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I have been a little busier than usual with regards to both work and family life, therefore todays update is a little more shorthand, bringing you up to speed with the goings on in Nantes.

 

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The last two months (in game) have been full of both highs (victory over Borussia Dortmund in the UCL, and drawing against PSG in Ligue 1), and lows (largest defeat in Ligue 1 vs Marseille 0-3, and our UEFA Champions League exit in the round of 16 to Milan).

 

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We closed off the month with a Coupe de France Quarter Final victory over Lille, with Mostafa Mohamed again ending a large run of games without scoring, a trend which we have now become well accustomed to. The Egyptian has now scored 19 times this campaign, albeit his ten in Ligue 1 is half his 20 from last campaign.

 

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Taking a closer look at the leagues form table, should we be a little concerned? OGC Nice could well be in with a shout for securing the Ligue 1 title, Francesco Farioli’s side are on a 23 game unbeaten streak, with this sort of form they should continue to push PSG very, very close. Whilst both Marseille, and Monaco both are impressing, which could well see us close the campaign in fifth place, our form away from home, not quite matching our performances at Stade de la Beaujoire.

 

YOUTH INTAKE

 

Angelo Carbone may well have been in post for less than a year. However, the Nantes Head of Youth Development has delivered, with four players in the elite category.

 

JULIEN MALANDAIN

 

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The first of the bunch is Julien, who is a highly determined individual who possesses great handling, reflexes, and agility. Some core attributes already ticked off for him becoming a future number 1 at the club.

 

XAVIER CLAVAUD

 

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Xavier has a strong physical profile for his age, yet despite having excellent technique, and flair, he technically doesn’t appear to offer too much at this early stage. After studying his profile, I think the best option is to initially consider Xavier as an inside forward, utilising his speed off the mark, agility, and technical skills.

 

PAPE SECK

 

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It isn’t very often when your youth intake includes a 15 year old, who holds a two star current ability, let alone three attributes which are 16 or above. Pape Seck is that guy, with elite flair, he is a footballing magician, who is technically adept, good at finishing chances, and can accurately pick out teammates when on the ball.

 

The fact that Pape is Nantes, born and bred, really excites me! He could well become the future of the club!

 

ALBAN MIRANDE

 

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Unlike Xavier, Albine holds a more well rounded profile, he is an accurate passer of the ball, who is technically adept. His mixture of bravery, teamwork, and natural fitness, could see him deployed as an advanced playmaker due to him not being strong enough, or mentally astute with regards to his positioning.

 

RECRUITMENT

 

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Looking at the above minutes played to-date, it is clear to see that we don’t have a rotation option available for Nicolas Cozza, the 26 year old has played 22% more minutes than second place Alban Lafont.

 

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Considering he has played nearly every game this season, his outputs are still impressive, with Nicolas producing a high number of key passes per 90, creating a high number of open play expected assists. His numbers have dropped off a little compared to last season, particularly dribbles which have decreased from 3.22 to 2.91, most likely due to not having the energy reserves, opting to progress the ball by the pass. His average rating has also dropped a little from 7.21 to 7.12.

 

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The above highlighted the need to recruit, when searching for wing-backs there really is only one true starting point, Brazil. The country has a rich history in producing top class defenders, including the likes of Marcelo, Dani Alves, Roberto Carlos, and Cafu.

 

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My scouting team, well Pedro Alves brought a 22 year old from Palmeiras to my attention. Vanderlan is capped at U23 level, and his top speed enabled him to outpace players, he is a consistent performer, with the love of big matches. He already has traits of hugging the touchline, and tries long range passes, you’d have to agree, he has potential.

 

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I am hopeful that the deal for the Brazilian will potentially be the last one we have to make at the club for a while, as we now have significant depth, with a good spread of players in the youth sides which are capable of helping out if needed.

 


 

INFRASTRUCTURE

 

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There have also been some more positive changes in relation to the infrastructure, the board agreeing to invest heavily in the improvement of youth facilities. Most importantly, a deal has been arranged with Grenoble in Ligue 2, they will become our new affiliate club, and will absolutely be utilised next season with regards to providing our young talent a platform to showcase their ability in the second tier of the French pyramid.

 

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FORWARD LOOK

 

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With only Ligue 1 to focus on, each and every point will be hard-fought from here on in, to secure passage to the UEFA Champions League again would be immense, and help to ensure we can continue to secure the talent we have at the club, through offering improved contracts.

 

I leave you today with the below, just a flavour of things to come here in Nantes. FYI this was from an U19 game. However, it’s not very often you see three perfect scores handed out!

 

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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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