AS Saint-Etienne - Keeping the crown?

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The Revival of a King

AS Saint-Etienne have won a record 10 Ligue 1 titles, this is more than any other teams in French football. Although this was in the 60s and 70s, the record of achievement should not be underestimated. The challenge in this save is to make sure that AS Saint-Etienne maintain their crown and do not let the big money spending PSG steal their crown.

It has been 8 years since the club has won a trophy, with that being the Coupe De La Ligue in 2012-2013. This quickly needs to change if we want to make sure PSG does not take our crown.


The squad

​Similar to how Travis Comery showed his Wolves team, I would like to highlight the three most important players to our squad going in to the first season.


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Loic Perrin


The legend that is Loic Perrin for AS Saint-Etienne. The 33 year old centre back who has played his whole career at Saint-Etienne will be crucial to keeping up squad morale and will hopefully prove to be a rock at the back with his experience.



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Wahbi Khazri

After signing Khazri for a massive 10 million Euros last season, Khazri will hopefully be the most influential player for us. He will be playing out to the left this season and with any luck, provide as many goals as possible.


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Stephane Ruffier

Choosing the last key player was tough, we have quite a few players who could be a standout this season. However, I have gone for our number one keeper because I think It will be vital to have a solid keeper this season. In an attempt to enter Europe we need to make sure we have someone keeping clean sheets, and with Ruffier I believe that is possible.


Transfer aims and list

I think it was
quite evident from the get go that we do not have a real goal scoring threat...

Robert Beric has scored 16 goals in 47 appearances.
Lois Diony ( a ten million signing) has never scored for the club, although he was loaned out to Bristol City in his second season.
Denis Bouanga (new signing from Lorient) may provide the goals we need, but I am not convinced

Our second need is that of a centre midfielder who can go forward. We currently have three or four amazing centre midfielders who are very defensive;

Yann M'Vila
Jean-Eudes Aholou
Assane Diousse

However, going forward, there is not anyone who I feel can do that role comfortably so we will need to search for a young talent there .

Apart from those two positions I think we will be able to attempt a shot at trying to finish in the top six this season and going for continental football.
We have £7m to spend on players but on £500 wage budget, so I will need to move on a few players who will not be playing this season.

Transfer list:

Alpha Sissoko 22yr old RB - Just not good enough to be starting or on the bench. With three years left on his deal I think its best to move on

Rayan Souici 21yr old CB - Again, not good enough to be in the first team and has only a year left on his deal. We can make this move because we have the young William Saliba on loan at the club from some unknown English club called Arsenal.

Theo Vermot 22yr old GK - 5th choice keeper is never a good name tag, but here we go.


In the next update I will provide all the transfer dealings at the club and the pre-season results.

Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
 
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Pre-Season Results and News


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Where to start...

We won a trophy! - We travelled to Cardiff for a friendly cup and I think it turned out to be quite a good test as it was against teams that could be tricky. We managed to see off Greuther Furth thanks to a own goal but we did dominate the play. If anything, this highlighted the need of a striker.
The final was played against former premier league team Cardiff. A game we dominated again, including the double slavo from Khazri. - I really do think we will rely on him quite a lot this season.

Two testimonials in a pre-season? - This was the first time I had ever seen two players in the squad receive a game in their honour.
Quite obviously the legend himself Loic Perrin deserved this after spending 23 years at the club and playing 338 games for the club.
The absolute drumming of Villarreal was wonderful to see, even if it was because we had two penalties.

The second testimonial was for Jessy Moulin, and if anything, was deserved more than Loic Perrin. This man has been at AS Saint-Etienne for 20 years but had only played 13 competitive games. Talk about wanting to be at the club.
This was another well fought victory but against Serie A team, Bologna.

As you can see, the pre-season results were amazing. We managed to beat good teams and scored plenty against the not-so-good teams as well. I am very happy with the pre-season in terms of results and performances.



Transfer Window (before season starts)

Signed...
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Benoit Badiashile


We have signed the young French centre back on a loan deal for the season for 30% of his wages (9.5k) and no fee. I could not really find another centre half as good as Benoit for as cheap. I know we are effectively building up a player for another team but this signing provides cover for the heart of defence.

Thats it for signings haha.. We really struggled to find players to come in for cheap and even harder for the money we had. Those who could come in on a free wanted loads of money and were not worth it or on the right side of 30.


This season will be about evaluating what we have and trying to use youth to help us.

In terms of outgoings...

Nobody left - mainly because nobody wants our terrible players or Ryad Boudebouz who is now transfer listed because he does not fit in to our system.


The next update will provide August and Septembers results and the conclusion of the transfer window.
 
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Uh oh...

Transfer Window

In...


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Renato Steffen

A loan signing from VFL Wolfsburg for the season - A recommendation from my director of football.
I think Renato could be the starter going forward this season as Romain Hamouma has not played well in the opening games this season.


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Youssef Ait Bennasser

We have once again dipped in the AS Monaco well and have purchased Youssef for £2.9m. This was a cut price deal and gives us the balance in midfield that we needed. Youssef is comfortable in the mezzala position.


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Jese

We really needed another player up top. This time around we went for luxury and hopefully it will work out. Considering he was an amazing prospect at Real Madrid only a few years ago, there has been a massive fall from grace, most recently ending up at Stoke.

Out...

The only outgoings were a couple of youngsters going out on loan for first team football


August fixtures

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PSG vs St Etienne
As you can see it was a very hard start to the season, especially playing away.
What I did not expect was such a good performance. Even though we lost 2-0 we definitely deserved something from the game. Their goals were both from indirect free-kicks which was annoying as those scorers are not famed for their heading ability.

St Etienne vs Olympique Lyon
First game at home. Big crowd. Local derby.
All of these things meant nothing after 5 minutes. We had a blistering start when our left back scored a worldie of a free kick after 4 minutes but after that we gave up. We let their midfield play us off the park and we could not keep up with their great team.
Even Depay being sent off with 15 mins to go did not change the game.

FC Metz vs St Etienne
Bore draw!
There was one highlight and that was in the 92nd min when my RB shot wide.

St Etienne vs Montpellier HSC
Can you dominate a game anymore and not win?
We had 24 shots on goal with 7 on target, which is not great but our performance was a lot better than in recent games. This was encouraging but the lack of goals is still worrying.
This was the first game with Jese and he was subbed off after an hour after not doing much.


Europa League Draw

We were a second seed in this draw and I think we ended with a group that we could come out with. I always think that the Europa League draws are difficult because the teams you could get could be tricky for a variety of reasons, not just big teams like in the Champions league


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That does it for this update.
I hope you are enjoying the start of the season, hopefully I can start picking up points and climb out of the relegation zone by the end of September.
 
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