A.J. Auxerre: Return To The Top

For my next save, I wanted something that was more of a challenge and/or not in the top division of a country. I didn’t want to focus too much on the tactics, but more on the development of the club. I looked at some smaller nations that I could help develop and grow, Scotland being the first choice since it’s where I’m from. I was in Poland a few years ago so considered a club and country save there. I even thought about the craziness of South America, but none really got me that interested.

Finding a club is usually a challenge for me, so I spent a while away from the game and just did some reading about different teams. I thought it would be a good idea to try and revive the fortunes of a team. Not a team that had fallen all the way down, although I did consider that, but one that had lost their way a bit.

Scouring Europes leagues, I stumbled upon French Ligue 2 side, A.J. Auxerre. The team that brought us Cantona, Mexes, Sagna and Cisse. In 1996 they won the League and Cup double and won the cup a further two times in 2003 and 2005. In 2012 they dropped out of the top division and have so far, have failed to finish higher than 9th.

kits 700.png

New Manager. New Kits.

And that’s where I step in. So, where do we go from here?

The short term aim is obviously to get us back in Ligue 1 at the earliest opportunity. However, I don’t imagine it being an easy ride. The squad isn’t the best so I’ll be hoping for some good fortune to get us there. I anticipate it taking 2-3 years at least. I think if I get up first season, we’d struggle to hold onto our Ligue 1 status and it may do us more harm than good.

Once we’ve achieved Ligue 1 status, the goal is to build the squad and work our way up the table. It would then take a few years before we would be classed as an established team. As I go along, I will be trying my hardest to develop players for the first team and maintaining a sound financial footing.

stadium

Stade Abbé Deschamps. 21,379 Capacity

We have reasonable facilities, but there’s room for improvement and I think long term, we should be looking to develop our stadium to increase revenues as we grow. At the moment it only has a capacity of 21,379, I’m sure with top flight football, we could sell that out on a regular basis and convince the board to improve. It’s not been renovated since 1994, so it’s a bit dated in that regard.

As mentioned, I’ll be looking to develop youth, but at some point, that will be my main focus once we’re established. I want Auxerre to become a hub of French talent that churns out the next Cantona, Zidane or Benzema. It’ll take a lot of work to get us to that point, but I think it’s achievable.

Tactically, I’m using a formation that I’ve never used. Our squad has plenty of central options so my first thought was to use a diamond. The obvious pitfalls of that formation are the lack of wide players to help in defensive phases. One suggestion I kept seeing was to use a flat midfield three to push the outer central midfielders a bit wider, which would help the full backs. So, 4312 it is. I’ve chosen a forward three that should create and exploit space. My midfield balances forward runs and defensive stability while the back four offers width and steel.

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Stay tuned for updates on Twitter and Tifo.

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