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zlatanera

A New Roman Empire

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Welcome! To another instalment of "zlatanera turns a good club into a really good one and acts like he's an FM god for doing so". This time:

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Roma are a perfect club for how I play the game: they could realistically finish anywhere between 2nd (what I think the squad's upper limit is) and 7th (in real life they came 6th), and have a good young core but room for improvement across the squad that allows me to shape it to my liking. They also have a romantic history - only 3 Scudetto despite the size of the club, and a couple of modern icons in Francesco Totti and Daniele de Rossi. To top it all off they underachieved in real life, which I find a big draw when starting a new save at this late stage in the life-span of the game - the first season becomes a kind of alternate history, rather than a speculative future. 

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The club's default philosophies fit well with how I play the game, which should buy me some time should results not come, although as I've disabled first window transfer budgets I can't do much about First Team Youngster Signings.

I'll be aiming to build a largely Italian squad - ideally by the end of summer 2020 I'll have only 3 foreign players (although I'm going to allow Italian dual-nationals), then 5 years or so into the save have only Italians at the club. 

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Game Set-Up

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I went with the recommended nations for a speedier save, and there was no point adding Portugal for example given my intentions of a domestic squad. I'll be interested to see if having the likes of Croatia and Slovenia active leads to their teams qualifying for the group stages of European competitions more often. 

 

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My manager is the exact same as he always is - biased towards attacking and youth development. Unlike with my last save he's not a dual national - just English - but is fluent in Italian.

Edited by zlatanera

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Squads

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Similar to Lyon, our first team is strongest in attack, with a nice mix of technicality and pace along with Edin Dzeko's more physical presence which will be key at the start. Midfield is pretty strong too, although I'll be looking to shift Pastore and Nzonzi on as soon as possible as they're not important enough for the wages they're on. Defence and goal are pretty abysmal - Florenzi, Kolarov and Manolas aside - with a dearth of that vital Concentration attribute and youth. Olsen will do in goal, but only because I need to sign about 10 other players before I swap out my GK.

Still, with Florenzi, Pellegrini, Cristante, Zaniolo and El Shaaraway we do have a few talented Italians to build around. 

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By far the best prospect here is Luca Pellegrini, which is pretty ideal as DL is one of the areas of our first time in most need of surgery. Gérson would be pretty ideal as a rotational Mezzala whilst we wait for Alessio Riccardi to develop into a top midfielder. 

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Devid Bouah is most likely the only future first-teamer - ideal as he'll be about 21 and (if I'm developing him right) ready to slot in right when Florenzi is 31-32 and ready to be phased out! Mory Bamba might have some potential too, but given these ratings are usually heavily downgraded in the first year or so I'm not optimistic. 

Edited by zlatanera

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The Tactic

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Followers of my Lyon thread may recognise this tactic somewhat - its the same instructions for the Very Attacking set-up I used in the 4th season there, and the same roles on the flanks - only the middle has changed as I thought given De Rossi's lack of pace a 4-3-3 was a better option. CWB suits my full back options as they're all better going forward than defensively too, although I'll be interested to see if a much less technical set of central defenders will still be alright at playing out from the back. Dzeko will play as DLF rather than CF as he's not the fastest, so I want him central where he can do more damage, 

Edited by zlatanera

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Staff Changes

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The most notable departure is Monchi as the DoF role is mostly ceremonial in my saves, but I intend to give it to an Italian - ideally Daniele Pradé, but he's just joined Udinese so the position will remain open for at least 6 months I'd guess. Massimo Tarantino departs as I found a better HoYD, but most of the other transfers are either getting rid of foreigners (Tanivernis) or offloading a bunch of mediocre scouts. 

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The most notable additions are Filippo Galli - one of the best HoYD in the game, with a Model Citizen personality! - and former Empoli manager Aurelio Andreazzoli, who spent 12 years at Roma before that role, returning as u18 manager. I also significantly upgraded the scouting department, and filled out all available staff slots except the aforementioned DoF role.

Edited by zlatanera

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August 2018

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SPAL (A): We were by far the better team, but we were undermined by our senior full backs making Dzeko and El Shaarawy’s goals worthless - Florenzi got himself sent off giving them one penalty, and when we’d got back to 2-2 Kolarov gave away another!

Empoli (H): Better. El Shaarawy and Santon got the goals, and this time no defensive errors undermined us. We’re clearly lacking fluidity in attack though, which is to be expected at this early stage playing against massed defences (both Empoli and SPAL played 5-3-2). Santon’s goal, cutting in from the right to just inside the box and curling it into the far corner got Serie A goal of the month!

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September 2018

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Lazio (A): Pastore’s speculative effort put us in front via Strakosha’s ass, but then Milinkovic-Savic got one from a corner. A fair result in all honesty.

Frosinone (A): ‘B’ team. Just abysmal. No chances created, and a sliced clearance by Jesus allowed Ciofani to score their goal.

TSG Hoffenheim (H): ‘A’ team. In a group where the other two teams are Liverpool and Barcelona, this is a key game. Win, and we might make 3rd. Lose…well if the league form was better I’d be happy to lose and not bother with Europa, but we need a win. Szalai got a hat-trick, each goal cancelled out by one from El Shaarawy within a minute, but Kramaric’s 30 yard free kick sealed it for the away team.

Chievo (H): ‘B’ team. 3’ Zaniolo gave away a penalty, which they scored. 16’ Karsdorp threw it straight to their player, they scored again. Perotti got one back, then De Rossi got 2 yellows. Dreadful.

Juventus (H): ‘A’ team. 0-0 flattered Juve, we played them off the park.

Inter (A): 'A' team. It looked like a repeat of the Juve game, Handanovic on for MOTM, but he could only parry Pellegrini’s free kick and Manolas buried the rebound to win it for us!

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