crouchaldinho

'Lessons in Calcio' - Crouchy, Facci Sognare!

545 posts in this topic

So, I signed up a Portuguese midfielder called David Simao as a replacement for that weird 'non-signing'. An experienced playmaking midfielder who was previously at Parma.

He costs us £750,000. At 31-years-old, he'll be a short-term solution to the central midfield problem. He has been capped 12 times for his country and scored 4 goals.

He is a good technical player with good passing, creativity and decisions. I think he will do well for us this season. At least he comes in from another Italian side so should settle immediately.

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So that's it, last signing of the summer. Simao will also become my new captain as his experience is the best in the squad and he has the right kind of mental attributes.

The fans seem really happy with this signing and I think he could end up being a bargain. Maybe not setting the world alight but hopefully adding valuable experience and improving the team with his ability to dictate play in midfield.

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How'd you manage to get Okeke? :D

Kid looks quality.

After reading through this thread, you've made me a little jealous Mr. crouch. I never experience anything like this because I just about always go with my favorite club, man united :D

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Seems a decent move.

Yes, I think he could end up being an important player for us actually.

How'd you manage to get Okeke? :D

Kid looks quality.

After reading through this thread, you've made me a little jealous Mr. crouch. I never experience anything like this because I just about always go with my favorite club, man united :D

We were lucky with Okeke as nobody else was bidding for him. It helped that he was unhappy at sc Heerenveen and looking for a move.

You should try a career save Aderow! You'd enjoy it by the sounds of it!

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Newcastle fans can begin tentatively to celebrate as they look forward to appointing a new manager! Apparently, the media have suggested that taking over from Alan Shearer will be either Phil Brown or Crouchaldinho!

With that kind of calibre of manager in the reckoning, Geordies everywhere will be looking forward to the future!

Hi SnakeXe! :D

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Apparently, the media have suggested that taking over from Alan Shearer will be either Phil Brown or Crouchaldinho!

Not the toughest choice in the world :D

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Not the toughest choice in the world :D

Yep. They went for Phil Brown! :D

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Newcastle fans can begin tentatively to celebrate as they look forward to appointing a new manager! Apparently, the media have suggested that taking over from Alan Shearer will be either Phil Brown or Crouchaldinho!

With that kind of calibre of manager in the reckoning, Geordies everywhere will be looking forward to the future!

Hi SnakeXe! :D

With Crouchy on side, I'd be looking forward to trophies galore! Phil Brown, on the other hand, I'd be reaching for the liquor cabinet...

Yep. They went for Phil Brown! :D

OH GOOOOD :(:mad:

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Well I've gone and done it. I started a career save.

Started a career save as england manager with automatic reputation. First press conference went horrible and so did my first match, but managed to qualify for the world cup.

Its been 6 months and I just linked with the Cremonese job. Decisions decisions :D

Looking forward to your next update :thup:

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I'm quite curious if you can save your team next year from relegation, Hellas Verona is a fantastic club. Seeing their stadium IRL is one of my priorities on my next holiday.

I had a great save with them in FM 2010, fantastic fans imho!

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With Crouchy on side, I'd be looking forward to trophies galore! Phil Brown, on the other hand, I'd be reaching for the liquor cabinet...

OH GOOOOD :(:mad:

Thought you might not be best pleased! :D

Well that's Newcastle for you.

:D

Well I've gone and done it. I started a career save.

Good luck with the save!

Its been 6 months and I just linked with the Cremonese job. Decisions decisions

Good club! I like Cremonese!

Looking forward to your next update

One coming very soon. Been meaning to type it up for a little while but have been distracted by the Euros!

I'm quite curious if you can save your team next year from relegation, Hellas Verona is a fantastic club. Seeing their stadium IRL is one of my priorities on my next holiday.

I had a great save with them in FM 2010, fantastic fans imho!

Yeah, I love playing with Hellas Verona on FM! Looking to match Bagnoli's achievements with them, maybe, possibly, hopefully!

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Hey guys. I could do with some help and advice regarding this save. Would appreciate some opinions.

Essentially, to get straight to the point, I'm looking to remove some leagues from this save. I originally loaded leagues from 12 countries and my computer is coping okay but the save runs a little slower than I'd like and I'd really like to speed it up a little. Also, as this save has been primarily an Italian journeyman save, it seems a little counter productive to have so many leagues from other countries running. I do definitely intend to move away from Italy after hopefully making my name in the top division but by that point certain leagues I have loaded will become pretty much irrelevant. I mean, as I'm now a top flight manager in Italy, it seems unlikely that my next move would be to a smaller league like Sweden, for example.

I've decided that I would like to have leagues from 8 countries running, so that means losing 4. I imagine that will significantly speed up the game and therefore make it a bit more fun for me to play. Also, it will get rid of unnecessary leagues at this stage that I'm unlikely to use anyway. I think 8 is a good number of countries (I'm using Dafuge's FM11 save as a model for this decision).

To make this decision, I decided to organise the countries by their top division reputation and I came up with this list:

England 180

Spain 180

Germany 172

Italy 170

France 155

Portugal 145

Netherlands 134

Argentina 130

Mexico 130

US 116

Uruguay 103

Sweden 102

At the outset, I can tell you that I almost certainly want England (even though I'll probably never manage there), Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Argentina.

I have a firm reasoning behind most of these choices. It feels wrong not to have England loaded even though I'm unlikely to end up managing there. Spain and Germany would both represent good moves to somewhere different when I decide to end the 'lessons in calcio' project! Italy obviously has to stay. France would be interesting and has some clubs that I might like to try to manage. And Argentina feels like a good match with the Italian theme as well as representing a move outside Europe and therefore outside of my comfort zone.

The remaining countries are: Portugal, Netherlands, Mexico, US, Uruguay and Sweden.

Portugal seems like a good match and maybe a similar style of league to Italy. It could be quite interesting as I've never managed there, so this is a firm possibility to keep in my mind. The Netherlands is one I'm really struggling to make my mind up with as although the clubs there have tended to produce great players for me in previous FM saves, I've never actually managed in the league and been put off going there. I'm a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1 kind of guy and I always feel like the Netherlands is somewhere for 4-5-1/4-3-3 people (a formation I don't really like to play!) and therefore it puts me off going there. Mexico is somewhere I've wanted to try but the league structure is similar to Argentina's structure, as far as I can work out, and I'd prefer to go to Argentina as it fits in better with my Italian theme. The US interests me but I think it unlikely that I would go there in this save, to be honest. Maybe I will try a US, Mexico and South American type save in the future and load Mexico and the US. So maybe those two countries are really for another save. Finally, Uruguay and Sweden were really in here as wildcards and I think it seems unlikely that I'll move there after making my name in Italy.

So this is how my preferred countries versus my 'not sure' countries table would look:

England 180

Spain 180

Germany 172

Italy 170

France 155

Argentina 130

----------------------

Portugal 145

Netherlands 134

Mexico 130

US 116

Uruguay 103

Sweden 102

So people, I obviously really need some help here. :D If you know me by now, you'll know about my OCD when it comes to these things. Please help me out of this agony of uncertainty and help me to make a decision! :p:D

Any advice or comments appreciated! :)

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I'd keep Portugal and the Netherlands, ditch the others, aside from Mexico with on balance I'd take out but might just keep.

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Keep Mexico and the Netherlands get rid of the rest.

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I love Portugal for various reasons, very few limits on your squad, a 30 game league season & 2 good cups. So I would advocate for keeping it in the game, as for the other 5 options, my thoughts below:

Sweden: Seems out of place in the save which has a lot of strong leagues, though it does have a lot of lower clubs, and it could be interesting to step down and do something completely different.

Uruguay: Maybe this would be an option to keep some more South American flavour in the game.

USA: While you won't likely manage there it is a toss-up as it adds a bit of a different flavour to the game as well.

Mexico: Kind of similar to the last two, it adds a bit of flavour with something different to follow along with.

Netherlands: I am not sure if it adds anything to the game, but it is somewhere that you could manage.

Conclusions: If you want to keep leagues that you could manage in then add Portugal & Netherlands, if you want something different then I would keep two of the American leagues. Personally I would keep Portugal and one of Mexico/Uruguay/USA, but not sure which one.

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Thanks for the replies guys. I appreciate it! :)

I'd keep Portugal and the Netherlands, ditch the others, aside from Mexico with on balance I'd take out but might just keep.

Yes, I'm starting to think along the same lines as that Deltablue. I might even keep Mexico as well actually and maybe just go for 9 countries removing the bottom three in terms of reputation.

Keep Mexico and the Netherlands get rid of the rest.

Yes, I know you wanted me to try Mexico at some point AB! I think maybe I should try Mexico in this save. Could be a good 'late career' move.

I love Portugal for various reasons, very few limits on your squad, a 30 game league season & 2 good cups. So I would advocate for keeping it in the game,

I know you are a fan of Portugal LLR! I'm pretty certain on keeping Portugal and your post has made me feel more sure that I should keep it as an option.

as for the other 5 options, my thoughts below:

Sweden: Seems out of place in the save which has a lot of strong leagues, though it does have a lot of lower clubs, and it could be interesting to step down and do something completely different.

I really did want to try Sweden but I think it is a bit out of place. I think Sweden is probably one for another save.

Uruguay: Maybe this would be an option to keep some more South American flavour in the game.

I think due to the low rep, I'm unlikely to manage there. I think it's a likely candidate to go and, again, maybe one for another type of save.

USA: While you won't likely manage there it is a toss-up as it adds a bit of a different flavour to the game as well.

That's true although I'm not sure how much it adds in terms of players etc. if I'm not managing there. I think it's one I'll lose on this save in favour of trying it out in a future save.

Mexico: Kind of similar to the last two, it adds a bit of flavour with something different to follow along with.

I'm more and more thinking that this might be worth keeping just for a wildcard option.

Netherlands: I am not sure if it adds anything to the game, but it is somewhere that you could manage.

Yes, you're right, I could still manage there. I'm tending to think that the Netherlands could still have something to offer even though I'm not a 'total football' type of manager so I'll likely keep it.

Conclusions: If you want to keep leagues that you could manage in then add Portugal & Netherlands, if you want something different then I would keep two of the American leagues. Personally I would keep Portugal and one of Mexico/Uruguay/USA, but not sure which one.

I think keep Portugal, Netherlands and Mexico.

Pretty sure but there is still time to change my mind!

What I might do is just remove two at the end of this season (likely Sweden and Uruguay) and see how much difference that makes. Then I could move another one or two if I think I need to do so the next season.

Thanks so much for the input guys. I'm useless at making these decisions. :D Any if anyone else has any thoughts, please still feel free to add them, as I likely won't make any permanent decision just yet (I still have an update to do for my recent season).

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The Netherlands, Mexico, and flip a coin. Portugal is quiet similar to Spain, but with enough differentiation that it could fit comfortably. But NED and MEX offer the most interesting "twists" in the narrative, I believe.

I would perhaps argue for NED, MEX, and Sweden. Conquer the world, win your cups, wind down the career first with a few years in Sweden as final proof of taking a side beyond what it could do before, and then semi-retire to a coastal club in Mexico, mixing scouting trips with margaritas on the beach.

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Lose Germany for not letting any real players exist in the national team in the game. :)

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I would definitely keep Holland on and then its a toss up between Portugal and Mexico.

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The Netherlands, Mexico, and flip a coin. Portugal is quiet similar to Spain, but with enough differentiation that it could fit comfortably. But NED and MEX offer the most interesting "twists" in the narrative, I believe.

I would perhaps argue for NED, MEX, and Sweden. Conquer the world, win your cups, wind down the career first with a few years in Sweden as final proof of taking a side beyond what it could do before, and then semi-retire to a coastal club in Mexico, mixing scouting trips with margaritas on the beach.

I like the last bit! :D

Lose Germany for not letting any real players exist in the national team in the game.

They've got real players in my game. ;)

I would definitely keep Holland on and then its a toss up between Portugal and Mexico.

I think maybe I'll keep all three actually!

Keep Portugal & Holland

I think Portugal is pretty certain and probably Netherlands too really. :thup:

Will this be back with the demise of Crouchson?

Yes, the plan is to come back to this next. I already have a new update to put up at some point soon but I haven't written it all up yet.

Quite excited to head back to Verona and pick up where I left off on this save. :)

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I forgot to say thanks to everyone for the helpful replies regarding my difficult decision. I appreciate it very much. :)

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Crouchy's 'Lessons in Calcio' Journeyman Save - Project 5: Hellas Verona (Season Three at Marcantonio Bentegodi 2021/22)

140px-Hellas_Verona_FC_logo.svg.png

Click here for post 446 which shows the situation we were in during pre-season. Once again, I played through the winter and neglected to do a winter break update! :o

Below, I'm posting up two images of the results we recorded this season, broken up into the first half and the second half of the season. I'll talk you briefly through the results and my thoughts as we tackled the job of surviving our second season in Serie A.

Results for first half of the season

Considering our status as relegation battlers, and the fact that we are definitely weaker than the majority of sides at this level, we started very well. Solid but not spectacular was the order of the day for each of our matches as we generally restricted the opposition's chances and tried to nick a goal on the break.

Our first win came at home against Genoa in mid-September. We were then impressive in Milan despite losing, following this loss up with a fantastic 2-0 victory at home to Juventus!

We got off to a terrible start in October with a 4-0 loss away to Palermo. This was the first time that I was really disappointed with the efforts of my side and the first time that there was really any massive difference between us and our opponents.

In late October, Michael Okeke, our great hope for this season, went on a bit of a scoring streak. He scored six goals in the period from late October to the winter break and was awesome for us. The wins were hard to come by but we at least managed to pick up the odd draw too. At this stage, things were going fairly well and we were in a much better position compared to last season.

Results for the second half of the season

The most important news to tell you is that we lost star striker Michael Okeke in the January transfer window. Lyon came in with a £13.25m offer for him which matched his minimum fee release clause. I had no choice but to deal with the fact that we were going to lose him. It probably made financial sense to do so, given that this was a £6.5m profit, but I felt really disappointed not to have had the opportunity to watch this player grow at my club.

I moved quickly to bring in a replacement. In my opinion, I got a real bargain, signing Portuguese striker Hugo Paulico from Al-Gharrafa for £3.5m. He's in his mid-20s and has all the attributes needed to be a top Serie A striker. It's not a like for like in terms of the fact that Okeke is the much better player, but I think we did good business here to bring in a quality player. There will be more about Paulico in the 'key players' part of this update (see below).

The second half of the season kicked off with us in some excellent form. After a draw at home to Napoli, we went on a three game winning streak. Paulico picked up his first goal in an away win versus Bari at the end of January.

At the end of February, we started a run of games that would only see us losing one game between then and the end of the season. The game that started it all was a win away to Benevento with Hugo Paulico getting the only goal. Then, we managed to win six more games, draw four and only lose one out of the remaining 11 matches. Something just clicked and we became hard to beat. The basis of this success was still being tight at the back and winning by a single goal most of the time. Paulico began to settle and scored seven goals in this excellent run of form. Our best result was possible the away win to Inter Milan, in which we managed to grab a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from McCullough and Paulico. My good luck against the Milan sides seems to be continuing! We finished the season in really strong form with a 4-0 thrashing of Siena at home.

This season, we performed excellently, really proving ourselves to be overachievers. To finish 11th in the league was really excellent progress. Our defensive record is one of the best in league, which shows you how we have gone about improving our status in Serie A. The goals for column, however, is one of the poorest in the league. Although we had a superb striker in Okeke for the first half of the season, and now a great striker in Hugo Paulico, we didn't have the quality in other positions to create chances for them. It tells you everything you need to know when you see that Keammar Daley, a 34-year-old Jamaican international worth 50k with mediocre attributes, is one of our key players for the season!

All in all, however, I'm delighted with the progress we've made. I feel that I just need to bring in some creativity, especially in midfield. Looking at my team right now, I see that we are strong in goal and mostly across the back four, and fairly strong up front, but really lacking in the middle of the park and in the wide positions. So it's clear what will be my key objective in the transfer market this summer.

Information & Screenshots:

Final table:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team       |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | ECC   | Ascoli     |       | 38    | 22    | 8     | 8     | 74    | 46    | +28   | 74    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | ECC   | Inter      |       | 38    | 20    | 11    | 7     | 57    | 29    | +28   | 71    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   | ECC   | Lazio      |       | 38    | 20    | 9     | 9     | 59    | 40    | +19   | 69    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   | EC    | Palermo    |       | 38    | 19    | 10    | 9     | 62    | 31    | +31   | 67    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   | EC    | Roma       |       | 38    | 18    | 11    | 9     | 61    | 44    | +17   | 65    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Juventus   |       | 38    | 15    | 16    | 7     | 63    | 43    | +20   | 61    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7th   |       | Sampdoria  |       | 38    | 16    | 9     | 13    | 56    | 46    | +10   | 57    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8th   |       | Bari       |       | 38    | 15    | 11    | 12    | 54    | 55    | -1    | 56    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 9th   |       | Milan      |       | 38    | 15    | 10    | 13    | 58    | 58    | 0     | 55    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 10th  |       | Genoa      |       | 38    | 15    | 9     | 14    | 60    | 51    | +9    | 54    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
[b]| 11th  |       | Verona     |       | 38    | 14    | 12    | 12    | 41    | 43    | -2    | 54    | [/b]
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 12th  | EC    | Fiorentina |       | 38    | 12    | 16    | 10    | 63    | 48    | +15   | 52    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 13th  |       | Udinese    |       | 38    | 12    | 15    | 11    | 62    | 58    | +4    | 51    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 14th  |       | Torino     |       | 38    | 11    | 12    | 15    | 50    | 59    | -9    | 45    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 15th  |       | Siena      |       | 38    | 11    | 12    | 15    | 46    | 57    | -11   | 45    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 16th  |       | Napoli     |       | 38    | 10    | 11    | 17    | 47    | 53    | -6    | 41    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 17th  |       | Taranto    |       | 38    | 9     | 11    | 18    | 40    | 59    | -19   | 38    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 18th  | R     | Benevento  |       | 38    | 8     | 9     | 21    | 44    | 70    | -26   | 33    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 19th  | R     | Catania    |       | 38    | 8     | 8     | 22    | 50    | 75    | -25   | 32    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 20th  | R     | Chievo     |       | 38    | 1     | 8     | 29    | 17    | 99    | -82   | 11    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Italian Cup: As you can see from the result images above, we went out at the earliest stage we entered, losing to Cagliari at home after a penalty shoot-out in the 3rd qualifying round.

Transfers:

IN:

| Date               | Person             | From               | Fee                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1.7.2021           | Okeke, Michael     | sc Heerenveen      | £6.75M             | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3.7.2021           | Paulinho           | Fluminense         | Loan               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4.7.2021           | Villafañez, Lucas  | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4.7.2021           | Gardner, Robert    | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4.7.2021           | Larsen, Torben     | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7.7.2021           | Diarra, Drissa     | Sampdoria          | £2.2M              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 9.7.2021           | Quercia, Cataldo   | Marseille          | £5M                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 17.8.2021          | Simão, David       | Parma              | £750K              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 10.1.2022          | Paulico, Hugo      | Al-Gharrafa        | £3.5M              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
|                    | Total              |                    | £18.25M            | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

I think I spent well. It's just a shame I didn't work for very long with the talented Michael Okeke. Hugo Paulico was an excellent replacement though.

OUT:

| Date               | Person                | To                 | Fee                | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2021          | Boniperti, Filippo    | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2021          | Ignomiriello, Michele | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2021          | Di Benedetto, Cosimo  | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1.7.2021           | Strambi, Tommaso      | Benevento          | Free               | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1.7.2021           | De Vito, Andrea       | Bologna            | Free               | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1.7.2021           | Benedini, Tommaso     | Livorno            | Free               | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1.7.2021           | Perticara, Federico   | Frosinone          | Free               | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 21.8.2021          | Scialpi, Alessandro   | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 23.8.2021          | Bigon, Mauro          | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1.1.2022           | Okeke, Michael        | Lyon               | £13.25M            | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1.1.2022           | Spatola, Cosimo       | FC Twente          | £1.7M              | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
|                    | Total                 |                    | £15M               | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

This was mostly losing some deadwood, to be honest, and of course the huge transfer fee for Okeke boosted things somewhat!

Squad Statistics:

| Pkd | Inf | Name                | Position           | Apps    | Gls | Ast | MoM | Pas R | Tck | Drb | Sh T| Yel | Red | Av Rat | Nat | Age | Value | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Tokia García        | M/AM (C)           | 6 (1)   | 1   | 2   | 0   | 88%   | 3.80| 1.08| 16% | 4   | 0   | 7.09   | FRA | 28  | £1.7M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| STCL|     | Hugo Paulico        | ST                 | 19      | 9   | 1   | 2   | 85%   | 1.93| 1.77| 58% | 5   | 0   | 6.97   | POR | 25  | £3.8M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S3  | Hol | Niklas Backman      | D (RC)             | 6 (8)   | 1   | 0   | 1   | 68%   | 3.70| -   | 50% | 1   | 0   | 6.95   | SWE | 33  | £90K  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MR  | Hol | Keammar Daley       | M (R), AM (RC)     | 38      | 6   | 6   | 4   | 80%   | 2.14| 1.72| 34% | 7   | 0   | 6.94   | JAM | 34  | £50K  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Jordan Ikoko        | D (RL)             | 8 (5)   | 1   | 2   | 0   | 76%   | 3.26| 0.59| 100%| 4   | 0   | 6.89   | FRA | 28  | £875K | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DL  | Hol | Nicola Rossini      | D (RL)             | 22      | 0   | 2   | 2   | 76%   | 2.88| 0.15| -   | 5   | 0   | 6.88   | ITA | 26  | £375K | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S6  | Hol | Aaron McQuade       | M (RL), AM (L)     | 18 (12) | 4   | 1   | 1   | 78%   | 2.18| 1.59| 42% | 2   | 0   | 6.85   | NIR | 22  | £1.6M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MCL | Hol | Serdar Kayan        | DM, M (C)          | 7 (24)  | 1   | 3   | 0   | 80%   | 4.11| 0.28| 33% | 1   | 0   | 6.82   | TUR | 22  | £1.2M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Cataldo Quercia     | AM (LC), ST        | 1 (12)  | 1   | 0   | 0   | 72%   | 1.51| 0.75| 50% | 1   | 0   | 6.82   | ITA | 18  | £5M   | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MCR | Hol | Paulinho            | DM, M (C)          | 32      | 2   | 1   | 1   | 84%   | 4.52| 0.36| 31% | 13  | 4   | 6.82   | AUT | 22  | £850K | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Lucas Villafañez    | AM (RC), ST        | 0 (3)   | 0   | 0   | 0   | 72%   | 0.00| 0.00| -   | 0   | 0   | 6.80   | ARG | 30  | £250K | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| STCR| Hol | Marc McCullough     | ST                 | 34 (1)  | 5   | 6   | 1   | 78%   | 1.65| 0.48| 30% | 9   | 0   | 6.79   | NIR | 22  | £1.8M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| ML  | Hol | Flavio Conti        | M/AM (L)           | 21 (6)  | 2   | 4   | 1   | 76%   | 2.28| 1.06| 28% | 3   | 0   | 6.78   | ITA | 22  | £1.7M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DCR | Hol | Drissa Diarra       | D (C)              | 35      | 0   | 1   | 1   | 68%   | 3.19| -   | 25% | 2   | 0   | 6.77   | MLI | 23  | £2.5M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Inj | David Simão         | M/AM (C)           | 33 (1)  | 0   | 6   | 0   | 83%   | 2.56| 0.31| 21% | 4   | 0   | 6.74   | POR | 32  | £1.1M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DR  | Hol | Domenico Vetere     | D (RLC)            | 33      | 0   | 0   | 0   | 76%   | 3.77| 0.23| 0%  | 10  | 1   | 6.74   | ITA | 26  | £575K | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DCL | Hol | Dylan Gissi         | D (C)              | 38      | 2   | 1   | 0   | 63%   | 2.06| 0.06| 25% | 4   | 1   | 6.73   | SUI | 31  | £350K | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S2  | Hol | Robert Gardner      | D (RL), WB/M (L)   | 14 (7)  | 0   | 1   | 0   | 83%   | 3.36| 0.37| 0%  | 3   | 0   | 6.71   | NIR | 21  | £925K | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| GK  | Hol | Quique Arca         | GK                 | 39      | 0   | 0   | 0   | 61%   | -   | -   | -   | 0   | 0   | 6.69   | ESP | 23  | £1.9M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S7  | Hol | Luigi Pagani        | AM (C), ST         | 4 (6)   | 0   | 0   | 0   | 71%   | 4.32| 0.65| 33% | 1   | 0   | 6.67   | ITA | 23  | £1.3M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S4  | Hol | Danilo Pereira      | DM, M (C)          | 1 (7)   | 0   | 0   | 0   | 78%   | 3.17| 0.45| 0%  | 2   | 0   | 6.66   | GNB | 30  | £230K | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S5  | Hol | Alessandro Litterio | M (R), AM (RC), ST | 6 (17)  | 0   | 0   | 0   | 79%   | 1.69| 1.33| 37% | 1   | 0   | 6.53   | ITA | 25  | £400K | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Torben Larsen       | GK                 | -       | -   | -   | -   | -     | -   | -   | -   | -   | -   | -      | DEN | 20  | £220K | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Pavol Cech          | D (C)              | -       | -   | -   | -   | -     | -   | -   | -   | -   | -   | -      | SVK | 27  | £1.1M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S1  | Hol | Luca Nunziata       | GK                 | -       | -   | -   | -   | -     | -   | -   | -   | -   | -   | -      | ITA | 29  | £1M   | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Key players:

We weren't great and I'm not sure there were any stand out players as our team is basically a bunch of average players playing beyond their abilities when they come together! However, I'll post some players I think worthy of a mention.

Keammar Daley - played way beyond his ability on the right side of midfield. Tells you everything really when the joint top on assister in our side is a 34-year-old with very poor technicals for this level!

David Simao - A technically very good player who kept the ball well for us and also contributed a fair number of assists. Signed up for just £750k, I think he was a solid signing adding experience and technical ability to the team.

Hugo Paulico - Meet my new number 9. When he settled, he started scoring goals in a fairly prolific fashion, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do next season. He is a good age and a talented goalscorer. He has had a rather strange career, to be honest, and so that's why I think he was available at a bargain price. He was signed up by Man City early in his career but never played for them and just ended up being loaned out to a series of League One and Championship clubs. In the end, he headed out to MLS for a couple of seasons at Real Salt Lake before then heading to Qatar to play for Al-Gharrafa Sports Club. Seems a strange career path for a talented Portuguese player. I guess he failed to make his impact at both both Sporting CP (his starting club) and Man City so that perhaps explains his decision to get away from European football. Anyway, he is back on track now and playing in Serie A. I just have to find a creator or two to provide him with the chances, which he will surely put in the back of the net!

Next Season:

I want to build on this season and improve even more.

The key to next season will be to work on bringing in some technical and creative players. Maybe next season, we can start to play a more attacking brand of football at times, rather than relying on our solid, hardworking and defensive framework to get us results.

Career Overview:

Season    Team			League                   Position    Achievements/outcomes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2011/12   A.C. Giacomense	Serie C2/A	         18th        (Took over after 18 games) Relegated
2012/13   A.C. Mezzocorona	Serie C2/B	         9th         
2013/14   A.C. Mezzocorona	Serie C2/B	         2nd         Promoted!
2014/15   A.C. Mezzocorona	Serie C1/A	         8th         Overachievers!
2015/16   A.C. Perugia Calcio	Serie C1/B	         13th        (Took over after 13 games)
2016/17   A.C. Perugia Calcio	Serie C1/B	         2nd         Promoted via play-offs! Serie C Cup winners!
2017/18   A.C. Perugia Calcio	Serie B	         	 N/A         (Left after 16 games with the team in 18th place)
2017/18   Brescia Calcio	Serie B	         	 10th        (Joined after 16 games with the team in 14th place)
2018/19   Brescia Calcio	Serie B	         	 N/A	     (Resigned after 34 games with the team in 13th place)
2019/20   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie B	         	 2nd	     (Joined after 15 games, team in 14th place) - Promoted!
2020/21   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie A	         	 17th	     Survival
2020/21   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie A	         	 11th	     

My A.C. Giacomense Record (2011 - 2012 [133 days]):


P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
19	5	7	7	17	23	26%		None

My A.C. Mezzocorona Record (2012 - 2015 [1085 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
143	57	43	43	179	153	39%		Lega Pro Seconda Divisione Girone B Runners-up

My A.C. Perugia Calcio Record (2015 - 2017 [739 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
91	43	22	26	148 	110	47%		Coppa Italia di Lega Pro Winners!
							Lega Pro Prima Divisione Runners-up
							Lega Pro Prima Divisione Play-off Winners!

My Brescia Calcio Record (2017 - 2019 [497 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
62	24	19	19 	82	76	38%		

My Hellas Verona F.C. Record (2019 - Present [537 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
106	40	26	40 	121	123	37%		Serie B Runners-up


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Good improvement.

Ascoli winning the Scudetto is a surprise.

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Looks like a productive season. You've grown and know what you need to succeed next year :) Hope you find a couple creative midfielders to compliment the squad.

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Brilliant job consolidating! Shame Okeke's stint at the club was incredibly brief, but you can't really say no to doubling your money in 6 months I guess. Seems like this was a real collective triumph as well, so perhaps having no massively obvious star man was appropriate in the end.

Also surprising your form was much better after losing Okeke! If you can continue that sort of form for a whole season you'd be looking at European qualification.

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Chievo went down :D

Yep. :)

Good improvement.

Ascoli winning the Scudetto is a surprise.

Thanks Nobby.

Serie A has been full of surprises over the last few years. Palermo won their first Scudetto not so long ago under Marcelo Bielsa!

Udinese are another side who claimed a new Scudetto in recent years.

It's not a tycoon situation either. The league is just very open with no team or teams dominating at the moment.

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Looks like a productive season. You've grown and know what you need to succeed next year :) Hope you find a couple creative midfielders to compliment the squad.

Yes, indeed. That's the plan now.

I'm pleased with the steady growth. This season was much more enjoyable than last season and it started all coming together in the final few months, so I'm hopeful for next season being a good one with a few new recruits.

Brilliant job consolidating! Shame Okeke's stint at the club was incredibly brief, but you can't really say no to doubling your money in 6 months I guess. Seems like this was a real collective triumph as well, so perhaps having no massively obvious star man was appropriate in the end.

Also surprising your form was much better after losing Okeke! If you can continue that sort of form for a whole season you'd be looking at European qualification.

I think it's just a coincidence that we were better without him. I think the team gelling came together and the morale was good. Those were the main factors for that run.

European qualification would be a great target, although just top of the table is the target for next season. I guess I need to see how much I'm going to be supported in the transfer market this summer.

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Oh, btw, thanks everyone for the help regarding my decision to remove leagues.

I've selected Sweden, Uruguay and USA to go but also made a backup of the save just in case I change my mind or whatever.

I'm left with the following leagues:

England 180

Spain 180

Germany 172

Italy 170

France 155

Portugal 145

Netherlands 134

Argentina 130

Mexico 130

Think these are perfect for my adventure in this career save.

Thanks again for the advice guys, I appreciated it. :thup:

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Project 5 - Season Four at Hellas Verona F.C. - Season 2022/23 Preview

140px-Hellas_Verona_FC_logo.svg.png

Board Expectations:

Serie A - Safe mid-table (media predictions are for 14th place)

TIM Cup - First round

My Expectations:

Serie A - I want top half of the table

TIM Cup - Will see how far we can get but will definitely be lowest priority

Budgets:

Transfer: £18.45m

Wages: £335,167 (£341,519/week currently)

Balance: -£11,891,567

Squad:

| Pkd   | Inf   | Name                | Position           | Nat   | Height| Weight       | Age   | Value | Ability | Potential | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| GK    |       | Quique Arca         | GK                 | ESP   | 5'11" | 12 st 12 lbs | 24    | £1.6M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DR    | Wnt   | Domenico Vetere     | D (RLC)            | ITA   | 5'10" | 12 st 8 lbs  | 27    | £1.1M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DCR   |       | Dylan Gissi         | D (C)              | SUI   | 6'4"  | 12 st 10 lbs | 31    | £1M   |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DCL   | Wnt   | Drissa Diarra       | D (C)              | MLI   | 6'3"  | 13 st 12 lbs | 23    | £2.5M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DL    |       | Gil Melo            | D/WB (L)           | BRA   | 6'2"  | 12 st 12 lbs | 24    | £6.5M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MR    |       | João Paulo          | M/AM (R)           | POR   | 5'10" | 11 st 4 lbs  | 25    | £1.9M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MCR   | Wnt   | Jan van den Heuvel  | DM, M (C)          | NED   | 6'0"  | 12 st 8 lbs  | 23    | £1.8M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MCL   |       | David Simão         | M/AM (C)           | POR   | 6'0"  | 12 st 3 lbs  | 32    | £1M   |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| ML    |       | Mile Kujundzija     | M/AM (L)           | CRO   | 6'0"  | 12 st 6 lbs  | 23    | £4.2M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| AMC   |       | Rafinha             | M/AM (C), ST       | BRA   | 5'10" | 11 st 9 lbs  | 29    | £6.75M|         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| STC   | Wnt   | Hugo Paulico        | ST                 | POR   | 5'10" | 11 st 11 lbs | 26    | £3.7M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S1    | Wnt   | Luca Nunziata       | GK                 | ITA   | 6'0"  | 11 st 6 lbs  | 29    | £1M   |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S2    |       | Robert Gardner      | D (RL), WB/M (L)   | NIR   | 5'9"  | 11 st 6 lbs  | 22    | £1.3M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S3    |       | Niklas Backman      | D (RC)             | SWE   | 6'1"  | 12 st 8 lbs  | 33    | £230K |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S4    |       | Davide Petrucci     | AM (C), ST         | ITA   | 5'11" | 11 st 9 lbs  | 30    | £925K |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S5    |       | Alessandro Litterio | M (R), AM (RC), ST | ITA   | 5'10" | 11 st 11 lbs | 25    | £1.2M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S6    |       | Cataldo Quercia     | AM (LC), ST        | ITA   | 5'11" | 11 st 13 lbs | 18    | £5M   |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S7    |       | Marc McCullough     | ST                 | NIR   | 6'2"  | 13 st 5 lbs  | 22    | £1.6M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -     |       | Jordan Ikoko        | D (RL)             | FRA   | 5'10" | 9 st 12 lbs  | 28    | £700K |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -     | Wnt   | Tokia García        | M/AM (C)           | FRA   | 5'3"  | 9 st 6 lbs   | 28    | £1.8M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -     |       | Eduardo             | D (C)              | BRA   | 6'2"  | 13 st 9 lbs  | 28    | £1M   |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -     |       | Flavio Conti        | M/AM (L)           | ITA   | 6'4"  | 14 st 0 lbs  | 22    | £1.9M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -     |       | Aaron McQuade       | M (RL), AM (L)     | NIR   | 6'3"  | 14 st 2 lbs  | 22    | £1.1M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -     |       | Serdar Kayan        | DM, M (C)          | TUR   | 5'10" | 12 st 1 lbs  | 22    | £1.3M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -     | Loa   | Sergio Zanier       | GK                 | ITA   | 6'0"  | 12 st 12 lbs | 20    | £1.9M |         |           | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Transfers:

INS:


| Date               | Person             | From               | Fee                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1.7.2022           | Bell, Graeme       | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4.7.2022           | Zanier, Sergio     | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5.7.2022           | João Paulo         | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6.7.2022           | van den Heuvel, Jan| Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6.7.2022           | Kujundzija, Mile   | Catania            | £4.2M              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7.7.2022           | Melo, Gil          | Catania            | £6.5M              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8.7.2022           | Petrucci, Davide   | Montpellier        | £925K              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 11.7.2022          | Rafinha            | Catania            | £6.75M             | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3.8.2022           | Eduardo            | Udinese            | £1M                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
|                    | Total              |                    | £19.5M             | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Nine transfers in this time. I broke my rule about trying not to change too many things at once but as I got some decent backing in the transfer market, I went for it, and I think that I spent well here.

The big signings were actually the ones from Catania, who were relegated last season. Rafinha was the big one and comes in to be the focal point of our team. He will be our fantasista, our playmaker, our number 10. He is the star that I will build my team around this season.

From the other signings, Gil Melo is a quality attacking left-back. Mile Kujundzija and Joao Paulo will provide flair and ability in the wide positions. Davide Petrucci brings his experience and Eduardo will add some more solidity to defence when called upon.

All in all, job done here. I wanted good creativity and flair to bring into the team and I've definitely done that. I've spent all of my money but spent it well, I feel.

OUTS:

| Date               | Person             | To                 | Fee                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2022          | Villafañez, Lucas  | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2022          | Pereira, Danilo    | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2022          | Daley, Keammar     | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2022          | Rossini, Nicola    | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2.7.2022           | Fall, Dieylani     | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 21.7.2022          | Cech, Pavol        | Catania            | £875K              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 22.7.2022          | Larsen, Torben     | Santa Clara        | Loan               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 23.7.2022          | Pagani, Luigi      | Las Palmas         | £1.1M              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
|                    | Total              |                    | £2M                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

I basically got rid of some dead wood here and made a little bit of money in the process.

I got criticised for letting fans' player of the season, Keammar Daley, go but what choice did I have? He is about to turn 35, very poor technically and his contract was up. It was time for him to go.

Key Men:

Quique Arca - Having a quality keeper is always a priority for the basis of any good team and this guy is solid.

Gil Melo - Great signing in my opinion. Physically strong, hard working and good technically in attacking and defensive attributes. This guy will make an excellent attacking fullback and I expect him to shine in a wing-back role.

Rafinha - Great passing and technique plus awesome creativity, movement, anticipation and decision making. This guy is going to be the creative brains of the team!

Hugo Paulico - Excellent finishing, good penalty taker, decent movement, hard working, quick, with excellent agility and balance. This guy will be a handful for every defence and will score goals!

Manager thoughts:

A very solid summer with some great transfers. I feel we have a real shot at improving on last season.

I did what mattered most to me this summer in terms of getting some creative and flair type players into the side. I'd like to have improved things defensively a bit more too but I used up the funds on some fairly big signings in the more attacking positions.

I'll be switching to 4-4-1-1 this season as I have some real quality in the middle. The lack of DMs in my squad means a switch to my preferred 4-2-3-1 deep formation was not an option.

The team will hinge on Rafinha settling and having a good season. We're far from a one man team though. At the back, Diarra will be important in the middle as will Gil Melo at fullback. In the middle, the experienced David Simao will be partnered by the more defensive minded Van den Heuvel. In the wide positions, we'll be a little unpredictable, but I think I have two solid wide midfielders in Paulo and Kujundzija. Up front, Rafinho will be the playmaking number 10 behind Hugo Paulico and we'll be looking for this pair to flourish as a creator & consumer partnership! Let's hope the goals flow!

Forza Gialloblu!

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The two ex-Catania boys look fantastic! I'm excited to see Rafinha feeding Paulico, I think that has the potential to be very productive.

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Crouchy's 'Lessons in Calcio' Journeyman Save - Project 5: Hellas Verona (Season Four at Marcantonio Bentegodi 2022/23)

140px-Hellas_Verona_FC_logo.svg.png

Click here for post 484 which shows the situation we were in during pre-season. Once again, I played through the winter and neglected to do a winter break update! :o

Below, I'm posting up two images of the results we recorded this season, broken up into the first half and the second half of the season. I'll talk you briefly through the results and my thoughts as we tackled the job of consolidating in our third season in Serie A.

Results for first half of the season

As you can see, our start to the season was pretty poor and I think it would be accurate to say that we performed very inconsistently throughout this first half of the season.

Team gelling was a major factor, as I knew it would be after bringing in five new first team faces and ten players overall in the summer. I always think this team gelling issue is exacerbated but the fact that many of my players aren't motivated to play for me. I'm told that if I finally get a top flight trophy, this will cease to be an issue, but until then I think it makes things even worse with a poorly gelled squad.

Things started to get better for us in October as we thrashed Taranto 5-0 at their place and then beat Genoa at home. In November, we beat my old club, Brescia away from home. Things seemed to be coming together towards Christmas time and ended the first half of the season by recording a fine win against Fiorentina away from home.

I felt pretty positive for the second half of the season. Paulico was starting to find his scoring form and the team was generally playing some good football. I hoped for a strong second half of the season to pull us up the table.

Results for the second half of the season

We did absolutely no business in the transfer window as I was hoping for the current squad to continue to gel and develop together as a unit.

In January, things started to click and wins away to Lazio and Juventus, and a victory at home to Milan, confirmed that we were now really showing our potential as a team. Indeed, we only lost three games in the whole of the second half of the season and you can see by our results just how much we improved. Had we performed like this all season, I think we could be talking about the Europa League right now. This was very similar to last season and I feel that if we can just get off to a good start next season, we could be talking about a major improvement this time next year.

From March to the end of the season, we went on a fine unbeaten run. Beating Inter in their own back yard was a real highlight. We also thrashed my old club, Brescia, 6-0, which was the hammer blow for them, confirming their relegation to Serie B. Can't say I was too sad about that! After my time there, I'm not their biggest fan. ;)

This was a great second half of the season and just goes to show what a good team we do have here. It's a good basis for moving up the table next year.

On the negative side of things, we only improved on our league finish from last season by one point and one league placing. The squad is much stronger than last time around so we should have done much better but the team gelling issues hit us hard in the first half of the season.

This summer, the key is to make small improvements to the squad without compromising the team gelling in the fashion that we did this season.

Information & Screenshots:

Final table:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team       |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | ECC   | Palermo    |       | 38    | 24    | 9     | 5     | 82    | 33    | +49   | 81    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | ECC   | Fiorentina |       | 38    | 24    | 5     | 9     | 73    | 45    | +28   | 77    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   | ECC   | Juventus   |       | 38    | 24    | 4     | 10    | 82    | 45    | +37   | 76    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   | EC    | Genoa      |       | 38    | 22    | 8     | 8     | 59    | 37    | +22   | 74    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   | EC    | Inter      |       | 38    | 18    | 11    | 9     | 60    | 35    | +25   | 65    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Udinese    |       | 38    | 18    | 7     | 13    | 56    | 42    | +14   | 61    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7th   |       | Sampdoria  |       | 38    | 17    | 9     | 12    | 63    | 45    | +18   | 60    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8th   |       | Lazio      |       | 38    | 15    | 13    | 10    | 58    | 49    | +9    | 58    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 9th   |       | Ascoli     |       | 38    | 16    | 7     | 15    | 52    | 55    | -3    | 55    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
[b]| 10th  |       | Verona     |       | 38    | 14    | 13    | 11    | 55    | 42    | +13   | 55    | [/b]
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 11th  |       | Milan      |       | 38    | 16    | 6     | 16    | 56    | 55    | +1    | 54    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 12th  |       | Bari       |       | 38    | 15    | 7     | 16    | 47    | 55    | -8    | 52    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 13th  |       | Siena      |       | 38    | 16    | 4     | 18    | 52    | 57    | -5    | 52    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 14th  |       | Roma       |       | 38    | 11    | 15    | 12    | 63    | 54    | +9    | 48    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 15th  |       | Torino     |       | 38    | 10    | 12    | 16    | 50    | 63    | -13   | 42    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 16th  |       | Parma      |       | 38    | 8     | 14    | 16    | 45    | 68    | -23   | 38    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 17th  |       | Napoli     |       | 38    | 9     | 7     | 22    | 34    | 64    | -30   | 34    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 18th  | R     | Bologna    |       | 38    | 7     | 7     | 24    | 30    | 72    | -42   | 28    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 19th  | R     | Taranto    |       | 38    | 5     | 10    | 23    | 34    | 72    | -38   | 25    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 20th  | R     | Brescia    |       | 38    | 4     | 6     | 28    | 28    | 91    | -63   | 18    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Italian Cup: As you can see from the result images above, we went out at the earliest stage we entered. We lost on penalties to Piacenza.

Transfers:

IN:

| Date               | Person             | From               | Fee                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1.7.2022           | Fall, Dieylani     | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1.7.2022           | Bell, Graeme       | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4.7.2022           | Zanier, Sergio     | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5.7.2022           | João Paulo         | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6.7.2022           | van den Heuvel, Jan| Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6.7.2022           | Kujundzija, Mile   | Catania            | £4.2M              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7.7.2022           | Melo, Gil          | Catania            | £6.5M              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8.7.2022           | Petrucci, Davide   | Montpellier        | £925K              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 11.7.2022          | Rafinha            | Catania            | £6.75M             | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3.8.2022           | Eduardo            | Udinese            | £1M                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
|                    | Total              |                    | £19.5M             | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

I think I spent well. Certainly the bigger money buys in Kujundzija, Melo and Rafinha, all proved to be worth the fee, in my opinion. They should all go from strength to strength next season.

I may try Rafinha in a deeper position as he did not totally convince in an advanced midfield position. His passing and creativity is exceptional but he lacks some of the characteristics needed for an attacking midfielder in terms of his ability to contribute some goals of his own and I think maybe a deeper position might suit him. Don't get me wrong though, he was very good for us indeed, contributing lots of key passes every game and dictating the play for us.

From the free transfers, I was most pleased with van den Heuvel, who proved to be a solid defensive-minded central midfield player.

OUT:

| Date               | Person             | To                 | Fee                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2022          | Villafañez, Lucas  | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2022          | Pereira, Danilo    | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2022          | Daley, Keammar     | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2022          | Rossini, Nicola    | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2.7.2022           | Fall, Dieylani     | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 21.7.2022          | Cech, Pavol        | Catania            | £875K              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 22.7.2022          | Larsen, Torben     | Santa Clara        | Loan               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 23.7.2022          | Pagani, Luigi      | Las Palmas         | £1.1M              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 11.1.2023          | Ikoko, Jordan      | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 19.1.2023          | Quercia, Cataldo   | Livorno            | Loan               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
|                    | Total              |                    | £2M                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

No real surprises here. The only thing worth mentioning is that I loaned out Cataldo Quercia. I spent a fair bit on this young lad thinking that he had a lot of promise but he hasn't developed much and it is starting to look as though I may have made a mistake here. Time will tell, I guess, but at least he got some playing time at Livorno in Serie B.

Squad Statistics:

| Pkd | Inf | Name                | Position           | Apps   | Gls | Ast | MoM | Pas R | Tck | Drb | K Pas | Sh T| Yel | Red | Av Rat | Nat | Age | Value | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| GK  | Hol | Quique Arca         | GK                 | 35     | 0   | 2   | 4   | 61%   | -   | -   | 2     | -   | 0   | 0   | 7.01   | ESP | 24  | £2M   | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DR  | Hol | Domenico Vetere     | D (RLC)            | 37     | 0   | 3   | 1   | 76%   | 4.65| 0.20| 15    | 100%| 10  | 0   | 6.94   | ITA | 27  | £1.5M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DCR | Hol | Dylan Gissi         | D (C)              | 32     | 0   | 1   | 0   | 67%   | 2.29| 0.03| 3     | 50% | 4   | 1   | 6.85   | SUI | 32  | £375K | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DCL | Hol | Drissa Diarra       | D (C)              | 30     | 2   | 1   | 1   | 69%   | 2.31| 0.07| 3     | 63% | 7   | 0   | 6.76   | MLI | 24  | £2.1M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DL  | Inj | Gil Melo            | D/WB (L)           | 37     | 0   | 3   | 2   | 77%   | 3.51| 0.57| 27    | 33% | 8   | 0   | 7.09   | BRA | 24  | £3.8M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MR  | Hol | Alessandro Litterio | M (R), AM (RC), ST | 7 (11) | 2   | 5   | 1   | 81%   | 1.38| 1.59| 3     | 37% | 1   | 0   | 6.82   | ITA | 26  | £1.7M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MCR | Hol | Serdar Kayan        | DM, M (C)          | 6 (19) | 0   | 1   | 0   | 88%   | 4.77| -   | 9     | 22% | 0   | 0   | 6.83   | TUR | 23  | £1.1M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MCL | Hol | David Simão         | M/AM (C)           | 36     | 2   | 2   | 1   | 84%   | 2.45| 0.29| 21    | 20% | 4   | 0   | 6.89   | POR | 33  | £350K | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| ML  | Hol | Mile Kujundzija     | M/AM (L)           | 36 (1) | 3   | 11  | 4   | 78%   | 2.73| 2.73| 14    | 46% | 9   | 0   | 7.08   | CRO | 24  | £2.5M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| AMC | Hol | Davide Petrucci     | M/AM (C)           | 4 (4)  | 1   | 0   | 0   | 73%   | 0.95| 0.95| 2     | 25% | 0   | 0   | 6.69   | ITA | 31  | £500K | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| STC | Hol | Hugo Paulico        | ST                 | 31     | 22  | 3   | 4   | 74%   | 1.61| 1.98| 10    | 48% | 20  | 1   | 7.19   | POR | 26  | £3.9M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S1  | Hol | Luca Nunziata       | GK                 | 4      | 0   | 0   | 0   | 49%   | -   | -   | 0     | -   | 0   | 0   | 6.67   | ITA | 30  | £975K | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S2  | Hol | Robert Gardner      | D (RL), WB/M (L)   | 4 (8)  | 0   | 0   | 0   | 82%   | 2.28| 0.54| 2     | -   | 3   | 0   | 6.59   | NIR | 22  | £1.1M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S3  | Hol | Eduardo             | D (C)              | 12 (3) | 0   | 1   | 0   | 65%   | 2.94| 0.08| 1     | 0%  | 2   | 0   | 6.77   | BRA | 28  | £1.2M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S4  | Hol | Rafinha             | M/AM (C), ST       | 35 (2) | 6   | 5   | 1   | 86%   | 2.90| 1.08| 27    | 54% | 6   | 0   | 6.99   | BRA | 30  | £2.8M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S5  | Hol | Aaron McQuade       | M (RL), AM (L)     | 6 (15) | 6   | 4   | 2   | 74%   | 2.63| 1.92| 5     | 50% | 2   | 0   | 7.13   | NIR | 23  | £1.6M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S6  | Hol | Flavio Conti        | M/AM (L)           | 3 (14) | 3   | 0   | 1   | 74%   | 2.35| 1.57| 3     | 71% | 0   | 0   | 6.87   | ITA | 23  | £1.1M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S7  | Hol | Marc McCullough     | ST                 | 7 (10) | 2   | 1   | 0   | 78%   | 1.58| 0.84| 5     | 38% | 2   | 0   | 6.66   | NIR | 23  | £1.9M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Niklas Backman      | D (RC)             | 4 (5)  | 1   | 0   | 0   | 73%   | 2.70| -   | 0     | 66% | 1   | 0   | 7.14   | SWE | 34  | £75K  | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Tokia García        | M/AM (C)           | 2 (3)  | 0   | 0   | 0   | 68%   | 0.92| -   | 1     | 0%  | 0   | 0   | 6.50   | FRA | 29  | £1.2M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Inj | João Paulo          | M/AM (R)           | 26     | 1   | 8   | 0   | 76%   | 2.53| 2.03| 7     | 23% | 1   | 0   | 6.88   | POR | 26  | £2.2M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Jan van den Heuvel  | DM, M (C)          | 34 (1) | 3   | 1   | 0   | 86%   | 4.28| 0.18| 9     | 28% | 15  | 0   | 6.90   | NED | 24  | £1.8M | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Key players:

This season, we finally have some stand out individuals to talk about.

Hugo Paulico - this guy is my new hero. Scored the goals for us this season and I think he actually would have done even better with a striker parner up alongside him. Serie A's top goalscorer this season. With his goals, I can start to feel as though we can really go places with one or two canny signings to improve in other areas. Paulico also broke the Verona record for goals in a season.

Rafinha - A quality player who dictated the play in midfield and played lots of key passes every game. However, I actually wonder if he would make a better 'number 8' in a deeper role rather than a 'number 10' behind the striker. He was rarely a goalscoring threat in his advanced midfield position which leads me to believe that he'd be more effective in a deeper position with the emphasis even more on creative work.

Gil Melo - I thought this guy would prove to be a great piece of business and I was right. Really solid, always a theat coming forward too, and generally one of the most consistent players in the squad. Very pleased and I think he'll get even better next season.

Mile Kujundzija - Another player who I thought would be a very good signing in the summer and I was proved right! Provided plenty of assists and really threatened down the left side. Very pleased and he is another one with his best years ahead of him, so very positive indeed.

Next Season:

We just have to move forward and improve again. I'm hoping for a more significant improvement next season if I have a more settled squad.

I will need to keep things fairly consistent and not make too many signings. I have different tactical ideas going into next season at the moment (although that may change depending on signings) so I think I'll be able to get more out of the team.

Generally, a well gelled side performing like we were in the last third of the season should see us really pushing on into the top half of the table. That's my hope!

Career Overview:

Season    Team			League                   Position    Achievements/outcomes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2011/12   A.C. Giacomense	Serie C2/A	         18th        (Took over after 18 games) Relegated
2012/13   A.C. Mezzocorona	Serie C2/B	         9th         
2013/14   A.C. Mezzocorona	Serie C2/B	         2nd         Promoted!
2014/15   A.C. Mezzocorona	Serie C1/A	         8th         Overachievers!
2015/16   A.C. Perugia Calcio	Serie C1/B	         13th        (Took over after 13 games)
2016/17   A.C. Perugia Calcio	Serie C1/B	         2nd         Promoted via play-offs! Serie C Cup winners!
2017/18   A.C. Perugia Calcio	Serie B	         	 N/A         (Left after 16 games with the team in 18th place)
2017/18   Brescia Calcio	Serie B	         	 10th        (Joined after 16 games with the team in 14th place)
2018/19   Brescia Calcio	Serie B	         	 N/A	     (Resigned after 34 games with the team in 13th place)
2019/20   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie B	         	 2nd	     (Joined after 15 games, team in 14th place) - Promoted!
2020/21   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie A	         	 17th	     Survival
2021/22   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie A	         	 11th	     
2022/23   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie A	         	 10th	     

My A.C. Giacomense Record (2011 - 2012 [133 days]):


P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
19	5	7	7	17	23	26%		None

My A.C. Mezzocorona Record (2012 - 2015 [1085 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
143	57	43	43	179	153	39%		Lega Pro Seconda Divisione Girone B Runners-up

My A.C. Perugia Calcio Record (2015 - 2017 [739 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
91	43	22	26	148 	110	47%		Coppa Italia di Lega Pro Winners!
							Lega Pro Prima Divisione Runners-up
							Lega Pro Prima Divisione Play-off Winners!

My Brescia Calcio Record (2017 - 2019 [497 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
62	24	19	19 	82	76	38%		

My Hellas Verona F.C. Record (2019 - Present [1266 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
145	54	39	52 	176	165	37%		Serie B Runners-up


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Another excellent season - I definitely think you'll feel the benefits of the work done this season over the next 2 or 3. I think when you're promoted up a level, especially to a strong top division, you need to consolidate with a simple gameplan then evolve it. The key is the transition between the simple gameplan and the evolution (something Stoke City are having issues with IRL). This season was the evolution, incorporating more technical quality into your side. Next season I think you'll do very well indeed, provided you make only a few targetted signings as you say.

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Good consolidation Crouchy.

Stoke have evolved. Evolved into a team for insomniacs.

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Crouchy's 'Lessons in Calcio' Journeyman Save - Project 5: Hellas Verona (Season Five at Marcantonio Bentegodi 2023/24)

140px-Hellas_Verona_FC_logo.svg.png

During the summer, I signed a new four year contract with Hellas Verona, firmly indicating my intention of staying at this club in order to build something for the future.

The media had us down for another mid-table finish in pre-season. I did some fairly decent business in the transfer window (see transfer section below) and hoped to prove them wrong with a good, solid top half finish.

The press picked out goalkeeper Quique Arca and left-back Gil Melo as the key players for this season.

Below, I'm posting up two images of the results we recorded this season, broken up into the first half and the second half of the season. I'll talk you briefly through the results and my thoughts as we tackled the job of consolidating in our third season in Serie A.

Results for first half of the season

We had a slowish start with two straight losses in the league but this was nowhere near our usual slow starts of the last few seasons as we quickly picked up some form. In October, we really found out rhythm, going seven games unbeaten with six out of seven wins.

Beating Juventus at home and drawing with title favourites, Inter, away were two great results. Also, thrashing Genoa 4-1 away from home and going to Sampdoria and winning 2-0 were also very significant results.

Three out of four losses in the first half of the season came against top sides such as Palermo, Lazio and Fiorentina, so we couldn't be too disappointed with those.

Things seemed to be going very well as we approached the winter break. Paulico had been scoring goals for fun and we were looking very strong.

To top things off, I won the Miglior Allenator AIC award (manager of the year). I joined a list of famous names! *proud*

A great first-half of the season.

Results for the second half of the season

We started in January just as we had left off. Going to Milan and winning 2-1 was a fantastic result.

In the first proper round of the TIM Cup, we thrashed Lazio 5-0 away from home with Hugo Paulico scoring a hat-trick. This set up a quarter final against Sampdoria, which we also won thanks to two goals from Elvis Mroki. Unfortunately, in this game, disaster struck. Hugo Paulico was ruled out for three months with a torn hamstring. This was devastating. Paulico was our captain, top scorer and star player. To lose him was terrible news.

At this point, I switched from the 4-4-2 I had planned to use at the end of last season (see the last update), and had been using all this season so far, to a 4-4-1-1 formation. This allowed me to return Rafinha into an advanced midfield position behind a single striker. Elvis Mroki would now have the burden of leading the line and providing a large share of the team's goals.

A 0-0 draw away to Palermo, now one of the best clubs in Italy, was very solid. We managed to beat Ascoli at home and thrashed Padova away from home. At this point, I felt we could cope without Paulico, and we went on to record solid and creditable draws against the likes of Sampdoria and Lazio.

Our first game in March was one of my favourites of the whole season as we went to Juventus and took part in a thriller, managing to come away with a 4-3 away victory in the end. What a game that was and this meant that we had done the double over Juventus - always a good feeling.

At the end of March, we finally faltered. Without our captain and talisman, Hugo Paulico, I did anticipate a period of struggle. Unfortunately, it hit us at a terrible time. We went on a run of seven games without a win and only recorded two points in this period from seven matches. I put my hands up and admit responsibility for this run. I allowed morale to get dangerously low and did not recover it quick enough. The old, calm Crouchy style of keeping cool in a crisis was abandoned as I saw a potential challenge for a Champions League spot drift further and further away. I started to panic.

At the end of April, Hugo Paulico returned and I started to steady the ship. The first match of May saw us thrash Torino 4-1 at their place with Hugo Paulico scoring all four goals for us. Paulico thanked me for keeping faith in him and said he hoped that he would continue to repay this faith through more performances like this. What a guy! :cool:

We romped home to the end of the season, beating Catania and Empoli to secure a 6th placed finish. A very good finish and something for the club to be proud of.

In the TIM Cup, we had continued to progress and found ourselves in the final. We were fortunate that our poor run of form occurred between the semi-final and final. In the semi-final, we had managed to beat Udinese over two legs securing a place in the final against Inter.

Knowing that a victory in the final would not only be totally awesome but that it would also secure a Europa League place, I pinned all of my hopes on victory versus Inter. In a very boring final, we secured a 1-0 win thanks to Serdar Kayan. This represented both mine, and the club's, first major breakthrough at the top level. An amazing feeling!

This is what our cup run looked like.

Here are the stats from the final:

Overview and stats

Line-up and ratings

We won the cup for the first time in our 121 year history!

Europa league qualification confirmed!

Information & Screenshots:

Final table:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team       |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | ECC   | Inter      |       | 38    | 27    | 5     | 6     | 79    | 37    | +42   | 86    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | ECC   | Palermo    |       | 38    | 25    | 5     | 8     | 78    | 36    | +42   | 80    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   | ECC   | Lazio      |       | 38    | 24    | 6     | 8     | 76    | 39    | +37   | 78    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   | EC    | Genoa      |       | 38    | 25    | 3     | 10    | 75    | 40    | +35   | 78    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   | EC    | Fiorentina |       | 38    | 24    | 4     | 10    | 79    | 44    | +35   | 76    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
[b]| 6th   | EC    | Verona     |       | 38    | 20    | 8     | 10    | 74    | 42    | +32   | 68    | [/b]
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7th   |       | Sampdoria  |       | 38    | 19    | 8     | 11    | 72    | 48    | +24   | 65    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8th   |       | Torino     |       | 38    | 16    | 10    | 12    | 48    | 48    | 0     | 58    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 9th   |       | Udinese    |       | 38    | 16    | 7     | 15    | 64    | 63    | +1    | 55    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 10th  |       | Milan      |       | 38    | 14    | 10    | 14    | 62    | 53    | +9    | 52    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 11th  |       | Parma      |       | 38    | 13    | 10    | 15    | 50    | 61    | -11   | 49    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 12th  |       | Juventus   |       | 38    | 12    | 11    | 15    | 56    | 62    | -6    | 47    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 13th  |       | Siena      |       | 38    | 11    | 12    | 15    | 51    | 52    | -1    | 45    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 14th  |       | Ascoli     |       | 38    | 10    | 14    | 14    | 38    | 51    | -13   | 44    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 15th  |       | Catania    |       | 38    | 12    | 8     | 18    | 37    | 63    | -26   | 44    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 16th  |       | Roma       |       | 38    | 11    | 8     | 19    | 67    | 73    | -6    | 41    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 17th  |       | Napoli     |       | 38    | 11    | 5     | 22    | 46    | 73    | -27   | 38    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 18th  | R     | Bari       |       | 38    | 7     | 7     | 24    | 40    | 72    | -32   | 28    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 19th  | R     | Padova     |       | 38    | 4     | 6     | 28    | 27    | 96    | -69   | 18    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 20th  | R     | Empoli     |       | 38    | 3     | 5     | 30    | 24    | 90    | -66   | 14    | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Italian Cup: WINNERS!

This is what our cup run looked like.

Here are the stats from the final:

Overview and stats

Line-up and ratings

Transfers:

IN:

| Date               | Person             | From               | Fee                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3.7.2023           | Adams, Declan      | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5.7.2023           | Maggs, Ceri        | Brescia            | £3.3M              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 11.7.2023          | Fuska              | Santos             | £3.3M              | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 12.7.2023          | Mroki, Elvis       | Nürnberg           | £6M                | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 16.7.2023          | Joel               | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
|                    | Total              |                    | £12.5M             | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Some fairly decent business although I now concede that I could have done a lot better looking back.

Declan Adams was one for the future and not really good enough right now but he played his part this season as the squad depth was so thin. For a free transfer, we can't complain.

Ceri Maggs was a decent signing to strengthen our defence. You'll recall that I signed him when I was at Brescia. He turned out to be a solid centre-back and a decent low budget signing.

Fuska was a mistake really. A young Brazilian striker with a serious attitude problem, he wanted to leave almost from day one. He never performed well. A candidate to be sold in the summer.

Elvis Mroki was an excellent signing and he did really for us. Worth the fee for sure as he banged in the goals alongside Paulico for much of the season. However, I am now convinced that my return to 4-4-1-1 during the season was the right move and this is the formation I would like to prioritise. It does mean just one place for either Paulico or Mroki. I have a selection headache as they are both excellent players. Either some very effective rotation will be needed or I will need to think about selling Elvis should I get a significantly good offer in the summer.

Finally, Joel was a decent free transfer signing. A young player who should improve. He played a bit part but hopefully the experience was useful for his this season and maybe he will become a good player for us in the future.

OUT:

| Date               | Person               | To                 | Fee                | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 30.6.2023          | Simão, David         | Free Transfer      | Free               | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6.7.2023           | García, Tokia        | Nancy              | £1.1M              | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8.7.2023           | Litterio, Alessandro | Padova             | £500K              | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 15.7.2023          | Quercia, Cataldo     | L'Aquila           | Loan               | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 17.7.2023          | Larsen, Torben       | Triestina          | Loan               | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
|                    | Total                |                    | £1.6M              | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Really just getting rid of dead wood.

I thought about keeping Simao on for a bit longer but his age meant that him leaving was probably sensible.

Garcia hardly played last season so selling him seemed to make sense, although I did regret is slightly during the season as the squad depth was very poor for us.

Litterio was a club favourite but not good enough and so I cashed in on him.

The two loans were of young goalkeeper Torben Larsen so that he could get experience and Cataldo Quercia for the same reason. I am beginning to sorely regret my purchase of Quercia. My record in the transfer market isn't as good as I would like it to be. It seems that I was wrong about this young Italian player and I don't honestly think that he will make the grade at the top of the game. Most likely a candidate to leave in the summer.

Squad Statistics:

| Pkd | Inf | Name               | Position         | Apps    | Gls | Ast | MoM | Pas R | Tck | Drb | K Pas | Sh T| Yel | Red | Av Rat | Nat | Age | Value  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| GK  | Hol | Quique Arca        | GK               | 45      | 0   | 1   | 1   | 63%   | -   | -   | 1     | -   | 0   | 0   | 6.97   | ESP | 25  | £2.4M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DR  | Hol | Domenico Vetere    | D (RLC)          | 38 (1)  | 0   | 1   | 2   | 78%   | 4.36| 0.24| 21    | 0%  | 12  | 0   | 7.08   | ITA | 29  | £1.9M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DCR | Wnt | Drissa Diarra      | D (C)            | 42      | 2   | 2   | 1   | 68%   | 2.70| 0.10| 3     | 50% | 7   | 0   | 7.03   | MLI | 25  | £2.1M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DCL |     | Ceri Maggs         | D (C)            | 44      | 4   | 1   | 1   | 72%   | 2.63| 0.09| 5     | 43% | 9   | 0   | 7.02   | WAL | 25  | £2.4M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| DL  | Hol | Gil Melo           | D/WB (L)         | 37 (1)  | 0   | 2   | 0   | 77%   | 2.63| 0.47| 18    | 0%  | 10  | 0   | 7.06   | BRA | 26  | £3.7M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MR  | Hol | João Paulo         | M/AM (R)         | 33      | 6   | 5   | 1   | 77%   | 1.95| 1.12| 13    | 41% | 5   | 0   | 6.92   | POR | 27  | £2.3M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MCR | Hol | Jan van den Heuvel | DM, M (C)        | 39      | 3   | 5   | 0   | 85%   | 4.25| 0.16| 13    | 42% | 9   | 1   | 7.01   | NED | 25  | £2.2M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| MCL | Hol | Davide Petrucci    | M/AM (C)         | 13 (10) | 1   | 1   | 0   | 83%   | 2.11| 0.23| 10    | 23% | 1   | 0   | 6.79   | ITA | 32  | £160K  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| ML  | Hol | Mile Kujundzija    | M (RL), AM (L)   | 41 (2)  | 7   | 11  | 2   | 76%   | 2.28| 2.63| 29    | 37% | 6   | 0   | 7.14   | CRO | 25  | £3.5M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| AMC | Hol | Rafinha            | M/AM (C), ST     | 40 (1)  | 6   | 13  | 2   | 88%   | 2.65| 0.93| 60    | 39% | 13  | 0   | 7.24   | BRA | 31  | £2M    | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| STC |     | Elvis Mroki        | AM (L), ST       | 38 (1)  | 24  | 19  | 8   | 78%   | 2.12| 1.80| 51    | 48% | 11  | 0   | 7.58   | COD | 26  | £4.1M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S1  | Hol | Luca Nunziata      | GK               | -       | -   | -   | -   | -     | -   | -   | -     | -   | -   | -   | -      | ITA | 31  | £350K  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S2  | Hol | Robert Gardner     | D (RL), WB/M (L) | 1 (7)   | 0   | 1   | 0   | 75%   | 5.24| 0.44| 1     | -   | 2   | 0   | 6.35   | NIR | 23  | £350K  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S3  | Hol | Eduardo            | D (C)            | 4 (8)   | 0   | 0   | 0   | 69%   | 2.12| -   | 0     | 0%  | 1   | 0   | 6.54   | BRA | 29  | £275K  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S4  | Hol | Serdar Kayan       | DM, M (C)        | 10 (18) | 3   | 2   | 1   | 82%   | 3.82| -   | 4     | 36% | 0   | 0   | 6.94   | TUR | 24  | £1.2M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S5  |     | Aaron McQuade      | M (RL), AM (L)   | 12 (26) | 1   | 2   | 1   | 79%   | 2.38| 2.32| 4     | 30% | 2   | 0   | 6.83   | NIR | 24  | £1.9M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S6  | Hol | Joel               | AM (LC)          | 3 (10)  | 0   | 2   | 0   | 77%   | 1.11| 1.33| 6     | 9%  | 1   | 0   | 6.64   | ESP | 24  | £2.2M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| S7  | Unh | Fuska              | ST               | 8 (3)   | 0   | 0   | 0   | 82%   | 1.14| 1.40| 0     | 50% | 2   | 0   | 6.47   | BRA | 19  | £3.3M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   |     | Hugo Paulico       | ST               | 23 (1)  | 26  | 5   | 9   | 80%   | 1.70| 2.64| 11    | 58% | 7   | 0   | 7.59   | POR | 27  | £7.75M | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Flavio Conti       | M/AM (L)         | 4 (7)   | 1   | 3   | 0   | 84%   | 1.50| 0.94| 5     | 75% | 3   | 0   | 7.10   | ITA | 24  | £375K  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   |     | Marc McCullough    | ST               | 4 (10)  | 2   | 0   | 1   | 69%   | 2.01| 0.55| 2     | 50% | 1   | 0   | 6.75   | NIR | 24  | £1.5M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   |     | Declan Adams       | D (RC)           | 13 (3)  | 0   | 2   | 0   | 67%   | 2.58| 0.15| 3     | -   | 8   | 0   | 6.79   | NIR | 22  | £1.3M  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| -   | Hol | Graeme Bell        | M/AM (C), ST     | 3 (1)   | 0   | 0   | 0   | 76%   | 1.74| -   | 2     | 33% | 0   | 0   | 6.55   | ENG | 20  | £500K  | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Key players:

Hugo Paulico - this guy is my hero. Scored a ton of goals for us again this season. His goals to games ratio is outstanding. Had he not been injured for such a long period with a torn hamstring, he would have been top scorer of Serie A for the second year running, I feel sure of it.

Rafinha - A quality player. This year I tested my theory that he would make a better 'number 8' in a deeper role rather than a 'number 10' behind the striker. We played straight up 4-4-2 with him in the middle. I think, however, that we were far more effective when we switched to 4-4-1-1 and he returned to his advanced midfield position as an advanced playmaker. I think this is where he will stay now and I'll most likely give him the number 10 shirt again next season.

Elvis Mroki - Brilliant striker. Combined well with Paulico whilst we were playing 4-4-2. Then took over whilst Paulico was injured and scored a bunch of great goals. A very talented player. I have a selection headache for next season as I intend to switch to 4-4-1-1 so he and Paulico may be rotating with each other. Seems a waste so I'll have to see if any amazing offers come in for him this summer.

Mile Kujundzija - Great wide player who did the business again for us this season. I really need to work on the other wide position as we rely on Kujundzija and Melo down the left. Down the right, we are much less effective.

Next Season:

I got significant improvement this season and my first breakthrough with Verona in the top flight. Next season, we have to go for European qualification again as a priority, whether that is Europa again or even Champions League if we can overachieve. I think top 5 would be my aim but there are a lot of sides of similar ability around that area of the table so it'll be tough. We'll also have less money to compete than most of the top half sides so we'll need to spend wisely.

I will need to keep things fairly consistent and not make too many signings. In terms of my tactical ideas, I feel more confident moving forward with the 4-4-1-1 and so this will be the system to build around for next season.

Career Overview:

Season    Team			League                   Position    Achievements/outcomes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2011/12   A.C. Giacomense	Serie C2/A	         18th        (Took over after 18 games) Relegated
2012/13   A.C. Mezzocorona	Serie C2/B	         9th         
2013/14   A.C. Mezzocorona	Serie C2/B	         2nd         Promoted!
2014/15   A.C. Mezzocorona	Serie C1/A	         8th         Overachievers!
2015/16   A.C. Perugia Calcio	Serie C1/B	         13th        (Took over after 13 games)
2016/17   A.C. Perugia Calcio	Serie C1/B	         2nd         Promoted via play-offs! [b]Serie C Cup winners![/b]
2017/18   A.C. Perugia Calcio	Serie B	         	 N/A         (Left after 16 games with the team in 18th place)
2017/18   Brescia Calcio	Serie B	         	 10th        (Joined after 16 games with the team in 14th place)
2018/19   Brescia Calcio	Serie B	         	 N/A	     (Resigned after 34 games with the team in 13th place)
2019/20   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie B	         	 2nd	     (Joined after 15 games, team in 14th place) - Promoted!
2020/21   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie A	         	 17th	     Survival
2021/22   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie A	         	 11th	     
2022/23   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie A	         	 10th	     
2023/24   Hellas Verona F.C.	Serie A	         	 6th	     [b]TIM Cup winners![/b]

My A.C. Giacomense Record (2011 - 2012 [133 days]):


P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
19	5	7	7	17	23	26%		None

My A.C. Mezzocorona Record (2012 - 2015 [1085 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
143	57	43	43	179	153	39%		Lega Pro Seconda Divisione Girone B Runners-up

My A.C. Perugia Calcio Record (2015 - 2017 [739 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
91	43	22	26	148 	110	47%		Coppa Italia di Lega Pro Winners!
							Lega Pro Prima Divisione Runners-up
							Lega Pro Prima Divisione Play-off Winners!

My Brescia Calcio Record (2017 - 2019 [497 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
62	24	19	19 	82	76	38%		

My Hellas Verona F.C. Record (2019 - Present [1718 days]):

P 	W 	D 	L 	F	A	Win % 		Competitions Won / Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
190	80	48	62 	264	208	42%		Serie B Runners-up
							TIM Cup Winners!


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Nice job on the cup and steady progression in the past years of the league.

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Brilliant season! Aside from that 8-game winless run that definitely was Champions League qualification form - just a bit more quality in depth and you'll be there. I'd consider retraining Mroki to AMC - his passing, creativity and composure are all more than good enough to be a trequartista, not to mention his outstanding dead ball ability. What I certainly wouldn't do is sell him - he's awesome!

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Brilliant season! Aside from that 8-game winless run that definitely was Champions League qualification form - just a bit more quality in depth and you'll be there. I'd consider retraining Mroki to AMC - his passing, creativity and composure are all more than good enough to be a trequartista, not to mention his outstanding dead ball ability. What I certainly wouldn't do is sell him - he's awesome!

Thanks SnakeXe.

Yeah, and I think you're right about Mroki, so I'll be retraining him! Seems obvious but I hadn't thought of it yet, although I think I would have got there in the end! ;)

I wasn't really intending on selling unless I got a very big offer.

Have fun in Europe.

Thanks! I'll try! :)

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Just thought I would give you my first post, after being a long time lurker I can say your updates are great, I have read this and your Saints one and there both brilliant.

As you can no doubt tell from my Username I am a huge fan of Italian football and you have inspired me to look at starting my own career Italian thread.

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Thanks! Honoured to have your first post in my career thread. :)

Look forward to you starting your own Italian career thread soon!

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