Under a month after leaving the red and black half of Milan, I was back in work, with the first job I applied for. I didn’t really have any particular plans for where I wanted to go next, but I was thinking I’d end up with a mid-table club in one of the larger European leagues. I’ve not had much experience in France on FM, although I spent a couple of seasons at Toulouse on FM11, so I have that little connection to the club at the Stade Municipal.
Obviously as Toulouse had decided to part with their manager midway through the season, expectations weren’t being met in the south of France. Here’s how the league looked when I arrived:
Being positioned in 17th wasn’t meeting the media expectation of a 12th placed finish, and neither was it meeting the board expectations, evidently. And therefore I was tasked with keeping Toulouse in Ligue 1.
5 wins, 3 draws, and 3 losses were enough to easily keep us up. In reality, the 15 points we won in my first 6 games kept us up, after that the pressure was off. The most notable performances were the two 3-1 victories, one against local rivals Bordeaux, and the other against Lyon.
The results dwindled out in the last few games when the fear of relegation had subsided. We also played against teams who were fighting for their lives, and so were likely more committed to achieving a result. The 11 games I’ve had in charge so far have given me more than enough encouragement for my time going forward with Toulouse.
The squad was clearly underperforming when I came in. However, the results under my tenure have shown me that the team is comfortably mid table quality. I’ve selected 2 players that I consider to be noteworthy at this point.
Only picking out two players from the entire squad may seem strange, but no one else really stood out, and I am hoping to make some pretty large changes to stamp my identity on the squad during my first summer in charge. I do have some other highly rated players, such as Wissam Ben Yedder who has been linked to Tottenham recently in real life, but they didn’t seem to be particularly effective, and I may look to cash in on them.
Tactically it was very dull. I didn’t doing anything interesting, and most games I only used 1 instruction, using a shape which seemed to have caused my opponents the most problems in their scout report. It was relatively effective, but I find Football Manager most enjoyable when you’re trying to create a specific style, which is something I will be looking to do with Toulouse.
I haven’t really done much of an assessment on the squad so far, I just plugged in the players my assistant recommend. So this summer will be about gauging who I want to take forward as I build my own team, hopefully working around the basis of an interesting tactical philosophy.
I’ve already made 2 signings on free transfers, and the board have given me €6.3 million to spend, with €33k per week in the wage budget. It’s more than likely players will have to leave to raise enough money to build my own squad.
Hopefully this is the beginning of an exciting time at Toulouse. Thanks for reading and see you soon!