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 UEFA 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 teammates 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 sits at bottom Group B, with one point to its name, and the defending Ligue 1 champion entered the day trailing group leader Schalke by six points.