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[FM18] Inter Milan - sorting out the post-Treble mess (without Icardi)


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INTERNAZIONALE MILANO F.C.

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"This wonderful night bestows us with the colours of our crest: black and blue against a gilded backdrop of stars. It shall be called Internazionale, because we are brothers of the world."

                                                                                                                                             9 March 1908, Milan

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22nd May 2010 is a day Inter Milan  will never forget, as Inter ended a 45-year wait for another UEFA Champions League trophy. A brace from Diego Milito saw Inter defeat Bayern Munich and complete a historic treble for Mourinho`s men, also fulfiliing Massimo Moratti`s dream of winning Europe`s no. 1 competition, just like his father did. Inter were again the champions of Europe and few would have predicted what happened next....Mourinho left for Real Madrid, and despite a Coppa Italia win in 2011 and a 2nd place in the Serie A, Inter were going dowhill. In the following seasons, a change in ownership came, but Inter failed to finish on the podium and hit their lowest with a 9th place finish at the end of 2012-13 season. 

 

My goals:

1. Return to the Champions League (short-term goal) - Champions League money are crucial if we are to compete with Juventus, so a top-4 finish for the first season is a must

2. Stop Juventus` domination (short-term goal) - enough is enough, they`ve won 6 in a row and will probably make it 7, but it has to stop. 

3. Beat the neighbors` (AC Milan) European Cup/Champions League trophy haul (long-term goal) - with Inter being at 3 and Milan at 7 trophies, it`s not going to be an easy task.

And whilst it won`t exactly be one of my goals for this save,  it would be great to be able to  "knock Juventus off their ***** perch".

For realism purposes, I`ve decided to make no transfers during the first transfer window. I`ll also stay away from the obvious wonderkids and unlike previous Inter managers, I`ll try and give youth players a chance.

 

 

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The players

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Not a bad squad, and with no European football this season, we should be fine with what we currently have. Could do with more cover for the DC position and for Icardi, but hopefully we`ll stay injury free in those two areas. Unfortunately, Jeison Murillo has a future transfer agreed, but Bastoni will join us next season from Atalanta.

 

The tactics

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The squad is built for the 4-2-3-1, so that`s what our main tactic will be, and that`s pretty much our standard line-up. The 4-4-1-1 is a more defensive tactic which I`ll probably use for the tougher away games.

Key players

9.Mauro Icardi

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Our captain and main goalscorer, he has 78 goals in 156 games for Inter at the start of the season. Just give him the ball inside he box and he will score. Will be hard to keep hold of him with Chelsea, Real Madrid and PSG coming after him, but his contract runs until 2021, at least we`re safe on that part.

1. Samir Handanovic

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One of the best goalkeepers in Europe in recent years, he`s been one of the few Inter players to be consistent throughout the years and one of the best signings made after the Treble. Still has some 4-5 years left in him.

 

Season preview

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Juventus are early favorites to win it this year aswell, whilst we are considered 4th favorites to win it.  Season expectation has been set to Champions League qualification, whilst the Coppa Italia has been deemed unimportant by the board.

This made me laugh:

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Pre-season

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Most of our friendlies were against weaker opposition, but we were stunned by Besiktas, they took their chances whilst we wasted ours. Tactic is working fine, but I`m still making minor adjustements, so it`s far from the finished article. The real test will be on matchday 2, when we are facing Juventus in the Derby D`Italia.

August & September schedule

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We`re playing Juventus on matchday 2 and Lazio on MD4 in our first home games, but we`ve been fortunate to have an easier schedule for our away games, against bottom of the table teams. 

 

 

 

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Cool, Inter's my favourite side in Italy, so good luck with that. I'm always a bit hesitant with Italian saves because they always seem to have 50 players on the payroll.

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August & September update

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A poor start to our season, given our expectations and the opposition we faced. We are playing well against the better teams and the Juventus game was probably the best of the season, but we`re struggling against teams that defend deep and we can`t break them down. Tactic needs more work that I thought, somehow I managed to turn one of the most prolific scorers into a useless turd.

League table:

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Milan and Juventus are off to a good start, whilst us, the two Roma teams and Fiorentina are sitting in the bottom half of the table. We have to improve, and fast.

Match of the month:

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We were the better team against Juventus, but couldn`t handle Dybala and a mistake from Dalbert allowed him to score. As for the SPAL game, the goal was their only shot for the entire game, whilst we missed chance after chance.

October schedule:

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October Update:

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An almost perfect month, ruined only by the draw against Chievo (a team I have a dislike for IRL). Had two tough games against Atalanta and Fiorentina which we were lucky to win, but had solid performances against Sassuolo and Udinese. Still can`t get Icardi to score, just 2 goals in 9 games, but I feel I`m moving in the right direction with my tactic, as we are now giving away less chances and also creating and scoring more.

League table:

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We climbed up the table and we`re on a 10 games unbeaten run, but Juventus are in a league of their own at the moment, only conceded two goals (a penalty and one long shot from Vecino). Bevento and Verona are the surprise package this season, whilst Napoli, Roma and Fiorentina continue their poor season.

Match of the month:

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Two late goals against Sassuolo gave us a deserved win, whilst the game against Udinese was our best overall performance of the season, not only did we score 4, but also restricted their chances to long shots only (Fofana had 7 or 8 attempts from long range).

November schedule: 

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Only 3 games in November due to the international window, but all are tough games , especially against Torino and Roma.

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November results:

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We`ve extended our unbeaten run to 13 games, but despite that, we`re 11 points behind leaders Juventus. The Torino game was fairly easy, scored 3 in the first half and then closed the game, the Roma game could`ve gone either way, we were better in the last 15-20 minutes, but failed to score, whilst the Sampdoria game was a pretty odd game. I think I`ve sorted out the 4-2-3-1 I`m using, despite not scoring that much, Icardi is getting the ball into dangerous positions much often  than early in the season. I`ve used the 4-4-1-1 in the away game to Torino and it worked fine.

Match of the month:

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I said above that this game was odd, well it was because I used the same tactic that I used against Torino (4-4-1-1) against Sampdoria`s 4-3-1-2, and we were absolutely hammered in the first half, didn`t have a single shot, possession was 68% for Sampdoria and they had completed close to 380 passes. It was only Handanovic`s saves that kept us in the game. Switched to 4-2-3-1 in the 2nd half and it became a one-sided game, this time in our favor. Vecino now has the same amount of goals as Icardi, whilst our top goalscorers are Candreva and....Eder. 

December schedule:

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The Derby della Madonnina is without a doubt the biggest game of the month, not only because of the rivarly, but because they are sitting in 2nd, whilst we are in 3rd, so a win could see us climb above them in the table. We are playing Udinese in the TIM Cup, followed by Napoli at home, and then we shouldn`t have too much problems against Bologna and Benevento.

 

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December results:

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An excellent month, 7 games, 7 wins, but we really should`ve lost against Napoli at home, I don`t know how we won that, they were all over us and it was Samir Handanovic (again) that allowed us to win. Used a 2nd string team against Udinese in the cup, and it was Andrea Pinamonti`s goal that set us up for a clash against Juventus in the QFs. The Milan Derby was a pretty one sided affair, we scored early in the game and then just sit back and looked to him them on the counter, which we did eventually. 

League table:

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Sitting comfortably in 2nd place, but Juventus are having an amazing season so far and they don`t look like stopping. Their defensive record is insane , conceding just 5 in 19 games. Milan are losing it, after we beat them, they got just 1 point from their next 4 games, whilst Lazio, Fiorentina and Roma are continuing their poor season, whilst Sassuolo, Chievo, Genoa and Benevento are still going.

 

Match of the month:

Derby della Madonnina

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Milano is nerazzurro! Going into this game, Milan were 2nd, whilst we were 3rd (only separated by goal difference), but we were better in every aspect. A deserved win and up to this point, it was our best performance, they only clear chance came around the 70th minute. 

Derby d`Italia

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This felt great, even if the sending off kinda ruined the game, we were deservedly in front by that point. And I want to say  Yann Karamoh (who I`m beginning to like more and more)  should`ve gotten man of the match, 2 assists, one goal and totally outclassed Alex Sandro, who ended up getting sent off.  I`ll look to make the move permanent, he`s always performed when coming on and is a different type of player than Candreva. 

                                                                                                   And with 7 goals in the last 7 games, it`s fair to say this guy is back.

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January schedule:

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Big game against Juventus, that game is pretty much the title decider, if we win, we close the gap to 6 points and with them still in contention for the Champions League, anything can happen, a draw or a Juventus win pretty much ends the title race. We also have Milan in the TIM Cup semifinal (the other semifinal is between Lazio and Roma), that`s probably our only chance of winning a trophy this season.

Transfers & contracts:

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Gave Miranda a new contract, he`s still a useful player and I`ll be looking for him to act as a tutor for Bastoni (and Vanheusden) next season, whilst gradually looking to replace him in the starting lineup with one of the two.

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January results:

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Two easy home games against Verona and Crotone, and two convincing wins, and away draws to Juventus and AC Milan (Coppa Italia) to extend our unbeaten run. We`re pretty much out of the title race though (not that we were that involved anyway), Juventus remain 9 points clear at the top of the table and look set to win it.

Match of the month:

Derby d`Italia

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Went into this game needing a win, so instead of taking a more cautious approach, we went with our usual 4-2-3-1 tactic. All it took was a well worked Juventus counter attack and a foul by Skriniar and Juventus took the lead. We chased an equaliser for the remainder of the game and it eventually came, but we couldn`t score another. Title race over. On a more positive note, we haven`t lost to Juventus this season.

Derby della Madonnina (Coppa Italia semifinal, 1st leg)

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A good result away from home, and more importantly, Milan will be missing Bonaventura for the return leg. A fair result, both team have had their share of opportunities. Should qualify for the final, we`ve been unstoppable at home lately, but we`ll have to guard against complacency. In the other semifinal, Roma beat Lazio 2-0, both goals scored by Diego Perotti.

February schedule:

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Transfers and contracts:

I know I said I won`t be making any transfers this season, but my Head of Youth Development had other thoughts:

Nicolas Martinez from Velez Sarsfield on a free transfer. 

Felice D`Amico - 625k from Palermo, I decided to make the loan move permanent at the end of the season, he`s got plenty of potential and can play left, right and centre.

And at the beginning of the month, I was offered a new contract:

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Of course I accepted.

 

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February & March results:

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5 wins and 2 draws in the Serie A in February and March, but the biggest match was the 2nd leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal against Milan. Pretty standard performances against Genoa, Fiorentina and Udinese, an excellent first half against Atalanta and SPAL and two away draws to Lazio and Sassuolo  enabled us to extend our unbeaten run to 32 games, equalling the club record. Icardi scored 7 goals in 7 league games and is now the league`s top goalscorer, with 16 goals in 27 games.

League table:

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Still 8 points between us and Juventus, but they drew Milan and finally lost to Sampdoria between the two Manchester City games in the Champions League. League table is pretty balanced, even Roma still have a shot at one of the European places if they win their game in hand against Verona. Sassuolo and Chievo have definitely been the surprise package this season, whilst Atalanta and Roma have been pretty disappointing. 

Match of the month:

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It seemed like we were the team needing to win this to qualify for the final, but Milan were surprisingly defensive for this game. They did use a pretty poor midfield lineup, with Jose Mauri, Gabbia and Locatelli, but they posed no threat to us. We scored early on, but lost both Candreva and Perisic to 3-4 weeks injuries. Should`ve scored more, but Donnaruma was declared Milan`s best player, that says it all.

Coppa Italia Final:

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Roma beat rivals Lazio 2-1 on aggregate to qualify for 6th Coppa Italia final between the two teams. Inter won 3, Roma 2.

April fixtures:

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April results:

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Not been a bad month, except the draw at home to Sampdoria. Roma and Milan games were much easier than the score shows, it now seems every team uses a 4-1-4-1 formation against us, which whilst understadable if you`re SPAL or Cagliari, is laughable when you have the quality these two sides have. We nearly lost to Chievo and Sampdoria, no complaints there, we were simply rubbish, Chievo are only the 2nd team we failed to win against this season in the league (the other one, you guessed it, is Juventus).

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This was right after the Sampdoria game, we`ve achieved our main goal for the season, getting back into the Champions League.

League table:

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Juventus lost 4-1 at home to Sassuolo :idiot: right before our Milan game, but I doubt they`ll bottle it with just 3 games remaining. SPAL are relegated since early April, Cagliari look set to go down, whilst 4 other teams are fighting for survival. At the top things are pretty clear, I just hope Sassuolo don`t get the Champions League spot and it instead goes to Napoli.

Match of the month:

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It`s always great to win against your rival, even though the game wasn`t even close, we controlled it from start to finish and put Gattuso in his place. The Torino result isn`t exactly out of the ordinary, but I`ve included it here because it set three milestones: beating our previous unbeaten record (was standing at 32 games, it became 33 after this win), Felice D`Amico scored his first Inter goal (and also the first, and so far only direct free kick goal I`ve seen in any of our games this season), and last, Icardi scored his 100th Inter goal.

This guy knows it:

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May fixtures:

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May results:

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A win against Napoli after 2 penalties from Icardi right before the Coppa Italia final, but then we ended the season with two draws to Bologna (Juve were crowned champions after this) and Benevento. We did win the Coppa Italia though, our first trophy in 7 years.

League table:

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Juventus won their 7th consecutive league title, they were simply too good this season and the closest we got to them was 5 points. They dominated early in the season and were unbeaten for almost 30 games. We had way too many draws to get involved into the title fight, but we haven`t lost since matchday 1, that`s something. Sassuolo finish 3rd (Iachini also won Panchina d`Oro award), with Milan grabbing the last Champions League spot. Champions League football is back at the Meazza! 

Game of the month:

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Awful, awful game, but what matters is we won it thanks to a deflection from Candreva on a shot that looked destined for the corner flag from Vecino. Just like in the league game, Roma set up with a defensive 4-1-4-1 against our 4-2-3-1 and only Naiggolan and Schick looked like wanting to win this game for Roma. Don`t let yourselves fooled by the shot count, many of them were long shots and I honestly believed the game would go to penalties, we just couldn`t find a way past the Roma defence and they didn`t look like wanting to score. Like I said above though, I`m happy because we won our first trophy in 7 years. 

Transfer & contracts:

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Inter End of Season Awards:

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Fans have a pretty strange way of voting for player of the season. 

Top 3 players:

1. Mauro Icardi - our top scorer this season, had a pretty poor start to the season, but once he got firing, he was unstoppable. Wants to leave for Manchester City though.

2. Samir Handanovic - like I said before the season, he`s one of the top goalkeepers in the world and he`s shown it this season. Best defence in the league is a testimony to this.

3. Roberto Gagliardini - wasn`t expecting him to be this good, but he turned out to be our N`Golo Kante. Had an outstanding season and will definitely be one of key players in the future.

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2017-18 Season Review

Serie A Awards:

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Juventus` domination is shown in the season awards, their players won nearly every award. Handanovic prevented a clean sweep from them.

Board confidence & commercial summary:

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Tactics:

                                                                                                                                           

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The 4-2-3-1 is our tactic for most games, took me about 2-3 months until I nailed it, but I feel it`s 90% the finished article. The tactic on the right is our tactic for the tougher away games, and against Juventus, Milan and Napoli I moved the AMR into the MR strata and switched the Mezzala to CM (support duty). Will probably use it more in the Champions League next season.

Champions League and Europa League:

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An all-English final in the Champions League, in which Conte beat Guardiola, whilst Milan were close, but Leipzig beat them on penalties.

Update:

As soon as the transfer window opened, this happened:

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Real Madrid have paid Icardi`s minimal release clause, tried to get him to sign a new deal during the season, but wouldn`t even enter negotiations, and when he finally did, we just couldn`t afford to meet his demands. This is a huge blow for us, and I`m gutted to see him leave, but there was nothing I could do.

 

 

 

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Good first season and Icardi’s money should help you build a better all round squad, The AI won’t be able to properly replace the Juve ageing stars like Buffon,Chiellini and Dybala will probably depart as well.

Good luck!

 

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1 hour ago, qwerty22 said:

Good first season and Icardi’s money should help you build a better all round squad, The AI won’t be able to properly replace the Juve ageing stars like Buffon,Chiellini and Dybala will probably depart as well.

Good luck!

 

Thank you.

As for Icardi`s money, only 30% of the transfer revenue goes back into our transfer budget, so I`ll need to look for bargains to replace him. I already signed someone, but I`ll post an update tomorrow, once I go through pre-season.

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On 3/21/2018 at 10:39, Armistice said:

Mult noroc! :)

Icardi is more of a Poacher type of a player so you now you can look for a guy who fits better into that CF role you have employed in your tactic.

Multumesc. 

My tactic was built around Icardi though, I`ll need a similar type of player. 

On 3/21/2018 at 10:50, DavidBeckham said:

Great read so far, KUTGW mate! :thup:

Thanks mate, glad you like it.

13 hours ago, oneronaldo said:

How's Pinamonti coming along? Highly rated striker IIRC in the reserves/youths of Inter

He`s coming along nicely, will probably become our main striker in 2-3 season,  he`s played here and there last season, scored 2 goals in the league and one in the cup. Right now though, I`ll probably rotate between him and Icardi`s replacement, we also have Champions League football this season. 

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2018-19 Season preview

The players

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Couple of changes from last season, of course the biggest departure was Icardi, but Cancelo and Rafinha`s loan also ended. West Ham made an offer for Joao Mario following his loan there and I`d have gladly seen him leave and make Rafinha`s move permanent, but he turned them down and we had no money for Rafinha. And Cancelo was way too expensive for what we could offer. We also have Odgaard and Colidio for the ST position, but they`ll feature if one of Andone or Pinamonti gets injured. Would`ve like more depth for the DC position, got tricked by Bastoni`s loan deal, as it ends on June 2019, not 2018.

Transfers:

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Like I said, there was nothing I could do about Icardi leaving, he just wouldn`t enter any contract negotiations during the season and when he finally did, we couldn`t afford to meet his demands. And to make matters worse, only 30% of the transfer revenue was made available, so eventually I decided to sign Florin Andone , good value for money in my opinion, and I admit I had a soft spot for him because he`s Romanian. Nicolo Barella will join us next seasone, and we finally say goodbye to Nagatomo.

Pre-season:

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Not bad pre-season, but we`re conceding way too many goals and aren`t scoring enough. I`ll have to make some minor tweaks to our tactic yet again it would seem. At least we didn`t lose. 

Supercoppa Italiana:

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I honestly don`t know how I won this, I used an experimental 4-1-3-1-1 tactic to prevent Juventus from having the ball, which we did, but they were much more dangerous when they had it. Very surprised to see all my penalties scored. Juventus look unstoppable again this season though.

 

Champions League draw:

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This may seem like a normal draw, until you find out we got this group whilst being seeded 4th for the draw. Extremelly lucky draw, it`s up to us to not make a complete mess out of it.

September fixtures

Serie A

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Champions League

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September results

Serie A TIM:

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Not a bad start, but we`re still struggling to score. At least we are keeping it tight at the back. Turned out pretty much how I expected, except for the loss against Torino, but our poor finishing was punished eventually.

Champions League:

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A double from Pinamonti secured an easy win against Russian champions Ufa in a game we controlled from start till finish.

League table:

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Sassuolo is turning into Juventus` bogey team, they beat them again, this time 1-0, but apart from that accident, Juventus have been unbeatable. Verona are having another good start, but they did this last season and ended up finishing closer to a relegation place. Sassuolo are maintaing their good form, whilst Torino remain the only unbeaten team in the league.

Match of the month:

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An early goal from Eder gave us a winning start in the league, was a pretty poor game though, and to make matters worse, just 22 minutes into the game, Florin Andone got injured and I had to take him off. Was hoping it wouldn`t be anything serious, but this happened:

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Broken ankle, and out for between 3 to 4 months, leaving us with only Pinamonti and Odgaard for the ST position. 

And the board finally decided to make some sense and increased our transfer revenue to 100%. About one month to late though.

October fixture

Serie A TIM:

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Not exactly a tough fixture list, but given our struggles, nothing is certain.

Champions League:

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The game at Celtic Park is probably our most important one, because if we lose, we`ll need at least one win from the Leverkusen games, but if we win, we pretty much put Celtic out of the qualifying race, as they lost to Leverkusen in the first game.

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October results

Serie A TIM:

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What looked like an easy schedule caused us way too many trouble than it should have, we scored in injury time against Genoa and Fiorentina and struggled at home to Atalanta. The Verona game was probably our best this season, but our finishing is still awful, Pinamonti is no Icardi unfortunately.

Champions League:

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We`re struggling in the league, but cruising in Europe, hammered Celtic away from home and beat Bundesliga leaders Leverkusen at home for a perfect record so far. Given how other results played in our favor, we need only a draw from our remaining games to go through.

League table:

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It`s close at the top, only 4 points separating the top 4, but it`s still early days. Reallistically, I don`t think we can mount a title challenge yet, so I`ll have to settle for Champions League qualification. Sassuolo are maintaining their form, whilst Napoli and Roma are continuing to linger in mid-table. Oh, and Chievo in 19th. :D

Champions League group stage

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Top of our group, but the big surprise is Ufa beating Celtic and not losing the Leverkusen.

Match of the month

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Our away form has been much better this season and we totally destroyed Celtic and Hellas Verona, wish we`d put more of this performances on a regular basis. Eder seems to have found his goalscoring ability and is our top goalscorer with 7 goals in 9 games.

November schedule

Serie A TIM

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Champions League 

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Lazio and Leverkusen in the same week, then an easy away game to Brescia before the international break. 

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November results

Serie A TIM

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A late free kick from Eder (deflected) gave us a much needed win against 2nd placed Lazio, then came the Brescia game, which was a walkover, and a goaless draw against Sampdoria to continue our poor form at home sees us drop to 4th in the table, 6 points behind leaders Juventus.

Champions League

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We lost to Leverkusen after being 2-0 up after 25 minutes, but the win against Ufa qualified us for the knockout round with one game left to play and as group winners.

Champions League group table

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As I said, we qualify as group winners even if we lose against Celtic, as we have the better head-to-head results vs Leverkusen. We`re the only Italian team to go through, whilst I didn`t expect much from Sassuolo in a group with Barcelona and Arseal and from Milan in a group with Chelsea and RB Leipzig, Juventus were the big dissapointment, as they couldn`t win a game in a group with Spartak Moscow, FC Kobenhavn and Real Madrid and sit bottom of the group with 2 points from 5 games, needing a win at the Bernabeu to finish 3rd.

Match of the month

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Another win away from home, but our finishing has been pretty poor here aswell, as you can see, all the goals were scored by our wingers, whilst the lack of a quality striker hasn`t been more obvious than in the Leverkusen game, we had countless chances to make it 3-0 and close the game, but Pinamonti failed to score any and we got punished by 'ze Germans' in the end, Leon Bailey and Kevin Volland have been really tough to play against. We`re gonna need better fullbacks, if we come up against a team with wingers who are pacey and also good with the ball, we`re screwed.

December schedule

Serie A TIM

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December is the make or break month for us, we  face 3 of the top 5 teams in the table (Sassuolo, Juve and Milan), we need to get at least 5 points out of those 3 games. Udinese, Chievo and Empoli shouldn`t be too hard, but as I`ve said, we`ve suffered at home this season.

Champions League

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Last group game against Celtic, will probably use a 2nd string team here, things are clear in our group and the result of this game has no influence on the final group standings.

Edit:

And finally, some good news.

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Edited by Marius_R
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Really enjoying this save, I've often considered managing them myself but I've just never got round to it. I'm managing in Italy at the moment (Fiorentina), and I'm constantly trying to unsettle Pinamonti and Gagliardini. I've not had any luck yet, but I did manage to entice away Bastoni. Andone is also a player I really, really like. You're doing much better than Inter on my save, that's for sure!

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14 hours ago, nsd said:

Really enjoying this save, I've often considered managing them myself but I've just never got round to it. I'm managing in Italy at the moment (Fiorentina), and I'm constantly trying to unsettle Pinamonti and Gagliardini. I've not had any luck yet, but I did manage to entice away Bastoni. Andone is also a player I really, really like. You're doing much better than Inter on my save, that's for sure!

Thank you.

Gagliardini is one of the best midfielders in the game imo, and he`s a complete player, he can be used in pretty much every role in midfield. I`ve used him as a DM, BWM, DLP, BBM and he`s performed well every time. For only 20M, he looks like a bargain. Pinamonti has been inconsistent in my game, there were mactches he won by himself, there were games when he couldn`t score no matter what and it`s where we`ve suffered most, could`ve easily sit top of the table if we`d have been more clinical in some games.

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December results

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Good month overall for us, pretty much the outcome I predicted, won against Juve, but lost to Milan (was expecting the opposite), drew Sassuolo and maintained our unbeaten record away from home. Gave Chievo a sound beating and sent them into the relegation zone and we performed as expected against Udinese and Empoli.

League table

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Sassuolo are having an insane season and are sitting top of the league and haven`t lost in the last 8 games, Juventus are having a poor season by their standards,, this is our chance this season, if we can sort our home form. At the other end, Brescia look doomed, but Napoli are the unpleasant surprise of the season.

Champions League group table

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Top of our group, which enabled us  to enter the knockout stage draw as seeded and get lucky again:

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Match of the month

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First win at the Juventus Stadium thanks to late goals from Perisic and D`Amico, game could`ve gone either way and I was happy with a draw, until Perisic decided to take matters into his own hands and score late in the game and pave the way for the first win away in the Derby D`Italia since 2012. The Milan game sums up pretty much every home game this season, missed chance after chance and also hit the woodwork three times, whilst they scored when had the chance. To use the FM cliche, clinical finishing made the difference.

Transfers & contracts

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Dalbert has been one of our best players this season, so extending his contract was a must, especially as a few Premier League clubs were eyeing a move for him.

And we`ve also secured our 2nd transfer for next season (first one is Nicolo Barella), I went all Bayern on Sassuolo and poached their best player on a free transfer, D`Amico will rotate on the left with Perisic, whilst Berardi will rotate with Candreva, despite Karamoh having a good first season, he hasn`t improved much since and will return to Caen at the end of his loan, so signing an AMR was a must.

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January schedule

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There`s only one tricky game against Roma in January (at least on paper), we should have no problems against Benevento, Pescara and Bologna.

 

 

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January results

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Nothing noteworthy during this month, wins against Benevento, Pescara and Bologna and a draw against Roma. One day after our game, they sold Nainggolan to Arsenal for 60M. Guess who scored their goal. Perisic scored 3 and also provided 2 assists during the month, whilst with Andone back to full fitness, we are doing a much better job of creating and finishing chances.

League table

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Juventus back on top, Sassuolo are losing pace and won only one game, whilst Lazio climb to 4th after a 6-0 win against Milan at the San Siro. :idiot: At the bottom, Chievo are winning ground sadly, whilst Pescara also look set for relegation.

Game of the month

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Won against Pescara in the TIM Cup (used a 2nd string side, as usual) and qualified for the quarter finals, where we are facing.....

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Transfers & contracts

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I wasn`t planning on making any transfers, but on January 30th Milan Skriniar got injured for 4-5 weeks and with us still playing in all competitions, there was no way I was going to be left with only Ranocchia and Miranda, so I took a quick look on the transfer market and found Niklas Sule to be loan listed. Decent defender, and rather cheap, it was between him and Mangala, but Mangala was on 6million per year and City wanted 100% contribution, Sule is on 3.3 million per year and Bayern only demanded a 50% contribution, so I went with the German.

February schedule

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February results

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Great run into February, and we went top of the league after the Napoli win. Was lucky against Torino, as Andone scored the winner with just 3 minutes remaining, ordinary wins against Genoa and Pescara and two great results against Milan and Napoli. We ended the month with an appalling display in Moscow though, but I`m glad we scored an away goal (once again, late in the game)

League table

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Top of the league after 25 games, but Juventus are breathing down our neck. They have the easier schedule, they only have us, Atalanta and Lazio left to play, whilst we still have to play Milan, Juventus, Lazio, Sassuolo and Atalanta. Sassuolo are continuing their poor run, Verona are in 5th (WTF) and Milan are close to sacking Gattusso. Chievo look like they`re escaping relegation again, whilst Napoli are...well, sh*t. 

Match of the month

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Won against Milan in the cup, but once again, the sending off ruined the game, however I`m glad we beat Milan again , whilst the Napoli game was probably the FM gods gift after losing so many points early in the season due to poor finishing, pretty much everything went our way. Not a bad way to go top of the league.

Transfers & contracts

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With Ranocchia leaving at the end of the season (I have no clue who would want him though),with Miranda rapidly declining and with Bayern not wanting to let Sule go, I was looking for another defender to add to Skriniar and Bastoni, and I made Mangala a contract offer, which he accepted after a lot of negociating. I think he`s an upgrade on what I have now and will probably be a first team regular next season.

March fixtures

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Busy month, I`ll probably field a weakened team against Napoli in the cup and focus our effort in the league, I don`t think I`ll go further than the quarter finals in the Champions League (if we get past Spartak), basically every top team has won the 1st leg and we`d face one of Real, PSG, Barcelona/Bayern (Barcelona won 1-0 in the 1st leg), the two Manchester teams, Atletico or Arsenal.

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March results

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2 wins and 2 draws in the league, a defeat to Napoli and an easy win against Spartak in March. Our busy schedule is beginning to catch up on us, we`ve rotated quite a lot this month and it shows, we were poor against Fiorentina and unlucky against Lazio, but our luck is Juventus are dropping points aswell.

League table

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So far, we are making the most of Juventus` poor season, they`re dropping points aswell and are pretty inconsistent, last two games they drew Empoli and lost at home to Roma. They have a game in hand against Chievo, they should win that. Sassuolo and Lazio look set to finish in the top four, whilst Verona are punching well above their weight and sit in 6th.

Match of the month

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A late goal from Andone saw us win in Bergamo and keep the distance to Juventus,  whilst the 2nd leg against Spartak was made a lot easier thanks to two early goals and a man of the match performance from Brozovic.

Champions League quarter finals draw

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This is where our Champions League run comes to an end , it`s not like we would`ve had better chances against the likes of Bayern, PSG, Monaco, Man City, Man United. Porto was the only easier opponent, but they did beat Arsenal over two legs. And to make matter worse, this happened:

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Perisic will miss both Real Madrid games, so we`ll face them with D`Amico or Eder. :seagull:

April schedule

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The scheduling couldn`t have been worse, we have Sassuolo (3rd) and Juventus (2nd) and the two games against Real in just 11 days.  On the plus side, we have two extra days of rest, as Juventus face Napoli in the Europa League the Thursday before our game.

 

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April results

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Amazing results this month, we started off with a clear win against Brescia, then beat Napoli and qualified for the Coppa Italia final, an away win to Sampdoria followed, a narrow loss to Real (more details a few rows down), a draw against Sassuolo and then two fantastic results against Real Madrid and Juventus.

League table

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7 points ahead of Lazio and Sassuolo with a game in hand, I don`t think we`ll bottle this now, not with the schedule we have. Juventus have been apalling this month, no win in the league in April, couldn`t even beat Bologna, Napoli and Udinese. At the bottom, Pescara and Brescia are already relegated, whilst Chievo look like surviving yet another season.

Match of the month

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Used a rotated team against Napoli, but got lucky and was 3-0 up by half time. The last 20 minutes were insane though, could`ve ended 6-5, we failed to score on the counter and they couldn`t beat Handanovic. Against Juventus we were the rested team and just controlled the game from the 1st minute and the result is a fair reflection of what happened on the pitch. 

Champions League quarter finals

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For the 1st leg I tried to keep the score down and went with a 4-1-4-1 and Counter mentality, and it worked, Real dominated possession, but couldn`t find a way through, and it was a cross from Isco to Ronaldo and a shot from Icardi that made it 2-0. Vecino scored a crucial away goal late in the game, and I became a bit more optimistic for the return leg.

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The 2nd leg has probably been the best performance from any of my teams in FM18, we were simply unstoppable, I gambled and went with our 4-1-2-2-1 DM Wide, tried to put them under pressure and get a goal, but this was just out of this world. 10 CCC, hit the woodwork 4 times and were the better team in every aspect. Andone was the best player on the pitch, whilst Icardi...well, he won`t be winning the Champions League this season.

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Won`t be making any predictions before the game, that`s for sure.

Transfers & contracts

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I signed a new contract which will keep me at the club until 2023.

However, there were some bad news sadly, as Dalbert and D`Amico, two of our best performes, will miss the United games

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May schedule

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This is it, 5 league games, a Champions League semifinal and a cup final remaining.

Edited by Marius_R
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May results

Serie A & Coppa Italia

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We were close to the biggest bottle job in history, beat Udinese, then it all went downhill from then on. Lost to Milan, then blew the chance to seal the league win at home, nearly lost, and finally secured the league win after the draw to Empoli. Lost the Coppa Italia  final in extra time to pile more misery on our run, then failed to beat Benevento at home. 

Game of the month:

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We needed a draw to secure the league title, and it`s exactly what we got. 

Champions League semifinals

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Won the 1st leg thanks to an early goal from Emerson, but our finishing let us down, we had the chances, but couldn`t make the most of them. United were surprisingly poor (and defensive, but they`ve still got Mourinho ) and we should`ve had a repeat of the Real Madrid result, but it wasn`t meant to be.

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2nd leg wasn`t even a contest, we were dominated from start to finish we were dangerous only in the last 10-15 minutes, but couldn`t beat De Gea and score the away goal that would see us through.

I can`t say I`m not disappointed to come this close to the final, but I have to be realistic and admit we overachieved in the Champions League this season, got lucky with the group stage draw and then got a favorable draw against Spartak aswell. We are far from being a top European team and to knock Real Madrid out of the competition is something I didn`t expect.

League table

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We finished the season with a lower point tally than last season (we had 85 pts and finished 2nd), it`s been a pretty strange season, and in fact, we are the champions with the smallest number of points since the league moved to a 20-team format in 2003-04 season. Lazio were close and will be the team to beat next season, if they can keep De Vrij, Felipe Anderson, Sergej and Immobile, whilst Juventus have had a disastrous second half of the season and finish 3rd. Their domination is over. Sassuolo once again in the top four, whilst Milan narrowly miss on a Champions League spot (and they`ve sacked Gattuso). Bologna are the 3rd relegated team, with Crotone and Palermo gaining automatic promotion.

SERIE A Team of the Year

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All our defence has been named in the team of the year, we`ve conceded only 16 goals all season. Surprised to see Kondogbia get an inclusion, I`d have picked Gagliardini. 

UEFA Champions League overview

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Manchester City won the Champions League after losing the final last year, with goals from Insigne and Fernandinho(pen) bringing the trophy. 

UEFA Europa League overview

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Juventus won the Europa League on penalties, Hazard, David Luiz and Andreas Christensen missed the penalties, whilst Mandzukic, Khedira and Bustos scored for Juventus. Matuidi missed on for Juve, whilst Giroud scored Chelsea`s only penalty in the shootout.

Transfers and contracts

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I`m not making the same mistake as with Icardi, Gagliardini has been given a 5-year contract with no release clause. Like I`ve said at the start of the season, he is one of our most important players and definitely a future captain. 

I`ll make another post, with more info on players and tactics. Also feel free to ask for anything in-game related, player, domestic leagues screenshots, I`ll post them here.

 

 

 

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Inter 2018-19 season review

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Board confidence

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Job security is untouchable, however I don`t understand why they`re disappointed with our Champions League exit, since the expectation was to reach the first knockout round. 

Player stats

Goalkeepers

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Handanovic has been our number one choice for most of the season, with Bardi and Padelli playing in the cup and the last groups stage games in Europe. Even at 35, Handanovic still has 2-3 years left in him.

Defenders

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Skriniar and Miranda was our pairing at the back for most of the season. Sule joined in January, when we only had two fit defenders in Vanheusden and Miranda, and made an instant impact. Would`ve loved to make the move permanent, but Bayern didn`t want to sell. D`Ambrosio and Dalbert played on the flanks, with Emerson and Santon also getting a decent number of matches. Ranocchia will leave at the end of the season, Sule`s loan will end and as for Emerson, it all depends on how much Chelsea want. It will be either him or Marcos Alonso who will leave Chelsea.

Midfielders

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Matias Vecino, Candreva and Felice D`Amico were the outstanding performers in midfield, they were also the team`s top goalscorers, with 34 goals scored between them. Joao Mario has been hit and miss all season, if Monaco (who are interested in him) come with an offer, he`s leaving, whilst Perisic has been hindered by injuries all season long. If a good offer comes for him, I`ll be looking to sell aswell, his injury proneness just won`t allow him to get a decent run of games. Eder started the season well, but then went back to being average at best, and Gabriel Barbosa...well, all I`m going to say is he suffered a cruciate ligament injury in October and that ruined any chance of him turning into a decent player. With Berardi joining in July, he`ll be leaving aswell.

Attackers

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Andone had a decent season, sadly he got  injured on his debut and was out for 4 months, so we were left with just Pinamonti until December. He did bang a few goals, Iooking back, it`s not a bad return for a 19-year old, but we need a better finisher if we are to compete with the top teams in Europe. 

 

TACTICS

                            4-2-3-1  Control                                                   4-3-3  Standard                                                             4-1-4-1  Counter

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The 4-2-3-1 is inspired by Cleon`s thread, it`s been our main tactic once again this season. It`s quite simple, the only TIs are Play out of defence, use tighter marking, get stuck in, prevent short GK distribution and close down more. As for player instructions, the AM had the roam from position, more risky passes and shoot less often (this is selected for all the players in the AM strata, and it`s one of the reasons I use the IF on support duty), the AMR (usually Candreva) has the cross from byline and the CF has the move into channels selected. This, of course, can change as the match progresses.

 I tried using the 2 DMs in the MC strata and whilst I was creating more chances (I was averaging around 14-15 shots with DMs, with no more than 3-4 long shots, with the MCs I was averaging around 25-30 shots, but around 40% were long shots), I was also much more exposed at the back and was conceding around 2-3 CCCs per game, regardless of the opposition, so I ditched it.

The 4-3-3 is our away tactic against the top 6 teams in the league (Juventus, Milan, Roma, Lazio, Sassuolo and Napoli), and in two seasons, we`ve lost only once against these teams away from home. I use Standard mentality, flexible shape, roam from positions, pass into space, higher tempo, prevent short GK distribution and mark tighter team instructions. I also use to change the CF to DLF (support) or Defensive Forward (support) during the game, depending on the scoreline or how isolated he is.

The 4-1-4-1 was used only a couple of times, it`s basically sitting deep and looking to hit the opposition on the counter. It`s been used this season only against Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester United (away games). 

 

 

 

 

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2019-2020 season preview

The players

Goalkeepers

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Handanovic is still the number 1 choice for us, with Bardi and Radu to act as backup and make some appearances in the cup.

Defenders

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We`re pretty well covered in this area, and we also have a couple of youngsters who can make the step up to the first team should we face an injury crisis. 

Midfielders

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This is where we are stacked, plenty of quality players, and also promising youngsters in D`Amico, Kouame and Odgaard. Couldn`t get rid of Eder and Borja Valero, they`re surplus to requirement at the moment, but no team was interested in them.

Strikers

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Pinamonti has developed quite well last season and I`ll be looking to give him more playing time to aid to his development. We still have Colidio and Merola on loan, if an offer comes for Andone, I`ll accept it and rely on one of the youngsters as backup. Odgaard and Eder can play as ST aswell.

Transfers

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Decided to make the move for Emerson permanent, whilst Meunier was a deadline day transfer to replace Dalbert. Mangala and Berardi were set since February last season, whilst Koaume and Lasconi are transfers made by the HoYD.  In the departures, Dalbert asked to leave for PSG, I think I may have sold him for a lower price than what I should`ve gotten for him, but didn`t want him to become unhappy and since it was deadline day, I took the offer. Murillo and Ansaldi were done deals since the game start, whilst Gabriel Barbosa has become a below average player after his cruciate ligament injury which kept him out for 6 months.

Pre-season

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Mixed results in pre-season, I didn`t want to play against lesser opponents and win 10-0 evey game, I wanted us to be put to the test after we built up our fitness and I have to say we did alright against Bayern, Dortmund and Valencia.

August results

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The Italian Supercup was my 100th game in management, but of course the players had to make a complete mess out of it, we were already 2-0 down after 15 minutes. Also had an August game in the league, beat Benevento fairly easy away from home thanks to a brace from Ivan Perisic.

Champions League group stage draw

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Not a bad draw, we should qualify for the 1st knockout round without much trouble, we have an excellent record at home in Europe and we should get at least an away win against either Galata or Shakhtar. 

September fixtures

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We face both Roma and Genoa clubs early in the season, whilst our European campaign starts at home against RB Leipzig.

 

 

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September results

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Mixed results throughout September, we won against Lazio, but lost to Roma, then won the game against RB Leipzig, threw away a two-goal lead against Sampdoria in the last 10 minutes and couldn`t score against Genoa, who are dead last in the league. Luckily we played Udinese, who have become our punching bag, we`ve played 6 games against them, won all 6, scored 16 goals and conceded just one.

League table

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After being in a relegation battle for most of last season, Napoli remembered they`re considered a top team in Italy and sit top of the league with a perfect record, Juventus are having their usual start to the season with Leonardo Jardim in charge, whilst it`s pretty tight otherwise. 

Game of the month

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We beat RB Leipzig thanks to a double from Andone, we scored, they kicked off, lost the ball and scored again and it made the difference. And I wish we`d play Udinese more often, we have a 100% record against them.

It`s worth mentioning I removed the "shorter passing" instruction for the Udinese game, as I felt we were just passing the ball around most of the time and also missed some good opportunities to break quickly on the counter. 

October fixtures

Serie A

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We face league leaders Napoli a day after my birthday. I`d happily take 10 points out of these 4 games.

Champions League 

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I want nothing but two wins from these games.

 

 

 

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October results

Serie A

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4 out of 4 in the league, including a huge win away to (at the time) league leaders Napoli. but we nearly bottled it against bottom place Empoli, it was 2nd half goals from Perisic and Kondogbia that cancelled Mchelidze goal. Not much fuss against Fiorentina either, two early goals and then we closed out the game, I`m not taking any chances after throwing away a 2-goal lead against Sampdoria earlier in the season. 

Champions League

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Got FM`ed by Galatasaray, they scored in the 4th minute from what would be their only shot on target, whilst we`ve been let down by our finishing and could only gather a point. We left in late against Shakhtar aswell, I underestimated them and nearly got punished, but in the end we got the 3 points.

League table

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We`re back on top, with Napoli close in 2nd, they`ve added Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo to an already decent team and look like they`ll challenge for the title this season, Sampdoria are the only undefeated team and Juventus have lost 3 games in a row (5, if we include the Champions League) and can`t seem to find a way out of the crisis. 

Champions League group table

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Top of our group and needing another win to qualify for the next round.

The other Italian teams are useless yet again, at this pace Italy will lose a group spot to France, Sassuolo are bottom place in a group with Arsenal, Ajax and Sporting, Juventus are 2nd on goal difference in a group with Bayern, Dynamo Kiev and Standard Liege, but all teams except Bayern have 3 pts, somehow Juventus made a complete mess out of this group aswell, whilst Lazio are top of a group with Livepool, CSKA Moscow and FC Koln. Meanwhile, Monaco and PSG are top of their group, whilst Lyon is 2nd and with a high chance of progressing in the next round.

Match of the month

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This is the reason I hate Andone, brilliant one week, then absolute turd the next three. Man of the match performance against Napoli,almost single-handedly beat them, then failed to score another goal for the rest of the month. This may well have been a turning point to our season, we`ve been in excellent form after this win. Against Shakhtar we had to win to not make or life complicated, and we did, much harder than expected though. They have a quality team, riddled with Brazilian players, I thought we`d have it easy, but we struggled to score, and with Candreva, Joao Mario, Perisic and Kondogbia injured for this game (and Andone being useless), it was Skriniar that scored the much needed goal following a free kick from Barella.

Transfer & contracts

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Pinamonti has earned himself a new deal, quite a reasonable guy, given that others want wages of 10 million per year (*cough* Perisic *cough*) and offer close to nothing, he`s quite easy on the wage budget at 1.8 million per year.

And I`m keeping a close eye on Anthony Martial, his contract runs out in June 2020, he`s unhappy at the club (has featured in 4 league games out of 10 league game for United), so it would be a huge blow to sign him on a free transfer. And I think we can compete with Leipzig and Dortmund in terms of wages, as those are the two teams that have declared interest in him.

November fixtures

Serie A

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Only 3 games in the league because of the international break, against Crotone and the two Torino based clubs. Would be great to beat Juventus, as that would put a dent in their title hopes.

Champions League

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Two away games to Shakhtar and RB Leipzig, we`d better not lose any of them.

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November results

Serie A TIM

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Mixed results, 3-0 wins against Crotone and Juventus (YES!), but we lost to Torino, then drew Bari at home in a game where we were let down by our finishing yet again. Bari scored a late goal and left the Meazza with a point.

Champions League

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Lost to Shakhtar after going down to 10 men in the 70th minute, but got an unexpected win in Leipzig which sees us go through to the next round.

League table

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Torino are the surprise leaders, but I don`t think they can keep up, they have a pretty standard team with no standout player and they`re overachieving big time. I think it will be Juventus and Napoli that will challenge us for the title, despite their poor form of late. Lazio and Milan aren`t that far off, 1st and 7th are separated by only 5 points.

Champions League group table

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Qualified with one game left to play, but the bug surprise is RB Leipzig not qualifying. Juventus and Lazio are still in the race to qualify, but they`ll likely to finish 2nd in their respective groups, whilst Sassuolo were once again useless and will finish 4th. Meanwhile, Monaco and Lyon have bottled it big time and are in danger of not qualifying,which is good news.

Match of the month

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We showed Juventus who`s the number one team in Italy, we were superior in every aspect and the scoreline is no accident. It`s a little bit of revenge for losing the Coppa Italia and the Supercup to them. A loss against Leipzing would`ve complicated things in our group, but that wasn`t the case, as we won thanks to a goal from Joao Mario.

Transfers & contracts

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Skriniar got rewarded with a new contract, that cooled down PSG`s interest in him and also meant he is now happy to stay at Inter. 

And Brexit happened in my game, club in the British leagues are restricted to 17 foreign players in the squad. Sounds like a softer version or Brexit.

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December fixtures

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An easier month, with games against Galatasaray in the Champions League, Udinese in the cup (great, an easy draw) and the Derby della Madonnina to finish the year.

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December results

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Not a bad month, 3 wins and one draw in the league, and a defeat to Udinese after a penalty shootout. Also beat Galatasaray to finish 1st in our Champions League group.

League table

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Top of the league with a 7-point gap to Juventus, I still maintain my opinion that Sampdoria and Torino can`t keep up for the whole season, whilst Napoli, Milan and Lazio aren`t far off either. Roma are slowly, but steadily, turning into a mid-table side, whilst Sassuolo are also back where they belong after two consecutive top four finishes. Relegation fight is as intense as the title fight, there`s 6 teams separated by 2 points. 

Champions League

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Top of the group, but I`ve had it a lot harder than expected. 

For the 1st knockout round draw our luck ran out....

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Arsenal (with Ancelotti as manager) are dominating the Premier League the same way Manchester City have done this season IRL, 49 points after 18 games. If there`s a good thing in this draw, it`s having the 2nd leg at home.

Match of the month

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Used a 2nd string team against Udinese in the cup (as usual), but this time they fielded their best eleven. Still, we were seconds away from beating them, until a mistake from Miranda allowed them the score the equaliser. The penalty shootout has been a complete mess, only 3 penalties have been converted from the total of 12 penalties taken. 

The Milan game was a different story, we scored early in the game and then looked to hit them on the counterattack. Took us a while, but we scored two goals in 3 minutes late in the game to keep us top of the table.

January & February fixtures

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January & February results

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Except the Napoli game, it`s been a pretty solid month, we`ve had some crazy games against Atalanta, Benevento (they didn`t send a single shot on target, but D`Ambrosio decided to help them and scored a beauty of an own goal with 5 minutes left to go), Sampdoria and Napoli and we drew Lazio and beat Roma, Genoa and Udinese. 

League table

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Still top of the table, with a sizeable gap to Sampdoria, Torino, Napoli and Juventus and with only Juventus and Milan away left as tricky games. We are scoring much more, but we are conceding a lot too, we`ve conceded only 16 goals last season, now we`ve conceded 25 and there`s still 12 games left to play. Juventus would better not miss the Champions League.

Champions League

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Fantastic result at the Emirates, Nainggolan was sent off for elbowing Gagliardini and it was our game since. It was Candreva`s first game since September and it`s pretty obvious how important he is for us, 3 assists to his name in this game. Not over yet though, last time these two teams faced in Milan it ended 5-1 for the Gunners. Luckily, they don`t have Thierry Henry around this time.

Match of the month

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I couldn`t pick just one, because as I`ve said, we`ve had some classic games and we`ve lived up to the Pazza Inter reputation. What looked like an easy win against Atalanta turned into a crazy game after our 2nd red card, Atalanta quickly pulled level and were pushing for a winner when we hit them on the counter in injury time. We`ve played well for about 15 minutes against Sampdoria, but we did make it count, Perisic and D`Amico scored 3 times in 9 minutes to give us a win and extend our gap to 10 points. And against Napoli it was exactly the opposite, everything went right for them and scored every chance they had. We weren`t poor, but our defending has let us down big time.

Transfers & contracts

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Sent a few players out on loan, with Barella and Eder also having an optional fee of 7.5M and 5M at the end of the season.

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YES! Anthony Martial will join us on a free transfer, this is fantastic news, we`ve signed a world class player on a free transfer. 

And Bastoni has been given a new contract aswell, even if he`s not yet up to first team standard, he is improving and will become a key player in the future.

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March fixtures

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March results

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7 points in the league, we drew Palermo, but won against bottom placed Empoli and away to Fiorentina, and I don`t know how, but we lost to Arsenal at home.

League table

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9 games left to play and we`re 8 points ahead of both Torino-based club, Juventus have been on fire lately, they`ve won 5 in a row in the league and they also knocked out Man City in the Champions League. If Milan win their game in hand, it will be 6 teams fighting for 3 Champions League places. At the bottom, things are pretty clear, disappointed to see Bari go down, because I have sent 3 players on loan there and they couldn`t help them.

Champions League quarter final draw

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Very happy with this, despite them being a good team, we know how to beat them. And they`re not exactly Barcelona, PSG, Real Madrid or Manchester United either.

Match of the month

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We lost to Arsenal, they scored after 44 seconds, but apart from the opening 10 minutes, we controlled the game. They hit us on the counter late in the game, but they never looked like overturning the 1st leg deficit. Against Empoli we delivered what was expected of us, but I`m pretty disappointed at conceding even against them though.

April fixtures

Serie A TIM

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Juventus and Torino in just one week, if we don`t lose, it could pretty much clinch the title for us,.

Champions League

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We play Juventus 3 times in just 6 days. I`m glad we`re playing the 1st leg away from home, because we`ve went through every time we played the 2nd leg at home.

 

Edited by Marius_R
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Serie A TIM

April results

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This is what I expected, 3 wins and an away draw to Juventus to extend our unbeaten run to 8 games and also keep the distance at the top of the table. It was a hard worked win against Crotone and it came coursey of a Berardi penalty, then drew Juventus and beat Torino, teams placed 2nd and 3rd and then an easy away win to Bari, who are (almost) relegated after our win.

League table

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6 points clear at the top, with a game in hard, it`s in our hands. In terms of top 4, thins are pretty much clear, only the finishing order needing to be established. Napoli have had a nightmare of a second half of the season and have the weakest defence in the league after Bari. Their manager is Laudrup, not Zdenek Zeman. Milan, Lazio,Roma, Napoli and Sassuolo will battle it out for the European spots, whilst Empoli and Bari are going down. It`s between Atalanta and Crotone for the last relegated team.

Title chase

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On paper, we have the easier schedule, but we need to maintain a gap big enough to not complicate our life for the last two matches, when we face Milan and Atalanta away from home. Meawhile, Juventus have drawn Milan 1-1 and Torino beat Verona 2-0, but both clubs have tricky games against Benevento, Roma and Napoli fr Juventus and Lazio and Sampdoria for Torino. Our tricky games are against Sassuolo and Milan.

Match of the month

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A late Kondogbia goal got us the draw against Juventus, it was a deserved result and it extended our unbeaten run against Juventus in the league. We scored early against Torino and from then on we sit back and defended well, eventually hitting them on the counter and sealing the win.

Champions League

Quarter finals, 1st leg

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Another good performance against Juventus, even if I was a bit worried at conceding an early goal (Douglas Costa always scores against us), but we responded well and dominated the second half, with Galgiardini (who always scores against Juventus) beating Sczeszny to score the crucial away goal/

Quarter finals, 2nd leg

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We got the job done in just 4 minutes, it was a much easier game than expected and we gave Juventus no chance. They scored a consolation goal late in injury time, but even at 0-0, they didn`t look like they were to keen on scoring, despite having Dybala, Higuain and Douglas Costa up front. (he didn`t score this time)

There were some bad news though, Chiellini was probably fed up with Gagliardini scoring against them, that he decided to took matters into his hands. This was the end result:

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It`s a big loss, and it looks like he`ll miss both games in the semifinal.

Champions League semifinal draw

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And again, we play the 1st leg at home, which is a bit of an inconvenience, but we`ll see how it goes. The other semifinal is Real Madrid vs Manchester United, I`d have preferred any of these two teams over PSG. Neymar and Mbappe vs our fullbacks will be tough to watch.

May fixtures

Serie A TIM

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It would be great to seal the league win at Milan`s place, but I`m not going to be bothered to wrap it up before that game, losing the game to Milan would mean going to an Atalanta probably needing to win to stay up and isn`t exactly a good place to go to needing a win.

Champions League

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May results

Serie A TIM

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We did, 2nd title in a row, proving last season`s success wasn`t an accident. We are the number one team in Italy right now.

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The Verona game was our first opportunity to clinch it and unlike last season, we did`t mess around and we were already 2-0 up withing 10 minutes. Won our game in hand against Sassuolo, then lost to Milan and Atalanta (I fielded a weakened team for this game)

League table

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Much more comfortable than last season, but we`ve conceded double the goals. Sampdoria, Juventus and Torino will play in the Champions League next season (there goes Italy`s coefficient...), whilst Milan, Lazio and Napoli will play in the Europa League. Crotone, Bari and Empoli are relegated, with Bologna and SPAL taking their place as automatic promotions, whilst Frosinone, Cagliari, Virtus Entella and Pescara will fight for the remaining promotion spot.

Match of the month

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A late goal against Chievo gave us the much needed 3 points, whilst against Veron we needed a win to clinch the league title with 3 games left to play, which we did. 

Champions League

Semifinal 1st leg

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It was a poor game from both sides, but whilst we didn`t take our chances, they did. Areola pulled a couple of great saves to deny Candreva, Pinamonti and Vecino, whilst Mbappe scored at PSG only shot on target. Neymar was out for this game, luckily. We also had a disallowed goal at 0-0. 

Semifinal 2nd leg

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It`s amazing how much a red card can change a game, Kovacic was sent off for a two-footed tackle on D`Amico after just 7 minutes, and we knew what we had to do from then on, as we were in a similar position against Arsenal in the 1st knockout round. The goal came rather late, and it was Emerson that levelled the score on aggregate, and then it was Pinamonti`s night, with two goals that send us for the first Champions League final in 10 years. 

And our opponents would be Real Madrid.

Champions League final

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YES! YES! YES! We did it! 

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I honestly wasn`t expecting this, in fact, I wasn`t expecting us to get past Arsenal. We`ve had an amazing season and beat Arsenal, Juventus, PSG and  Real Madrid on our way to the trophy.

There`s not much to say about the game, we were the better team, 9 out of their 11 shots were long shots and they failed to send a single shot on target. My only doubt before the game was whether to play Vecino or Brozovic alongside Kondogbia and Gagliardini in midfield, and I made the right choice by going with Vecino, as he was simply unplayable on the night.

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And he just did an "Ibrahimovic", left for Real because he felt he has no chance at winning the Champions League at Inter. Two years after his move, his team lose the final to Inter, he`s benched for most of the season by Harry Kane and didn`t get to play a single minute in the final. :applause:

And shortly after the final, this showed up:

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I`ll come up with a detailed season review tomorrow morning.

 

 

Edited by Marius_R
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  • 1 year later...

So after almost 2 years, I`m back to playing this, couldn`t get into any FM19 save and didn`t even bother with FM20, which is the 1st installment in 11 years that I`ll skip.

I don`t have a detailed review as I did before, changed laptops and I was already in November 2020 by the time I restarted the save, so I`ll a quick update until then and after that, I`ll revert to monthly updates.

Season 2020-21 preview

The squad

Goalkeepers

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This is pretty straightforward, Handanovic still has it, despite being 36, whilst Radu will act as backup. In a worst case scenario, there`s Vladan Dekic in the Under20s who will move into the backup GK role in one of these two get injured.

Defenders

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We`re pretty solid at the back, with Bastoni, Skriniar and Mangala being equally good, whilst Mavropanos is on loan from Arsenal as backup, after Ranocchia departed. We`re suffering a bit in the full backs, Meunier and Emerson are good enough, but their substitutes are a level below, neither Santon nor D`Ambrosio are anywhere near the two.

Midfielders

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We`re pretty stacked in midfield and it`s probably our strongest area, with at least 2 players in every position. Don`t know why Gabriel Jesus was included in here,  I got him for the ST role. Gagliardini, Martial and D`Amico are the biggest stars in this list, and also in the team.

Strikers

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Pinamonti has had his breakthrough season, but it still fairly inconsistent, Andone is way too injury prone to rely solely on him, and Colidio is good, but not good enough to claim a regular starter spot. That`s why I loaned Gabiel Jesus from Manchester City.

 

Transfers

IN

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Martial on a free transfer was already done since January, I`m really happy to have signed him, because Perisic was getting old and is pretty injury prone and Kouame is still young and not yet good enough. Gabriel Jesus and Mavropanos were added to offer more depth, but I don`t think any of them will be signed on a permanent deal.

OUT

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Mostly free transfers and loans.

 

So after winning the Champions League last season, I was offered an interview by the Barcelona board, which I rejected, and they`ve appointed Allegri in the end.

I`ll come up with a more detailed post on tactics and how I`ve done so far probably later in the evening.

 

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22 minutes ago, rodesire said:

one down, three more to catch Milan

True. I wasn't expecting to win one so soon, but I'll take it. The good thing is it doesn't look like Milan will add any to their collection any time soon.

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Posted (edited)

Pre-Season

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Pre-season has been an absolute disaster, we`ve failed to beat any any half-decent team we`ve faced and not only that, but we aren`t scoring as much as I`d like. I just can`t get the AM to work together with the striker and I`ve fiddled around with roles and duties, and he looks isolated and uninvolved in overall play. Could it be that Joao Mario is just rubbish?

August fixtures

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And after our poor pre-seasonthen, all of a sudden, this happens...two clear wins vs Juventus and Napoli in the league, a defeat to Chelsea in the European Supercup (Morata scored a double and could`ve scored more) and a much easier win that it looks vs Milan.

Match of the month

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The win vs Juventus was the biggest result of the month, not because we won, but because for the first time since taking over, we went there not to not lose, but to win, and we controlled the game and were the superior side. Andone came on for Pinamonti and scored two goals, one after a mistake from Rugani, and the 2nd one after a well worked counter-attack. Next week vs Napoli we were simply unstoppable, game was already over even before Zielinski`s sending off. Martial scored his first goal for Inter, whilst D`Amico and Pinamoti are carrying on from last season and are turning into our biggest stars.

UEFA Champions League group stage

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We start our defending of the trophy with this group, quite happy with the draw, we should have no problems qualifying, we are better than Leverkusen and FC Copenhagen and it`s probably be between us and Chelsea for the 1st spot. The other Italian teams got the following draw:

Arsenal, JUVENTUS, Dinamo Kiev, Ludogorets (they should go through fairly easy)

Real Madrid, Zenit, Galatasaray, TORINO (they might make it)

Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, SAMPDORIA, AEK Athens (they`ll probably finish 3rd)

 

September fixtures

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We travel to Bergamo after the international break, then make our debut in Europe and have some easy games for the rest of the month.

Edited by Marius_R
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Posted (edited)

September results

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Really happy with how things went in September, we are playing much better and scoring for fun. Martial has been a huge upgrade on the left and with 7 goals in 6 games, he is our top goalscorer. We started the month vs Atalanta and in a place where we lost last season, we we rampant this time, it was our best performance of the season. Then came an easy win vs Kobenhavn, even if at half time it looked like it will be one of those games, we were simply unstoppable in the 2nd half. Sassuolo are a solid team and the scoreline doesn`t do them justice, they were on par with us for the whole game, but we were more clinical in front of goal, then vs Palermo and SPAL we got the job done. And we ended the month with a goalless draw in  Leverkusen, a fair result against a team we always struggled against. Bailey and Morelos are the type of pacey players our defenders have trouble coping with.

Match of the month

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Atalanta are our local rivals , so to beat them 4-0 at their place was enjoyable. Needless to say the fans were ecstatic after this result. I`m also pleased with the squad depth we have upfront, Gabriel Jesus and Candreva came off the bench and scored. Against Kobenhavn we were so wasteful in the 1st half and I was already picturing another draw which would`ve put us in a tight spot, but D`Amico took matter into his own hands and assisted Joao Mario for the 2nd before scoring the 3rd and 4th to give us a comfortable win and a good start to our defending of the trophy. And yes, it`s THAT Viktor Fischer.

October fixtures

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Chelsea, Lazio and Torino the tougher games, whilst against Verona, Genoa and Benevento we shouldn`t have too many problems

Contracts and transfers

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These are the players whose contract will run out in the summer, Candreva has an automatic one year extension if he plays 15 games, Gabriel Jesus and Mavropanos` contract also run out with their clubs (Manchester City and Arsenal), might look into trying to get Gabriel Jesus on a free transfer, and Joao Mario is unhappy and doesn`t even want to enter negotiations, so he`ll probably leave in the summer on a free, because nobody wants him. I`ll look the extend D`Ambrosio`s too, he`s  a useful player to have around, can play on both sides and has been a professional and never kicked up a fuss.

 

 

 

Edited by Marius_R
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