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


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2 hours ago, Federico said:

 

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Let's see if Marius can go unbeaten or win the league 100+ points, of course Fedrico :lol:

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October results

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100% win record in October, but it was a bit more difficult than it looked. Things were easy vs Verona, Martial scored a double and solved the game early in the 2nd half, then things got complicated. Barely won vs Genoa thanks to an own goal, then deservedly beat Chelsea and struggled a bit vs Benevento as we scored 2 goals late in the game. Against Lazio, Pinamonti scored in the 2nd minute and then we closed the game very well and restricted any of their chances, and after Marusic was sent off, they didn`t do anything dangerous, but neither did we, and against Torino, it was Candreva`s double in the first half that secured the win and our 100% record in the league.

Match of the month

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A win vs Chelsea was a must have, otherwise our situation in the group would`ve become more complicated, so we started off with a more attacking tactic and scored after 23 seconds, which is a new club record. We went looking for a 2nd, but Courtois had some a good game and denied us, and in typical fashion, they scored after a poor executed offside trap. We had the last word though, as Brozovic`s shot from outside the area took a deflection and beat Courtois, whilst the rest of the game was end-to-end, with some Sunday League finishing. Against Torino we had a pretty easy game, Candreva scored early and added another before half time, so in the 2nd half we were content to sit deep and look to catch them on the break. Had some good chances, but didn`t score.

League table

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Except us running away with it, the league table is pretty tight. Sassuolo, with Andrea Stramaccioni as manager, have the 2nd best attack, but the 3rd worst defence in the top half, they had some crazy game, won 5-4 vs Lazio and 5-3 vs Genoa, Milan seem to have recovered and had a good start, Juventus usually start slow, but then slowly climb up, whilst both Roma teams, Lazio managed by Vieira and Roma by Frank de Boer, sit in the bottom half of the table. Four teams still have the same manager since the start of the game, Verona, Chievo, Fiorentina and Torino.

UEFA Champions League

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Top of the group with half the games played, with how things stand it`s fair to say we`re through if we win one of the remaining 3 games. The other Italian teams are doing far worse, Juventus are 3rd in their group, on 4 points, drew Arsenal, beat Ludogorets, but lost 5-2 at home to Dynamo Kiev, Sampdoria are also 3rd with 3 points, lost to Dortmund and Monaco and beat AEK Athens, so their chances of going through are pretty low, whilst Torino did was was expected of them, beat Galatasaray and Zenit and put up a good fight against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, but lost 2-0 in the end. Think they might just make it if they get a point vs Real in Torino.

November fixtures

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Got the Chelsea game away, then two easy league games against 20th and 19th place in the league, then the Kobehavn game before finishing the month with the Derby della Madonnina vs Milan.

 

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5 hours ago, quee said:

Let's see if Marius can go unbeaten or win the league 100+ points, of course Fedrico :lol:

Unbeaten might happen, even if I`m not specifically looking for that. As for 100+ points, that ship has alread sailed. :D

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November results

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We fluked our way to a win at Stamford Bridge (more details below), then easily beat bottom placed Bologna 4-0, we were alredy 4-0 up after 30 minutes, then had a goalless draw vs Pescara in a game where the ball just wouldn`t go in, won 3-1 in Kobenhavn to secure 1st spot in the group and finished off the month with a 2-0 win against city rivals AC Milan.

Match of the month

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I honestly don`t know how he managed to win against Chelsea, we were 2-0 down at half time, then Pinamonti`s goal gave a us a bit of hope, but I thought it was all over after D`Ambrosio`s red card. Didn`t take a step back though because I felt we needed a draw and it`s exactly what I thought when Pinamonti scored the equaliser, I`d have been happy with this, give the circumstances, but on the last minute of injury time, Pinamonti completed his hattrick after a cross from Candreva was fumbled by Caldara. Against Milan it all looked settled for another goalless draw, but once again, we won thanks to two late goal, once again Candreva the architect for both.

In the Champions League, Torino have beate Real Madrid and Zenit to got top of the group and need a win vs Galatasaray on the last day to win it (Real drew Galatasaray), Juventus lost both games this month, 2-1 in Kiev and 5-2 vs Arsenal, and they`re out, whilst Sampdoria won vs Dortmund and AEK and with a win vs Monaco on the last day, they`re also through. Good for the coefficient, because France are breathing down Italy`s neck, and with PSG and Monaco always making the latter stages of the Champions League and all the Italian teams being mostly useless, they look set to overtake Italy in two season at most if things don`t change.

December schedule

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Also got the FIFA Club World Cup to play in December.

 

And in an otherwise uneventful 3-1 win in Kobenhavn, this guy made his Inter debut. I present you Carmelo Perugini, I have a feeling he`ll have a few things to say in the future.

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He is my brightest youth prospect (him and nother ST), and he`s probably the first player from my youth intakes that`s come close to being an option for the big team.

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December results

Serie A TIM/ UEFA Champions League

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We`ve had a poor month by our standards, won against 2nd placed at the time Fiorentina thanks to a Skriniar goal, but then failed to beat Leverkusen and Chievo ( :seagull: ), beat Sampdoria, but drew 18th placed Udinese. Our record against teams sitting in the bottom of the table is rather poor and I feel like my tactic isn`t working very well against this type of opposition.

FIFA Club World Cup

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As I said above, we had the FIFA Club World Cup to play, and we made a complete mockery of our semifinal game vs Tigres, although to be fair, I selected a heavily rotated team. We scored right before half time through a deflected shot from Gagliardini, but they equalised in the 90th minute after an own goal from Santon and with all the subs made, and with Kondogbia injured aswell, extra-time was just a borefest. We converted all our penalties in the shootout  (Berardi, Vecino, D`Amico, Pinamonti and J. Mario ), whilst Handanovic saved the shot from Cimirot to send us in the final

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I didn`t make the same mistake in the final and sent a full strength team and we won easily,game was completely one sided and it could`ve easily been 6-0 or worse.

UEFA Champions League group stage

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We won our group without too much trouble, the only team we failed to beat were Leverkusen. As expected, Chelsea join us in the 1st knockout round, whilst it`s Europa League for Bayern Leverkusen.

Other Italian teams:

Group B

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Juventus have made a complete mess out of an easy group and only beat Ludogorets, lost 2-1 and 5-2 vs Dynamo Kiev anddrew 1-1 and lost 2-1 vs Arsenal. On one hand, it was funny seeing them fail, but it`s bad for the coefficient.

Group E

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Torino have stunned everyone by winning the group. Their 4-4-2 worked miracles and Walter Mazzarri guides his team into the 1st knockout stage "en fanfare"

Group F

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Sampdoria made it right at the death, beat Monaco 3-0 on the last round.

1st Knockout Round draw

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Well this is just wonderful, Sampdoria get Sporting, whilst we get bloody Liverpool. I`m not so confident in our chances tbf, our form is pretty poor and we`re barely winning games. Hopefully we`ll sort it out until February. Sampdoria in with a chance, whilst it`s probably the end of the road for Torino.

January fixtures

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One hell of a month, Roma, Juventus, Napoli and Atalanta twice, first in the Coppa Italia, then in the league.

 

Edited by Marius_R
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January results

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Another month has gone by, and we`re still doing great, beat Roma and Juventus 3-1, but then lost to Atalanta in the Coppa Italia, so for the 2nd year in a row, we`re out in the 1st Round. I should probably stop using weakened squads in the cup, to give us a chance. We recovered quickly though and won 3-0 at the San Paolo and ended the month with a draw vs Atalanta, in the league this time.

Match of the month

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We beat Juventus again and for the second year in a row, we win both league games against them, Pinamonti had a terrific game and scored two goals in the first half and completely dominated Rugani, whilst D`Amico scored a free kick (only the 2nd free kick I`ve seen scored in 4 seasons of playing). Bernardeschi pulled one back to give them hope, but all that was gone 5 minutes later, when Spinazzola was sent off for a second yellow. I chose the Napoli game over the Roma one for 2 reasons, Roma are in 14th place and because San Paolo is a place we`ve always struggled, despite somehow getting some good results. This time though we completely crushed them, and this is a sign of the massive step forward we`ve taken as a team this season. All of the front three have scored and Pinamonti seems to have regained his form and appetite for goal, as this is his 4th consecutive game in which he finds the back of the net, also coming just one goal behind the league`s top goalscorer, Anthony Martial.

Transfers and contracts

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With Lazio sitting in 8th place and having little to no chance of grabbing a Champions League spot, and with Vecino on the decline and drawing interest from China, I`ve began to look for a possible replacement for him, and made a bit of an enquiry into Lazio`s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. This was Lotito`s answer...:idiot:

We`ll see about that, Claudio, we`ll see. :brock:

February & March fixtures

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The Liverpool games in the Champions League are the highlight of this month, and our only league game that should concern us is vs Lazio.

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February & March fixtures

Serie A TIM

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Happy with the results, we drew Sassuolo away from home to keep our 19 point lead intact, then won 3 games in a row without conceding before drawing Genoa away from home. Palermo game was pretty close, but we won eventually, we had no trouble against SPAL and Verona, Pinamonti`s hattrick got us a win in Benevento, but we conceded 2 goals for the first time this season in the league, then convincingly beat Lazio at home right before the international break.

UEFA Champions League

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I have to say I`m really surprised, we got past Liverpool (4th in the Premier League) with two wins and a 5-1 aggregate score. The game at Anfield was pretty balanced, they started the game better, but didn`t score, then we balanced the game and took the lead thanks to Pinamonti right before half time. Right after the break, Pinamonti struck again, after a cross from Candreva, whilst Liverpool`s goal came late in injury time, with Firmino the goalscorer. The 2nd leg wasn`t even a contest, we went up thanks to Pinamonti after only 6 minutes and it was all over after it.

Match of the month

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Definitely this, not only the result, but the performance were great, we hammered Liverpool and qualified for the quarter finals, where our next opponents will be....

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Out of the remaining team, they and Sampdoria were the only opponents that are weaker on paper, but they`re the current Bundesliga leaders and with players like Fiete Arp, Munir, Driussi and Correa, they`re a team to look out for. For obvious reasons, I`d have preferred Sampdoria, but with PSG, Barcelona, Bayern, Manchester United or Arsenal as potential opponents, I`ll take this.

And there were some bad news after the Liverpool game, Handanovic is out for 4-5 weeks with a broken arm and I only have Vladan Dekic as backup. My poor squad building has come back to bite me in the a**.

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Transfers and contracts

During the international break, we`ve also secured two signings for next season, we continue with our policy of going for free transfers or transfer listed players. (profile pictures in link)

Renato Sanches

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This is my gamble, a player who I think still has a lot to offer, but has found himself playing very few games for Bayern, he was loaned to Koln for 2 season, then spent a full season at Bayern II, whilst this season he`s only played 6 games for Bayern. He`s a good fit for the Mezzala role and as I said in my other post, Vecino has some Chinese teams interested in him, so it`s probably the last chance to cash in on him, and Sanches in the perfect replacement. I hope I can salvage his career.

Gonzalo Maroni

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Forgot to screenshot it, but Danilo D`Ambrosio said he wants to leave at the end of his contract, so I agreed, he was nothing but a model professional for all these seasons and there was no point in trying to stay in the way of his wish.

 

 

 

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April results

Serie A TIM

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Another solid month in the league, 3 narrow wins and a draw (we failed to beat Pescara this season) to extend our unbeaten record to 33 games and maintain high hopes to finish the season unbeaten.

After the Bologna game, we also made it 3 in a row, but this time we made it in style.

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The board also set the initial budgets, we`re slowly getting into a position of competing with Premier League and El Clasico clubs in terms of budgets, but I`m still taking the cautious route of loans, free transfers or looking at transfer listed players that has worked great so far.

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And then came the bad news...

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Martial out, and missing both Dortmund games.

UEFA Champions League

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This was a massive disappointment. I knew we were going to have a hard job of retaining the trophy, but I wasn`t expecting us to go out vs Borussia. 1st leg was a pretty balanced game and a draw would`ve been the fair result, but Mario Goetze put in the performance of his life and also scored the only goal. The second leg was a desperate goal rush from us, but the ball just didn`t want to go it. 3 CCCs, 3 woodworks and a 7.8 rating for Borussia goalkeeper Timo Horn says it all. Also not having Martial and losing Kondogbia to injury after only 27 minutes into the 2nd leg and having to use Marcelo "Mr Looking complacent" Brozovic didn`t help our cause.

And the Fiorentina game, who were 2nd at the time, was my 200th game in management. The boys didn`t want to ruin my milestone and won 1-0, thanks to a goal from Gabriel Jesus.

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May fixtures

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Nothing left to play for in May, except for an unbeaten season and maybe pushing for 100 points. Derby della Madonnina will be played with teams in 1st and 2nd in the league for the first time in years, whilst Sampdoria and Roma away could put an end to our unbeaten run.

FUTURE PLANS

The squad will have to go through a massive overhaul in the summer, Joao Mario, Gabriel Jesus (  on loan from City, but will join Napoli at the end f his contract) and Danilo D`Ambrosio will leave on a free transfer, Matias Vecino and Marcelo Brozovic are attracting interest from China and they`re not at the level they were before, Thomas Meunier, Andrea Pinamonti and Milan Skriniar are wanted by Premier League clubs , and Ivan Perisic and Florin Andone have been tormented by injuries last season and could barely get a run of games, so they are no longer a viable option for a team of our stature.

I have some good young players returning from loan next season, and right now, there`s only 5 players I would never sell:

Milan Skriniar

Alessandro Bastoni

Roberto Gagliardini

Felice D`Amico

Andrea Pinamonti

 

 

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May results

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Started the month by winning both home games vs Chievo and Milan, beat Sampdoria convincingly, then we missed the chance to beat our point record by drawing to Udinese and missed an unbeaten season on the last day,

Match of the month

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A 2nd minute goal from D`Amico was the only notable action of the game, it was a borefest for the rest of the game. But a win is a win.

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Roma put an end to our unbeaten season right on the last day, whilst it was never one of my goals in this save, we were so close to this, that I was actually fuming after this defeat. Maybe next season.

League table

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Both Milan clubs on top, Fiorentina and Atalanta in the Champions League, and both Torino clubs and Napoli (who won the Coppa Italia) go into the EL. Both Roma and Lazio have had a poor season, Roma were in 15th at one point, Sampdoria have been hit hard by their European run, whilst Benevento escaped relegation on the last day, with Verona, SPAL and Bologna heading into the Serie B. Cagliari, Empoli and Brescia won promotion to the Serie A.

Coppa Italia

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Napoli won the Coppa Italia, leaving Juventus without winning a trophy since...hell, I have no idea, probably a very long time. And after this game....

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Leonardo Jardim was sacked by Juventus, with Guardiola as the favorite to take over. Bring it on, Pep! :onmehead:

Transfers and contracts

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D`Amico, Pinamonti and Emerson have been promised a new contract at the end of the season, and I`ve kept my promise. No release clause for any of them, which is great.

UEFA Champions League

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Manchester United won the all-English final (the 3rd one in 4 seasons) played in Cardiff and completed the double (woe n the Premier League), whilst it was a disastrous end to the season for Ancelotti`s Arsenal, who pulled a Leverkusen and lost the league title, both the Ch League and FA Cup final in a space  of two weeks.

UEFA Europa League

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Major leagues top 4

Premier League:  1.Manchester United 89 pts 2. Arsenal 88pts  3. Man City 87pts 4. Chelsea 84 pts

La Liga:  1. Real Madrid 98 pts.  2. Barcelona 84 pts (+52 GD)  3, Atletico Madrid 84 pts (+36 GD)  4. Valencia  81pts

Bundesliga: 1. Bayern 74 pts  2. Borussia Dortmund 70 pts 3. Leverkusen 61 pts  4. Gladbach 56 pts

Ligue 1:  1. PSG 92 pts (+72 GD)  2. Lyon 92 pts (+48 GD) 3. Monaco 80 pts  4. Marseille 71 pts

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Season 2020-21 Review

Serie A Awards

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Our dominating season was confirmed with the end of season awards, it was a clean sweep from us, Handanovic won best goalkeeper, 3 defenders and 3 midfielders in the top 3 in their position and Pinamonti winning best striker. The clean sweep continued with the Capocanonniere award, best player and best under19 midfielder, awards won by Martial, Pinamonti and D`Amico

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Not bad for a free transfer and a player that`s played less than 30 games in 3 years at Manchester United

Capocanonniere award

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Pinamonti won the top goalscorer award with 21 goal, Simeone jr. was second, and Gonzalo Higuain is still going strong and scored 19 goals for a Juventus side that finished 6th.

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Serie A TIM Team of the Year

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8 players in the team of the year, don`t think I`ve had that in a long time. All the defence has been selected, which was only normal after conceding just 13 goals and keeping 29 clean sheets, Gagliardini and Kondogbia are joined by Kessie in midfield, who was signed by Manchester City as soon as the season ended, whilst the top 3 from the Capocanonniere award find their into the team of the year.

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And Handanovic set a new Serie A clean sheet record, 25 games (actually, we`ve had 29, but Vladan Dekic played in 4 of the games)

And then, this....

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Handanovic announced his intention to retire at the end of the season, tried to talk him out of it and...

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....it worked. I`m really happy, not only because he is still one of the best GKs in the league, but because by the time he retires, he`ll have 10 years at the club and will be given a testimonial.

End of season squad overview

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Tactics and formations

                                                4-2-3-1                                                                                                                4-1-2-2-1 DM Wide (or simply, 4-3-3)                                                                                                           4-4-2

 

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The 4-2-3-1 has been our main tactic for the season , it remained relatively unchanged for the past 3 seasons, it`s not exactly a goal machine and I feel we are just like Allegri`s Juventus, scoring 1 or 2 goal and then just killing off the game. Standard mentality because I really like the balance it gives and it`s how we`ve had this amazing defensive record. Tried Gabriel Jesus in the AMC slot early in the season, but he didn`t deliver, so I gave Berardi and Candreva a run of games and used D`Amico or Joao Mario the AMC position.

The 4-3-3 is our European and tough away games tactic (vs Juventus, Milan, Fiorentina, Torino and Sassuolo), and it was still very effective, didn`t lose a single game using it this season, but it wasn`t meant to be in Europe. Gagliardini`s role varies from DLP to Regista, whilst the Mezzala has produced a lot of goals over the years, This season though he`s been a disaster. Again, Standard mentality away, Control and flexible at home, and for really tough games, the WB (Att) turns into  FB (Su).

The 4-4-2 in a bit of an experiment, trying to make the old fashioned formation work, but it`s been hit and miss. Won at Anfield with this, but lost to Dortmund 1-0, also tried it in some league games and Coppa Italia, it`s basically very defensive, but with quick counterattacks. However, very ineffective vs teams using 3 or more midfielders, and there`s plenty of work to do.

 

 

 

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2021-21 Season preview

The players

Goalkeepers

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Samir Handanovic is on his last season, so I`ve moved in that direction and already signed his replacement, Patrich Bruneck, 21 year old Austrian goalkeeper from Sturm Graz. And I`m not making the same mistake as last season, I`ve also kept Dekic around just in case.

Defenders

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We`re pretty solid at the back, I also added Caglar Soyuncu on loan from Arsenal on deadline day in case any of the 3 regulars, Mangala, Skriniar and Bastoni, get injured or suspended. Van Den Eynde and Vanheusden count for the HG and raised by club quota, they`re the reason they`re around the first team. One change in this area, D`Ambrosio left on a free transfer, and has been replaced by 23 year old Robert Gumny, from PSG, as a backup for Meunier. Skriniar drew interest from Barcelona, but their offer was laughable, 30M upfront plus bonuses and clauses adding up to a total of 46M.

Midfielders

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This is where I`ll have the biggest headache, there`s 6 class midfielders for only 3 places in the first team. We`ve made a pretty big overhaul in here, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Maroni and Renato Sanches are all new signings, replacing Joao Mario and Matias Vecino. D`Amico and Martial the regular starts on the flanks, with Berardi and Kouame as their back-up. Tried to sell Perisic, but no-one was interested in him.

Attackers

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Pinamonti is one of the big stars of the team, and Colidio will act as back-up. This is where I`d have liked to make another addition to the team, but Manchester CIty wanted some ridiculous amounts for Belotti`s loan, which would`ve added up to almost 20M for a one season loan + around 4.5M in wages. I`ll see who I can get in the January transfer window, Pinamonti hasn`t been injury prone, but if he gets a lengthy injury, I don`t think Colidio can be a viable solution.

Transfers IN

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Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has become the most expensive player in Inter history, beating a 22 year old record held by Bobo Vieri. Two really good free transfers, Handanovic`s replacement and back-up for the DR/DL position, plus Soyuncu on loan were the deal we made this season. Cristian Crisan is a 19-year old striker my HoYD signed.

Transfers OUT

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A few loans and free transfers, but we also say goodbye to two players, Florin Andone signed for Valencia, he was signed as Icardi`s replacement, had two decent seasons, but last season injuries limited his playing time and have hindered his progress. Memorable mentions include a title-winning goal against AC Torino and as his swan-song, two assists and overall a tremendous performance at Anfield against Liverpool.

And we also say goodbye to Matias Vecino, the man who was huge in our Champions League winning seasons, with Man of the Match performances against Arsenal, Juventus and in the final. He declined badly over the last year and he was no longer good enough for Inter. Still managed to get a decent fee for him from Lyon, wish him all the best.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic profile

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Patrick Bruneck profile

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Robert Gumny profile

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Pre-season friendlies

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We didn`t lose in the pre-season friendlies, but we didn`t face exactly the toughest opposition aswell. The two draws vs Salzburg and Chievo was me trying a "Christmas Tree" tactic, which didn`t quite worked, but I haven`t given it up just yet. The 7-0 vs FC Seoul saw us field a full strength squad and it showed.

Supercoppa Italiana

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Based on their transfer activity, I think Napoli will be a title challenger, but they were just blown apart in the Supercup. Pinamonti had an outstanding game and scored a hat-trick, Milinkovic-Savic had his debut cut short after 30 minutes and my defenders just couldn`t handle Petagna. Luckily, he only played 20 minutes. With Rodrygo, Gabriel Jesus and Leandrinho (20 year old newgen) upfront, Napoli are one of the team to watch.

And there wouldn`t be a pre-season without something like this happening....

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And then there`s FM being...well, FM

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None of my players apparently aren`t favorites to be the top played, despite winning every single individual award last season. Rodrygo above Martial or D`Amico, and don`t even get me started on midfielders.

UEFA Champions League draw

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And the gods have been more than generous, Ajax and RedBull Salzburg are not match for us, whilst the Inter-Atletico games will probably bore people to death.

August and september fixtures

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Edited by Marius_R
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