Season One was a classic football cliché - "A game of two halves"
We were nothing but poor in the first half of last season securing more draws that victories and just not playing very good football. If you want to catch up on the end of last season you can do here.
Luckily we made some smart moves in the January window and managed to catapult ourselves back up the table finishing 5th, just outside of the Champions League spots. I feel like we need to learn from these mistakes and make a MUCH faster start. Lets crack on with season 2!
Expectations & Budget
Right lets see what is expected of us this season.
Very similar to last year, including the budgets unfortunately.
We need Champions League football to take us to the next step and that is crystal clear!
Lets see how the supporters have taken to us.
All positive from the supporters as our social media influence improves and we have ticked off some expectations for the supporters.
We have just had a massive run of improvements at the end of last season due to a huge improvement in the finances. We received the smallest of improvments at the ground before the start of the season.
The rest of the off field discussions were well above our pay grade... A possible takeover.
Lets see how that develops over the coming months.
Lets start with the outgoings as we needed to raise funds to reinvest in the squad.
Some bit parts sold but the most notable is Luka Jovic.
Having been signed in January last year he was expected to offer some experience and goals but "couldn't settle in the area" and requested a transfer.
After accepting every bid that came in for him in the hope of recouping our initial out lay we were surprised to see him choose to move 70 miles down the road to Nantes. Lets hope that he doesn't come back to haunt us.
After moving about some budgets lets see who we could bring in.
Its all defensive reinforcements as we highlight some weaknesses in the squad.
Eric Martel is our "Marquee" signing joining for £11 million from FC Koln.
He is going to be Matic's direct replacement at the base of the midfield offering a solid base.
He looks like he could be an absolute monster at the price!
Andrei Borza joins from Rapid Bucharest for £3.5 million.
A left sided defender with bags and bags of potential. He will offer some competition out there after the departure of Sergio Gomez at the end of his loan deal.
Alessandro Circati joins for £5 million from Parma.
Hes another young defender, this time perfect for the wide centre back role, something we were in desperate need for. I think he will see plenty of game time this season.
Last but not least and old friend joins us in France.
Dennis Seimen joins us on loan from Stuttgart. We had Dennis with us at Palace last year and I couldn't pass up the chance of having him as part of this squad also.
We dabbled with a fresh tactic last season and saw a modicum of success, there have been some tweaks but ones that should offer us an advantage.
August & September 2024
Lets get this season underway. We NEED a flying start otherwise we are on danger of having a similar season to last year.
NOW THATS A START!
We go 5 games unbeaten to start the season without conceding a goal. It was exactly what we needed.
We then hit a tough three games as we face three of the top 4 teams in the country in a row. For the second season we are the first team to take points off of PSG with a draw.
We were also informed of our opponents for the new format of the Europa League.
This year the Europa league is in a large League format it the top 8 progressing to the knockout rounds automatically with the next 16 teams entering into a playoff system. We are obviously looking to get ourselves into that top 8.
October & November 2024
October and November contained a very favourable run of games and after the start we made these are the months we can really put the foot down and rack up some points.
Racking up points is EXCATLY what we do.
An unbeaten 2 months with 4 wins and 2 draws. We are really finding our feet and a wonderful partnership between Kalimuendo and Torres is forming. The two grab 9 goals between them over the 6 games. Long may that continue.
Just the league games in December to cover all very winnable. Can we seal the end of the year with a perfect month?
We cant, a sloppy performance at Lorient put pay to that.
Otherwise its another great month as we finish the year with only three losses in the league. Exactly the improvement we were after.
Lets check out the league below.
Sitting in 4th, 9 points clear of 5th is a brilliant first half of the season!
We saw our draw for the Europa League earlier on in the episode, lets check in to see how we faired.
After a tricky start with Premier League opponents Everton winning their visit to Britany. After that we find our feet and reel off 5 consecutive wins with relative ease.
We have secured ourselves a play off spot at the very least but with two games left to play I fancy us to secure one of those elusive top 8 places and in the hat straight away for the 2nd knock out round.
We will leave the first half of the season there. Some fantastic form in the league has seen us break into the race for the top 4.
If we continue this we will have a great chance of brining Champions League football to Rennes!!
As always, thank you for reading and I hope you join us for the second half of the season next time.