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_Ben_

[FM19] One night in Serravalle

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Absolutely smashed it! Looking forward to a good start, October will be tough with Europe coming in. 

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Great to see the national team doing decently. Your goalie seems to have been playing forever but I doubt he's close to retirement.

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14 hours ago, Lucas said:

Absolutely smashed it! Looking forward to a good start, October will be tough with Europe coming in. 

I've got to find a perfect medium between resting players for the CL or going on form. However - I probably need to work out which competition I want to prioritise at this moment - the CL or the League?!

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12 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Great to see the national team doing decently. Your goalie seems to have been playing forever but I doubt he's close to retirement.

I know! Amazingly, he's averaged 47 games a year since the age of 16. He has dropped a little pace in the last couple of months but that's not really an issue for his position. Scary that he could have another eight years left in him still!

He's on 852 career appearances so that magical 1000 is definitely do-able.

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August/September 2039

57a9ca6c737ce8cd242a58e98d90a2b9.png

We may have reached that 16 point target that I initially set, but the dropped points came against Palermo and not Napoli, as I expected. The Bologna game was absolutely ridiculous, four up after eleven minutes. At 6-0, I wanted and sensed an opportunity for ten so literally threw every player forward. Their three goals came late in the game which kind of took the shin off scoring 7 on the road.

September has been a mixed month for me and a tail of two different decisions. The Sat-Tues-Fri Champions League schedule meant that I decided to really rotate the team both side of the Champions League tie. In both ties, we really struggled - Patrick Waye-Hive looks dreadfully out of his depth and Rech and Renzi don't really offer either the creative outlet or goalscoring threat that Valentini and Zafferani do. Also, teams are getting even more defensive against us - look at San Marino vs Sassuolo heat map (you have to ignore our wingers as they constantly swap sides and, therefore, are largely averaged out 'in the middle') - this means that we are often faced with a wall of 4,5 or even 6 players that we need to find a way to get through. In the end - we got little from it; a dour game against Tottenham and a first half missed penalty was about the only thing of note. The Sat-Wed schedule is slightly different and I didn't rest players against Genoa, comfortably beating the then second placed side. I may have come to regret that had we not have been playing a Monaco team bang out of form at sat in 16th in Ligue 1 after 8 points from 8 games.

October is going to be tough - we faced some of the larger teams including the now-Poch managed Inter, who did lose their star striker Runac to Real Madrid in the summer. We also face our final opponent in the first round of CL fixtures, Feyenoord.

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October/November 2039

f82476f13cec4de69941ff828cd1bca0.png

A tale of two competitions. The league is too easy but we are in danger of crashing out of the Champions League. Seeing the nine point gap to Virtus Entella, predicted 16th and sure to fall away soon, and the twelve point gap back to Inter, you may miss the fact that they have a game in hand but you can certainly see the superiority we have shown. We started with a classy win over Milan - once again, pegging their advanced full backs back and exploiting the games between them and their very advanced wingers. We lacked a lot of spark against Lazio and, luckily, a penalty was converted to give us the three points. With Caicara rested for the Verona tie, with thoughts ahead to the Inter game, centre-back Hernandez did the job as penalty taker as we pushed them aside. The Inter game really did not warrant a 2-0 win for us - in fact, the game was very even and we were clinical in the second half after absorbing a lot of pressure. Poch has got them playing good football and I'm not really sure how they are (potentially) still nine points back.

A strong team destroyed Atalanta but that was to be expected following the work we put in after the Feyenoord game, with Patrick Waye-Hive getting his first goal of the season in what, sadly, appeared to be the first time that he was actually passed the ball. He's looked out of his depth up front, not leading the line effectively or getting into dangerous roles like Zavoli did - I have actually made a marquee signing that will replace him. It breaks my mould of 'important first teamer' as he'll rotate a lot with Zavoli but he is a top player and a deal that I couldn't turn down with Waye-Hive at least three years away from 'being ready' at this level. We finished the month with a clinical victory against a very poor Roma team - what is more, the squad was massively rotated due to the necessity of a win in our upcoming tie against Monaco.

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Feyenoord, despite being very average on paper, hold the place I want so badly. I think, regardless of result here, that I will be trying to win the league this season and any European progress is a bonus. Therefore, a Champions League knockout defeat would probably be easier to take than a Europa League defeat - particularly as we could very well reach the later stages again and have a congested fixture schedule. Of course - I need to beat Monaco first. They're up to fifth in the league now, riding on some good form but, like us, have been inconsistent in Europe.

I really should be looking at it in the context of it being a massive game, but...small squad and domestic focuses actually see me not being too bothered.

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Marquee signing?

1. Preferred foot:
c05e6fe5a5e96d7a862591650dc976af.png        c05e6fe5a5e96d7a862591650dc976af.png        c05e6fe5a5e96d7a862591650dc976af.png

2. Personality
a26e2853790c463861930c8c76ed1956.png      89bfbd9630420f4e9bddf6d4199befe7.png     89bfbd9630420f4e9bddf6d4199befe7.png

3. Nationality
41a91c05a1ddec4bd5c00bb92a9e5144.png   361d93f330ca409dda44764bf60e1e90.png  a26dcd6b56b5b659fa220f095dc9bdce.png

 

This information from my three previous marquee signings may be a clue to the kind of player I have gone for. I will do a full run down of what I think he'll bring to the team...

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New signing:

f59e2ee3bbfda97d4af83c82ba9d46a9.png

I'm stuck here - half of me wants to build the squad just from the youth that our state of the art academy is producing, with me spending hours picking over the finest of details and making the best of each and every player and half of me wants to build a squad that encompasses both the hard work at youth level and a spattering of quality, purchased from elsewhere. I have had a long term save on FM19 before and, despite winning a few league titles in Portugal at Beira Mar, I didn't ever crack the Champions League - nor turn my team into an absolute world power - I have the potential to do this at San Marino. To be able to do that will require a deep, and quality squad rather than just a first team. I currently have Lorenzo Zavoli as my first choice, and pretty much only, striking option. The experiment in the summer - selling Leonardo Marra and replacing him with 17-year old youth candidate Patrick Waye-Hive didn't work as the latter is way off the level needed in one of the now larger clubs in the country.

Therefore, I have used that opportunity to sign this lad, Gustavo Gonzalez, from Wolves. Firstly - I have hidden his value as I'm interested to see how much other people think that he is worth. The only clue you're getting is that I broke my transfer record (£16m for both Hernandez and Samaniego).

----

Why did I sign him?

Firstly - he's a quality player. Exceptional finishing, heading, decision making and all-round physicality, combined with good dribbling, passing and technique. What is more - Gonzalez is capable of using both feet and looks, given his height, to be as capable with the ball on the floor as he is with the ball in the air. His only real 'weakness' could be his lack of concentration. Looking at his octagon, I can see that 'heart' shape that, to me, signifies a well rounded striker (I also look for an inverted heart for a centre back).

He's got a great personality, is very determined and is a pretty good leader.

Model Professional
Professionalism 20, Temperament 10-20

Level Headed
Professionalism 13-20, Loyalty 12-20

Whilst not experienced at international level (nor is Caicara, and he's now my favourite signing) and having not particularly set the world alight at his previous clubs, as seen below, (remember that Hernandez was playing for relegation fodder and I actually signed him from a Bundesliga 2 club) I think that he could really come good:

9f3ce23cba21a5fc403444e64b78a242.png

In 2038/39, Wolves finished 16th and this year, they are currently 14th, with 18 points from 18 games. They have scored just 19 times and manager, Nenad Bjelica, clearly isn't replicating the counter attacking style that his coaching profile would suggest - as a player as good as Gonzalez has been unable to find the net. When I was scouting him, it mentioned that he was struggling to connect with a number of players, interesting that was 'Balanced' winger Williams Martinez and F.Determined forward Eduardo Jose. With a squad of players much closer in personality to Gonzalez, I would expect him to fit in better.

The last reason is purely tactical and, somewhat, takes this signing away from my initial decision to move from youth only to youth driven. Gonzalez is tall but has a player trait that is absolutely fantastic and could be a game winner for me. He'll win headers in the air that 5'10" Zavoli will be nowhere near and his physicality will allow him to bully defences - something that we need to do more and more as we face brick walls sitting back. Below is the assist types and locations of the last fifty competitive games:

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We score a lot of goals from through balls. I largely attribute this to the pace that we have up front and our ability to go from a patient build up to a quick, incisive vertical move, splitting the defence open. I find that, quite a lot of the time, we are one on one with the goalkeeper and with his trait of going round the keeper, combined with his fantastic finishing, good composure and great decision making makes me wonder if we'll ever miss another one on one again!

----

So, how much did he cost me?

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I'll go with £16.5m :D

He looks absolute quality though, hopefully he can kick on from his form at Wolves.

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I'm going to guess 22.5m.

Also, kinda weird that he's 6'4" and extremely quick, but his jumping reach doesn't make it into the yellow zone.  Still pretty good, of course, but if I hadn't seen his height I would have guessed he was 6'1" probably.

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8 hours ago, Sysiphus said:

I'll go with £16.5m :D

He looks absolute quality though, hopefully he can kick on from his form at Wolves.

 

7 hours ago, Tajerio said:

I'm going to guess 22.5m.

Also, kinda weird that he's 6'4" and extremely quick, but his jumping reach doesn't make it into the yellow zone.  Still pretty good, of course, but if I hadn't seen his height I would have guessed he was 6'1" probably.

He does look really good and I've got very high hopes for the lad. I, too, am confused about that jumping reach - normally, a tall player will have good reach, even if he is actually poor at heading. I'll see.

I also did some analysis of the differences and similarities between the two:

6b7d6236bcd713c4815e87b0e5b9c9ca.png

They are quite similar players - Zavoli is more technical, can concentrate a little better, is better off the ball and quite a bit stronger whereas Gonzalez can finish better, is much braver, more determined and works a little harder.

I then decided to look at their 'in the air' vs 'on the floor' profile:

f29c82cebc6fcbacc37d9203bc74b1b3.png   706ff1ffb501ce128358b83ecec56547.png

They are, actually, remarkably similar players but I feel that is because they are both very well rounded with few weaknesses. I am excited to see how they compliment each other.

 

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December 2039/January 2040

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This is getting ridiculous! We are putting together a superb run of fixtures - tight at the back and pretty good going forward - and are pulling away from the pack. Rewind a year - we sat on 56 points from 23 games (2.57 PPG this year to 2.43 PPG last year) but had a six point gap back to Inter Milan. Last season Genoa sat 12th on 26 points and Virtus occupied a lowly league position so, without discounting them completely, as they are, of course, there on merit, I can say that the nearest challengers lie some fifteen points back. Inter have a couple of games in hand but that would still leave us with a 13 point advantage - surely a figure that, given the expected demise of Genoa and Virtus Entella, is too much to see us fall down into second.

On the pitch - we started with a fantastic routing of Monaco, doing just what we needed to go through in second place. We are rewarded with a tie against Southampton, managed by Bas Dost - the ex-Inter manager who inflicted so much heartbreak on us last season. We followed that up with a few decent performances and a well earned draw in Turin. I completely changed our style of play to a direct, counter attacking formation as, at this point, Juve were in great form and much higher up the table. It didn't work and we had to claw back a two goal deficit. January saw our only league defeat of the season - a tepid performance in Florence but we came back well in three relatively easy home matches, scoring eight and conceding none. 

We will, obviously, face tougher months and it is imperative that our March/April form does not replicate last year's - even with the cushion that we have.

----

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A strange list of the top five spenders in the January window but confirmation that I shelled out just over £30m for Gustavo Gonzalez. He's already got four goals in his first month and has not actually played a complete ninety minutes yet, so I am excited about what is to come. The deal was made even sweeter with me completing a loan move for Patrick Waye-Hive. He moves to Catanzaro, who are currently second in Serie B - so he should be playing in a good team that are doing well. More importantly, he is being managed by Julio Velasquez, a Pro Spaniard who likes attacking football in a 4-2-3-1 shape and is excellent at working with youngsters. Hopefully this move can be the first of a few that gets him really ready for first team football.

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Patrick Waye-Hive looks almost ready for a Serie A loan next season. If he develops well he should be a serious contender on your first squad before his 20s.

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On 02/09/2019 at 23:56, kingjericho said:

Patrick Waye-Hive looks almost ready for a Serie A loan next season. If he develops well he should be a serious contender on your first squad before his 20s.

Definitely - he has the ability and now just needs to find his goalscoring feet.

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Panic Report

Not sure what is going on here in the league...

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Gap is now gone with the Genoa loss and Inter, if they win their game in hand, move to three behind. Time to have buck our ideas up!

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168122972607ab165b35a126d26c71af.png

 

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I are going to suggest that maybe your squad has mediocre values for Pressure, but it's not really close enough to the run-in for that I wouldn't think.  Are you perhaps falling victim to the old "teams changing approach due to midseason reputation recalculation" swoon?

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Fantastic threads, one of my favourites in this forum and I've read about some amazing saves here. Very inspiring stuff.

Love your goalie, hope he breaks the 1000 mark. Never done it myself, pretty rare achievement.

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22 hours ago, Tajerio said:

I are going to suggest that maybe your squad has mediocre values for Pressure, but it's not really close enough to the run-in for that I wouldn't think.  Are you perhaps falling victim to the old "teams changing approach due to midseason reputation recalculation" swoon?

Maybe, to both of these. The former is something that I can't, hugely, influence. There is nobody that has anything on their scout report about not enjoying big games so the rest is completely hidden. In terms of the 'opposition becoming more defensive' - I need to find ways to break them down and that is all on me!

5 hours ago, BillHoudini24 said:

Fantastic threads, one of my favourites in this forum and I've read about some amazing saves here. Very inspiring stuff.

Love your goalie, hope he breaks the 1000 mark. Never done it myself, pretty rare achievement.

Thanks! He's on 851 for club and country as of now and, at 33, hopefully he'll get there!

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2040 Youth Intake

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A bit of a shame that, so late on the timeline of FM19, that I have such a great youth intake as I'll never be able to see these players through their full careers. What I do have is three youngsters who are in positions that are needed.

35e7a44edeb0cd82b4276504c78054ef.png

Two footed centre backs are my dream and, even more so, if they are reasonably technical. Amici is good at passing, has a good first touch and technique as well as being good at all of the other key defensive attributes. He's a little weak on some mental attributes and I'd like him to be a little taller, but the lad is 16 and should certainly grow in stature. A solid personality, too.

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If Amici needed a partner - then Veronesi is his man. Possibly the best player that has come through my academy, in terms of current ability. Aside from composure - there is nothing that he isn't at least 'good' at in terms of being a ball playing defender. Hopefully he has tonnes of space to grow into as he has a great personality to help him reach that.

f716517c79c1cbcb93224b0c3e8a48d8.png

Davide Zafferani is nearing thirty so a player like this is a perfect replacement. Lacking a little in the mental side oft he game, but he's quite technical and works hard for the team.

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February/March 2040

a18338367d4243c75b37c144b284cffa.png

I posted about our league slump, where four defeats in a row saw our mammoth lead at the top cut to absolutely nothing - however, I hope that, with seven points from nine, I have come through that and I can press on again. We are away at Inter during April and, with such fine margins now separating all the top three, I really need to win or I feel a repeat of last year coming on. We have made relatively easy work of our knockout tie against Southampton and face Schalke in the QF - which is going to provide some more fixture congestion for us.

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April 2040

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I've gone back to a single month as a) I have barely played over the past week or so can't even recall our CL Quarter final exit b) I'm happy that we are back to winning ways and c) things are hotting up - with a lot of that down to our rather lucky win away at Inter.

Here is what is between us and our first ever Scudetto:

a6cebc1ff2da8b4fdc2befa9feb36b10.png

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Great win away at Inter. Hope the UCL exit bodes well for the run-in to end the league.

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2039/40 End of Season

c72c6b89ce805318d593e9a6ba2eb0d8.png

To say that things didn't go to plan would be an understatement. I am unsure of how much more work we can do at the start of the season, and, yet again, throw it away at the end. We decided to draw, at home, to lowly Frosinone and then lose away at now mid-table Roma - handing Inter their third consecutive Scudetto and saving Poch a job. At the end of January, we were nineteen points ahead of Inter, although they had two games in hand, and, whilst our last 17 games saw us lose six times and draw four times (1.7 PPG), Inter managed to win 16, draw two and lose one of their last round of fixtures (2.6 PPG) - a feat which must be applauded.

Next season - we must win the league and, because it hasn't worked so far, we will attempt to go as deep as we can in the CL and, unlike this year, not throw the Coppa Italia final.

On the pitch, we performed quite well - clearly showing that there are some tactical issues that are inhibiting our performances.

470bdd0e8677f8678ccd4f18a5a4f58d.png

To have a DM leading the scoring charts either shows that he has done well or my strikers haven't. I think that these statements are both true - neither Zavoli or record signing Gonzalez have really set the world on fire - as you can probably tell from the amount of appearances off the bench - largely due to a poor showing from the other player. I am beginning to regret signing the big Argentine now I have two up and coming strikers in Waye-Hive and Tomarchi coming through. 

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Finally read through this thread and I absolutely love it. congrats.

I do not understand how you can play so fast and so detailled, do 15+ years in 2 months, but this is not my problem. 😂 do you use instant result button and then look at the stats or do you watch every single game?

Keep up your work. 

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12 hours ago, ElCuriosoJr said:

Finally read through this thread and I absolutely love it. congrats.

I do not understand how you can play so fast and so detailled, do 15+ years in 2 months, but this is not my problem. 😂 do you use instant result button and then look at the stats or do you watch every single game?

Keep up your work. 

Many thanks!

I have, particularly in the early seasons, used the Continue Game timeout to process between matches quicker, but I always watch the games, usually with key highlights on. I have grown into doing  a bit more analysis as we have grown in stature but, to be fair, tactically, I still would say I'm quite inexperienced.

It has also helped that, as a teacher, I had a big summer holiday which was filled with poor weather!

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Transfers: Marquee signing

I've gone completely like for like here - replacing a right back with a marquee signing in the same position. Outgoing is Jacopo Valentini - a hugely physical full back, who really doesn't offer much going forward, yet has always chipped in where possible:

2690a56a0b510b3ce4c5f79fba976123.png

He moves on to Spurs for £12m after nearly three hundred games for us.

Incoming is Argentine Alexis Orellana for a fee of £22m from Real Sociedad:

95928fbd6910df24151a40f5ba831d5a.png

Similarly physical and decisive, yet utterly brilliant in a couple of necessary areas - crossing, technique and work rate and, skewing his attributes further, he is two footed. We are really trying to build a team of superb footballers and having this kind of offensive quality playing so deep means that we have yet more options. I won't even go into too much detail about the personality and media handling too, as they are a dream! Hopefully he can add the final piece to our jigsaw!

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4 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

Transfers: Marquee signing

I've gone completely like for like here - replacing a right back with a marquee signing in the same position. Outgoing is Jacopo Valentini - a hugely physical full back, who really doesn't offer much going forward, yet has always chipped in where possible:

2690a56a0b510b3ce4c5f79fba976123.png

He moves on to Spurs for £12m after nearly three hundred games for us.

Incoming is Argentine Alexis Orellana for a fee of £22m from Real Sociedad:

95928fbd6910df24151a40f5ba831d5a.png

Similarly physical and decisive, yet utterly brilliant in a couple of necessary areas - crossing, technique and work rate and, skewing his attributes further, he is two footed. We are really trying to build a team of superb footballers and having this kind of offensive quality playing so deep means that we have yet more options. I won't even go into too much detail about the personality and media handling too, as they are a dream! Hopefully he can add the final piece to our jigsaw!

What an funky player--half attacking wingback, half midfield playmaker.  Very interested to see how he gets on.

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On 13/09/2019 at 02:15, Tajerio said:

What an funky player--half attacking wingback, half midfield playmaker.  Very interested to see how he gets on.

He's one of those players that I would love to go back and see when he first generated. Was he just a full back then and did Independiente, his first club, see the potential as a midfielder? He was certainly played at full back for Sociedad, as I watched him numerous times, but I wonder how they trained him? 

The added creativity means that he can essentially play as a wide, and quite deep, playmaker. A role that I've never really though of before (I tend to view full backs as either marauding on the outside, where their physicality is key or inverted and building play through the centre of the pitch) so I'm really excited to see how he performs.

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In demand

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I can only imagine how good this lad will be in his peak. Sadly, I don't think the game (well, with the club managed by me anyway) will last that time.

83340a7a6a7e6cf66fbabd9dce5a795e.png

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Striker depth

I am delighted to have the depth I do in some areas of the pitch, and the striker role is one of those. As a team that is around the top of the league, I have the pleasure of being able to, hopefully anyway, play one or two players who aren't quite of the same quality of the rest of the side and get away with it. Below are the six strikers at the club who I feel have something to offer:

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The first point to note is that Patrick Waye-Hive, after 3 goals in 10(3) games at an AR of 6.84 at Serie B side Catanzaro, has gone on loan to Perugia. They are newly promoted to Serie A and expected to finish 17th, but Marco Nichetti likes to use a Target man through a 4-2-3-1 formation and is excellent at working with youth - pretty much the perfect match for our youngster. They are light on other attacking options with only Christian Boschi, scorer of 11 Serie B goals, really any competition so I expect him to play 30+ matches in Serie A, a perfect introduction for what is hopefully to come.

Fourth choice striker and serial youth scorer Manuel Tomarchio has joined Bundesliga side Ingolstadt for his first taste of first team football. They have finished 15th in the Bundesliga for the past two years after some yo-yo-ing between divisions but Professional manager, Joel Veltman, is another good match. A quite direct 4-2-3-1, which will suit Tomarchio's physicality and a tendency to not sit back and protect leads mean that he should get plenty of chances. He's also great at working with youngsters and goes straight in as first choice striker for them. I normally wouldn't send strikers to weaker teams but the 'score one more than you' mantra was the seller here.

Andrea Rossi has been at the club a while and after a short spell at Serie C side Spezia, 3 goals in 15 games at an AR of 6.79 moves to a Serie B side. Citadella are another team not predicted to do too well but it is once again the manager, this time Kevin Strootman, who has sealed the decision. A professional who is excellent at working with youngsters and an exceptional attacking coach combined with having great determination and motivating skills - Kevin sees Andrea as a key member of the first team - meaning he'll get 30+ games in the 32nd best league in Europe. There were some options from Portuguese clubs, but, at this point, I'm putting game time over backup options in better leagues. Hopefully, my decision will be vindicated.

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Gustavo Gonzalez didn't really impress me last year, 8 goals 9(11) games at an AR of 7.08, so I am looking to move him to a wider role so that both he and Zavoli can feature in the same side. With Valentini having nailed down the AML role, he will rotate a bit with L.Zafferani, the younger brother, on the right hand side. Going forward - I see Waye-Hive rotating with Zavoli and offering the small/big option for whenever I need something slightly different. If Tomarchio does well out on loan - a move to an inside forward on the left could be a real possibility for him - he's fast, can dribble, finish and is good off the ball. That will allow a spot up top for Rossi, who's physicality could be a threat. I see Fabris, my last striker who I feel could play a part, as someone moving much deeper - back to the AM role. He's probably a better passer than finisher and the game recommends him as a DLF(s) but I would either use him as a F9 or actually an AP(s). Certainly one of those who could be use to change the course of a match, tactically.

---

I'm going to have a look at some other areas of my team as this season progresses.

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Champions League Draw

After a good run last year before being knocked out by Schalke, I want to go a little bit further this year as I haven't won this competition of FM19. I did win the Europa League in my first FM save with Beira-Mar - see below for a run down of achievements that made me the 7th best Argentine manager of all time:

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Here is the group I am facing this year:

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This is not nice!

69-year old Pep Guardiola is at the helm of Chelsea and they haven't finished lower than fourth in the Premier League for the past nine years - with ex-boss Diego Simeone winning the league before finishing second last year. They are looking to win their third Champions League in four years but did fall at the first knockout round last year, to Bayern. Pep has only been at the helm for 43 days but has splashed £56m on a central midfielder to join the £690m of talent that the London club has accrued over the last six seasons.

Sporting, as you'd expect, haven't finished outside the top three in the Primeira Liga for 20 years but have been in the top two for the past five years now. Stephane Sessegnon is new to the job, too, and doesn't have the best record - a 38% win percentage and a negative goal difference across his near 400 game career at clubs such as Rennes, Guingamp and Real Betis. Sporting have made it through their group in each of the last six years but tend to go out early in the knockout stages. Still, they cannot be underestimated.

Dijon were a nothing club until they were brought out by Swedish millionaire Christian Johansson in 2031. Since then, he has bankrolled a new 24k seater stadium a whopping £660m of players in the previous three years. They had three successive third place finishes but did come second last year and have only once made it out of their Champions League group. They are awash with talent and extortionate wages but, so far, haven't been able to put together a good string of results.

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Second is possible here, but at the same time, I could finish bottom.  

 

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August/September 2040

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Two defeats already - a feat that we hadn't achieved until the 13th of February in last season's fixture list but, like Inter, I am playing the long game here. Rarely have the save seven or eight players taken the field in consecutive games, with changes happening for some tactical purposes but largely to restrict my best players to just one outing per seven days. However - those two defeats were both highly unlucky as 'incisive Juventus' and 'incisive Virtus Entella' was used in the post-match headline. We have enough going forward and have also started our CL campaign well. Worryingly, however, Dijon hammered Chelsea meaning that it could be a tight top three.

Elsewhere, I'm happy with my loanees:

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Waye-Hive has started magically and is second in the Serie A scoring charts, with his value rising by the day. Over in Germany, Tomarchio has had a tough start but both of his goals have led to Ingolstadt victories, which look like they could be few and far between. Rossi has scored well for a weaker side in Serie B and both attacking midfielders, Poggiali and Renzi are getting to grips with having to play slightly deeper roles than I would play them. I need to untick the 'can play against own club' as Corbelli was on the scoresheet in our defeat to Virtus but he looks like he has the makings of a solid backup full back, too. Fortunato, probably too old to develop any more, and, a such, missing out on my squad depth thinking, has struggled but has made the step up from being on loan in Serie C to a poor Serie A side.

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October/November 2040

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I played 99% of these games sometime in the early part of last week and, as such, have forgotten most of the important points to discuss. Never the less, we are moving in the right direction and have moved clear a little at the top. Inter are way back but, historically, this is where they come good. For the first time in three years - we aren't miles clear at this point and, maybe, able to rest on our laurels.

 

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