Going Toulouse to win
My affinity to Toulouse dates back to 2009 when I travelled to the French city to watch my rugby team. As is tradition when I go on holiday, I came back with a Toulouse FC shirt - a lovely unique purple and white striped shirt, which I still have today.
So when searching for only my second new era CM 01/02 save, following on from the memorable Hearts effort, it felt like Toulouse would be a good step.
Theyíve plied their trade in Ligue 1 in recent years, but back in 01/02, they were down in the French National, the third division alongside giants such as Cannes, La Roche and Noisy-le-Sec, who presumably are where the term noisy neighbours was first coined (City who?).
Adequate training facilities and a 38,500 seater stadium and OK finances give us something to play with. A £2m transfer budget and a huge squad, which includes a full reserve side packed with youngsters.
Time to weed out some unnecessary elements, perhaps.
A quick glance through the squad doesnít reveal any particularly recognisable names, save for the bald William Prunier, who had a largely forgettable season at Manchester United as a sort of pre-cursor to Jaap Stam in 1996.
Top earner is Christophe Revault on 7.5k a week, though Iím concerned to see Stephane Lievre and Christophe Avezac down as backups while earning the best part of 12k a week between them.
The first team of 18 has six strikers and very few midfielders, so that will be my first foray in to the transfer market.
I will of course make a stab at some of the glorious familiar names, but whether theyíll come down to the third tier of the French league remains to be seen.
Now, whereís Mark Kerrís number?
For followers of my Home is where the Hearts is story, I plan to provide maybe three updates per season in this one, rather than the season review style I did with the Hearts save.
will follow this mate
Good luck with this! From what I've played in the French leagues, I've enjoyed, so hopefully you will have a similar experience.
Issa Diop & Steeve Yago
will follow this one too
#1 Getting started
First challenge was to get familiar with the squad. 11 players under 20, and just 10 over that. Encouraging, because itís always better to have young players in the squad with potential to grow than old over the hill players.
There is plenty of African-heritage talent in the reserves, though I decided to cash in on one when Beauvais came in with a 160k offer. Coming in, Jamie Victory joined to add a bit of familiarity. In all honesty, after a couple of games I began to think that maybe Iíd been a bit hasty as we do have a couple of decent looking left sided players, in particular 19-year-old Othmane Hamama.
I was still looking for players when the first game came around, and I opted for a very alien 4-3-3 as it seemed to be the best formation suited to the players we had.
We were knocked back by Mike Duff and Taribo West, and also Mark Kerr who ended up at Birmingham. Centre mid certainly being the most important position.
The first game did not go well. First of all was the surprise at only needing to name three subs!
Clearly we needed to be more resilient. With an unbalanced squad and a lack of new faces, the key over the next few weeks would be to battle and fight for the points.
And the next three games, we did that.
That was then followed by a frustrating game against Pau where we led twice (2-0 and 3-2) and ended up drawing 3-3 with a late equaliser.
As the transfer deadline approached, we were offered 950k for midfielder Nabil Taider (value 350k). With the midfielder shortage it was knocked back, but I think even if we did have others in that position, at 18 he seems to be a good prospect to keep hold of.
The hunt for players was partially distracted from by a number of approaches for my scouts, encouraging as it at least means they must be of some quality. We managed to stave off interest in them all, with the exception of one.
We were able to bring in one player on deadline day - Regillio Nooitmeer - a Dutch CM that was discovered by one of the scouts.
Another new signing came on a free, at the age of 15. Worth a punt.
Another bid has come in for Taider, now up to £1.2m. Clearly heís an asset. A quick look at the bank balance (£1.8m) means Iím happy to reject, but no doubt there will be a time soon where heíll express his unhappiness, especially as its Ligue 1 clubs coming in and weíre only 10th.
Thatís not getting any better either. Again we twice led against Valence, before succumbing to a 2-4 defeat.
Clearly a formation change is required.
Ugh - topsy turvy start - are you still 10th when board are not happy#
Looks a random formation - what have you changed to now?
I like the look of that Boubacar kid - give him a go as striker - could be raw but think he'll bang in the goals
Been playing the 4-3-3 all season - pretty much because only had 3 midfielders to work with!
Definitely going to change it for the next game. 12th at the moment.
Where's the Stadium Municipal pics?...I love me stad pics!!..
#2 Under pressure
With the threat of this becoming the shortest Stories thread in the history of CM 01/02, a change of formation for the next game against second placed Cannes.
Despite the early struggles, Faure has scored six in nine and the other two strikers have average ratings above 7.3. So where is it going wrong? Well it seems at centre half and in central midfield weíre weak. Taider is a key player in midfield, but thereís not much else around him.
15-year-old Balde was handed a debut, and he delivered with a goal. Sadly, his team-mates didnít see off the job.
That slid us down to 13th in the league.
Transfer listed Christophe Avezac then departed for a welcome £325k, as I look to stamp a bit of my own authority on the squad and get the players I want in.
A preliminary round cup defeat to Clermont did little to ease the pressure.
Another scout exited, this time to Ligue 1 Rennes, and now I need to look for some extra staff too, as well as trying to find players to plug the gaps. Iím a fan of two up top, but I am wondering whether maybe changing to three solid midfielders with two wide men at AMR/AML might work.
Another cup exit and a 2-3 home defeat saw the fans show their fury at my management.
Just how am I going to turn this around?
My goalkeeper has had a few critics in the press, so perhaps he is the weak link. An injury to Taider, ruling him out for a month, isnít ideal either.
It looked like Balde had dug out a crucial win at Noisy-le-Sec, only for us to throw the lead away yet again, and the pressure is mounting. Having tweaked tactics a few times in recent weeks, itís time to stick one out and try and dig out some results.
Once again, Balde gives us a lead and we throw it away for a 2-2 draw against Boulogne. Itís now panic stations. Another draw results in another warning.
A postponement spares us a reprieve and then another lead is thrown away, this time to lose 2-3, which results in the dreaded vote of confidence.
Iím now fearing the sack if I lose. And I really donít know what I can do about it. Transfer budget has been slashed to just 50k, and we just canít seem to identify any players to make things any better. Is it time to give the old 4-4-2 a run? Who knows. We are capable of beating teams, we take the lead regularly, but then we lose it. Why is that?
Gulp. A late Balde goal rescued a point. We live to fight another day.
4132 default will sort you out (sort of what you have but without the longer arrows)
Glad you brought Balde in and he's doing the business
Whn you are leading are you making any changes to tactics or players? (e.g bringing on defensive players)
Or switching to 'normal' instead of 'attacking'.Whn you are leading are you making any changes to tactics or players? (e.g bringing on defensive players)
And do you have another DMC? Two of them screening your back four can work.
Good luck :0)
Title of thread needs ammending...
Going Toulouse to Lose..
You're conceding far too many goals. I'd bring in some defenders with high positioning stats if possible. That's what worked for me in the same division with Lucon.
Just keep at it, you've got nothing Toulouse.