A coup de grâce (/ˌkuː də ˈɡrɑːs/; French [ku də ɡʁɑs] for “blow of mercy”) is a death blow to end the suffering of a severely wounded person or animal. – Wiki
1: Beating PSFG
I had a feeling in the last blog La Libération de Caen #10: “Sorry Neymar new phone who dis?” that it would happen. Not saying I completely called it but I refer your good selves back to this (albeit one fifth) of a prediction:
And then, in a stunning performance of the finest FM shithousery in the quarter final of the Coupe De France it came true, when we built a brick wall in each half, managed to scrape a 1-1 draw and took it to pens, when we had the incredible advantage of having the best keeper in the league between our sticks, the wonderful Alessandro Plzzari, who saved Lautaro Martinez’ opening pen to put the pressure on them and steal the win. As you can see, it was something that I was quite pleased about at the time:
In fact, if you fancy reliving the whole thing, including the part where my croaky manflu-voice gets higher and higher pitched towards the end, here is the audioblog commentary of the game:
Sadly though and despite his heroics that have instantly made him an SM Caen legend for ever more, Plizzari refuses to sign a new contract and is about to leave the absolute fool 😦 but more of that later.
2: A tale of (knackered) Nearly Men
As for the bigger picture our campaign was a very odd one indeed and quite unlike any season I have had so far in that it was a miracle we achieved so much with such bad results. For this read ..
- 57 GAMES PLAYED
- 26 WON
- 14 DRAWN
- 17 LOST
Yet incredibly (and I still don’t know how) this is how it finished, with 6th place (and Europa Conference qualification) in the league and the semi-final of both the Europa League and the Coupe De France, meaning it was our most successful campaign ever when you take all competitions into account:
What is more, this was accompanied with some luvverly victories along the way, the most rewarding of which was knocking not only Chelsea but also Liverpool out of the Europa League in yet another Plizzari penalty masterclass! (God, I wish he would stay).
That said, it wasn’t all joy and post-match piss ups on the coach as for most of the season as those results show we were absolute dross, no, really, I mean ABSOLUTE, fans-leaving-at-half-time-and-wanting-me-to-get-sacked-on-twitter-quoting-#Heathenout, total GARBAGE!
Take this little segment as an example, where it is clear that our success in the cups seriously showed the shallowness of our strength and depth, with many players injured and others playing out of position:
And here is another example, which best illustrates the problems we were having with injuries, suspensions and players not being registered for one reason or another. In this game against Nimes straight before the Liverpool second leg the players ringed red are kids and those in blue are being played out of position, not to mention some of the other players going into the game on low fitness:
So that all said, as I mentioned before it is a wonder we got anywhere this season!
3: Money money money!!!
If you read that last blog you may also recall this nice turn of events at the end of last season when I somehow managed to fenagle a whole bunch of excellent free transfers totaling 85 million:
Little did I know at the time what an effect this would have on the general scheme of things in terms of the finances. To put it simply it meant that I could offload their first team underperforming counterparts and rake in some nice funds into the coffers, meaning that not only did we do our best ever business but we also ended up 25 mil in the black after we’d paid our debts!
There was also other knock ons as well, mainly to do with the transfer percentage and the fee-paying loans I had out, when the board raised it to 80% which meant from the one mil a month of fees that came in I was getting 800k in the transfer kitty 🙂 bloody lovely and a blessed relief after the years of financial torment.
4: Onwards and upwards?
So where too now? I started the last blog by saying it could be my last year and then this happens, we start to recover financially, we weirdly progress further in two of the three competitions than ever before BY beating PSG, Chelsea and Liverpool in the process and all when I was thinking it was slipping away.
Of course we go again, but hopefully a little wiser this time as follows:
- Replace Plizzari!
- Campaign hard again on all fronts
- Continue to try to beat PSG
- Win the Europa Conference (getting to the final is a board target)
- pad out the squad with better strength and depth
- Improve, improve, improve!!!
The first one I am pleased to say is done, when my chief scout finally did his job and pulled out the wonderful (on paper at least) Predrag Medakovic to replace our wantaway hero Plizzari, who sadly is just entering the last year of his contract so will have to be sold in this window. It’s early days but the boy has a 7.09 avg with 4 clean sheets out of 7 starts for Atletico last season. His scout and analyst reports were also excellent and I managed to get him on a cracking 7.5 mil deal at just 32k a week, which is 27k less than Plizzari!
5: And finally ..
I thought I’d leave you with this little snippet just to show you were we’re at, when this happened after 6 years of the board turning down EVERY single financial request I had, boy it felt good 🙂
That’s it for this brief one for now, thanks for reading again.
Daz aka @fmheathen everywhere.