Jean-Pierre Papin has made it clear that Montpellier's failure to replicate the form shown during the previous campaign lies with the sizeable void left by former goalscorer Olivier Giroud, who joined Arsenal in the summer.
La Paillade go into their Champions League clash with Olympiakos on Tuesday on the back of a draw at Troyes over the weekend, as they try to reverse the outcome of their last fixture in October against the Greeks, when they fell to a 2-1 defeat.
"When [Giroud] played, their team-mates felt more secure," said the one-time Ballon d'Or winner and ex-France international.
"Other teams do not fear Montpellier anymore. They no longer fear that a guy will come along and change everything."
"The players change, but they [the strikers playing now for Montpellier] are not pure goalscorers. They score from time to time, but not in every game [like Giroud]."
Montpellier are bottom Group B, with one point to their name, and trail section leaders Schalke by six points.