SM Caen

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Round 37

Olympique Lyonnais 4 - 0 SM Caen
2019-05-18 20:00 More Reports
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2019-05-24 20:05 More Previews
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Season Guide
2019/2020

SM Caen

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Season Review
2018/2019

№19: SM Caen

Caen’s five-season stint in Ligue 1 came to an end as they finished second bottom of the table after a disappointing campaign. Fabien Mercadal’s side won only seven fixtures over the course of the season, scoring just 29 goals, which proved to be the Achilles heel that saw them relegated in the end. Only twice in the history of the club have they won fewer matches in a season. Improving the attack was their key point of order last summer but it was a job that was not done adequately. Claudio Beauvue should have been a decent signing on paper but did not live up to his potential, while they otherwise had workmanlike, physical forwards who should have tested opponents in the air. This simply did not manifest as Caen were unbalanced and had no clear attacking patterns. The midfield was another problem area for the Normandy side, who did not have enough creativity or technical acumen in their ranks beyond Faycal Fajr, who was, nevertheless, a player expected to give more on his return to the club. Given the paucity of talent around him, in hindsight this was perhaps asking too much. Youngster Jessy Deminguet did show some potential, along with Yoel Armougom. Meanwhile, the defence toiled for the most part, not aided by injuries to Romain Genevois and Jonathan Gradit, though even had these players been around for much of the season, it is unlikely they would have made a big difference. Paul Baysse started the season as a keystone player but soon dropped out after mediocre displays, leaving Alexander Djiku to be the anchor. Often, when Caen did manage to grind out 1-0 wins, particularly towards the end of the season, it owed much to the excellence of goalkeeper Brice Samba. He produced two miraculous performances in particular to keep his team alive heading into the final weeks, shutting out Monaco and Dijon in critical fixtures. Late in the season, in a bid to secure their survival, Rolland Courbis was called to help the coach, but although he galvanised the team to an extent, his presence seemed only to undermine Mercadal, muddying already confused waters. Ultimately, Caen paid for a lack of quality and forward planning. The decks are likely to be cleared in the summer as they try to find a route back to the top flight. They do have some useful tools in their ranks but need the correct direction, too.


Player of the Season: Brice Samba

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