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FM21 - Il lavoro Italiano (debutto) - Parma Calcio 1913 /// The Italian Job (debut)


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Lockdown, 2020. And now 2021. Not great times.

Football Manager has helped fill in a few gaps around working long and unrewarding hours, and it has been useful replacing what might otherwise have been known as a social life. Otherwise, it's just TV, of which there are highs and lows. Only last week, I watched a fascinating story about the rise and fall of John DeLorean - and the car famously used in the film Back To The Future. So how does that film reference get us to The Italian Job? And why does it matter?

Back in the day, I loved the Parma FC side of the 1990's when Italian football (presented by James Richardson) was on Channel 4 in the period 1992-2002. The show was called 'Gazzetta Football Italia', and Parma were one of the great sides in Serie A at that time.

This article https://www.football365.com/news/portrait-of-an-iconic-team-parma-1998-1999 written in 2018 goes some way to explaining the story of Parma. This and the many other articles out there will show that their success and fall is a bit like DeLorean's. The highs can be searched or seen all over the web. But a few images here capture some of the cast of the times. You might spot some famous faces, and you might see some famous names, but not all of them were in the same team. The majority of these stars came together in the successful 1999 season, but there were others a few years before, and some a few years after too...

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Trouble at Parma began in late 2003 with the demise after a financial scandal of their wealthy sponsors Parmalat, which caused the parent company to collapse and resulted in the club operating in controlled administration https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parmalat#Financial_fraud_(2002–2005). In April 2004, the football club was declared insolvent, but (whilst still in Serie A) they re-formed as Parma Football Club SpA in June 2004. However, the club remained in special administration for three years until January 2007. Relegation to Serie B finally came in 2007-08 after 18 seasons in the top flight, but they only stayed there for one year after returning to Serie A at the first attempt.

The club maintained Serie A status for the following years, but their financial mismanagement does not end there. Somehow, Parma FC managed to get themselves into economic disarray once more, and were again plunged into bankruptcy for the second time in 2015. The club was re-founded again, this time as S.S.D. Parma Calcio 1913 in July 2015, taking its name from the year of foundation of the predecessor club. The new side began their return with a place in Serie D for the 2015–16 season, but secured a record three straight promotions to return to Serie A by 2018. So far, that is where they have remained.

Parma has returned (but not to the heights of their glory years in the 1990's). Interestingly, Parmalat has also returned to being a rather successful business too. Back To The Future for both it seems.

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So where does The Italian Job come in? I've never managed in Italy during Football Manager (other than IIRC about a month with Fiorentina years ago). Now is the time. Will my debut (debutto) show that I have what it takes to make a success of The Italian Job that has been handed to me. 

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So why Parma? Well I was asked if I wanted a one-way ticket to Palma. And I thought why not? I love Mallorca and need some sunshine. Several hours later, all became clear. Italy, not Spain, was my destination. OK, seriously, the nostalgia of recreating (or modernising) that great 90's side mainly. But there are more reasons that make this 'the one' for me. First of all, and I'm giving my age away here, is the fact that the original 'The Italian Job' film was released in the year of my birth (1969). Secondly, their most common nickname 'Crociati' translates into Crusaders in English. And back in the day, my best mate and I formed a Sunday League team called Crusaders. Finally, and I did not discover this until a few days ago, it's because a company I was employed by across three continents were actually sponsors of Parma for a number of years. I won't say who or when, but that's quite a cool thing to learn. Responses about who they are won't be forthcoming - and no I cannot confirm whether it was or wasn't Parmalat as that will spoil part of the story :lol:

So, that is the intro out of the way, and I will add more in the near future. In the coming posts, I will expand on the 'retro' theme idea I have for this club. Thanks for anyone who reads and finds this interesting!

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Edited by Jogo Bonito
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3 minutes ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Awesome opening post @Jogo Bonito. I wasn't expecting you to manage Parma as I thought that would be too obvious but I can't wait to see how you do. Ingelese was awesome for me.

Have you got a recent data update so Parma have Dennis Man, Zirkzee and Andrea Conti ?

 

Thanks RB. Apart from the images, there are a few reasons within that explain why they won the vote. FWIW, Torino was a very close second.

I've been looking closely at their transfers and squad but chose not to include the ones just made. The manager has also been replaced after a poor opening period this season. He was rubbish at Leyton Orient, why would he do better at Parma? However, I'll touch on what I have done with the players and staff in the very near future.

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Just now, Jogo Bonito said:

Thanks RB. Apart from the images, there are a few reasons within that explain why they won the vote. FWIW, Torino was a very close second.

I've been looking closely at their transfers and squad but chose not to include the ones just made. The manager has also been replaced after a poor opening period this season. He was rubbish at Leyton Orient, why would he do better at Parma? However, I'll touch on what I have done with the players and staff in the very near future.

Ok I look forward to seeing how you do with them. I had such a fun save with them on FM2020. It will be cool to see how you do with them.

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A quick look at Serie A and the 20 teams that will feature in it during the 2020/21 season

This year the majority are on the mainland (19) with the island of Sardinia (1) also represented by Cagliari. The island of Sicily (0) will have to wait a bit longer

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Next, it's time to focus again on Parma Calcio 1913

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The club has been playing at Ennio Tardini since 1924

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It isn't the grandest of stadiums, and hasn't changed much at all over the years

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The rebuild in 1993 doesn't suggest much happened, but since the new club was formed in 2015 there are at least 'modern' corner flags :lol:

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There are a few trophies in the club's history though, and the graph has recently gone nicely upwards

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Next up will be an introduction of the club, which will include an expansion on the theme that will be followed 

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Edited by Jogo Bonito
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Before we talk about the future, it's time to meet the new manager

Lorenzo Di Parmalat is a former national level footballer born and raised in Parma, Italy

Legend has it that his family tree might show some links to the old sponsors Parmalat, but this notion has been dismissed with a threat of legal action being cited

The new man does however confess that since retiring from football, he has worked for one of the club's other main sponsors of recent times

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The new boss has already been busy re-structuring his squad, as can be seen by the return of 'HGC status' central defender Gian Marco Ferrari (the new club captain)

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The media prediction is 15th here, which is definitely achievable even for a debutant manager in Italy

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Di Parmalat has also been working quickly to improve his backroom team, including official club legend Hernan Crespo as Assistant Manager

When news of this broke, the media revised their prediction from 15th to 14th (last season saw the club finish 11th)

Social media has been in overdrive with rumours about whether the new boss has links with the likes of Crespo from his days at the club under the Parmalat regime

For now those claims are unsubstantiated, but the intrigue surrounding this appointment of the Argentine has the fans right behind their new manager 

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Oh, I said this was going to expand on the theme and culture the club would be assuming - but that will have to wait for another time ;)

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Edited by Jogo Bonito
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Intrigued to see how you get on my friend. Very excited that you’ve ventured to Italy for the first time at exactly the same time as me. I may not have quite your “years of experience” 😂😂😂 but I’ll be interested to see how our journeys compare. Very eagerly awaiting your next update!

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3 hours ago, goonergez said:

Intrigued to see how you get on my friend. Very excited that you’ve ventured to Italy for the first time at exactly the same time as me. I may not have quite your “years of experience” 😂😂😂 but I’ll be interested to see how our journeys compare. Very eagerly awaiting your next update!

Thanks! Yes it will be interesting to compare. I'm sure you will be in Serie A by the time I complete my first season as I am a slow player. Years of experience, sadly it's just years :kriss:

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1 minute ago, Cheez3y said:

Love me a good italian save. :)

Thank you. I'm not as brave as you taking on Saudi Arabia, but hope it is an enjoyable series. And only time will tell if this qualifies as 'a good Italian save' :lol:

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17 minutes ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

@Jogo Bonito I am loving the fact you have former legend Herman Crespo there. Any chance that Thuram, Chiesa and Veron back to the club as staff.

Maybe you could bring in Chiesa and Thuram's sons to Parma lol.

 

Thanks, yes Crespo is a great one to bring back. 

Veron actually only played there for one season (although arguably their best ever 98/99). He is fixed as Chairman at Estudiantes. By the way, Hristo Stoichkov was also only there for a year (at another point). The list of famous names - players and managers - is quite something. 

As for the rest, all will become clear later my friend. But you know I will have thought about all this...

P.S. You already mentioned one of my signings (and you have every right to lol) in a post on another person's thread during the last week. I will clarify on that later so keep your thoughts private on that one :lol:

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11 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Thanks, yes Crespo is a great one to bring back. 

Veron actually only played there for one season (although arguably their best ever 98/99). He is fixed as Chairman at Estudiantes. By the way, Hristo Stoichkov was also only there for a year (at another point). The list of famous names - players and managers - is quite something. 

As for the rest, all will become clear later my friend. But you know I will have thought about all this...

P.S. You already mentioned one of my signings (and you have every right to lol) in a post on another person's thread during the last week. I will clarify on that later so keep your thoughts private on that one :lol:

Ok no worries. I wont say anything. I would say that Matias Arezo would look awesome in the classic blue and yellow striped Parma shirt. 

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1 minute ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Ok no worries. I wont say anything. I would say that Matias Arezo would look awesome in the classic blue and yellow striped Parma shirt. 

Good man, as I am sure you know which player it might be. I agree, Arezo would indeed be a very Parma-type player.

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You have been busy :lol:. Reading, York and now this!

Great introduction and you know I'll be following with interest. Good luck :thup:

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1 minute ago, warlock said:

You have been busy :lol:. Reading, York and now this!

Great introduction and you know I'll be following with interest. Good luck :thup:

Thank you very much, it's nice to have positive comments!

I am still continuing Reading too in the EFL thread on GPTG. Survival in the PL is a struggle, it's challenging and whilst not particularly enjoyable knowing you have a battering right around the corner, I don't want to raise the white flags until at least the end of the season. Now the transfer window IRL has closed and all the best players have remained for now, I feel I can take this one slowly over the coming weeks.

York has also been an enjoyable opening period. I was going to post about that in here but couldn't get the formatting and font right for it,. I also saw a few were manging them in FMCU so my 'alternative save' idea was to get some respite from England as sometimes that is a nice distraction.

If you read the earlier posts you may have seen a fair few reasons why Parma seemed right for my first real Italian Job. As a man of good vintage yourself, you will hopefully appreciate the narrative that I will get around to explaining here soon. 

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139400912_TheItalianJob.jpg.3dec36a7a49447e1793ee015eb3b3d16.jpg

Finally it's time to talk about the fusion of modern-day 2020/21 Parma and their acclaimed predecessors from the 1990's

The similarities start with the fact that both generations are 'recently' promoted to Serie A - and both have never lifted the Scudetto

The Parma side of yesteryear was quite different to traditional Italian sides of that era - they liked to attack

They assembled a group of players that saw an Italian core intertwined with a sprinkling of Argentinian powder (defence, midfield, striker)

Then there was a French-capped Guadeloupe-born defender, and in some iterations an attacking midfielder from Sweden and a maverick Colombian striker 

It's worth mentioning that not all of these played at the same time in the same team, but they were all a part of the club's glorious period 

479975782_BacktotheFuture.png.f00a16576363292e1fb6753293398340.png

The summer of 2020 sees Lorenzo Di Parmalat attempt to recreate what went before (hopefully barring the financial meltdowns, administration and demotion to Serie D)

The golden generation played usually with a form of 352, which could also look like a 3412

In 1995, Parma won the UEFA Cup Final over two legs against Juventus with the following line-ups on display

Note the Parma names of Dino Baggio, Faustino Asprilla and Gianfranco Zola in particular

893102843_ParmavJuventus1995.png.dc3264eb61e5b43d667a6146161d72d4.png

This was the team that beat Marseille 3-0 in the 1999 UEFA Cup Final (a one-off winner takes all affair)

By this point Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro were alongside Baggio

But more importantly for now, so were Roberto Sensini, Lillian Thuram, Alain Boghossian, Juan Sebastian Veron, Enrico Chiesa and Hernan Crespo 

2121548212_ParmavMarseille1999.jpg.b6b00ed1f984cf3616bf7905b2c28ba7.jpg

In a recent interview with the local press Di Parmalat says his best memories of that side were with Antonio Benarrivo marauding down the left-flank as below

And these sides don't even include the likes of Thomas Brolin (Sweden) or Italian striker Alberto Gilardino who later enjoyed a couple of goal-laden seasons at Parma

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So why all this looking back?

Di Parmalat plans to use the 352/532 himself, but might also use the 3412 occasionally depending on his progress and the players strengths

And he has used all his powers of persuasion to merge the past with the present and future

Those links he may or may not have from the golden Parmalat-inspired regime have enabled him to create quite a stir off the pitch 

Crespo (Assistant Manager), Zola & Chiesa (Coach), Baggio, Boghossian & Gilardino (Under 20 Coach) and Sensini (Scout) are all back on the payroll

Veron is fixed in his role as Chairman of Estudiantes, but his uncle Pedro Verde (Scout) has been lured over to Parma from Argentina

Luigi Apolloni a listed legend as a former Parma player 1987-98 then Coach and Manager of the club is also back home (Under 20 Coach) 

Buffon and Cannavaro are currently out of reach but calls will continue to be made when the former retires with an offer to bring him in as GK Coach

The latter earns £275,000 per week so unless he gets sacked and wants some nostalgia, his return doesn't seem very likely

However, the ranks are further boosted by the return of three ex-Parma managers Roberto Donadoni, Francesco Guidolin & Roberto D'Aversa (Coach) 

Nicolas Hernan Chiesa (Scout) came in as he has decent attributes for the job and is sporting the names of two returning Parma greats too

Simone Baggio (Head Performance Analyst) also comes in without any connection to the club other than his surname

The next episode will talk more about the squad that the new manager has at his disposal for the coming season

1073984329_FM21Italy.jpg.cb35adaec9901d2d6928ba9816183da3.jpg

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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3 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

139400912_TheItalianJob.jpg.3dec36a7a49447e1793ee015eb3b3d16.jpg

Finally it's time to talk about the fusion of modern-day 2020/21 Parma and their acclaimed predecessors from the 1990's

The similarities start with the fact that both generations are 'recently' promoted to Serie A - and both have never lifted the Scudetto

The Parma side of yesteryear was quite different to traditional Italian sides of that era - they liked to attack

They assembled a group of players that saw an Italian core intertwined with a sprinkling of Argentinian powder (defence, midfield, striker)

Then there was a French-capped Guadeloupe-born defender, and in some iterations an attacking midfielder from Sweden and a maverick Colombian striker 

It's worth mentioning that not all of these played at the same time in the same team, but they were all a part of the club's glorious period 

479975782_BacktotheFuture.png.f00a16576363292e1fb6753293398340.png

The summer of 2020 sees Lorenzo Di Parmalat attempt to recreate what went before (hopefully barring the financial meltdowns, administration and demotion to Serie D)

The golden generation played usually with a form of 352, which could also look like a 3412

In 1995, Parma won the UEFA Cup Final over two legs against Juventus with the following line-ups on display

Note the Parma names of Dino Baggio, Faustino Asprilla and Gianfranco Zola in particular

893102843_ParmavJuventus1995.png.dc3264eb61e5b43d667a6146161d72d4.png

This was the team that beat Marseille 3-0 in the 1999 UEFA Cup Final (a one-off winner takes all affair)

By this point Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro were alongside Baggio

But more importantly for now, so were Roberto Sensini, Lillian Thuram, Alain Boghossian, Juan Sebastian Veron, Enrico Chiesa and Hernan Crespo 

2121548212_ParmavMarseille1999.jpg.b6b00ed1f984cf3616bf7905b2c28ba7.jpg

In a recent interview with the local press Di Parmalat says his best memories of that side were with Antonio Benarrivo marauding down the left-flank as below

And these sides don't even include the likes of Thomas Brolin (Sweden) or Italian striker Alberto Gilardino who later enjoyed a couple of goal-laden seasons at Parma

1888847077_Parmaclassic.png.7f02e9676fd0487ef0b4e8e63e715614.png

So why all this looking back?

Di Parmalat plans to use the 352/532 himself, but might also use the 3412 occasionally depending on his progress and the players strengths

And he has used all his powers of persuasion to merge the past with the present and future

Those links he may or may not have from the golden Parmalat-inspired regime have enabled him to create quite a stir off the pitch 

Crespo (Assistant Manager), Zola & Chiesa (Coach), Baggio, Boghossian & Gilardino (Under 20 Coach) and Sensini (Scout) are all back on the payroll

Veron is fixed in his role as Chairman of Estudiantes, but his uncle Pedro Verde (Scout) has been lured over to Parma from Argentina

Luigi Apolloni a listed legend as a former Parma player 1987-98 then Coach and Manager of the club is also back home (Under 20 Coach) 

Buffon and Cannavaro are currently out of reach but calls will continue to be made when the former retires with an offer to bring him in as GK Coach

The latter earns £275,000 per week so unless he gets sacked and wants some nostalgia, his return doesn't seem very likely

However, the ranks are further boosted by the return of three ex-Parma managers Roberto Donadoni, Francesco Guidolin & Roberto D'Aversa (Coach) 

Nicolas Hernan Chiesa (Scout) came in as he has decent attributes for the job and is sporting the names of two returning Parma greats too

Simone Baggio (Head Performance Analyst) also comes in without any connection to the club other than his surname

The next episode will talk more about the squad that the new manager has at his disposal for the coming season

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Awesome write up. I am glad you have former players on the staff payroll.

Bringing Buffon back would be awesome even for a season. I managed to do it on my Parma save so it is possible.

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304244596_TheItalianJob.jpg.b06892bd82820a915eb282fdeba957e5.jpg

In the last post tactics, style and likely formations were discussed - plus lots of news about the backroom staff changes 

So now it's time talk about the team

Di Parmalat felt he needed to build a squad that could play the way he saw football, in the style that had worked so well for the old Parma

His contact book may still contain the names of Asprilla, Buffon, Thuram, Veron and of course Crespo, but even he knew a Dads Army team would not cut it in Serie A

This was serious business, not risky business (oops, another film name drop)

So the second best thing was to search out a group of players who could best copy in style those he remembered so fondly

He had a budget, but would also need to cull some of the ageing and/or underperforming men in the squad

It's time to go all Back To The Future again...

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GOALKEEPERS

Di Parmalat was satisfied with his senior pair, and there are some decent prospects in the U20 squad too

Sepe will be number one (literally) and Colombi is an experienced understudy 

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DEFENDERS

The defence needed some work though, and the gaffer wanted five or six central defenders - some of them being a 'work in progress,'

Club-trained Ferrari returns as captain from Sassuolo and joins experienced pair Iacoponi and Gaglioli who will likely both depart at the end of the first season

Valenti was on-loan with a future fee agreed but the permanent transfer has been brought forward, and Bani joins on loan for a season to add depth

The rough diamond in the group is new man Gravillon, with plans to make the Guadeloupe-born player the new Thuram on the right of the centre-back trio

Turning to the flanks, it would be necessary to have a couple of players capable of playing the wing-back on each side

For the right, Conti arrived on loan from AC Milan, but he starts off injured so new recruit Gabrielli will start the season in that role

First choice on the left will be Emerson from Chelsea, whilst Pezzella might feel a bit unlucky not to retain a place as an automatic starter

A number of existing defenders have been moved on in order to facilitate the deals for these new arrivals

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MIDFIELDERS

There are significant numbers here, almost certainly too many for the liking of the manager

The playmaker (Veron) role will probably be handed to Lanzini after his arrival from West Ham, with on-loan Brunetta also able to perform these duties in rotation

Cyprien was another loan man already at the club, whilst veteran Scozzarella and Dezi will just give depth and cover until the end of their contracts in June 2021 

Grassi and Brugman are capable first-team starters, whilst Sprocati is a winger who through no fault of his own will rarely get a look in due to the formation

Carriero and Caviglia (whose loan has been made permanent) are younger and will be in the squad but more likely to see greater minutes in the following season

There are some decent young midfielders in the U20 squad who will be promoted ahead of the 2021/22 season to replace the four who won't be around

A number of midfielders previously at the club were moved out in order to bring in Lanzini and secure the on-loan Caviglia permanently

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ATTACKERS

Parma history dictates that you need a quality Argentine, a reliable Italian - and a complete maverick in attack

Alario will be tasked with replicating the role of Crespo (with an option to buy at the end of his year) whilst Inglese can hopefully do what Chiesa used to do

The budget wouldn't stretch to a strong, quick, skilful and flamboyant Colombian unfortunately - but an even riskier alternative was found

Joining on a free transfer for just one year Balotelli may (or may not) provide some fun and fireworks (why always him) that rival Asprilla

Karamoh is naturally a winger (decent) but can't be utilised there so his pace will be used to give a different dimension - probably from the bench more often than not

Again, there were some outward movements that assisted in being able to seal the Alario loan and provide funding for the Balotelli gamble

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The new American owner Kyle Krause has spoken about building a young and exciting team - and utilising the academy set up to generate first team players 

He claims he will have patience, but he and longstanding Parma fans will be delighted to hear some of the names added to the U20 ranks already by Di Parmalat

Included amongst this pool now are Khephren Thuram (son of Lilian) and Deian Veron (son of Juan Sebastian) who also now has his dad's uncle on the staff

Also recruited for the U20 side is a Colombian striker called Juan Asprilla (no relation) and a Swedish midfielder Adi Nalic (potentially a future Brolin in the making)

1160664162_FM21Italy.jpg.bf0f9b8841697759484406eb9635a509.jpg

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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12 minutes ago, warlock said:

A great deal of thought and planning has gone into this save ;)

Indeed it has. Whilst others enjoy playing the game, there I am in thought & planning :idiot:

Hopefully it makes for an enjoyable read though.

Finally on to the first pre-season game! Not sure if the fans are convinced yet (cheers Hugo) but it's social media so what else should be expected...

983253612_LorenzoDiParmalat_SocialFeed.png.b8fff99a1072b2e7fe17032e77fb6a3f.png

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16 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Not sure if the fans are convinced yet (cheers Hugo)

Nah... Sig. Roques knows a thing or two about managers :cool:

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59 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

Loving the write ups. And by god that Parma team was spectacular! Some big names and like Myself they loved the 3 at the back. 

Thanks very much. Yes they had some amazing players in those days - time will tell if my modern day equivalents will get to those kind of heights!

One friendly in and one of the midfielders is out for 4-5 weeks after being injured by our Serie C opponents. Next up is a friendly with Perugia where we will meet up with their manager @goonergez

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Looks like a great start, will be following as I've had a blast playing in the Serie A this year!

Federico Chiesia and Marcus Thuram would be straight on my long term shortlist if you're looking for relatives! ;)

23 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

For the right, Conti arrived on loan from AC Milan, but he starts off injured

This was the case constantly with Conti when he was with me at Milan. He's a rock-solid right back, but he's made of cardboard!

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50 minutes ago, JRS192 said:

Looks like a great start, will be following as I've had a blast playing in the Serie A this year!

Federico Chiesia and Marcus Thuram would be straight on my long term shortlist if you're looking for relatives! ;)

This was the case constantly with Conti when he was with me at Milan. He's a rock-solid right back, but he's made of cardboard!

Cheers. Pre-season has been horrific, probably the worst I have ever experienced in FM. I expected Serie A to be tough, but these were friendlies against Serie B & C teams :eek:

The list of relatives is definitely one I'll be considering whenever possible. I have added the other son of Thuram to my U20 squad plus I am treating Gravillon as the new Thuram anyway :cool:.

I saw that about Conti, but as Parma just took him on loan IRL and I needed another option for RWB it seemed worth risking it. I'm hoping cardboard might mix better with a computer than it does with grass!

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42 minutes ago, Cheez3y said:

Any chance of Gigi?

He is playing in my 3-4 saves I started this year until 2023.

His initial contract ends in June 2021 so will see about that. But I'm not paying him his current wage of £40k per week for sure. Ideally i would just like to have him as GK Coach if he stays in the game after retiring. 

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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On 10/02/2021 at 09:29, Jogo Bonito said:

Thanks very much. Yes they had some amazing players in those days - time will tell if my modern day equivalents will get to those kind of heights!

One friendly in and one of the midfielders is out for 4-5 weeks after being injured by our Serie C opponents. Next up is a friendly with Perugia where we will meet up with their manager @goonergez

I’ll be sure to bring out a fine Italian red for after the game 😂

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1146466881_Parmaheart.thumb.jpg.2d78348b7b96fa5b7278067006d88872.jpg

87040121_GazettaDiParma.jpg.642919c4b99caeb76215a73e825b3775.jpg

Having settled in to the hot seat and made his changes to the player and staff pools, it was time to see how new manager Lorenzo Di Parmalat would start on the pitch

Well, other than the opening friendly win over minnows Imolese there was no disguising that it was truly horrific

Poor results, a lack of goals and no creativity saw losses against lower level clubs Perugia & Foggia, a bore draw against Chievo and another loss to Lorient of Ligue 1 in France

Fans of the Crociati were seriously disenchanted as the manager and players failed to get any derivative of the 532/352 working ahead of the Serie A opener  

Napoli at home presented a tough competitive opener, but the performance was decent and the visitors needed an 80th minute equaliser to snatch a point

The lack of chances & goals continued though as 0-0 draws at Benevento & Genoa were sandwiched by a 1-0 loss at home to Lazio with a late 76th minute winner for them

Defensively the shape looked and performed well, but offensively that was no goals from open play in another four games - and very few chances had been created

Another loss at home to Inter Milan did at least see a goal scored in open play (well, by a defender from a corner) but morale was really low now around the club

Whilst the formation was not going to be changed, the manager was tweaking (without success) as control, counter attacking and tiki-taka were all experimented on

It took an injury time winner in the Copa Italia to scrape past Serie B side SPAL, but this result prompted a clear change of mindset from Di Parmalat

Juventus away was completely the wrong time to try it, but 11 consecutive games of nothingness saw a shock 'positive gegenpress' tactic used against the leaders

Being 3-0 down after 30 minutes wasn't the best start at all, but there were glimpses of improvement and the final 3-1 loss was by no means disgraceful

The team had plummeted to 19th by this point, and Di Parmalat knew that he had to get some points on the board in order to appease the fans questioning him

Well, we have all heard the phrase 'a game of two halves' but how about an update of two halves?

The 352/532 was now fully converted to the legacy of 1990's Parma side - with one of the central midfielders (Lanzini) pushed in to the AMC strata of a 5212 WB formation

Immediately the side was reinvented with slick, quick and exciting football - and the goal-shy strikers grabbed all five goals in a 5-1 rout of a stunned Sassuolo

It was chalk and cheese (there's one for Parmalat-era fans) and the team revelled in their new found freedom with league and cup double wins over local rivals Bologna

The last fixture of November was a 1-1 home draw with mid-table Udinese after they grabbed an 86th minute leveller, but confidence is now greater than ever before

886805894_ParmaCalcio1913_Fixtures1.1.png.0ccd45bd52915726bc4e830089663ba5.png

The performance graph shows the early-season struggles and the encouraging signs of optimism that are now felt in and around the club

Unless this is a false dawn, a mid-table standing is well within reach now that a real identity has been found 

2074437513_Parmaprogress1.1.thumb.png.69e3dc4d5ee68b8bb25567c4b42f7f65.png

This is the current formation and tactical style that Di Parmalat is looking to help propel his team further up the league now that the shaky start has been ridden out

1656872547_ParmaCalcio1913_tactic1.1.png.067f445e8dee6f011a56a0aff92f709b.png

And the upturn in form also led to this unlikely event...

790808483_AlarioawardNov2020.png.0accd01214c4ecd5c1b8371c30f4aac9.png

On the transfer front, it was decided that Wylan Cyprien and Mattia Bani would have their loans terminated as Di Parmalat wanted to focus more on 'his own' men

In their place two others came in to the club with Italian international Roberto Gagliardini from Inter Milan the first of them

The central midfielder joined on loan but only because a £6.5 million purchase option is included - Parma are paying a £29,500 per week wage contribution for his services 

The second arrival was the seemingly bargain £1.1 million purchase of Paolo Ghiglione from Genoa 

He provides another option at right wing-back whilst Andrea Conti was injured, with his ability to play anywhere down the right suggesting he can get forward to good effect 

558013572_ParmaCalcio1913_TransferHistory1.1.png.4c1c601599509522f71d13e9d05f588a.png

We'll be back with another update from Parma again soon

1585498193_TheItalianJob.jpg.78ba53c0d84ac7fa77e26e7f1bf3d749.jpg1204895414_FM21Italy.jpg.70e64df86b0e6dc9ef9005c14430dd96.jpg

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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53 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

The 352/532 was now fully converted to the legacy of 1990's Parma side

Much better :thup:. But it's a strange thing with these narrow back-three systems. The 532 was OK in my Exeter save but it was transformed when I pushed the central CM up to AMC with - as far as I remember - no other changes. I think @SixPointer found the same in his Odd save here in the careers forum. You'd expect it to make the side more of a threat up front but it also seems to be more effective in controlling games overall :onmehead:

Anyway, I hope it continues to work for you.

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2 minutes ago, warlock said:

Much better :thup:. But it's a strange thing with these narrow back-three systems. The 532 was OK in my Exeter save but it was transformed when I pushed the central CM up to AMC with - as far as I remember - no other changes. I think @SixPointer found the same in his Odd save here in the careers forum. You'd expect it to make the side more of a threat up front but it also seems to be more effective in controlling games overall :onmehead:

Anyway, I hope it continues to work for you.

Thank you, I hope so too! I think it was a combination of the AMC and the positive gegenpress at the same time as I tried it in the friendlies with more cautious instructions and it never even created chances.

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1 minute ago, karanhsingh said:

Wonderful write up Jogo! Following with interest. Just back on the forums after a while. 

Welcome back, your contributions have been missed. I hope all is well. And thanks for the comments :D

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3 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Welcome back, your contributions have been missed. I hope all is well. And thanks for the comments :D

Yes all good, haven't had much time so been doing more playing FM rather than scouring the forums ;)

But I may open up a thread about my current save soon. 

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8 minutes ago, JRS192 said:

Gagliardini's an absolute boy - great pickup!

Thanks, I have been very happy with him so far. Castrovilli would be a perfect partner but I'm not sure when that might be possible.

In the meantime the role of his partner is 60/40 in favour of Brugman over Grassi as both seem at a similar level. I'm overstocked in central midfield this year to be honest, but there are a few that might be released in June 2021 such as Scozzarella and Dezi. I doubt I will extend the loan or keep Brunetta beyond this season either as I prefer Lanzini as AMC. 

Super Mario is making me laugh. He gets really poor training ratings but doesn't agree when I pick him up on it. He trained at 5.1 and was shocked I singled him out - you have to laugh. I'm thinking his behaviour settings are really well set so it's fun trying to control him. I might just praise him for everything he does and see if that works, it's probably the best way to get him playing in real life so may work here too.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

1146466881_Parmaheart.thumb.jpg.2d78348b7b96fa5b7278067006d88872.jpg

87040121_GazettaDiParma.jpg.642919c4b99caeb76215a73e825b3775.jpg

Having settled in to the hot seat and made his changes to the player and staff pools, it was time to see how new manager Lorenzo Di Parmalat would start on the pitch

Well, other than the opening friendly win over minnows Imolese there was no disguising that it was truly horrific

Poor results, a lack of goals and no creativity saw losses against lower level clubs Perugia & Foggia, a bore draw against Chievo and another loss to Lorient of Ligue 1 in France

Fans of the Crociati were seriously disenchanted as the manager and players failed to get any derivative of the 532/352 working ahead of the Serie A opener  

Napoli at home presented a tough competitive opener, but the performance was decent and the visitors needed an 80th minute equaliser to snatch a point

The lack of chances & goals continued though as 0-0 draws at Benevento & Genoa were sandwiched by a 1-0 loss at home to Lazio with a late 76th minute winner for them

Defensively the shape looked and performed well, but offensively that was no goals from open play in another four games - and very few chances had been created

Another loss at home to Inter Milan did at least see a goal scored in open play (well, by a defender from a corner) but morale was really low now around the club

Whilst the formation was not going to be changed, the manager was tweaking (without success) as control, counter attacking and tiki-taka were all experimented on

It took an injury time winner in the Copa Italia to scrape past Serie B side SPAL, but this result prompted a clear change of mindset from Di Parmalat

Juventus away was completely the wrong time to try it, but 11 consecutive games of nothingness saw a shock 'positive gegenpress' tactic used against the leaders

Being 3-0 down after 30 minutes wasn't the best start at all, but there were glimpses of improvement and the final 3-1 loss was by no means disgraceful

The team had plummeted to 19th by this point, and Di Parmalat knew that he had to get some points on the board in order to appease the fans questioning him

Well, we have all heard the phrase 'a game of two halves' but how about an update of two halves?

The 352/532 was now fully converted to the legacy of 1990's Parma side - with one of the central midfielders (Lanzini) pushed in to the AMC strata of a 5212 WB formation

Immediately the side was reinvented with slick, quick and exciting football - and the goal-shy strikers grabbed all five goals in a 5-1 rout of a stunned Sassuolo

It was chalk and cheese (there's one for Parmalat-era fans) and the team revelled in their new found freedom with league and cup double wins over local rivals Bologna

The last fixture of November was a 1-1 home draw with mid-table Udinese after they grabbed an 86th minute leveller, but confidence is now greater than ever before

886805894_ParmaCalcio1913_Fixtures1.1.png.0ccd45bd52915726bc4e830089663ba5.png

The performance graph shows the early-season struggles and the encouraging signs of optimism that are now felt in and around the club

Unless this is a false dawn, a mid-table standing is well within reach now that a real identity has been found 

2074437513_Parmaprogress1.1.thumb.png.69e3dc4d5ee68b8bb25567c4b42f7f65.png

This is the current formation and tactical style that Di Parmalat is looking to help propel his team further up the league now that the shaky start has been ridden out

1656872547_ParmaCalcio1913_tactic1.1.png.067f445e8dee6f011a56a0aff92f709b.png

And the upturn in form also led to this unlikely event...

790808483_AlarioawardNov2020.png.0accd01214c4ecd5c1b8371c30f4aac9.png

On the transfer front, it was decided that Wylan Cyprien and Mattia Bani would have their loans terminated as Di Parmalat wanted to focus more on 'his own' men

In their place two others came in to the club with Italian international Roberto Gagliardini from Inter Milan the first of them

The central midfielder joined on loan but only because a £6.5 million purchase option is included - Parma are paying a £29,500 per week wage contribution for his services 

The second arrival was the seemingly bargain £1.1 million purchase of Paolo Ghiglione from Genoa 

He provides another option at right wing-back whilst Andrea Conti was injured, with his ability to play anywhere down the right suggesting he can get forward to good effect 

558013572_ParmaCalcio1913_TransferHistory1.1.png.4c1c601599509522f71d13e9d05f588a.png

We'll be back with another update from Parma again soon

1585498193_TheItalianJob.jpg.78ba53c0d84ac7fa77e26e7f1bf3d749.jpg1204895414_FM21Italy.jpg.70e64df86b0e6dc9ef9005c14430dd96.jpg

I am glad you turned things around after the initial bad start. Also some good signings there. How's Thuram doing ?

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Thanks, I have been very happy with him so far. Castrovilli would be a perfect partner but I'm not sure when that might be possible.

In the meantime the role of his partner is 60/40 in favour of Brugman over Grassi as both seem at a similar level. I'm overstocked in central midfield this year to be honest, but there are a few that might be released in June 2021 such as Scozzarella and Dezi. I doubt I will extend the loan or keep Brunetta beyond this season either as I prefer Lanzini as AMC. 

Super Mario is making me laugh. He gets really poor training ratings but doesn't agree when I pick him up on it. He trained at 5.1 and was shocked I singled him out - you have to laugh. I'm thinking his behaviour settings are really well set so it's fun trying to control him. I might just praise him for everything he does and see if that works, it's probably the best way to get him playing in real life so may work here too.

 

 

 

Did I get this right that you signed Mario Balotelli ?

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That 5-2-1-2 WB is a great formation.....for controlling games.  You might want a Vertical Tiki-Taka Variant. The "out of the box" template works very well with the formation and it would allow you to "control" games by possession,  It is how the game replicates Pep Guardiola tactics.

Interested in how you deal with Balotelli? 

 

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1 hour ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Did I get this right that you signed Mario Balotelli ?

Indeed I did, on a free transfer but for one season only. i figured it would be my one and only opportunity to manage him in FM and he was perfect to be the Asprilla replacement only a bit more rubbish.

1 hour ago, Hootieleece said:

That 5-2-1-2 WB is a great formation.....for controlling games.  You might want a Vertical Tiki-Taka Variant. The "out of the box" template works very well with the formation and it would allow you to "control" games by possession,  It is how the game replicates Pep Guardiola tactics.

Interested in how you deal with Balotelli? 

 

It's brilliant! He has been poor and only an occasional substitute. He is always disinterested, complacent and training badly, doesn't like criticism or my team talks. Whoever set his profile seems to have done a great job with him. I love it.

43 minutes ago, warlock said:

Aren't we all? :lol:

Well I tried treating him like a normal person - e.g. play or train poorly and I will tell him. He will agree and promise to improve.  Of course he wont, he's Mario and he said I was targeting him unfairly! He rejects any criticism and even demanded a showdown after a team talk from a game that we had been beaten in was not to his liking.

I'm on a new plan with him now though. I praised his conduct after all that despite him being a troublemaker and he reacted slightly better. I will praise him for everything he does, good or bad and see where that gets us to. I really am loving the challenge of managing him, I've never experienced anything like it before.

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13 hours ago, warlock said:

Much better :thup:. But it's a strange thing with these narrow back-three systems. The 532 was OK in my Exeter save but it was transformed when I pushed the central CM up to AMC with - as far as I remember - no other changes. I think @SixPointer found the same in his Odd save here in the careers forum. You'd expect it to make the side more of a threat up front but it also seems to be more effective in controlling games overall :onmehead:

Anyway, I hope it continues to work for you.

Yeah @warlock is right. My switch to AMC with the shadow striker really transformed my attacking play. I also have a DM option for tighter games or teams that deploy a really good number ten. 

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26 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

Yeah @warlock is right. My switch to AMC with the shadow striker really transformed my attacking play. I also have a DM option for tighter games or teams that deploy a really good number ten. 

You would think the AMC would leave us 'average' teams a little too open, but it does seem to work. Of course Parma aren't expected to win every game or go on long undefeated runs, but it's definitely better than it was before. But I think more significant than the AMC is the switch from cautious or balanced to positive. That's been the obvious difference to how my side plays.

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

But I think more significant than the AMC is the switch from cautious or balanced to positive. That's been the obvious difference to how my side plays.

I'm all in favour of playing on positive - rarely, if ever, use anything else. Just seems to work better for all the styles of play that I use: direct attacking, possession, counter-attacking. 

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I usually go positive apart from Reading because I really wanted to emulate real tactics with them. I think I paid too much respect in Italy because I am not used to their league or strength of teams. Now the style is more mine and more Parma 1990's - so win, lose or draw, it just feels better.

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