AS Saint-Étienne 2019/20
We pick things up following our imposing start to the 2019/20 title assault – which would see us approach the festive period undefeated. Points dropped in careless away draws against Stade de Reims and Angers being the only stumbling block.
14 December 2019
The mixed form we’d encounter heading towards the new year would see our handsome nine-point lead at the top of the league table slip. We had performed miraculously and, for a team who possess infinitely less spending power than those directly below us – shows just how much we are progressing here at Saint-Étienne.
A & xA
Every cog in our now well oiled footballing machine are of equal importance to the teams overall balance, however, perhaps the most vital role is that which is performed by our wide men. Having at least two options on either flank is essential to how we play. It’s a gruelling schedule – particularly whilst juggling several competitions such as; UEFA Champions League and both domestic cups.
An injury sustained by Aksel Aktas meant things would need to be altered slightly – for a couple of months at least. This is why we’ve equipped ourselves with a host of players capable of changing games and sprinkling their own individual magic on proceedings. Richarlison makes the switch to the right – allowing him the freedom to cut inside and onto his favoured left foot.
I take immense satisfaction in having players that most (FM) managers don’t perhaps look at. Getting said players to dance to your merry tune is particularly fulfilling. Levi Garcia is one of those players. The Trinidadian speed merchant undeniably stepping up to the plate – with ‘European Golden Boy’, Aksel Aktas on the treatment table.
Sporting Director – AS Saint-Étienne
Jadon is a very big talent. One of the biggest talents of his generation in England.
We’re delighted to have secured a deal with Jadon Sancho – who will join us in the summer after seeing his contract run down with Borussia Dortmund. Still very much an unpolished diamond, however, much like his soon to be teammates – Jadon will be lighting up football matches across France and beyond in the not so distant future.
Fuckin’ hell..!! Here we go again. Fasten your seatbelts..!!
17 April 2020
34) AS Saint-Étienne v Toulouse, 18 April 2020
Full-time: AS Saint–Étienne 1-0 Toulouse
Vincent Pajot barely gets a mention but I tell you what – when called upon he almost always does the business. A no hassle, industrious midfielder, who tends to have an eye for goal. When it matters too !! Brazilian wonderkid, Vinícius Júnior causing all sorts of problems for the Toulouse defenders.
We pretty much let him wander as he pleases up-top. His movement is reminiscent of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino. Very nice to see Issa Diop marshalling the defence to a clean sheet against his former employers.
24 April 2020
35) FC Metz v AS Saint-Étienne, 25 April 2020
Full-time: FC Metz 1-3 AS Saint–Étienne
Assist kings, Aksel Aktas and Levi Garcia supplying the ammunition – with Garcia netting his second in as many games. Much like Vincent Pajot in the previous fixture against Toulouse – Loïs Diony gets business done !! Often dubbed the poor man’s Nicolas Anelka… I’m happy with that.
36) AS Saint-Étienne v Lille OSC, 2 May 2020
Full-time: AS Saint–Étienne 3-0 Lille OSC
Outstanding…!! Three down, two to go..!!
The Aksel x Garcia double act is gunning down one team after another at the moment. Michel Platini had a huge hand in guiding AS Saint-Étienne to their last title back in 1980/81, and as discussed in previous articles – Aksel is fast becoming a superstar. Three in three now for Garcia. It’s a really tough one to call but, Assane Dioussé could very well be my favourite player at the club. AC Milan have sent people to look at him on numerous occasions, with a view to luring the mezzala back to Italy – where he previously played under the tutelage of now Napoli manager, Maurizio Sarri.
37) Olympique Lyonnais v AS Saint-Étienne, 10 May 2020
Come on boys…!! This is your chance to make history..!! This is ‘Football Manager’ at it’s absolute magnificent best.
I inverted the midfield triangle for this crucial, crucial Derby Rhône-Alpes. Without question the most vital in recent memory.
Maybe it’s just the emotion and nerves talking but, this could very well be the biggest result during my reign at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. Heavy police guard just about managed to contain our fans – who made an attempt to reach the turf in order to celebrate with their heroes. The forgotten man, Rémy Cabella coming up trumps on a rare outing from the maverick Frenchman.
What a night for the people of Saint-Étienne. This one is for them…!! The Rhône runs green tonight..!!
Full-time: Olympique Lyonnais 0-1 AS Saint–Étienne
15 May 2020
38) AS Saint-Étienne v Stade Rennais, 16 May 2020
Full-time: AS Saint–Étienne 3-0 Stade Rennais
Tears of unbridled joy..!!
With almost everyone on their A game – this was just a day to party for les verts. Kenny Rocha Santos putting on a dazzling display to whip the crowd into a frenzy! History has been made here today. Wouldn’t it be somewhat fitting if Ilija Netorovski’s eighty-fifth-minute strike was to be his last for the club. We shall see…
AS Saint-Étienne win Ligue 1
What a game, what a season. What a fucking save..!! I very much enjoyed that. I was always confident we’d see off Rennes to seal the title. Great work everybody..!!
1st International Cap.
An incredibly proud moment for Perr, but also myself and the club. We invested precious time and money in the young gangling centre back – giving him time to mature, whilst getting regular top-flight experience at a very high level.
Perr now commands one of the two starting berths at the heart of our defence. He’s now ready to fully shoulder the responsibility of succeeding club captain and legend, Loic Perrin. A burden he’ll share alongside Issa Diop.
With us now holding the maximum four non-EU players registered in the senior squad – it’s important that we turn our attention to European players and in particular – homegrown talent. So, when we assessed all areas of the squad – the forward position was one I felt needed specific attention. Ilija Nestorovski and Loïs Diony have been exemplary throughout my incumbency, however, I felt now would be a good time to freshen things up.
If Ilija is content with playing a bit part role, and perhaps be called upon to carry out a specific job when required, then I’m more than happy to have him remain at the club. He was also the first signing I made at AS Saint-Étienne, so there’s an element of sentimentality involved.
I’m a manager who will always look to get business sealed as early as possible – meaning any new additions have adequate time to settle in and gel with the current crop of players.
The club is delighted then, to have secured the signature of young French attacker, Jean-Kévin Augustin from RB Leipzig in Germany. Our scouting department recommended several players which included; Hassan Bandé, Salih Özcan, Johannes Eggestein to name a few but, Jean-Kévin Augustin is blessed with all the key attributes we look for in a modern day striker.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention….
We managed to secure the world’s most expensive teenager on a two-year loan deal from the mighty Real Madrid.
- Jean-Kévin Augustin
- Loïs Diony
- Vinícius Júnior
- Ilija Nestorovski
AS Saint-Étienne – Champions of France… A very nice ring to it, don’t you think?
Take care and Allez les Verts!
A = Assist xA = expected Assist