crouchaldinho

[FM10] Crouchy's Calcio Journeyman Save

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football-italia.jpg&usg=AFQjCNFiYloJDCSn2GqlsrZmbmKi82R3jA

Welcome to Crouchy's Calcio Journeyman Save Thread!

I have been threatening to start a career thread for some time now and I think I'm finally going to get around to it at last!

Many of you will know that I am a creature of habit and that I usually play a long-term save with St. Albans City (otherwise known as the 'mighty' Saints). However, I decided not to start my usual Saints save until the January updates this year, and so I will not be unleashing that particular career upon you just yet. ;) ('Crouchy's Mighty Saints Save' is coming soon to a Career Updates forum near you!)

I was inspired to start a journeyman career game in Italy after reading John Foot's excellent book Calcio, which is about the history of Italian football. I found the book fascinating and it immediately become one of my all time favourite football books. I thoroughly recommend it.

As someone who loves the tactical side of the game, admires Italian football and loves to drink Chianti and Frascati, I figured Italy could be the place for me in my first FM10 save. When I saw this video on YouTube and thought of James Richardson drinking espresso and eating ice-cream while reading the papers in Rome and Milan, I immediately became very nostalgic and decided that this was going to be the save for me! :cool:

This thread probably won't be as good as some of the others on here. I'm going to steal the Dafuge template for end of season updates. Other than that, there will be the occasional interjection to let you know how things are progressing. It's all going to be very informal and probably a bit messy too as it is my first update thread!

So here it is: Crouchy's Calcio Journeyman Thread! :cool:

This game is played on FM10 and started with patch 10.1 with no edits made to the database. Leagues loaded are: Italy (all divisions), Spain (top two), England (top two). Medium database selected and current international players in Europe retained.

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"Dopo la letteratura e lleros, il calcio e uno dei grandi piaceri." - Pier Paolo Pasolini.

(After literature and sex, football is one of the great pleasures.)

Pasolini was clearly a man after my own heart. :cool:

So, to get underway, I should let you know that my intention with this save is to start at the bottom of Italian football and work my way up in the world of calcio. I have loaded the top couple of leagues from Spain and England as I feel that I might move abroad once I've made it in Italy but that will come much later in the save (hopefully!) I've also retained all international players in Europe because I would like to manage an international side at some point as a kind of side narrative to my main club career.

I've started off as an unproven (Sunday League reputation) English manager who is unemployed (so I'm basically playing as myself). I'm an Englishman who is going to serve his apprenticeship in the Italian lower leagues and I'll be taking whatever job comes up first at Serie C2 level. Each club I manage will become a new short-term 'project' for me and, once I feel that I have taken the club as far as I can, I will be looking for a new 'project' to take on.

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Project 1 - Carrarese

So my first job offer came from Carrarese Calcio, who are based in the city of Carrara in Tuscany. It's a city in the north of Italy with the same kind of population as St. Albans. Another good omen is that the club were formed in 1908 (the same year as St. Albans City :D) and so have recently celebrated their centenary. They play in blue hence their nickname Azzurri.

This is the club badge:

1249694485_carrarese.png

I see that Marcello Lippi managed Carrarese early on in his career and I feel that this might be another good sign. It seems to me that I've definitely got a good club to start my career with anyway. It may be fairly small with similar attendances to a Conference South side and only 100 season ticket holders but there is potential here.

The club had its best period in the 1980s. Although the trophy cabinet is very modest, they did manage a third place in Serie C1 back in the early 80s and they are the proud winners of one Serie C trophy back in 1983. They have spent the last seven years floating around in mid-table obscurity in Serie C2.

They were predicted to do well this season but have had a disastrous start and they currently sit in the 'play-out' zone in Serie C2/B. My immediate thoughts are that we look weak in central defence and in the middle of the park. We have an awesome looking attack though. Hopefully I can steady the ship.

I'm taking over exactly halfway through the season, with 17 games gone. Carrarese are 16th out of 18 teams in the division.

I feel that I have probably made this challenge a little harder on myself by choosing to be English. The media have commented on my lack of Italian language skills and I would have thought the team will take longer to gel as a result. I think it's going to be a tough couple of months as I settle and my team starts to gel and get better. However, my immediate feelings on taking over at the club are that the squad should be decent enough to pull itself out of trouble given some time.

I should point out that I am writing up the first two seasons of this save retrospectively. An end of season one update will follow shortly.

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As an enormous fan of John Foot's "Calcio" book I wish you good luck in this save Crouchy. It is a fantastic read. Gigi Meroni will forever go down as one of the most legendary Italian players to have lived, poor guy.

Which club is the ultimate job for you to aspire to? For some reason Taranto were always my dream move :rolleyes:

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Crouchy's Calcio Journeyman Save - Project 1: Carrarese in Serie C2/B (Season One at Dei Marmi 2009/10)

1249694485_carrarese.png

Right, time for my first end of season report at Carrarese.

As I mentioned before, I started as an unemployed Sunday League reputation manager and I took over at Carrarese in December with half of the season already gone. I actually took the reigns at Dei Marmi on my birthday, which I felt was a pretty good omen too! The team had been knocked out of the Serie C2 cup during the opening stages and was on awful form in the league with extremely low morale. Carrarese hadn't managed a win in 9 games prior to me taking charge.

The first thing to do was to setup up a very basic 4-4-2 formation and to work with what I had for one match before the opening of the transfer window in January. In my first game, we managed a pretty lucky draw away at San Marino.

During the transfer window, I was able to strengthen the team with about 8 signings, including 2 loans from parent club Genoa. I then adopted a fairly rigid 4-2-3-1 formation with the emphasis on defence to try to get my side through the season. This seemed to be the best plan considering my lack of language skills and the low gelling at the club. I also asked my captain to hold a meeting with the rest of the players regarding the team's poor performances and underachievement.

We managed to quickly turn around the poor form with four consecutive wins in the league. We finally began to climb away from the relegation play-out zone and move towards the play-off places. However, we were much too far away from the play-offs in the end and we consolidated with a 6th place finish, which I was very pleased with considering the circumstances when I took over the club. Some of the highlights included a fine away win against strugglers Bellaria and an excellent home win against eventual league winners Celano.

I was delighted by my record with the club and especially the defensive record under me, which saw us keeping 9 clean sheets in 17 games and only three times conceding more than 1 goal in a game. Famous Italian journalist and writer Gianni Brera once argued that the ideal game would be a 0-0. He would have liked watching Carrarese this season as we put the emphasis on defence in true stereotypical Italian style. :D

Screenshots:

League Table

League Positions Graph

As you can see from above, I took over at the lowest point and managed to steer us back up the table.

Italian Cup - did not enter.

Serie C Cup - knocked out at the group stages before I took over.

Transfers

As you can see from above, I quickly moved to strengthen the team and bring in some quality to help the push for safety.

Squad

Going to have a big clear out in the summer and sell on a lot of this ageing squad. Really looking to strengthen in the attacking positions and in central defence too.

Key players:

Marek Zubek - Quality holding midfielder who I brought in to play in front of the back four in my 4-2-3-1 formation. His work rate isn't too great but I saw him more as a creative DM and thought his experience would add something to help me out. In the end, he even played a few games as a centre-back to make up for my shortfalls at the back.

Albert Cano - Felt this was a very solid signing considering his age and all rounder attributes. Ended up playing as my deep-lying playmaker and was one of the best players in the side.

Alessandro Pistone - Brought in for his experience, plus the fact that he can play right or left. Added good depth to the squad and I was surprised to find that he was one of the best performers in the team.

Marco Guidone - didn't score as many as I would have liked and spent quite a bit of time injured unfortunately but is a decent goalscorer at this level and he has the physical side to his game which means he can play up front on his own.

Career Overview:

Season    Team			League                   Position    Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2009/10   Carrarese		Serie C2/B	         6th         (Took over after 17 games)

Next Season: I imagine that the board will want a push for promotion and that's certainly what I will be looking for. I will have to be busy in the transfer market over the summer though, to make sure that we have the quality to challenge. I also need to improve on my Italian language skills, which are only basic after six months in the country!

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As an enormous fan of John Foot's "Calcio" book I wish you good luck in this save Crouchy. It is a fantastic read. Gigi Meroni will forever go down as one of the most legendary Italian players to have lived, poor guy.

Which club is the ultimate job for you to aspire to? For some reason Taranto were always my dream move

Yes, it is a great book Iacovone. I really enjoyed it and I didn't expect it to end up as such a page turner actually. :thup:

As for your question, I'm actually surprisingly neutral when it comes to Italian football. I used to watch it a lot as a kid but I don't think that I ever properly adopted a team.

There are a few sides that I might like to manage during my career though. Smaller sides such as Pro Vercelli (due to their history) and Hellas Verona (due to the Tim Parks book following Verona for a season and because they play in yellow and blue :D). I don't know who else. In the top division, I think any of the big sides would be good to manage, although I think I'd be more Inter than Milan. Juventus, even though everyone hates them, would be a massive job if I got the chance. I'd consider managing in the capital too at Roma. To be honest, I'm going to try not to let loyalties get in the way. I'm in it for the personal glory. And that's all getting a bit ahead of myself too as I expect to be struggling in the lower leagues for some time first! :D

Good Luck with Carrarese Crouchy

Thanks for the comments Sax. Seeing as you are somewhat of a veteran of the careers forum ;) perhaps you can tell me what you think of my first update. Is the format all right? Any other information you think I should show?

Cheers,

C.

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Crouchy's Calcio Journeyman Save - Project 1: Carrarese in Serie C2/C (Season Two at Dei Marmi - 2010/11)

1249694485_carrarese.png

This would be my first full season at Carrarese. During this time, I would finally manage to learn Italian after 8 months managing in the country!

The board wanted me to push for promotion this season and I decided that I would need to rebuild the squad in order to have a chance of progressing. I wielded the axe on a total of 22 players bringing £70k into the club. Club favourites like the home grown captain Manuele Del Nero and the popular winger Luca Bonifanti made way as I sought to make the side my own. The fans weren't too pleased at some of my choices.

I brought in 14 players for an meagre outlay of £13.5k. My strategy in the transfer market was to bring in highly ambitious and determined players of the right kind of age (late twenties). I was hoping to be able to bring together a side who would be hungry for success but also provide some experience too. The major signing was striker Stefano Dall'Acqua, a 29-year-old who had scored 21 goals for Juve Stabia at Serie C level last year. Hans Somers, a 33-year-old Belgian winger also signed on a free and he would make a big contribution to the side.

This was a risking strategy due to team gelling issues and also due to throwing together a new side and expecting them to get going quickly and gain promotion during the season. I had confidence in the players though, although our poor start can partly be attributed to team gelling. In addition, several players needed to be retrained to fit into my preferred 4-2-3-1 system, and this took a lot of time in some cases leading to a few less than adequate performances early on.

We started off by getting knocked out of the Serie C2 Cup. It was a tough draw and I wasn't expecting a great deal but it was disappointing to see that we didn't really compete at all during the tournament.

The league started off in the worst possible fashion as relegation candidates Casarano beat us 3-2 at their place. They would later come to Dei Marmi and somehow leave with a point to cause us more embarrassment. Our bogey side finished bottom of the league with just 8 points. Half of those points were gained while playing against us! :o

We stuttered a great deal early on, tending to win a couple, draw a couple and then lose one. Home form was a bit of a worry to start off with, as we picked up quite a few draws, but we soon turned Dei Marmi into a fortress and ended up with the best home record in the league.

In January and February we were in seventh heaven after recording 7 wins in a row. From then on, we really got going and didn't look back. During March, I felt we could be Champions as we had a few poor games but still somehow ended up with the points. Good teams can play badly and win, and it was at this point that I started to believe.

Heading into April we were top but it was very tight and we had two massive games against fellow promotion candidates and Serie B side Catanzaro, and our main challengers for the title in Viareggio. The two results in these matches were beyond my expectations and there can be no doubt that this was the point where we made the title ours. Against Catanzaro we dominated in an amazing 4-0 win. Against Viareggio, we sat back and countered them the whole game, and won with another 4-0 scoreline and a fantastic hat-trick by advanced forward Marco Guidone. In the end, the title was magnificently wrapped up with a game to spare.

As a result of winning the title, we qualified for the C2 Super Cup and I was keen to add this trophy to the cabinet. The three winners of the regional Serie C2 divisions go head to head for 2 games each to decide the winner. I was keen for my Carrarese side to go up as the C2 Super Cup winners and therefore the best side at C2 level.

Again, we played well beyond my expectations, first managing a very narrow 1-0 away win over Andria Bat. Then we met Alessandria, who had thrashed us 3-0 in the Serie C Cup at the beginning of the season. This game showed how far the side had come as we got our revenge with a fantastic display and a 4-1 win. It was a sensational win and I was delighted to win the C2 Super Cup.

Screenshots:

League Table

League Positions Graph

As you can see from above, we had an up and down start but were extremely consistent in the second half of the season.

Italian Cup - did not enter.

Serie C Cup - knocked out at the group stages.

C2 Super Cup - Winners.

Transfers

As you can see from above, I completely rebuilt the club selling a lot of the original players and bringing in my own highly ambitious players. I also had a few players on loan from parent club Genoa.

Squad

I feel that this squad could compete pretty well next season at a higher level and so I won't be looking to strengthen too much. I will definitely be looking to bring someone in for each position, apart from up front and in goal, and I will no doubt sell a few fringe players. It will be important to strengthen in key positions. The wide positions also need strengthening but otherwise I am fairly happy with what I have. Next season, I want to concentrate on getting the team gelling up as high as I can and perhaps get in a few loan signings to supplement what I already have at my disposal.

Key players:

Alessandro Cibocchi - Starting from the back then. Cibocchi is a solid left-back and good at getting forward too. He had a really excellent season in a defence which had the second best record in the league and he contributed a lot going forward as well.

Albert Cano - Albert was one of my first signings when I joined the club and he has been fantastic. He is my deep-lying playmaker in the 4-2-3-1 and his pass completion rate was the best in the league. A very talented player at this level and he should make the step up.

Hans Somers - The Belgian midfielder had to be retrained to play as a winger and thus gradually improved as the season went on. Contributed the most assists in the team and scored a few important goals too.

Stefano Dall'Acqua - This was an excellent signing. The big, strong forward has excellent ability in front of goal and scored 23 overall and 18 in 28 league games.

Career Overview:

Season		Team		League		Position	Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2009/10		Carrarese	Serie C2/B	6th		(Took over after 17 games)
2010/11		Carrarese	Serie C2/C	1st		Serie C2/C winners and C2 Super Cup winners

Next Season: It will all be about survival next year. As said above, I feel I have the squad to at least compete at the level above, so I'm hoping that survival should be achievable and I won't be looking to make a lot of new signings or unsettle this squad. From a personal point of view, I'm looking to get some experience at Serie C1 level, playing against some of the big clubs there, and hoping to increase my managerial reputation before perhaps looking for a move next summer. I've one year left on my contract and my feeling at the moment is that I won't be signing a new contract with Carrarese. For now, in terms of the club, survival in C1 is going to be the main aim in the short-term.

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I took over Carrarese on my (now defunct) journeyman save. C1 was a killer.

Sure you'll do fine though ;)

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I took over Carrarese on my (now defunct) journeyman save. C1 was a killer.

Sure you'll do fine though ;)

I'm sure it will be tough. Reading back over my comments, I sound a bit too confident, don't I? :D

There are some fairly biggish names in the two divisions at C1 level. I think you are right that it is going to be tough. I played C1 side Reggina away in the Serie C Cup and got outplayed and beaten 2-0 at the beginning of last season. I hope that isn't going to be a sign of things to come.

I think I was a little lucky that Carrarese were the first club that came calling for me. They were a decent standard club to take over who were just underachieving. I took some big risks last summer when I decided to basically rebuild the side. I also took a bit of a risk by sticking with my 4-2-3-1 and having to retrain players and wait for them to gain competency in their position. It shows because we started off pretty poorly but came really strong in January and didn't look back from there.

I'm delighted with the promotion anyway. It went a lot better than I thought. I was always aiming for promotion and that's what I told the board at the start of the season but I didn't expect to do quite so well.

I've now moved up from 'unproven' to 'regional' reputation. I've got one year remaining on my contract, which I will see out in Serie C1 and try my best to keep Carrarese up. I don't think I will sign a new contract though. I think after next season, it might be time to move on and take on a new 'project'.

Just looking at the Serie C1 tables, I can see how tough next season is going to be. It's the play-out zone which makes it really difficult, isn't it? I don't want to end the season with a play-out game.

Did you find the gap in quality between C2 and C1 particularly big WillCarruthers?

Regards,

C.

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A good couple of seasons there Crouchy :thup: As has been said, although I have confidence in your managerial abilities ;), I think it may be a little tougher in C1. I've not played in the Italian leagues for some time now (my last venture being Napoli in 07 when they were relegated to the third tier) but from my experience I remember the gap between C2 and C1 being quite large. Given the foreigner rule (I presume the 'only 1 foreign signing per season' rule is still in place) it makes things quite difficult in finding good, cheap, young foreign starlets. Good luck with it though and i'm sure you'll soon be on your way to the Scudetto! :D

Also, thanks for the link in your opening post. It brought back some fond, nostalgic memories of Saturday mornings. I really wanted James Richardson's job!

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I really enjoyed it and I didn't expect it to end up as such a page turner actually. :thup:

A fantastic read :thup:

As for your question, I'm actually surprisingly neutral when it comes to Italian football. I used to watch it a lot as a kid but I don't think that I ever properly adopted a team.

There are a few sides that I might like to manage during my career though. Smaller sides such as Pro Vercelli (due to their history) and Hellas Verona (due to the Tim Parks book following Verona for a season and because they play in yellow and blue :D). I don't know who else. In the top division, I think any of the big sides would be good to manage, although I think I'd be more Inter than Milan. Juventus, even though everyone hates them, would be a massive job if I got the chance. I'd consider managing in the capital too at Roma.

No, no, no, no, no! You must choose now! Inter or Juventus?!?! Think very carefully :rolleyes: Only kidding mate.

Good going on your promotion KUTGW.

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Thanks for the comments Sax. Seeing as you are somewhat of a veteran of the careers forum ;) perhaps you can tell me what you think of my first update. Is the format all right? Any other information you think I should show?

Cheers,

C.

I found it great Crouchy. I really need to improve on my format for end of season reports and such, mine are just terrible :D

I remenber Carrarese from my Sangiovannese save not to long ago. Got a bit fustrated managing in Italy to be fair, all the rules went to my head a bit.

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Good luck with this.

As far as big Italian clubs, I've always been partial to Fiorentina. :D

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Also, thanks for the link in your opening post. It brought back some fond, nostalgic memories of Saturday mornings. I really wanted James Richardson's job!

Didn't we all :confused:

:)

EDIT: In terms of the big clubs I've always been a Parma/Fiorentina man. Roma over Lazio. Inter over AC. Torino over Juve though :cool:

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Did you find the gap in quality between C2 and C1 particularly big WillCarruthers?

Regards,

C.

Well, I lost my first six games, with what I thought was a capable squad. I tweaked my tactics and put a run of form together, but I wasn't able to really control games.

It was probably my young, recently thrown together squad which wasn't good enough for the division, but after 20ish games, languishing about 2 points above the relegation zone, I resigned.

Hopefully you'll have better luck.

I agree, too, that it's lucky to get them, I believe they were predicted to win C2, so a fairly gentle introduction.

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Good luck with this.

As far as big Italian clubs, I've always been partial to Fiorentina. :D

Yes, me too. Forgot to mention them before actually. I'd manage Fiorentina if I got the chance.

EDIT: In terms of the big clubs I've always been a Parma/Fiorentina man. Roma over Lazio. Inter over AC. Torino over Juve though :cool:

Pretty much agree with that apart from the Torino and Juve bit, where I don't really think that I have much of a preference. Although I should probably hate Juve, right? :D

Well, I lost my first six games, with what I thought was a capable squad. I tweaked my tactics and put a run of form together, but I wasn't able to really control games.

It was probably my young, recently thrown together squad which wasn't good enough for the division, but after 20ish games, languishing about 2 points above the relegation zone, I resigned.

Sounds tough. We'll have to wait and see. Haven't managed to get a good session in tonight, so still in the summer period.

Getting Carrarese was a blessing as I've quickly managed to turn them around. Not sure on their predicted position but they were 16th when I took over. In the second season they were predicted to come 6th.

The only downside with them is the low gates they get. When I joined, they were getting around 600 and they had one of the lowest average attendances in the league. This impacts upon the finances and they have been in debt since I've joined, which means money is very tight.

I wanted this save to be about glory as I've never won a lot of the big prizes in FM due to always playing in the lower leagues. So in this save, I'm looking to go for glory and get my reputation up as soon as possible. That'll mean jumping ships and trying to move to clubs that I feel I can get a quick promotion with or perhaps some silverware too. :thup:

C.

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I found it great Crouchy.

Thanks Sax. :thup:

A fantastic read

No, no, no, no, no! You must choose now! Inter or Juventus?!?! Think very carefully :rolleyes: Only kidding mate.

Your comments are appreciated TheMister.

Well, to answer your question, I think I would probably have to say Inter and not Juventus. Is that the 'right' answer for you? ;)

I think John Foot's book has helped me to make this decision. He painted a picture of them as perennial underachievers during the 90s and in the early 00s. He makes a big point at the start of the book about choosing Inter as his team when he first moved to Milan and then watching Milan win everything and regretting his decision a little bit!

Also, thanks for the link in your opening post. It brought back some fond, nostalgic memories of Saturday mornings. I really wanted James Richardson's job!

Thanks for your encouragement Raware. And yes, I always wanted to be James Richardson too! What an absolutely awesome program that was. Gazzetta Football Italia on Saturday mornings and then Football Focus. Match of the Day on Saturday night and then Football Italia on Sunday afternoon. That was my TV viewing during the weekend for the best period of my childhood. I long for those halcyon days again. :D

Thanks guys!

C.

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I should point out that my favourite player ever in Italian football was Roberto Baggio. He was my absolute hero in the 90s. Due to him, I supported Italy at the 1994 World Cup and I was totally gutted when he missed the penalty in the final. Baggio is probably the reason why I took such an interest in the Italian game. Well that and the brilliant Football Italia program.

I think that's why I was pretty much neutral in terms of supporting an Italian team. I just liked whoever he was playing for at the time, which is probably why I don't particularly dislike Juventus (when I probably should!) come to think of it.

Something strange must have happened to me as I've grown older though. Roberto Baggio was my favourite player as a kid and now my favourite top flight player is Peter Crouch (hence my username). :confused: Something must have gone very wrong somewhere! ;):D

Cheers,

C.

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LMAO! I've never heard of anyone having the Giraffe as their favourite player :D

To go from Baggio to Crouch is quite a stretch. What happened?

Personally I've never had much interest for Italian football. We got English football on the tube all the time when I was a kid, so it was natural to gravitate towards that. It was just a small stretch of ocean between us anyway. Growing older, I must say I don't like Italian football much. Players fall over in a slight breeze. The way Materazzi managed to anger Zidane in a certain final didn't do Italian football any favours either. I do have a weak spot for Gattuso however. That "take no prisoners" playing style is ace.

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I think John Foot's book has helped me to make this decision. He painted a picture of them as perennial underachievers during the 90s and in the early 00s. He makes a big point at the start of the book about choosing Inter as his team when he first moved to Milan and then watching Milan win everything and regretting his decision a little bit!

I chose Inter about '92, and although I've never regretted the choice it was certainly hard going until the last few years!

Roberto Baggio was my favourite player as a kid and now my favourite player is Peter Crouch

I think that's the very definition of a leap of faith!

The way Materazzi managed to anger Zidane in a certain final

I don't want to say anything to derail Crouchy's thread, but I can't not say anything either. No matter what anybody says to another, there's never any excuse for violence.

I do have a weak spot for Gattuso however. That "take no prisoners" playing style is ace.

{name drop}I've sat in his chair in the Milan dressing room :cool:{/name drop}

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The picture Foot paints of the Torino tragedy is sublime, you've gotta bring the glory days back there crouchy ;)

jesus, sublime is such a gay word now I say it out loud

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The picture Foot paints of the Torino tragedy is sublime, you've gotta bring the glory days back there crouchy ;)

jesus, sublime is such a gay word now I say it out loud

What? :confused:

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LMAO! I've never heard of anyone having the Giraffe as their favourite player

To go from Baggio to Crouch is quite a stretch. What happened?

Well, obviously I think I like them both for different reasons! :D

Baggio made football and goalscoring look like an art. The reasons for loving him as a player are pretty obvious. He was just awesome.

Crouchy, meanwhile, I love for ironic reasons. Here you have a player who doesn't look like he should be a footballer at all. He's incredibly tall but is strangely much better on the ground than he is in the air. Despite his size, and the fact that he is English, he is actually quite graceful and technically very able. He is a whole bunch of incongruities wrapped up into a very unlikely footballer. I think the fact that he has been a bit of a journeyman and has struggled to make it in football also makes me want to 'support' him. :D

I chose Inter about '92, and although I've never regretted the choice it was certainly hard going until the last few years!

So good choice from me then. ;)

I think that's the very definition of a leap of faith!

Yes, you might be right about that. :D

What?

I think he means to refer to the Grande Torino team and not to the Superga tragedy. Unfortunate wording is all that happened there.

Regards,

C.

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This was my team of the season for the season I've just finished.

Alessandro Cibocchi, my left-back, won fans' player of the season.

In other news, my wage budget has been reduced so things are going to be really tight this year.

C.

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Crouchy did a good job for the mighty lilywhites tonight :)

This thread has been so hijacked! Time for it to get back on track.

My wage budget has fortunately always increased in Malta but looking in depth at the finances, we can't actually afford to use the extra budget. Its not always a good thing.

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The club has been in trouble financially since I joined. There has now been further cutbacks to the wage bill and things are not looking too good. I can't bring anybody in at all and a couple of players have left over the summer as they didn't want to renew their contracts. Things are not looking too promising. I've thought about looking to move on but I really wanted to stay on for one more season in order to keep Carrarese in Serie C1.

I've basically scoured the market for loans and tried to bring in some quality to add depth to the side. At the moment, my team is looking a bit like Genoa reserves. :D

Predicted to finish in mid-table and that's what the board want. I'm gearing up for a tough season though and I'm going to have to retrain quite a few players in order to have enough depth.

C.

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With no edits, that means Italy goes down to C2, correct?

If that's the case, then there will be no Castel di Sangro, no Second Miracle. :(

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With no edits, that means Italy goes down to C2, correct?

Yes, I just went with the defaults in the end. I've not managed to use the competition editor to my complete satisfaction and I couldn't get everything I wanted out of it. Thus, I've decided to leave it alone for now.

If that's the case, then there will be no Castel di Sangro, no Second Miracle. :(

They are below Serie D aren't they? So I don't think that they will be playable, I'm afraid.

A fan of the book by Joe McGinniss, I take it? I enjoyed it too. :)

C.

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Yes, the new team from Castel di Sangro is in the Eccelenza (spelling?) so won't become playable.

McGinniss came across as somewhat of an arrogant, pompous arse, but it was a very good book.

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Yes, the new team from Castel di Sangro is in the Eccelenza (spelling?) so won't become playable.

McGinniss came across as somewhat of an arrogant, pompous arse, but it was a very good book.

Yes, I agree with that. Wanting to advise the manager on the team and tactics after watching the team for a few weeks. :rolleyes::D

Really good read though. :thup:

C.

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I currently have a career going in Italy too with FC Canavese and even have a thread! (Not advertising at all)

Took over after 9 games and they were bottom and managed to come 15th then surviving the play-outs. Next season I shocked myself coming 2nd and winning the play-offs! Now I'm in C1 and it is hard to say the least, I can't control games at all with my tactic that worked so well in C2, my players are up to C1 standards (well atleast i think so). So just hoping to survive this season and then push for promotion :thup:

Definitely following this one :)

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Thanks for the post Hursty2. :thup: I'm subscribed to your thread as well, so I am following your career with Canavese too!

C1 is going to be really tough for my Carrarese team, I fear. Money is non-existent now and I've only been able to strengthen with loans.

Should be an interesting season though. I don't have any idea what to expect to be honest. It could be a massive struggle or we might well complete and adjust to the level pretty well. I can't tell at this stage.

C.

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Thanks for the post Hursty2. :thup: I'm subscribed to your thread as well, so I am following your career with Canavese too!

C1 is going to be really tough for my Carrarese team, I fear. Money is non-existent now and I've only been able to strengthen with loans.

Should be an interesting season though. I don't have any idea what to expect to be honest. It could be a massive struggle or we might well complete and adjust to the level pretty well. I can't tell at this stage.

C.

Yeah I'm suffering from the money issue too but to stay up I feel I need to brake the wage budget so I have and hopefully it should pay dividends. The board keep injecting money too, even if it is only 50K at the most. :D

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Just a quick word on my 4-2-3-1 which I am loving at the moment.

I'm a total convert to 4-2-3-1 after reading Lucchesi and I'm finding that it works really well in FM as well. I like the solid 6 players in defence but I also love the fact that you can have four very attacking players in the attack. I think it's both solid and quite exciting going forward too. I tend to operate with a deep-lying playmaker at DM who dictates the tempo and plays plenty of through-balls to the attacking players. I tend to have one winger and one inside forward in the wide attacking midfield positions, with a wing back deployed behind the latter to add extra width and a normal fullback behind the winger.

I think a lot of people believe the 4-2-3-1 is quite a defensive system but if you look at it coming from another angle, this system operates constantly with four attacking players and the three attacking midfielders can also be makeshift strikers.

You can look at the 4-2-3-1 two ways really. Either as a different way to define 4-4-2, with more attacking wide players, a striker withdrawn and the two central players shielding the defence. Or you can look at it as a relation of 4-3-3, with the midfield trio staggered in a slightly different fashion.

I'm really enjoying using it and I think this will become the trademark system for my manager in the game regardless of where I manage.

Anyway, back to Carrara and to Carrarese Calcio who need my managerial skills to keep them in the Serie C1/A! :D

C.

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I tried 4231, for the first time, with Munster but it wasn't working out. I was happy with my tactics, so I'm assuming I just needed better players!

I'm now trying 442, for the first time!, but I may go back to 4231 when I have a quality team after you putting it in my head again.

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Nice review of your tactic Crouchy. May have to give it a try in Malta at some stage. Though at the moment my left sided skewed 4-4-2 is just about working so I'll keep the faith there!

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Crouchy's Calcio Journeyman Save - Project 1: Carrarese in Serie C1/A (Season Three at Dei Marmi - 2011/12)

1249694485_carrarese.png

The board wanted a mid-table finish this season and the media expected the same. I have to say that I was a little shocked by this, especially as we were new to the league, having been promoted the season before. Personally, I expected a big struggle this season and I thought I would have a fight on my hands. In the end, I have a very dull tale to tell, as we failed to trouble either end of the table.

The season started with disaster. The club was in financial difficulties when joined but things seem to have become worse and worse during my time at Dei Marmi. Upon gaining promotion, many members of the squad had automatic wage increases activated as part of their contracts. This sent the wage bill sky-rocketing and to make matters worse, the board reduced my wage bill by a few thousand pounds. :mad:

This led to huge anxiety on my part and I realised that I would have to part with some members of the squad. I was forced to part with inside forward Michel Cruciani and striker Jonathan Granito as their contracts were up. I managed to sell on quite a few fringe players and reserves for small amounts. In the end, I realised that I had a tiny squad and I worried that I had little chance of staying the division with such a lack of squad depth. I panicked and raided parent club Genoa for any half decent young talent that I could get on loan. I ended up with a few decent players such as Diego Polenta, Nicholas Constantini, Andrea Signorini and Umberto Eusepi, who would all end up leaving Genoa and joining Carrarese at the end of the season, but more on that later. In terms of actual signings, I was unable to make any, and I was also unable to free up any more of the wage budget, with very few sides interested in buying my players.

One benefit of this was that without any newcomers the team gelled very quickly. However, we started the season in typical fashion by getting knocked out of the Italian Cup in the 1st Qualifying Round after being on the receiving end of a 4-1 thrashing by Serie B side Rimini. It was a difficult game in the first place but I was at least hoping for a bit of a fight from my players.

The league started off pretty badly too, as we were beaten comprehensively by Novara in a 2-0 loss away from home. However, this was quickly turned around by a 3-1 home victory against Cisco Roma.

Early on, we picked up the odd point here and there and won ever so occasionally. We didn't really get going until seven games in, where we picked up an amazing 4-0 win against promotion candidates Arezzo. From then on, we were very consistent and stayed rooted in 8th place for over half of the season, neither moving up nor down. We were in no danger of threatening to make a difference to the top or bottom of the league. :D

In the January transfer window, I was able to sell on no less than 11 players, including Spanish winger Carlos Rodriguez and the Czech holding midfielder Marek Zubek. With the wages that were freed up, I was able to make some big changes, signing some good quality players for our level. Ex-Chelsea youngster Daniel Philliskirk was signed and with his quality first touch and passing, he became our deep-lying playmaker alongside Albert Cano in the midfield. I had signed my first Englishman to play in Italy and there was definitely a little bit of favouritism going on there. I really hoped he would be a success and he did pretty well. Another important signing was Leandro Greco, who turned out to be a quality inside forward cutting inside from the left for us during the course of the season. We signed one or two others who I feel will become important to us next season.

We showed that we were much better than some of the relegation candidates in this league by comfortably beating many of the sides battling at the wrong end of the table. Alessandria were well beaten in December, with a 4-1 win at Dei Marmei and a brace from Umberto Eusepi. Cittadella were also beaten comfortably at home in March in a terrific 4-0 win.

We achieved what was expected in the Serie C2 cup, which didn't last too long for us, and after that it really was straightforward for us in the league, with us never looking in any danger of moving up or down from 8th place. I feel that our home form slightly let us down, as we actually had one of the better away records in the league. We recorded 29 points at home, and 28 away, which probably says a lot actually. I feel that we were unable to break teams down at home, but we also struggled to record wins against the top sides at Dei Marmi. Prior to this season, I was unbeaten at Dei Marmi as manager of Cararese. This season, we lost four games at home.

We finished the season with a fine 3-0 win away at Alessandria, who were already down. It was at about this time that I discovered that the manager of Hellas Verona, who finished 8th in Serie C1/B, had 'insecure' as his status. I immediately declared my interest, much to the disgust of the Carrarese management who had been trying to convince me to sign a new contract for most of the second half of the season. The Hellas Verona chairman said he was interested in me but nothing appears to be coming of it at the time of writing.

Screenshots:

League Table

League Positions Graph

As you can see from above, we started poorly but then reached a level of boring consistency that saw us in 8th for most of the season!

Italian Cup - knocked out at the first hurdle by Serie B side Rimini.

Serie C Cup - a modest run of four games saw us reach the 3rd round group stages. Unfortunately, we finished bottom of the group and we were even embarrassed by our local rivals from Serie C2, Lucchese. :o

Transfers

As you can see from above, I signed quite a few loan players from Genoa, only to discard most of them due to them not being good enough. In January, I was able to strengthen the side after selling a number of players. In total, I raised £59k from transfers and solely worked with loans and free transfers.

Squad

The squad is pretty decent, with one or two stand out players at this level. It'll need improving quite a bit to stand a chance of promotion though. I'm lucky because several key loan players have agreed to sign from Genoa at the end of the season, including defenders Polenta and Signorini, and top goalscorer Umberto Eusepi.

Key players:

Diego Polenta - Starting from the back then and Polenta was incredibly important. A quality player with excellent mental attributes, he is going to be vital to our chances of success next season. His contract runs out with Genoa this season and I'm delighted to say that we have signed him on a free transfer.

Olivier N'Siabamfumi - Olivier is the club captain and was at the club when I first joined. He is a no nonsense fullback and not particularly special at this level but he just seems to be a very consistent performer.

Albert Cano - Albert was one of my first signings when I joined the club and once again he has been fantastic. He played as deep-lying playmaker or general defensive midfielder in the 4-2-3-1 this season and his pass completion rate was the best in the league yet again. A talented player at this level and he has made the step up to C1 with ease.

Umberto Eusepi is another marvellous Genoa loan who we have managed to sign up for next season. What a terrific player he is. Ruthless in front of goal, he plays as an advanced forward with support from the attacking midfielder behind him. He scored 20 in 28 in the league, which is a terrific record, and I expect more of the same next season. Glad to have brought him to the club permanently.

This was the team of the season.

Career Overview:

Season      	Team      	League      	Position   	Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2009/10      	Carrarese   	Serie C2/B   	6th      	(Took over after 17 games)
2010/11      	Carrarese   	Serie C2/C   	1st      	Serie C2/C winners & C2 Super Cup winners
2011/12		Carrarese	Serie C1/A	8th		

Next Season: Having said that I wasn't going to sign a new contract with Carrarese, it now appears that I might well do so after all. I am interested to see how the club will do next season. At the same time, if a move comes up to Hellas Verona, I will be jumping ship immediately, as I would really love to manage the Gialloblu.

Carrarese currently have major financial problems and despite the fact that I am keeping to the wage bill, the situation is not improving. The chairman continues to put in money to subsidise the club but my feeling is that we will not move forward given the current circumstances. However, a new sponsorship deal was signed in the summer so perhaps there may be some progress there.

The wage bill for the new season has been reduced again by another £2k. This puts me in real trouble and I have had to promise the board promotion in order to increase the wage bill to any reasonable amount. I fear that we will still be operating over the budget, even if I let several players go, and next season is going to be a season of huge pressure for me.

At the time of writing, I am thinking of signing a new contract with Carrarese. At the end of next season, the Hellas Verona and Pro Vercelli managers' contracts both expire and those are two jobs I would be interested in biding my time for. I have my concerns about Carrarese though and with the current financial circumstances I may have to jump ship sooner rather than later. I feel that I may well have taken them as far as I can.

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A good season establishing yourself in Serie C1. If you do stay good luck in pushing on. Oh, and just a few loan signings there ;)

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A great read so far crouchaldinho with some good memories of Football Italia and James Richardson's street cafe newspaper reviews (he still squeezes in a few minutes of comments on the Guardian Football Weekly podcast but it's not quite the same).

After reading your summary, I may give 4-2-3-1 a go now as my current 4-4-2 set up seems to be lacking in goals, especially with the number of chances we have.

Well done on a solid season in Serie C1. Do you think you can push gor the play-offs next season?

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A good season establishing yourself in Serie C1. If you do stay good luck in pushing on. Oh, and just a few loan signings there ;)

I know. Shame that half of them turned out to be crap. :D

To be honest, it was panic buying due to having no wages left whatsoever to make any new signings plus losing a couple of players after their contracts ran out. The squad was looking threadbare and so I just needed to add any depth that I could in key positions.

The loans who did more or less establish themselves in the first team (Polenta, Signorini, Eusepi - who all played 30+ games) were signed up at the end of the season as their contracts with Genoa were due to expire. So in that respect, it was a worthwhile exercise. Really, only these three had any major impact on the first team.

Cheers for the comments.

Thanks,

C.

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A great read so far crouchaldinho with some good memories of Football Italia and James Richardson's street cafe newspaper reviews (he still squeezes in a few minutes of comments on the Guardian Football Weekly podcast but it's not quite the same).

Yes, definitely not quite the same, is it? :(

After reading your summary, I may give 4-2-3-1 a go now as my current 4-4-2 set up seems to be lacking in goals, especially with the number of chances we have.

I'm so obsessed by the 4-2-3-1 that I bought the Lucchesi book on it to study it further. :D I really love how it plays out in the match engine on FM10.

I don't always stick with 4-2-3-1 although I do start almost every game with it. It's nice and easy to alter and change into different formations though as and when needed. Sometimes, I will push the AM forward, bring the wings back, and push the DMs into MCs to make 4-4-2. Often, when chasing a lead, I will push up the DMs to make a kind of 4-3-3, and sometimes, I will bring on another forward to make a 4-4-2 with attacking wingers. When defending a lead, I will often pull back the wings to make 4-4-1-1 with two DMs shielding the defence. If I go down to 10 men, I nearly always switch to a 4-4-1.

Well done on a solid season in Serie C1. Do you think you can push gor the play-offs next season?

I'm not sure we've quite got the quality. I think we have an outside chance of promotion and I would expect to improve on 8th place. But the wage budget has gone down again and I'm going to have to sell in order to make way for the Polenta, Signorini and Eusepi free transfer signings.

I'm sort of hoping that Hellas Verona have a bad start in Serie C2/B and their manager gets the boot. I'd love that job. With the financial difficulties at Carrarese, I can't see us moving on from where we are at the moment.

Thanks for the comments.

C.

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Verona would be a great move Crouchy - better than Pro Vercelli? Verona will be bigger set-up surely - more staff and funds.

{thread derail!} The book you mention - Lucchesi - is that the team or Author or what? I've been to Lucca a few times but I've never seen the Lucchesi play. The derbies with Pisa and particularly Livorno and Viareggio are supposed to be fiery affairs - political undertones and all that.{/thread derail}

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Yes, Verona would be my preference, certainly. Would be a great move, so I have to hope that they do badly in the new season. :D

I'm referring to a book by Massimo Lucchesi. It's this one:

41SK7HYZ82L._SS500_.jpg

C.

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Thats a good start in C1. Whats the aim for next season? Promotion or are you building slowly?

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Thats a good start in C1. Whats the aim for next season? Promotion or are you building slowly?

Sorry for not replying earlier WH. I've been having a little break from my Calcio Journeyman save but I'm back playing it again now. :D

I ended up signing a new contract with Carrarese, just 6 days before the old one was due to expire. I have only signed a one year contract as I have my eyes on a potential move at the end of the season. It has to be the right move however.

As for your question WH, I would like to build slowly but the board is tending to dictate otherwise. They really want me to push on but they are giving me absolutely no budget to do so. I think I have one of the lowest wage budgets in the division and I am having to go over the budget in order to try to meet with the board expectations.

The unrealistic ambitions and expectations of the board, alongside the financial difficulties at the club, mean that my stay will not be a long one. I almost considered a move to Gallipoli, who are a good Serie C1/B side, but decided that I would rather stay with the side I have built at Carrarese for now. As I said above, I previously declared interest in the Hellas Verona job but their manager has since managed to win over the board and his position is now considered 'stable'.

The Hellas Verona job is really my target for 'Project 2'. I think that 'Project 1' has really been achieved and if I can establish Carrarese in the top half of the Serie C2/A, and maybe even push for the play-offs, I will feel that I have taken them as far as I can.

Thanks for your interest WH. :)

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Nice work on getting the solid midtable finish there Crouchy. I'll be watching what happens, as i've never been able to settle and manage in Italy, especially anything below Serie A

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