32 points is what I thought it would take to avoid the relegation playoffs. This year, 32 points took you straight down to Ligue 2.
By the time we reached December, my target had been – rather optimistically, it now seems – shifted upwards to 44 points. I can tell you right now that we did not achieve 44 points.
I haven’t updated much throughout the second half of season 5, because we’ve been so teeth-grindingly awful. Our record from January thru February is pretty bad, but we’re not falling back into the relegation places so I’m still fairly confident.
But it’s March where the wheels really come off. In fact, we don’t win another match until the penultimate game of the season, against mid-table Montpellier.
Fortunately, we do manage to grab the occasional draw, and by the time that win comes, we’ve already managed to secure our position in Ligue 1, to the delight of the board, and the fans. And to my relief.
Our final position is 16th. Most of the season was spent bouncing between 11th and 15th, so it was a bit disappointing to drop to 16th as the season closed. Still, the media had us finishing 18th, and we were 950-1 for the title, so I’m just happy we didn’t get relegated.
None of the team feature in the end of season awards, nor do they appear in any of the top Player Stats lists. In fact, only a few players managed to get an average rating of > 7 all season.
So, it’s back to the drawing board next year. And with a vastly reduced transfer budget, too. I’ve no idea where all the money’s going, since I was under both the transfer and wage budget last year, but we’re now carrying a bunch of debt and I’ve been given 400k to spend in the transfer market. On top of that, last year’s signings weren’t great, so I’m going to have to do better this year.
My own profile is not looking too bad, though. This year, I managed to get both my National B and A Licences, and as soon as the season finished, the board allowed me to start studying for my Continental C Licence. I’ve also reached double figures in a few Coaching attributes: Attacking, Technical, Mental, and Motivating.
Next year’s going to be another struggle, I feel. And if I can’t do much more with Troyes than save them from the drop, it might be time to look elsewhere at the end of season 6.