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trman73

After 10 years with FM, my first career update

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

Thanks Johnny! I really can't believe I got a Serie A job.

January 21, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (5-8-8, 23 pts., 16th) vs. AC Milan (9-8-4, 35 pts., 6th)

Hopefully the cup victory in midweek will carry us to some good results in the league. After this match against a quality AC Milan squad, we've got three games where we should get results: Chievo (11th), Empoli (20th), and Brescia (19th).

Prior to the match we offload 33-year-old center back Santiago Gentiletti, who signs with Maccabi Tel Aviv. We shed a $1.35 million salary for a guy who had a 6.57 rating in three games this year. I've got eight more guys on the transfer list, and would love to dump them all.

Despite playing on a wet pitch, we come out on fire in this match (thank you, thank you very much). Frederico Dionisi nets a goal on a blistering shot in the 9th, and we're up 1-0. We catch a break as AC Milan loses a man to a red card, and in the 24th we take advantage as our other forward, Leonardo Pavoletti, scores to make it 2-0. That's the score at the break in what's been our best half thus far.

I anticipate a tense second half, and sure enough Milan pulls to within 2-1 in the 50th. But they don't find the net again, and we pick up just an enormous 2-1 home win against a very good club. I'm elated for the boys, and with some weaker teams coming up, we have a chance to really pull together a nice string of results.

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Edited by trman73

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

January 24, 2018 - Serie A: Chievo (7-7-8, 28 pts., 12th) vs. Genoa (6-8-8, 26 pts., 16th)

A win in this match could move us as high as 12th if everything breaks right. I'll settle for another good performance and a win on the road.

We're completely out of sorts in the first half. We give up a goal in the 16th and really could have conceded a couple more. I challenge the team at the break to show me something else, and they do. Just two minutes into the second half, Dionisi scores his second in as many matches to tie it. Late in the game a Chievo player gets sent off with his second yellow (the fourth player to pick up a red card in my five matches). We can't convert despite controlling play for the final ten minutes, and we settle for a 1-1 draw and our third straight match with at least a point.

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Edited by trman73

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

January 28, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (6-9-8, 27 pts., 15th) vs. Empoli (3-4-16, 13 pts., 20th)

Empoli is a desperate team, or at least they should be. Nine full points back of the relegation line with 15 games to go, they've got a lot of work to do if they want to survive their fourth straight season in Serie A. A bit of bad news for us heading into this one, as our strongest defender, Armando Izzo, will miss the next 2-3 weeks with an ankle injury. Still, we should be able to hold off this team.

We concede in the first and its another bad start for us. But we get a break later in the half when Empoli is called for a penalty, and we convert to tie it.

Late in the match, the central defender we brought on for Izzo, Nicolas Burdisso, gets called for a red. I make a coaching mistake and don't go into defensive mode, and sure enough, we concede the game-winner in stoppage time. It was a poor match for us, but I fall on my sword and take the blame due to my late-game tactical mistake. Argh. We're back down to 16th.

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Edited by trman73

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

With January 31st approaching I turn my attention to the transfer window, and to training, as this is the first time we've had a full week between matches since I took over.

As I said, I've got eight guys listed, but I only offload one of them despite offering them to clubs for literally nothing. Left back Francisco Renzetti is the one to go, accepting an offer from Serie B side Atalanta. The good news, I guess, is that we've got about $4.5 million in salary coming off the books at the end of the year for guys we have no intention of re-signing.

Overall it's been a lackluster start to my career at Genoa. We're 2-2-3 overall in our seven matches and have scored just six goals. We've got a chance to pick up three points this week against a Brescia team that's now in last place after being jumped by Empoli based on their win over us. We can't falter in another match against one of the worst clubs in Serie A.

February 3, 2018 - Serie A: Brescia (3-5-16, 14 pts., 20th) vs. Genoa (6-9-9, 27 pts., 16th)

Oh man we come out on a mission in this one. We get a goal from left midfielder Isma Lopez just two minutes in, and follow that up with a fantastic strike from Miguel Veloso (our first goal from a central midfielder) just four minutes later. After narrowly missing just a couple minutes later, Veloso gets his second in the 21st and we're putting this one out of reach early. Brescia gets it together somewhat in the second half, holding us scoreless, but they never really challenge and we get back on track with a thorough 3-0 victory.

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Edited by trman73

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Rough start with Genoa, but clearly ou inherited a team that wasn't faring that well to begin with.

You've got a plan in place, cut some deadwood, that's about all you can do at this point. It sometimes only takes that one good win to turn things around. Good luck.

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

Thanks Bad. I was hoping to shed a lot more salary during the window, but it wasn't to be. There are a ton of spare parts on this team that it looks like I'm just going to have to wait out contracts for. Thanks for reading.

I have my first three players named in the Serie A Team of the Week for last week, as Veloso (2 goals) and defenders Wallace and Luis Orban make it. Nothing like the worst team in the league to build some confidence.

February 6, 2018: Italian Cup Semifinal, First Leg: Genoa vs. Fiorentina

Fiorentina defeated us in my first match as Genoa manager, so I'd like to exact a little revenge here while also setting us up with a good performance in the first leg of this semi.

Well, that didn't happen. It was a crazy first 12 minutes of this match, with four goals scored. Unfortunately, we only scored one of them. Throw in another by Fiorentina in the 19th and we're down 4-1 at the break. We score on a PK right at the start of the second half to cut it to 4-2, and the Fiorentina defense remains leaky and allows Pavoletti to score his second to pull us closer. But in the closing seconds of the match, we concede a penalty on a sloppy foul by backup center defender Luca Rigoni, and all our hard work appears to go for naught as we fall 5-3.

Crazy, crazy game. Not a good match for us, and Fiorentina clearly had its sights set on establishing control in this first leg. I doubt we're going to outscore these guys by three goals in the road leg, so I start preparing my "this allows us to focus on other things" speech for a a couple weeks from now.

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Edited by trman73

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

February 11, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (7-9-9, 30 pts., 13th)  vs. Udinese (11-4-10, 37 pts., 9th)

My favorite FM career ever was in FM15. I started with Russian Second Division club Gazorik Orenberg, and took them to the Russian Premier League after my second season. I leveraged that into a job with MLS club Columbus, who I won MLS Cup with in my first year. I returned to Russia after a couple more good seasons in Columbus and managed Krasnodar two to Russia Cup wins and then, in my fifth year there, a Russian Premier League title win as well as a trip to the Europa League final, which I lost to Atletico Madrid on penalties.

I went back to MLS, won two MLS Cups with NY Red Bulls, and then took a job at Sampdoria, which was near relegation when I took them over. I proceeded to coach that team for eight years, advancing to Champions League in each of my six full seasons with them. We finished third three times, and second three times. One of my first moves was picking up a young left midfielder from Barcelona named Marco Esposito, who in his time with me progressed to become a finalist for World Player of the Year twice, and is my favorite player ever in my coaching careers. (The first year he was a finalist, he scored 25 goals with 25 assists).

In my second to last season, we were struggling in eighth or ninth place after 30 games, and the board was losing patience with me. I was 64, and had committed to retiring after my age 65 season. I didn't want to go out like this. Then we won seven straight, and entered the last game of the season in first place, a point ahead of Roma.

We played Udinese in that last game, and they were in something like 15th place. We went up 2-0 in the first half. Then in the second half, they knocked Esposito and four more of my players out of the game, breaking Esposito's leg in what was ultimately a nine-month injury. For the last ten minutes of the game we were down to nine men, and in stoppage time they scored to tie it 2-2, and that's how it ended. Roma beat whoever they were playing, and they overtook us by one point to win the league. When Udinese scored that goal, I dropped an F-bomb so loud I woke up one of my kids, who asked me what was wrong.

The next year I started something like 3-3-3 in my first nine games, and knew I was going to get fired. So I retired instead.

I've played dozens of careers in Football Manager, Out of the Park Baseball, Front Office Football, and Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball. Hell, I'm old enough to have played Tony LaRussa Baseball back when I was a kid. And nothing, nothing, ever made me as mad as that game against Udinese in 2037 in FM15. I legitimately thought that I might quit playing sports games after 30 years.

The point of all this is... I freaking hate Udinese.

My players obviously don't know that this is a grudge match for me, but good God it is. I want to Win. This. Match.

We come out strong and in the 20th Dionisi scores to give us the lead. For the next 70 minutes we hold Udinese down, and they can't break through. Then in the final minute of stoppage time, they hit the post and the crossbar in one sequence before we clear the ball and the final whistle blows for a 1-0 win.

Unbelievable, after everything I wrote about my history with this team, Udinese injures two of our players with rough challenges - Darko Lazovic will miss 2-3 weeks with a strained hammy, and then the big blow, Pavoletti is out 5-6 weeks with strained knee ligaments. Man, screw these guys.

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Edited by trman73

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Loving this thread! My fm hate team is Man Utd they've beaten me in UCL finals dozens of times while I've only managed to beat them 3 times haha

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

Hey Malaussie, it's fun to have a "hate team." I have no problems hating United so I will stand with you in our shared dislike of them. (Also, I replied to your private message about the basketball sim.)

February 19, 2018 - Serie A: Lazio (13-8-5, 47 pts., 4th) vs. Genoa (8-9-9, 33 pts., 11th)

We're up to 11th as we prep for the first of three road matches, including the second leg of our cup semi against Fiorentina.

First up is Lazio, which is having a nice season this year in Serie A and currently sits in fourth. We get Izzo back at center back for this one but are without two injured starters as well as our right back, who is out due to yellow cards. In midweek our backup right back goes down with injury, and we have to use center back Ezequiel Munoz on the right side. This will be a tough one. I'll take a draw here.

We hang with Lazio until the 28th minute, when a really stupid foul leads to a penalty that they convert to put us down 1-0. They add a second at the beginning of the second half to go up two, and then a third in the 78th, and it's a lackluster 3-0 loss for us. I'm dreading having to play the next moth without our striker Pavoletti, as our attack was just terrible in this game.

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Edited by trman73

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

February 24, 2018 - Serie A: Verona (6-7-14, 25 pts., 18th) vs. Genoa (8-9-10, 33 pts., 11th)

Our next three league matches are against very beatable opponents (Verona, Cesena, and Bologna), then we have a really rough stretch of games, so we need to get three points here. I'm going with my most effective center back combo, Wallace and Rigoni, but have to shake up the lineup again to account for the loss of our left back Lucas Orban due to yellow cards (he was the guy who committed the silly foul in the box against Lazio). We move Isma Lopez, who has been quite good at left midfielder, to the back, and use a backup player in the midfield. We also bring up 19-year-old Spanish striker Asencio from the Under 20s and pair him up front with Dionisi, as I don't like any of the options we have on the senior club. As I look ahead to the offseason, a right midfielder and a solid forward will be my two main targets for 2018-19.

A quick interesting note from world football - PSG lost to OM in Ligue 1 this weekend, snapping a 46-match unbeaten streak in the league spanning the last two seasons. I'd been monitoring this as it looked like PSG had a real chance at an undefeated season in the league. Oh well. They are 23-4-1 this year in Ligue 1 and have an insurmountable lead in that division. They are also undefeated and still playing in both of the French cup competitions, and are in the Champions League knockout round. Not bad. Unai Emery is 75-11-7 since the start of this save. Their top player is actually Christian Pulisic, the American, who they bought from Dortmund last season.

On to our match...

We get a fluke goal five minutes in as a weak clear from Verona bounces off a midfielder and right to Wallace, who passes to Dionisi for the goal. But we give the lead up in the 37th as a Verona midfielder sneaks past Lopez to tie it. At halftime I encourage the team and tell them they're playing well, and just 27 seconds into the second half Asencio scores in his first game with the big club to give us the lead back. That's the last goal of the game and we hang on for an important 2-1 road win.

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Edited by trman73

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trman73   

February 27, 2018: Italian Cup Semifinal, Second Leg: Fiorentina vs. Genoa (Fiorentina leads, 5-3)

OK look, we are not going to win this match. So I'm starting a bunch of subs to rest up my regular team for the final 10 games of the season. I don't do this lightly. I hate conceding matches and don't think it's a good strategy. But this is just not going to happen, and it's a chance for me to assess some players who haven't been getting regular run for us.

We lose, 1-0. I really don't have much to add to that.

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trman73   

I'm basically halfway through my season with Genoa, so time to assess...

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In Serie A we've gone 4-2-4 in our 10 matches. We won one game we probably shouldn't have against AC Milan, lost one we shouldn't have against Empoli, and other than that I'd say we've done what was expected of us. I'd give us a B grade thus far.

As for the cup, basically the same deal. Beating Lazio wasn't a huge upset, and losing to Fiorentina certainly wasn't. So again, probably a B grade.

Our final stretch of the season includes matches against the top three teams (Juventus, Inter, and Napoli) as well as Roma, Sampdoria, and Fiorentina again. That's six matches against the top ten teams in the league.

Overall I feel decent about where we are, and so does the board, which is satisfied with my performance. The fact is, we're a very average team, and we're playing very average football, and frankly I'd like to get some decent results in our final quarter of the season, and then focus my attention on strengthening this squad during the summer.

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

Let's take a break from Serie A and look at the World Cup groups, which I forgot to share back in December when the draw took place.

WC1.thumb.png.393efa88cb530c29dd8569947b686dbd.pngWC2.thumb.png.9c62ca518efcb1c5e56bbd324db31f8d.png

The "group of death" is definitely Group H, where each of those teams are ranked in the top 11 in the world. My Polish team looks like it could definitely advance from Group E, and the Americans will have tough matches against Belgium (15th in the world) and Croatia (4th... ???).

I'll give World Cup updates once the tourney kicks off in June.

Edited by trman73

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Posted (edited)

March 4, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (9-9-10, 36 pts., 12th) vs. Cesena (7-9-12, 30 pts., 15th)

If we're winning the matches we should be winning and losing those we should be losing, then we should beat this Cesena team, which has just one win in its last eight matches. Other than Pavoletti, we have everyone back for this match, so I'm feeling good about getting a victory here.

We get a rare treat in the first half as midfielder Tomas Rincon scores his first of the season, and we're up 1-0. The remainder of the match is a relatively boring affair, but we'll take it. We do get starting defender Luca Rigoni sent off late, so he'll miss our next match. But it's a solid, if uninspired, win for us, and I'm now above .500 at 5-2-4 in Serie A. We're just a point back from the top half of the table.

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Edited by trman73

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

March 11, 2018 - Serie A: Bologna (7-9-13, 30 pts., 16th) vs. Genoa (10-9-10, 39 pts., 12th)

We've traded wins and losses in each of our last eight matches, although two of those were the cup matches against Fiorentina. We've actually won four of five in Serie A. To make it five of six we have to beat a Bologna team that lost its last match but prior to that won two of three with three clean sheets. This should be our last match without Pavoletti, who is just a few days away from resuming training. 

We get a quick goal when a corner kick bounces right off the hands of Bologna's keeper and in. But then midway through the half we get yet another red card (our fifth since I've taken over) and lose starting right back Riccardo Flamozzi for the match. We maintain the 1-0 lead at the half, but Bologna ties it in the 55th. We try to play possession football a man down, but they score a second in the 81st and hang on to win. It's a frustrating loss, and our win-lose-win-lose streak is now at nine.

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Edited by trman73

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

March 17, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (10-9-11, 39 pts., 12th) vs. Juventus (20-3-7, 63 pts., 1st)

Obviously this is the team against which you measure yourself in Serie A. Juve hasn't been dominant this year, as evidenced by their seven losses, and they hold just a one-point lead over Inter and a three-point lead over Napoli in the league. So they're not unbeatable, but they are still the cream of the crop in Serie A.

Prior to the match our new youth candidates are announced, and I'm underwhelmed. Just five players with two-star potential ratings.

I thought we'd get Pavoletti back for this match, but he's not fully recovered from his knee injury and I don't want to chance it with him.

Two minutes into the match, Frederico Dionisi steals a clear from the Juventus end and finds a streaking Isma Lopez down the left side. Lopez puts it in and we're up 1-0! We play well throughout the first half, and in the 38th Dionisi is fouled in the box, nails the penalty, and we are up on Juve 2-0!

Less than five minutes later, we get called for our own foul in the box, Paulo Dybala scores it, and Juventus is back to 2-1 at the break.

I keep waiting for the equalizer from Juve in the second half, and they have some great chances. But they never break through and we hang on for an incredible 2-1 win over the league leaders! I am so proud of this team for that effort, and tell them so in the locker room. Just a special win for us. I am elated.58f3fe3882177_ScreenShot2017-04-16at6_28_47PM.thumb.png.bfba3bc443adf4809341fbd8f08993e2.png

 

Edited by trman73

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

Thanks Keano! This was my best win of this save, obviously. Woo hoo!

It's international break time, so let's look in at how my old team, Santiago Wanderers, are doing in the Chilean First Division. Unfortunately, they have not taken the momentum we gained last year and run with it. Under the leadership of former Universidad de Chile manager Victor Hugo Castaneda, the Wanderers have not won any of their first six games, going 0-3-3. They currently sit 15th out of 16. Not a good start for them, and I feel bad for the guys.

March 31, 2018 - Serie A: Inter (20-3-8, 63 pts., 2nd) vs. Genoa (11-9-11, 42 pts., 11th)

We've got a second straight match with one of the premier teams in the league. Inter is tied with Juventus at the top of the table, and leads in goal differential, but they're second based on a loss to Juve in their first meeting (head-to-head is the first tiebreaker in Serie A). The good news for us is that we do get Pavoletti back for this match, and we field our regular starting 11 for the first time in more than six weeks. The bad news is, it's Inter on the road, and they're playing for the title here in the last seven weeks of league play.

Oh. My. God. The Juventus result was us hanging on by a thread until the last second to pull it out, but this one was over by halftime. In his first game back, Pavoletti scores a goal in the 16th to give us a 1-0 lead, then another in the 21st to make it 2-0. Dionisi adds one in the 31st, and we close out an absolutely stunning first half with Dionisi setting up Isma Lopez to make it 4-0.

Inter scores twice in the final six minutes of the game to make it look a lot more respectable than it actually was. We win, 4-2, and have completed an incredible double, beating the two best teams in the league in consecutive matches. The win moves us up to ninth in the league, just a point behind our rivals Sampdoria for eighth.

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Edited by trman73

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ManUtd1   

Great win over Juve, you FM'd them!

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trman73   

April 7, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (12-9-11, 45 pts., 9th) vs. Sassuolo (10-8-14, 38 pts., 14th)

After two wins against the league's top teams, we can't afford to let up against a Sassuolo team that has just one win in its last eight matches. If we can take this one, that would be seven wins in our last nine Serie A games.

Another game, and another incredible first half for us as both our strikers put one in the net in the opening 45 minutes: Dionisi continues to dominate, scoring his goal in the 22nd and then setting up Pavoletti for his just three minutes later. We're up 2-0 at the break, and appear headed to our third straight win.

In the 52nd, Sassuolo scores one from 25 yards out to pull it to 2-1. We play pretty poorly over the next 15 minutes and it looks like Sassuolo may tie it, but then Miguel Veloso scores on a nice cross from Darko Lazovic and our two-goal cushion is back. We snuff out their last couple chances and win another, 3-1.

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trman73   

We suffer a training blow this week as central defender Luca Rigoni strained knee ligaments and is lost for 5-6 weeks, essentially ending his season. Fifth on my depth chart when I took over, this guy wound up pairing with Wallace to form our best center back combo. I'll replace him with Armando Izzo, who is actually, ratings-wise, our best defender.

April 15, 2018 - Serie A: Napoli (20-5-8, 65 pts., 2nd) vs. Genoa (13-9-11, 48 pts., 9th)

This is the last of our matches against the big three of the league this year. Napoli was top of the table for much of the season, but ha fallen off in the last two months, going 2-1-4 in their last seven league matches. They now trail Juventus by four points with five to go, and will be desperate to get back on track against us here. But we are playing easily our best football of the season, and we're not going down without a fight.

It's yet another great start as Pavoletti leads a great pass to Tomas Rincon in the third minute to put us up 1-0. But Napoli ties it in the 16th on a goal that was incredibly close to being offside, and at the half we're tied 1-1. We get the lead back in the 62nd with the first goal of the year from right back Riccardo Fiamozzi, but give it back again in the 77th. We're content to settle for the draw against a really good Napoli team, but on literally the last chance of the match, they score off a corner and take it, 3-2. It's an incredibly tough result to take, and our winning streak is over.

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April 22, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (13-9-12, 48 pts., 10th) vs. Pescara (11-6-17, 39 pts., 14th)

We should be able to rebound against a Pescara team that is on a two-game losing streak. Prior to the match I receive word that a couple of my better veteran players, Lucas Orban and Amando Izzo, want to pursue other opportunities in the offseason. I don't want to lose these guys, but they'd both get us nice transfer fees and would open things up for us financially. So we'll wait and see on these guys.

It's an eventful first half, and not for all good reasons. Our striker, Pavoletti, goes down with an injury just 12 minutes in, and a minute after we sub him out Pescara scores to take the lead. But we answer on a fine bit of passing from Wallace to Isma Lopez, and go into the break tied 1-1. It's an uneventful second half and it ends in a draw. My big concern now is the status of Pavoletti, and after the game I learn that it's a hip injury that will keep him out for three months. Ugh. Our great run over the past few weeks coincided with his return to the lineup. Now I'm worried we're going to limp toward the finish line.

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trman73   
Posted (edited)

April 29, 2018 - Serie A: Roma (15-7-13, 52 pts., 9th) vs. Genoa (13-10-12, 49 pts., 10th)

We've got three games left in our season: this road match at Roma, a home match with our rivals Sampdoria, and then the season closer at Fiorentina. I'm 8-3-6 in Serie A during my tenure, and would love to finish the season with a winning record. Roma has been the biggest disappointment in the league this year. After finishing in the top three each of the past four years, they will not play in European competition next year unless they win the Italian Cup against Fiorentina. If we can knock off these guys as well as Sampdoria next week, we have a chance at finishing 8th in the league.

Of course we're without Pavoletti for this one and for our last two matches. I'm going with Giovanni Simeone, a 22-year-old, in Pavoletti's spot, as Asencio has not been impressive during his run in the starting lineup.

This is a really entertaining match. We go up 1-0 with another goal from Isma Lopez in the 20th, but Roma ties it in the 43th and it's 1-1 at halftime. Then Roma kicks it into another gear. They go up 2-1 early in the second half and increase it to 3-1 in the 75th. We go into an all-out attack and close it to 3-2 with a strike from Veloso, and apply incredible pressure in the final few minutes, but Roma holds on, 3-2. After our three-game winning streak, we're now winless in our last three, and we've fallen back to 11th.

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Edited by trman73

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May 6, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (13-10-13, 49 pts., 11th) vs. Sampdoria (16-8-12, 56 pts., 8th)

We're going to finish either 10th, 11th, or 12th in the league. That's not a whole lot to play for, but this match is against our city-mates and arch rivals (not to mention my favorite Serie A team). Sampdoria's fate is pretty much determined as well, as they're going to finish between 7th and 9th and will miss out on continental play next year. So this match is for pride, and my guys have shown me that they do have pride. We're going to fight for this one. On top of that, this della Lanterna Derby match is a sellout, with more than 31,000 fans expected to be in attendance, the largest home crowd I've ever managed in front of.

On a nice team note, Miguel Veloso was named to the Serie A Team of the Month for April, a nice honor for him. He scored two goals and had a 7.4 rating in our four matches.

The big match of the week is Saturday, the day before our game, as Juventus tries to clinch the league title in a home match against the team in second, Napoli. A Napoli win means the Juve lead will be just a point heading to the final week. But unsurprisingly, Juventus takes it, 2-0, and clinches its seventh consecutive Serie A title.

We're the second-best team for the first 66 minutes of this match, but in the 67th Sampdoria gets a clear path to the goalie. Perin comes out to challenge, and their striker lobs it over his head and into the goal to give them a 1-0 lead. But in the 75th, after mounting very few challenges to this point, Lazovic finds Tomas Rincon with a really pretty pass between two defenders in the box, and Rincon puts it home to tie it. Both teams have some serious defensive lapses in the final 10 minutes, but neither of us can take advantage, and we settle for a 1-1 draw in the derby.

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Edited by trman73

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On the last weekend of the season in Europe, there's no drama at all regarding who will win the major leagues.

England - Man U. clinches its second straight title. Champions League qualifiers are United, City, Chelsea, and Tottenham.

Germany - Bayern takes the Bundesliga title back after losing it to Dortmund last year. Dortmund will be in Champions League, as will Leverkusen and Gelsenkirchen.

France - PSG easily wins it over Monaco. OM joins them in Champions League.

Spain - It's Real Madrid easily, with Atletico and Barcelona battling it out for second on the final day.

And, for the record, the Wanderers are now 2-5-5 and in 12th in the Chilean First Division.

As for Serie A...

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The big drama here is that Napoli hosts Inter for the final Champions League spot next year. Lazio is the victim of Roma and Fiorentina playing in the final of the Italian Cup, as that will keep them our of Europa League. As for us, Udinese and Torino play in the finale, so we'll have a chance to move up to 11th with a win, or possibly even 10th if those two clubs draw and we win. But we've played lackluster football over the past month, and I'm just not sure how motivated the guys will be in this final match.

May 13, 2018 - Serie A: Fiorentina (15-12-10, 57 pts., 8th) vs. Genoa (13-11-13, 50 pts., 12th)

Fiorentina has its big Italian Cup Final match in three days, so there's a chance they don't field their best team in this one, particularly since they don't have much to play for here. Torino beats Udinese on Saturday, so if we get a point we pass damned Udinese for 11th. That's motivation enough for me, but maybe not for the fellas.

It's a chippy and disjointed first half, but then Rincon hits Dazovic down the right side and he dribbles into the box and scores, and we're up 1-0 at halftime. Fiorentina plays the second half like a team that's already got its mind on the cup final, and we hang on to win, 1-0, to finish our season on a high note.

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Edited by trman73

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Posted (edited)

Genoa 2017-18 Season Review

Serie A: 14-11-13, 53 pts., 11th

We were in 13th position when I took over and we finished two slots higher, in 11th. I went 9-4-7 in my 20 league matches this year. If you count only the second half of the season, I went 9-4-6, which projects to 62 points for a full league campaign. That would have put us in a solid 7th position. We scored 29 goals and allowed 27 in my matches, and again, counting only the final 19 games, we scored 28 and allowed 25. That would have put us 6th in goals scored and 12th in goals allowed. The team certainly improved under my leadership, and we scored really nice wins over AC Milan, Fiorentina, and of course the back-to-back wins over Juventus and Inter, which was the highlight of our year. Overall, I'd say we laid a nice foundation for next year, and showed that we can play with the top teams in Serie A when we are at our best. Grade: B+

Italian Cup: Knocked out by Fiorentina in Semifinals

We won our first match under the previous regime, then I scored a win over Lazio before bowing out to a superior Fiorentina side. I basically gave up on this competition in the second leg of the semis, but I'd say a semifinal appearance for this squad is something to be proud of. Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B+

Season Co-MVPs: MC Miguel Veloso and MC Tomas Rincon

Once I abandoned the 4-2-4 that clearly did not work for this group and settled on the more traditional 4-4-2, my central midfielders definitely were our leaders on the pitch. For the year, Veloso finished with 4 goals, 5 assists and a a 7.08 rating (7.11 in the league), and Rincon had 3 goals, 4 assists, and a 7.06 rating (7.09 in the league). Runners-Up: F Leonardo Pavoletti scored a team-high 15 goals. And our team got a lot stingier defensively when I brought DC Wallace, on loan from Lazio, into the starting lineup.

This was how fan voting wound up...

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Offseason Priorities

We have some areas to strengthen. We need a third central midfielder who can give Veloso and Rincon a rest when they need one. Despite coming on at the end of the year, I'd like to upgrade from Darko Lazovic at right midfielder, or at least give him some competition for starts. And our biggest need is a third striker. When Pavoletti went down we really had no one to fill his spot at the advanced forward position. We need to fix that.

I also need to see which of my veterans I can afford to place on the transfer list. We've got some older players who make big salaries and who would fetch a nice price in the market. I don't want to gut the team, but I may need to make some tough choices. In a league where you can register 25 over-20 players, ideally I start next year with 2 goalies, 9 defenders, 9 midfielders, and 5 forwards.

Edited by trman73

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Posted (edited)

Quick update on the final competitions of the year:

Roma destroys Fiorentina, 5-1, to claim the Italian Cup for the first time since 2008.

Tottenham breaks Sevilla's run of four straight Europa League crowns with a 2-1 win over Valencia.

And in the big one, Bayern takes on Real Madrid in a battle of the last two winners of the Champions League. In a thrilling match, Bayern scores in the 84th to break a 2-2 tie, and hold on to win 3-2 to become the first team to ever win two straight European titles!

Back to Genoa...

World Cup squads are announced on May 28, and our keeper, Mattia Perin, makes Italy's squad. A great honor for him.

The board only increases my salary budget by a couple million bucks (to $41 million) and gives me a transfer budget of just over $1 million. So if I want to fill the holes I mentioned in my previous post, I'm definitely going to need to offload salary and use the $4 million or so we'll get from expiring  contracts wisely.

We make our first offer of the offseason to Verona for central defender Matteo Bianchetti, a 25-year-old who was their best defender last season. Fulham is also pursuing him. We also get two offers, from Watford and West Brom, for Perin, each at $11.5 million. I need to seriously consider selling this player.

 

Edited by trman73

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I reject both of the offers I receive for Perin, and then an offer comes in from OM for $15.5 million. That's hard to refuse, but I try to squeeze even more out of the Ligue 1 club, negotiating a fee of $18.5 million.

Then I receive word that the board has gone over my head and accepted the $15.5 million offer. I request a meeting and ask them to reconsider, but it's fruitless, and the offer is accepted for the Italian national. I'm torn: this moves definitely hurts us, but it gives me a lot of cash to spend on some additional players.

Our offer for Bianchetti, the defender, is accepted by Verona, and we sign him for $1 million. We make a second offer, to Juve for a really promising 22-year old who can play both wide midfielder spots, Federico Mattiello. They accept a $1 million fee for him and I sign him to a three-year deal at $950,000 per year.

World Cup Update

There's huge news in Italy as the Azzurri fail to make it out of the group of death in the group stage of the World Cup. After beating France in their opener, 1-0, the Italians fall to Mexico, 2-0, and draw with Chile, 1-1 in a game they needed to win. There's shock throughout the country.

Here's how the rest of the group stage played out...

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Some epic matchups in the first knockout round: Germany and Argentina in a battle of finalists from the last World Cup. Spain and Holland in a 2010 final rematch. And the big rivalry match between two teams that hate each other, the US and Mexico. Should be good.

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It's July 1 and the 2018-19 Serie A schedule is announced. We have an absolutely brutal start to the season. We open at home hosting our rivals, Sampdoria, then visit Juventus, are home against Inter, have a little break against Cesena on the road, then come back home to play Roma. Man, that's a tough opening five. If we can survive that test, we'll be in good shape as we head into the meat of the season.

We've still got work to do in the offseason. Although I like the two additions we've brought in thus far, we still need to bring in another central midfielder, and we don't have that third forward. I'm waiting for Perin to agree on a contract, and we'll have the funds to bring those needed guys in. We make an offer for a 24-year-old Brazilian center midfielder who'd been playing in Portugal, but are outbid by Inter. We do, however, seem to find our third striker in 22-year-old Colombian Rafael Santos Borre, who scored 13 goals last season for Dijon in Ligue 1. We make a $1.7 million offer for him that's accepted, and agree to a three-year contract at just under a million a year.

World Cup Update

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The defending champs are out as Germany falls to Argentina on a goal from Sergio Aguero. Each of the last two runners-up get revenge on the teams that beat them as Holland defeats Spain easily. And the US is thoroughly dominated by Mexico as they get out-shot 13-2. A really interesting final eight here.

 

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I think we've found our final pieces of the offseason. We make an offer to Verona for 26-year-old center midfielder Federico Viviani, who compiled a 6.94 rating for them last year. We also make a loan offer for a 19-year-old center midfielder, Miguel Luis, from Sporting. If we can secure these signings, I'll feel pretty good heading into our friendlies.

World Cup Update

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Three of the four games go to penalties, highlighted by the England-Mexico shootout, which goes seven rounds until Tottenham's Daniel Lee Rose misses. Portugal, on the other hand, misses all of its kicks in falling 3-0 to the Belgians. Obviously the big surprise in the semis is Mexico, but they'll have a tough opponent in Argentina.

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Posted (edited)

As we're trying to finalize our last moves of the offseason, the board makes another move that will really have an effect on our club. They accept a $12 million offer from Zenit for Leonardo Pavoletti, our top goal scorer from a season ago. I get another meeting and tell them that this transfer will really hurt our chances for success this season, and this time they hear me and pull the offer. It's a huge relief.

We sign Barre and Viviani, and while our loan offer for Luis falls through, we actually get a better loaner central midfielder in Rolando Mandragora, who joins us or the season from Juventus. We're done.

World Cup Update

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It's all over, and the Belgians have won it! It's heartbreak again for Messi and the Argentines, who give up two goals in the first eight minutes and can never climb back. Belgium wins its first World Cup, and Argentina is the runner-up for the second straight cup.

Edited by trman73

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Rikki. I kind of plowed through the offseason in a long session last night. Glad you're enjoying.

Our first friendly is a defensive disaster, as we go down 3-0 on the road to Serie B side Novara. We climb back, but lose 4-3. The big news out of this one is that I had planned to let Eugenio Lamanna take over for our departed keeper Perin. He didn't impress in limited duty last year, and he was a mess in our opening friendly. I'm not giving up on him, but I decide to look for another keeper, and I find one in 24-year-old Adrian Ortola from Barcelona's B Team. We make a $1 million offer for him and sign him to a four-year deal at just over $1 million a year. Now we are finally done with our offseason shopping.

Here's who we've brought in...

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Some nice talent here. I feel like the key acquisition here is Borre, who I'm starting to think may partner with Pavoletti to form our starting forward combo, knocking Dionisi to the bench. I've got another two friendlies to fool around with pairings, and then we have an Italian Cup Third Qualifying Round match against an opponent TBD.

Edited by trman73

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Posted (edited)

We play better in my next tuneup and draw with a mid-level Bundesliga team, Hannover, with Tomas Rincon scoring in the 88th to salvage a 1-1 result. Then in our only home friendly, we fall 3-2 to Red Bull Salzberg, the top team in Austria, on a goal in stoppage time. We're not exactly off to a roaring start here, but frankly I don't put too much stock in friendlies. We've got one more, against Serie C side Spezia, before the regular season kicks off.

But first...

A huge development as Zenit ups its offer for Pavoletti to $13 million with incentives that could eventually increase it to $18.5 million. The board accepts, and I'm told that despite my previous request to retain our top striker, they aren't going to budge this time. While I understand the rationale here, this hurts our team immensely on the eve of our cup opener. This is just a huge bummer. I guess I'll see how much of the money we get from this move can be reinvested in another striker.

August 19, 2018 - Italian Cup Third Qualifying Round: Genoa vs. Bari

The Italian Cup is structured like most cups, but the round of 16 is actually considered the first round. Previous rounds are considered qualifying rounds, and here in the third qualifying round 12 of the 20 teams from Serie A enter the tournament. We draw Bari, a Serie B side that finished 8th in that league a year ago.

I start Pavoletti in this game despite his pending move to Zenit. New acquisition Ortola gets the start in net. Left midfielder Isma Lopez is nicked up for this one, but other than that all of our regulars are in the lineup.

Sixteen minutes into what may very well be his last match in a Genoa uniform, Pavoletti opens the scoring on a nice header in the box. That winds up being the game-winner. Dionisi adds a goal in the closing moments, Bari gets one in stoppage time, and it's a solid 2-1 win for us after a lackluster preseason.58f954f351dae_ScreenShot2017-04-20at7_40_00PM.thumb.png.fd41fa3c1b4915609135d7215b50b43c.png

The bad news is, we draw the worst possible matchup in the next round: a home match against the defending cup holders, Roma.

 

Edited by trman73

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Posted (edited)

The day before our final friendly, Pavoletti finalizes his deal with Zenit, and just like that, he's gone. I've got a couple options to replace him and I've got 11 days to bring someone in before our season opener.

We cruise past Spezia in our final friendly, with Pavoretti's replacement, Borre, netting two first-half goals. He's the starter now, so hopefully this gives him confidence heading into the season.

So we go 1-1-2 in our friendlies. Meh.

I don't normally make players over the age of 30 transfer targets, but I find the guy I want in 32-year-old striker Riccardo Meggiorini. He's scored 31 goals over the past two years for Chievo in Serie A. My $1.2 million bid is accepted, I offer him $1.47 million for each of the next two years, and we sign him. Dionisi and Borre will start for us, and this guy will get a lot of playing time as our key backup.

2018-19 Season Preview

Transfer Roundup

I shared my six additions in a previous post, and here's the profile of my final signing, Meggiorini...

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Again, I'm happy with this haul.

Outgoing players obviously start with Pavoletti and Perin. We get a total of $28 million for these two players, while our seven signings only cost $9 million in fees. We also neglected to re-sign some decent players from last year's team, including central defender Wallace (who was a loaner), and central defender Luca Rigoni.

Serie A - Board Expectation: Top Half; Media Prediction: 13th

I think we'll be better than 13th, without question. I think the board's expectation of a top half finish is fair.

Italian Cup - Board Expectation: First Round

This may be tough, as our next match in the final qualifying round pits us against Roma. If we win that, we'll face Fiorentina in the first round. Yikes.

Roster Strengths and Weaknesses

Goalkeepers: I'm slightly worried about our goalkeeping. I'll go ahead and start Ortola, with Lamanna as the backup. I've got a third, emergency goalie registered as well.

Defenders: Our starting left and right fullbacks return, as Riccardo Fiamozzi mans the right side and Lucas Orban is on the left. Ezekiel Munoz and Armando Izzo lost their starting spots for me last year, but I'll pair them in the middle to start the year. We've got solid backups at all positions here as well, so I like our depth.

Midfielders: Rincon and Veloso, our co-MVPs from a year ago, are back in the middle, with new additions Viviani and Mandragora the backups. Lazovic and Isma Lopez start in the wide midfielder spots, and again, good backups are available. This is the same starting midfield I played with last season.

Forwards: This is where the big changes are. I'll start Dionisi and newcomer Borre, with last-minute acquisition Meggiorini as the third man. Despite losing Pavoletti, I actually really like this group a lot.

My Prediction

Again, I think we'll be improved, but I'm not sure how much. I'm going to say that in the league we finish with something like 56 points (maybe 15-11-12), and finish 8th. In the cup, honestly, I don't think we meet the board's expectation, because I think we'll lose to Roma in our next match.

I'm excited to kick the season off.

Edited by trman73

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September 2, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (0-0-0) vs. Sampdoria (0-0-0)

We open the season against our arch rival and we've got a huge opportunity to get off to a great start in front of a sellout home crowd. We are completely injury-free here at the start of the season, and I'm excited about our prospects in 2018-19. These first five matches (which include Sampdoria, Juventus, Inter, and Roma) are going to be a huge test, but training has been good, the players are match fit, so there's nothing else to do but begin. I've lost all three of my opening matches as a head coach (including my mid-year opener with Genoa). That's a record I want to put to bed.

Sampdoria controls play in the early going, but in the 17th a poor pass in the midfield leads to a four-on-two rush for us. Borre hits Dionisi with a pass in the box and he puts it away to give us a 1-0 lead. But Sampdoria remains relentless, and just a minute after an easy chance hits the post for them, they score on a corner to tie it. Then, toward the end of the half, an innocent looking soft cross into the box winds up on the head of Isma Lopez, who puts it in, and we're up 2-1 at halftime. Exciting first half.

In the early moments of the second half Sampdoria ties it again on a 20-yarder that Ortola should have stopped. The game settles down after that, but in the 89th minute Sampdoria scores the game winner on another shot our keeper should have stopped, and we fall, 3-2. It's a fair result, as we were the inferior team throughout and would have been lucky to secure a point. I know I'm going to face some questions about losing the 2-1 lead, but my bigger concern is what will happen in our next match. If we play like this against Juventus, they'll score a half dozen against us.

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September 15, 2018 - Serie A: Juventus (1-0-0, 3 pts., 3rd) vs. Genoa (0-0-1, 0 pts., 12th)

I spend most of my time during the two-week international break embroiled in a controversy regarding one of our key players, Miguel Veloso. During the offseason he told me he was missing home and I offered to bring in a fellow Portuguese player to keep him company. I proceeded to not do that, and now he's whining to the media about it and telling me he has no plans to stay when his contract runs out at the end of this season. The rest of the team is unhappy with how I've handled it, and morale is sinking. Good God. All is not well at Genoa as we head out on the road to face the seven-time defending champs, who rolled Udinese 3-0 in their opener.

We hold off their attack for the majority of the first half, but they break through with a goal in the 44th. In the second half, we control play at the outset, and 10 minutes in Lazovic equalizes! We continue to play well and I start to think we'll get something out of this match. But in the 68th, Lucas Orban picks up his second yellow and is sent off, and two minutes later Juve scores again to go up 2-1. A man up, they add a third in the closing minutes. Viviani scores for us with just 30 seconds or so left in stoppage time, and we lose 3-2 again. My nightmare scenario is coming true here.

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Edited by trman73

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September 23, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (0-0-2, 0 pts., 16th) vs. Inter (2-0-0, 6 pts., 4th)

We're one of five teams that has not earned a point in our first two matches, and we're now facing one of four teams that's won its first two. We desperately need to at least get one point here. When I looked at our first five matches, I thought if we could get seven points I'd be elated. For that to happen, we need to wins and a draw in our next three. That's a tough task.

Things get off to a poor start as we concede on a breakaway in the 6th minute. But we get it back in the 13th on a goal from Rincon. The rest of the match is a really entertaining affair, as both teams have numerous chances, but no one breaks through again, and we settle for a 1-1 draw against a quality team. We finally have our first point of the season.

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Edited by trman73

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Posted (edited)

September 26, 2018 - Serie A: Cesena (1-1-1, 4 pts., 12th) vs. Genoa (0-1-2, 1 pt., 16th)

It's a quick turnaround as we face a Cesena team midweek that's got four points from its last two matches. This is the first match of the year where we're the favorites. We need to get three points here.

Midway through the first half Dionisi scores the easiest goal of his life as he steps in front of a pass for a steal in Cesena's end and goes in completely alone to nail one by the keeper. Toward the end of the half, it's Dionisi with another steal, and this time he sets up Borre for his first goal in a Genoa uniform. We're up 2-0 at the break. Just 18 second into the second half, Dionisi scores again on a great lead pass from Lazovic, and it's a rout. Then three minutes later, Lazovic gets one of his own to make it 4-0, and all of the angst from the first two games of the year is melting away. Cesena gets one to make it look a little more respectable, but we dominate this match and have our first win of the campaign.

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Edited by trman73

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September 30, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (1-1-2, 4 pts., 13th) vs. Roma (3-1-0, 10 pts., 1st)

Our third match in eight days sees us return home to face a Roma team that has yet to concede a goal in Serie A. Again, I thought if we could get seven points from our first five we'd be in fabulous shape, but it will be incredibly tough to beat this club.

We play well in the first half except for a huge mistake by our keeper. In the 29th, a soft shot bounces off his hands and right to Roma's striker, who puts it into essentially an empty net. In the second half Roma adds two more and they win, 3-0, securing their fifth straight shutout in the process.

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So we go 1-1-3 in our brutal opening stretch. We played well against Cesena and Inter, were disappointing against Sampdoria, were simply outclassed by a better Juventus team, and then pooped the bed against Roma. If we had just held that lead against Sampdoria I'd be feeling okay, but as it stands we're in 14th place and need a good run of results here to get back on track.

I need to make a change in goal, as Ortola is just not getting it done. I'm giving him one more match, and then it's Lamanna. We're really missing Perin.

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Posted (edited)

October 7, 2018 - Serie A: Sassuolo (3-1-1, 10 pts., 6th) vs. Genoa (1-1-3, 4 pts., 14th)

Sassuolo is off to a really nice start; they are 3-1-0 in their last four (albeit against some of the weaker teams in the league). So if we thought we were getting a breather in this one, we were wrong. We've got to get something on the road here, and I need a game from my goalkeeper that will show me he deserves to retain his spot in the starting lineup. I'm considering some additional changes as well, including moving a clearly still upset Veloso to the bench, as well as Borre. They need to show me something in this match, as a poor performance here might be something that significantly affects team morale.

One player who hasn't needed any extra motivation this year is Federico Dionisi, and he gets us on the board first with a goal off a pass from Borre in the 19th. Sassuolo ties it on a goal that bounces off one of our defenders five minutes later, but Borre adds two goals of his own in the next 20 minutes, and we take a 3-1 lead.

Then poor goalkeeping bites us again. Sassuolo scores at the end of the first half then again right at the beginning of the second, and we're knotted up 3-3. This is officially it for Ortola, and I actually consider pulling him five minutes into the second half, although I don't. I regret that less than 10 minutes later as Sassuolo puts another one by him to go up 4-3. We pull Ortola and bring in Lamanna, and he's challenged immediately as Borre gets called for a foul in the box. Lamanna stops the penalty, and then in the 79th Dionisi scores his second of the game to tie it 4-4.

With less than a minute to go in stoppage time, Sassuolo scores on a screamer from 30 yards out. We lose, 5-4, wasting fantastic performances from Dionisi and Borre. It's the highest-scoring game in Sassuolo history, and It's an absolutely devastating result.

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Edited by trman73

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October 21, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (1-1-4, 4 pts., 17th) vs. Carpi (2-1-3, 7 pts., 13th)

I had planned to make some lineup changes for this match, but it turns out injuries forced that upon me anyway. I wanted to sub Viviani in for Veloso and pair him with Tomas Rincon, but Rincon went down in our last game and is out a few games, and Viviana hurt himself in training and will miss three weeks.

Carpi was promoted last year and is off to a decent start, but has dropped its last two matches. I cannot stress enough how much we need to win this game. I actually think my job status may become an issue if we drop this one, as we'll likely move into the bottom three.

I had three goals for this match:

  1. Win
  2. Get our first clean sheet of the season
  3. Get Miguel Veloso on track and motivated

We check all three boxes in our best performance of the year. After a goalless first half, Lazovic scores on a corner from Veloso to give us a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute. Then Veloso scores in the closing minutes off a free kick to seal it. He's the clear Man of the Match, the defense plays really well, and we get the much-needed victory.

58fbadf2b133e_ScreenShot2017-04-22at2_24_24PM.thumb.png.87dbc743327c0c8127fe28f7e93bf758.png

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October 28, 2018 - Serie A: Atalanta (3-1-3, 10 pts., 10th) vs. Genoa (2-1-4, 7 pts., 14th)

This is our second straight match against a promoted team that's playing well in the early going of the season. Atalanta won Serie B easily a year ago and has the talent to stay up this year. But still, if we want to be a top-half team, this is a club we should be beating. Rincon is still out so for the second consecutive match our young loaner from Juventus, Rolando Mandragora, will pair with Veloso in center midfield.

We concede in the first minute, but strike back on a goal from Dionisi (his league-leading sixth) just three minutes later. Veloso continues his solid run by giving us the lead with a goal in the 19th. Our first halves have really been goal-fests this season. We head to the break up 2-1.

If there's been a trend in our first quarter of the season, it's been giving up leads, and we do that again here. We concede a penalty on a corner in the 78th, then give up another in the 81st, and lose, 3-2. At this point I'm resigned to this being what our season is going to go like this year.

58fbd0a001196_ScreenShot2017-04-22at4_52_12PM.thumb.png.6d7e4a59cee9997277854d0201b889e2.png

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October 31, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (2-1-5, 7 pts., 14th) vs. Udinese (1-2-5, 5 pts., 18th)

It's Halloween and there's nothing I'd like more than to give a fright to my hated rivals from Udinese. After our last match I receive word of a potential takeover of our club, as if we needed more distractions. Udinese has been terrible this year, so this is another chance to build momentum. We get Rincon back for this one, and he's inserted right back into the starting lineup alongside a suddenly rejuvenated Veloso.

Once again, we get the lead, on a goal from Lazovic in the 54th, and once again, we blow that lead, conceding in the 74th. The game ends 1-1, and we give away an opportunity to secure additional points at home against an inferior team.

58fbde6533fa2_ScreenShot2017-04-22at5_51_03PM.thumb.png.55308f478e221f209fea6631d120433f.png

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November 4, 2018 - Serie A: Fiorentina (0-4-5, 4 pts., 20th) vs. Genoa (2-2-5, 8 pts., 15th)

Probably the biggest surprise in Serie A this year has been the incredibly poor play of Fiorentina. This is a team that's finished no lower than 8th in the league in any of the past six years, and they are struggling mightily, winless in their first nine matches. They've scored just six goals and have not put more than one in the net in any of their games. (For the record, if this team winds up firing its had coach, I will absolutely apply for this job. I've had success with this team in a previous FM career.)

We may be the perfect tonic for them, as we are also struggling. This is a battle of two desperate, underachieving clubs.

We lose, 4-1, and it's even worse than it sounds. We're 2-2-6 a quarter of the way through the season. We're awful.

58fc3300841de_ScreenShot2017-04-22at11_51_19PM.thumb.png.09f55e8b889eb7e75e9a91dfa17945c7.png

 

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Posted (edited)

November 11, 2018 - Serie A: Torino (5-1-4, 16 pts., 8th) vs. Genoa (2-2-6, 8 pts., 17th)

Prior to this match I hold a team meeting and pull out the dreaded "let's make sure our heads don't drop" speech. The guys respond well, but the best response will be a win on the road in this match at Torino. We've got an international break after this match, so I'll have two weeks to rethink lineups, training, everything. I don't want to go into the break on a four game winless streak.

Torino has a man sent off in the 35th, and we're primed to end this bad run. But they score a man down in the 43rd, and proceed to hold us at bay for the entirety of the second half. We lose, 1-0. I am at a loss here. This is certainly my worst run of this career. I've got a board losing patience with me, the team is possibly going to be sold, and morale is terrible.

58fc43c0a2279_ScreenShot2017-04-23at1_03_32AM.thumb.png.3d6f5eca212d23f4477745200bf11f26.png

Edited by trman73

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On November 19, word leaks that the takeover of Genoa by a consortium led by Ken Anderson is close to being completed, and that, if it goes through, they plan to install Roberto Donadoni as manager. The writing is on the wall here, and it's time for me to begin exploring new options. Current openings would all be a significant step down from a Serie A job, but I'll be adding a check of managerial openings to my daily tasks.

This has all gone downhill incredibly quickly. But between the selling off of two of my key players without my approval, my relationship with my MVP from last year deteriorating, and the pending team takeover, it's really been a perfect storm of disappointment for me this season.

November 24, 2018 - Serie A: Genoa (2-2-7, 8 pts., 17th) vs. AC Milan (4-3-4, 15 pts., 11th)

A loss in this match likely drops us to the bottom three, and with the team takeover hanging over my head and my successor basically in place, I'm rattled heading into this one. I make a couple of lineup changes to try to shake things up, but I have no confidence in our ability to beat an AC Milan team that has struggled itself here in the early going. For all I know, this could be my last match as manager of Genoa.

We score early, in the 4th minute, on a goal from Isma Lopez, but AC Milan dominates the remainder of the match, winning 2-1. That's five straight without a win, and I'm in for a long week.

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Wow real rough patch you're going through at the moment. Just curious do you use manager sideline shouts at all? I find it helps with holding onto a lead. I usually use concentrate when i take the lead to try and prevent the opposition getting that quick turnaround goal. I use tighten up for the last 15mins to help close out the game as well. I'm not a great player of fm but maybe you can give them a try and see if it works.

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Posted (edited)

Hey Mal, I tend to not do much sideline coaching during a match, but I've been doing it unsuccessfully during this run. I'll update that here in my next couple matches.

December 2, 2018 - Serie A: Frosinone (2-2-8, 8 pts., 18th) vs. Genoa (2-2-8, 8 pts., 19th)

What a matchup of powerhouses this is. Frosinone was promoted last year and is playing like a team that will spend only a single season in Serie A. But I feel like a dead man walking at Genoa. For some reason the board remains satisfied with my performance, probably because they are too worried about selling the team to worry about what's happening on the pitch. It's a new (real life) day so maybe my fortunes will change today.

(By the way, writing this career story has basically driven me to play the game non-stop. I probably need to take a little break. I'll be in New York City for work the entire first week of May, so maybe I'll detox a little bit while I'm away. I'm basically spending all my time watching NBA and NHL playoffs and playing FM. Not good parenting/husbanding. :herman:)

It's a boring first half until the closing minutes, when a nice pass from Lazovic goes all the way across the box and finds Isma Lopez for the goal to put us up 1-0. It's a really entertaining second half as both teams have multiple strong chances but can't score (we hit the post twice; they do it once), but then Rincon nets the game-sealer for us late, and we win 2-0. I'm not assuming this is a job-saver for me, but it's a win, it gets us out of the bottom three, and we'll take it. (I didn't have to do much in-game tweaking in this one, Malaussie.)

58fcf7ab24d4f_ScreenShot2017-04-23at1_51_08PM.thumb.png.d3c9b52cca17265a00a3528c5aedde9f.png

Edited by trman73

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