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  1. U.S.D. Novese The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo MAY 2017 Only three games left on the schedule but they are spread out over the next six weeks. Antonio Silvestri is suspended so Riccardo Lucarino will take over as one of the central defenders next to Armando Sykaj. That makes us desperately low on speed but I have few other options. The press tries to make a story about my dislike for the Derthona manager. I don't want any of it and refuse to take the bait. I no comment all the questions from the newspapers. The starting 11 against our rivals looks like this: GK - Michael Vezzani * DL - Davide Sala * DC - Riccardo Lucarino & Davide Sala DR - Francesco Savarise ML - Nicolò Condorelli MC - Pasquale D'Addio & Gianmaria Cucurnia MR - Massimo Lucarelli * ST - Luigi Mentana & Denys Zhytarchuk @ Derthona #18 It just takes 13 minutes before we are in front. It's Luigi Mentana scoring on a cross from Sala. It's our first shot of the game. And then we get a second after 21 minutes. A free kick thrown into the box is not cleared and Mentana scores his second of the day. I pull back a little after the break. Luigi Mentana down as AMC again and a poor Zhytarchuk out for Marco Cortellazzi. Nothing happens in the second half. Derthona can not produce anything and we don't want to take any chances. Another 2-0 win in the books. Great win against a rival on the road. Luigi Mentana finish the game with a 8.8 Rat and is the PoM by a mile. Both our rivals gets come from behind wins. Now we again have to wait two weeks for the next game. We are so close now. With Bra and S.S.D. Argentina Arma playing each other today the right results and we might be winning the league but just a minor slip up and we can be in a world of trouble. A record 1529 people shows up for the game. @ home vs. U.S.D. Castellazzo Bormida #11 The players for the first time this season looks nervous. Is the pressure getting to them? First goal of the season for Marco Cortellazzi. Two assist by Nicolò Condorelli and a 9.0 Rat to go with his PoM After the game the press for the first time link me to other clubs. I have no intention in taking over Savona F.b.c. or S.E.F. Torres The A.C. Bra vs. S.S.D. Argentina Arma game was decided by an own goal in the middle of the second half. It was S.S.D. Argentina Arma winning and we now “only” needed one point in the last game to win the division. We will have to wait another two weeks for that game against the worst team in the league F.C. Vado. We will be without Luigi Mentana in the last game. He hurt his knee and will be out for 4-5 weeks. But more importantly we will also be without Armando Sykaj and Denys Zhytarchuk in the most important game in the team's recent history. They will both be traveling after a U20 game. They have a combined 65 games between them this season. That is just bad planning. Remember Matias Antonini Lui? Inter Milan releases Brazilian Matias Antonini Lui who did really well for us last season as the ML. I try to sign him but he is unwilling to come. I will try again later.
  2. USD Novese The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo APRIL 2017 New month, new opportunities. We need to win some games as we can not hope for our opponents bad form to continue. We have 15 contrats running out at the end of the season with Massimo Lucarelli still being the most important name on the list. He is still unwilling to resign. The rest I don't care much about. I offer new contracts to most of the staff. @ U.S. Fezzanese #12 We finaly gets off to a good start and scores on our first attack. It's DC Antonio Silvestri who is last on the ball after a corner. We are back to level after just 15 minutes. And that's the way it looks like ending all the way until two minutes into extra time. Massimo Lucarelli (9.0 Rat. and PoM)makes his second assist of the day and find Nicolò Condorelli for his 4th goal of the season. We loss Brice Bonelli for 3-4 weeks with a groin strain. We also loss 33 year old Andrea Doardo for 2-3 months with a knee injury. We decide to release him. It's a tough business being a semi professional footballer. @ Chieri #8 It's the third road game in a row. No shots on goal by either team in the first half. In the end it's the old well known combination that comes thru for us. Massimo Lucarelli to Denys Zhytarchuk after 80 minutes and the win is a fact. Again, it was not pretty but we are now up to a new team record 12 games without a loss. Pro Settimo & Eureka is one of the team playing with one striker but three AMC just behind him. This is team and formation we have struggled with in the past and I got for a formation with a DMC instead of an AMC. The starting lineup looks like this: GK - Michael Vezzani DL - Davide Sala DC - Antonio Silvestri & Armando Sykaj DR - Francesco Savarise DMC - Luca De Feo ML - Nicolò Condorelli MC - Pasquale D'Addio & Pasquale D'Addio MR - Massimo Lucarelli ST - Denys Zhytarchuk @ home vs. Pro Settimo & Eureka #15 The first half is not pretty with both teams struggling to get away shots. Denys Zhytarchuk is replaced after an hour and Luigi Mentana is brought on instead. 10 minutes later I sub the DMC De Feo and replace him with an AMC Vincenzo Perna. It take only 8 minutes before we see results when Luigi Mentana scores in the chaos after a free kick. Just three minutes later we are rewarded a penalty. The referee say that Nicolò Condorelli is tripped but even I have a hard time seeing that. Vincenzo Perna makes no mistake from the spot. We get a solid 2-0 win and both goals are scored by players off the bench. Nicolò Condorelli is voted PoM with a solid 9.0 Rat. We have now won three games in a row and not lost for 13 weeks but we still can't get away from S.S.D. Argentina Arma who have also not lost in 8 weeks. We are still tied on points. In training during the week Luca De Feo is injured (again). This time it's a serious knee injury and he will be out for two months. At christmas he was also out for two months with a shoulder injury. Luigi Mentana played good last week so i decided to put him up front with Zhytarchuk in a 4-4-2 formation. @ home vs. Caronnese #6 Denys Zhytarchuk got a chance to put us ahead after just 3 minutes but misses the goal completely. Then we manage to give up two goals in just four minutes. One from a corner and one from a freekick. We take a few shot before the break without creating much. We are in trouble. Down one at the break and S.S.D. Argentina Arma is also in trouble in their game. A minute into extra time Denys Zhytarchuk scores from 30 yards out. Not like him to score on a long shot, but I take it. I sub a bad playing DM Antonio Silvestri with Riccardo Lucarino. We play better in the second half. In the 81st minute we score the equalizer. Massimo Lucarelli puts the ball into the top of the net from the edge of the box. Great goal. We go ultra defensive and protect the one point. Thats enough for us with S.S.D. Argentina Arma losing 0-3 on the road to Ischia Isolaverde. We are one point clear on top of the table with just four games left to play and none of them against top-10 teams. I decided to go with the same team and same formation in the last game of the month. @ home vs. Sporting Bellinzago #13 We have three shots on goal within the first 11 minutes but no goal to show for it. Then it's Sporting Bellinzago taking over, creating several chances but they also struggle with the final touch. 2 minutes before the break we get a penalty when Luigi Mentana i brought down. No mistakes by Zhytarchuk who puts the ball hard in the middle of the goal. I don't think we have missed a penalty since I took over as manager. Lets keep it that way. At the break we switch to counter and moves Mentana back to AMC again. We own the ball in the second half. After 73 minutes Gianmaria Cucurnia scores our second of the day and his just second of the season. That's settles it and we can cruise the last 15 minutes. S.S.D. Argentina Arma only draws 1-1 against the worst team in the league and it's now A.C. Bra closest behind us with three games to go. Month end standing U.S.D. Novese 69 p A.C. Bra 67 p S.S.D. Argentina Arma 66 p
  3. Good luck in the lower Italian league. It's a tough but fun place to play. I will follow your progress with this.
  4. U.S.D. Novese - Season 2 The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo MARS 2017 We will be without ML Nicolò Condorelli for a few weeks due to injury. Pasquale D'Addio will have to move out left and I add Gianmaria Cucurnia to the central midfield. I give Arrigo Berera the change in the center. @ Acqui #13 For a rivalry the first half is very boring with only a single shot on goal. Arrigo Berera only last 40 minutes before he picks up what looks like a serious injury. I normally have few complaints about keeper Michael Vezzani but just after the break he allows a goal in the keeper-corner. A shot he normally stops. This time we are the team to score late. A minute into extra time Zhytarchuk saves us when he puts a D'Addio cross into the net. Another tie game. It's the fourth in the last five games. Argentina Arma also struggles and only gets a draw. A.C. Bra is winning and we might be letting them back into the promotion fight. Arrigo Berera got a back strain and will be out for up to six weeks. @ home vs. Sestri Levante #11 We score after 30 minutes only to see the goal getting called back due to Zhytarchuk pushing off. In the second half we hit the upright after a corner but that was the closest we got. 1341 people is treated to another 0-0 game. @ home vs. Pinerolo #14 Denys Zhytarchuk scores after just six minutes when Davide Sala finds him with a free kick. Pinerolo pulls level just a minute after the break when the marking completely breaks down on a free kick. They get to take three shots without the defends reacting. Denys Zhytarchuk scores a second with just five minutes to play when he turns away two defends and easily puts the ball in the net. Last five minutes are not pretty but we finally manage to get a win. @ U.S.D. Lavagnese #6 The closest we get in the first half is a ball in the crossbar from DC Armando Sykaj after a corner. We have good control and a lot of ball (62%) but Zhytarchuk is having a bad day up front, not hitting anything. I replace him after an hour with Brice Bonelli. After having full control in the first half the game for some reason changes at the break. U.S.D. Lavagnese takes over the game and we are under heavy pressure. After 84 minutes we give up the lead after a freekick we fail to clear. Looks like we again will loss late. 2 minute before full time Brice Bonelli give us an equalizer on our only shot in the second half. We get another lucky draw. Month end standing U.S.D. Novese 56 p S.S.D. Argentina Arma 56 p A.C. Bra 55 p
  5. U.S.D. Novese - Season 2 The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo FEBRUARY 2017 Two new players join us on non-contracts before the transfer deadline. It's signings mostly in the blind as we don't have the time to go scout the players before we sign them. Davide Sala is another DL where we have still not found a solution i trust. Valerio Traversari is an advanced playmaker Ligorna 1922 plays a funky formation with a single striker but three AMC just behind him. We have struggled with that before and moves our AMC to DM to counter the move. That gives Mario Tacchinardi a place in the starting lineup as Rixhi Elezaj is not game ready yet and Luca De Feo is still injured. The bad news is that we leaves Zhytarchuk very alone on top. @ home vs. Ligorna 1922 #7 We don't accomplice much in the first half and neither does Ligorna 1922 It's more of the same to start the second half After 52 minutes we get the goal when we put together a perfect attack. Zhytarchuk is last man on the ball and scores his goal number eleven of the season. Tacchinardi is not playing any good in his debut and i replace him with Riccardo Lucarino playing out of position after an hour. We hold on and but with two minutes left we give up an equalizer after a failed clearance by Armando Sykaj. The minute after we almost gives everything away but GK Michael Vezzani saves us with a monster-save. Instead late in overtime, Zhytarchuk gets his second goal of the day but the referee has blown for a questionable offside. I will need to see that one again. Another tough game, this time against 5th ranked Ischia Isolaverde. We go back to the 4-3-1-1 formation we know. @ home vs. Ischia Isolaverde #7 We play surprisingly well in the first 30 minutes and have the best chances. Then just second before halftime we get a goal when Zhytarchuk sneaks behind the backline for the easy score. In the second half we get a bit more under pressure. Luca Dimasi is not accomplishing much as the AMC and I take him out and replace him with Rixhi Elezaj as DMC. Once again we give up a goal late. This time on a counterattack. Instead of giving up I order the team forward and we go on the attack and Nicolò Condorelli looks like the hero when he scores a minute into extra time. But it's not to be. Three minutes into extra time Rixhi Elezaj makes a clumsy penalty and we have to settle for a draw. A.C. Bra loss again and have only won once in their last six games and is falling behind. Argentina Arma also struggles and only get a draw on the road. We are only one point behind with 14 games left to play. We go on the road but it's against one of the worst teams in the league so this is a must win. Davide Sala gets a chance from start as the DL and can hopefully give us some attacking power we have been missing on the left side @ Borgosesia #18 Not a good start. We give up a goal after just 18 minutes. The defense is still to slow. Reminder for next season that speed in the back line is a must have. Then Zhytarchuk has two magic minutes. He scores in the 25 and the 26th minute. Both real poacher goals. Outruns the defense and scores easily. And just before the break Pasquale D'Addio adds a third. We have completely turned the game around. Second half we just controll. Zhytarchuk picks up a knock. I take no chances and replaces him. No more goals. The day turned out just perfect when the news that Argentina Arma has lost 0-2 on the road and we had taken over the league lead by two points. And Zhytarchuk`s knock was just that. A knock and he is 100% for the next game. AMC from Napoli Luigi Mentana is finally back from his virus but a long way from match fit. Will have to play a few U20 games before he is ready for the first team. Last game of the month. @ home vs. Gozzano #6 Huge mistake from the Gozzano keeper after just three minutes when he fails to hold the ball on a corner. We take the lead with Massimo Lucarelli on the first shot of the game. After 30 minutes Massimo Lucarelli have to leave the pitch with an injury. Arrigo Berera replaces him. We have 60% possession in the first half but still give up a goal from a corner just before the break. Both Vincenzo Perna and Zhytarchuk is playing bad today. They start the second half better. I try everything but we cannot get the goal we need. It all finishes in a unsatisfying 1-1 draw. Luckily the Massimo Lucarelli injury was nothing big and he is ready for the next game against our rivals Acqui on the road. Month end standing U.S.D. Novese 50 p Argentina Arma 50 p A.C. Bra 46 p
  6. U.S.D. Novese - Season 2 The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo JANUARY 2017, Part II We have a tough month ahead of us. It's only four games but we will play # 3 Argentina Arma and then #2 Bra in back-to-back games on the road. MR Massimo Lucarelli is finally back from injury. So for the first game of the new year the starting 11 looks like this GK - Michael Vezzani DL - Gaetano Adamo DC - Armando Sykaj & Antonio Silvestri DR - Francesco Savarise ML - Nicolò Condorelli MC - Pasquale D'Addio & Gianmaria Cucurnia MR - Massimo Lucarelli AMC - Luca Dimasi ST - Denys Zhytarchuk I add new signing Mario Tacchinardi as a sub as he can be used in so many different positions on the field. @ F.C. Vado #19 The first game of the new year is a must win game against #19 F.C. Vado . Either Denys Zhytarchuk have really enjoyed his christmas or perhaps he is just happy about his new contract because he shows up looking like a different player. He dominates the first 30 minutes and gives us the lead on a solo raid. In the second half we take plenty of shots but fail to make them count. I don't feel safe with just a 1-0 lead. We pull the AMC and give Mario Tacchinardi his first start as DM. The last 15 minutes we try to control and F.C. Vado is never realy close. They don't have single shot on goal all day. To make the day even better we are told that Bra lost on the road to Ischia Isolaverde and we are now alone on top of the table, three points clear. I decide to go all inn. I am not sure i can handle another year in this division and we can not ask for a better position before the second half of the season start. I sign two more players. We finally get a chance to address one of our weak points. Gaetano Adamo has not shown much as DL and we bring in some backup. 31 year old journeyman Andrea Pippa will join the team. He has played more than 300 games for 10 different clubs and will hopefully be an upgrade. Arrigo Berera is another MC @ S.S.D. Argentina Arma #2 We are considered favourites but counter attack sound like a good solution when playing the #2 team in the league on the road. Mario Tacchinardi starts as a fifth midfielder in a flat 4-5-1 formation. We give up a penalty after 27 minutes. Luckily for us it's a horrible taken penalty that not even hits the goal. Still 0-0 It only last three minutes before we give up a goal from a corner. 5 minutes into the second half we loss track of the S.S.D. Argentina Arma top scorer Loreto Lo Bosco for a few seconds and we are behind 0-2. Debutant Mario Tacchinardi scores after 83 minutes to pull one back. We push forward but are never close. Only god news of the day is that Bra losses again and remains three points back in the standing where we are now tied with Argentina Arma @ A.C. Bra #3 We are hard pressed in the first twenty minutes. But we are creating a few chances and take the same number of shots on goal as the home team. In the 32 minute we get a penalty and Gianmaria Cucurnia make no mistakes from the spot and we can go into the half one goal ahead. After 68 minutes we are outplayed and A.C. Bra gets the equalizer. 10 minutes before the final we are lucky when A.C. Bra hits the crossbar on a free kick. And a few minutes later luck evens out when Zhytarchuk sees his shot bang off the upright. The game ends in a 1-1 draw. This was not the results I was hoping for agains the two other promotion contenders. We are now 2 points behind Argentina Arma in the standing. @ home vs. A.S.D. Oltrepò-Voghera #14 Finally back home and not against a top ten team. We treat the home crowd of 1282 people to a goal already after 8 minutes. It's the well tested combination of a cross from Massimo Lucarelli and a header from Zhytarchuk that puts us in front. We get a second after 22 minutes when a corner deflects off a A.S.D. Oltrepò-Voghera player for an own goal. And after just 30 minutes we score the 3rd of the day. This time Vincenzo Perna scores after a new corner. We have had two shots on goal and scored three goals. The second half is a letdown and we looks complacent. I take the opportunity to give playing time to some of the fringe players in the second half. We get the sollid 3-0 win and the bonus when S.S.D. Argentina Arma losses on the road the we take back the table lead. Massimo Lucarelli was the big player in the game and finished with a 9.0 Rat. It was his fourth PoM awards already after half the season and his Rat is now a team high 7.51 AvR but he is still completely unwilling to talk about a new contract.
  7. U.S.D. Novese - Season 2 The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo JANUARY 2017 A guy named Lionel Messi wins his 6th FIFA Ballon d'Or and second in a row but home in Novi Ligure we have more important thing to worry about. We sign DR Francesco Savarise to a new contract keeping him for another year. The new contract is worth £24.000. Despite his current slump we also sign Denys Zhytarchuk for another year. Several other players is without a contract at the end of the season. Most of them will not be good enough to play in the division above if we make it there and if we don't they can easily be replaced. The bad news is that our best player the last season and a half and the only player i really want to renew, Massimo Lucarelli is not willing to sign a new deal. Massimo Lucarelli was born in Pisa is 1993. He started his professional career as a 17-year old in the Empoli youth academy back in 2010/11. That was to big a challenge for him and he didn't get any playing time and was released. The season after he secured a contract with Città di Pontedera 1912 in the Serie D. The young player got 22 league starts for the Pontedera team that won the league that season. That was enough to open some eyes and among the clubs interested in the young man was his hometown club A.C. Pisa. It was a dream coming thru for Massimo playing for his hometown team but on the field struggled. Playing in front of his childhood friends and supporters and only got two starts in the 2012/13 season. The year after was not much better and after just 7 starts for Pisa before new year he was sent to U.S. Gavorrano on a loan deal. That gave him another 13 starts in Serie C2. 21 year old Massimo was back with a Pisa team now in Lega Pro B but he was also back on the bench with little chance of playing time. It was a horrible year for him and he didn't get a single minute of competitive football all year. His career was at a crossroad. Massimo decided to give it a final shot but instead of staying on the bench in Pisa he decided to drop down a few divisions and travel north to Novi Ligure to play for U.S.D. Novese. When I took over U.S.D. Novese in the summer of 2015, Massimo had arrived in Novi Ligure just a few weeks earlier. In a group without very little star potential, Massimo Lucarelli and his five star potential stood out. He was the natural selection as the MR and he was the starter from day one. He finished his first season in Novi Ligure with a 7.23 Rat and was voted both young player and fans player of the year. Now i needed him to sign a new contract. The transfer window opens on the 4th january. I tell the board that we can challenge for the title and they increase the salary budget to £7.39K. We sign two new players. Marco Cortellazzi is a 19 year old advanced forward with double digit skills in both dribbling, finishing and first touch. He even got a 14 in workrate. The other is 34-year old Mario Tacchinardi. He is a ball winning midfielder but can play all nine positions in defends, defensive midfield and midfield. I love his 15 determination and 12 in workrate. We also get to take a look at the Napoli loan players. It's all 17 year old players with low current ability and limited potential. I see no reason to ask for any of them to join us at this point.
  8. U.S.D. Novese - Season 2 The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo DECEMBER 2016 We only got three games to play in december but it's the top 10 teams coming in a steady stream. I might have located the problem with our defends. There is no way i can keep playing Riccardo Lucarino and Armando Sykaj side by side in the defense. With 7 and 8 in pace they are simply to slow. I add Antonio Silvestri (pace 14) to the starting lineup instead of Lucarino. I decide to give a tired Denys Zhytarchuk a rest. @ home vs. F.C.D. Sporting Bellinzago #6 We create a few big chances in the first half but more importantly we keep tight in the central defends. Its scoreless at the break. The first hour of the game is easy to forget but the last 30 minutes of the game is a blast. First AMC Luca Dimasi scores a beauty after 63 minutes when he puts a corner clearance into the top corner. Just a few minutes later the defends losses the lone Sporting Bellinzago striker and we are even again. Then two minutes before full time it's right back Francesco Savarise who saves the day when he scores his first goal of the season on another long shot. The bad news of the day is that we losses Massimo Lucarelli for the rest of the month. The MR has a team high AvR of 7.52 for the season and will be missed. We releases Luca Riggio on a free transfer after he has complained about lack of playing time several times in the last few weeks. @ U.S.D. Castellazzo Bormida #15 Denys Zhytarchuk is back in the starting lineup. After the first half it's obvious that is a mistake. We are behind after just 16 minutes. This time it's not speed that is the problem but an offside the referee missed. C'mon man. What we doin' out here man! Out with Zhytarchuk at the break and we go from 4-4-1-1 to 4-4-2. Mattia Dendi and Brice Bonelli are the two strikers. Its Dendi saving the day for us when he heads inn the equalizer with 15 minutes left on the clock. @ home vs. Derthona F.B.C. #20 When our fierce rivals comes to town 1480 shows up to watch first against last in the last game of the calendar year. We play a solid first half. Control the ball and don't let Derthona take any shots on goal. Forward on the field we are not that impressive early on. We get a goal after 24 minutes from a corner. Its 17 year old Pasquale D'Addio putting in the rebound. D'Addio is also involved in the second goal after 62 minutes. He takes the shot and this time it's Nicolò Condorelli putting away the rebound. Vincenzo Perna gets some playing time and scores a beauty on a longshot. The last goal is scored by Brice Bonelli on a penalty. He has again replaced Denys Zhytarchuk who has now only scored once in the last seven games. D'Addio is the man of the day with a goal, two assists and a 9.4 Rat. The fans loves the solid 4-0 win and they are even more pleased when they are informed that Argentina Arma lost today. That was a nice pre christmas present. What was not a nice surprise was that DM Luca De Feo got injured in a U20 game and will be out 2-3 months with a dislocated shoulder. Our other DM Rixhi Elezaj is also out with injury for another 2 to 3 weeks. Good news that we don't have any game to play the next 20 day.
  9. U.S.D. Novese - Season 2 The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo NOVEMBER 2016 I make room for both Nicolò Condorelli and D'Addio in the left side of the midfield. Luigi Mentana will also get a second chance this time in his natural role as AMC @ home vs. U.S. Fezzanese#7 For the first time this season, not counting the Napoli game, more than 1.300 people showes up to watch us play. It's Fezzanese dominating the first 10 minutes and they even have a goal disallowed. Then we takes over. We take plenty of shot but struggles to get them on goal. Its 0-0 at the break. Second half we keep shooting and now they are hitting goal. It just takes two minutes before it also hits the net. Nicolò Condorelli is the scorer. We keep pushing and gets a second just shortly after when Luigi Mentana (the 17 year old loan player from Napoli) scores his first of the season. Final 30 minutes we add a DM and just hang on to the lead. We are suddenly looking solid in the back again and have played 5 league games without allowing a single goal. We put in an offer for a young striker called Marco Cortellazzi from Bagnolese in the league below us. He scored 12 goals and had 7 assists last season and a AvR over 7.3. If he agrees to the non-contract, he will arrive after new year. Gianmaria Cucurnia is back from his injury but we are without Denys Zhytarchuk and Armando Sykaj who are both on international duties. @ home vs. A.S.D. Chieri #9 We completely dominates the game in the first half and keeps Chieri to just a single shot (not even close to goal) in the first half. We take plenty of shots with several of them hitting target but striker Mattia Dendi is not having a good day. He is out at the break. I ask for more of the same. The goals have to come. And they do after an hours play. First Riccardo Lucarino and 10 minutes later Massimo Lucarelli. He also wins PoM with a 9.0 Rat. Three teams have made a breakaway in the league table, all with 27 points. Its A.C. Bra who finished 3rd last season and S.S.D. Argentina Arma who finished 9th. The fourth place team is four points back. We are back on the road against the worst team in the league. This is a must win if we are to keep on pace with Bra and Argentina Arma. Luckily we have our two international travelers back. @ A.S.D. Pro Settimo & Eureka #20 The first 45 minutes is horrible. Zhytarchuk looks like a zombie upfront (6.2 Rat) and the rest of the teams is not looking much better. We struggle with possession against the worst team in the league and only gets a single shot on goal in the first half. I rip into the team at the break and they are motivated. Out with Zhytarchuk and inn with Mattia Dendi We take control of the ball and get a few more shots on goal. For the longest time it looks like we will only get away with a single point. In the 88th minute and cross from Massimo Lucarelli gets all the way thru the penalty area and Pasquale D'Addio is there for the simple score. That was ugly but we got away with 3 points. AMC Luigi Mentana got a damaged shoulder and will be out for 4-5 weeks. The game against S.C. Caronnese will be much tougher. Luca Dimasi will replace the injured Luigi Mentana. I struggle with an out of form Zhytarchuk but decided to give him another chance. @ S.C. Caronnese #5 For some reason the bookmakers have us as heavy favorites on the road. The first 25 minutes is a chess game without any mistake by any of the teams. We take the first shot on goal after 30 minutes without it being really dangerous. Instead we give up two goal in the next three minutes. We look horrible in the central defends. Zhytarchuk pulls on goal back after 40 minutes. It's the first foot he puts right in this game. We still have a chance if we can stop the leak in the back. We are not playing bad in the second half but fails to produce much. We overload the final 10 minutes to no avail. We loss for the first time in 8 games. Only good thing is that Argentina Arma also losses to Ischia Isolaverde, and we are again three teams tied on 30 points on top of the league.
  10. U.S.D. Novese - Season 2 The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo OCTOBER 2016 @ Gozzano#6 Not a good start to the month. After just six minutes keeper Vezzani try to clear the ball but gets unlucky and hits Lucarino in the part of the body just below the lower-back and the ball bounces into the goal for an embarrassing own goal. At least we got 84 minutes to try to repair the damage. We try to take control. We have the ball but don't produce a lot in the first half. Show me something else. The team reacts well and seems motivated. Doesn't help on the field. We gives up a second goal after 53 minutes. Mattia Dendi has replaced Brice Bonelli again and we gets one back after 65 minutes on a Mattia Dendi goal. Still hope to get a result. Last 10 minutes we press forward to try to get the equalizer. Takes out a defender and adds a AMC to the mix. We win the shots statistic 18 to 11 but we can't overcome the own goal. That's a stupid loss. We were the better team all day. Getting ready for one of the biggest games of the year against rivals Acqui U.S. For a change we have a few journalists around the practice ground and we even have to hold a press conference before the game. I try to keep calm. It's not ideal to be without two regular starters for a game like this but Sykaj and Denys Zhytarchuk will not be available today as they play international football. The team looks like this: GK - Michael Vezzani DL - Gaetano Adamo DC - Riccardo Lucarino & Antonio Silvestri DR - Francesco Savarise ML - Nicolò Condorelli MC - Pasquale D'Addio & Gianmaria Cucurnia MR - Massimo Lucarelli ST - Mattia Dendi & Brice Bonelli @ home vs. Acqui U.S.#16 We start out a bit slow. After 24 minutes we hit the post on a longshot and Bonelli puts inn the rebound. Only to have it disallowed for a questionable offside. Just a few minutes later we almost gives up a goal when Antonio Silvestri tries to play out of defends instead of just clearing the ball. We hit the crossbar just before the break. And again to start the second half. Another ball in the woodwork. Now it's just getting comical. The fourth ball bounces off the Acqui upright. In the 87th minutes we finally breaks thru. Substitute Vincenzo Perna scores his first goal of the season. Thats enough to earn us the “hugely important” win over our rivals from 45 minutes down the road. @ home vs. Lavagnese #14 The attack on the uprights continues. This week we start out with a header from Zhytarchuk in the crossbar. Tied 0-0 at the halfway mark Puts DC Luca Riggio on the field just after the break. He just needs 3 minutes before he scores from a corner. His first goal of the season. Replace a striker with a DMC and go counter. Denys Zhytarchuk scores our second a few minutes later on a direct freekick. The keeper didn't look good. Winger Nicolò Condorelli has to leave the field with an injury but we comfortably controls the rest of the game for the easy win. First place team S.C. Caronnese losses big on the road and we move into first place in the division (tie on points with two other teams). Nicolò Condorelli will miss the next game. He got an 7.8 AvR over the last five games. Will be missed. We will also be without Gianmaria Cucurnia for 4 weeks with a knee. He has also played in all nine games this season. Will need to make a lot of changes on the midfield next week. In the top division our affiliated club Napoli is struggling. Have only won two of their 8 first games to start the season and manager Massimo Carnevale might be in serious trouble. 33 year old Andrea Doardo and xx replaces Condorelli and Cucurnia with Pasquale D'Addio moving out as ML. @ Sestri Levante #13 After 13 minutes of play Sestri Levante gives up a silly penalty and Denys Zhytarchuk has no problems converting. We have several big chances to add a second goal but fail to do so. Let's just hope it will not get back and bit us. Nothing much happens in the first 30 minutes of the second half. We pull a striker and again adds a DM only to give up a few huges chances. Luckily Zhytarchuk saves us with his second of the day and 7th of the season when he slides inn the ball after 83 minutes. Nicolò Condorelli is back from his injury but still not in game shape. I keep D'Addio on the ML for now. I also replace Brice Bonelli. He has been our worst player over the last 5 games with a 6.60 AvR. 17 year old Luigi Mentana from Napoli will get a chance to replace him. This week's game will be a bit more tricky as we lost both home and away to Pinerolo F.C. last season. @ Pinerolo F.C. #6 They Napoli youngster Mentana only needs 7 minutes before he gets his first big chance but he fails to score. We play a solid first half and keeps Pinerolo F.C. without a shot on goal. Now we just need to turn all our posession (60%) into some goals in the second half. The last 30 minutes we try to push a bit more forward but to no avail. It finish in a 0-0 bowring draw. I have a talk with Denys Zhytarchuk about his performance at training. He admits to have been slacking and will do better. Just to bad we will miss him for the next two games due to yet another international call up. Same goes for DC Armando Sykaj.
  11. U.S.D. Novese - Season 2 The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo SEPTEMBER 2016 Missing half of my defends with Armando Sykaj away on international and Francesco Savarise out with a dead leg. Up front Denys Zhytarchuk is also away for his country. This might get ugly- @ home vs. A.C. Bra #1 As expected we struggled early. Not much comes of the first half with A.C. Bra having the only shot on goal. With Denys Zhytarchuk gone It's Brice Bonelli up front. He is not accomplishing much. A.C. Bra scores after 57 minutes when we fail to clear a cross and their striker gets two attempts to put it over the line. We got nothing. It's an uninspired 0-1 home loss where nobody manage a rating over 7.1. And the injuries keeps coming. Next on the list was Andrea Doardo who will be out for 5 weeks with a broken arm. Playing against a team with three pure strikers only happens in the italian lower leagues i guess. But that is was awaits us when we play S.C.D. Ligorna 1922 on the road. @ S.C.D. Ligorna 1922#19 We are looking good the first 20 minutes dominating the ball (65%) without creating any big chances. And that's the way it continues for the rest of the first half. Neither team manage a shot on goal. Second half is not much better. Have to wait until the last 10 minutes for some action. We hit the crossbar twice but cannot score. A 0-0 draw We have sold 160 season tickets. That 10 more than last season. Small steps. With just two goals in the four first games i need to try something new. Back to the 4-2-2 formation with two pure strikers. @ home vs. Borgosesia #8 Massimo Lucarelli is back on MR and thats a good thing. He scores his first goal of the season after just six minutes. That's the result at the break. Second half is a display in effective football. Brice Bonelli first and then two by Zhytarchuk gives us a fantastic 4-0 win. We move into 4th place in the league. Both Denys Zhytarchuk with two goals and Nicolò Condorelli with two assists finishes the day with a rating over 9.0. We take a season high 19 shots today. Next up in the last game of the month is Ischia Isolaverde. The team the bookmakers had as heavy favourites before the season are off to a rough start with only two wins and two draws in the five first games. I go with the same formation that won 4-0 just a week ago. @ Ischia Isolaverde#7 The moral is high but i still decide to go out low and try to counter. We have two big chances within the first ten minutes. We have a single good counter attempt just before half but beside that nothing much more happens in the first half. Keep it up, we can still win i tell the same 11 players before the second half. Brice Bonelli is not playing well up front. I replace him with Luigi Mentana as AMC. Mentana last 10 minutes on the field before he goes off injured. Next AMC up is [/Vincenzo PernaB] Six minutes before full time we roll up a perfect attack. Ball moves all the way from the keeper and six different players touches the ball before Pasquale D'Addio puts it in the net. For the last 5 minutes we drop our last striker and ads Luca De Feo as a DM instead. We run out the clock without trouble. That is a huge win on the road against a quality tem. Team moral is suddenly excellent and we are 3rd in the league after six rounds is played and the fans loves it. Only negative is that we will be without Luigi Mentana for four weeks due to an injury. We are informed that we will miss Armando Sykaj (ALB) and Denys Zhytarchuk (URK) in next month's game against bitter rivals Acqui because of international U20 callups.
  12. U.S.D. Novese - Season 2 The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo July 2016 In France where the big boys play, Italy is knocked out of the European Championship by Portugal in the first knockout stage after penalties. Portugal goes on a losses the final to Denmark !! I don't have time to go to France. I got work to do. I have 50 days before we open the new season against S.S.D. Argentina Arma. Let the rebuilding begin. I have made a list of problems I need to address. It looks like this. DC We had the league's best backline last season. Antonio Granata have gone back to Napoli and we need to replace him. Antonio Silvestri did not show enough to earn the spot in the starting lineup and at age 31 his physical attributes have started to decline already. Especially his pace is a concern. AM L We will miss Matias Antonini Lui who was on loan from Inter. Inter is willing to loan him back to us for another season but he don't want to come back. MC Andrea Rota is retiring. I need a player with a bit of experience who can boss the midfield like Rota did. He had the team's best pass completion rating at 84% last season. Who will control the ball for us this season? AMC Gianluca Migliaccio came up from the U20 team for the last 8 games and was a revelation. The problem is that he was on a non-contract last season and now he refuses to sign a new deal with us. ST The lack of goalscoring held us back last season. Denys Zhytarchuk did well with 15 goals but behind him it was scary empty. Matias Antonini Lui and Massimo Lucarelli were second with five goals each. It was also a concern that Zhytarchuk played best as a lone striker and that he went cold for long periods of time. It turns out that signing players to a semi professional team is not that easy. Lots of interesting players to look at but not a lot of them is willing to play for free (or the peanuts that we can offer them). When it's all set and done we have added a total of eight new players to the team. Three will join us on loan, two on part time contracts while another three plays on non-contracts with only appearance fees. This was not the way it was supposed to play out. I am not sure this years team is better than last years team.
  13. USD Novese The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo May & June 2016 The italian team's releases youth players. I try to sign a few of them but they are all delusional and still thinks they are to good to play for a team like U.S.D. Novese. Wake up guys. There is a reason why you were just released on a free transfer. Only a single minor change from last week's team. Gaetano Adamo is back in at DL after a weeks of rest and that puts Omar Cristiani back on the bench. Pick up where you left off is the obvious theme in the pep talk. @ A.S.D.C. Gozzano #17 We have a goal disallowed just before the break. Its an obvious mistake by the referee (if you ask me). We have to wait until the 75th minute. Its Zhytarchuk with his 14th goal of the year on assist from our new AMC Gianluca Migliaccio, who have been doing great since promoted from the U20 team. In the five games he played he got a 7.42 Rat. It's enough for another win and we moves into 3rd place in the standing. Too little, too late. We are still eight points back from G.S.D RapalloBogliasco in first place with only six points left to play for. There is alway next year. We will now have to wait another two weeks to play the next game. With nothing left to play for i move old man Andrea Rota out of the team. He will not be back next season. Not because he did bad this season. He played 33 game and had an 7.03 AvR, but walkers will not be allowed on the field next season. Therefore he has announced that he will retire after the season. He is replaced with 18 year old Giacomo La Piana from the U20 team. He is the best young midfield we have and I need to see what he can do. (Teamwork:14, Passing and workrate 11) @ home vs. S.C.D. Ligorna 1922 #14 Ligorna takes the lead within the first minute of play. We haven't even touched the ball. We play a horrible game. Cannot keep control of the bal and don't produce any chances. Giacomo La Piana is not to blame as he has a decent performance in central midfield. It's our first home loss this season. Just one game left to play. We sign a new deal with defender Riccardo Lucarino. He have played almost every game for us this season and will get another chance next season. @ home vs. U.S. Fezzanese #7 Final game of the season. No big changes. We commit a penalty before 5 minutes is played. Luckily for us it's a horrible attempt and Michael Vezzani saves it easily. It doesn't help as we give up the go ahead goal ten minutes later instead. Zhytarchuk bails us out after 25 minutes. Assist by Matias Antonini Lui. I will miss him when he goes back to Inter Milan in a few days. Three minutes later we are behind again. For once it's our defends letting us down, with all of them underperforming. Last halftime speech of the year. Show some passion. We pushes forward but got nothing left in the tank. We loss the last two games of the year That is disappointing. The season is over. We finish in 5th place, nine points behind the winners. We “only” scores 42 goals in the 28 games. That's middle of the pack. The positive is that we only allows 24 against. That a league best, 8 goals in front of the second best team. We are also best in the league in goal differential (+18). Massimo Lucarelli wins “Fans player of the year” and “Young player of the year”. Highest AvR ITA Gianluca Migliaccio 7.46 (in 8 apps) ITA Francesco Savarise 7.24 ITA Massimo Lucarelli 7.23 Goals UKR Denys Zhytarchuk - 15 BRA Matias Antonini Lui - 5 ITA Massimo Lucarelli - 5 Assists ITA Massimo Lucarelli - 10 BRA Matias Antonini Lui - 5 ITA Francesco Savarise - 5 PoM ITA Massimo Lucarelli - 4 ITA Francesco Savarise - 3 ITA Michael Vezzani - 2
  14. USD Novese The legacy of Vittorio Pozzo April 2016 Lots of contracts are about to expire for both staff and players. I renew just a few of them. Looking for a complete rebuild this offseason. For some reason we only got three games this month. Against the #18 team in the league at home I decide to gamble and go for a complete reshuffle of the formation. 4-1-2-2-1 asymetric is the result. @ home vs. Castellazzo Bormida #18 Not a success. We get away with another 1-0 win. The lone goal comes from a penalty. We have the best defends in the league and have only allowed 20 goals in 33 matches with the second best team 6 goals behind at 26 in 33. Before next season I need to rebuild the attack and find a formation that works on this level. Why wait. I made the first move already. Agreed to release striker Denis D'Onofrio on a free transfer. He want garanties for first team football and I am not willing to give him that and we agreed to part ways. I said goodbye to 13 starts, 3 goals and a 6.82 Rat. I will still be able to sleep at night. Finally back on the pitch after a two weeks break. Back to the old formation. I bench Antonio Granata. He is a Napoli loan player and will probably not be back next season so i replace him with our own Antonio Silvestri to give him some valuable first team football. @ F.C. Vado #10 Denys Zhytarchuk scores after 10 minutes. Its his first goal in five games. We are embarrassed after 25 minutes when F.C. Vado scores on a free kick when we completely forget to cover and only looks at the ball Not much more to report. The game ends 1-1. We loss 20 year old MC Vincenzo Perna for the rest of the season. He will be out 2 months with a damaged knee. All the way at the top of Italian football, Juventus takes home the title with three games to go. It's their 5th Scudetto in a row. We are coming for you !!! @ Acqui U.S. #20 Acqui U.S. might be the worst team in the league but they are also our biggest rival . It starts after 14 minutes when we take the lead on a goal from Matias Antonini Lui. He adds a second and his 5th of the season a few minutes later on another great cross. Then Denys Zhytarchuk gets inn on the action and finally DR Massimo Lucarelli. All before the break. We have played the perfect half*. The second half is a letdown. No more scores and we go home with a 4-0 win against our bitter rivals. Lucarelli is MoM and one of three player with a rating over 9.0. *it turns out that I at some point have messed around with the tactics and have lost all the player instructions. Pretty sure that's why we have struggled with possession in the last few games. Stupid mistake by me.
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