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Preben Elkjær - A Hellas Goodfella

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Verona, Veneto
August 15th 2022
Sunday 19:53
Sunny, Clear sky, 26*C

 

|Take a walk down the Ponte Pietra across the Adige River.
Enjoy the fresh breeze sweeping across the bridge in the warm summer evening.
Gaze at the sky surrounding in every shade of red as the sun is starting to set.
Past the bridge and through the gate as you walk down the narrow streets.

Fading Roman remnants on the buildings down the alleys as they turn and twist down to the old Catholic church, Chiesa Santa Anastasia.
Built in the late 1200's in Gothic architecture, the shell of the church reveals little of the beautiful secrets kept inside.
The light and color leading peacefully down the grand hall with parts in white and red Verona marble as frescoes elegantly pride the walls.
Elegant mosaics in warm nuances as the church ends in an apse.

Beyond the church lies restaurants and cafées on every corner.
The smell of pasta dishes, spices, parmesan, fresh basil pleases your senses as waiters greet you, "Buonasera mio amico!"
A soft, deep voice accompanied by the chitarra battente – an Italian strumming guitar - is heard as you turn the following corner down a small alleyway.
No money is asked for, his music is his gift.

Further down the cobbled alley a roar is heard in the distance.
The rumble grows stronger and stronger.
The harmonic, idyllic scenery ignored.
With a growing determination you march to what is slowly revealed in the far.

The great oval Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, home of Hellas Verona and ChievoVerona.
Cheers and roars from the loyal Hellas Ultras raising it's intensity.
You buy a ticket for the arena from a dodgy looking guy on the corner, no blinking.
But that does not bother you, you just have to be a part of it. 

With a beer in one hand and a folder listing the lineups, stories from the players alongside ads from local carpenters you enter the arena.
The atmosphere quickly grabs your attention as you take a swig of the beer.
The curva catches your eye and never lets go again.
The ultras ragged reputation matters little now.

The singing, the support, the intensity all steal away your breath.
As you admire the curva's banners one specific stands out among the rest.
'Brigate Elkjaer' written in yellow on a blue background.
Even all these years after he played a vital part in winning them their first and only Scudetto, he is still remembered.

The man who was known as a Raging Bull on the pitch.|

Il Sindaco di Verona
Preben Elkjær

Edited by Benjoe

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Preben Elkjær - Hellas Goodfella

This charming, chain smoking legend had it all on and off the pitch. 

Leading Verona to the first - and only - Scudetto in 1984-85 he is loved and respected for the unrelenting desire to win and his uncanny, often inelegant, technique that rarely failed.

He was an absolute rock star, and just to give you an idea about the character we have at our disposal, here are some quotes from different well written articles:

 

Quote

''There's no proof that man-love was invented because of Elkjær, but it wouldn't be a surprise.
He was a cool, infectiously cheeky and totally unfettered character with a mischievous sense of humour
''
https://www.theguardian.com/football/2009/oct/13/danish-dynamite-the-players

 

 

Quote

''On one famous occasion, whilst playing in Germany for FC Köln, reports reached the disciplinarian club coach, Hennes Weisweiler, that Elkjær had been in a nightclub enjoying with a bottle of whiskey and a female companion before a big game.
When challenged, the player angrily rebuffed the allegation, insisting it was vodka not whiskey, and that there were two women, not one.
''
https://allbluedaze.com/2018/10/28/the-little-big-man-and-the-big-little-man-preben-elkjaer-and-michael-laudrup/

 

 

Quote

''Such fines became the norm in the first few years; an anecdote in the book Landsholdet suggested that, on one occasion, Elkjaer pulled out two 500-kroner bills and paid his up front because he knew he'd be late.''
( the money received for fines where used to buy gifts to the players on special occasions )
''When Elkjaer turned 27 in 1984, he received a copy of Ugens Rapport, the porn magazine in which he had a column, a packet of cigarettes and a lighter.''
(...)
''Piontek asked for help so that he could show the players a video of the Romanians' free-kicks. Elkjaer came to his rescue and sat down.
As Piontek started to address the room, everyone burst out laughing; Piontek was about to admonish the team when he turned round to see a porn movie on the screen.
''
https://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/29/danish-dynamite-denmark-football-success-book-extractimage.gif

 

 

 

He wasn't just famous - or infamous - for his off-field antics as his accolades prove:

- - -

 Danish Player of the Year: 1984

Ballon d'Or – Third Place: 1984

Ballon d'Or – Runner-up: 1985

FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 1986

FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1986

Danish Football Hall of Famer

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- - -

His drive, his never-back-down mentality and his sharp, flat, powerful shots would overwhelm the keepers as he scored crucial goals throughout his career. 

Two particular goals he scored are especially precious in the memory of Verona's ultras.

The first, the iconic one-booted goal against Juventus in the 84-85 season Verona won the Scudetto.
Losing the right boot after a tackle he kept paced, out-dribbled the last defender and stroke the ball to the far corner.

 
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The next goal was effectively the goal that secured that the Veronese side could lift the trophy on the penultimate day of the tournament!

 
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The World Cup in Mexico '86 is stuck in the memory of many Danes as well and likely other football fans around the world even to this day.

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Elkjær with a hat-trick and two assists and Michale Laudrup with a legendary goal as well. 
Denmark and the 'Danish Dynamite' as the national team was dubbed where looking dangerous and were tipped to be able to go all the way as they beat West Germany to leave the group stages as the only team other than Brazil to win all 3 games. 

 

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But things fell apart quickly in the match against Spain as the Danes and Elkjær lost 5-1, and Denmark left the tournament with a bang, just like they had arrived. 

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Elkjær left 4 goals and 2 assists after just 3 games, and Laudrup having been a dominant player as well as he burst onto the international scene.

Neither fulfilled the hopes and excitement that the group stages had promised. 

Elkjær could have been the topscorer and best player of the tournament, and Laudrup would have been impossible to look past for young player of the tournament. 
 

I could keep going on about this amazing man (and the Danish Dynamite), but I will save some for later.

I'll be sure to uncover some more true stories of his escapades and then, of course, add in my own narrative ideas.
In other words, although a lot will be inspired by his real life personality and anecdotes don't take all anecdotes and such as the complete truth about Elkjær.

 

Preben Elkjær the manager

Even though Preben had a season with Silkeborg IF that ended with little success this is the first real managerial test for our good Preben.
He likes his football aggressive and played with heart and a good mix of power and finesse.

He hasn't forgotten his own roots and style so he'll naturally have an inclination for more aggressive work horses, but he hasn't forgotten how great it was playing along with the great maestro, Michael Laudrup, as they formed the dynamic duo of the 80's Danish Dynamite. 
As a result thereof grit isn't the only quality he rates highly. He loves creative who can do the unexpected to set up the strikers to score goals. 

 

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Tactically Preben will be going to utilize systems that give a solid defence while creating aggressive attacking football.
This can be accomplished in a number of ways but the first idea is to utilize something reminiscent of the 4-4-2 formation they used in 84-85. 

The player roles Verona used back then have been hard to fully decide upon with various reports hinting at both a roaming playmaker in midfield, a libero-like defender, a cattenachio style of assymetrical defence, and so on. 
At the end of the day, it'll likely be a good mix of the players at disposal as well as Preben's natural desire to win and entertain.


Now, let's get to it.   

Edited by Benjoe

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Preben, the Legen(d)

Looking forward to this

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38 minutes ago, Deisler26 said:

Preben, the Legen(d)

Looking forward to this

Cheers, man!

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!
- Preben Elkjær

The Alfisti that Preben was insisted on driving his restored 1969 Alfa Romeo Spider the long way from Copenhagen to Verona.

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He had received the phone call from Galdino Silvano the same morning offered a huge contract, a big budget for players, and that all players were happy to stay and fight for promotion for the next season.

Almost sounded too good to be true.

Regardless, Preben was eager to accept and had packed his bags and left.
He called his 13 year old son and explained the situation and that he was looking forward to showing him around in Northern Italy. 
Preben's ex-wife was told nothing.

 

When he arrived at his house in Verona that he had owned for many years he stared at his medal from the 85' Scudetto hanging next to a team photo. Oh those sweet memories. 
"Soon we shall repeat it." he determinedly grinned, knowing fully well that it was going to be much harder this time around. 
Just by looking at the business done by the reigning champions from Turin, Juventus, who had won every Scudetto bar one since 2011/12.

They had sold their main man, Serge Sylla, for more than £100M and re-invested the money in Kuki (£87M) and Adrian Saldana (£46M growing to £63M), combining this with Filipe Melegoni their team was frightening. Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala combined for their strikeforce.

At least Preben didn't have to worry about these guys from the start as Verona was rolling around in Serie B having been relegated the season before and failed to get promoted following.

Poor Preben had no idea what was coming. 

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7 hours ago, deltablue said:

This should be fun. 

I hope so! :D 

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

Preben grabbed the white shirt in the back and threw it on leaving the two top buttons open as is customary in Northern Italy.
He took his sand colored slacks as well as his Italian leather shoes and left the house grabbing his sunglasses before leaving.

All the way down the city the memories of the city welcomed him.

He entered the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi and looked around at the empty seats.
He remembered how they would be singing and cheering.
How his name would be sung and shouted in all corners of the arena when he scored.

For a moment Preben was back, but he was sharply pulled back to the present as Galdino had snuck up on him.

"Prébiiiii! Mio amico!" he shouted with his arms spread wide.
He clutched Preben and held him tight for a brief moment before releasing his grip.

...

Galdino's espadrillos hit the table as he leaned back in his chair lighting his cigar.
"Eh, Prébi, you don't mind if I smoke, si?"

Preben didn't mind, he wanted to smoke one himself, but Galdino was not offering.

What he did, was showing the final offer to Preben, and it was far from the "huge" contract offer that Galdino previously called it.
In Preben's opinion it should've been doubled and with an extra 0 at the end. 

Disappointing.

Il Sindaco was furious.

But he wanted desperately to manage Verona who had been in his heart ever since he left, and his last managerial experience with Silkeborg IF 20 years back was far from succesful.

And Galdino was aware of both.

Offer, not subject to changing.

 

...

 

Frustrated and determined to get back at Galdino, Elkjær left the office and headed to the training grounds.
The assistant manager, Nicola Corrent had asked the players to do some light running to look productive when he arrived.

It took just 5 minutes of the training before Elkjær returned to Galdino's office.

"Ehhh, Prébi!" Galdino uttered surprised with his bare legs thrown across the table.
As Galdino got dressed again, Preben expressed his displeasure.

"You give me a ****** pay, like I am nobody, and then you expect me to work with this staff!? Unheard of, I will not accept it."

"But, eh, Prébi, Nicola is great. He doesn't care about his wage-erhh, I mean, great man, good coach. Love him."

But little did it help. Elkjær left the office with the final words, if Galdino wouldn't allow him to hire a completely new staff, he'd be gone.

 

Galdino waited a coupe of minutes, desperately hoping for Elkjær to return. But he didn't.
So panicking he grabbed his hat, and lit a new cigar as he sped towards the office door and slammed it open and ran out.

He was quickly face by a laughing Elkjær. 

"What took you so long about deciding you were giving in, Galdi?!" he laughed as he grabbed the cigar out of Galdino's mouth and took a big puff at it.

 

Staff out:

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Staff in:

c615bd53e89e77e90e818e9e1da22811.png

 

 

Edited by Benjoe

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

I think this is as good a time as any to go through some of the basis of the save at Verona - know-it-alls might claim it should've come much sooner.
To them I say, "Eehh, Prébi???"

Preben is obviously the main character, and starting at Verona his career is blossoming rapidly.

This will likely become a journeyman if/when Preben leads Verona to a second Scudetto and maybe even a trophy with some big ears. We'll know more regarding that in a loooot of pages.

 

In terms of FM, I am playing the magical version of FM 17.
Lots of frustrating stuff is happening, and I will - as always - try to bring gifs of all these stupid moments.

Since I often grow tired of playing with all the well known players - especially playing an older FM - I've decided to holiday some seasons in and then start from here with the regens that have popped up around the world.
To be more specific, we are now in 2023.
This should provide a good mix of new talent and developed known talent.
Also, it leaves Verona with their second season in Serie B, so that's great too.

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I've hidden the captain as that will be revealed in the next post. 
Big time player, I promise.
It's going to be great. Extra promise.

 

And as always, Juve have been dominating the Serie A.

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There aren't really too many set rules for the save. 
Having been doing 4 different saves the last couple of years where three of them were with limited quality of players (African Journeyman, Fraud v1, Fraud v2), I don't feel like limiting my experience too much.
This will be a sandbox to some extend where I can play around a bit.
I will still be honoring the philosophy of Preben as I described previously regarding his affinity to hard working players and technically gifted players, but there'll be no rules about it.

Only rule is, that when we are promoted to Serie A, there will be absolutely no incoming loan deals. 
All players from that point has to be players who wants to be in Verona and not just get some game time for the sake of it.

And of course I would prefer it, if we could be developing our own gems, but that is going to be a long process and I won't be letting it stand in my way of getting some immediate success, much to the nature of Preben, I'd assume.

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Edited by Benjoe

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Also, I'm not entirely sure why it keeps having white as background for majority of my posts, but it's annoying me.

I can remove by copying it and pasting it in again and removing the format and then add all the screenshots and formatting again, but I'm a lazy bastard, so eh.

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10 hours ago, ManUtd1 said:

Very happy to see this...

tenor.gif

Should we be concerned?

Image result for goodfellas gif

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

The following day Preben entered Galdino's office again, but Galdi was nowhere to be found. 
Instead there was a note left on the table.

"Eh, Prébi... Look, eh, I talke to the players, si? And they say, nono, no play here. NO!
I try to say, yes, yesyes YES, you play here.

But no help.

Scusi."

 

Within the following month lost 9 out of 11 of the previous starting 11.

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Something big had to be done.

Preben wasn't sure what to do, but as always, Galdi was ready with the perfect solution.


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What player would come up with such ridiculous demands?
Spoiler

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Soon after another player wanted to talk to Preben about leaving. 
With his new captain having just joined he decided to test his leadership.

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...

 

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2 hours ago, Benjoe said:

Soon after another player wanted to talk to Preben about leaving. 
With his new captain having just joined he decided to test his leadership.

a8d0a93c377df8cbeb9b2bb2941ace67.png

Ballo just needs to flex his authority.

tenor.gif

 

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Lovely introduction, hope this goes well for you and I will of course be following along. Best of luck to Preben and company!

Also, Heskey and Balotelli being in the same building is just a delightful thought :D.

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1 hour ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

Ballo just needs to flex his authority.

tenor.gif

 

Oh, don't worry, he undoubtedly will! :D

28 minutes ago, oriole01 said:

Lovely introduction, hope this goes well for you and I will of course be following along. Best of luck to Preben and company!

Also, Heskey and Balotelli being in the same building is just a delightful thought :D.

Cheers @oriole01! Appreciate the praise!

I am so happy someone noticed Heskey. :D

He is actually a terrific coach.

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I can't wait to tell about some of his training routines - they aren't as messed up as Jonker's but they are... special and innocent I'd phrase it. 
Hint: His low Level of Discipline will play a role here.

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

Given exodus there was an immediate need to hire new faces to ensure the ability to bolster at least a modest attack on promotion.

When the window closed there was 16 new face in the squad.

A busier swing door is rarely seen - even in @BoxToBox's threads!

 

The squad we ended up with in Verona is one I firmly believe can do great things.
The quality at hand should be enough to realize the expectations from the media of a 3rd place.

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The formation will be interchanging a lot at first and hopefully at some point a proper blue print will be developed.
For now, all I'll say is we'll be playing a 4-4-1-1 of some variation.

Goalkeepers

At first we signed Iacobucci as our former 1st choice keeper insisted on getting sold. That left us with no keeper at all and only some 16-17 year olds, who were far from at the level we needed.
Iacobucci is a solid first team starter for Serie B, but when I found Virginia on a free it was impossible to deny getting a top class choice in with potential yet to be realized.

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Right back

Sampirisi is a good starting right back, and Manconi a promising young back for the future.
They aren't awfully attacking, although Sampirisi's crossing is a treat. Hopefully that can become a dangerous weapon for us!

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Central Defense

Mansueto and loanee Ferreira are a wonderful defensive pairing for this level. Well, even for a Serie A lower half side this would be more than acceptable.
Mansueto stayed although getting his Captaincy withdrawn to hand it to Balotelli. He is some man to accept that without leaving..
Michelangelo is our 3rd option and a decent one at that. I'd feel very secure with him instead of one of the other two starters.

Now, there should've been a 4th choice really, but well.. I received a +1M offer on our - then - 3rd option defender and money is good to have so we skipped him off. 
We'll make due with some youth or rotation if need be.

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Left back

We have this half English-Irish lad who is brilliant. Another free transfer steal and I really like the look of him.
We have Guychel Kasongo, who is really a right back to be backup as finding a suitable left back was proving very, very troublesome.

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Right Midfield

Kevin Stoyle, our Irish-English striker, is the player resembling dear old Prébi the most.
I'm super excited to have found him on a free transfer.
EDIT: Errhhh, dunno why I thought he was found on a free. Wish-thinking I guess...
He'll be tried as a right midfielder who is hopefully bombing forward and using his incredible finishing efficiently.


Behind we have our very own product, Romeo Tonon.
Lovely talent who I hope will become very useful both short and long term.

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Central Midfield

We're bathed in options in central midfield, but the balance isn't perfect.
We're lacking a 'destroyer' type of player, but we'll make due with some more refined types.

Loanee and fellow Dane, Mads Isaksen will be the defensive anchor, and Wijnaldum who we got on a free will likely form our midfield pairing.
Great quality and some decent depth provided by Calo and Novara.

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Left Midfield

At left midfield we have another Elkjær-light. Cesare Pitocchi is similar to Stoyle and will be utilized in the same way with hopes of equivalent outcome.
Enzo is likely to be used out wide as his backup although they are fairly different types. He is interesting though.

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Attacking Midfield

Attacking midfield is hosting a real gem. We got Simoncini on a loan, but were considering buying him actually.
Offered on the transfer list for about 2.5M he was too good to let slide by, but the scouting report said he'd cost far more in wages than the 4.7k cap we have in Serie B.
He has therefor been loaned, with a buy-out clause on 3M. I can't foresee not using that clause, but it's still only optional.
Behind him we have 

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Striker

Our striker is a big man with size and power. I hope his ability to create as well will bring in the best of our aggressive midfielders.
Behind our first choice we have Balotelli. Controversial to have him as 2nd choice, I know.
But we'll see who performs the best along the season.
We have a much different 3rd choice in Coser who has more pace than power and gives a different aspect to our strikers.

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All in all we had a very busy window of incoming players.

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Which leaves us with this squad to take over the world! (or just Serie B to start with)

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Edited by Benjoe

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4 hours ago, Benjoe said:

Should we be concerned?

Image result for goodfellas gif

Dunno. There's this helicopter...following me around all day.

tenor.gif

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10 hours ago, ManUtd1 said:

Dunno. There's this helicopter...following me around all day.

tenor.gif

It's nothing Henry, just a bit too much for the nose, eh?

Image result for goodfellas helicopter gif

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

As mentioned earlier we'll start out experimenting with a 4-4-1-1 formation. 

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Normally Preben would prefer something more aggressive with less possession and more straight up the ween.
But with this bunch, in this league, playing more controlling and letting the wingers run amok seems to be the way to go. 

I'm super excited to see how the two striker-turned-wingers will be performing out wide. 
In theory, and in my mind, they will be the most important part of this team going narrow and directly for goal. 

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These instructions are mirrored for the left midfielder as well.

The reason behind playing them in midfield rather than as inside forwards is that I hope to have them participate in keeping possession and setting up runs from deep with the ball, breaking through and combining with the AM and the ST.
I also want to see my full backs to come in overlap and cross it in for my striker, Petrillo, who should be able to head some pins in while using his physique to hold up the ball while we bring our players forward.

 

We'll see.

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

Preben walked up and down the sideline of the pitch. His head firmly between his hands.

*Sigh*

He'd been staring at the training for an hour now, and was still not in total understanding of what was happening.

In one half of the grounds Antonello De Giorgi was doing his military like drills for the keepers.
There was little tactical substance from the professional coach.
"Catch the ball, and kick it as hard and long as you can!" was shouted repeatedly as he kicked ball after ball at the keepers.
But despite the simple exercises he had gained a reputation for being able to get good keepers to the next level and that was what was needed for a young keeper like Virginia.

In the middle of the pitch was Francesco D'Addazio who was in full control, taking well care of all the players he was training and doing a decent job.
He was not the cause of Preben's state of emotions. 

Then we had Emile Heskey...

He had brought cheeseburger for his players from the local McDonalds.
You'd think he at least had brought them to give motivation to the players, right?
Some little scheme that meant, that if a player scored or did well, they would 'win' a burger or something like that.

Nope.

It was for Heskey himself. 
Whenever a player missed a shot he'd take a bite from a cheeseburger.
"You don't want me to get fat, no boys. So you better score!"

What a way to motivate players.

"You're slowly killing me with your misses Balo!"
Heskey was laughing as he finished another cheeseburger. Balo got mad though.
He sent a two-fingered salute in Heskey's direction and uttered, "Shut the **** up you fat pillock!"

Heskey replied by throwing a cheeseburger at Balo, but characteristic for his career, it was a complete miss.

 

Yet again, Balo had shown what a great captain he was, and Heskey had found innovative ways to motivate the team.

Beautiful day, eh Prébi?

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

20th September, 2023

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Well, it's not been a completely horrible start.

AlbinoLeffe was beaten late after they'd been reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute, and then Torino away was the next game in the Cup.
After going behind early, saving a pen after half an hour we actually fought our way back and got a 2-1 lead before conceding a late equalizer and ultimately ducking another in the extra time.
Pity to lose that game as we fully matched a Serie A team in that game.

We had some promising periods against Perugia, Pro Vercelli and Modena resulting in 7 points, to then get completely thrashed by Frosinone.

 

We're currently sitting 11th afte the first 5 games whille Frosinone have taken the lead.

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Performance wise we've seen Virginia with some big time saves, among those a penalty save against Torino.
Paddy has been putting in a good shift, Wijnaldum's been decent too. 
Petrillo has had some brutal solo-goals, but the real star of the show is Simoncini. He's been doing it all.

Pitocchi and Stoyle.. well hopefully they'll pick up soon enough. 

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Okay, I might, might, have accidentally played through the entire first season by now as I had some days off work and got carried away.

I've saved along the way about every second month, so I can give updates to show what happened along the way but I won't be doing to in-depth for this first season.

Doing so would be a bit.. meh for me personally as I'd know all the answers to the progress going on and my usual style of updating is also giving you gifs and screens of the games when they happen or right after, so I'd rather be able to get up to date in-game again.

I'll still put in some bits of story along the way but the pace will be sped up massively (at least massively for my usual pace) for this first season and then we'll see what happens in the next! ;)

 

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1 hour ago, Benjoe said:

Okay, I might, might, have accidentally played through the entire first season by now as I had some days off work and got carried away.

This happens to me every thread I ever create :lol: - interested to see how the season went and whether Balotelli coped with being 2nd fiddle...

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2 hours ago, smp20 said:

This happens to me every thread I ever create :lol: - interested to see how the season went and whether Balotelli coped with being 2nd fiddle...

:lol: Usually it's been the opposite way for me! But I got on a roll for once!

Aren't we all!

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

20th November, 2023

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Much more like it!

Some good runs in between.
A lot of goals in some of the games as well as we are living or dying by the attacking predominance of our players.
 

 

We have risen to 4th after a really good period.

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Virginia has kept up his high playing level, Mansueto and Paddy have been key in our defence too!

Stoyle is still not doing overly well, but Pitocchi has at least picked up the pace. 

Simoncini continues to run the show for us and Petrillo is very much hit or miss. When he wants to he can dribble past 3-4 defenders and hammer a goal in, but when he doesn't he can barely keep the ball inside the arena when shooting for goal.

 

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

11th March, 2024

We take a rather big jump this time, exciting isn't it!

This means this update will contain January transfers, Youth Intake as well as the usual good stuff.

 

January window

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No one left, but these 4 players joined. All 4 are reasonably cheap punts at hitting something that could develop in the future.

Jaroslav Flip is definitely the biggest talent of the bunch. Super young and already very interesting. We haven't used pure wingers so far, but it could very well happen in the future and then he'd be a perfect candidate.

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Gianluca Bulgarelli is the best developed player of the transfers but won't be jumping straight into the starting 11. His work rate matches Preben's desire though which is a huge plus.

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De Nitto is a project for our holding midfielder since we have basically no one atm. He's not perfect, but he is a very decent prospect.

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Nijhuis was a bit more expensive than he perhaps warrant, but I envision a role for him as a ball dominant defender. He has the size and the building blocks for it, but I'm not sure he can realize the assumed talent in time. We'll see.

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Youth intake 2023/24

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Related image

 

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Eh. Penzo and Borgonovo looks promising, but it's not breathtaking.

 

Matches

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All I want to say is, **** Cesena and SPAL!

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Beautiful header there, Pereira. 

Thanks boss!

...

 

And this is what you all have been waiting for. Some Balotelli highlights.13bfdd079b7d06d22e82eaad32d8e9d2.png664a09020379007181d7acef618d9c68.png
No shots, no missplaced passes, no tackles, 3 mistakes, no assists, no goals. What man.

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But Balo wouldn't be Balo without doing brilliant stuff every so often too.

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Edited by Benjoe

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Cracking season so far! Flopatelli.....

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

11th June, 2024

Preben was excited. Proud.

The way they had ended the season was admirable. Magical.

Despite Galdino's decision to sign Balotelli and making him captain Preben had been able to keep the team motivated and cohesive as they grew stronger for each match. 

Balotelly, known as Flopatelli among fans of Verona, had been more busy assuming his entity persona, iMario, rather than winning football games.
This change of focus for iMario had resulted in 1 goal and 1 assists in 6 starts and 14 sub ins.
Not very God-like..

In other dramatic news the Verona ultras had been making a lot headlines. And for all the wrong reasons.
Violence, riots, pitch invading, racism.. Something had to be done, but the club wasn't sure what to do to keep the wild and exciting nature of the ultras, while harnessing the extremist environment they also breeded.
As always Galdino had a plan or two up his sleeve, and Prébi would no doubt hate them both.

 

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Following the 6-3 beating of Avellino on the final day of the season the team partied. 
It was far from the first party - with Preben as the manager that would've been absurd.

But this time they were more candid about it.

Preben had joined forces with the Irish gang of Stoyle (Aggression 18) and Paddy (Bravery 13) to get Pitocchi (Agg 9, Bra 6) to drink and smoke for the first time since joining the club.
Stoyle charged ahead first accompanied by Preben. Stoyle was holding a bottle of Irish potato vodka, Preben a big fat cigar.
"Come on Pito, join the craic will ya you Holy Joe? Drink this, it's fecking deadly mate!" he passed the bottle to Pitocchi who panicked. 

"I.. I don't want to drink it if it's deadly. That sounds d-d-dangerous!"

"No, Pito.. He just means it's great. He's Irish.. give him a break. And smoke this ;)." Preben passed him the cigar and nodded to Pitocchi.

Pitocchi wrapped his lips around the cigar as if he'd never seen anyone smoke before.
Stoyle started coughing as Preben had given him an elbow to the gut. Stoyle had started laughing and Preben didn't want Stoyle to alert Pitocchi.

Preben lit the cigar and Pitocchi tried to puff on it.
Pitocchi was coughing his lungs up as Paddy arrived at the scene.

"Oi lads! What's this eejit doin'? Ha! Give me 'at!"

Paddy drained half the bottle of potato vodka and finished off with the cigar.

"Good quali mate! Cheers!" he spat as he went past Pito who had crumbled to the floor, still coughing. 
His head had turn a special nuance of deep blue.

Preben shrugged as he looked at his fallen star. 
Stoyle, didn't even shrug, he was ready for more party.
"The Kevinator is in the houuuuuse!"

 

- - -

Aside of that, we ended up topping the league!

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Frosinone kept their defensive A-game for most of the season but they lacked the cynicism to close out for the first place in the end. Not that it matter much, they got their direct promotion still.

Salernitana and - unexpectedly given their bad season - Palermo took the other two spots for Serie A.

Luckily Spal stayed down...

Novara, who was in Serie A last season, but now they just got their 2nd relegation in a row. Ouch..

 

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AC Milan took the Serie A away from Juve - yay @Deisler26!

Some of the players on these teams are... absurd. So that'll be great fun.

 

I won't dive into the player performances of the season - I don't have time for that now, so here's the overview.

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

So, before we are ready to dive into the second season with Preben at Verona we have some few awards to showcase first!

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Apparently being played a bit as left winger and a bit as striker made Stoyle and Pitocchi both deemed unsuitable for Midfielder and Striker of the year awards. 
No bother.

We had a brilliant season, but Preben still managed to get snubbed for the manager of the year award, that went to Frosinone's manager instead. 
Eh.

The turnaround was massive though seeing how we were slowly building up for the first few months of the season but eventually really got going.
Stoyle especially is a treat to watch. Multiple times has he been taking magical runs and works hard all game long. 
 

Is our Irishman, Kevin Stoyle, the heir to Preben? 

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

For the coming season little has to be changed from my perspective

I liked how we played. I enjoyed our grit and relentless hard work combined with a few technical players, mainly Simoncini. 

Some players will leave as they are here on loan and won't be interested in joining permanently, and seeing as we are now in Serie A, my one and only rule applies:

On 06/04/2019 at 22:12, Benjoe said:

Only rule is, that when we are promoted to Serie A, there will be absolutely no incoming loan deals. 
All players from that point has to be players who wants to be in Verona and not just get some game time for the sake of it.

So, obviously, we'll not be making those deals this coming summer.

We will, however, try our hardest to sign Simoncini permanently as we negotiated a £3M future fee clause into the loan deal when we signed it with Crystal Palace.
Time will tell if he is interested in joining when we use that clause.

 

Looking at the squad from last season:

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We are doing great in terms of our goalkeepers, so nothing needs to change her. Extend with Iacobucci if possible, otherwise cheaper alternatives can be found. 

Defensively I want to hold on to all of them - especially Mansueto and McMillan. 
I don't want too much changing down here, but I want 2-3 new CBs as we really lack depth here, and especially for Serie A!

In midfield we'll likely see the most changes.
We don't have a DM/Holding midfielder next season as Mads Isaksen is returning and no chance, we can sign him up. 
Simoncini will be tried to sign, otherwise we'll also need another DLP/AP type as we have basically no-one comparable.
I also want to clean out what I can in terms of players like Battochio, Novara and Wijnaldum. All are okay, but we can do better things with the salaries imo. 

In attack and out wide I think we're good. Unless something unique turns up at a good price we won't bite. Unless we are forced to replace someone, of course. 

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

The summer is over, and so is the transfer window!

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These were our outs. 

Most of what I wanted done actually happened. Great.
I also decided to sell off a lot of our youngsters. I have been lazy and only written 'OA' on any decent talents so a lot of OA-talents have no tag on them, but eh, the system for making nicknames is just so slow. 

All of the talents sold have been sold with 40-50% sell ons and a good amount of them with £1M rebuy clauses, just in case they suddenly break through.
The prime reason for selling was one of; (1) not being good enough/too low potential, (2) not high enough work rate, resulting in indifference from Preben, (3) not wanting to loan and not seeing enough development at our club. 

Let me know if you want to see any of the sold players.

 

Now we move to incoming players.

Here we had quite good luck in finding good players on the cheap.

 

Solidifying the defence

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We got our defenders here for almost no money at all!

Only Bianchetti costed us a transfer fee! 500k in total for him, but he is 'Favoured Personnel' at the club following his many previous years and matches for Verona so he is fully worth it!

Brinkman is likely to fight for the RB spot with Sampiris and I can see him doing great and pipping Sampirisi for the spot eventually. 

 

Bolstering the midfield

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Gwendal was cheap, and ticks all the boxes for a holding midfielder
I love him. Aggressive, hard working, enduring. Allround he looks the part. His mohawk just makes it that much better.

 

Did we sign Simoncini?

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Oh yes we did!
Absolutely beautiful player! I'm using him as our DLP so his numbers in terms of goals and assists dropped massively compared to his first few months with us but he is just such a good player.
He might not be the best choice for a deep lying playmaker with his killer balls trait as I see him usually avg. about 80-85% pass completion. So maybe he is too often taking some risky decisions, but then again, a lot of factors have to be considered.

We are a newly promoted team, tipped to be relegated, we are playing a defensive and direct system (more on that at another point), and he is the centrepiece of our team averaging about 90-100 passes per game.
So, some waste and missed passes is allowed, and even more so, his desire to take the direct solution can create big chances for us against aggressive teams. SPOILER: It does open up their defence a lot.

I'm happy to have him permanently. A big, big star.

 

And then...

The opportunistic striker signing

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As I said before the window, I wasn't going to be spending big amounts of money on a striker as I didn't really feel that was our most apparent need.
But seeing Capuani available on the cheap, 575K, I decided to do the sane thing and get him signed.

He's a very solid starting striker to have, Italian, good age and he is both professional and highly determined. 
Perfect match.

 

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We spent barely any money this summer, but we weren't given any sort of budget either.
So, we did really well to get what we did and looking forward our economy should grow steadily.

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Here is the full squad btw:

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Notice the personalities and the determination?

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Remarkably well built this squad. ;)

 We have a healthy balance of experience and youth and we have a good few guys from our own academy ready to pounce soon as well. 

Good times coming!

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Work rate looks great too! 

Guess who's rock bottom here..... 

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Football is a fighting sport, if you if you can't stand the beating go play ludo!

27th October, 2024

We've gotten through the first few months and have now played 10 games!
1 cup, 9 league games, and none of them has ended with a draw!

So far we've used two different systems. 

When we feel comfortable against our opponents - which is rare - we use this:

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Simoncini and Mathieu in midfield should've been the opposite way around.

And when we are up against the odds, or away from home, we use this:

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I've been very happy with both actually. 

With the first, our more adventurous tactic, we have created some quite intricate combinations at time and moved the ball around creating space for Stoyle to run into.

The very defensive and strict tactic we employ in all situations we aren't comfortable in has also had it's proud moments. Almost getting a point against the reigning champions of AC Milan in a game at San Siro, where we had the lead for 30 minutes, a 5-1 win against Lazio at home where we had 54% possesion as well as 19 shots vs 14, as we created 1ccc and 3 hc against their 0 of both. 

A specific loss against Sassuolo hurt though. Not a team we should be losing 0-2 to.. 
And we we're fine for the most part of the game constraining them to long shots, but two of those long shots got deflected by Bianchetti (yes, on both occasions) and then went past Virginia.. 

In terms of players, Simoncini is orchestrating our play in either one and doing great.

Paddy McMillan - who just bumped to Model Prof somehow! - has been a steady performer as well.

Rome Tonon OA has also taken the step to Serie A in great form as he's averaged 7.10 in 5(4) games with 3 assists as well.

 

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The first derby against Chievo ends with a dominant performance from Stoyle!

And with yet another win we are now 6th!

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5 wins, 5 losses, 0 draws. That's quite impressive tbf.

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Next game is against Empoli. Their captain is this old legend. 

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Flaninho! He is the guy we supposedly should be afraid of ahead of the match - well, I guess that's decent advice..

I still fear their OA striker more though.

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Preben already splashed some cash on a couple of interesting youngsters.

Coulibaly for 170k is the first lad. Young and interesting. Determined, good work rate, defensive qualities which suit our needs for a right back as of current tactics at least. I like him a lot. 

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And then we have Edi Carlo. Oh I like this kid. Preben splashed 800k on him. He has many of the qualities Preben desires in a striker/AMC for this setup. If only he had some more strength but the kid is 17 and already looks the part. 

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Other than these two guys we actually also picked up a couple of coupons on free.

Benno lad is the first. A German, ya. He is quite decent actually. I want to boost his determination as that is something I feel could really be beneficial for Benno, but Balo is only option for tutoring. So, guess not.  He could become very useful, and otherwise we can sell him for a decent fee I'd expect. 

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We also picked up this Ghanaian talent from Chelsea's academy. Once again, quite a decent player, although he is further from first team action than Benno. However, he apparently has a good amount of unused potential so hopefully he can develop that here. 

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Now, the guy I want to sign, to partner Edi Carlo eventually is this Bosnian kid. :eek: A little too pricey for us at the moment though so I hope he keeps a hidden gem to the public and that we can wait until summer and snap him up then. 

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Frustrating... We have a goal disallowed wrongly, then we score a pen, miss a one-on-one with the keeper, then we concede after a perfect build-up from Frosinone. 
We keep composed and create another huge chance as Brinkman heads directly at the post, and moments later Zapata scores on a direct free kick to take the win. 

 

Bleh.

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The curse of posting on the forum hitting me hard, as always.

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And we've dropped to 13th in the table as Frosi-no-one-gives-a-****-about-you-nonces are sitting on 7th. 

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Ooooof.

After having completely rejected Marseille and Bordeaux who wanted to interview me, these guys have come in!

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Yikes. I really like Roma, and would absolutely love to manage them. I had hopes of moving to them eventually along the years, and the team they have now is pretty insane. 

 

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Heavy breathing.

The rest of their squad is solid too, and the players they have on their u20's are quality too.
They do have extremely few Italians and OA players in their team though, so there'd be something to work towards in terms of squad building and youth development too.

 

Preben loves Verona, is a legend there, and is doing good things with them. But would he really say no to going to Rome to shape a European giant? 

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Il sindaco sta soggiornando!

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Prébi had a talk with Galdino. 

Staying put.

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9 hours ago, Benjoe said:

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Frustrating... We have a goal disallowed wrongly, then we score a pen, miss a one-on-one with the keeper, then we concede after a perfect build-up from Frosinone. 
We keep composed and create another huge chance as Brinkman heads directly at the post, and moments later Zapata scores on a direct free kick to take the win. 

 

Bleh.

I recall this kind of fraudulence happening on FM17 quite often. It's an unforgiving version of the game, that's for sure. Hopefully you end up getting it to go in your favor more times than not though! Interesting read so far, love how you put just the right amount of detail into it. Not too much, not too little. Keep it up! :)

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5 minutes ago, oriole01 said:

... love how you put just the right amount of detail into it. Not too much, not too little. Keep it up! :)

813d0bab-911e-44b1-b4e5-63f9fb617148_tex

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Just now, ManUtd1 said:

813d0bab-911e-44b1-b4e5-63f9fb617148_tex

We can't have anyone over-frauding or under-frauding in these parts. Not an option.

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Just now, oriole01 said:

We can't have anyone over-frauding or under-frauding in these parts. Not an option.

e9946521-6a68-4743-b901-0b3686f4e3b4_tex

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