#3 – Case Studies – The Kids from Montbéliard

Welcome back to Montbéliard! In my previous post, I’ve talked you through our key players and some of the prospects at Sochaux. I have to say I’m excited about the number of talents at the club. FCSM’s academy is astounding. I can only hope that the youth intakes will be of the same quality. I’ve played multiple seasons over different files in FM20, but none of the youth intakes where satisfying. But that’s a different story. 

We’ll be looking at my case studies in today’s post. I like to call them my ‘case studies’, although I’m not even sure if it covers the load. I’ve picked some of the promising youngsters to follow them throughout their development. I’ll keep a close eye – and update – on their progress in six-monthly updates. Not only that, I’ll tell you all about what I’m doing with them and how I set up their training.

Writers note: Please keep in mind that I’m not an expert, and none of my posts should come across as a guide! I only want to explain what I’m thinking and why I do the things the way I’m doing them. 

I’m not only trying to develop these case studies. Every player at the club will get the same amount of attention. Everyone has an individual development plan. I’m using the in-game notes to keep track of what I think about them and their training regimes. They will remind me of the choices I made, and I’ve set them to recur quarterly. This way, it’s almost impossible to forget about a player and every player builds his own-made training report. I might elaborate on this in a later post if anyone’s interested.

Now, without any further ado, let’s have a look, shall we? 

Melvin Sitti

Melvin was my favourite FCSM player back in FM18, and therefore my expectations are high! The same goes for why I’ve picked him as my first ‘case study’. He is a Paris FC youth product and signed for FC Sochaux in 2017. Sitti plays in midfield and is at his best as a passer/runner. Let’s have a look at his profile from the start of the game.

Melvin Sitti in FM20 – Start of game

Pretty decent, éh? Being 19 years of age means that Melvin needs a lot of game time in the first team. We have quite some options in midfield, so he needs to fight for his place. Which, I believe, is a good thing! Sitti can play different roles due to being a well-rounded player. His only real weakness is his marking which makes me think about developing him into an attacking player.

He’s willing to work hard, can pick a pass, and is skilled on the ball due to his dribbling and technique. His potential suggests he can become a good player for Ligue Un sides. At this time, I believe him to be at his best as a Mezalla. So that’s how I’ll play him in our first season. In the future, he can become a good box-to-box player as well. He then needs to improve on his physicals and some of the mental attributes though.

Melvin Sitti coach report

The coach report doesn’t bring anything surprising to me, albeit it’s good to know Sitti is a reasonably consistent performer, which could help with his development. I’m going to put him in the first XI from the start of the season and will monitor him closely during pre-season. His progression could sky-rocket if we can get him into top form. If utilised correctly, we could get high ratings from him regularly.

The other thing standing out is that Sitti seems to be a very committed player and wants to get the best out of himself to support the cause. That’s another sign of being able to get high match- and training ratings out of him, which will help him progress at a higher rate.

As mentioned earlier, Sitti doesn’t have any real weaknesses. His marking could be an issue if I wanted him to be a holding player. However, I want him to be an attacking player, and that’s why we can ignore this weakness. The report hints him being at National level.

I’ve checked the comparison tab in the team report, which tells me otherwise. Having a score of 13 on an attribute is considered high in Ligue 2, and Sitti isn’t far off on some of the most important attributes. I believe he can be important for the team straight away!

For the first three months, he’s on the above training regime. I’ve chosen to go with Box-to-Box midfielder because of the physical requirements. I want him to improve his physical attributes as soon as possible. Being stronger and more agile will support his technical playstyle. It would make it easier for him to complete a dribble and be more powerful in the challenge.

The role is quite demanding and hits a lot of the mental attributes, which I like to see improved as well. It also ticks all the technical attributes I think he needs. We are working on his weaker sides of the game, without ignoring the positives.

I’ve given him the additional focus on balance and agility to boost them. He’s training with normal intensity because I’m using considerably demanding team training during pre-season.

Technical playerAggression
Currently best as MezallaAnticipation
No real weaknessesComposure
Focus on physicals firstOff the ball
Consistent performerAll Physical attributes

Salem Mbakata

I wanted players from different age brackets for my case studies. Salem Mbakata is already 21-years old and looks like he’s ready for first-team football. The right wing-back is an FCSM academy player and has already played nineteen matches for the first team during last year’s campaign. He still has lots of potential left to progress and become a quality Ligue 1 player.

Salem Mbakata in FM20 – Start of game

Mbakata needs game time, and I’m willing to give him that. Salem is a well-rounded wing-back who needs to develop on every part of the game. At the same time, he’s already decent overall. Mbakata is a pretty versatile player. He can play as a full-back or wing-back but could play on the wings as well. I do, however, favour him to be a wing-back. He has no real weaknesses at first sight, although I want him to be stronger and see his mental attributes improved over time.

Mbakata has good technique, can pick a pass, good first touch and can cross the ball. He’s willing to work hard and is a brave and aggressive player. I’m thinking about playing him as a full-back first, so the role isn’t too demanding. In the future, I like to see him becoming an attacking wing-back who supports our attacking play.

Salem Mbakata coach report

His report isn’t exactly pleasing. It states that he can only become a Ligue 2 player and that he should improve his heading. Well, I don’t think so. I feel his potential is high enough to be a decent Ligue 1 player and as he’s playing on the wing, he doesn’t need to be able to head the ball. I do understand it’s his weakness but feel like we can neglect it.

The report also says that he’s currently only a National player, but I think he’s ready for first-team football in Ligue 2.

Mbakata is a technical player who possesses a fair amount of pace. He’s very brave and can play in a couple of positions. These are the things I agree with and what we’re building on.

Mbakata is training as a full-back because this regime hits the attributes I want to improve first, especially in the mental area. This set-up also focusses on his stronger side of the game, which are his technical attributes. He’ll work on further improving his crossing, dribbling, first touch, passing and technique as well as working on his weaker sides like marking and tackling.

I’ve added the additional focus to work on his strength, which is an area of concern. He’s training with a normal intensity due to a quite demanding pre-season team training. This set-up will stand for the first three months. After that, I will evaluate the progress and change things accordingly.

Technical playerAnticipation
Currently best as Full-BackComposure
No real weaknessesConcentration
Try to improve mentalsDecisions

Skelly Alvero

I’ve chosen Skelly Alvero as one of my case studies because of his position. Mbakata plays at right-back and with Sitti in midfield, I wanted to add a striker in the mix. The 17-year-old Frenchman is an FCSM academy product and has yet to make his debut for Sochaux. Alvero has a lof off potential, and I do believe he can become a prolific Ligue 1 scorer.

Alvero looks decent but isn’t good enough to feature in the first-team yet. He doesn’t need to anyway, because we have some time before he turns eighteen. He’s a classic target man, being almost two meters tall. He’s very strong for his age and knows how to jump too. His mental and technical are pretty decent overall.

His only real weakness is his quickness, lacking both acceleration and pace. That is something we need to address in training. I’d like him to be more agile as well. His mentals will grow over time when he gets some playing time. He might get a chance during some cup games.

His coach report shows some weaknesses, but I don’t agree with all of them. He is a fairly slow player, but I don’t think he needs to be good at crossing so, I’ll ignore that part of the report. Being very one-footed might be a concern if he can’t increase his agility, but for now, I’m OK with it. I don’t see him playing well in another position than upfront, and therefore, we can neglect his versatility too.

The report also suggests him being at National 2 level, but I think he’s a bit better than that. Alvero has a lot of room to improve, our best coach regarding judging players and I agree on that one. He is a brave player who’s strong in the air and performs consistently. I like consistent players because when they’re in good form, it’s easier to keep them at those high match ratings, which is beneficial for their development.

I’m putting Alvero on training the advanced forward role and added focus on quickness. The main reason for this is that his physical attributes will get a lot of attention this way. The quickness training will improve his acceleration and pace, while the role training works on his agility, balance, and stamina.

I do believe his strength and jumping reach will grow naturally, due to his target man ‘template’. The advanced forward role does tick the mental attributes I want to see improved as well, and the same goes for his technical attributes.

Classic target manAcceleration
Fairly slow playerPace
Improve physicalsAgility
Consistent performerStamina

Sidy Diagne

Diagne was, just like Alvero, sitting in the second team at the start of the savegame. The 17-year-old central defender is, again, an FCSM academy product. The Swiss player was born in Montbéliard. Sidy Diagne was added to the case studies because I think he can go quite far!

His profile shows why I rate this youngster. Sidy has a nice attribute spread with high numbers in heading, marking, aggression, bravery, teamwork, jumping and natural fitness. He looks like a solid central defender already and will get some matches under his belt this season. Off course, he needs some work, but he shows that he’s a naturally gifted player.

He needs to improve in all areas if he wants to become a regular starter. I do believe he can become a good ball-playing defender because he’s a pretty technical player for a defender. He mostly lacks in the mental area. Anticipation, composure, concentration, decisions, positioning and vision all need to go up. Mental attributes are hard to train though and will improve mainly with gaining experience.

He also needs to become more physical. He needs more quickness, and I want him to be more agile and balanced. He needs more strength too. But, for a player with the age of seventeen, he’s quite far in his development.

His report shows exactly what my thoughts where. He lacks decision-making ability, can only play in one position, is very one-footed and is at National 2 level. At the time, only his decision-making is a concern to me. The rest of the cons we can neglect.

I want to focus on his pros. Diagne can improve a lot in the future. I actually think he can become a top Ligue 1 player. Again, we have a consistent performer, which is a big plus for me. Once we get him to perform, he is most likely to stay in that form. Diagne is a brave player who gives his all to the cause.

He’s a natural leader as well, which I like to see in a central defender. He could successfully be re-trained as a defensive midfielder but let’s work on his central defender’s capabilities first.

I’ve put him on a ball-playing defender regime for the first three months, with additional focus on agility and balance. In the screenshot above, you can see that this hits all the attributes he needs to grow, except acceleration. I think we can address that easily at a later stage, while he’s still young.

Promising ball-playing defenderAnticipation
Needs to improve overallComposure
Needs better mentalsConcentration
Could be re-trained to DMDecisions
Consistent performerPositioning

That’s where I’ll leave it for now. These four players will be my first case studies, and I’ll track their progress closely and update on them every six months. There are a lot more promising players, but discussing them all would take me way too much time and make these posts far too long.

You’ll read about our first half of the first season in my next post, and I hope to see you back again!

If you have any feedback on the posts thus far, please hit me up on Twitter and don’t forget to follow me!

Other posts in The Kids from Montbéliard

#1 – The Kids from Montbéliard (Introduction)
#2 – Key Players & Bright Prospects – The Kids from Montbéliard


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