Three calendar months separate Nantes from a potential place in the UEFA Champions League, not bad considering we were predicted to close the season in 11th place in Ligue 1.



Looking at the top fours previous positions, I think it would be fair to say that I’d be happy to ‘stop the count’ and secure the third place finish. We still have the second highest expected points in the league, and are only outperforming that by three points.



In the league we had a mixed bag of results, the 5-1 victory over Lens was one of our best performances this campaign.



Florent Mollet drove the team against Frank Haise’s side, seeing plenty of the ball in the oppositions left side half-space, he managed to take all of his shots from inside the box, scoring two, and also assisting another.


Unfortunately, this result was followed up by a lacklustre draw against Toulouse, before the defeat to PSG. I want to remind you this was our first defeat at home all season, and we are still yet to lose a game by more than a single goal.



The result against PSG in the Coupe De France highlights just how hard we are to breakdown, we managed to limit France’s only true super team to eight shots, worth 0.71xG, thats 0.09 xG per shot.


Mostafa Mohamed came to our rescue in the games against Lorient, and AS Saint-Étienne, coming off the bench in both games to score five goals from eight shots.



The Egyptian becomes the first Nantes player to score a perfect match rating, he also leads the league in terms of average minutes per goal (98.50), with Gaëtan Laborde in second place with a goal every 105.29 minutes. If he can improve on his conversion rate (26%) it would see him take his game to the elite level, for information purposes Georges Mikautadze is Ligue 1’s most deadliest striker with a 37% conversion rate.





I often see comments on social media surrounding tactics where roles appear to not be complementary. Those where the selected player roles look as if they will occupy the same space, example IF/AM, or MEZ/IW.


I will try and myth bust here, below is an example of how these roles interact and bounce off each other, the Football Manager match engine is on point!


IF (support) – with added player instructions ‘Hold Up Ball’, ‘Roam From Position’, and ‘Sit Narrower’.


AM (attack) – positioned off centre, with added player instructions ‘Take More Risks’, ‘Dribble More’, ‘Roam From Position’, and ‘Move Into Channels’.



  1. Initially Mollet (AM) attacks the channel between Papetti and Danso, here he is positioned to the right of the lone striker, whilst Kadewere (IF) holds his position wide.
  2. Mollet is tackled by Danso and Lens counter, until Chirivella wins the ball back in our half.
  3. The ball is played to Kadewere, who has the ‘sit narrow’ PI, this time Mollet looks to exploit the other channel down the opponents right. despite Mollet playing the ball to Cozza.
  4. Mollet drops into the pocket in the AM strata to receive the pass, playing the pass to Kadewere who takes the ball into the opponents box, who shoots and scores.





As previously stated in the last update, I had to explore securing the signature of Cozza, his performances this season have been exceptional for Nates, contributing with eight assists in Ligue 1 (2nd place), whilst commanding an average rating of 7.17.



Cozza, an individual with a love for big matches, shows his ability to perform consistently in the league, perfectly highlighted in the above image.


His pizza chart below shows his ability to win the ball cleanly (84% tackle success), his ability to progress the ball via passing, or dribbling, and of course his ability to play a killer pass.



Defensively Cozza is performing above average in key metrics for his role, his 4.38 tackles attempted per match is significantly above average, he also shows a good ability to read the game, which is reflected in his interceptions.



Creatively the defender is in his element, 0.41 assists per 90, an assist nearly ever other game is an output that most number 10’s would dream of. Cozza is creating a high number of open play expected assists and is again leading the charts in terms of this creative metric.



After approaching his agent, we were surprised that a deal could be agreed between £5-7m, at this price point, it would be foolish of me not to react. A structured deal was agreed, it was our only option given we only had £1.7m in the transfer budget, we agreed a deal which totals £5.5 million, with £2 million to be paid upfront and the rest in instalments over the next 36 months.



The transfer did come at a cost, we were £300k short on the initial payment of £2 million, after approaching the board with a request to add to our transfer budget, which was rejected, we had to accept a big from Strasbourg for one of our youth talents Malang Gomes, the young midfielder agreeing to move for £575k and a sell on clause which will see 25% of his next transfer owed to Nantes.






With 33 points still to play for, there are no easy games between now and the close of the season. Only Monaco stand between ourselves and another Coupe de France Final, Nantes have become a bit of a cup specialist winning the final in 2021/22 against OGC Nice, and losing it in 2022/23 against Toulouse. (FYI Marseille play OGC Nice in the other Semi).


  • SteinkelssonFM

    SteinkelssonFM is a distinguished tactician in the Football Manager community, celebrated for bridging the virtual and real football worlds through meticulous analysis. His knack for recreating iconic real-world tactics in-game, like Mário Zagallo’s 1970 Seleção strategy, offers a nostalgic yet innovative gameplay experience. An active blogger on Medium and WordPress, SteinkelssonFM shares his football philosophies and FM adventures, enriching the community with guides on youth development and tactical masterclasses. His contributions extend to the official Football Manager website, affirming his position as a reliable mentor for aspiring virtual football managers. Through his content, SteinkelssonFM continues to blend historical football charm with modern-day FM gameplay.

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