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[FMT 21] - The second kingdom of the Lombards - Take 2.


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2 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Good win vs Juve! You look like you should survive comfortably if you can keep winning every few games. Funny that you’re rarely drawing, just win or loss!

Don't jinx it... haha. The draws are coming right up as we speak, together with the worst period for us. Hoping we can keep it up, judging by how poor the ones behind us are.

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26 minutes ago, Muttley84 said:

Don't jinx it... haha. The draws are coming right up as we speak, together with the worst period for us. Hoping we can keep it up, judging by how poor the ones behind us are.

Oops! Well, now you can blame me! Good luck.

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Strange to see the Premier League only 4th in the transfer spent in the winter - could be an effect of Brexit, unfortunately I have only Italy loaded. Serie A is battling with Bundesliga for the top.

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Seems that we did enough to convince the board in offering us a new contract, with small wage increase but the same low expectation - avoid relegation.

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As I've already given spoilers in the previous posts, we hit a pretty rough patch during February and March. We were winless for the two months, but managed to sneak in some boring Italian-style 0-0 and 1-1 draws to somehow still keep us in 13. Having a decent lead of 13 points with 8 games left to play surely means we are safe from relegation if we don't screw this really bad.

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We made a healthy profit and are looking solid from the financial point of view. Hoping to translate some of these funding into performances on the pitch also.

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The intake this year is not looking as good as the previous one, however I have signed most of the them with the hope of stregthening our reserves side a bit in numbers and give them better chances to play.

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We have one of the lowest wages to turnover ration in Serie A. Guess that could only be read as and Indicator of the Sustainability of our club and the room to grow we currently have. It's also a bit self-imposed by the players in restriction we have, meaning we cannot spent a lot on south-americans or eastern europeans to bring at our club.

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We are the perfect example for the term mid-table mediocrity. However, I can not be to picky, as a newly promoted side expected to relegate, it is pretty satisfying to have a worry-less season.

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We bounced back a little more towards the end of the season, including wining a couple more games (with Bologna and Sampdoria) and some draws, to finish in 13th where we spent a long part of the season. Pretty satisfied for how things went this first season, hoping we can built up on this next season.

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End of Season Review, with a best 11 where Papetti was the pick of the bunch, the only one in our team who averaged above 7 and also Player of the Season for us. The two players we loaned in from Milan  - Colombo and Maldini performed admirable, and looking forward to see if we can loan them again or even buy them permanently (not sure Milan want to sell though). We have not scored a lot of goals this season, the defense being our strongpoint. 

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We already have our finances projection for next season, so probably we won't make a complete overhaul of the squad again, but instead concentrate of adding a couple of key valuable players, maybe we can make the jump to at least challenge for the European spots, although it will be a very difficult task.

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3 hours ago, deltablue said:

Good debut season in Serie A.

Feels like it's almost the best we could have made considering our finances and team. Next year we should slowly increase at least to top 10 and maybe push in some homegrown youngsters into the team. Steady growth, we can not make miracles.

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Solid season! Curious to see how far you can take them in the next few years. Seems like with Brescia’s great youth setup you could do well, but your restrictions probably mean the qualifying and/or being competitive in the CL would be tough. Solidly mid table with some EURO runs though? 

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4 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Solid season! Curious to see how far you can take them in the next few years. Seems like with Brescia’s great youth setup you could do well, but your restrictions probably mean the qualifying and/or being competitive in the CL would be tough. Solidly mid table with some EURO runs though? 

Yeah, for sure we cannot dream about winning anything domestically. Well, there could be a chance if Milan, Inter and Atalanta would produce some wonderkids and we are good enough to attract them. But those chances are so small and to be fair I dont think I have the time and energy to invest in such a long term achievement. Going to play another season to see if we can make some noticeable progress and decide afterwards. 
P.S. wish I would have your writing skills and time, really following on Livorno.

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3 hours ago, Muttley84 said:

Yeah, for sure we cannot dream about winning anything domestically. Well, there could be a chance if Milan, Inter and Atalanta would produce some wonderkids and we are good enough to attract them. But those chances are so small and to be fair I dont think I have the time and energy to invest in such a long term achievement. Going to play another season to see if we can make some noticeable progress and decide afterwards. 
P.S. wish I would have your writing skills and time, really following on Livorno.

Good times.

Thanks for your kind words on my thread! I hilariously actually have very little time, but am currently a (not by choice) stay at home dad with two kids (thanks COVID!) so I write little bits here and there throughout each day to get myself through the super boring (also lovely) slog that is each day. Then when my overworked wife passes out at night I stay up too late playing FM. It’s honestly helped me get through these crazy times.

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How did the Italian teams did in Europe, and what did the 3 Lombard teams achieved. Well, as you have already seen above, Milan has won the Serie A. Inter finished 3rd and going to join them in Champions League, while Atalanta only finished 9th and therefore is out of the European places (well, at least from the league - see below why I say that). Inter also lost the Cup Final against Roma, so overall a pretty poor season for them. In Serie B, Monza finished in 2nd and they got promoted to Serie A, which can only mean more derbies of Lombardy next season. 

Champions League was a English affair in the end, with Liverpool winning it 3-2 against Manchester United. The best performing team from Italy was Napoli who reached the semi-finals of the competition, while Juve and Inter went out in the first knockout round.

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In Europa League the Italian teams did a bit better, but still no trophy. Lazio had a spectacular campaign to take them all the way to the final, but there they lost against Spurs in a poor 1-0 game. Milan was surprisingly taken out of the competition in the second knockout round, and against Spartak Moscow.

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It was the newly established Conference League where Atalanta won their first European Trophy, following a penalty win against Athletic Bilbao, after a 2-2 game in normal time. Atalanta deserved this, as in their previous stages they destroyed their opposition: 5-1 agg. with Zenit, 6-2 with Apoel and 5-1 against Midtjylland. Although they finished 9th in the league, this should guarantee them a place in the Europa League next season.

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The summer transfer window has yet to close (will be ended at the end of August), but given that our budget is almost done and the first official match is coming in a few days, I will make a short presentation of the squad for this season. Unfortunately for us you won't see spectacular and high number changes, but it's the best we could do between our finances and the available Lombard players. In goal we will go again with Di Gregorio, with two very reliable backups. In the middle of the defense will have the same 3 options for two spots, although Papetti and Cistana are more likely to start than Goldaniga. On the sides of the defense we produced the higher number of changes, as we brought the experienced Darmian, Augello (although he might play a bit up the field) and Marco Sala. No significant changes in the middle of the field and in the attack, where we will have to rely again on Maldini and Colombo to bang them in. A bit disappointed to be fair of how our attacking midfielders and forwards look like, but despite our struggles we were not able to attract better options.

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This is how our transfer campaign looked like. A great deal of the spending was made on bringing Tommaso Augello from Samp in a 7.5M transfer. We also payed good money for Marco Sala from Sassuolo, and a bit less for Matteo Darmian from Inter. The latest deal (which doesnt appear in the above team screen) is that we bought Christian Capone from Atalanta for close to 1M in order to strengthen our attacking midfielders options. No notable departures, they were all players who did not have a place in our squad anymore so happy to see them go.

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We did not have the greatest start to the season, as we only won the game in the cup against Serie B Frosinone (and we struggled even against them going all the way to extra -time). It is true we had a pretty difficult start, meeting Lazio, Inter and Juve in the first three stages (and only got a point out of that), but we should have done better against the likes of Cagliari or Cittadella. Hoping we can recover quickly, given this is also a strange season - with the World Cup in Qatar in November making the schedule weird.

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In some of the matches we played I have switched from a DM to an AM, in the hope I would turn around the bad start we had in the league. I also played some of the youngsters I had retained in the first team squad, and I was not that disappointed. Below one of them who won U19 player on the week in Serie A - he's not that special but considering he's only 17 and product of our academy I will look into giving him more chances.

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Getting a bit annoyed by this - each year we get an announcement about a possible takeover, only for it to fail after a while. Not like we really need a new owner or a sugar daddy given our self-imposed restrictions, but those rumors are never good for the stability of the club.

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2 hours ago, Muttley84 said:

Getting a bit annoyed by this - each year we get an announcement about a possible takeover, only for it to fail after a while. Not like we really need a new owner or a sugar daddy given our self-imposed restrictions, but those rumors are never good for the stability of the club.

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I have it in my Italian save too....

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This is more like what we would expect from the players. In September and October we went undefeated in the league, only drawing against Napoli (which are first in the league, so not a bad result at all) and winning every other game. This includes two derbies of Lombardy, and if we were expected to beat Monza, it was a real surprise to beat Milan at home in front of a packed stadium. We jumped all the way to 8th in the league, after 13 games, and hoping we can continue maintaining our position in the first 10 places.

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Another promising youth intake for the season. This is actually the first one in which I've kept 3-4 players from our academy in the first team squad and given them a bit of game time now and then. Will be looking to increase the number and minutes into next season as they provide a cheap option of strengthening our squad, though none of them are really wonderkids.

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Nice start to the season, good to get those academy products going!  Well done righting the ship after a few early defeats against tough opposition.  Sometimes hard not to let moral get down.

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The World Cup 2020 took place in Qatar as planned. Although we could have easily named it European Championshop, given than from the eight teams in the quarter final only one was outside Europe (Nigeria). It was in the end won by Germany after a final with Portugal. Italy was out in the quarter finals against France. Since we had no players involved in the squad it did not affect our schedule much, so looking forward to getting back to official games. Hoping we can take a bit of advantage from the fact big boys of the league had most of their players involved in the World Cup and hopefully we can see a bit of drop in form from them.

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The board reached over to me to ask if I wanted to change season expectations from avoid relegation to something a bit higher, and also brought a small transfer kitty on the table. After careful consideration I have decided not to take them up on the offer, as I want no extra-pressure on the players.

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A nice achievement to reach this milestone of 100 games in charge of Brescia. Might not be that much for some of you playing for 20-30 years careers, but it is more than I resisted in previous attempts. It is true that we had not won much in the process, albeit a Serie B, but we can only grown from here.

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We alternated between a good form in April and a poor one in beginning of February (where we had a pack of 3 hard games lost). We are also out of the cup after the draw saw us playing Juve away. Now we are sitting 9th in the league, but only 6 points off a European spot - will be hard to take it given the quality of teams above us, dont see who will be sleeping for that to happen, best is probably to just pass Torino to finish in 8th.

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A slightly better intake this season, both in numbers and in potential. Signed all of them and sent them to reserves to grow a bit more.

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This year was not that great financially but only because our transfer fees and wage budgets have increased. We are still in the green so I think it is still manageable. 

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It would seem that our performances at Brescia have not gone unnoticed and I received a very interesting job offer from Parma. Of course, I rejected it, but it is always nice to get a bit of recognition from others.

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Different performances as we keep being inconstant in the league. Won 4 games in a row (including the one against Napoli), but then we couldn't cope with the hard schedule and draw against Sassuolo and Roma, losing away at Milan (who are pretty much set to win the league). With seven games to go we are sitting 8th in the league. Positive is that we only have Atalanta to play from the formations above us, and therefore have some easier fixtures till the end of the league. Some luck and concentration can see us finishing in 7th place, which is pretty much guaranteed a place in Europe next season (as no surprises are foreseen for the Italian Cup). Made Milan inquires to buy Maldini and Colombo but they wont go below 10-15 Millions for each, which is money we do not have right now. On the other hand, Papetti is unwilling to sign a new contract, and with his release clause set just about 35M we might lose him in the summer regardless of our wishes.

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Just a quick preview of how our season will end - with the best ever Serie A finish for Brescia and a qualification to play in European cups next year (Conference League already booked but Europa League is within reach also).

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We were superb for the end of the season - winning even our first match against Atalanta in the biggest derby we have. That run of performances continued until we booked our European cups places, and following that we failed on winning in the last two stages. Nonetheless, it was a superb season for us, finishing in 6th and qualifying therefore for the Group Stages of Europa League. We also received 11.7M for our final position in the league, and can now plan for the season ahead. 

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Some key statistics about the recently ended season, and our team of the season. Hoping to keep those two on loan as they've been fundamental to our performances. Of course Papetti was the best player this season, but I seriously doubt it we can keep a hold of him beyond this summer. 

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After the season end we had a long sit-down with the board in which they told me all about their club vision. I was pretty surprised to see them aiming still for Avoid a relegation battle in the league, which is weird considering we finished 6th. However, they want us to qualify out of the groups of Europa League, which might be tricky as we lack European experience and coefficient, and therefore might end up in a hard group. Well, we'll have to wait and see...

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We received a better budget this season both in the transfer and wages, just hoping we have enough wisdom to spend it on the right players who can help our club grow. 

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Our player-of-the-season and fan-favorite Papetti was a main feature in a U21 Italian squad who made it all the way to win the Euro U21 Championship. Unfortunately for us, it looks very unlikely for him to continue with us, no less than 12 clubs interested (including the likes of PSG and City along all big Italian clubs), and with a release clause of just over 35M and unwilling to sign a new contract we can already prepare for life after him at Brescia.

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This is the first time happening in this career, but I also don't recall it happening at all in FM Touch in this edition - we got a youth player (who is hidden for me) poached by Milan. Not like he seemed to be a good player in the long run, but still funny how they got them and I could not do anything about it.

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As predicted, off he goes. He chose Inter out of all the interested clubs, and he will make a partnership there with another Lombard player - Bastoni. Good riddance Papetti, hope you do well, you were great for us as long as u played! Now we have to be careful how we spend this money. 

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It was indeed a busy summer in Brescia, as we made a real big overhaul of our team. As seen before we lost Papetti to his release clause payed by Inter, but also chose to sell some other players which were important to us the past season - Sprocati, Grassi, Goldaniga, Colombi or Semprini. We also let a couple more out on loan and in the end we made sales of 39.5M. On the other way, we spent 41.5M on bringing new players in. If at first we were very cautious and brought Bellodi and Plizzari on free transfers from Milan, Ghion from Inter for 2.2M, Junior Bianchi from Sassuolo and Melegoni from Genoa for 1.1, after the money come in for Pappeti we went all in and spent big on bringing Colombo (20M), Pirola (5.25M) and Maldini (12M) from the big Milan clubs. 

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We make a first in our career and also in Serie A this season - as in being the only team which doesn't have a single player on loan. They are all ours, and there if a lot of room to grown (with only Darmian, Augello and Bisoli being players over 25 years old). In the same time its a real gamble having this many youngsters in Serie A, might come to haunt us a bit this season as we also have to play in Europe and I would not be surprised if we finished lower then what we did last year. In the 25-men squad we have no less than 6 coming from youth intakes since I've been in charge of the club, so hoping to blood in some local boys (although some of them are picky and want to go out on loan, I guess they are not that confident I am going to play them constantly over the season. I am looking to start the first official match like this (age in brackets): Di Gregorio (26) - Darmian (33), Cistana (26), Pirola (21), Sala (24) - Bisoli (29), Viviani (22) -  Augello (28), Simonetti (18), Maldini (21) - Colombo (21). Fingers crossed for the new season ahead of us.

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That is by no means an easy group for our first participation in Europa League. I guess we could be battling with Braga for the second position, and if not, pretty sure 3rd also leads to Conference league. Will be interesting to see how we fare in European matches and how rotating our team for mid-week games influences our league performance.

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Our run of friendlies was nothing spectacular, mostly against lower opposition looking to build up cohesion between our new signings. We had the Derby with Atalanta in the first stage and we managed to sneak in a draw in the last minutes.

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This could be one of the reasons we are still so far behind the big clubs in Italy... our financial power is nowhere near theirs and its a real struggle to try and compete for the small pool of Lombard players.

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