Le Méthode de Lemaire – #3.2 – At the Double?

Here we go then Ladies and Gentlemen, the final half of the season and it’s all to play for in the league. Yves Lemaire and the team have been working away in the winter break but will it bring back some consistent form or will the inconsistencies continue to cause a slide in the league? The last episode if you missed it will give you some context for this!

In this instalment the focus will of course be the league campaign with the January transfer window, youth intake amongst other things appearing…so let’s get to it.

The ‘5 Phase’ Philosophy

Before Yves decided to come into management, he designed his own philosophy which is based on 5 phases of club progression. His aim was always to start low down in the tiers and GOAL FC will be the club where the philosophy is implemented.

PHASE 1 – Status – This essentially is to get the club to professional status by whatever it takes tactically or financially.

PHASE 2 – Stability – After going professional, this is to bring stability to the club in Ligue 2.

PHASE 3 – Implementation – To identify with an attacking style of play to become more competitive within the league.

PHASE 4 – Control – To win promotion to Ligue 1 using phase 3 and to become established within that league.

PHASE 5 – Dominance – This is the final step, become a title and cup winner, then target European success as well. Become a force within French Football.

These will be tracked and essentially ticked off once complete, it is a step by step process however, Yves aims to complete all of this at GOAL FC and will do whatever takes for it to happen.

January Transfer Window 2023/24

There was one area Yves was targeting in particular in the transfer window, to bring more quality in depth at right wing but had eyes elsewhere as well. No major outgoings in January meaning full focus on who was coming in!

There was a couple of free signings before the official window, first up was experienced defender Arnold Temanfo who had played at Ligue 2 but had been released from FC Anney early in the season. With moderately cheap wages, Yves saw this as a no-brainer. He was followed a couple of months later by young goalkeeper Sean Duffet who was a former Lyon Academy player, he will spend time with the U19s & 2 side to see how he develops.

In January itself, another youngster was signed in striker Emmanuel Valey who was last with Dijon’s reserve side. Some good base stats, Yves will keep an eye on this player’s development. Lastly, a right winger was finally found in the experienced Antoine Hoppenot who had spent this career thus far in the USA, mainly playing at USL level. Antoine’s choice to move back to his country of birth made the free signing process very quick after a good trial period.

The Youth Intake 2023/24

After a good projection earlier in the season, Yves Lemaire had his hopes up on this intake for a breakthrough with players. However, it fell flat once again…

Two players out of sixteen were deemed good enough for the youth squad and even that was at a stretch based on currently ability. Yves was on the warpath it was safe to say.

He marches out of his office looking for Head of Youth Development Frederic Valladier. As he heads over to the academy set of offices he asks anyone he sees “Where is he? Where his Frederic?!” No-one seems to know but it was evident Frederic was not at the stadium on this day…could you blame him?

Championnat National 2023/24

January – March

There has definitely been a change in mentality from the players as they go on a potent run of form over these three months which were full of matches! The key part of this was beating teams that were around GOAL FC in the table.

Wins over Avranches (2-1) & FC Anney (1-0) were crucial but there is a clear improvement by beating Dunkerque (1-0) and sharing the points with Grenoble (1-1), two teams who had toppled Yves’ side earlier in the season. How did the table shape up though after this run?

GOAL FC’s form provide for great viewing as they take control of the league going into the final 7-8 games. Yves was appreciative towards the boys and had seen an improvement all around including training performances, which we know has been a struggle in the first couple of seasons.

A quick team meeting was held where Yves wanted to offer words of encouragement to the team. “Lads, you have been fantastic since the season recommenced. No losses so far this year and we are managing our games a lot better. Keep trusting the process, sticking to the tactic and we might just do the unthinkable this season and go up again. Let’s keep working, c’mon!!”

Yves claps rapidly as he finishes the speech and the team get behind it too, football is always fun when you’re winning right?

April – May

Things got a bit edgy with four points dropped at the start of April against Rodez & Chambly (both 1-1) but the team bounced back with a late show against Red Star (3-0) showing the fight is still there. It was getting seriously down to business as the press whirl up the title race intensity.

The run in for GOAL FC has it’s difficulties but the task at hand had to be focused on. First up was Orleans but what did it produce for Yves and the team?

A single goal was all it took to take GOAL FC and Yves Lemaire one step closer to the promise land…

LIGUE 2 PROMOTION SECURED!! GOAL FC ACHIEVE CONSECTUTIVE PROMOTIONS!!

A slender 1-0 victory over Orleans sends Yves and GOAL FC one step closer to Ligue 1! But the job wasn’t done as they chased the Championnat National title as well. Beat relegation bound Vendee Herbiers and the title will be secured!

PANDEMONIUM!! YVES HAS GONE AND DONE IT, CHAMPIONNAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONS AT THE FIRST ATTEMPT!!

With a couple of games remaining, the team looked to finish strong on what has been an unbelievable run of a season.

The boys delivered for Yves Lemaire who was full of emotion with the achievement. Phase 1 of his philosophy had been achieved as it a Ligue 2 requirement to be a professional club at that level. Of course, tons of work to do in the summer but let’s enjoy the moment with Yves Lemaire and the final table.

End of Season Review 2023/24

An eventful season for sure for the club and Yves Lemaire but now it’s time to sit back, reflect and enjoy the success!

There was also season awards for the man himself Yves Lemaire, young winger Yannis Lagha and goalkeeper Nathan Cremillieux. This is a credit to club, the staff and players around them as well!

Finances

Finally, financially the club see themselves out of the red and with the healthiest balance the club has seen ever in Yves Lemaire’s tenure. Cost cutting by Yves and chairman Jocelyn Fontanel has been key to this rise, along with the team’s two promotions in quick succession. More money is to be made in Ligue 2 and with professional status.

Chairman’s Meeting (End of Season)

Now, if you’re a regular round here you’ll be used to these meetings taking place at ‘the cafe‘ however, an acquisition has been made and what was once the cafe is now known as ‘Fontanel’s’. The name is familiar right? That’s because it’s the chairman’s last name, he always wanted to buy the famed meeting place and there was no better time than now.

Yves Lemaire and Jocelyn ‘Jos’ Fontanel park up and greet each other outside before entering ‘Fontanel’s’. The place looked different, almost refreshed but still had that French old fashioned feel.

“Jos, you finally bought this place, it looks magnifique.” Yves says with a big smile.

Jos laughed a little before replying “And I still have the football club, who would’ve thought?!” Both men laugh before sharing a handshake. Jos took Yves to his private booth in the corner of Fontanel’s by the window. It was time to discuss various aspects starting with this season’s success.

“I don’t know how you done it Yves but you delivered, way ahead of our schedule and achieving the first part of your own philosophy. What do you think about next season? It’s going to be harder than ever.” Jos states the latter part with reluctance.

“It’s going to be very difficult no doubt, it’s a National/National 2 standard squad so the summer we need to reinforce the spine of the team and then build as we go. Avoid relegation and nothing else next season.” Yves said this with true honesty and Jos nodded in agreement with the Manager’s words.

Kevin Nzungu

Yves is a massive fan of young creative midfielder Keven Nzungu, who has spent this and last season on loan at the club. Dijon renewed his contract meaning a permanent signing ruled out. Nzungu turned down a loan extension in January too. However, Jos knew of Yves’ want to keep the player and was able to sort out another loan deal with Dijon.

“I know you want Nzungu here again next season, well we’ve been able to sort a deal and secure him for another year. He’s very happy to play in Ligue 2 with us now promotion is secured!” Yves shook Jos’ hand again and simply said “Thank you so much”. This is a key part of Yves system and was delighted to build a little around Nzungu next season.

Investment in Yves

After the success of the season and the clear loyalty that Yves shows to the club, Jos wanted to reward him in double. A new contract and a coaching course that Yves had wanted for a while.

“Yves, inside this envelope is a new contract and details of your continental C licence course. You deserve both of these, your commitment to us is like never before, it’s quite clear you want to see this project through with us.”

Yves again showing delight. “I will always repay you with this team’s success, it means the world to me to remain and develop in this club with the great staff and players.” Yves signs the two year extension immediately before returning to Jos.

Player Scouting Range

Lastly, Jos wanted to notify Yves of the new scouting range that will now cover Western Europe opposed to just France.

“Now we’re going up, we need to look further than France for talent. There will be plenty of players around this market for us so we need to target the right areas.” Jos said with confidence.

“I appreciate that but you know I love my country so French players will always come first but it will be good to have a few players with experience elsewhere join the squad, however it looks next season.” Yves responded, but both men were on the same page.

Essentially that was the end of the meeting but the two colleagues who had become good friends stayed at Fontanel’s for a general catch up about the general things in life.

What’s Next?

Next up will be the start of the Ligue 2 adventure! There is a lot of work to be done in the summer by Yves Lemaire to get the team ready with lots to consider, safer tactic? Who to sell? Who to buy? Board requests? Plus many more things.

While you’re exploring the DP-FM website, check out our awesome guest bloggers in Emperor FMFMBethFMGZane Pritchard FM & TomBlogsFM with their respective saves.

Amazing scenes here but the double promotion in consecutive seasons has really kicked off the challenge. See you in the not too distant future for the next part of this story! Take care out there.

DP-FM’s Scott

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