AK22

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

1,303 posts in this topic

Probably only by so much if you're losing that much a year, but should at least minimize the losses considerably.

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Very sticky situation financially, but hopefully the Champions League will help you make some profit next season.

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Those 2 loans don't help either. Nothing you can do about those unfortunately. I wish we would be able to pay off loans early if we have the money.

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Continuing to make an impact at Genoa :thup:. How are you fairing with the transfer system? I always found the '1 foreigner allowed to be signed' rule quite annoying.

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I'm facing it at Milan and while generally I haven't minded too much it does mean you have to be very careful about it. Still, not like there aren't many quality EU players around or a few non-eu players in Italy so could be much worse.

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Well done on getting to the Champions League. Get through the groups and you won't have to worry about a £22million loss.

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The CL will really help things financially.
As Deltablue says, the finances will be eased massively by CL income.
Probably only by so much if you're losing that much a year, but should at least minimize the losses considerably.
Very sticky situation financially, but hopefully the Champions League will help you make some profit next season.
Those 2 loans don't help either. Nothing you can do about those unfortunately. I wish we would be able to pay off loans early if we have the money.

Cheers guys :) Yeah, unfortunately there's not much I do with the finances; I've been pretty frugal with the transfers, and I'm continuously reducing the wage-bill too, so that's really the maximum I can do (asides from selling off our key assets).

I'm not surprised it's got to this state though; we've only been averaging about 26000 attendance wise, so with a weekly wage bill of about £1m, we're operating at a huge loss. The Champions League revenue will certainly help this season, as will the increase in the club's profile from appearing in that competition, so gate receipts should be a tad higher too.

Continuing to make an impact at Genoa :thup:. How are you fairing with the transfer system? I always found the '1 foreigner allowed to be signed' rule quite annoying.
I'm facing it at Milan and while generally I haven't minded too much it does mean you have to be very careful about it. Still, not like there aren't many quality EU players around or a few non-eu players in Italy so could be much worse.

It can be a bit frustrating at times, especially considering the majority of the best players in my save are African or South American, so I have to be quite strategic at times! However, we're hardly at the stage yet when we are competing to sign the world's best talent, so I'm fairly happy stringing together a squad with a lot of Europeans. That said, I still make sure I taken full advantage of the rule, signing the best two non-EU players I possibly can, normally early on in the transfer window.

Well done on getting to the Champions League. Get through the groups and you won't have to worry about a £22million loss.

Thanks, Nobby. I doubt we'll get any further than the group stages though, as we're likely to be bottom seeds due to our lack of recent European participation. I'd happily take third, and the Europa League knockout stages, which will help us to continue to raise our profile as a club.

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Italy: 4 Weeks Down Under

World Cup 2034

Hosts: Australia

Holders: Mali

Odds: 6-4F Germany , 2-1 Spain, Argentina, Italy, Brazil, 5-2 Netherlands.

Going into the tournament itself, it was clear that we were one of the favourites to do well this time around. The FA wanted a semi-final appearance, and realistically, this was quite a fair expectation; anything else wouldn't be a total disaster, but definitely a severe underachievement.

Group Stages

Group B - Italy 4-2 Iran - A fairly decent start to our campaign, although I'm disappointed to have let Iran score twice.

Group B - Brazil 1-0 Italy - Perhaps we should have won, and if not won, at least drawn; Brazil got a dodgy penalty decision in their favour, which was enough to win the match.

Group B - Italy 2-1 Mexico - My former nation hadn't improved much, but still managed to score with their only shot on target.

FIFAWorldCupOverview_Stages-2-1.jpg

FIFAWorldCupOverview_Stages-3-1.jpg

The hosts had a total shocker, failing to find the net in all three games, on their way to nuls points. England weren't much better either, but the biggest shocks came in Group E where Spain and favourites, Germany, crashed out at the expense of South Africa and my old nemesis, Guatemala!

Knockout Rounds

2nd Round - Italy 2-1 Egypt - We met another of my former nations in the next round. Once again, this was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

Quarter-Final - Italy 2-2 Greece (4-2 on penalties) - This was a tense affair, which we should have put to bed long before the need for extra-time and penalties. Thankfully, we held our nerve, scoring all of our spot-kicks.

Semi-Final - Italy 3-4 Argentina - We made a terrible start, finding ourselves 3-0 down after 39 minutes, A tremendous comeback followed, and having equalised with about quarter of an hour to go, I was confident that the momentum had swung in our favour. I was wrong; we conceded a penalty, which handed victory to the Argies.

3rd Place Playoff - Columbia 1-0 Italy - Pah! Nobody cares about this match right? There's something quite ironic about the fact that the only goal was scored by my 'keeper.

FIFAWorldCupOverview_Stages-1.jpg

With several of the favourites failing to get out of their groups, the knockout stages really opened up nicely for Argentina's and Brazil's route to the final. Unfortunately for Brazil, Columbia didn't read the script, knocking them out in the quarter-final. However, undoubtedly, the surprise-package of the tournament has to go to South Africa, who made it all the way to the final before losing a very defensively-minded game against Argentina.

FIFA World Cup Dream Team

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So close! Damn those Argies ;) Interesting to see Guatemala make the Quarters let alone qualify fom group E :eek:

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Some very interesting teams making the later stages.

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Definitely seeing a possible changing of the guard there. Tough beat against Argentina.

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Some World Cup there. Guatemala did brilliantly.

Group C was incredibly close, how were the top three sorted out given they all drew with Turkey and therefore beat and lost to each other?

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Goals scored in head to head perhaps? Uruguay-Tunisia might have been 2-1 (or 3-2) and the 2 England games 1-0, for example.

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Yep, it's official, the world has gone nuts! Here's a glance at the latest rankings (post WC), which shows Greece at 3rd, Columbia at 4th and South Africa at 5th. Burkina Faso at 17th is quite interesting too! :D

Not too sure how Group C was decided (deltablue might be right though)... here's the results:

England 2-1 Uruguay

Tunisia 2-2 Turkey

England 0-1 Tunisia

Uruguay 1-1 Turkey

England 2-2 Turkey

Tunisia 1-2 Uruguay

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Almost, Uruguay have 3 head-to-head goals, Tunisia and England have two, so maybe that meant applying head to head again as Tunisia beat England. Talk about narrow.

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Ahh yes. Greece. The powerhouse of European football!

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Genoa: Pre-Season 2034/35

The takeover saga rumbled on over the early part of the summer, and due to the enforced transfer embargo, my initial transfer activity was severely limited. Thankfully, it was all done and dusted by early July, and even though the new chairman had indicated that he was to replace me, he finally decided that I was the right man to take the club forward.

We're now a consortium-led club, headed by British businessman, Ryan Holmes, and backed by a mixture of Italian, Portuguese and English directors. They've invested £15m into the club coffers, which has certainly steadied the ship, in addition to agreeing to improve the training facilities as well the youth recruitment network. It seems they are a bit more ambitious than the previous head honcho, which, generally speaking, is no bad thing, although they have already upped the anti considerably when it comes to the expectations for the season; I suppose they want value for the money they've invested!!

Board Expectations

Serie A: Qualify for the Champions League

UEFA Champions League: First Knockout Round

TIM Cup: Not important

Media Prediction: 5th

Transfer Budget: £5.25m

Wage Budget: £1m per week (currently spending £939k per week)

Transfer Summary

Key Signings: Varcán Moreno (DC) Free, Eslin Van Wijk (ST) £500k, Edward Konieczny (DL) £2m, Krum Zafirov (MR) Free, Zlatko Novakovic (ST) £2m, Jérôme Leblanc (ST) £1.2m, Alex (MC) Free, Michal Blad (ML) £3.6m

The search for that elusive goalscorer continued over the summer. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find someone of Helguera's calibre again, so plumped for three individuals who should all have a decent chance of finding the net every once in a while. All the other signings should be an improvement on what we already had at the club, making the overall squad slightly stronger than last season's, although I'd be amazed if we finish any higher than fourth place. Realistically, as long as we finish in the top six again, I'd rate this as another successful season.

By far my biggest concern, is the lack of home-grown Italians in the first team squad, which will have severe implications when it comes to naming my 25 man Champions League squad. If I hadn't have signed midfielder, Alex, it would have been likely that the first team would have had zero home-grown players in the ranks, and I would have had to name a minute CL squad. Unfortunately, this is something that is unlikely to improved upon in the near future, as a good deal of long term planning and strategy will be needed to ensure we blood the necessary Italian talent into the first team squad; for now, we'll just have to grin and bear, taking as much CL prize money as possible!

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Some good recruits with the limited money you had available. I guess you didn't rate your current strikeforce, having signed three new ones!

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Yep, it's official, the world has gone nuts! Here's a glance at the latest rankings (post WC), which shows Greece at 3rd, Columbia at 4th and South Africa at 5th. Burkina Faso at 17th is quite interesting too! :D

Not too sure how Group C was decided (deltablue might be right though)... here's the results:

England 2-1 Uruguay

Tunisia 2-2 Turkey

England 0-1 Tunisia

Uruguay 1-1 Turkey

England 2-2 Turkey

Tunisia 1-2 Uruguay

Of course the actual FIFA rules state that if all else is equal then the teams who go through will be decided upon by drawing lots - don't think this has ever happened but I think it was very, very close a couple of years ago. I think FM would rank the teams alphabetically in this situation.

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Drawing lots happened in the qualifiers once I think, Turkey-Spain for 1954, though not even 'aggregate score' applied let alone away goals.

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Genoa: Right In The Thick Of It

Serie A is definitely one of the most cagiest leagues to play in, so I need to make the most of my tactical nous if we are going secure another top four position this season. We certainly don't have the strongest squad in the league, meaning that we will need to prove ourselves extremely difficult to beat if we're going to match the dizzy heights of last year; I'm more than happy to win matches 1-0 if that guarantees another season of Champions League football!

Serie A 2034/35 Winter Break

SerieATIMOverview_Stages-1.jpg

Fixtures

35 points on the board, and only eight goals conceded; the first half of the season has most definitely been a success! Of course, there has been a couple of minor blips, but I'm still delighted to be only three points behind the league leaders and right in contention for Champions League qualification. Once again, the only slight concern is the lack of goals, where we could do with being slightly more clinical with the chances we are creating, as we're still missing the composed striker that can score 20+ a season. However, it's not been overly detrimental to our campaign so far, and the squad is chipping in the best they can. Perhaps I'll pull a rabbit out of the hat in the January transfer window, again?

Sampdoria 0-3 Genoa - Our first league fixture of the campaign was away to our main rivals, and we definitely started the season well!

Inter 2-0 Genoa - A sloppy defeat against one of the other teams challenging for the Champions League spots.

Genoa 3-1 Fiorentina - Three massive points against the Serie A bookies favourites.

AC Milan 2-1 Genoa - We played so well against the defending champions, and should have taken at least a point home with us.

Genoa 1-1 Bari - Disappointing. Bari are one of my bogey teams (alongside Lecce), and held us to a draw.

Napoli 0-2 Genoa - The last match before Christmas, and another three points in the bag.

Champions League Group Stage (Group H)

UEFAChampionsLeagueOverview_Stages-1.jpg

Fixtures

What a pleasant surprise European football has been!

Having been fourth seeds, I wasn't confident of getting any further than the group stage, and would have quite easily dropped down into the Europa League. Having then drawn Arsenal (8 times consecutive Premier League champions) and At. Madrid, I knew something quite special would need to happen if we were going to reach the knockout rounds. Somehow, something special did happen, and we managed to top the group!

Arsenal 1-2 Genoa - I certainly didn't expect to take all three points back from my travels in London!

Rangers 1-2 Genoa - Another successful trip back to the UK.

Genoa 3-0 Arsenal - We did the double over the Arse, securing our qualification to the knockout stages.

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Doing brilliantly with Genoa and that World Cup was something else but unlucky in your loss to Argentina!

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Great news on qualifying from the Champions League! Even better that you defeated Arsenal :)

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Good to see things still progressing nicely AK. Milan still look a class above everyone else though. How far behind them d'you think you (and I suppose the rest of Serie A) are?

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Caught up with like 4 pages during today, great job in Estudiantes and later for Leverkusen, albeit I'd be frustrated at coming so close twice and not getting the Libertadores, and at not getting much dominant consistency in Leverkusen. You were due a Champions League tho after the Liverpool times.

Odd move to Genoa then altho I can understand wanting a challenge this much into the future, with such a large trophy cabinet. Coming nicely now.

With the national sides I don't think it's been as impressive as with clubs, par for the course with Mexico then always positive to reach a WC semi-final and Argentina were very tough opponents, nevertheless it's a world class team.

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Good stuff in a tough group.
Doing brilliantly with Genoa and that World Cup was something else but unlucky in your loss to Argentina!
Did very well in that Champions League group.
Great news on qualifying from the Champions League! Even better that you defeated Arsenal :)

Cheers! The Champions League performances were a huge surprise. We've got Dortmund up next, which is certainly a winnable tie, so maybe we might make the last eight of the competition.

Good to see things still progressing nicely AK. Milan still look a class above everyone else though. How far behind them d'you think you (and I suppose the rest of Serie A) are?
Milan aren't that far ahead.

Milan and Fiorentina are definitely the ones to beat at the moment. Although we only finished two points behind them last season, and the gap's still about the same this season so far too, I'd say it's going to take something quite special for any side to overturn them at the top of Serie A. Realistically, I'm looking at three or four seasons of continuous CL qualification in order to raise enough money to build a squad capable of challenging for the title. Siena have started well though (but are severely overachieving!) :eek:

Caught up with like 4 pages during today, great job in Estudiantes and later for Leverkusen, albeit I'd be frustrated at coming so close twice and not getting the Libertadores, and at not getting much dominant consistency in Leverkusen. You were due a Champions League tho after the Liverpool times.

Odd move to Genoa then altho I can understand wanting a challenge this much into the future, with such a large trophy cabinet. Coming nicely now.

With the national sides I don't think it's been as impressive as with clubs, par for the course with Mexico then always positive to reach a WC semi-final and Argentina were very tough opponents, nevertheless it's a world class team.

Thanks, noikeee; I think I'm about to give up on international management soon, as I don't particularly enjoy it, and I'm not having much luck on this save either. That said, I've continued with Italy since the WC, as I still think there's a trophy in the squad I've got there, so will have a good as chance as any when the Euros come around in 2036. After that, I might call it a day with the national sides, and just focus on my domestic club. Really enjoying Genoa, though, as I'm seeing definite signs of improvement- just a shame real life is preventing me putting in the hours I would like to!! :mad:

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Almost, Uruguay have 3 head-to-head goals, Tunisia and England have two, so maybe that meant applying head to head again as Tunisia beat England. Talk about narrow.

yes, I think that is exactly the technique. Eliminating the results against Turkey means Uruguay come top on goals scored. Then it can go head to head to separate Tunisia and England. Kudos to SI if their algorithm worked all that out.

great career btw AK22

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Genoa CFC: Punching Above Our Weight

As we continue to improve dramatically on the pitch, things off the field are starting to look more rosy too. We made a £44m profit this season, helped mainly by the extra £40m we received from the Champions League TV revenue and prize money, but also by the frugality I've shown in the transfer market. I've also significantly reduced the wage bill by about £100k per week, making us only the 8th biggest spenders in the league, and well within our means. Probably, this will need to change over the coming seasons if we are going to consistently compete for silverware, but for now, I'm delighted to have righted the ship.

Finances | Transfer Summary

Serie A 2034/35 End of Season

SerieATIMOverview_Stages-2-1.jpg

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

Asides from a couple of sloppy defeats, I couldn't be happier with the way the season has panned out; even more so by the fact we sneaked into second place on the final day of the season, when Milan lost at home to Palermo!

More often than not, 84 points would be enough to lift the Scudetto trophy, so although it's slightly disappointing to end the season empty-handed, I'm delighted that we've now got a side couple of racking up enough points to be considered as genuine title challengers. Unfortunately for us, and the rest of the league, Fiorentina had a terrific year, and were thoroughly deserved of their success; the six point advantage over the chasing pack does not do justice to just how dominant they've been.

Genoa 4-0 Portosummaga - The first fixture back after Christmas, and a commanding victory to match.

Genoa 4-0 Sampdoria - We comfortably won another Genova derby, helped by two Sampdoria own goals.

Genoa 1-2 Lecce - A very poor show, and three points thrown away against mid-table opposition.

Genoa 0-4 Inter - The bad run of form continued as we were trounced at home by Inter.

Vicenza 0-5 Genoa - Much better; five shots on target, five goals. Clinical!

Juventus 0-4 Genoa - A pleasant trip to our neighbours in Turin.

Genoa 1-0 AC Milan - We outplayed the defending champions, and fully deserved the victory.

Genoa 3-0 Napoli - This result guaranteed Champions League football for another season.

UEFA Champions League

UEFAChampionsLeagueOverview_Stages-2-1.jpg

Fixtures

Our return to Champions League action has gone a lot better than expected. Besides the fact, I didn't really expect to make it out of our group, getting into the Quarter-Final was a lot more than anyone at the club could have hoped for; especially considering our lack of European football experience.

Perhaps we should have done even better, as we really should have beaten CSKA Moscow, and I would have fancied our chances against OM in the semis, so it may have been an opportunity lost. That said, I've got no real reason to grumble, as making the last eight is still a great achievement, and as CSKA went on to reach the final, they're probably not as bad as I previously thought they were.

Dortmund 1-1 Genoa - A solid first leg in Germany, setting us up nicely for the return match.

Genoa 5-0 Dortmund - Better than I could have ever imagined, we totally put the Germans to the sword. Mark Akanakimana stole the headlines with four tremendous goals.

Genoa 1-2 CSKA Moscow - We started the quarter-final slowly, and found ourselves 0-2 down before we knew it.

CSKA Moscow 0-1 Genoa - Disappointingly, we went out on away goals, after a decent showing in Moscow.

Squad Overview

Key Players: Javier Benavides (20 assists), Varcán Moreno, Edward Konieczny, Dave Nooij, Lawrence Nyarko (24 clean sheets), Mark Akanakimana (17 goals), Lapa (12 goals), Eslin Van Wijk (9 goals)

Fans Player of the Year: Javier Benavides

Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

The stand-out figures in the squad this year has to be the defence and goalkeeper; Moreno, Konieczny, Nooij and Nyarko have all contributed to the 24 clean sheets we registered, making ours the second best defence in Italy. Unfortunately, Moreno will be leaving in the summer, as a Man Utd bid proved too difficult for him to refuse, and will leave a huge gap that will need filling over the summer. At least, I'll be able to guarantee Champions League football to any new recruit.

You could certainly say that being hard to beat has been our trademark this season, but we've also looked stronger going forward too, even without the natural goalscorer we're still lacking. I think Van Wijk has the potential to be the talismanic front man we need, but he's extremely injury prone, and missed nearly half of our league fixtures this season through ailments. They'll be a few new recruits over the summer, so hopefully I can improve further on our scoring record.

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
2034/35    Genoa             Serie A                    2nd       Champions League QF, TIM Cup QF

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A very good season,some signings in the areas you need should see you get silverware.

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Serie A's mega tough at the top as I know from experience.

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Next year, finish 1st to keep up with the pattern. ;)

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Great job on getting to the quarter finals in the CL! Only lost out on penalties; could have easily gone your way :)

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Cheers for the comments :thup:

It's really rewarding at the moment, seeing the team getting better season on season, although I'm not convinced we're good enough yet to be considered as one of the big three/four in Italy. Considering the amount of investment recently (or lack of it), we're definitely overachieving at the moment; whether we can go one better next season depends on the impact of any new signings over the summer. I really want a top-rate striker though!!!

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Genoa: Pre-Season 2035/36

The board offered a new contract my way over the summer, an extension of five years. After negotiating a small payrise (£5k per week), I've signed on the dotted line, which will see me at the club until 2040. Hopefully, this will keep the continuity going at the club, and gives me plenty of time to chase down that elusive Serie A title. It will also help with my job security, ensuring that even if we have a small blip in the coming seasons, it will cost the board a small fortune to get rid of me!

Board Expectations

Serie A: Qualify for the Champions League

UEFA Champions League: First Knockout Round

TIM Cup: Not important

Media Prediction: 5th

Transfer Budget: £48.5m

Wage Budget: £925k per week (currently spending £813k per week)

Transfer Summary[/url]

Key Signings: Daniele Savi (ST) £5m, Antonio Augusto Gomes (GK) £6m, Jan Kobr (DC) £6m, Rok Panic (MC) £2.8m, Subhash Sharma (AMRL) £3.3m, Noureddine Yildrim (ST) Free, Cristian Griffa (ST) Free

A big summer of transfer activity, which saw a huge overhaul of the playing squad and a lot of money change hands.

Having sold off both my leading defender and strongest goalkeeper for a combined £34m, I was left with a considerable amount of money to invest into the playing staff, with Rok Panic probably being the pick of the bunch (plus he has a fantastic name!); Jan Kobr and Antonio Augusto Gomes were signed as the main replacements for the players who left.

I've also signed a further three strikers to add to the increasing numbers already at the club; I hope that I have now finally found 'the one', although I'm not too certain who that might be yet!

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I think you seriously ripped Sturm Graz off. Panic looks an absolute bargain! :D

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Panic all around! ... for the other guys ;)

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Slowly slowly catchy monkey. Inching ever closer to the Scudetto.

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I think you seriously ripped Sturm Graz off. Panic looks an absolute bargain! :D
I agree with Matt - No Panic buy there! :D
Panic all around! ... for the other guys ;)

:D One of my favourite FM names of all time! Shame he can't get a place in the starting eleven at the moment- my current central midfielders are on fire!

Slowly slowly catchy monkey. Inching ever closer to the Scudetto.

Thanks Nobby- we're getting there! We've also started the new season exceptionally well...

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Genoa: On The Right Track

After such an intense summer of transfer activity, my immediate concern was how quickly the new signings would settle in and gel with their team-mates. Also in the back of my mind was a shadow of doubt regarding how the defence would hold up, considering I had sold off my first choice 'keeper and centre back in the summer- would the shop be as tight as the previous couple of years? No doubt, the basis of any success in Italy is a solid defensive unit, so selling two of last season's back five could be considered a bit risky.

Serie A 2035/36 Winter Break

SerieATIMOverview_Stages-1.jpg

Fixtures

After a slow start, which included a defeat at home to Napoli, it took a few games for the team to find their rhythm. Once they did, the goals flowed, and back-to-back wins started to build up. In fact, nine straight Serie A victories catapulted the team to the top of the table, and in to pole position at the Christmas break.

As good as our position looks on paper, we've yet to be overly tested against by the chasing pack, and will have to play tricky fixtures away to Milan, Fiorentina and Inter, all in the New Year; a couple of defeats in those games and things will look a lot different. That said, currently, we've got the best away record in the league, winning seven out of the eight matches played, conceding only six goals, so will go into those games with a fair bit of confidence knowing that we are quite capable of taking points off our rivals.

Roma 0-1 Genoa - We won our tricky opening fixture against tycoon-owned Roma... just!

Genoa 0-1 Napoli - A sloppy early season defeat.

Genoa 2-0 Fiorentina - Three well deserved points against the defending champions.

Sampdoria 1-5 Genoa - Javier Benavides was the talk of the town after bagging a hat-trick in the Genova derby.

Genoa 7-0 Verona - Poor Hellas Verona- they never stood a chance!

Genoa 2-0 AC Milan - Another crucial six-pointer victory.

Genoa 6-1 Lecce - The curse of Lecce has finally been broken... and convincingly so!

Champions League Group Stage (Group D)

UEFAChampionsLeagueOverview_Stages-1.jpg

Fixtures

The group stage was fairly routine this year, picking up five wins from the six matches played. Really, we should have won all six, as we were comfortably leading in St Petersburg before surrendering our advantage. By far the biggest surprise was how **** poor my former side, and once Champions of Europe, Leverkusen, were, scraping together only four points, and stumbling into the Europa League by the skin of their teeth; their squad's still full of players I signed in my tenure there, so it's very disappointing to see such a meek offering from them.

Next up for us... Arsenal.

Genoa 2-0 Leverkusen - We dominated from start to finish against my former club.

Zenit 3-2 Genoa - Two late goals robbed us of our 100% record.

Leverkusen 1-3 Genoa - A great return to Germany, matched by a fantastic team performance.

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