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AdamFitz

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    Como 1907

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  1. Como 1907 2024/25 End of Season Serie A We slipped out of the title race and subsequently Champions League qualification contention due to poor form in March and April. We regained form towards the end of the year to finish in 7th again. The defeat to Empoli on the last day kept them up, but didn't matter to us as we couldn't finish any lower or higher. Italian Cup Final Como's first major silverware and qualification for the Europa League next season. A cool €5m for winning the tournament along with all the prize money involved in Europe next season, and the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League through it. UEFA Europa Conference League During a poor run of form, we managed to squeeze past Galatasaray into the semi-final. I thought Marseille would be tough opponents even though they're struggling in Ligue 1, but we absolutely dominated them. Favourites to beat Rangers and win the cup, they have a great player in Fraser Sharpe (below) but are poor otherwise. The team to start the final. This is the style we've been playing with for the last few matches of the season and it has served us relatively well. A cross to the back post from Hlozek to the injured Rebelo gives us the lead, no more than we deserved. A second piece of silverware for the season, very much making up for a disappointing league performance. Look at all of this money: Squad review next
  2. Como 1907 2024/25 January - February Transfers In Rui Santos - Initially an end of contract deal, but only cost €7.5k to bring in immediately. Could have a bright future ahead of him. Taylor Harwood-Bellis - Buongiorno wanted to go out on loan so Harwood-Bellis comes in to replace him. Simone Rabbi - We desperately needed cover on the left-wing, I almost brought back Vincenzo Millico but Rabbi's ability to cover more positions made him the obvious choice. Out Federico Nunzella - He didn't ever break into the first team, good to get any money for him, hopefully he can kickstart his career with Serie C Foggia. Alessandro Buongiorno - Wasn't happy about the first-team football he was getting, Verona we happy to pay all of his wages and give us €140k a month, a good deal for us. Fixtures Form was great up until the embarrassing defeat to Cittadella, who most likely won't be in the division next year. This ridiculous goal to put them in the lead still stings. The clear standout result is the 7-1 victory in the cup over Napoli, a team who hadn't lost in the league up until that point. They had a very strong side out, but it seemed every set piece we had was ending in a goal. Our second-string side beat them again in the second leg for good measure. We'll play Milan in the cup final who we have every chance of beating. League Table Two defeats on the bounce have left us in 7th and in danger of being cut adrift with tough games coming up, including champions Inter away next and both Napoli and Juve in the month of March. Hopefully the cup offers us a route into Europe if we falter in the league.
  3. Como 1907 2024/25 (the rest of) November - December Fixtures Great period for us, the only defeat coming to Lazio, meaning our 3 losses have all come against top 4 sides. All of our wins were very well deserved, although players seemed to take turns at putting the team on their back, Rebelo against Sassuolo, Hlozek against Bologna, Cángele against Bilbao. Even loanee Dario Cardia who I really only brought in to try develop came off the bench to score 2 in the dominant win over Milan (including a rocket with his left foot from 20 yards), earning himself a start next game where he scored inside the first two minutes. League Table Beating Torino would've left us outside the top 4 on head-to-head, but we're very much in contention at Christmas. The title race this year could be very interesting, although it's definitely too soon for us. UEFA Europa Conference League Our second team squeezed past Cracovia late on, although the result didn't matter too much as either way we'd have to beat Bilbao on the last day to go top. We did that and ensured a bye into the second knockout round, meeting the board's objectives.
  4. Como 1907 2024/25 August - October (and some of November) Fixtures I was flying through games and forgot to stop to update . We took care of Lokomotiv in the Conference League play-off, and got Bilbao, Cracovia and Qarabag in the group, one we should easily qualify from on paper. We haven't been scoring much, but defensively we have been very solid, only conceding twice in the first 10 games. The result against Cagliari was especially frustrating as Hlozek missed a penalty. Our best performances came against Roma and champions Inter, before we were brought back down to earth by Juve and Napoli. In Europe, we're already through after 4 games, level at the top with Bilbao with them still to play at home. League Table We went top after beating Inter, but 1 point from a possible 9 has us back around where we normally are. Hopefully as the new signings settle and gel we can kick on again. UEFA Europa Conference League
  5. Como 1907 2024/25 Pre-Season Transfers The three biggest transfers came early, we then scrambled to sort of the rest of the squad out using loans. It was also finally the end for club legends Alessandro Bellemo and Massimiliano Gatto who have been with us at all three levels, Bellemo has ended up back down in Serie C with Palermo where he will dominate, Gatto is a free agent with three teams looking at him. In Adam Hlozek - If the €77k figure looks unusual, it's because it's the compensation I had to pay to get him on the end of his contract. He hasn't turned out as good as he can in the game because he hadn't left Sparta until now, but it seemed a no brainer to bring him in for practically no fee. Niccoló Zanellato - Activated his relegation release clause, adds real quality in central midfield. Jose Luis Cángele - Not the most natural of goalscorers, and may end up on the wing eventually, depending on who develops better out of him and Hlozek. Dario Cardia - A talented youngster who might benefit from our training facilities (now great). Gustavo Moreno - One of the two options I've brought in to replace Sebastiani. Neither are as good as him and I'm not sure yet who is the better of the two. Matheus Fernandes - Brought in as cover again for his 4th year on loan. Rui Rebelo - Good options on the left-wing were hard to come by, he will do as we continue the search for a permanent player out there. Michael Lee - I'm edging towards him starting over Moreno, his mentals are impressive for his age. Bruno Martella - We failed to bring in a couple of left-back targets, so Martella comes in to fill out the squad. Plenty of Serie A experience and as good as Dias if not better. Reiss Stair - Provides better cover to Bellanova than shaky Stephanus does, although he's much more of a centre-back. Out Domenico Masiero - This one stung a bit. Our only 5* PA youth player refused to sign a contract with us due to the interest shown in him. He has a long way to go to becoming a good player but we'll watch him closely. Nuno Brito - Expressed regret about bringing him in last year, somehow we've managed to make a solid profit without him getting much better. Titas Krapikas - Only good enough to be our 3rd choice 'keeper now, good to get his wages off the books. Friendlies Tactics No real changes from last year, I'm worried that eventually we will struggle to break smaller teams down, we may have to switch to a more considered style against them.
  6. Yeah it definitely needs some work, in my Nuneaton save on FM10 they named the next stadium after Malcolm Christie (former Derby striker) who'd been there for a year
  7. Yep, according to Wikipedia he went there from Juventus and stayed for two years. A very odd choice, I didn't expect them to name it after me but World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta came through the academy at Como, he seems the most logical choice.
  8. Como 1907 2023/24 End of Season Fixtures We closed out the season brilliantly, losing only once in our last 16 matches to champions Inter. I pointed out Genoa's woes in the last post, being battered 5-0 then failing to beat them felt like karma. Brewster has been incredible, it's a massive pity that he's going to Lille next year, it'll be very hard to replace his goals. Despite some frustrating draws late on, we went into the final day with a chance of finishing as high as 5th: Atalanta beat Cagliari 2-1 to claim 5th as Roma couldn't beat Napoli away to get into the Champions League over them. That meant we needed to better Lazio's result to get into Europe. We couldn't break down Sampdoria and the game finished 0-0, meaning we needed Udinese to win at the Olimpico. They went 1-0 after 8 minutes, and hung on until the 88th minute when Renato Sanches equalised for Lazio, putting us back into 8th place. It wasn't over there though, Domingos Quina scored a winner for Udinese in the 95th minute to bring European football to Como for the first time. League Table Those draws in games we dominated late on sting a bit because we weren't very far off the Champions League in the end, but it's a great season overall. 14 points better off than last year and finishing above Lazio are great achievements. It will be difficult to stablise here with Brewster and Bard set to leave, but hopefully we can attract better players next year to replace them. Best XI GK Misael Arrieta - Kept a clean sheet 17 times in 34 games (5 more than last season). Not a position we need to worry about replacing unless someone big comes in for him. RB Raoul Bellanova - €7m was a risk but it has paid off, he's had a good year. He has to play with the 'Shoot Less Often' instruction but he's still really dangerous in other aspects of the game. CB John Souttar - Improved slightly over last year, averaging over a 7. Some Premier League clubs are sniffing around him but hopefully he'll want to stay, he wasn't interested in a bid of €19m from Palace in January. CB Nikola Pavlovic - Hasn't come on as much as I would've liked him to, but he still performed well. There's still time for him to develop though. LB Melvin Bard - Lyon want to give him a chance in the first team next year, hopefully they change their minds because decent left-backs are hard to come by. DM Massimiliano Sebastiani - Another player we can't get back next year, understandably Lazio want to give him a chance. CM Conor Gallagher - He started off very poorly, but became a bit more consistent towards the end of the season. Probably done just enough for me not to terminate his loan. CM Matheus Fernandes - Regressed from last year, unsure whether to bring him back for a 4th year. May do as a precautionary measure AMR Martin Alexandre - Another player who hasn't developed as much as I would've liked, but 6 goals and 11 assists is a great season for his age and given his CA. I have an pre-contract signing coming in who can play in this position, if one of the teams who's sniffing around him (Arsenal included) makes a good offer, I might be tempted to let him go. AML Rhian Brewster - The move out to the left-wing worked wonders, 20 goals made him topscorer in his last season at the club. Bringing in attacking quality to replace his production is our number 1 priority next year. ST Andrea Adorante - José Sanchez started the season very well before his form dropped, and then suffered a torn abdominal muscle which kept him out for two months. Adorante took his place, but couldn't repeat his goalscoring form of last year. He's most likely played his last game for the club. Tactics I started using a slightly tweaked Gegenpress tactic to try end our run of form and it worked pretty well. We didn't score as many goals as I would've liked but that could be down to the quality of players we have more than anything.
  9. Como 1907 2023/24 January - February Transfers In Mark Lee - A creative attacking midfielder/striker, provides a bit of extra cover up top and gives us the option to play 4-2-3-1 or the diamond. No brainer for €7k a week. Dean Henderson - An injury to Arrieta forced this move, €47k a week is a lot of money but we can afford it. In hindsight I probably should've checked if I could recall Krapikas. Out Ryan Gray - Goes off to help Pisa's promotion push to Serie B and get some much needed game time. Fixtures Absolutely horrid form, not helped by injuries to key players like Sanchez and Arrieta, but doesn't excuse how bad we've been. While it was a tough run of games, the loss against relegation-threatened Crotone stung. The game against Cagliari was our easiest home game in a while and a chance to turn things around, we were 2-0 up and cruising before 2 goals in the last 10 minutes for Cagliari pegged us back. Andrea Adorante, listed with me as the club's only 'favoured personnel', came off the bench to give us the winner. I was hoping to pick him up on a free but Parma, after transfer listing him last year, offered him a bumper €45.5k a week contract for the next 5 seasons. League Table If we can build some form off the back of the Cagliari win, we're still in with a chance of making Europe. We've got games against Sassuolo (A), Brescia (H), Fiorentina (A) and Udinese (H) in March, if we are any good at all we should be trying to win at least two of those. If you are wondering why Genoa's goal difference is particularly bad: The 3 losses against Lazio, Inter and Torino came in 3 consecutive games, 21 goals conceded and 0 scored
  10. Como 1907 2023/24 November - December Fixtures Another brilliant win against Lazio away had me dreaming of Champions League football next year, but it's all fallen apart since then. We've had a lot of injuries and suspensions to key players which hasn't helped, but I think it's time to go back to the drawing board (again) tactically. League Table Still right in with a chance of European qualification, but our recent form suggests we'll probably end up around where we have been for the last 2 years. The board only want me to avoid a relegation battle and that won't be a worry again.
  11. Thanks, although I fear the squad is too thin. I'd be happy to stay in the division for the time being!
  12. Como 1907 2023/24 August - October Fixtures What a start. We've won 7 of our first 9 games in the league including tough games against Roma, Cagliari, Sassuolo, Fiorentina and Udinese. Our two losses came against Milan and Juve, Conor Gallagher got sent off in the first half against Milan at 1-1 killing any hopes, and we were 1-0 up against Juve until the 79th minute, when Brewster played a woeful backpass to Arrieta which was intercepted and put in the net, before Kanté got the winner for them a couple of minutes later. To have been so unlucky in our losses is a good sign. There have been some fantastic individual performances so far, namely Brewster, whose switch out to the left has worked a charm. José Sanchez, who has replaced him up top, has got off to a flying start and is causing defences nightmares. On the right-side of the pitch, Bellanova and Alexandre are forming a brilliant partnership, with the former's pace and latter's dribbling ability causing teams real problems. League Table The season preview odds have us predicted to come 15th, so this is of course a great start. We are firmly in the European spots and have the second best goal difference in the league behind a rampant Inter side. Improving our results against the best sides in the league is the next hurdle for us to get over.
  13. Como 1907 2023/24 Pre-Season Transfers Not as much of an outlay as last year, we have to pay high wages to improve the squad at this stage. Some youngsters with first team potential (Brito, Belotti and Nunzella) left on loan. In Leandro Dias - Provides us with decent cover at left-back for free. A couple of clubs have offered to pay big money to take him on loan (including one covering all of his wages + €70k playing/€140k unused a month) but I'd prefer to have him in the squad. Nuno Brito - Money I probably could've spent elsewhere, but he has potential to become a good centre-back. Hopefully a loan move to Chievo in Serie B helps him fulfill it. Conor Gallagher - A good all-round midfielder very similar to Matheus Fernandes. Will battle with Capezzi for a starting spot. Adrien Tameze - I wanted to go back to playing 4-3-3 with a DM and Tameze represented a good loan option to fill the spot. I chose him over a 4* CA Roma regen whose technical stats were poor, but also brought in another loanee in Sebastiani to compete with him. Raoul Bellanova - We spent a record €7m for the third time to fill the gaping hole at right-back. While he is on big wages and some of his technical attributes let him down, his physicals are insane, knocking the ball past his opponent with 17 acceleration and 18 pace will make him a real threat going forward. José Sanchez - Another wonderkid, this time on loan from Real Madrid. He spent last season on loan at Verona so he knows the league well. Sanchez was supposed to be Adorante's replacement, but more on that later. Simone Rabbi - Fantastic cover option at left-wing, right-wing and striker. If he performs well for us, his contract is up next summer and I'd be very tempted to keep him around. Massimiliano Sebastiani - Comes in with one of the greatest names in football to challenge for the DM spot. My scouts prefer Tameze but I think Sebastiani is better, and Tameze's 'Stays Back At All Times' trait worries me. Fouad Issam - Cheap youngster with potential to be better, and may end up getting some game time over the likes of Bellemo this year. Andrea Adorante - Parma transfer listed him on deadline day for €4.4m, which we probably could've afforded if we wanted. It didn't feel right to take him back for anything other than a loan though, especially with Sanchez now in. Good to have a player in the squad who the fans have an affinity with even if he won't start regularly, he's a proven goalscorer at this level now. I think this somewhat illustrates the disconnect between attributes and form on this game, that a player who scored a goal every two games last year isn't wanted by a team who finished below us. Out Davide Vitturini - No longer needed with Bellanova and Stephanus ahead of him. Lorenzo Fusco - We get him off the books at a profit and he gets a hefty new contract at Napoli. No idea why big teams on this game love to sign average goalkeepers from you. Friendlies Tactics We reverted to something very similar to what we were using at the start. I'm going to experiment with Brewster as an Inside Forward, he definitely has the ability to play there, and we struggled to find anyone natural there who is good enough.
  14. Como 1907 2022/23 End of Season Fixtures It looked like Brewster had won us the game against Lazio, but they equalised in the 94th minute. We concede a lot in late stages of games despite tweaks to be more defensive. It was even worse against Sampdoria, they made it 2-2 in the 90th, we made it 3-2 in the 93rd but they came back again in the 95th. Sassuolo, Roma and Brescia inflicted similar late heartbreak on us. We were in relegation form to the finish off the season, thankfully compensated by our great start. League Table We finish with 1 point more than last year, one position below. Another year in the division represnts better club reputation, improved facilities, loads of TV money and a chance to sign better players. Genoa managed to stay up with a very low 26 points, and 40 points was good enough for 13th place. Best XI GK Misael Arrieta - Kept 4 more clean sheets and conceded 19 less than Krapikas did last year, although he could've been helped by the improved defence in front of him. I don't think it's long before the big teams come looking. RB Yan Valery - Another average season for him, he's available on a free but I'm going to try and find someone better. CB John Souttar - Solid start to life in Italy for him, hopefully the experience and time to settle will make him even better next year. CB Nikola Pavlovic - Not a bad season for the 19 year old. I managed to bump his release clause up to €29.5m and won't accept less than that, Roma are interested. LB Melvin Bard - His consistency is showing as poor now, I've extended his loan in the hope of finding someone better. RM Martin Alexandre - Made a promising start for us with 6 assists in 13 games. Some of his mental stats still worry me but hopefully that comes with age. CM Leonardo Capezzi - I think Capezzi is a great example of why things like consistency and a player enjoying matches are so important. He's only rated a good Serie B player but was excellent all season, and probably our second best player. CM Matheus Fernandes - While he is nothing special, like Bard I'll keep him until we find better. LM Pervis Estupiñán - Played only slightly more than Millico who struggled to re-create last year's form. He's tempting to bring in again as a cover option. ST Andrea Adorante - a goal every other game for him this year, now 57 goals in 131 games and has played in Serie C, B and A for us all on loan. Parma don't want him to come back, we could afford him but it'd eat up most of our transfer budget. Very difficult decision to make. ST Rhian Brewster - I was expecting big things from him after his loan spell last year but he failed to deliver. Injuries didn't help but even when he got a consistent run in the side he struggled. With Adorante probably not coming back, I've extended his loan regardless of his form. Tactics I messed around frequently as results got worse, our best form late in the season came using this. I felt comfortable having a wing-back and a winger because Alexandre cuts inside a lot. I'm not sure how I want to play next year, a couple of the young Italian players we bought at the beginning of the season are on the fringe of the first team so that might bring a switch to a diamond or 4-2-3-1. New Stadium We're in a really odd situation with the stadium. The Giuseppe Sinigaglia is a 13,602 all-seater, but we were only allow have 5,500 at games last year, 6,681 this year, and 8,039 next year. I would be happy to use the current stadium in its full capacity for the next while but I have no control over this. I fear it might be too soon to build a new stadium as well, it might end being too small in the long run.
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