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The Brest a Man Can Get

A career starting off as manager of Stade Brestois 29
Started on 2 June 2017 by Bakez
Latest Reply on 4 June 2017 by Bakez
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There are a few reasons for the choice, some serious but also the name makes a great pun right?
For my first management position I wanted to pick a club outside of England. This is due to historically sticking to the Premiership or Championship as they are the leagues that I’m most familiar with in terms of format, players, regulations etc. However, I’ve always been interested in the French leagues and feel that aside from maybe PSG, Monaco and perhaps more recently Nice, there is an opportunity to grow a team and become a force in the league.

The badge for Brest features my initials and also was my age until a couple of months ago

I’ve always liked the look of Brest and believe with a bit of cosmetic surgery I can make Brest look even better. Let’s just hope my time of charge of Brest don’t go tits up!

The Squad

At first glance it seemed like I was taking over a squad with some of the greatest football players that have ever played, Pele and Henry immediately attracted my attention. However on closer inspection the players are Bryan Pele and Valentin Henry.
Aside from that disappointment it appears that Brest don’t have the worst squad in the world.

Christian Battocchio is arguably the star of the team with enough other good players to field a strong starting 11. Zakarie Labidi and Brendan Chardonnet have outstanding potential, something that I hope to help them realise at the club.
The formation I aim to use is classed as a 4-2-1-3 DM Wide. I will cover the tactics in detail a bit later.


I have chosen to go with what is classed as a 4-2-1-3W. This is because I firstly want to make the team difficult to beat. Depending on how well we perform will determine whether one of the DLP needs to push forward more to create more of an attacking threat.
Title Odds

Having been given odds of 35/1 to lift the Ligue 2 title it is clear that we are far from favorites. With this in mind it was reassuring that the board’s expectations are not un-achievable.

The board expect a top half finish in the league coupled with some progress in both of the cups. At first glance of seeing that we are expected to reach the 10th round of the French cup seemed quite daunting but bearing in mind we enter in the 7th round and the bigger clubs entering in the 9th round it may just be possible.
Bakez's avatar Group Bakez
7 yearsEdited

My perceptions of pre-season friendlies are that they are nice to win, but more importantly it is about the fitness of the players and becoming familiar with the tactics. I allowed my assistant manager to take charge of the 4 friendlies. The results can be seen below:

So we finished pre-season with a record of W3 D0 L1. Our only home fixture was against Legia Warsaw and we were just outclassed; only managing 1 shot on target compared to their 6. With that in mind it’s far too early to press the panic button. Wins against 2 teams who I’ve never heard of and struggle to pronounce as well as an efficient 2-0 against Le Mans (I’ve actually heard of them!) show that there is plenty of promise.

Players Who Performed Well

Neal Maupay – Had 2 good games and 2 less impressive games which could mean he’s a bit hit and miss. Ratings of 6.3, 7.7, 6.5, and 7.7 over the 4 games reinforce that he can be inconsistent but having scored in both games when he played well is definitely something positive to take.

Zakaria Diallo – Achieved consistently high ratings in the 4 games (6.8, 7.1 8.0 and 7.1). It is going to be essential that he maintains this good form throughout the season and becomes a rock at the heart of defence.

Players Who Need to Improve

Christian Battocchio – When viewing the squad reports, Battocchio on ability is right at the top. He is going to be played in the centre of the pitch in a roaming playmaker role. With space in front of him to run into and build the attacks he is going to need to improve on his form. With not a single rating of 7.0 (6.5, 6.8, 6.8, 6.9) over the 4 games I will be keeping a close eye on him.
For this story I am going to be using a YouTube format. However, whilst I can understand that some people may prefer to read the story as opposed to listening I will attempt to cater for both. Below you will see a link to the YouTube video of the first few games of the season with live reactions and decisions made by myself. For those on this forum who would prefer to just read about the results and other important issues which I arise I will cover them on here.
For those of you on here who chose to access the YouTube videos through the forum and don’t want to know the results, all match reports will be hidden behind a Spoiler button.
Bakez's avatar Group Bakez
7 yearsEdited
Episode 1 - Tit's Time to Get Started

For non-YouTube viewers and to see full match report click Match Report buttons

Ligue 2 – LE HAVRE vs BREST
Bakez's avatar Group Bakez
7 yearsEdited
Episode 2 - Giving it my Brest shot

For non-YouTube viewers and to see full match report click Match Report buttons


Coupe de la Ligue 1st Round - BREST vs SOCHAUX

New Tactics

Whilst appearing quite a negative step in playing 5 in defence, I am hoping that we can dominate the middle of the pitch whilst also having more to aim for upfront.
Habib Diallo as target man with Neal Maupay as a poacher should be a good combination and i'm hoping the two will link up well. Perez will play as a centre midfielder and be expected to push forward, as will the two wingbacks.

A higher tempo will be installed and an emphasis on build up play and working the ball into the box. It's time to ditch the conservative approach and go out and try and win the games!

Ligue 2 - AMIENS vs BREST

Ligue 2 - BREST vs TROYES

Current League Table

Bakez's avatar Group Bakez
7 yearsEdited
Episode 3 - No Holds Bra'd

For non-YouTube viewers and to see full match report click Match Report buttons


Ligue 2 - BREST vs AJACCIO

Having been anonymous in the transfer window due to having no funds and already at our maximum loaned players for the season, it was interesting to see that the French league has what is known as the ‘Joker Transfer Window’. This comes into effect once the main transfer window closes and allows a French club to make a single purchase from another French club.

Speaking of having no funds, I was then greeted with a message from the chairman:

Not ideal when hoping to strengthen the squad at some point.
Club finances are described as ok although we are losing money each month.

On a more positive note the board are very pleased with my overall leadership of the team, although they were disappointed to be knocked out of the cup at the first hurdle. It’s understandable for a club that could do with all the income that they can get. I guess I will need to make a more conscious effort to progress in the one other cup that we’re in.

Injury News

Just a single injury to report on; midfielder Manuel Perez will face a lengthy spell on the side-lines having strained his knee ligaments.


Ligue 2 - BREST vs TOURS

Further bad news on the injury front is that Habib Diallo sustained a hamstring strain in the game meaning that he’ll miss the next few weeks.


With a run of games against teams lower than us in the league it is going to give a clear indication of just how well the team is progressing. 9 games in the league unbeaten and although the taste of defeat will surely come it’s important that we start winning the games we take the lead in so that any defeat becomes a minor blip and doesn’t ruin what has started off as a promising season.
Episode 4 - Ups and Downs

For non-YouTube viewers and to see full match report click Match Report buttons

Ligue 2 - BREST vs AUXERRE

Shortly after the game it was announced that Phaeton's effort had been classed as the goal of the month. It really was that special!
With positives there inevitably comes negatives and the news of Habib Diallo's injury is exactly that.

Ligue 2 - SOCHAUX vs BREST

A look at the table after match day 11 and it's a beautiful sight.

Ligue 2 - BREST vs RED STAR

Ligue 2 - ORLEANS vs BREST
Bakez's avatar Group Bakez
7 yearsEdited
Best Players So Far

Joan Hartock - 7.11
Hartock tops the highest average rating for the entire squad after 11 games. He has kept a clean sheet in almost half of them and has been a key reason for the good start to the season. Hartock is going to need to maintain that consistency if we are going to push for promotion this season.

Johan Gastian - 6.92

Gastian has made the majority of his appearances from the bench with Grougi being the preferred choice in defensive midfield. However, despite not contributing to any goals directly, Gastian has been a largely positive influence and is a quality player

Gaetan Belaud - 7.0

Playing at right wing back, Belaud has had a mainly positive season. He has contributed towards 4 goals in 8 games, scoring 1 and assisting 3. His one negative being the red card against Ajaccio.

Less Impressive Players

Brendan Chardonnet 6.62

Potential to be one of the best players at the club, Chardonnet has struggled with being thrown straight into the first team so far. His average rating of 6.62 is below the desired 7.0 that I demand from my players, but with age on his side he will be given every opportunity to improve.

Neal Maupay - 6.72

Despite being the club's top goalscorer, Maupay is so inconsistent it's crazy. He seems unable to put 2 good performances together and only appears to play well if he scores a goal. A joy to have when on form but a hindrance when having a poor game.

Steeven Joseph-Monrose - 6.40

Monrose has only made 2 appearances this season and both has been appalling. When you put faith in wing play and one of your wingers gives 2 performances less than 6.5 you need to change things. The switch in formation has meant there is no need for him anymore.
Episode 5

For non-YouTube viewers and to see full match report click Match Report buttons


The injury to Diallo was confirmed as being more serious than first thought. We will have to cope without him for the next 2 months.

On a more positive note we have another Goal of the Month award winner.

Ligue 2 - LENS vs BREST

French Cup 7th Round – PARON vs BREST

Progressing in the cup rewarded us with an away trip to Orleans. I will be out for revenge against the team that beat us earlier in the season

Tactics Update

Have we won more than we have lost? Yes

Are we in a good position in the league? Yes

Are we enjoyable to watch? No

Do we look convincing in games? No

Do we look like turning a game around from losing positions? No

What are the problems? I’m not sure

The first problem I was keen to address was the fact that we always have less possession than the other team, regardless of if they are above or below us in the league. A 9-0 win and only 53% possession would give no manager any complaints, but it shows that when we have the ball we need to take our chances against teams otherwise we drop points. In countless matches I have seen the other team use possession well and create chances compared to us where we play well in spells. Now I may come across as focusing on negatives, but believe me I am far from unhappy about how the season is going. I just want to improve and I’m sure every manager dreams about having a team which plays good football and gets results.

So far I have gone from one tactical extreme to another; either too negative or too aggressive. I really took my team looking at the strengths of the team so behold the latest formation:

The game classes it as a 4-1-3-2.
The aim of the formation is to dominate the midfield area through using creative players. Battocchio has failed to live up to expectations so far and has requested to be allowed to join Udinese at the end of the season. I have informed him that we will deal with this once the season is over. The philosophy of the team will alternate between control and counter attacking with an emphasis on the team keeping possession and working it into the strikers. The team shown may not necessarily be the first choice 11 for each game but I need to come away from games feeling like we were the better team and attempt to make Brest something special to look at.
Episode 6 - Perking Up

For non-YouTube viewers and to see full match report click Match Report buttons

Ligue 2 – BREST vs REIMS

The mood was then severely dampened by news that Neal Maupay suffered a twisted ankle.

Just 2 injuries in the squad yet both are first choice strikers.

Ligue 2 – CHAMOIS vs BREST

French Cup 8th Round – ORLEANS vs BREST

The cup draw

A home tie against lower league opposition you ask? Yes please. That’s exactly what we got as we were drawn against Union Sportive Avranches Mont-Saint-Michel. Let’s hope we don’t make the game as much of a meal as I will when attempting to say their name each time.

Definitely something I need to be mindful of is the selection criteria rule. With a negative bank balance the last thing the club needs is a fine.

Ligue 2 – BREST vs AJACCIO

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