games against Herault, one in the league and one in the Coupe de la Ligue. Herault won the first match, which was another scrappy game. If I was a neutral spectator I would have really enjoyed it. The second match was far less enjoyable. It ended with Asatiani putting it into the back of our own net and leading to an early end for our Coupe de la Ligue campaign =( But we still have the Coupe de France to look forward to.

A quick question before we move on. Is there a benefit to having more than one coach training a particular category? My board recently decided to allow me to hire more than 8 coaches so I was wondering, does that have any benefit? My coaches all already give me at least 3.5 stars for every category and I doubt I will be able to find better, so is there a benefit to simply having more coaches?

Back to the game! We had a good draw away from home to Bordeaux. We were the better team but we didn’t create many chances. Faye scored again. That makes it 5 times in 6 games. I wish the others would start firing as well, particularly Jayiya. Ferreyra is convincing me to let him go at the next window. We faced PSG next and recorded a crazy win. Both teams played poorly and in the end it took an own goal from their defender to give us the win. I was hoping for a repeat performance, but defending champions Lyon crushed us. With that came a torn hamstring to our top scorer, Faye, who will be out for 3 months. It was a cruel end to September.

October

We started with a loss to Rennais. My strikers just can’t seem to find the net. This patchy form is making me sweat and I keeping having memories of last season. I am definitely scared but I don’t want to make any snap decisions. Maybe the team just needs more time to gel and find their form? But they have mastered my primary formation. I just don’t know what to think . . . I felt a little better after Coutadeur scored a brace to give us a 2 – 1 over Auxierre. On the downside, our misfiring strikers, Jayiya and Sagbo are out for a month each through injury. We won our next game against relegation candidates, Havre, but then lost our last game of the month to Caen. Caen has been a constant thorn in our side. We have never even registered a draw against them, only losses. I hope to change that the next time we face them.

November

I just realized, I totally forgot to include the season’s odds and I can’t find it anymore. Next season I will make sure I include that information. But the media prediction under the club information tab says we will end up in 20th. I already proved them wrong once, so here goes again! We started the month with a frustrating draw against Dijon. Dijon really parked the bus for this one. Against Marseille it was we who parked the bus and ended up drawing. We started off positively, but OM were causing us nightmares and I knew the team didn’t have it in them. Our next game was a well-deserved win against Sochaux. But surprise, surprise, Mensah is out again for 2 weeks. At the end of the season I will post his injury history.

December

We started the month off with a frustrating draw against USBCO. My team lacks the cutting edge right now. We really need Faye back since Jayiya is not stepping up. The next match, we piled on the misery for last place Chateauroux who have only found 4 points so far this season. However, we were paid back with interest as Etienne gave us a lesson in football the game after. In the next game we overcame Lorient, thanks to Faye who is back from his injury. He now has 6 goals in 10 games. But he reinjured himself and will be out for another 2 weeks. Same injury, re-aggravated. We ended the month with a victory in a friendly against Lazio (France has a winter break).

January

Most of this month is devoid of football but the African cup of nations is going on and I’ve lost Mensah, Mongongu, and Jayiya. Our first match of the month was a Coupe de France match against league leaders Lille, while we are in 9th. But I still have Faye, and he pushed us over Lille. We’re staying in the cup! Tours, a Ligue 2 team, won it last season and I can’t help but hope that it’s us this year. I also had an opportunity to reevaluate my season’s goals. I decided to play safe and stay with the mid-table finish. I didn’t want to tempt fate. Our next game was also against Lille, and Faye came unchained with a superb hat-trick. Maybe a top-half finish is in the cards for us? Although, it was around this time last season that we were derailed so I should keep my hope to the minimum. Right now, I just need to worry about our next Coupe de France match, against OM. I still can’t believe it. This was a great January that we ended with a win against OM. Faye has 12 goals in 13 games. He is by far my best purchase during my tenure at Evian.

February

We started the month with a fortunate win against Nancy-Lorraine. Our young midfielder, Saillen, opened his account with the club by seizing on a terrible mistake by the opposing fullback. Our next match was an easy Coupe de France encounter against 4th tier Cherbourg. We’re one step closer to (hopefully) claiming the cup. Our next game was a frustrating draw to Nice. After that, we suffered a setback as we lost to Herault. It was another game where we were in control for most of it but got hit on the counter. It was especially frustrating because Faye was brought down in the penalty box but the referee didn’t award us a penalty. I was hoping we would bounce back the next game, but Bordeaux managed to hold us to a draw (I know, it’s surprising but they had to keep us from winning it). Faye won the team its first award of the year, by winning goal of the month for his strike in the draw against Nice. I wanted to upload it, but I am having some troubles. If I can get it to work, I will add it as an update to the bottom of this post.

March

We’re at risk for falling into another rut. We’ve just been handed a tough run of matches, and our next one was against PSG. There was little hope of us winning and we duly lost. This is unfortunate. Our quarterfinal match in the Coupe de France was against Lyon. We’ve had to face 3 of the top teams in France over the course of this cup. Faye was injured and sadly we ended up crashing out of the cup. But we weren’t in the clear just yet, because our next match in the league was also against Lyon. This is just an odd coincidence that we keep facing the same team in the league and the cups, back to back. Lyon beat us again, although this time the game was much closer. I needed to have a team meeting after morale dropped from our 6 game winless streak, but the team seems to have plucked up. We got crushed by Rennais in our next match and the team seems to be on the verge of a meltdown. Mongongu wants to leave and Jayiya and Sagbo have no confidence. And they shouldn’t because they have been terrible. Maybe the team meeting did help because we dominated Auxierre in the next match and we announced a new intake of youth. Sadly, this year’s crop doesn’t have any Ay’s in them. We ended March with a boring draw against Havre.

April

So, 9 games left and we are in 10th place. I know my negative talk earlier made it seem like we were free-falling into the relegation zone — believe me, that’s how it felt — but we’ve been better than last season and the other teams below us have slipped up more. The highest we can realistically finish is 9th because of the huge gap from 9th to 8th. Maybe I should have gone for the top-half finish :D Even if everything goes terribly, the lowest we can come in is 18th. But obviously I’m not looking at that end of the table. It frustrates me, though, that the team collapses around January – February. Maybe I need to schedule more friendlies. In any case, we are still in position to make it to the top half of the league and I am not giving that up.  In that spirit, we finally defeated Caen and we gave them a hammering. It felt wonderful to finally get revenge! After that we smashed Dijon before a loss in a friendly against Monaco. But we ended the month with a resounding win against Marseille!

 

May

The team has finally decided to pull itself up and it looks like we’re going to get through this with flying colors! I guess signing players with high determination did the trick end. As did Darren’s team talk guide. Seriously, take a look at it if you haven’t already.

Back to the game: 6 matches left. We are in 9th, only 5 points behind 8th place PSG. The lowest we can now come in is 16th, so relegation is no longer a threat but I plan on staying in the top half.

The other piece of great news is that Jung is on the 3 man shortlist to win keeper of the year! I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Our first game of the month was an awesome 3 – 0 over Sochaux, followed by thrashings of USBCO and Chateauroux, but our streak ended with a loss to Etienne and a draw with Lorient.

June

So the last month had one game in it against Toulouse, who won the Coupe de France and were finalists in the Coupe de la Ligue. Going into the match, they were in 3rd. OM won both the Coupe de la Ligue and the Ligue 1. So 2 years of consecutive doubles in France. We went into the game in 8th place, but a 1-1 draw saw us end the season in 9th. I don’t care, I am just too happy that we finished in the top half! Maybe I have what it takes to be a great manager after all :P Just kidding, but the team did really well and I am very proud of them.

I owe the guy an apology. I know I ragged on him a decent amount during the first half of the season, but he really picked up his game during the second half. He ended the season with a 7.12 and in 31 appearances managed 8 goals and 11 assists.

Mongongu was a rock in the back and I am delighted that he was picked to the team of the year. None of my other players won awards, but they were all solid. I felt bad for Jung, but Hugo Lloris was in frightening form. I think some of you will recognize Niang from Darren’s Malaga campaign. I don’t know what vitamins the kid is taking, but at 18 he was the top scorer of the past season, with 24 goals in 32 appearances. Caen will have a tough time keeping him, I’m sure.

Faye was my highest rated player by a decent margin and my top scorer with 17 goals. I had 10 players crack 7. Evian will be all right.

There we are, proudly in the top half! It looks like Lyon had some trouble and they all better watch out because next season Evian is going to be on the war path!

As promised, this is Mensah’s injury history over the past 2 seasons. He is actually injured right now and will be for at least another 9 days.

So that’s it from Thonon-les-Bains for now. This season I’ve learned that I can trust youth. Next year you will see the team get slightly younger as Degen and Tavares bow out. On top of that, I’ve learned the important of the determination attribute and how to conduct good team talks. I guess I was affirmed in my practice of signing players who are all ambitious, thus giving my squad an overall ambitious personality. I still need to find out about the coaches but more desperately upgrade my facilities. I will also be looking for strikers — Faye can’t shoulder all the scoring responsibility himself. I need to also get better at wielding my shouts, but that is a more long-term goal. That’s all for now! Stay tuned for my next season during which Evian will hopefully qualify for the Europa League!

 

 

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CsAtlantis
9 years ago

Jung Sung Ryong is doing just fine (too bad you missed out on Joris Delle, he is a leading Ligue 1 GK for me now :D) but your team did MUCH better, you went from barely surviving to top half finish!

Mongongu and Jayiya were in top form, and Coutadeur seems to have done well enough (you might have paid a bit too much for him but never mind, he is a good player)

Good luck for next season, how are your finances looking like now?

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  CsAtlantis

Thanks mate! I’ve already started on the next season and I can tell you right now I’ll need a lot of new players. Quite a few members of my starting 11 are being targeted by big teams, including Jung, Mensah, Mongongu, Coutadeur, and Jayiya. I’m fairly certain I can get pretty good sums for each of them, except maybe Coutadeur. He has been good but probably not worth the 7mil I paid. Still, he could end up being a “franchise player.” Hopefully next season my team will keep pushing and I want to see us in Europe! In terms of finances, we haven’t been given next season’s T.V. fee yet, but at the moment we are sitting nicely at a little under 9mil.

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
9 years ago

Thats a very good season, seeing how you struggled last season. You do well against big teams sometimes, so that helps your team as well. Faye was good, and Mongongu was super as well!

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  vaibhavc

Thank you! Faye was a great purchase. And next season I would like to record some wins against Lyon and PSG!

Nik
Nik
9 years ago

Great season mate! Despite all the injuries you managed a great spot.
As for your question, it’s recommended that you have some coaches to ease the workload. Regarding the injuries, it might be a training problem. Do you have a downloaded training program or do you use your own? Despite the fact that most of Mensah’s injuries were during the match, it might be that it could be prevented by better training. There is a thread by Karp on the site. Maybe try using preseason training. Also I think that it has to do with the stat called natural fitness. i.e. a player with good natural fitness has less probabilities of getting injured.
You are spoiling us dude with the daily posts :P Yesterday I was looking for it eagerly. Keep up the good work!

TheZiggy
9 years ago
Reply to  Nik

I don’t normally do this, but I think it’s best to correct something you said about Natural Fitness.

I also used to think that Natural Fitness must be related to how often a player gets injured, but that has been blown apart for me this year. There must be some hidden attribute that your coaches and scouts can see. I have a player, Eunan O’Kane at Torquay, and he has only 6 for his Natural Fitness, but everyone tells me he will hardly ever succumb to injury. I’ve over half way through our 2nd season, and he’s not had one injury.

Natural Fitness seems to be how quickly you recover after a match, and probably after suffering an injury. It can mean that if you keep pushing a player like that too much, they will get an injury due to the low Natural Fitness. The lower this attribute is, the quicker a player will also start to lose their match fitness if they haven’t been playing.

That does mean players with high Natural Fitness can be injury prone, and you have to hope your staff can tell you which ones those are before you sign them.

High Natural Fitness attribute is more desirable, just because players recover quicker between matches but it isn’t everything.

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  TheZiggy

Thanks for the info guys. To answer Nik’s question, I use UGO’s training schedules. I have 4 solid physios and in general I tend to sign players with low injury proneness stats. I will definitely look into this thread and when I was checking my training page it says that my players are happy with the level of training. If adjustments are needed, then I will definitely look into it.

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  TheZiggy

Nik, can you clear one thing up for me regarding easing the workload. So right now I have 8 coaches and my assistant and each of them trains only one category. I can hire however, 10 coaches now. So is it worth it to hire 2 more coaches? Will it help train my players better even if the overall training rating for the category does not increase?

Nik
Nik
9 years ago
Reply to  TheZiggy

I stand corrected. I looked into it after what you’ve told me ziggy. The definition according to the manual is:

How fit a player is as standard – his base level of fitness. It affects how many games he is likely to be able to perform to peak physical fitness in before becoming noticeably tired and susceptible to injury.

A more explanatory definition:
How high the player’s natural fitness is. How well he stays fit when injured or not training. This will help players recover more quickly from injury and will help them to be able to stay fit as they go past their peak.
Thank you for correcting me mate!

Bhargav I am not really sure I know the answer. I’ve read at various sites that it’s a good thing to add one or two more coaches to ease the workload. I’ve also read that people believe that you should use youth coaches as extras to help with the progression of your youngsters. Plus in the new game you assign players to coaches to teach them new moves and I am still trying to understand how this works and whether it affects the workload.
So I am a bit confused as well. When I am stable financially I take some extra coaches to ease the workload and I am looking to add coaches that will give me extra knowledge of countries. But that’s me.

Darren Smith
Admin
9 years ago

Your early season form was worrying mate but you came back and managed a very nice finish. Moving in the right direction and as said before you are building well.

P.S. Just a little tip for your images. You may have noticed that when clicking on them the reader is taken to a separate screen. This can be stopped easily. Just upload the image as normal but before clicking ‘insert into post’ Click the ‘file URL’ button found just above your align options. Does that make sense? This will make it so the image enlarges on the same screen when clicked on and should solve your image problems if used correctly as the reader can quickly enlarge the image.

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

Thanks Darren! I’ve been trying to figure out how to do that haha. From next time the posts should be a little cleaner.

Kevin
9 years ago

Hi Bhargav
The way your results were coming out I expected to see you near the relegation zone but was absolutely delighted to see Evian in the top half of the table. This is a vast improvement on last season and if you can bolster up your front line I can see you making steps towrds Europe. Can’t remeber what tactic you are using but though you may want to look at your player position settings in relation to indivdual attributes to get the best out of your team. Anyway, good job and a much better season!

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Thanks Kevin! I am using a slightly modified version of the Barcelona tactic. Faye and Jayiya are pretty similar strikers, IMO, but since Faye was better I put him in the central role while Jayiya had to play defensive striker. He probably would have scored more if he was in the central role, but Faye definitely did a better job. I guess this season since I should have a much bigger transfer kitty, I should look into players who are more specialized to fill the roles on my team.

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
9 years ago

Very good season Bhargav, 9th is a solid position, and with your points tally you were a bit unlucky not to finish even higher. It seems like you’re improving every season, so with a couple more additions in pre season, hopefully you can challenge for Europe next season :)

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  Laxeyman

Thanks Laxeyman! It was quite a close table. If we had won the final match against Toulouse we could have finished in 6th and been in Europe (granted a few other matches had gone our way)! Next season I am aiming for a 5th place finish. We will see if I can actually pull it off.

Johnny Karp
9 years ago

Not a bad season at all, far away from relegation and even pretty close to the European section. I second Darren’s suggestion about the images, the same thing is mentioned in the tutorial that I have sent you but if you have any trouble please email me.

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Thanks Johnny! Hopefully next season, Evian can join Viitorul in Europe!
Also, I will make sure to streamline the picture formatting for next time.

TheZiggy
9 years ago

Great to see the progress you’ve made, by finishing in the top half. March was tough having to meet top teams after a slight dip. That thing of meeting clubs in the cup at the same time as you play in the league is one of those weird coincidences, which I’ve seen in real life quite a bit as well.

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  TheZiggy

Thanks you, Ziggy! It’s tough when we have to play multiple strong teams back-to-back, but handling that is what makes a good team great! Hopefully, we can join the upper echelon of French football next season.

Martin - F.M.J.S
9 years ago

Hi Bhargav

Well done on a better finish this season. Keep up the good work and hopefully next season you can grab that European spot. Good Luck :)

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago

Thank you, Martin! I think the boys have it in them to push for it.

Martin Pickard
9 years ago

Well done on a very productive season…your team is show signs of becoming a successful ligue 1 team. I sense that there could be a few upsets next season. All the best…looking forward to the next installment.

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  Martin Pickard

Thank you, sir! I hope we quickly become a juggernaut in France and maybe Europe as well :P

Ana Garcia
9 years ago

A good season!

I knew Faye would be a good forward for you, I have found that off the ball seems to be the best attribute when looking for a forward. In South Africa both top scorers had decent composure and finishing but very high off the ball and they scored loads!

I always look for good determination but also speed and technique, they tend to be the better performers for me!

Whats the rules in terms of foreign transfers in France? Its a place I have never managed in so am interested in how it works.

Good luck on your striker hunt! I always struggle to find good goalscorers so I hope you have some better luck than me and good luck on next season also. :)

Nik
Nik
9 years ago
Reply to  Ana Garcia

Does that mean that your next station in your story is not France? Or maybe it is… Oh I can’t wait anymore! :)

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  Ana Garcia

Thanks Ana! Faye really needs some help up front, so this is some great advice.

France has really nice, simple rules. Your squad can have up to 99 players and at most 4 of them can be non-EU. You have to register all players you want to field, unlike England where under 21’s don’t need to be registered, but 99 is quite a generous cap. While the 4 non-EU rule looks really strict, most African players seem to be exempt. I think they automatically French citizenship if they are from a former colony (I will look into that a little more). In terms of the transfer windows, there are the 2 regular windows and in-between them, from September to January is the “Joker Window” where you can sign 1 player from any team in France, and only that one. I haven’t used it yet, which is why I’ve never mentioned it.

Ana Garcia
9 years ago
Reply to  Bhargav

Thanks Bhargav!

African players do not count I believe due to an agreement (the name escapes me for now!) but it sounds the same as Spain.

Spanish teams are allowed players from Africa due to this agreement and as such do not count towards the EU cap. This is to help emerging countries from Africa and elsewhere.

I am presuming that a similar system is in place in France.

Its a bit like Portugal where you are are more than free to sign anyone you like, one last question! How long does it take to obtain French citizenship?

@ Nik – LoL! Thanks!! I will unveil it after x-mas. :)

Neily_b
Neily_b
9 years ago

Guys, I know that his is not specific to this story but please check out this and tell me if this is the best hat-trick you ever seen on FM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYCKPiwM8Ko&feature=plcp&context=C3ed5185UDOEgsToPDskL3sNQBtX4jkHMBPdZr0v23

Callum
Callum
9 years ago

Hi, great story! I’m sure you’ll be challenging for a place in europe next season, as long as you can keep faye, jung and mongongu fit! I was also wondering, as you’re new, how you go about doing a story? I’ve just started a new game as Ipswich and would love to do one!

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