AK22

If You Count Your Chickens Before They've Hatched, They Won't Lay An Egg

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Odd time to leave. I think it's a really big club since they need the cash to buy out your contract...

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Well, if it's not the Real Madrid job then it's gotta be something very tempting. Barca? Or a small club you can take to glory?

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Genoa C.F.C: A Club Made For Cricket!

Exclusively founded by Englishmen in 1893 as a club abroad to play cricket and compete in athletics at, Genoa Cricket and Football Club is the oldest existing club in Italian football. After their origination, the club's football section was opened in 1897, which also coincided with the introduction of Italian nationals into the club's ranks, and the team competing in the following year's inaugural Italian Football Championship. Starting off as one of the most successful teams in Italy, they won the league title in the opening three seasons of the competition, adding another three titles between the years of 1902-1904. This made it six titles in seven years, establishing them as the team to beat. After originally playing in all white (to mirror the English national team), it was in these early years that the club switched to the famous red-navy halves strip, spawning the nickname of 'rossoblu' in the process.

After 1904, the club lost it's way somewhat, slipping down behind Juventus, AC Milan and Pro Vercelli in the pecking order. A baron decade followed, until a revival was overseen by English head coach, William Garbutt; charismatic Garbutt became the first professional manager in Italy, and led the team to their seventh title in the 1914/15, which was not awarded until 1919 due to the outbreak of World War I. The War took a severe toll in the Genoa squad too, with several players losing their lives whilst on military duty. However, even after the tragic loss of their star players, the team were still strong title contenders during 1920s, and added another two league title to their total; never would they know that this would be their last!

Since their 1924 league title, times at the club have been less enjoyable, as they found themselves drifting down the Serie A pecking order, suffering relegation to Serie B in 1953. However, the darkest days in the club's history came in the 2004/05 when they were convicted of match-fixing, and were punished with relegation to the third tier of Italian football. They were also penalised with a six-point penalty the following season, but still managed to secure an instant return to Serie B, courtesy of a playoff victory over Monza. This success was built upon, and saw the club earn back-to-back promotion, restoring them as a club at the top table of Italian football once again; they have remained there ever since.

Serie A - 20 teams compete this tournament, playing each other twice on a round-robin basis. The team with the most points at the end of the season is crowned as champions, with teams 2nd-4th qualifying for the following season's Champions League competition. Teams finishing 5th-7th qualify for the Europa League (dependant on the TIM Cup Winners), with the three bottom teams being relegated to Serie B.

SerieATIMHistory_PastWinners-1.png

Club Finances | Club Reputations

Asides from a 2nd place finish in 2022/23, recent times at the club haven't been particularly exciting. In fact, it's been very 'mid-table' recently, with the club continuing to be one of the sleeping giants of Italian football, failing to live up to expectations, and the promise that a well-paid squad has.

AC Milan have established themselves as the major force in Italian football, totalling up ten league titles in the last 20 seasons. However, it's Fiorentina, who are heavily backed by a Brazilian tycoon, who seem the most capable of challenging for honours this season.

GenoaHistory_Competitions-1.png

TIM Cup - A straightforward knockout competition, where the majority of Serie A teams joining in the 3rd Qualifying Round. We're still in this year's competition, but will need to get past Sampdoria in the 1st Round to progress any further.

Genoa: Where We Are

Current League Table | Facilities | Finances | Past Managers

Contract Length: 4 years | Wage: £33k per week

Transfer Budget: £7.25m | Wage Budget: £1.1m (currently spending £955k)

Pretty similar to the same terms and conditions that I was on at Leverkusen, so I won't need to adjust too much to the budgets offered to me. However, I do have three major concerns about how the club is being currently run. Firstly, how on earth can a team spending near enough £1m a week on player wages fail to challenge for the title. Is that mismanagement by my predecessor, or do I inherit a team of overpaid prima-donnas? Secondly, the club has gone through an alarming amount of managers in recent seasons; I'll be the seventh head coach in six and a half years, so the chairman seems extremely trigger happy, and, going on previous form, I'll do well to last longer than 18 months. And finally, my third concern, is the amount of debt that the club is currently weighed down by. The £110m worth of loans are not going to be paid off until 2050, so it looks like I'm going to have to be quite frugal when it comes to improving the club's playing staff. It also means that any immediate facility improvement requests are likely to be refused, as I doubt it's worth burdening the club with any more expenditure until they have seen a drastic upturn in the club's on-field fortunes.

Of course, that's very much in the future, as my main concern will be to get the club up the league this season, and into the respectable league position that the board expects. I'm looking at this as a long term project, with the aim of ending the 100+ year wait for major silverware, and adding to the club's nine Serie A titles. I doubt we'll see much improvement in the next two seasons, as I'll be using this period to embed my philosophy at the club, as well as bringing in my own backroom team, but I'd be very disappointed if we weren't challenging for the European qualification within five seasons.

Squad Overview

Key Players: Cristian Soruco, Lior Hai, Josef Maissen, Adama Kanté

Promising Youngsters: Queiroz, Paolo Longo, Fabrizio Boccolini

At first glances, the squad actually looks quite poor, so it's no surprise that the club is languishing in the lower half of the Serie A table. It's apparent that previous managers have overspent when attempting to improve the team, as the squad is full of average players on top end wages. Due to this, a big summer clear-out is high on the agenda, although I doubt we'll recoup even half the money that was spent bringing the players to the club. That's if I can even find a buyer for some of them, though, because I severely doubt there's a team in the land willing to pay wages of £50k per week for individuals with meagre levels of technical skill.

I'm also disappointed by the lack of potential coming through the ranks, with really only three or four players capable of challenging the first team in the near future. Unfortunately, that means that I will need to dip into the transfer marker when it opens in January, with the need to bring in a handful of players for the least amount of money possible. Even if I can only add a new core to the team ('keeper, centre-back, striker), I'd be delighted, and will certainly improve upon the dross currently available to me. In the meantime, I'll be forced to play quite negative tactics on the pitch, as I attempt to grind out results to improve our league position. This isn't how I like to see football played, but will be a necessity until I get a full summer off-season to overhaul the team. It's unlikely we'll be sucked into the relegation battle, but with morale as low as it is at the moment, I'd be mad to rule it out completely!

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Must have been quite a club, as it seems an odd time to leave otherwise.
Odd time to leave. I think it's a really big club since they need the cash to buy out your contract...
Well, if it's not the Real Madrid job then it's gotta be something very tempting. Barca? Or a small club you can take to glory?

Granted, it is an odd time to leave, with Leverkusen very much in the running for another league title, as well as making it on to the club's favoured personnel. However, I was starting to get itchy feet in Germany, so when the job at Genoa became available, I didn't think twice about putting in my application (the compensation was just over a £1m, so it wasn't a severe amount for my new club to pay).

As well as being a footballing romantic at heart, I do also love a club with an interesting history, so when factoring in the English links with Genoa, something deep within me thinks it would be very just for another Englishman to end the many years of hurt that the club has had to endure for the last century. Whether I'm the one to do it, it's too early to tell, but it's certainly one of the jobs that would have been on my shortlist if I had my pick of anywhere in the world. I also love Italian football, so it's a great opportunity to scratch that itch too :)

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Interesting move from Leverkusen to Genoa but hopefully you can eventually overthrow AC Milan and Fiorentina.

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Best of luck in the Genoa job! :) Seems like it was a good move for your wanderlust :)

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Genoa :cool:. Interesting move. Hopefully you can get them out of their rut of mid-table.

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Interesting move from Leverkusen to Genoa but hopefully you can eventually overthrow AC Milan and Fiorentina.
Best of luck in the Genoa job! :) Seems like it was a good move for your wanderlust
Genoa :cool:. Interesting move. Hopefully you can get them out of their rut of mid-table.

Thanks! It's been hardly the most exciting start in the world so far, though, with 0-0 draws against Bari and Vicenza.

Defensively, we look pretty sound and well drilled, but going forward, we just run around chasing the ball like headless-chickens, and even when we do get a chance, we can't get it anywhere near the target (much like Liverpool in real life :(). Oh well, I'm happy with two clean sheets and an undefeated record! :D

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We come close to hitting the target. 30 times we have hit the woodwork is a record :rolleyes:.

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We come close to hitting the target. 30 times we have hit the woodwork is a record :rolleyes:.

Says it all really. Although, there have been some matches when hitting the woodwork would have been a big improvement (the Newcastle match in particular)!

I just hope next season is better, as even with the cup success, it's been horrendously embarrassing at times this year, and end up watching most matches through the tips of my fingers :(

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Says it all really. Although, there have been some matches when hitting the woodwork would have been a big improvement (the Newcastle match in particular)!

I just hope next season is better, as even with the cup success, it's been horrendously embarrassing at times this year, and end up watching most matches through the tips of my fingers :(

I would say its been more frustrating rather than poor. The worst thing there have only been 4 or 5 games we have been utterly shocking (Spurs, Bolton, Newcastle and a couple others) but otherwise we have been pretty dominant in most games which is why its annoying. Especially at home its been frustrating.

Hopefully with us being back in Europe next season we can attract better names....but Kenny seriously needs to work on his tactics.

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Good Luck with Genoa! I bet we see a Serie A title within a few years

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I would say its been more frustrating rather than poor. The worst thing there have only been 4 or 5 games we have been utterly shocking (Spurs, Bolton, Newcastle and a couple others) but otherwise we have been pretty dominant in most games which is why its annoying. Especially at home its been frustrating.

Hopefully with us being back in Europe next season we can attract better names....but Kenny seriously needs to work on his tactics.

I think eventually with the sheer number of games you've dominated and created shooting chances in without scoring you ultimately have to accept that it's false domination and you need to change things. If it happened every once in a while, or maybe for a small spell and then stopped, then you can write it off as bad luck, but it's happened SO many times. I only saw the scoreline from the weekend but I already knew the story of the match before watching MOTD.

I know it's slightly different in terms of how you dominate games, but the way Swansea played in that run of games where they couldn't buy a win was a similar sort of problem. The Newcastle game typified it - we let them have the ball all they liked then as soon as they got to within 30 yards of goal we'd immediately pressure them with really high intensity. They couldn't handle the needed change in tempo to retain the ball in our final third, and they barely threatened to score despite having over 70% possession.

From the little I've watched Liverpool, you lack intelligent movement and incisive passing in the final third. Gerrard is a great passer but it's more the long diagonals from deep, likewise Adam. To compare with Newcastle again, there's no Cabaye or Ben Arfa who can skip past a man and then play an incisive pass to put it on a plate. It'd be highly interesting to see what would happen if you put a great finisher like Van Persie or Cisse in the current Liverpool team and see whether it really is just a case of putting the ball in the net. My feeling is that it isn't, and the type and quality of the chances aren't good enough.

When you create good chances and the strikers score often, it breeds confidence, and makes the more difficult chances easier. Liverpool don't create enough "on a plate" chances for Suarez/Carroll so when the merely passable chances come they feel under pressure to score which makes it harder to do so. The difficult chances you can forget about!

I may well be wrong - like I said, haven't watched that much Liverpool - but that's my impression from what I have seen, and the number of occasions where the prognosis has been "dominated but couldn't get it in the net".

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Watch out for fans trying to grab the shirts off the players.

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Being honest, the problems we've had this season have been in the making for the past couple of years. For far too long, we've relied on one player having an exceptional game if we're going to win; usually Gerrard, but also Torres (before his form dropped off the scale), and to lesser extents Kuyt and Suarez.

However, in recent months, we've very rarely seen that one man show that we've become accustom to; it's still happens every now and again, Gerrard against Everton being a fine example, but with him being in/out of the team due to injury, and Suarez not being the same player since his ban, we've had no-one to save our bacon this season, as the likes of Henderson, Downing and Adam just aren't top end Premier League players who can change games in an instance.

What this has highlighted to the extreme, is the lack of creativity and ideas we have as a team when going forward. Whether this has come from the coaching, the tactics or the players themselves, I still can't really pinpoint it. Maybe it's a combination of all three, but what I see regular is blank expressions and lots of shoulder shrugging when the attack breaks down. Sure, this has been accentuated by the frustration shown recently, but I really do feel that we are trying to be too clever at times, and should really focus a lot more on the basics. It really makes me wonder what is being practised on the training ground, as surely going back to basics wouldn't be a bad thing to do considering how poor our goalscoring record has been.

Some of our attacking principles really irk me at the moment too; why don't our strikers (mainly Carroll) attack the near post when our play is building down the wing? When both Suarez and Carroll play together, why do they always end up getting in each others way? Why do both the wide midfielders insist on cutting inside when in possession, instead of taking on the fullback and crossing from the byline? It's the same mistakes every game; no wonder teams find it easy to keep clean sheets against us.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that we've been extremely fortunate to have players like Gerrard who can play 'a blinder' on a regular basis, and get the team out of jail. But now we've been really exposed as a one-man team I thought deep-down we were; a team with severe attacking limitations and a squad lacking in basic creativity.

Also, I fully expect Kenny to go in the summer; simply put, we just haven't been good enough, and I doubt that the owners are the type to tolerate the levels of performance seen this season. It's all very well wheeling out the 'unlucky' excuse every week, but frankly, it just doesn't wash any longer. Although to some extent, we have been unlucky (the amount of times we've hit the woodwork has been ridiculous), but fundamentally there is something wrong deep down in the core of the club, and I don't think Kenny is the man to resolve it.

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Good Luck with Genoa! I bet we see a Serie A title within a few years

Thanks, cswalk08! Hopefully so! :)

Watch out for fans trying to grab the shirts off the players.

They won't want our shirts yet; we're crap! :D

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Thanks, cswalk08! Hopefully so! :)

They won't want our shirts yet; we're crap! :D

I think that's what he meant - link ;-)

As I'm no longer lurking - great career, really enjoying it. I've been reading since the start! Keep it up, look forward to seeing what you can do in Genoa.

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A club steeped in history. Good luck.

Thanks Nobby! Loving it already :)

;7771011']I think that's what he meant - link ;-)

As I'm no longer lurking - great career' date=' really enjoying it. I've been reading since the start! Keep it up, look forward to seeing what you can do in Genoa.[/quote']

Wow, that's a really interesting article. I'm been unusually busy this week so it's no surprise that this story bypassed me somewhat. My team could really do with our own Guiseppe Sculli; he doesn't sound like one to be trifled with!

Oh, and thanks for reading too :)

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Genoa CFC: A Shimmer Of Promise

It's never easy taking over a club mid-season; the majority of the transfer budget has been spent, the players are used to the existing tactics, and there's very little time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the squad. Due to this, I feel it's vital to follow your gut instinct when trying to hit the ground running.

Unfortunately, I didn't like the look of things; the midfield lacked a lot of creativity, and we didn't possess a born goalscorer. However, defensively we seemed quite robust, and having decided to play to our initial strengths, I set the team up with two defensively minded tactics. Our main approach, which was the slightly more attacking of the two, a basic 4-4-1-1, used for the majority of our home matches, as well as games on the road where were the favourites. Alternatively, a 4-1-4-1 was devised for matches when I wanted to keep things extremely tight, using the counter attack as our main threat at goal. There's some really strong attacking teams in this league, so going gung-ho against them at this stage is only asking for trouble; parking the bus is the only viable option for now. Well, at least until we're able to compete tit-for-tat with the big boys, that is.

Finances | Transfer Summary

Serie A 2032/33 End of Season

SerieATIMOverview_Stages-2-1.jpg

Position Graph | Fixtures | Season Summary | Miglior Squandra dell'Anno

We drew my first two games in charge 0-0, and in hindsight, this really sums up the rest of the season.

Our defence has been excellent, the third best in the league, keeping regular clean sheets and comfortably keeping the opposition's strikers in check. However, as expected, its going forward where the main problems lie, as we've only managed to score, on average, just over one goal a game. No doubt, the tactics I've been playing have contributed to this, but I still feel we could have scored more goals if the quality of players have been better; we're making chances, just not being clinical enough to convert them.

Thankfully, with us being so sound at the back, we've still been able to rack up enough results to climb up the league table, taking 40 points from the 25 games played under my stewardship, and finishing in a very respectable 7th place. In fact, if Bari hadn't gone and beaten Fiorentina in the final of the Coppa Italia, we would have sneaked into Europa League qualification! To be fair, this will probably turn out to be a blessing in disguise, meaning we can concentrate fully on a top six finish in next season's Serie A without any outside distractions.

Cagliari 0-4 Genoa - Three games in, and my first league victory; a comfortable win over relegation fodder.

Napoli 3-0 Genoa - A game later, and my first defeat. We were right in the game, so the scoreline looks a lot worse than it was.

Sampdoria 0-2 Genoa - It may have been a cup game, but this was a great result over our local rivals. Feisty!

Sampdoria 0-1 Genoa - We seem to enjoy our trips across the city to Montella Stadium! Although we were extremely lucky this time!!

Genoa 3-0 Napoli - One of our finest victories, avenging our early season defeat, with Yoann Daniel bagging all three goals.

Genoa 0-1 Cagliari - A poor defeat against a side already relegated. This saw us say goodbye to any hopes of a top six finish.

Squad Overview

Key Players: Giorgos Kousidis (Av R: 7.31), Yoann Daniel (19 goals), Mauricio Vázquez (10 clean sheets), Ghalem Rekkab (8 assists), Lior Hai (11 goals)

Fans Player of the Year: Giorgos Kousidis

Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

Considering the wage budget I've got available to me, there's no reason why I can't build a side capable of a title challenge in a few year's time, but first, the deadwood must go. There's only a handful of players that I'd like to keep for next season, so the rest of the squad is very much up for grabs, and we may see some very dramatic transfer activity over the coming summer.

I'd love to add a top class striker to the team, someone who can easily score 20 goals a season, as well as linking the play up nicely for the attacking midfielders. Yoann Daniel has done this reasonably well for us this year, however, I do feel he lacks the technical ability to competently play the lone striker role I've implemented at the club, and would be better served as an impact player from the bench, when he can use his blistering pace against tired, leggy defences. The midfield also needs a bit of work too, as it's lacking pace and creativity. I know that pace isn't the be-all and end-all for success in the Italian leagues, but I do feel a decent playmaker is essential if we are going to succeed long term.

Career Summary

Season     Team              League                     Finish    Cups
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2011/12    Unemployed
2012/13    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet South      3rd       FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 2nd Round
2013/14    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet Premier    3rd       FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round
2014/15    Kingstonian       npower League Two          16th      FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT 1st Round
2015/16    Kingstonian       npower League Two          17th**    **Resigned 19/12/2015
          Hull City         npower League One          6th       FA Cup 4th Round
2016/17    Hull City         npower League One          1st       FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT Winner
2017/18    Hull City         npower Championship        2nd       FA Cup 5th Round, Carling Cup 2nd Round
2018/19    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    5th       FA Cup Semi-Final, Carling Cup Semi-Final
2019/20    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    7th       Europa League 2nd KO Rd, FA Cup 6th Rd, Carling Cup 3rd Rd
2020/21    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    8th**     **Resigned 13/11/2020
          Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    6th       Europa League 1st KO Rd, FA Cup 5th Rd
2021/22    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    3rd       Europa League Winners, FA Cup 4th Rd, Carling Cup QF
2022/23    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup 3rd Rd, Carling Cup QF
2023/24    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League SF, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup QF
2024/25    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    2nd       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup Winners
2025/26    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  4th       N/A
                            Primera División Clausura  3rd       Copa Argentina QF
2026/27    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  1st       Copa Sudamericana SF
                            Primera División Clausura  3rd       Copa Libertadores RU, Copa Argentina 7th Rd
2027/28    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  2nd       Copa Sudamericana Winner
                            Primera División Clausura  1st       Copa Libertadores SF, Copa Argentina RU
2028/29    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League 1st KO Rd, DFB-Pokal QF
2029/30    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Winners, DFB-Pokal Winners
2030/31    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 2nd       Europa League Winners, Club World Cup Winners
2031/32    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Runner-Up
2032/33    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 3rd**     **Resigned 25/11/2032
          Genoa             Serie A                    7th       TIM Cup Quarter Final

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Very close to Europe, hopefully you can get qualification next year.

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Good first season,a bit of improvement should see you qualify for Europe.

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As others have said, decent start to life at Genoa :thup:. Nice to see the Viola up there. Always had a soft spot for them since the days of Batigol and Rui Costa :D

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I'm really jealous that you're at Genoa. Good luck AK - decent start :thup:

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Time to push on with Genoa now :).

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Cheers for the comments, chaps. I'm really pleased by the start we've made, although we definitely need to be scoring more goals! That's the Italian mentality for you, though, isn't it?! Very cat and mouse at times :)

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Great career AK, very interesting read, can you tell us what happend to Liverpool, its been quite a time since you managed them but I don't see them running knock-out part of Champions League. Also collapse of Everton looks a bit fishy (since its your save as a Lpool fan:) )

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Unlucky you have missed out on Europe, but this summer you can make some changes to the squad and push on upwards in the table. :)

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Great first year in Italy and you'll only continue to improve (barring Board Idiocy)

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Great career AK, very interesting read, can you tell us what happend to Liverpool, its been quite a time since you managed them but I don't see them running knock-out part of Champions League. Also collapse of Everton looks a bit fishy (since its your save as a Lpool fan:) )

I can assure you that Everton's demise is purely coincidental ;) In fact, they now reside in the BSP and are no longer a playable team (since I've removed the Blue Square leagues from my set-up)

Here's Liverpool's league performance since I left. I was replaced by Diego Simeone, who only lasted for two years, winning the Premier League and Carling Cup in the season after I left. After his departure in 2027, everything has gone downhill pretty quickly, with no further silverware being added to the trophy cabinet. They're now on to manager number six, and certainly no longer the club I left them as.

The Champions League has been pretty much a disaster too; asides from a semi-final appearance in 2026, there's been very little to write home about. Maybe I'll go back one day, to sort them out (again)!

Unlucky you have missed out on Europe, but this summer you can make some changes to the squad and push on upwards in the table. :)
Great first year in Italy and you'll only continue to improve (barring Board Idiocy)

Thanks! :) I'm feeling really positive about the new season, so hopefully, we can start competing with the big boys soon. Unfortunately, in the real world, I've just started a new job this week, so my playing time has been reduced quite considerably (to none at all on some days!). Normal service will be resumed soon I hope!!

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Genoa: Pre-Season 2033/34

So, this will be my first full season at the club, and with a solid summer of preparation under my belt, I'm feeling confident that we will show signs of improvement. Also, with the board delivering a decent transfer budget, alongside modest expectations, I should have the luxury of embedding new players into the squad without the added pressure of expecting instant results.

Board Expectations

Serie A: Respectable league position

TIM Cup: Not important

Media Prediction: 8th

Transfer Budget: £31.5m

Wage Budget: £925k per week (currently spending £875k per week)

Transfer Summary

Key Signings: Tomislav Krajacic, Patrick Seton, Mark McCrory, Mark Akanakimana, Javier Benavides, Brahim Hamidi

As expected, there's been quite a severe amount of transfer activity this summer. 20 existing members of the squad were shipped out, with the majority leaving of them leaving 'on the cheap', being replaced by 12 new signings, including Mark Akanakimana who was with me previously at Leverkusen. I've also got money to spare, which means I can dip into the transfer market again (in January), if required, and recruit another couple of new faces if the right type of player becomes available.

All along, I had decided that some new tactics would be in order for the new season, as I look to play slightly more offensively than previously. 4-2-3-1 will be the order of the day come kick-off, with us looking to command possession as well as creating more attempts at goal. Of course, against the top four teams, we will need to play slightly more conservatively, and revert to the tactics we mastered last season. All being well, I now should have the squad to be able to play both systems effectively, as well as having a decent crop of back-ups who can make an impact from the bench.

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Some cracking signings there. Krajacic looks especially good :cool:.

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Should manage to get into Europe this time.

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Here's to your first full season leading Genoa! :thup:

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Some spending money there to play around with :D:thup:

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Cheers! :)

We've started reasonably well, but the same old problem exists; we're still not scoring enough! I've also got the horrible feeling that Krajacic is going to turn out to be a flop of Andrey Voronin proportions (6 games, 0 goals).

For now, I'm probably going to persist with the one-man attack for now, but I'm definitely considering going with two 'up top' if we don't see an improvement by Christmas.

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Genoa: Back Where We Should Be

With a solid pre-season firmly under our belts, I was feeling confident that we would improve on the 7th place finish of last season. Not that I expected a title challenge though, as Fiorentina and AC Milan are in a league of their own, but a top six finish is definitely where we should be aiming. We could also do with bit of investment off the field too, as the facilities at Luigi Ferraris are nowhere near good enough for a club of our stature; I'll be looking to encourage the board to do so in the near future, although, for now, my focus is fully on getting things right on the pitch.

Serie A 2033/34 Winter Break

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Fixtures

Going into the Christmas break, and things are looking good. We didn't start too well though, with only one win from our first four games, but we have recovered well to record a seven match unbeaten run through the months of November and December. This spell of good results has catapulted us up the league into the dizzy heights of fourth place, and well into the running for a Champions League spot. I'd be pretty surprised if we're still there come May, as I expect Inter and Sampdoria to improve on their current positions, but I'm pleased to see that we are already a lot more competitive this time around.

As I've eluded to before, we are still struggling for goals; we're the lowest scorers in the top eight, and although we've got one of the best defensive records in the whole of the league, we are still lacking that cutting edge I had hoped for at the start of the season. I've been considering a new formation (with two upfront) for a few days now, so it may be time to unleash it when we resume our campaign in the New Year. It's also likely that I'll try to sign another striker in the January transfer window, as we still don't have the talismanic forward we really need.

Fiorentina 3-0 Genoa - I didn't expect to beat the champions, but were surprised by the lack of spirit we showed in the match.

Napoli 2-4 Genoa - A fantastic win in Naples, against another side challenging in the top six.

Genoa 1-1 Inter - This is a prime example of our profligacy, dominating the game but only scraping a draw.

Juventus 3-1 Genoa - A tasty derby match, which we ended up losing after taking an early lead.

Roma 1-4 Genoa - Performance of the season so far. A fantastic day out in the capital!

Sampdoria 2-2 Genoa - The first Genova derby was an extremely even match, so a draw was a fair result.

Genoa 4-0 Lecce - Lecce aren't a bad side, so we did well to put four past them. Centre-back, Josef Maissen, was the hat-trick hero!

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Italy: The Road Down Under

World Cup Qualifying Campaign 2033/34

Not quite as convincing as I would have liked, but still, we've secured our place at the 2034 World Cup (to be played in Australia).

There's no doubt that the pool of players available to me are excellent, with two or three being right up in the 'World Class' bracket, but at times, they either all switch off completely, allowing the opposition back into the game, or just look like they can't be arsed. This may sound picky, especially considering that we went unbeaten throughout the campaign, only conceding four games, but no way should we be dropping points at home to Switzerland and Montenegro. It's these types of below-par performances that will come back to bite us on the backside if we play in such a way come the summer.

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Montenegro 1-4 Italy - Our opening fixture wasn't quite as tricky as I had envisaged.

Italy 1-1 Switzerland - Absolutely fuming! They had one shot on target, two minutes from full time, and of course, they scored from it.

Italy 2-2 Montenegro - See above!

Belgium 0-2 Italy - This result was enough to secure our qualification.

Italy 5-0 Moldova - We ran riot in our final group game, with Manolo Zonca taking the match ball home with him.

Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Team of the Year 2033 | Overall Best XI

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And here's the World Cup group stage draw...

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Not quite the draw I had hoped for!

For some reason, we had dropped down into pot number two, and will now need to do better than top seeds, Brazil, if we are to go through as group winners. A grudge match against former nation, Mexico, should also be a pretty competitive affair; I just hope they haven't improved too much since my departure. However, I won't be too disappointed if we only finish second, as there's no one team in Group A that puts the fear of god into me, although it's likely I may have to face another former nation in the knockout rounds (Australia or Egypt).

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After being away for a while, only just caught up with your career. Bloody hell! Congratulations :)

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Will be interesting to see you you deal with Brazil and Mexico. Qualification should be good :)

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A couple of pretty weak groups.

And a couple of pretty tough ones.

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Doing well with Genoa but you've found yourself in a tricky group with Italy for the World Cup.

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You're in one of the two tough groups. Mexico can be a tough game too.

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Thanks fellas! Certainly wouldn't have handpicked a group with Brazil or Mexico; would have quite easily taken group A or D though ;)

Should have an update reasonably soon - just coming to an exciting close of the Italian domestic season! :)

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Genoa CFC: Right In The Action

So, the club is quickly running out of money, and the chairman's had enough too, which can only mean one thing... a takeover is in our midst. The leading candidate, some English-led consortium, has already stated he'd like to give me the boot if he's successful; so much for British loyalty!! Anyway, whoever the new man is, they're going to need to put their hand in pocket almost immediately, and try to pull the club out of the sticky situation we find ourselves in; making a loss of £22m per season is only going to end in eventual disaster.

Finances | Transfer Summary

Serie A 2033/34 End of Season

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Position Graph | Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Season Summary | Miglior Squandra dell'Anno

Ignoring the off-field turmoil, it's been an excellent season for the club; probably the best in twelve years, with a top four finish and a cup final appearance.

As I had indicated previously, a top six finish, and European qualification, was the main aim this season, but given our encouraging start, I was hoping that we could do a bit more than that. Crucially, I made two mid-season signings, strengthening the squad with a top-rate goalkeeper (Lawrence Nyarko), as well bringing in the natural goalscorer (Luis Angel Helguera) we were lacking, which made us the tour de force of the second half of this Serie A campaign, and consolidated our position inside the top four.

Although the league table suggests we were right in the mix to win the title, we were never that particularly close to Fiorentina or AC Milan at any other point of the season. However, we did go unbeaten for the final eight league fixtures of our campaign, so that, in accumulation with the fact we beat Milan on the final day, meant that we finished a lot closer to the top than, perhaps, we really deserved. That said, I'm delighted to have had such a tremendous season, and with us finishing third, will mean we enter the Champions League directly into the Group Stages, which negates the need to qualify through any playoffs fixtures. They'll be European football at Luigi Ferraris once again!!

AC Milan 3-2 Genoa -After finding ourselves 3-0 down at half time, we came back well in the second half. Fair enough, we didn't secure a point in the end, but it was still a very credible performance against the eventual champions.

Genoa 1-1 Fiorentina - Another good showing against one of the title challengers. We probably did enough to secure all three points here.

Brescia 2-1 Genoa - A sloppy result against poor opposition.

Genoa 3-2 Juventus - A great game where we stole all three points with less than 10 minutes to go.

Lecce 2-1 Genoa - We scored from our first shot at goal in the first minute of the match, then switched off, and threw the game away.

Genoa 3-0 Roma - Not sure how we won this by three goals, but we did!

Genoa 3-1 AC Milan - Milan went into this final game of the season level on point with Fiorentina at the Serie A, knowing that they needed to match Fiorentina's result to lift the trophy. Luckily for Milan, Fiorentina lost their game away to Roma, so the title was presented to them on the pitch at Luigi Ferraris.

TIM Cup

Fixtures

The board weren't too bothered about the Coppa Italia, but as we had no European commitments, I was happy enough to have a cup run this season. After a fairly tough draw, where we had to overcome AC Milan and Napoli, we made our way to the final to play Bari. We were favourites to win, we were 2-0 up at half time, but our trip to the capital still ended in disaster, after a total collapse followed by a calamitous penalty shoot-out.

Genoa 2-2 AC Milan (4-2 on penalties) - A crazy quarter final, where we led twice after being reduced to ten men early on. We then missed a last minute penalty in extra-time, which would have made the scoreline 3-1, before Milan equalised in the dying seconds, taking the tie to penalties (which we won).

Bari 3-3 Genoa (4-3 on penalties) - 2-0 up and cruising, we let Bari back into the game when they scored twice in three minutes. They scored first in extra time, before we rescued a draw with only two minutes left to play. Penalties were not our friend this time around, as we lost 4-3 on spot-kicks.

Squad Overview

Key Players: Luis Angel Helguera (21 goals), Brahim Hamidi (Avr 7.27), Yoann Daniel (11 goals), Lawrence Nyarko (9 clean sheets), Mark Akanakimana (10 assists), Lapa (12 goals)

Fans Player of the Year: Brahim Hamidi

Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

Luis Angel Helguera, take a bow, son. 21 goals in 21 games really says it all, and showed how important it was to find the goalscorer we were lacking last year. Unfortunately, I could only sign him on loan (from Real Madrid), and has no interest in making a permanent switch to north Italy, which means I'll be back to square one again next season. However, he'll still be fondly remembered for the six months he did spend in Genova, and for the pivotal role he had in the success we've been able to achieve at the club.

The rest of the squad is getting there too, and the addition of Nyarko in goal has been a huge help, however, there's still a fair bit of work to be done. There'll be another big clear out in the summer, with another handful of players being released when their contracts expire, which should free up another £250k per week of the wage budget. Replacing Helguera is going to be a big ask, as I can't imagine finding another striker with his strengths (pace, strength and height) particularly easily, but I'll also be on the lookout for a centre-back and a couple of full-backs who are all capable of playing European football.

Career Summary

Season     Team              League                     Finish    Cups
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2011/12    Unemployed
2012/13    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet South      3rd       FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 2nd Round
2013/14    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet Premier    3rd       FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round
2014/15    Kingstonian       npower League Two          16th      FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT 1st Round
2015/16    Kingstonian       npower League Two          17th**    **Resigned 19/12/2015
          Hull City         npower League One          6th       FA Cup 4th Round
2016/17    Hull City         npower League One          1st       FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT Winner
2017/18    Hull City         npower Championship        2nd       FA Cup 5th Round, Carling Cup 2nd Round
2018/19    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    5th       FA Cup Semi-Final, Carling Cup Semi-Final
2019/20    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    7th       Europa League 2nd KO Rd, FA Cup 6th Rd, Carling Cup 3rd Rd
2020/21    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    8th**     **Resigned 13/11/2020
          Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    6th       Europa League 1st KO Rd, FA Cup 5th Rd
2021/22    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    3rd       Europa League Winners, FA Cup 4th Rd, Carling Cup QF
2022/23    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup 3rd Rd, Carling Cup QF
2023/24    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League SF, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup QF
2024/25    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    2nd       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup Winners
2025/26    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  4th       N/A
                            Primera División Clausura  3rd       Copa Argentina QF
2026/27    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  1st       Copa Sudamericana SF
                            Primera División Clausura  3rd       Copa Libertadores RU, Copa Argentina 7th Rd
2027/28    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  2nd       Copa Sudamericana Winner
                            Primera División Clausura  1st       Copa Libertadores SF, Copa Argentina RU
2028/29    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League 1st KO Rd, DFB-Pokal QF
2029/30    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Winners, DFB-Pokal Winners
2030/31    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 2nd       Europa League Winners, Club World Cup Winners
2031/32    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Runner-Up
2032/33    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 3rd**     **Resigned 25/11/2032
          Genoa             Serie A                    7th       TIM Cup Quarter Final
2033/34    Genoa             Serie A                    3rd       TIM Cup Runner-Up

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As Deltablue says, the finances will be eased massively by CL income.

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