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About shantebellum

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  1. Volta, who's chasing you for that third spot, had their licence denied in the summer and will drop down the leagues... pity that information hasn't reached the organizers in your save You're doing great, keep it up!!
  2. They lost both games 1:2, but unexpectedly played some really good football. Even got an ovation from the Frankfurt fans after the away match! Tough loss from your biggest rival, but fingers crossed for promotion!
  3. For select clubs, European games can make attendance fluctuate wildly, too. This summer, later champions Flora first played against Maardu in the Premier division in front of 440 people, then four days later hosted Eintracht Frankfurt in front of 8500 (a near full house), then a week later played the replay in Germany for 48 000 spectators and in the next league match at Kuressaare there again were only 245 people
  4. Yes mate, I will for sure stick around. If you or anyone else has questions about Estonian football, I'll be more than happy to answer! Good luck, have fun!!!
  5. Oooh mate! Don't think I've ever seen anyone here do a save in my home country! It's a funny old team, here mostly known because years ago many former national team players (Marko Kristal, Igor Prins, Argo Arbeiter, Urmas Kirs etc) represented them, but to be honest, I didn't even know they still existed I live about five minutes from the stadium, which is being used by ~10 other teams in Tallinn Yeah Rumori Calcio was founded by an Italian sports journalist; I think all the Dynamo teams from the former Soviet countries have some sort of variation on the capital D on their badge; JK Retro has three lions because that's the Estonian coat of arms (this team also has many former national team players and was a few years ago actually called Eesti Koondis - Estonian National Team). Most teams below the third tier really are pub teams, so many of them have playful names and badges.
  6. I haven't posted for some time due to a more than hectic schedule at Uni, but I've now got more time to myself. Let's keep the wheels rolling! S.S.C. Napoli | 2017/18 | November Luís Figo Just a month after Daniele Rugani, Nicola Murru also makes his Italy debut. I wasn't expecting this to happen so soon, so it's a pleasant surprise. 8 goals in four matches for Simone Zaza in November sees us win three games in style. We started the month with a game against Bari and Zaza scored two identical goals in the first twenty minutes to give us an easy victory. An especially pleasing win as we rested many of our regular starters, namely Lucas Silva, Ever Banega and José Callejón. We then faced Pescara and came away with a rather disappointing draw, after having taken a two-nil and three-two lead. I take the blame for the result, as I should have tweaked our tactics after the two-goal lead, but I started the second half exactly as I did the first. Can't keep asking my players to be 100% concentrated when my own head is not always in the game . The guys bounced back in great fashion though, as we overcame a tired Parma side in the last fifteen minutes, ending the game 5-1. Zaza had a hat-trick and added two more in the last game of November against Livorno, one of which was a beautiful solo run from almost inside of his own half. Him, Savitskiy and Callejón have formed a menacing trio up front, scoring nearly all of our 32 goals between them. Zaza currently looks like he's the heir successor to Pippo Inzaghi's title as the greatest Italian poacher of his time - his playing style under Figo looks so similar to Inzaghi's and the goals keep coming from situations where you wouldn't normally predict them. Still on top thanks to the unbeaten run, but Juve close on our heels. Milan is having an absolute stinker, I know they're far from their glory days, but nor should they be anywhere near the relegation zone. Not really complaining, though - everyone from the North is our rival
  7. S.S.C. Napoli | 2017/18 | October Luís Figo We have to thank the previous managers of Napoli for this sudden influx of cash As hoped, Rugani makes his senior debut for the Italian national team. His good performances in the league last month definitely helped and if we can keep our form up, he will soon be an Italy regular. No Hamsik, no problem! We continued a great start of the season in October with two victories and a goalless draw. I'm especially happy with us not conceding any goals, as this was a major problem when we were at the helm of Belenenses, but it looks like we've sorted out our defense this time round. Simone Zaza is a man possessed right now - nine in his opening nine! Callejón and Savitskiy are also in magnificent form, as all three of them are currently averaging a rating over 8.0. Lucas Silva has adapted well into his role of a deep lying playmaker with Banega beside him, Santiago Arias and Nicola Murru are both great overlappers and distributors, Salvatore Sirigu has made some great saves and played a big part in us conceding only six goals thus far. It was a bit disappointing to not defeat struggling Catania, but it was not for the lack of chances - Zaza and Callejón both rattled the crossbar and their keeper made some astonishing saves to keep them in the game. As said, I'm very pleased with our start to the season. The results have been great, but even more importantly, the players have adapted to Figo's gameplan and his vision really well. Everything seems to be clicking right now - let's see how long we can keep up this unbeaten run!
  8. S.S.C. Napoli | 2017/18 | August & September Luís Figo I think calling this a dream start would be an understatement. We've won all six of our opening games, including matches against last season's first, second and fifth placed teams in Juventus, Internazionale and Roma. We were just a bit off defensively when we started the season, as evidenced by the four goals conceded in our opening two matches. It was a tough game against Sampdoria and I was a bit worried that the team was not familiar enough with the tactic as we went down by two goals by the half-time whistle, but the players managed to turn the game around in the second half. Simone Zaza and Pavel Savitskiy scored only a minute apart and substitute Carlos Carbonero's goal gave us a 3-2 victory. It was laborious, but maybe just what the players needed, as we welcomed perennial title contenders in our second game of the season. Ever Banega's long range effort gave us the lead, but Roma equalized through their summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Is there any top team in Italy where the big man hasn't played? After Callejón was brought down in the Roma box after an hour of play, Savitskiy converted the penalty and five minutes from the end ensured us the win with his third in two games. Roma managed to pull one back in stoppage time, but we had thankfully done enough. By the third game against Lazio, it was evident that our defensive tactics were sorted out and players accustomed to what Figo was asking of them. We kept a clean sheet with Sirigu making some crucial saves, but most importantly, kept our good run going thanks to goals from Callejón and Zaza. At this point I realised that the trio of Savitskiy, Callejón and Zaza were absolutely on top of their form and we had to make sure we get the most of their appearances. With making Callejón a raumdeuter on the right wing, we gave him even more room on the right-hand side of the pitch and it proved to be a good decision, as he assisted Zaza and scored one right at the end of our next game against Milan. We then travelled up to Milan to play against Internazionale and controlled the game throughout, finishing with 60% possession and a brilliant game winner thanks to Zaza, who skinned two opponents before calmly slotting home from twelve yards. At this point we were five from five, but the biggest test of Figo's opening month was to come - a home game against Juventus, who were crowned the Italian champions just a couple months earlier with sixteen points differentiating them from second-place Inter. We went into the game very defensively, trying to prevent them from scoring and it started off great. Gökhan Inler scored an absolute screamer from nearly thirty yards out and we were ready to go into half break one-nil up, but Juve managed to equalise with what was practically the last kick of the first half. We started the second half with a couple of tactical alterations, namely bringing in another striker in Morata. With seven minutes played from the second half, Simone Zaza headed in a great cross from Callejón and we were back in the lead. For the next forty minutes we mostly tried to run off the clock and neither team had very good chances - except for the last five minutes when Juve absolutely bombarded us with crosses, long shots and other elements of the game worthy of the name of an artillery barrage (they made 8 shots after the 85th minute). The boys stood their ground and held on to a massive victory - we've now won six games in a row to start the season! A great start to life in Italy - can we keep this run going? October looks relatively easier than September was, but if we start the month with that mindset, we'll be in a lot of trouble soon. How about all the goals scored in the opening month in Serie A - and they say it's supposed to be a defense-minded league
  9. Preseason S.S.C. Napoli | 2017/18 Luís Figo Pretty reasonable, if not even underwhelming expectations. Napoli finished fourth in 2015/16 season with only four points behind champions Roma, but the last campaign was disastrous for them. I believe this team is definitely good enough for a spot in the Champions League. Summer transfers We offloaded a lot of deadwood and also sold De Guzman and Töre to offload some of our wages. I wasn't planning on selling the Danish centre back Sorensen, but Chelsea came in with a pretty good offer and I already had my eye on Rugani, so it was more a question of perfect timing rather than anything else. I also decided to sell Ibarbo, because there just would not have been enough room for Zaza, Morata and Ibarbo in a one-striker system. Torino offered a decent amount, I would have wanted something like 12-13 million for him, but we took the offer anyway. As for incoming transfers, the season-ending injury of Hamsik was the catalyst behind the signing of Lucas Silva. We had our eye on other players as well, most notably Emre Can, but Lucas was just too good of a deal to turn down. Pavel Savitskiy (ML/AML, Belarus) Who need new signings when you have players like Pavel Savitskiy coming back from loan? He couldn't break into the Napoli side last year, so Rijkaard decided to send him to Torino for some valuable game time - and boy was it a great decision. With Torino, Savitskiy had a magnificent season, winning the Italian Cup and crowning off the year with placing third in the Serie A Midfielder of the Year voting. Now he's back in Naples and it looks like he's a completely different player. Can't wait to see him in action! Lucas Silva (DMC/MC, Brazil) He's on a massive wage, but I'm certain he will be an integral part of our midfield. He was valued £23,5 million, but wanted to leave PSG which made it possible for us to get him for £14 million. His all-roundedness makes it possible to use him in different roles, which will come in handy. Daniele Rugani (DC, Italy) The young centre back is hopefully on the verge of making his Italy debut and I'm certain he'll develop much further than his potential ability currently portrays. Preseason friendlies We were a bit shaky against Frankfurt and lost heavily to Real Madrid, but you should never look too much into the preseason games. Zaza looks like he's really up for the season, as well as Inler. This is probably fair, as I believe we probably have the third-best squad in Serie A behind Juve and Roma. The only question is whether the players can bounce off the last seasons eight-place finish under a new manager. Creating confidence and freedom is key to a successful campaign and I think not having to play European games during our first year is definitely a good thing. Our new club is pretty high in the list, whereas Belenenses improved from 140th to 103rd.
  10. Cheers, guys! It's a niche market, that's for sure Yeah, I know what you mean - those little things can sometimes make a whole lot of difference. I mostly work on the visuals just so I wouldn't rush through the months without taking time to review each achievement etc, but there should always be a touch of humour to it so it wouldn't get too serious!
  11. Absolutely devastating piece of news from the preseason. The loss of not only captain, but also a key man can shatter a team's morale and put a real spanner in the works. Can they remain focused even in Hamsik's absence? They better do.
  12. S.S.C. Napoli | 2017/18 Luís Figo Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli Founded: 1 August 1926 Nicknames: Partenopei; Gli Azzurri (The Blues) 2016/17 League table | Transfers before 2017/18 Ground: Stadio San Paolo Capacity: 60 240 Stadio San Paolo is the third largest football stadium in Italy after the San Siro and Stadio Olimpico. The San Paolo is an absolute cauldron of frenzy and passion, revered like a church by the natives of Napoli. Even with the team languishing in the Serie C, San Paolo attracted an average of 51 000 people to the home games. Yaya Touré described his emotions after a Champions League game between Napoli and Manchester City effectively: "In the morning we went to the San Paolo to warm up, Carlos (Tevez) was telling me about this stadium, but I've played for Barça so I said to myself, it can't be that big of a deal! Yet when I set foot on that pitch I felt something magical, different. In the evening, when there was the anthem of the Champions League, hearing 80,000 people whistling us I realized what a mess we were in! I did play some important matches in my career, but when I heard that cry for the first time my legs were shaking! Well, it was there that I realized that for those people this is not just a team, it is a visceral love, like the one between a mother and a son! It was the only time I remained on the pitch after losing a match, just to enjoy the show." Recently, however, Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis made his feelings about the disheveled ground clear with a statement threatening to build a new stadium somewhere else, if the city of Naples would not cooperate on modernising the menacing stadium. The Club Napoli is a proud and historic club with long traditions - there's absolutely too much to speak about in just one post. This kind of debt is nothing new in Italian football - I'm rather more excited to see those great kit sponsorship figures! These kits are actually from the 2012/13 season, but I like the look of the away kit - we'll play one season with these, after which we'll design new away and third shirts. The Players An awesome team all-around. I absolutely love the depth of the squad, but there are some players we would like to sell and quite a few I have in my mind to sign, in order to make the team even better. Napoli have sold a few of their biggest stars during the three years Figo was the manager of Belenenses, namely Higuain, Insigne and Jorginho, but there are still some great options here. Goalkeepers Salvatore Sirigu The first choice keeper of both Napoli and the Italian National team, Sirigu is one of the best players in the club. I love having internationally experienced keepers between the sticks and I'm sure he will save us some points by himself. Rafael Pretty good option for a backup keeper, but his wages are a bit too high for my liking. I'd rather have a youth player as a backup, as Sirigu is definitely the number one option and I'd rather give Cup games etc to my own youngsters. Defenders Nicola Murru A quick and hard-working full-back, Murru will probably start the season coming off the bench and providing valuable cover for Stefan Radu and Santiago Arias. Frederik Sorensen The Dane will be our first-choice centre back, but his low aggression worries me a bit. Still, the best option in that position right now. Stefan Radu He will be the starting left-back, but his crossing and passing abilities are in my opinion not good enough. I like my fullbacks pressing forward and Radu might not be the right man for that, if he's going to give the ball away. 30 is also pretty old for a fullback, so maybe we'll look further into it, with Murru being the obvious choice of being Radu's intra-squad replacement. Carlos Zambrano A brilliant marker and tackler, the Peruvian will start the season off the bench, as Sorensen and Albiol are slightly better than him. Raul Albiol Hopefully he and Sorensen will form a great pairing in the centre of our defense. He's got the experience and mental stats, fingers crossed that his form will be as good. Santiago Arias Had an amazing season, which culminated in him being named the Serie A Defender of the Year runner-up and the starting right-back in the Serie A Team of the Year. If he can keep his great form going this season as well, he will be a key player on the right-hand side. Davide Zappacosta Another good backup option, who could be a starter in quite a few other Serie A teams. Midfielders Mohamed El Neny The versatile Egyptian deep playmaker will have a hard time to get playing time among the likes of Hamsik, Banega and Krychowiak. Claudio Yacob Good defensive attributes might mean Yacob gets quite a few games under his belt this season, but he is our second-highest earner and I'm not sure he is worth all that money. Ever Banega The flamboyant playmaker didn't have the greatest of seasons last year, but he will still be integral to our plans this campaign. Grzegorz Krychowiak Our best option in the defensive midfielder position. José Callejón The 30-year-old winger is coming off a great season, but I'm afraid his physical attributes will only deteriorate. We could still get a lot of money for him, if we'd think about selling - but he'll definitely get his chance before we decide anything. Gökhan Inler Not sure how much playing time he will get, but he's still definitely an important part of the dressing room. Dries Mertens Like Callejón, Mertens is 30 years old, but at least Mertens gets a half of his wages. He's a set-piece specialist, but his low stamina is quite worrying for us. Marco Fabian Looking to offload him, as his attributes don't justify his large wages. Carlos Carbonero The Colombian might prove to be a useful player off the bench. Jonathan De Guzman Another player who might very well leave Napoli during the summer, as he's just not good enough for the team. Marek Hamsik Oh captain, my captain. The key man bleeds blue and is nearing to the Napoli all-time appearance record. He's still 29, so hopefully we can get at least three great years out of him before we have to start thinking of replacing him. Forwards Victor Ibarbo Not quite sure what he has to offer besides his explosive pace, but we'll grow more accustomed to him during the offseason. Alvaro Morata Good with both his head and his feet, Morata still has some potential left in him to improve even further. He wasn't a starter last season, coming off the bench 18 times in the league, but his versatility speaks in his behalf. Simone Zaza Probably just a bit better than the other two strikers, Zaza poses a threat to all defences in the league. It's going to be difficult, because I usually play a lone striker as a rule - but there will be possibilities to everyone to prove their place in the team. This great club deserves a FourFourTwo styled article of its own, just like we did with Belenenses. That will take some time though, so I'll get the season underway and post the Napoli backstory sometime during the 2017/18 season - fans of Maradona, overwhelming fan cultures and Italian football in general; keep your eyes open
  13. I won't lie - I was hoping to get the job the moment I saw the interview pop up in my inbox. Napoli is such a frantic place with one of the most passionate fanbases in the whole world, so hopefully we'll be up for the task!
  14. Not really interested in the first two offers, but Napoli, Fiorentina and Deportivo are all exciting. Napoli finished the season 8th in the Serie A, with Fiorentina just behind them in 9th. Depor barely escaped relegation in La Liga, finishing 17th. We'll wait and see if we get more offers, but I think a move to either Florence or Naples is on the cards
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