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MARCH 2024

 

I always seem to have a month in Football Manager, where despite even if I am playing like a peak Manchester City, the wheels seem to come off. Now I fully appreciate that one victory, two draws, and a defeat, hardly feel like that kind of moment. Especially, considering the fact I am Nantes, who are predicted to close the league in tenth place.

 

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We managed to create 5.45 xG across these four games, losing the XG battle on the single occasion to OGC Nice (1.52 plays 1.66). In this game failed to hold onto our 2-1 lead, the below passes completed diagram shows that our opponent created far too many shooting opportunities centrally. 41% of OGC Nice’s passes were completed by Dante, Melvin Bard and Hicham Boudaoui down the left, taking advantage of the space vacated by our inverted wing-back.

 

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The result against Strasbourg was good considering we were down to ten men after 38 minutes, when Samuel Moutoussamy received his marching orders for a horror tackle, whilst the game against Metz seen us generate one of our lowest xG (0,62) of the season.

 


 

COUPE DE FRANCE SEMI FINAL

 

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Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Mostafa Mohamedcontinues Nantes exceptional Coupe de France form, the side from Brittany has secured progression to the Final, making it three appearances in three years.

 

Failure to progress would have been a result which went against the grain, we had an xG of 1.94 with seven shots coming inside our opponents area, compared to Monaco’s 0.49, and two shots.

 

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We will play Xavier García Pimienta’s side Marseille in the Final, a team which have an illustrious success in the tournament, victory would see them secure their 11th Coupe de France trophy.

 


 

APRIL 2024

 

April was a funny one, we secured a draw at home against Lyon, despite them being down to 10 men, after Corentin Tolisso was sent off in the 52nd minute. We had less xG than Havre 0.83 plays 0.46, however our only shot on target was all that was needed to secure a 1-0 victory.

 

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The month was closed off with a performance on the opposite end of the spectrum, 14 shots, 4 on target, and no goals from 2.27 xG. Another brutal reminder that despite this season’s valiant efforts, there is always room for improvement.

 


 

RENNES REDEMPTION

 

Nobody likes losing to their rivals, the return fixture at Stade de la Beaujoire provided an opportunity to the team to earn their redemption for the early season defeat to Julien Stéphan’s Rennes.

 

Mostafa Mohamed had been hauled off the pitch in the previous two games (6.5 vs Lyon, and 6.4 vs Havre), which meant there were an increased chance of him delivering due to his spikey form profile. Boy, oh boy did he do that, the Egyptian delivered another perfect 10 performance, his second of the campaign, and first in Ligue 1.

 

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With two goals from his five shots on target (1.8xG), he was deadly in front of goal. However, I wanted to highlight to you the above passes completed and received. Mohamed is playing in the role of the advanced forward, yet his ability on the pitch still reflects his best role/duty of Target Forward.

 

Note how many of his passes received (green) are centrally, and medium/long in length. Whilst the vast majority of his passes completed (black) are backwards, bringing teammates into play, aiding our progression up the pitch.

 

This really goes to show that you can play individuals outside of their favoured roles, yet their attributes will still impact their style of play in the role deployed on the tactics screen.

 

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Nicolas Cozza also played a key role in the outcome of the match, his six key passes carved out four clear cut chances (0.52, 0.48, 0.30, and 0.21).

 

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The above shot map impressed me with seven shots coming from inside the six-yard box, genuinely we could have walked away from this game with a few more goals than we converted. It really was the perfect victory!

 


 

FORWARD LOOK

 

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With three games left to play in Ligue 1, we are well and truly locked in a battle with Monaco, Lens, and Nice, in the hunt for UEFA Champions League Football. Both Lens, and Monaco go into these games with superior form, whilst OGC Nice still have to play PSG.

 

Oliver Glasner’s Lille could also play a huge part in the lay of the land as they face both ourselves and OGC Nice. Whilst we also play Monaco on the final day of the season.

 

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Whilst the prize money in France isn’t game-changing, the money from securing continental qualification and the potential additional revenue stream which this achievement will bring could well be game changing for the club. We currently have a net debt of £36,777,039, the goal is to clear this and then start to work on improving the infrastructure at the club, with the goal of creating a talent factory

Author

  • 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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