Stade Rennais - Pride of Brittany.


Jul 16, 2009
Hello people!

I’ve decided to start a file as Stade Rennais after the success I had with them on FM11. The main reason for wanting to do a file with this team is because of the fantastic youth facilities available and I enjoy the challenge of making them a top side on a small budget, akin to that of Montpellier this season.

The French league is a good challenge because it is quite open; though winning it with a team of Stade Rennais’ ability is still a massive ask!

I will be posting monthly updates from a tactical perspective with analysis of my players’ progression and hopefully I will have plenty of success.

I hope you all follow and my first will be an updated team guide from last year’s version, which you can find here:



Jul 16, 2009
Stade Rennais FC

Hello again, this is my third guide and will be an update of last season's Stade Rennais guide.. It's a good challenge to bring this side to the top of Europe because they have a decent youth side and a fantastic youth set-up as well. It is one of my local teams and having been to the Stade de la Route de Lorient a few times, I find the atmosphere brilliant and so I reckon you should all try them out!

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They are an interesting team to play as in the French division, which itself is enjoyable to play - I've played it once on FM as Bordeaux and thoroughly enjoyed it. You get a decent amount of money, but nowhere near enough to make this an easy challenge. Your youth set-up is one of the best around (as I will explain shortly) and I find it good to try and utilise this and try to make it the best French team in the country.

Yann M'Vila, one of France's biggest prospects.


1a) Recent History
Rennes have been in the top flight since 1994, and were bought in 1998 by retail magnate Francois Pinault. He invested heavily in the club, building a state-of-the-art youth centre and also helping to modernize the impressive 'Stade de la Route de Lorient'. It has never finished higher than 4th in it's history which is what would make it a good challenge as well. They are currently poised to break this record anyway as they undertake one of their best seasons ever - follow them here: English version - Stade Rennais Online

1b) Financial Position
Rennes have a 'secure' financial position - there is no debt at the club and it has a decent value at just under 40m. You will be guaranteed a kitty of at least 7m, more than enough to start you off and of course that will only expand as you take the team further. There are no problems in this sector.

1c) Youth Set-Up
Stade Rennais boasts one of the finest youth systems in France. Since it's revamp in 2000, it has produced the likes of Yann M'Vila, Yacine Brahimi and Lyon's Jimmy Briand. It is an exciting aspect of the club, and there are a number of youth prospects:

Abdoulaye Diallo - Goalkeeper
Will easily be the number 1 in a few years, and is getting close to being a good backup already.
Yann M'Vila - Defensive Midfielder
20 years old and already in the national side - he is one of the hottest prospects in France at the moment.
Kevin Theophile-Catherine - Full Back (Left/Right)
Great prospect and will easily be at the level of Rod Fanni in a few years time.

There are many more in the Under-19s as well for you to look through. The point is that it is producing some fine talent of it's own, and the regens in the future will also likely be very good!


2a) The Players
Stade Rennais has a squad that is based around pace on the wings, and creativity from deep. I would recommend playing a 4-2-3-1 formation, with two defensive midfielders. The squad needs bolstering to push for Europe, but with no funds coming in at the beginning of the game, you will have to earn the money to bring in top new players.

Players will be organised with respect to the formation that I will recommend you. The blue stars indicate their current rating - the black indicates future rating.

1. Benoit Costil(****)
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16. Abdoulaye Diallo (****)
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40. Cheick N'Diaye (**)
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This is a decent position. Benoit Costil is potentially a very decent goalkeeper, though Diallo also has great potential. Play them off each other for the first few seasons until you get a number one that you think you can rely on. N'Diaye is a third choice keeper and nothing else. Carrasso will return from loan at the end of next season and should probably be offloaded.

2. Kevin Theophile-Catherine (****)
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2. Chris Mavinga (****)
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29. Romain Danze (***)
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This position has a lot of potential. Theophile-Catherine is a promising full-back in the Philipp Lahm mould - he is right footed but is most comfortable at left back and will provide an attacking threat. Chris Mavinga is a real prospect and will provide competition and Romain Danze can play left back if cover is required.

29. Romain Danze (***)
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22. Yasinne Jebbour(****)
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24. Dimitri Foulquier (****)
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Having lost Rod Fanni to Marseille a year or so ago, Rennais look a bit short on this side. Danze is decent at this level though don't expect any fireworks and Jebbour, although very promising is raw. Foulquier has brilliant ratings for his age and should be brought up from the U-19s. Will become a top, top full-back.

5. Kader Mangane (****)
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15.Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (****)
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4. Onyekachi Apam (****)
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25.John Boye (***)
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Decent cover in this position. Kader Mangane is strong enough to play at a higher level so keeping him is a major objective. Kana-Biyik will get very good if you play him enough and Boye and Apam will provide decent cover. Look to strengthen this area with young talent.

Defensive Midfield

6. Alexander Tettey (****)
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17. Yann M'Vila (*****)
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26. Vincent Pajot (****)
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28. Toungo Doumbia (****)
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23. Kamal Issah (***)
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Strongest position arguably. Yann M'Vila is no longer a hidden gem, he is a well known name throughout world football and is one of the first names on the teamsheet of the French National team - no mean feat considering the opposition. Plenty of strength in depth and potential with the likes of Issah and Pajot.

Central Midfield

8. Julien Feret (****)
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10. Stephane Delmat (***)
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Decent strength in this position, though if you play an advanced playmaker rather than a central midfielder, then I would suggest bringing up back-up for Feret. He is decent but can get stale and inconsistent. Delmat is past his best but will still do a job.

Left Wing

7. Jonathon Pitroipa(****)
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27. Yacine Brahimi(****)
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Decent back up here as your right wingers can play on this wing also. Pitroipa is rapid beyond belief though his final ball can be frustrating. Brahimi is technically superior but very inconsistent and still very raw. Should progress to be a good player in this position but he can also play more centrally.


11. Jires Kembo-Ekoko (****)
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12. Razak Boukari (****)
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Kembo-Ekoko is your best player in this position. Highly reliable and with a decent final ball he should provide plenty of assists for your forwards and Boukari provides good back-up. Strengthen in the future but should be enough here to go on with.


21. Victor Hugo Montano (****)
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19. Yousuff Hadji (***)
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9. Mevlut Erding (****)
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Real strength in this position. I love Montano on this game, he is the perfect poacher as he constantly gets in good positions and can score all sorts of goals. Hadji is a great target man but is getting on and seems to be an anomoly to the normal Rennes transfer system. Erding is more adjile than Hadji and is a great back-up to Montano.

2b) Mentality
This is a young side, so they are very driven and that is useful when you are looking to overthrow the old Lyon/Marseille regime in French football. On information, it states that the squad is 'Ambitious'.

2c) Tactics
I recommend this formation:

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I play counter-attacking football because it is very good against almost all teams in the French league. Kembo-Ekoko and Marveaux are pacy, and will deliver good, flat crosses to Montano who works well as a poacher. They will also bag goals, and with Jerome Leroy you have a brilliant advanced playmaker to supply them on the counter..

So that is my guide and introduction to this interesting team - I shall post a detailed analysis of the first month as soon as it is completed.


Jul 16, 2009
The Month of July/August 2011

This month brought a fair amount of optimism, pre-season went exceptionally well and we looked like a decent outfit, playing and scoring plenty of goals. August ended on a sour note however after exiting the Europa League and losing at home to bottom side Stade Malherbe Caen.
Despite the dissapointment of the end of the month, there is plenty of reason for optimism! Here are the matches.


1a) LIGUE 1

Dijon FCO (A)
2:0 - Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (63), Jires Kembo-Ekoko (83)
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I felt this would be a tough game to start the season off and Dijon put up a good fight for most of the game, until we punished them from a set piece in the second half. Our shape was good as we constantly pulled wide with Pitroipa and Kembo-Ekoko and he bagged the winner late on after cutting in from the right and slamming home. A nice start to the league season.
One major downside on this game however was that Pitroipa was taken off and suffered a broken leg.

Paris Saint-Germain (H)
2:0 - Victor Montano (22), Mevluet Erding (76)
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A top result for us and it was fully deserved. I changed the shape to two central midfielders in order to make us more compact against their creative threat. We looked dangerous on the break and Montano's goal early in the first half gave us something to protect. Mevluet Erding came on in the second half against his old club and proved his worth by robbing Chantome before brushing Alex aside and slamming high into the roof of the net. A top result against class opponents.

Montpellier (A)
1:1 - Razak Boukari (73)
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A dissapointing result in a match in which we deserved more. Montpellier had a man sent off in the second half which looked to have given us the advantage. However, Montpellier then scored immediately from a corner to give them something to defend. It was looking like a tough ask before Boukari equalised with quarter of an hour to go. From there, we pushed and pushed but luck was not on our side in this game.

SM Caen (H)
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A rather unfair reflection of this game which we controlled for large stretches. After missing a host of early chances, Caen punished us with a beauty of a strike from 30 yards. Despite pushing and pushing, with Mevluet Erding smashing the crossbar, we were left to rue a second game without scoring.

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Gaz Metan (A)
Europa League Third Qualifying Round, 1st Leg
1:1 - Jires Kembo-Ekoko (92)
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This was deemed as a stroll for us but we failed to find any rhythm throughout the whole game, despite our best efforts. A few youngsters who had impressed in pre-season had been given the start but we were stunned when a fantastic long range strike gave Gaz Metan the lead and we were left thanking Jires Kembo-Ekoko for a late header that put us in the driving seat for the home leg. Kader Mangane's red card in the first half had us fearing the worst, and he will miss the second leg.

Gaz Metan (H)
Europa League Third Qualifying Round, 2nd Leg
4:2 - Victor Montano (15, 40, 83), Jires Kembo-Ekoko (58)
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I fully expected a victory in this game and told the players as much. I wasn't let down as the team dominated and despite a few scary moments where we conceded dissapointingly from set pieces, we were always in control and cruised straight into the fourth and final qualifying round, where we would face German side FSV Mainz.

FSV Mainz 05 (H)
Europa League Fourth Qualifying Round, 1st Leg
2:1 - Jires Kembo-Ekoko (29), Hadji (47)
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A dissapointing end to this game which we completely dominated. The chances were coming thick and fast with Victor Montano causing all sorts of problems to the Mainz defence. He laid on Kembo-Ekoko's goal in the first half before sprinting wide and crossing for Hadji to score in the second half. A screamer from Soto late on gave Mainz a critical away goal.
FSV Mainz 05 (A)
Europa League Fourth Qualifying Round, 2nd Leg
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A miserable night in Germany as we paid for switching off in the home leg. Ujah buried a decent finish early on and from there it was clear that it wasn't going to be our night. We pushed and pushed but there was no real creativity in the front three as Mainz knocked us out of Europe.

Jires Kembo-Ekoko (8 Apps, 4 goals)
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Easily the brightest point of the opening month. Provides excellent width and a real goal threat to boot. Has excellent pace and final ball and will no doubt be a huge contributor to any success we have this season.

Chris Mavinga (4 Apps, 0 goals)
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Chris is second choice behind Theophile-Catherine but has put in some top performances in both the league and the Europa League. Easily in contention for a starting role in the future as he looks to build on this early promise.


A month of ups and downs. We were exceptional coming into the month, with the victory over PSG the highlight. However, crashing out of the Europa League in such dissapointing fashion and that home defeat at Caen leave us raw going into September.
We suffered injuries to Jonathon Pitroipa and Youssuf Hadji which will certainly leave us depleted in our attacking options. For that reason, Quentin Rouger and Jonathon Isambert have been promoted to the first team. It remains to be seen how they will handle with these new pressures, so it will be interesting to ease them into the squad.

Until next month!
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Jul 16, 2009
The Month of September 2011

A month which leaves me, the manager, with plenty of food for thought. We have become a strong defensive outfit though there is a worry about the lack of creativity in the final third of the pitch. Some tough fixtures and decent results but no big shocks.


1a) LIGUE 1
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Olympique Marseille (A)
1:1 - Kader Mangane (22)
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Tactically very pleasing performance. Went for a 4-3-3 formation and we limited Marseille to long shots and crosses into the box which were dealt with by Kader and Kana-Biyik. Mangane gave us the lead in the 22nd minute and but for a Danze mistake on the right hand side, we may have won but a vital point nonetheless.

AS Nancy-Lorraine (H)
1:0 - Kader Mangane (50)
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Mangane has been a vital part of our defensive solidity this season but he has popped up twice this month to help the team and none more so than this game. Despite going down to ten men, we scored from a free-kick and played some nice stuff. Clearly lacking a creative midfielder though, Feret is again a dissapointment.

FC Sochaux-Montbe (A)
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A relatively pleasing defensive display but no punch up front. Sochaux scored from their only real clear-cut chance but we had none of our own. We are good at breaking a team down, but appear predictable on the counter-attack. Kembo-Ekoko's influence has waned in recent matches.

AS Saint-Etienne (H)
1:1 - Zourna o.g. (27)
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It looked like we may grab an undeserved victory in this game after taking the lead from a deflected Kembo-Ekoko cross but Saint-Etienne scored a deserved goal from range in the second half. Again, we appeared defensively sound but made no chances of our own.
Theophile-Catherine also suffered ligament damage and will be out for 3 months, a real blow. Benjamin Basse is promoted to the first team.


Kader Mangane (4 apps, 2 goals)
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Has kept our defence wonderfully organised and scored two vital goals. Is attracting a lot of attention from Liverpool which we hope to fend off.

Vincent Pajot (3 apps, 0 goals)
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Has filled in in midfield and looked solid. Works very hard for the team and brings undoubted technical quality. Stepped up to the role after Doumbia's dismissal and could become a vital cog in the team.


A month that has raised more questions than answers. Defensively we look a real tough proposition and we seem to play better against the bigger teams. Scoring in open play has become an unknown though which is a real concern to me. The form of Montano and Mevluet Erding is something that I will certainly be looking to address next month but hopefully it is just teething problems.
We should welcome back Onyekachi Apam, Yacine Brahimi and Yousuff Hadji from injury within the next month which will bolster our options in the team.


Jul 16, 2009
The Month of October 2011

A month which ends on a rather more pleasing note than it started, although a fantastic away victory at Toulouse was severely marred by the news that star player Yann M'Vila will be out of action for over 4 months. Another player to add to the growing injury list. Results steadily improved, not coincidentally after the return to action of Yacine Brahimi. Here they are:


1a) LIGUE 1
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LOSC Lille Metropole (A)
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This match was always going to be a tough game - even without Eden Hazard, Lille are a tough team to play home or away. We still look very blunt going forward but we were defensively sound. One mistake by Yassine Jebbour to give away a penalty was the only real attempt Lille got on our goal but it was enough for them to secure 3 points.

FC Lorient (H)
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This should have been the match to shoot us back into goalscoring form with Lorient conceding by the truckload this season. We looked more sharp going forward but 3 goals in 8 games is starting to tell it's own story. The best chance of the game fell to Victor Montano but his run of games without a goal stretched to 8 after he blasted wide from close range.

AJ Auxerre (A)
3:4 - Yacine Brahimi (45), Kader Mangane (55), Victor Montano (69), Sorin o.g. (90)
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A quite remarkable game which could be the turning point in our fortunes. 3-0 down with half an hour gone, I threw on Yacine Brahimi for his first appearance of the season. Just before half-time he heads home from Kembo-Ekoko's cross to bring us back into the game. In the second half, with a bit of luck and a lot of tenacity, we claw back the two goal deficit. Kader Mangane slotted home Kana-Biyik's flick on before Victor Montano ended his goal drought with a lovely collected finish. Despite hitting the bar, Auxerre were punished in the last minute when Montano's header bounced off the bar onto Sorin's head and into the net.
I couldn't help but feel this was a huge moment, as I was losing all faith at half-time. Magnificent show of character from these lads.

Toulouse (A)
0:3 - Kana-Biyik (32), Victor Montano (36, 66)
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Two away victories in a row and 7 goals in 2 games - More than we'd managed in the previous 10! A fantastic performance against 2nd place Toulouse as we finally struck the perfect balance. Superb in defence, limiting the home side to just 2 shots on target - and far more fluid up front, we are starting to look more like the kind of team that I like to form. Brahimi's first start, and he was influential throughout, providing much more creativity and movement than the ineffective Julien Feret.
Yann M'Vila tore a calf muscle and will be out for over 4 months.


Olympique Lyon (A)
1:2 - Kembo-Ekoko (pen 36), Dalmat (80)
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Lyon took the lead early on, but with confidence still high from the Auxerre game, we pushed back at Lyon and came out worthy winners. Dalmat's beautiful strike with 10 minutes to go was a fantastic moment for the fans and we face OGC Nice in the Quarter-Final in January.


Razak Boukari (5 Apps, 0 goals)
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Razak may not have scored any goals this month but after receiving intense criticism prior to the Auxerre match, he has put in 3 wonderful performances, laying on 4 goals for his team-mates as he finally shows his worth on the left hand side. Long may his form continue.

Yacine Brahimi (2 Apps, 1 goal)
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Yacine did fantastically well to come back from shin splints and despite only featuring twice, he was the key to our incredible comeback against Auxerre and displayed great intelligence in our match against Toulouse. A real prospect for the future, we hope he can avoid any more serious injuries this season which may hamper his development.


A superb month for the club as we finally found our confidence. Yacine Brahimi is a real prospect for us and if we can keep him fit he will be vital in our push up the league. We have some tough fixtures coming up but I think if we can continue improving as we did towards the end of this month we can finish 2011 well.
I am concerned with the injury to Yann M'Vila which sees us without his services until the end of January. Abdoulaye Doucoure comes into the first team for the time being and it is a good chance for him to stake a claim to the first team but there is no doubt we have lost a player of real quality.


Jul 16, 2009
The Month of November 2011

A brief month in terms of games played, just the three to report. The international break meant less games but the three we had were crucial. The first two of the month were against teams in the top 4 and would provide a stern test whilst Evian TG are in our area of the league. It was to be a real test of our credentials.


1a) LIGUE 1

Valenciennes (H)
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A dissapointing loss when all things are considered. We had the more clear cut chances in the game but looked lacklustre up front. Valenciennes caught us on two breaks when we were napping at the back and took their chances well. Brought back down to earth after three victories toward the back end of last month.

Olympique Lyon (A)
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A match we never expected to win, although the manner of defeat was concerning. Youngster Mavinga had a torrid time before his dismissal, conceding the penalty that gave Lyon the lead and being skinned all too often by the impressive Jimmy Briand. Lyon get some revenge for their Coupe de la Ligue defeat several weeks previous.

Evian TG FC (H)
4:1 - Victor Montano (25, 38, 51, 68)
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A fantastic way to end the month as we really saw off Evian. Montano put in a display that epitomises why I have so much time for him. Superb runs and, when he's on his game, some fine finishes and it proved the difference between the two teams.


Victor Montano (3 Apps, 4 goals)
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With the first two games being so dissapointing, Victor was the standout for player of the month. He showed precisely how I want my strikers to perform, bending runs in behind the opposition defence. Shrewd movement combined with a lethal finish saw off Evian and I'm now looking for him to continue his rich vein of form.

Abdoulaye Doucoure (2 Apps, 0 goals)
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Some of our younger players saw mistakes punished in the games against Valenciennes and Lyon but Abdoulaye had a more distinguished month. Coming off the bench after Mavinga's dismissal, he showed maturity beyond his years and was even more impressive as a substitute against Evian. At 18 years old, he is a fine prospect.


From my point of view it was a difficult month but overall pleasing. We had to cope with the massive loss of Yann M'Vila and while I think we struggled to do that in the first two games, we bounced back magnificently against Evian, even after going a goal behind.
I was naturally very impressed with Victor Montano in the last outing and will be looking for his form to continue towards the end of the year. I feel the team has gelled now and we are starting to see a real fluidity which is pleasing to me.
The league is beginning to take shape and we are sitting comfortably mid-table. It's a modest position to be in but with the season still young, I'm backing the boys to really kick on after Christmas.


Jul 16, 2009
Thanks a lot mate! Yeah I think I might just have to do that, not sure why I didn't think of it ha. Cheers for commenting.


Jul 16, 2009

All in all a great month for the club. With the winter break now in effect, we can put our feet up knowing that we worked our socks off the past 4 months and are sitting pretty, 6th in the table. We had some top team performances towards the back end of the year and if we can keep the momentum into 2012 then I think we can push even further up the table.


1a) LIGUE 1
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OGC Nice (A)
2:2 - Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (87), Hadji (89)
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A quite remarkable late comeback. I'd almost given up hope when I brought Youssuff Hadji on with 10 minutes to go. He laid on a brilliant corner for Kana-Biyik before scoring a majestic free-kick to seal us a vital point. Nice had been the better team up to that point and had a deserved two goal lead but we showed a character that is testament to this bunch of lads.

Stade Brestois (H)
3:0 - Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (17), Victor Montano (45, 60)
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A top performance against a gritty mid-table side. We dominated in terms of chances, cutting their defence apart at will and Montano was at his poaching best, nipping in twice with fantastic anticipation before burying beneath the hapless goalkeeper. Beginning to see the sort of consistency that I demand as a manager.

AC Ajaccio (A)
2:3 - Alexander Tettey (19), Jires Kembo-Ekoko (51), Mevluet Erding (59)
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It looked like we may let this game slip toward the end when Onyekachi Apam saw a straight red but fantastic credit to the youngsters Dimitri Foulquier and Abdoulaye Doucoure who showed remarkable composure under some real pressure. We were deservedly 3-1 up with 10 minutes to go but Ajaccio nearly found a way back into the match. Especially pleasing as Victor Montano, Razak Boukari, Kader Mangane and Tongo Doumbia all missed the game with suspensions.

Bordeaux (H)
3:0 - Vincent Pajot (7), Victor Montano (51), Youssuf Hadji (80)
View attachment 256275
A real top drawer performance against a side pushing for Europe and the best way to end 2011. Youssuf Hadji revolutionised our forward play after his cameo against Nice and was top drawer here. Vincent Pajot put in a wonderful display in the centre of midfield and we looked calm and collected all game.


Youssuf Hadji (4 Apps, 2 goals)
View attachment 256276
Youssuf has been a credit to himself this month, returning from a tough injury to revitalise our attack. His intelligence and experience was vital and his ability to hold the ball up and find through balls kept our attacks moving and he has rightly earned his place in the starting line-up.

Chris Mavinga (3 Apps, 0 goals)
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Came back into the fold after his suspension where he came under a lot of criticism from the press. Has shown his worth with some domineering performances at left back and Theophile-Catherine has a lot of work getting back into the side with these showings.

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This has been a top month for me. From that brilliant comeback against Nice where I was left stunned by the brilliance of Youssuf Hadji to a victory over 5th place Bordeaux who were on a remarkable unbeaten run, this has shown the ability of this young team. I hope that in 2012 we can kick on from here and push even further up the table. With Yann M'Vila and Theophile-Catherine returning to the fold we can only get stronger and there is a real chemistry about the team at the moment.
Until 2012!​


Jul 16, 2009
I've no idea, they're having an absolute mare! I thought it was an achievement when we beat them earlier on in the season but they appear to be cannon fodder at the moment. They've just sacked Ancelotti unsurprisingly so I expect to see them heading up the table after the winter break.
I wouldn't say I'd be dissapointed to finish outside the European spots because I've had no money to spend so I think the minimum objective this year is to finish top half and anything else is a bonus. My expectations will go up of course when it's a team that I have moulded myself.


Jul 16, 2009
Up to this point, it has been a decent six months at Stade Rennais. I have had no money to deal with and have kept this team on a steady path, pushing towards Europe. Whilst we haven't been exceptional, I have been pleased with some of the performances towards the back end of 2011 and if we can get our key players fit again, we should be looking for a good end to the season.


1a) LIGUE 1

View attachment 256502
We have been impressive in Ligue 1 and are considered a tough team to play against. We have gone missing and made crucial mistakes in some games but toward the back end of 2011 we put on some fine displays and start to look like a much better team. The key moment for this was the comeback against Auxerre, where from 3-0 down we won the game 4-3. From this point, the team have shown remarkable confidence and resilience which has resulted in a decent points total.
In 2012, I am looking for us to push on in Ligue 1 and show some ambition, perhaps pushing for the European spots. In the summer I will then begin to mould the team to my style.

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A great result away to Lyon puts us in the Quarter-Finals of a competition I think can be considered winnable. We will certainly give it a good fist and try to bring some silverware to the Stade de la Route de Lorient.
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Naturally the biggest dissapointment of the three competitions, I felt we were unlucky to bow out to Mainz. We were the better team over both legs but a crucial late strike in the first leg helped the momentum swing in their favour. Despite our best efforts in Germany we dropped out of the competition in the qualifying stages, though I do feel this has helped our development in the long run. This is not a squad built to handle four competitions, as crucial injuries in the team have shown.

View attachment 256504
The ninth round is where Ligue 1 teams enter this competition and we will face US Cruteil-Lusitanos away from home at the start of January. With a bit of luck we can progress to the latter stages of this tournament and I will certainly be pitting decent teams in order to stand a chance.


At the start of the season, I felt we had a strong spine to the team and this has been proven to me by my more experienced players. These 3 are whom I consider our key personnel.

i) Kader Mangane (28 years old)
22 Appearances, 3 goals
View attachment 256505
Kader is a rock at the heart of the defence. His reading of the game and his enormous presence are enough to shirk off the best strikers in this league and has alerted Bayern Munich in recent weeks. Captain and undoubtedly our stand out defender.

ii) Jires Kembo-Ekoko (23 years old)
24 Appearances, 6 goals, 11 assists

View attachment 256506
Jires is a crucial part of this set-up. His pace on the wings and his technical ability at set pieces has proven crucial to this team. I would have selected Yann M'Vila as the second player here but his injury in November has limited his influence. Jires has been our standout midfielder this season and his hard work has not gone unnoticed.

iii) Victor Montano (27 years old)
21 Appearances, 14 goals, 4 assists
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Victor has not dissapointed me so far this season. His movement is superb and is the key to his goal ratio. He went through a tough spell early on in the campaign but has recovered magnificently and was recently voted the Ligue 1 Foreign Player of the Year. Will want to continue his great form into 2012.


Several promising young players from the reserve and U-19 set up have made a mark in this campaign already and will be looking to push on and establish themselves in the first team in time for next season.

i) Vincent Pajot (21 years old)
9 Appearances, 1 goal, 2 assists
View attachment 256536
Vincent returned from loan at the beginning of this season and has looked to establish himself in a midfield full of quality. M'Vila's injury has worked out very well for him and he stepped up to the mark wonderfully in December, winning the man of the match award against Bordeaux. Will want to kick on and become a first-team player next year.

ii) Dimitri Foulquier (18 years old)
3 Appearances, 0 goals, 0 assists
View attachment 256537
A real prospect, Foulquier is a right back of outstanding natural talent. His ability to read the game and his exceptional physical ability has him head and shoulders above most players in his age group. Has covered for Jebbour and Danze on 3 occasions and put in very mature performances. One to watch in the coming months.

iii) Abdoulaye Doucoure (18 years old)
4 Apperances, 0 goals, 0 assists
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There are high hopes for Abdoulaye and he looks to be a fine young player. Needs work on his technical ability but his reading of the game and his physical presence is without question. Looks so composed for his age and put in a top display against Ajaccio in what was a tough atmosphere.


We have several aims for the year ahead and one of them has to be to finish this season well in the league and push for that Coupe de la Ligue trophy. Our squad is starting to push on and if we then keep our main players in the summer and add to it, I have confidence that we can begin to put some serious pressure on the top teams in France. Our youth academy is literally spilling out some top talent and if we make the best use of that, we will be successful. Allez les Rouge!
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Jul 16, 2009

A month that was always going to be tough, but we've come through with a 100% record. Some superb team performances were key but the most pleasing aspect was the way that fringe players played as we had to rotate the squad a lot to facilitate a lot of games in a short amount of time.


1a) LIGUE 1
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SM Caen (A)
0:5 - Victor Montano (12, 41, 62), Mevluet Erding (70), Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (82)
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A top drawer performance against a niggly side. Victor put in another fantastic performance to ensure that we sealed this game comfortably, scoring 3 goals of the highest quality. His third was a sight to behold, dribbling past three players before smashing high past the goalkeeper from 25 yards. Having been defeated by Caen early in the season it was time to get our own back and this was a great way to start the league in 2012.

Olympique Marseille (H)
2:0 - Victor Montano (2, 70)
View attachment 256681
The man is an absolute genius and two goals of the highest order were enough to see off the threat of Marseille. What made this victory all the more pleasing was the fact that with injuries, fatigue and suspensions running rampant through our squad, players were playing out of position or were covering for more experienced players. Abdoulaye Doucoure played in front of the back four for his first competitive start and was highly impressive. Hadji covered for the injured Kembo-Ekoko on the right wing and was magnificent. A wonderful victory.

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OGC Nice (H)
5:0 - Victor Montano (7, 17), Alexander Tettey (47), Abdoulaye Sane (71), Vincent Pajot (75)
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A wonderful way to qualify for the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals. The first game of 2012 went off in superb fashion as we tore apart a team that just a month earlier had given us real problems. Montano was excellent whilst his substitute Sane came on to score his first senior goal. Overall a magnificent team performance and we face AC Ajaccio in the semi-finals.


US Creteil-Lusitanos (A)
9th Round
1:3 - Alexander Tettey (3, 63), Mevluet Erding (78)
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We were given a tough game by these minnows who pegged us back after Tettey's early goal. The game was put back twice due to waterlogged pitches and was crammed in between several important league fixtures so it was important we mixed the team up and I was delighted that my second string side put on a top display.

US Quevilly (H)
10th Round
1:0 - Youssouf Hadji (38)
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A tough match for many reason. The team was a miss match of players playing out of position so it was important we didn't under-estimate our opponents. In the end, the experienced Hadji proved the difference and despite Mevluet Erding's straight red card we held on for an important victory, our 8th in a row. Yacine Brahimi broke his ankle and will miss the next 3 months of football.


Victor Montano (3 Appearances, 7 goals)

View attachment 256683
It would quite frankly be an insult to Montano not to select him after his wonderful goalscoring return against tough opponents. Victor is becoming one of the most feared strikers in France at the moment and has been fundamental to our climb up the table.

Abdoulaye Doucoure (3 Appearances, 0 goals)
View attachment 256684
Abdoulaye is a very mature midfielder and has covered superbly for Yann M'Vila. He is incredibly composed and reads the game fantastically and put in a superb shift against Marseille. A real, real talent.


A really, really tough month in many respects which is why I am so delighted that we have managed to come out with a 100% record. To qualify for the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue in such brilliant fashion was one thing, but then to smash Caen and outplay Marseille was more than I could of hoped for. We have more big games coming up in a short space of time so I hope that we can continue this magnificent form into February. Allez les Rouges!


Jul 16, 2009
The Month of February 2012

Another successful month as we push the top teams for those Champions League spots. If we can keep the team fit and in form over the next few weeks then I don't see how that isn't possible. We are in great shape and have our key players in form which bodes well for the run in. A Cup final in April is also on the horizon so all is looking well for Stade Rennais


1a) LIGUE 1
View attachment 256714
Sochaux-Montbe (H)
4:2 - Alexander Tettey (16), Victor Montano (22), Youssouf Hadji (40), Mouyokolo o.g. (67)
View attachment 256854
A really top performance against Sochaux who I think were lucky to get two goals. We looked comfortable at 3-1 before letting them back in the game but showed good character to go up the other end and get a 4th to put it out of reach for them. Kembo-Ekoko was the man of the match on his return to the team.

AS Nancy-Lorraine (A)
1:2 - Youssouf Hadji (82), Jonathon Pitroipa (90)
View attachment 256853
A massively pleasing result that further epitomises the character within this side. A goal down in the second half and feeling the strain of fixture congestion, the team pushed and pushed Nancy who buckled with ten minutes to go as Youssouf Hadji flicked in a Kembo-Ekoko cross before Pitroipa collected substitute Sane's cross to bury home the winner in injury time. A fantastic and important victory.

Saint-Etienne (A)
1:1 - Youssouf Hadji (18)
View attachment 256852
Our first points dropped in the league since early December, and Saint-Etienne were well worth the point. We played far too high up for the whole of the first half and were lucky to go a goal up when Hadji pulled out some inspiration with a beautiful long range strike. We were pegged back after but held on for a point. M'Vila came on as a substitute for his first appearance since November.

LOSC Lille Metropole (H)
2:1 - Youssouf Hadji (74), Kader Mangane (81)
View attachment 256851
A really impressive performance against 3rd placed Lille. We were impressive throughout, playing a more rigid 4-3-3 than our usual system, with M'Vila starting his first game in 2012. He was the pick of the team as he broke up play and set our wide men running, and it was through a counter-attack that our first goal came, sub Pitroipa whipping in the ball to the six yard box for Hadji. We scored from a corner before being pegged back in injury time but overall a pleasing display to end the month.


AC Ajaccio (A)
1:3 - Razak Boukari (10), Victor Montano (45+3), Mevluet Erding (90+4)
View attachment 256850
A great way to start the month as we booked our place in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue. Boukari's header from a free kick got us underway though Ajaccio pulled it back soon afterwards. Our fringe players got a look in and it was Quentin Rouger, the 20 year old left winger who pulled wide left to cross in the goal that sealed victory in the 94th minute. The final will be played against Sochaux-Montbe in April at the Stade de France.


SAS Espinal (H)
11th Round
3:0 - Jonathon Boye (39), Abdoulaye Sane (59), Youssouf Hadji (65)
View attachment 256849
Progress in the French Cup was important to us and my fringe players did not dissapoint. Boye put in his best performance as a Rennes player and capped it with a goal. Very professional display and kept our team in a fine vein of form.


Youssouf Hadji (6 Appearances, 5 goals)
View attachment 256918
I was guilty of under-estimating the abilities of this man as I put him as a maybe for the first team early in the season. Boy has he proven me wrong, with some fantastic displays since December and his determination and experience has been key to all of our good work. A top, top professional.

Abdoulaye Sane (3 Appearances, 1 goal)
View attachment 256919
Abdoulaye got his first goal for Stade Rennais this month against Espinal and also set up a vital goal against Nancy-Lorraine to keep our push for 3rd place well and truly alive. A top prospect and could challenge Montano next season if he keeps on progressing.


The team is shaping up nicely as we head toward the business end of the season. A cup final is secured and a place in Europe is looking likely. If the lads keep their head toward the end and we keep up our fantastic form there's no doubt this could be Stade Rennais' best season ever, having never finished 4th or higher in the league before. A great month.
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Jul 16, 2009
Finances are 'Okay' but I have no transfer money and no excess wage budget. I'm sure that will change at the end of the season so I can invest in some young talent! Cheers for following pal.


Jul 16, 2009
The Month of March 2012

A great month if all things are considered as we sit in 3rd with 9 games to go, an incredible achievement. We bowed out of the Coupe de France in an unfortunate defeat against Bordeaux, but that was the only real negative. With the Coupe de la Ligue final coming up next month, we're hoping we can continue our good form to the end of the season!


1a) LIGUE 1

FC Lorient (A)
1:5 - Victor Montano (8, 21), Razak Boukari (18), Audard o.g. (28), Bourillon (47)
View attachment 256932
A dominating performance which is highlighted by the fact that despite scoring an own goal and conceding 5 goals, goalkeeper Audard finished with a rating of 8.1! We were fantastically fluid going forward and although we expected to beat Lorient in our current form, this was a magnificent performance. No one can stop the juggernaut at the moment!

AJ Auxerre (H)
5:1 - Victor Montano (5, pen 36), Jires Kembo-Ekoko (60), Alexander Tettey (64), Jonathon Pitroipa (89)
View attachment 256933
Another brilliant performance for the home fan as we once again demolished a lightweight team. It's strange to think that for the first ten games of the season we were struggling to score 1 goal, as we are now the highest scoring team and have the highest goal difference in the league. Had Mavinga sent off when the score was 2-1 and still managed to score 3 more goals.

Toulouse (A)
1:1 - Victor Montano (82)
View attachment 256934
Not a great performance, so it was good that we salvaged a point. The first time that we have dropped points in the league since the first game in December! A phenomonal achievement and our unbeaten record remains in tact thanks to a late equaliser by none other than Victor Montano. Good fighting spirit shown when we weren't at our best.

Valenciennes (A)
0:1 - Jires Kembo-Ekoko (5)
View attachment 256936
Pleasing to get the win despite another less than dominating performance, but away to a tough opponent albeit one in poor form it was always going to be difficult and Valenciennes spurned a number of great chances after we had taken the lead. In the end, to get 3 points when you're not playing well is the hallmark of a top team which we are proving to be at the moment!
View attachment 256937


Bordeaux (H)
View attachment 256938
A dissapointing match, as we were hit with a sucker punch in the 83rd minute. Bordeaux are struggling at the moment and there confidence appeared shot all game as we passed our way all around them and made chance after chance. Sadly, no one was there to capitalise and we went out to a Jussie break. Dissapointing but unlucky.


Jires Kembo-Ekoko (5 Appearances, 2 goals)
View attachment 256929
Jires has been consistent all season and this was a month where he laid on chance after chance for his team mates. He was exceptional against Lorient and Auxerre and scored a vital winner at Valenciennes. A top player.

Vincent Pajot (5 Appearances, 0 goals)
View attachment 256930
A permanent fixture in the side since December, Pajot has proven himself to his early critics. His tireless running and excellent passing really filled in for M'Vila, who is now struggling to find his way back into the team! A truly under-rated pro.


In all honesty, I couldn't be happier with how the season is turning out and it is beyond my wildest dreams to imagine we will play Champions League football next year. If we were really ambitious, the league title itself is still in sight and there is a big match against Lyon next month that will decide if we truly have the mettle for that. But overall, I'm superbly proud of the performances this season, especially since December, that have turned us into a feared team in France.
I will do a seperate article for the Coupe de la Ligue final next month. Here's hoping we can secure a first piece of silverware! Allez les Rouges.​


Jul 16, 2009
Victor Montano (1)
View attachment 256956
Stade Rennais have won their first major trophy under their new manager, and their first since 1971. The team from Bretagne in the North West of France have been excellent all season and after dispatching the likes of Lyon and Nice they found themselves in the final against Sochaux.

It was a tough game for them, but they took the lead in the first minute as Montano read Boukari's through ball before slotting home to the joy of the Rennes fans. Rennes kept up the pressure and made numerous chances throughout the first half, but Montano missed a number of good openings.

In the first half, Sochaux posed problems from set pieces with Marvin Martin whipping in some dangerous balls but the ever composed Costil was equal to everything that was thrown at him. 19 year old Dimitri Foulquier put in a top performance at right back to show that he is a real up and coming talent.

More chances came and went for Montano in the second half and Rennes fans may have been fearing the worst, but they sat back and countered for the last half hour and looked solid with the always impressive Yann M'Vila anchoring the midfield in front of the back four.

At the end of the whistle the Rennes fans who have waited so patiently for success exploded with an outpour of emotion as their 41 year wait for a major trophy was ended by this talented squad.

View attachment 256958

Stade Rennais: Costil, Foulquier, Kana-Biyik, Mangane, Theophile-Catherine, Tettey, M'Vila, Boukari, Kembo-Ekoko (Pitroipa 63), Hadji (Doumbia 75), Montano (Mevluet Erding 85)
Unused subs: Diallo, Mavinga, Sane, Apam

Sochaux-Montbe: Richert, Paybernes, El Karkouri, Mouyokolo (Perquis 56), Mikari, Noguiera (Bakambu 67), Martin, Boudebouz, Dias, Roudet (Carlao 63), Privet
Unused subs: Cros, Butin, Banana, Camara

View attachment 256959



Jul 16, 2009
The Month of April 2012

A professional month. We are no longer winning games by huge margins, but instead grinding out results which is just as, if not more, pleasing. Some big victories this month, notably at home to Lyon and of course winning our first major trophy. No matter what happens in May, this will have been a phenomonal season and I am very proud.


1a) LIGUE 1

Olympique Lyonnais (H)
1:0 - Boukari (43)
View attachment 256976
Lyon are of course one of the main challengers for the Ligue 1 title and this was a fantastic way to get ourselves right into the mix. We played in a disciplined manner and hit them with a sucker-punch right before half-time to give ourselves the advantage. We started with one up front, with top goalscorer Montano on the bench in favour of Hadji while Foulquier made just his second league start and stifled Michel Bastos fantastically. A proud moment.

Evian TG FC (A)
0:1 - Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (22)
View attachment 256975
It's vital in a title challenge to win when you're not playing well and although our attacking play has been less fluid recently, we won this match through a set piece goal and some top goalkeeping. The match had been made tougher by the fact that we were missing 4 key players through suspensions.

OGC Nice (H)
2:1 - Mevluet Erding (66), Alexander Tettey (83)
View attachment 256974
This was a HUGE, HUGE win for us. We struggled to break down a niggly Nice side until they took the lead on the 63rd minute. Mevluet Erding replied with a brilliant finish before Montano laid off Tettey for a stunning, and potentially massive goal. Should be goal of the season.

Stade Brestois (A)
1:1 - Mevluet Erding (90+1)
View attachment 256973
I had almost given up hope of retaining our unbeaten run but that man popped up again as he has done on several occasions recently to salvage a potentially vital point that kept us top of the league. We could and should have won but the key thing was that we had the character to keep going into injury time.

AC Ajaccio (H)
2:0 - Yann M'Vila (33), Mevluet Erding (88)
View attachment 256972
Our best performance of the month, with Erding scoring his third in as many games to seal a great victory. M'Vila got his first goal for the club with a wonderful long range effort but we were never given any problems at all by Ajaccio who were poor throughout. We finish the month second in the league.


FC Sochaux-Montbe (N)
1:0 - Victor Montano (1)
View attachment 256971
As seen in the previous post, we won the Coupe de la Ligue with a disciplined performance, exemplifying the quality of this time. A fantastic achievement and qualifies us for Europe next season no matter what.

View attachment 256977


Razak Boukari (5 Appearances, 1 goal)
View attachment 256969
Razak put in some top shifts this month, laying on 4 goals for his team and scoring that vital winner in the Lyon game. Set up Montano's winner for the cup final and is really coming into form at a great time.

Dimitri Foulquier (4 Appearances, 0 goals)
View attachment 256970
Dimitri was brought back into the first team last month when Danze was injured for 4 months. With Jebbour suspended for the Lyon game, Foulquier was trusted to start at right back and was superb. Could push for the first spot next season on this evidence.


A proud month for me as we sealed the Coupe de la Ligue deservedly. We were excellent throughout the month and our young players have done a great job of rotating with all the matches that we are having to play. Next month is of course the last month of football, and with 4 games to go we are in with a chance to win the biggest prize in French football, the Ligue 1. We will do our best to bring it home but even if not, it has been a fantastic season! Allez les Rouges.​