crouchaldinho

[FM10] Crouchy's Calcio Journeyman Save

637 posts in this topic

Good to see you back Crouchy :thup:. It'll be very interesting to see how you get on with so many difficulties facing the club. I think one more year sounds good, especially if there are some interesting C1 jobs available to you. Looking forward to the culmination of 'Project 1' and the start of 'Project 2'.

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Thanks for that very kind comment Jack Davies. :)

It's nice to know someone is reading and enjoying my rambling narrative. :D

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Having read this it really inspired me, started my own journeyman which has re lit my love for FM. Champions league and world domination had become a little boring.

Anyhow have started unemployed and have now joined a team in the bottom league of Sweden 2nd Division North

Bloody loving it, and i will be writing a full report much like this

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I look forward to reading your thread Jack. Glad to have inspired you.

Sweden is a tough place to start out but lots of fun too. :thup:

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A journeyman career is among the most rewarding ways of playing FM. :)

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A journeyman career is among the most rewarding ways of playing FM. :)

I agree. I'm leaning toward saying it is actually THE best way of playing FM. There are so many varying challenges on offer. Very enjoyable :thup:

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Crouchy's Calcio Journeyman Save - Project 1: Carrarese in Serie C1/A (Season Four at Dei Marmi - 2012/13)

1249694485_carrarese.png

I went into this season more or less feeling as if ‘Project 1’ at Carrarese had pretty much run its course. Here I was at an unambitious, unfashionable and provincial club with insecure finances and poor facilities. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike it at here at Dei Marmi. It’s just that a manager of my calibre (;)) is bound to feel a little put out at having to work with one of the smaller budgets at this level. Scrimping and saving is the name of the game. Progress from last season, I felt, was doubtful. Nevertheless, a new contract was accepted, extending my stay at Carrarese for at least one more season.

In the paragraph above, I have called the club unambitious, which isn’t strictly true actually. The board wanted me to challenge for promotion this season, despite cutting my wage budget yet again! The media, somewhat more realistically, expected the same mid-table finish of last season. Actually though, I have a far more interesting tale to tell than I did last season. Indeed, this update should be a bit more exciting than my last, rather more pedestrian, season report.

I worked hard in the transfer market over the summer months and secured some excellent signings on a free transfer. A few of these were some of the loan signings from the previous season. The big names coming in were centre-backs Diego Polenta and Andrea Signorini, along with striker Umberto Eusepi. These were major steps in the right direction. However, due to the limitations of the budget, I had to let experienced winger Hans Somers, and hard-working striker Marco Guidone, go with a heavy heart. I simply couldn’t afford their wages. As a replacement for the former, I brought in Somalia international Liban Abdi, paying him less than a third of Somers’ old wage. He would prove to be a very valuable signing.

Essentially, this was last season’s team, with the important loan players signed to the club, and with one or two players sent on their way to cut costs. I felt that progress beyond a mid-table position was fairly unlikely. I didn’t have much confidence in my team. I was really hoping for an interesting managerial position to come available early in the season, preferably with Hellas Verona, and was therefore seeking to bide my time at Carrarese. Still, I felt that there were one or two talented players in the squad, such as Polenta, Philliskirk, Cano, Wilker and Eusepi. There was a spine here who, if fit and on form, could do very well.

We started off the season with the customary early exit from the Italian Cup. This time, however, it was a narrow 1-0 defeat to Serie B side Taranto. We went to the Erasmo Iacovone and battled hard and although the opposition’s superiority shone through in the end, I was pretty pleased with the nature of the performance.

We are usually slow starters in the league, however this season we got up and running pretty quickly. The second league game of the season was to be my 100th game in management where the players rose to the occasion and managed a terrific 3-0 win over Prato.

I was amazed to find that we were racking up the points early on and, most impressively, keeping clean sheets. Indeed, we went six games without conceding a goal, with the partnership of Polenta and Signorini shining at the back. A fine 2-0 against Perugia was one of the main highlights in September. Our form was beyond anything I had expected but I felt that it couldn’t last.

November started with some very bad news as we lost promising Spanish attacking midfielder, Oscar, to a torn calf muscle. He would be out for 5 months and never really get back into the first team. At the time, it seemed like a massive blow, but Wilker became automatic first choice with Greco a good backup when he wasn’t playing wide left.

We made considerable progress in the Serie C Cup, getting out of the group stages and surprising everyone. I felt that this might actually be a winnable competition and started to focus more and more on these games. Inevitably, our league form suffered somewhat. An example would be this 1-1 draw at home against Ravenna where if it wasn’t for a late goal from Liban Abdi, we would have dropped all three points.

There was bad news in the middle of November as star striker Umberto Eusepi was ruled out with a fractured wrist. He would miss 8 weeks and he couldn’t seem to find the same fluency when he returned. Wilker moved into the forward positions and Greco came in to play behind him. We were short up front but Wilker did a terrific job filling in, scoring some very impressive goals. At the end of the month of November, he and Liban Abdi scored a brace each in one of our most impressive performances, as we defeated Nocerina 4-0 at their place.

As we approached the winter break, we found ourselves still amazingly unbeaten in the league. However, it wasn’t to last, and the defeat came against fairly lowly opposition to add insult to injury. Relegation candidates Lumezzane grabbed a later winner as we lost 3-2 at their place. This brought to a halt a quite fantastic 26 game unbeaten run in the league.

Going into the winter break, we found ourselves in 2nd place. We were beginning to struggle a little bit though. Injuries were taking their toll and, after the defeat against Lumezzane, we began to show some frailties that were seemingly invisible while we were on our excellent run. Things were, however, about to go from bad to worse during the January transfer window. Our best centre-back, one of the true stars of the team, was to be sold above my head by the chairman. Diego Polenta was sold for £675,000 to Partizan. A pretty good return considering that he was a free agent when I had signed him up.

I wasn’t annoyed with the chairman. To be honest, I would have sold him at that price anyway. We couldn’t afford to say no. The club was in major debt and this would certainly go some way to helping out. I moved quickly to bring in Pedro Baquero as a replacement. An experienced Spanish centre-back; he wasn’t perfect but he would do a job for us. Also to leave us during this window was winger Carles Coto and striker Stefano Dall’Acqua. This brought in another £13k. I had found Danish winger Christensen to be a much cheaper alternative to Coto. Dall’Acqua, on the other hand, just wasn’t getting games and was taking up room on a very tight wage bill. With the finances in slightly better shape, I was able to offer contracts out to secure the better players in the squad for next season.

The loss of star centre-back Polenta ended up hitting us much worse than I could possibly have predicted. We started to wobble. What would previously have been a straight-forward home game against Prato turned into a nightmare when we conceded first. We were lucky on this occasion to recover the game and win it 2-1 in the dying minutes. However, after this we started dropping points all over the place. A heart-breaking exit, in the semi-finals of the Serie C Cup, made things even worse (see season summary below for details). I was devastated at being knocked out of a competition that I felt we could win.

Back in the league, a 2-0 loss away to eventual title winners Vicenza more or less signalled the end of our very unlikely title challenge. I had no regrets as it was never going to last considering our resources. Umberto Eusepi had returned after injury but wasn’t firing on all cylinders and his goalless streak was worrying me. Another blow was the loss of centre-back Andrea Signorini, who was ruled out with a torn hamstring for three months. After such a promising start to the season, things were certainly not going our way.

Our poor form and bad luck in front of goal can pretty much be summed up by this 1-0 home defeat by Arezzo. Something was badly wrong and we needed to sort it out if we wanted to have any chance of keeping our place in the play-offs. I decided to shake things up a bit and dropped a few of the first teamers in favour of fringe players. We bounced back at home to fierce rivals Spezia, winning 2-0, with Eusepi finally ending his goal drought after over 10 hours without a goal.

Slowly we began to climb the league again and secure our place in the play-offs. I badly wanted to get third place in the league because this would match with the club’s best ever achievement in 1983. It was now 2013 and 20 years later, I wanted to say that I had taken the club back to its highest point. A massive win against then 3rd placed Reggiana, beating them 3-1 at their place, took us above them and into 3rd in the league. We did indeed secure that 3rd place and therefore qualified for the play-offs.

Meanwhile, the Hellas Verona manager was suffering in Serie C1/B and the post became ‘insecure’. I immediately declared my interest – possibly not a great plan just before heading into the playoffs – only to be thoroughly rebuked by the Carrarese board.

I headed into the play-offs expecting (and perhaps even hoping) to get knocked out. I knew that the squad wouldn’t be strong enough for Serie B and I dreaded the thought of trying to survive in that division with the resources available to me. We would face Reggiana in the semi-final.

Playoffs:

Reggiana 1 – 1 Carrarese (Serie C1/A Play-off Semi-final, First Leg)

Summary

Player ratings and formation

Other result: Ravenna 1 – 2 Novara

Carrarese 1 – 1 Regiana (Serie C1/A Play-off Semi-final, Second Leg)

(2-2 on aggregate – Carrarese win due to being the higher seed)

Summary

Player ratings and formation

Other result: Novara 2 – 2 Ravenna (4-4 on agg. – Novara win as higher seed)

Comments: Going into the final against Novara, I wasn’t in the least bit nervous. I simply felt that we would lose. We had never beaten Novara before and they had finished in 2nd place.

Carrarese 0 – 0 Novara (Serie C1/A Play-off Final, First Leg)

Summary

Player ratings and formation

Comments: I thought we had blown it. They went down to ten men in the second-half and we couldn’t capitalise. Because of the higher seeding rule, we had to go to Novara and win. That was a massive ask considering the fact that they had only lost 1 game at home all season. Our league game away to them earlier in the season had resulted in a 2-1 defeat. I didn't fancy our chances at all.

Novara 1 – 2 Carrarese (Serie C1/A Play-off Final, Second Leg)

Summary

Player ratings and formation

Comments: Unbelievably we played our socks off in the first-half and found ourselves 2-0 up. Then it was just a case of holding on for dear life. It was a fortuitous win and I couldn’t quite believe it. Carrarese would be playing in Serie B next season. :eek: Would I still be at the helm though?

Screenshots:

League Table

League Positions Graph

As you can see above, we started well and peaked just before Christmas. We fell away in early 2013 only to make a comeback towards the end of the season.

Italian Cup – Just the two qualifying rounds for us this season - we were knocked out in the 2nd qualifying round against Taranto.

Serie C Cup – A great run taking us to the semi-finals. Our best results were against Ternana and against Foggia before Spal knocked us out over two legs thanks to their away goal.

Semi-final leg 1

Semi-final leg 2

I was really disappointed as I really hoped we could at least get to the final. Spal ended up as winners of the cup.

Transfers

As you can see, I signed up quite a few of our former loan players from Genoa. The best signings were Polenta, Signorini, Eusepi and Abdi.

Squad

The squad is very decent at Serie C1 level, with quite a few stand out players at this level such as Philliskirk, Cano and Eusepi. It'll need improving quite a bit to stand any chance of staying in the Serie B though. I don’t fancy our chances to be honest.

Key players:

Alessandro Cibocchi – A really solid and consistent fullback and the fans’ choice for player of the year.

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. A talented player at this level but it remains to be seen if he will cut it in Serie B.

Daniel Philliskirk – The only Englishman in the starting eleven. Playing as a deep-lying playmaker, the ex-Chelsea youth player really shone this season, and seems to be really enjoying life in Italy. He is an excellent technical player and my feeling is that he won’t look too far away from home in Serie B. He is, however, being constantly linked to a move back to England, so we’ll have to see if we can keep hold of him.

Liban Abdi – A pretty ordinary looking wide-player in all honesty but he scored some vital goals for us playing inside forward on the left and was extremely consistent. He ended up as an ever-present in the first eleven and surprised me with his pace and ability to take on his man.

A couple of mentions for Wilker and Umberto Eusepi here. Both were fantastic, as you can see from the squad shot above, and we couldn't have done it without their creativity and goalscoring up front.

This was the team of the season.

Career Overview:

Season      	Team      	League      	Position   	Achievements & Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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
2012/13		Carrarese	Serie C1/A	3rd		Third place in Serie C1/A & Serie C Cup semi-finalists 

Next Season: I keep saying that Project 1 is finished and that I have taken this club as far as I can. I still stand by that and I cannot see our stay in Serie B being a particularly pleasant or lengthy one. To be honest, I would have preferred to have won the Serie C Cup and to have had another season in Serie C1/A this season but that’s not the way that it panned out. I am really looking for my next move now and, at the time of writing, I am thinking over a final contract offer from Carrarese. How can I leave now though after taking them to Serie B?

I have annoyed the Carrarese board once more by declaring my interest in jobs at Hellas Verona (in Serie C1/B) and Cremonese (relegated to Serie C1/B). Nothing came of either of my flirtations with these clubs in the end though. I’ve made it pretty clear on here that I really want a move to manage the Gialloblu. However, they turned me down when the job did become available at the end of the season in favour of a more experienced manager. :(

Although I keep saying that I don’t want to continue at Carrarese, I do like it here. I’ve grown to like my squad of players and I will be sad to leave. However, I really have taken the club as far as I can now, unless the board suddenly produce some funds out of nowhere. It was announced that the club made a profit this year but that was only down to selling Polenta and bringing in a total of £700k (that’s including a few other player sales too). The only way we can keep in the black is by selling players and that’s hardly conducive to making progress on the pitch.

In the end, I will probably sign a one year contract and get some experience in Serie B. Meanwhile, I will be watching out for jobs at big clubs at Serie C1. It means dropping down a level but I’m prepared to do that. Let’s face it, I’m well ahead of where I expected to be in this career so far, and dropping down a division to take over a bigger club on a more sound financial footing would really benefit me to progress, even if I technically have to go backwards to do it. Taranto and Cremonese were relegated from B. Meanwhile Hellas Verona are still stuck in C1/B. If any of those teams are underachieving at the beginning of next season, I will be ready to declare my interest and to take up any position that might become available.

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The Erasmo Iacovone proving to be a fortress still ;). Although they did get relegated :rolleyes:

That's an excellent season write up Crouchy, and one that Carrerese deserved given your fantastic season there! Truly that was very unexpected as I was reading, I kept anticipating a slide down the table! 26 games unbeaten is a magnificent feat as well, you must be proud. As you say I think you should stick it out and have a year in Serie B just to see where you can take the club. You should be able to find some good players on free transfers and loans to avoid crippling the finances and I imagine you'll keep them in Serie B. All in all hats off to you on a great job in Project 1 :thup:. I like how you're prepared to drop a division in search of a more ambitious and well structured club. Good luck :)

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Thanks Iacovone. I kept expecting a slip down the table as well to be honest.

I was absolutely gutted when we got knocked out of the Serie C Cup at the semi-final stage. The poor form in March had me really frustrated as well because we were playing very poorly indeed. I found it extremely challenging to turn it around again actually. I had to shake things up a bit and use all of my man management 'skills' (:D) to get the team feeling confident again and back on form.

The move to 'Project 2' will happen at some point but I'm going to take my time over finding the right club. Meanwhile, I'll be battling with Carrarese for survival. I expect this to be the hardest challenge yet.

I've also got to get my head around the 'home-grown' rules in Serie B. As I don't play in higher leagues normally, I have little idea what it is all about. I think that if I bring promising 18-year-olds into the club, they will qualify for 'home-grown' status. Therefore, most of my work in the transfer window this summer will probably go into signing up any youngsters I can find on a free.

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I noticed Perugia in in the lower reaches of C1/a, it made me have a look at their wiki page, didn't realise that they disbanded and then reformed, their list of notable players was pretty impressive Angelo Di Livio, Gennaro Gattuso, Fabio Liverani, Marco Materazzi, Fabrizio Miccoli, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Marco Negri, Dmitri Alenichev, Milan Rapaić, Traianos Dellas, Hidetoshi Nakata, Óscar Córdoba. Most impressive of all though and a real blast from the past because I used to love him, Dario Hubner, does anyone else remember him? He always scored bucketloads despite playing for small teams.

Sorry for going off topic :D

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Yes! I remember Hubner. He was from the C4 Football Italia days. Remember him finishing as top goalscorer in Italy with 30 odd goals for Perugia. Think he may have even got called up for the national team!

EDIT: Wikipedia confirms he shared the title with Trezeguet in 2002. This was at Piacenza not Perugia though :rolleyes:. Nickname was the Bison :cool:

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Excellent update from Crouchy there. Feeling really inspired to start my own thread now.

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Nice thread mate and cool updates,im currently between save games just now and this could inspire me to start an italian carear:)

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Thanks for the replies guys. :thup:

Mike7077 & Brown1888 - nice to know that I am inspiring others to start career threads too. Look forward to reading yours in the future. :)

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Congrats on promotion and a mammoth update! :D

Earlier than planned promotion in Italy can sting. I went up to Serie B quickly with the San Marino team in FM08 and the game really stalled after that as we battled relegation constantly for a few seasons before I moved on (to FM09 ;)). In your position, I would be on the lookout for interesting opportunities but there would be that wrench of leaving in the knowledge that the side's best chance of staying up is with their trusty old manager in charge... ;)

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Don't worry Nobby, I can speak LLM too.

Here is my LLM version of the update, especially for you:

Played some games. Won quite a few more than I expected. Cups sucked arse.

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Well done on the unwanted promotion.

Thanks Jason. :thup:

Congrats on promotion and a mammoth update!

Cheers. :)

Earlier than planned promotion in Italy can sting. I went up to Serie B quickly with the San Marino team in FM08 and the game really stalled after that as we battled relegation constantly for a few seasons before I moved on (to FM09).

Yes, I feel that is definitely going to be the way forward. It's going to be very tough indeed.

In your position, I would be on the lookout for interesting opportunities but there would be that wrench of leaving in the knowledge that the side's best chance of staying up is with their trusty old manager in charge... ;)

Indeed, although I won't feel too guilty if I get to take charge of Hellas Verona. :cool:

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Don't worry Nobby, I can speak LLM too.

Here is my LLM version of the update, especially for you:

Played some games. Won quite a few more than I expected. Cups sucked arse.

More like it, except you failed to mention your promotion. :D

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More like it, except you failed to mention your promotion. :D

I was speaking LLM - no bragging! :p

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Unless you launch a tirade of abuse at someone, you're not really speaking LLM.

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I was speaking LLM - no bragging! :p

Bragging - I iz ace at FM coz my team iz brill as we won champions league in 3 seasons with River Plate.

Factual - We won a few games, lost a couple, won promotion. Cups suck arse.

There's a difference. ;)

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:shudder:

Please don't do that again.

One heck of an essay there crouchy! But a very successful season. KUTGW :thup: I'd stay btw. But I'm a one-team man :D

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Everyone keeps saying 'essay'. I hope that's not a synonym for long and boring!

On a serious note, any feedback on my update style would be good. If it is a bit long-winded for everyone then I'll try to cut it down in the future. Once I get started, I can barely stop myself though. ;)

Anyway, thanks for the comments Pangaea. I'm staying for now but looking for my next 'project'. :D

Having said that, I've just unearthed a youngster who 'could be the next Andrea Pirlo'. :cool: That might keep me at Dei Marmi a bit longer. Either that, or I'll have to take him with me wherever I go! :D

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Shackle him and take him wherever you go :D

I like the update length but only for certain people in here. If you write engagingly (which I think you do) then its good to have an 'essay'. Some aren't so interesting but there you go!

(I have the next Vincent Kompany at Kaiserslautern :cool:)

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Right, I'm going to change the updates a little bit for this season and do some monthly updates (rather like in Iacovone's thread), as well as my customary end of season update (which hopefully might be a little less essay-like next time around ;)). Screenshots will come with any major turning points during the season but, most of the time, I will be saving them for the end of season summary.

So, Carrarese in Serie B then!

2013/14 Pre-season News

Well, the first news to report is that I've been offered, and accepted, the Nigeria U21 job. I decided to do so for some experience and because I want to go into full international management at some point in the future. Let's see if I can use my calcio management experience with Nigeria's youth. No competitive games to report on - it is all friendlies - so I don't see it distracting me from my job at Carrarese.

Back to Carrarese then and I've had the promotion odds through for Serie B. We are predicted to finish rock bottom, in 22nd place, by the media. This, I feel, will work in my favour, as I always tend to manage better when the odds are against me.

The real worry is that I haven't really managed to strengthen the team. I've focused my efforts on bringing in young and promising players instead in order to secure the long-term future of the club. In the process of searching for young talent, I have unearthed what the media are referring to as the next Andrea Pirlo. He doesn't look much like Pirlo to me though. :confused:

At the moment, I'm desperately trying to bolster the backline with another signing but, at the time of writing, it is looking unlikely that I will find anyone suitable in time for the season kick-off.

Pre-season has gone pretty well so far. We get under-way against Modena at home in the Italian Cup. In the league, we open at home to Salernitana.

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Did you know you spelt Crouchaldinho wrong in your game?

Only on one of the screenshots. :o

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So where are you hoping to manage next? Presumably you've got one eye on a career away from Carrarese.

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Very much so Mike. At the same time, how can I leave now after taking them to Serie B?

I have signed a new one year contract with Carrarese and I intend get some experience in Serie B. Meanwhile, I will be watching out for jobs at big clubs at Serie C1. It means dropping down a level but I’m prepared to do that. Let’s face it, I’m well ahead of where I expected to be in this career so far, and dropping down a division to take over a bigger club on a more sound financial footing would really benefit me to progress, even if I technically have to go backwards to do it.

The clubs I am really keeping an eye on are Taranto and Cremonese, who are big clubs with decent finances. Both were relegated from B last season. Meanwhile Hellas Verona remains my dream really and they are still stuck in C1/B.

I really would love a move to Verona, mainly because of this book:

41EV3E9Q82L._SL500_AA240_.jpg

:cool:

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Pre-Season 2013/14:

Prato 0 – 6 Carrarese (Pre-season Friendly)

This was a pretty straight-forward outing for us against the Serie C2/C title favourites and a very comfortable start to pre-season. Some quality goals from striker Umberto Eusepi and attacking midfielder Wilker. Daniel Philliskirk, our deep-lying playmaker and the only Englishman in the team, also chipped in with a long-range effort.

Carrarese Scorers: Umberto Eusepi x 2, Wilker, Andrea Bracaletti, Daniel Philliskirk, and an own goal.

Carrarese MoM: Striker Umberto Eusepi.

Carrarese 0 – 2 Parma (Pre-season Friendly)

We actually created more than Parma and had more of the ball but the quality of the Serie A shone through in the end. Best player for us was our ever-reliable left-back Alessandro Cibocchi.

Carrarese MoM: Alessandro Cibocchi.

Andria 1 – 1 Carrarese (Pre-Season Friendly)

We were the better side but couldn’t get the win against this Serie C1 side.

Carrarese scorer: Own goal.

Carrarese MoM: Portguese centre-back Armando Mendes.

Cuoiovaldarno 0 – 5 Carrarese (Pre-Season Friendly)

We handed out a thrashing to this amateur side. Our Brazilian/Italian forward, Wilker, scored two cracking goals from his attacking midfield position. Nice and comfortable end to pre-season.

Carrarese scorers: Wilker x 2, Albert Cano, Andrea Bracaletti, Umberto Eusepi.

Carrarese MoM: Attacking midfielder Wilker.

Manager Comments for Pre-Season:

Some pretty standard results really and we performed very well generally. I have a good idea of my starting eleven this season, which will not differ very much from last season. I haven’t been able to strengthen the squad and so I remain pretty doubtful about our chances to be honest. We open the season with a tough Italian Cup game away to fellow Serie B side Modena, which will give us a better indication of where we are. Then we start the league with two homes games against Salernitana and Vicenza, which are games that we really must try to win if we are going to stay up this season and survive in Serie B.

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What can I say Iacovone? ;)

Thinking of changing my name to Crouchovone next. It's got a nice ring to it, don't you think? :p

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Haha superb :D

By the way (this is off topic, please excuse me) I've been reading the Travels in Eastern Europe book by Jonathan Wilson, and if you haven't begun it yet I can't recommend it enough. It is such a fascinating insight to regions that should be far better known tbh. The chapter on Hungary is superb. Its made me so desperate to begin a purely Eastern Europe career but I feel too dedicated to my current save to take the plunge. I have a feeling you'll be interested in one too so perhaps will do it simultaneously and see how we get on?

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The Jonathan Wilson book is next on my football shelf (yes, I have a bookshelf dedicated to football books :D).

I'm definitely up for starting an Eastern European career, although I already have too many saves on the go! Too much real life and not enough FM time, I say. ;)

Seriously though, I think it sounds like a good idea. I'll let you know when I get around to starting it. :thup:

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Well, Nigeria U21s didn't last long. Two matches, two humiliating defeats (against Cape Verde U21s and Mali U21s :o). I decided that I wasn't really giving it my all and resigned to focus all of my efforts on calcio and, specifically, keeping Carrarese in Serie B!

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August 2013:

Carrarese 2 – 2 Modena (Italian Cup 2nd Qual. Rnd)

- Modena win 3-2 after extra-time.

We kept the ball well enough in this game but we just couldn’t capitalise on our possession. A draw might well have been a fair result to be honest, but they did have the slight edge in extra-time and therefore came away with the result. This was a worrying performance and result really considering that they are a mid-table Serie B side. We clearly have a real battle on our hands to stay in this division. Early exit from the cup isn’t really a worry though so I’m not overly disappointed.

Carrarese Scorers: Albert Cano and Daniel Philliskirk.

Carrarese MoM: Deep-lying playmaker, Daniel Philliskirk.

Carrarese 1 - 2 Salernitana (Serie B)

We were really the better side, creating a fair number of chances and dominating possession. However, we couldn’t make the most of our chances and in the end Salernitana were the more dangerous team. A worrying performance against another mid-table side and dropping points at home always makes me angry. Not a great start.

Carrarese scorers: Umberto Eusepi.

Carrarese MoM: Umberto Eusepi.

Manager Comments for August:

A really disappointing start for us. Losing in the Italian Cup isn’t really a big deal. It was just the traditional early exit for our club. But losing a home match in the league always disappoints me and it is fair to say that the Salernitana result is the worst possible start to the season. We’ve got a very tough month in September, with mainly away matches, so it’s hard to see where the points are going to come from at the moment.

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I'm really interested in seeing where you end up after Carrarese. I know your heart's set on Hellas Verona but I hope you keep an open mind. Then you could end up anywhere!

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Serie B is tough Mike. Really tough! I've been used to having it my own way all of this time but we're struggling to compete at the moment!

I'll see what happens. I'm not ruling out any club for my next move but it has to be financially better off and fairly big.

Where do you want me to end up next then Mike? Not a fan of Verona, I take it?

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Nothing against Verona at all. Just makes it more exciting if you keep and open mind. I can see you ending up at somewhere like Udinese or Sampdoria.

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I'd prefer Genoa to Sampdoria. :p

I have a fairly open mind about my next project but right now my reputation is such that a move to a big club in Serie C1 is the most realistic option and the best for my career prospects. Moving to a Serie A side will probably be something reserved for project 3! ;)

I was thinking today of the big clubs that I might like to manage if I make it to the top and the two that immediately came to mind were Roma and Fiorentina. :thup: That's a fair way off at the moment though while I struggle on at the bottom of Serie B!

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I'd prefer Genoa to Sampdoria. :p

I have a fairly open mind about my next project but right now my reputation is such that a move to a big club in Serie C1 is the most realistic option and the best for my career prospects. Moving to a Serie A side will probably be something reserved for project 3! ;)

I was thinking today of the big clubs that I might like to manage if I make it to the top and the two that immediately came to mind were Roma and Fiorentina. :thup: That's a fair way off at the moment though while I struggle on at the bottom of Serie B!

Yes, yes and yes! 3 of my favourite Italian sides. Palermo also make it as well as Torino for obvious reasons. Gigi Meroni :(

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