It’s the Winter break in France, but instead of letting the lads jet off to sunnier climes, I arranged a few friendlies against some local teams. Neither of them cost much to arrange, and all of them come with some guaranteed income, so the team and the finances all benefit. Happy days.
I’d mistakenly setup with one of my coaches taking control of our friendly matches, so the first one – against SO Cholet – resulted in the first blemish of my managerial career thus far, a 1-1 draw.
Once I took control, we got back into winning ways, with victories against AC Saint-Brevin, Thouars Foot 79, and Doué-la-Fontaine. All of these clubs are in lower leagues than us, so I can’t crow too much about the wins.
The biggest match to date was up next, a Coupe de France 9th round tie against Ligue 1 team, FC Nantes. I was in two minds about the formation for this one and, ultimately, I decide to play a more defensive / counter-attacking 4-2-4, ditching the 4-3-3 that’s worked well so far. We lost 2-1, so it wasn’t good enough to get us the victory, but we didn’t embarrass ourselves, and that was a victory of sorts. That said, the press comments before the match suggested that we might sneak a draw, and Nantes had only won once in their last 7 matches, so maybe we should’ve done better. 🤷
Away tie against SAS Epinal, sitting one place below us in 11th. (We’ve jumped to 10th, how did that happen?). I revert back to our 4-3-3 system and we win 3-0, although 2 of these goals were penalties, so it wasn’t quite as emphatic as it sounds.
The final match for this update was a home-tie against Paris FC, who I imagine are the Parisian hipster club of choice. They started the game a couple of places above us but, after the success of my opening games, I got a bit cocky and kept with my attacking formation. Unfortunately, we were found out and were soundly beaten 3-1.