Aiming to rage at press saying "the next Klopette". Ms Ackerman's journeyman career.

Lippo255

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Wow! So much activity since I last caught up! Didn't think it had been that long!

Massive move to Inter for Viktoria! Seems to have turned things around nicely for them. KIU!
 

Death Ball

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It is the second day of May and the season has not yet finished. Before we move on to show how are things going in the competitions, let's go through some secondary info.

Clauses have been going in and out. Almost two millions in from Icardi and Darida, more than three out to West Brom for Cerci plus a wage increase for young Consonni. Wage still is above budget and can't modify them to compensate because the transfer budget is not enough. Still, the situation is good with expected profits.











Youth intake wasn't bad, producing three players worth signing and developing for the future.









Now for the important stuff: things have been going on brilliantly, hardly any room to be better. Thirteen matches since the last update. No defeats. Four draws. In a eight consecutive wins row. Into a great league position. Goal of the month for a few months, the top two in one. See for yourselves.











Nice graph there. Still with a chance to get it to go from the low end to the top one. Four matches to go, six points behind Juventus. The chances are very slim, as the head to head is favourable to Juventus. Inter can't win less than three of the next four matches; winning the four, Juventus needs to lose one match and fail to win another two of the four that are left. Both Palermo and Sampdoria, within three points, lose their head to head so they're effectively two matches apart. Let's take a look at the fixtures of the four teams involved in the title race:


Palermo.


Juventus.


Inter.


Sampdoria.


As you can see, the difficulty of matches left in decreasing order are: Palermo, Inter, Juventus, Sampdoria. With Juventus passing its opponent to Inter in the next fixture. Fiorentina is a big name, but they don't seem to be doing too well, but they have enough to make a surprise believable, Palermo being the main threat to Juventus. On the down side, a team that gets the win against Juventus would then come against Inter with higher morale for added chances against Inter. In the good side, there are good chances that Palermo will drop and make Inter's qualification for Champions League a not so hard task, which isn't yet assured. Inter could even drop altogether from any European competition qualification.

Not everything is good news, for Origi and Sturridge, at different matches, picked up injuries that will take them out for the remainder of the season, leaving Inter without quality pure strikers. They were being amazing with several great goals. Inter will have to rely on Krecji, who's being quite productive from the left wing and the result of Cerci and Correa alternating between striker and right winger (AP) position, with Lucas Pratto another good choice, though neither is a natural striker. Oon other notes, Hammar was asking for more first team football; first Viktoria used Origi there to have both him and Sturridge in the starting eleven, then when he was going to be given a chance against a weaker team he picked a short injury and then he got angry about it, then picked another injury that will keep him out as well.



 

Death Ball

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First match will be against AC Milan. The assistant tells to prepare attacking movement but Viktoria decides that defense has looked iffy lately and chooses to train defensive positioning. Sturridge is back from his injury! Physios got the duration of his injury wrong and he's back before expected. However, he's tired and is placed on the bench.

Before the match, every other team had played. Juventus beat Fiorentina, meaning they shall not win again if Inter is to have any chance. Palermo beat Sampdoria. ((And I'm annoyed because we can no longer initiate interactions about opposition teams or coaches. I guess they were kind of overpowered before? It was easy to put pressure on a team or demoralize them to see a drop of their form.))

In the press match conference Viktoria defended Malesani's job, then got him complaining for some reason saying he had his team talk made for him.

Match:

0'-15': It's a close affair for the first quarter of an hour. AC Milan have the better chances, but past that time, when players finally settle on the match, they begin to vanish offensively. Defensively, though, they prove to be tough and it's hard to find good chances.

29': A corner brings the first goal. For Inter through Pratto after a corner. AC Milan's attack vanishes completely, but they still fight well in defence.

HT: Things are the same. No offensive presence by the rossoneri but no ways of penetration found by the nerazzurri.

55': A cross by Krejci is going to be parried by Diego López, but a centreback gets on top of him and in the nerves of trying to change the planned parry to avoid to get the ball to bounce off the centreback into goal, López deflects it directly into his own net. At that point AC Milan seems to wake up and begin to shows some threat in attack, however they don't manage anything of note, two promising counter attacks being broken by good defensive work by N'Diaye and Gustavinho.

69': Sturridge comes in to get some match fitness.

85': He heads home a corner.

FT: Inter 3 - AC Milan 0



Inter is second, six points behind Juventus, three ahead of Palermo and six ahead of Samptoria. Europa League qualification is assured despite Udinese and Verona wins. One more win and Champions League stage group will be assured as well.

What? Malesani is a jerk! I'm honestly supportive of him, telling the press he should be given more time. His Milan isn't doing well but there's been signs he can improve them. He then goes on to the press whining about me and the supposed mind games on the press, when he was the only one who began any mind games.



Fiorentina is next. Assistant doesn't recommend any match preparation. Viktoria decides to keep the defensive positioning. The match is away.

This time Inter plays first. They're expeced to play a flat 4-5-1. Most of the young players are away on international duties. Who's the genius that makes competitive international games with the season still going?

Match: Sturridge starts this one.

2': Good Kerjci chance.

15': A corner and Kerjci manages to score from a tight angle with a deflection on the goalie's body.

22': Fiorentina has showed moderate threat levels. Another chance by Kerjci that is parried to corner.

24'-29': They have two chances: in one they force a save from a low quality long shot, in the next they have a position to create a big threat but they fail to do anything worthy with it.

HT: They change to a 3-5-2.

60': Since half time, only play worth mentioning is a very promising counterattack for Inter that is squandered when Cerci loses the ball.

68': Sturridge is having a bad match, so he's replaced by Pratto.

73': While considering if changing to a 3-1-4-1-1 to control the match, Cerci gets agoal after a slightly messy play in the area.

78': It's decided to bring in Gustavinho for Juan Jesus to avoid him picking a second yellow card.

79': Gustavinho heads home a corner.

FT: Inter 3 - Fiorentina 0. Tenth win in a row.



Viktoria praised all the team and let Fausto Salsano speak to each player. He didn't tell Sturridge he was poor. So Viktoria went to talk to him later to say she wasn't happy. He was, Viktoria reassurred her position and Sturridhe backed down.

That sub to avoid second yellow card for Juan Jesus? Worthless, he reached the limit and won't play against Spezia.

Chaves have been promoted back to Liga NOS. Board sets initial budgets. Already? Well, Viktoria can go around the contract renewals. €1,446,721p/w in wages and €23,270,533 for transfers. Also, Sampdoria lost their match, guaranteeing Champions League qualification for Inter! Bonuses have been paid for that. Juventus failed to win and are four points ahead, two matches to go. Against Spezia, their weakest rival of the four they had to play against. Championship is still as nearly impossible as before, but not yet completely.









Palermo is three points behind. One win guarantees second place and being qualified directly into the group stage. In fact, having won the previous league match against Palermo and Inter, just drawing against Palermo is enough.

Next game is against Spezia. Salsano wants to train attacking movement. Viktoria chooses to train defending set pieces.

Handanovic is offered a new contract. He accepts talking and asks almost half of his current wages. It's given to avoid a change of mind to ask more. Goalkeeper position is solved. With that it's also decided a substitute for Perrin will be looked for. Krejci, who has interest from Arsenal, is offered a new contract, he wants almost double with a lot of bonuses, but he signs a new contract just slightly less crazy. He's worth it, though. There's no contract renewal for Viktoria as hers lasts until 2023, still two more years to go.





Match: Gustavinho is chosen to play instead of suspended Juan Jesus despite his mere 10 jumping reach.

20': We start strong. Should have gone with the first idea for match preparation: attacking set pieces, not defending, as Inter has had a lot of corners. After a messy half minute of blocked shots in the area after a corner, Sturridge finds the net and makes it 1-0. Champions Group stage is achieved at the moment. Still no messages of Juventus or Palermo scoring.

27': First dangerous attack by Spezia that is very well defended.

39': Gabriel Barbosa scores for Juventus, winning the league is out of the question.

41': Tony Sanabria scores for Palermo. Winning the league is again a possibility. Inter wants Palermo to do the same as them. A through ball by Parodi is slotted home by Sturridge, 2-0 Inter.

HT: Spezia changes from the narrow 4-3-2-1 to a flat 4-4-2.

~62': Schipeni slides with two feet into Parodi, yellow card. Viktoria complains to the fourth ref. Seconds later Schelotto earns a yellow card. The permissive referee has given three to them in the second half, Spezia seem to start playing violently. Cerci immediately injured, but I don't think he was fouled.

64': Longo scores for Spezia, Savic letting him in space.

72': magnificent through ball from Pratto that Sturridge smashes against the post.

75': Lombardo shoves Pratto gratuitously while off the ball, gets the second yellow card.

77': Juventus scores, second place ensured whatever happens for Inter, Juventus champions.

82': Juventus scores again, hope is lost.

FT: Title is out of reach. 11th consecutive win, 16 matches unbeaten.



On to the last match. AC Milan are 14th and could still go down, as they're just two ponts ahead of relegation. Inter is going to be second no matter what. Chances are Viktoria will use a rotated eleven to see the younger players.

((GAH! The game didn't ask me about the Uxx squads and the attacking youths I wanted to use are all tired, I guess I can risk it))

Match: Gustavinho, Consonni, Binetti, Boccalli and both Parodi and Farnocchia (who use to alternate in the BBM spot) in the starting eleven.

13': Binetti scores, assist by Consonni.

19': free kick, Gustavinho hits the post from tight angle.

HT: They change to a narrow 4-3-3, Viktoria answers with the 3-1-4-1-1 with a bunch of players more or less out of their natural position.

90': A very good chance for Palermo that Handanovic, who their manager pointed out as Inter's weakest link, saves.

92': Cerci has a decent angle from a reboung but misses.

FT: End of the season. Juventus beat Catania away 2-6 so they end four points ahead. 17 unbeaten matches run. 12 consecutive wins. Binetti was the player of the match with his first ever goal for Inter.



Gustavinho gets a wage raise for his fifteenth appearance for Inter.



So ends the best season for Viktoria since she began her career. A huge club, a top league, from 19th to 2nd, 17 matches unbeaten run, 12 consecutive wins, qualified for Champions League, future looking bright, a squad with players who admire her, though Savic still says she lacks credibility. Successful signings, save for Tipple who has barely played at all, though he wasn't signed to have a lot of time.









Only Cerci finishes his contract at the end of this season, once Handanovic renewed his contract. Krejci wasn't finishing his contract but there was interest from Arsenal and Viktoria decided to give him a new one to tie him.



Sturridge's asking price is very low, so there's a very high chance Viktoria will try to sign him permanently. N'Diaye will be let go and a more solid right fullback will be sought. A replacement for Perin, who will be sold is also needed. A quality centreback to have depth for the next season is needed. Consonni has done well in the left side to be a valid second choice. Defensive midfield is covered well with Medel and Weigl, though a third option wouldn't be a bad idea, preferably someone young. Central midfield is well covered too, with Parodi/Farnocchia and Pratto/Koo Ja-Cheol. The only other spot, apart from striker, that needs thinking is whether to renew Cerci or look for some replacement in right winger. Or perhaps keep Cerci as a player for either wing and striker as backup against injuries.

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((One or two minutes in matches account may be a bit off, as initially I didn't write down one or two and later it was a pain to look for the screenies so I went from memory.))
 
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PatrickLFC

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Another instance where they said "his". Tough luck on missing out on the Scudetto, but you should get there next season where you won't start so far behind!
 

Death Ball

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Another instance where they said "his". Tough luck on missing out on the Scudetto, but you should get there next season where you won't start so far behind!
Yeah, I noticed and reported it. And I hope so, it was that start of the league that in the end costed the title. Then again, without that start Viktoria wouldn't be Inter's manager. Though maybe she'd have been AC Milan's (it became vacant just the day before getting the Inter offer).
 

Death Ball

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Before we move on to look at the preseason and transfers, I will show you all that happens at the end of season: awards, records and the like.

First, Serie A awards. Inter got a few of them. Three players in the Serie A XI, Juan Jesus best defender, Krejci best midfielder, Origi best striker, with Handanovic second best goalkeeper. Krejci dedicated his award to Viktoria. She was one of the two favourites for the Manager's Manager of the Season, but both that award and the AIC one went to Montella. Farnocchia made the third best goal of the season, too. Inter receives the fair play award from the press.












[video=youtube;1MhJT971Qqw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MhJT971Qqw[/video]









Krejci also got the record average rating for Inter. Inter in turn broke the average attendance. Inter improves reputation but still loses many places in European club ranking and a few places in the top rich list, even after a healthy profit during the season that leaves finances healthy nad FFP passed easily. Wages are increased, but none is high earner. TV money for the new season is going to be big.

























It is still surprising that the commercial summary says the new sponsorship deals and the like are worth less money despite finishing second to past season's sixteenth. I say still because Mladost's sponsorships also went down after promotion.



Fans' player of the year, Best eleven of the season and overall are chosen as well.







At the end, the board is satisfied with Ackerman.

 
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Death Ball

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It's the turn for the managerial actions by Viktoria. There's much going on and fans are understandably not very happy with her. The reason being that the first two market moves were... losing Origi and Correa. The later had not been that great, though he did contribute; but Origi was the top goalscorer of the team, second of the league and was key to Inter's campaign. The total of the sale will likely go up to €37M but many say she could have got more from him, as well as with Correa, whose final transfer price can end being €32M. Some of that money went to their old clubs on clauses from the purchases.

I tried to offer them new deals that would keep them here; but they refused to even talk, as they wanted to leave.













Regarding the players in, the first thing done was to find Sturridge ended his contract and so he was offered one for the new season that he accepted. Second was to replace Origi, with the first big expense of the transfer and of Ackerman's career: Ayoze Pérez for up to €27M. N'Diaye loan was left to run out and in his place Wallace was signed from Manchester United for €4.4M. With the idea of replacing Correa and add some depth to the centre midfield, Ross Barkley was snapped for just €300K. Because Gabriel Silva told Viktoria he wants to go to Real Madrid, Dzenis Burnic was signed for free for the left fullback position, and he's also a good depth option for defensive midfield. The same day, for €4.5M, Andrés was signed from Porto to replace Perrin, who hasn't found any interested party. Finally, and because Gustavinho didn't feel like trustworthy enough when playing Champions League and a third strong centreback was desired, Luciano Rossi was signed for what may come up to €15M. The end of loans and the initial team meeting served to discover a few young gems: Farago, who was loaned out and Gianluca Cappochianno, who is a very versatile right back able to play from centreback to central midfield and who would make a very solid central defender. Federico Fernández also can be a strong centreback, then it struck to Viktoria: since the right back is the more defensive fullback, Gustavinho can be converted to play there and be a solid choice for the first team. Also Cerci saw a new contract offered and accepted it.










Funny thing, he looks to me better than Perin, he's rated better than Perin; but comparing the attribute analysis graph, Perin is clearly better in 4/6, as good 1/6 and only slightly worse in 1/6. I guess it's his high eccentricity and some hidden attribute.











There's still some more that may come. It's said Viktoria has made a big offer for a key Napoli striker who would be a more true replacement for Origi, which would move Ayoze to the wing as replacement of Correa. It makes the Cerci deal a dubious decision as the squad may end being overcrowded.

In other news, the preseason has been set at a six weeks duration instead of the usual seven. Home grown rules were announced. Fixtures were also announced, it doesn't seem to be any piling up of tough games. The board asked expectations and qualifying for Champions League were chosen for the increase n budgets, though the squad was told at the end of past season they'd be aiming for the title. Coaches assignments have been rearranged ((Now Viktoria is three and half defence coach))


((With my luck, the ECL group will be Real Madrid, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Inter))







 
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Death Ball

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In the end, Viktoria went for the striker, moving Ayoze to the right wing and making the renewal of Cerci's contract not so clearly a good idea. I regret nothing! That signing is Park Taek-Joon, from Napoli, which is expected to boost shirt sales. In fact, with his arrival, the expected proportion of sales from abroad has increased. Nobody else come in and Stefan Savic was sold to Olympique de Lyon. He is thirty years old, the offer was big for someone his age and the centreback position is very well covered. With the end of the transfer window, Federico Fernández expressed he was happy with the reinforcements. He had complained to Viktoria after the departure of Origi and Correa that the squad was too weak. Inter made one of the three major transfers and expended the most. Not so good news is that before the season began, Sturridge picked a few weeks long injury and Pratto will be out till October. Perin was sold to Livorno.























The title odds say Inter will be fighting for the Serie A. Expectations are for them to be fourth. In Champions League it's meant to be a learning experience, with nobody, including the board, expecting to get past the group phase. Inter has been fourth seed in the group assignment, being added to the group F, considered tough, along PSG, HSV and CSKA. The group of acronyms. ((And I think it's by far, the easiest ever group I found on ECL. It would have been more like what I expected to be in the group with Real Madrid and Borussia)) €8.6M just are earned just for being in the ECL group stage. Not all 25 places for registration have been assigned, as there were two missing homegrown players to fill the registration, Burnic and Gustavinho have been left out.















Because of budget limitations, it wasn't possible to offer anything more than medium bonuses, after all the expenses in transfers. Finances are healthy, with quite a nice profit during the season so far.





Preseason has not looked very well. A bad result with very poor performance in the first match with tired players; Gimarães was harder than the 4-2 result suggests, couldn't beat Genoa or any of the USA teams. Season began with a solid 5-0 win against Lazio, followed by the defeat breaking the 13 consecutive wins and 18 unbeaten run against Livorno, where referee invented a penalty for them that was crucial. Sturridge is almost back from his injury and Pratto is stull up to two months from returning.





 

Death Ball

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November finds Inter in a good season, fighting for the title as it was to be expected after past season, with Serie A near the first third and Champions League past half of the group phase, where things are looking good as well.

In the league, only one defeat sees Inter second place just three points from Juventus and three points ahead of third place. In Europe, Inter is second of the group, tied with PSG, a draw against the French, another against HSV and two wins against CSKA. One more point will qualify Inter for the first knock out round. ((I think it would be the first time I get out of the group phase))







Champions League has a very healthy effect on finances, providing €8M for playing in the group phase, plus €500K per draw and €1M per win. As result of this the board has provided Viktoria with a €45M cash injection to the transfer budget and the finances keep improving, with a balance that is highest at Inter since her arrival.









After the Udinese 3-3 draw, which was a big disappointment, for it was a 3-0 at half time, Viktoria complained about a penalty being given to them and she got her first fine for complaining about the referees. Prior to matches, only Citadella and Livorno were must win games in which Inter missed points. The bigger disappointment has been Park Taek-Joon, that by his time so far translates into Dive Dive-Dive. In 17 minutes he got sent off against PSG for diving twice, the next match he dived within the first ten minutes. Then he was dropped and then had a brief injury he's just got out of it. Also Burnic (18th September), Gustavinho (27th October) picked long injuries of up to three months. But the worst has been Edoardo Parodi, our best youth player and regular starter, who's been hacked by Roma's Gil Romero 30th of October and will be out for the rest of the season, up to nine months.











General behaves very well and that's reflected on the stats. Centrebacks have a much higher focus on intercepting as I like; if Cappocchiano doesn't have that many more interceptions than tackles is because he's played as much as centreback as he's been used in other positions. Passing completion has vastly improved from past season, with only two players below 70%, not counting goalkeepers. Sturridge has come out as a proper substitute of Origi, while Ayoze has been underwhelming but not disappointing. The disappointment is Dive Dive-Dive. Pratto has not played yet because he's still to recover from the preseason injury, which is taking longer than expected.



Parodi is not likely to be replaced as there's no decent enough free transfers. Two candidates have been found to fill in Dive Dive-Dive's place in the team shall he not convince her in the month and half he has to do so before the new windows opens. Both choices look very solid and scouts have been assigned to watch them for the coming month. No decision has been made yet.





The Russian looks the most likely candidate to be sought first, considering he has a slight mental advantage and is younger.

On a funny note, a team offered an interview to Viktoria... Parma, lying in twentieth position. Really? Did they honestly expect a manager in a team fighting for the title and in Champions League to leave her team for another team in their position? Only if they were Real Madrid and then maybe. It's also relevant because it's the first time another team comes to her ((the U23 came because I had applied, but I forgot because two seasons passed since application)).



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((I'm likely going to update to Windows 10 tomorrow, though my first intention was to wait a month. I made a back up of my OS already so I'm not in mood to doing it again or having a month old back up))
 
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Death Ball

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It's not been long since the last update, but I thought I'd do one. It's been a mixed bag. In Serie A things have not been as good as would be wished for, Juventus escaping in front and Inter dropping points to stay at third place, blowing many comfortable advantages. Park Taek-Joon has dived in every match he's played and Viktoria is considering to replace him. She went for OL's Thierry Ambrose, but he chose Juventus. Then decided Pratto will move up front and bring a midfielder, Ivan Mocinic, for €22M that can and probably will go up to €31M. In the Champions League things have gone very well: after the two draws and two wins, a 3-3 draw against PSG placed Inter ahead on the same points and then defeating HSV made Inter get out of the group in first position.











Of the teams that can be drawn for the first knock out round, the one is the middle difficulty: OL. Probably the record attendance will be broken a third time, as the final match of the group in which Inter fought for the top spot did it a second after the first ECL match against PSG.







It's been €12.5M earned in Champions League so far, not counting the attendances, which sets the financial status in a very healthy position. Added to that are the €7M from Correa's clauses, of which €1.4M went to Vélez.







If you take into account he's added a few assists to his meager goal count, Dives Alot has not been a complete disaster, as disappointing as he's been.



In other news, Viktoria played her 300th match since she began at Colomiers and Real Sociedad, placed eleventh, offered her an interview.





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((The upgrade to Windows 10 went very well. For me it took one hour. Everything works, even X-WING 95 and everything goes better. Even an issue I had loading some pages with Firefox has vanished))
 

Death Ball

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The winter transfers have passed. It's been an eventful one, with an increased budget and important changes. Handanovic wanted to leave to Atlético de Madrid. He was starting to decline, Jan Oblak had been offered and looked better, so Oblak was signed and Handanovic offered. In the end, despite all the reported interest from Atlético, only Real Sociedad wanted him and only in a free. He left. Zenit paid the release free for Krejci and he didn't want to talk about a new contract, so Antoniadis was signed in his place. Gabriel Silva also wanted to leave and was sold, which unsettled Rossi, so Koné was brought in his place. But with the transfer window finished he got angry because he wanted more players in and several players aligned with him, which has made the squad quite fractured.

























There were two offers also. Before the window, LOSC Lille wanted to hire Viktoria, who refused the interview. Also, several teams, big ones, came in knocking with contract offers for young and promising Boccalli, as his contract finished this season. He took a new contract with Inter. Finances look as healthy as ever, though the projection has taken a hit from the bonuses of the new signings and after half a million from qualifying for TIM Cup's semifinal.











Koné has been the only player from the new signings not included in the ECL registration for the next phase, as enough cover was judged to be had in the left fullback position. Still missing two homegrown places.



Mocinic has performed well, as all the new signings save for Antoniadis in his only match, and Park Taek-Joon picked up his form during December, which coupled witht he fact the transfer targets to replace him were non EU and the quota had been filled, means he's staying at the club. Early some questioned Inter's recent form, and though the next match was a win and Inter recorded a comfortable win over Juventus, form has not really picked up, with Inter dropping more points and looking shaky, specially up front. It is worrisome that the first semifinal leg, a bad loss against Genoa 3-1 at their stadium, has been such a poor performance, even with the heavy rotation, which puts into contention the possibility players are going to try to force Viktoria out of the team. Rossi is quite possibly going to be transfer listed, there's excess in the centreback position now.

I'm extremely angry with referees: against Livorno we were 1-0 up, ref added three minutes and for no good reason kept the match going six minutes. Against Verona, 0-1, he added only two minutes and after an injury to Weigl that took long to be moved out of the pitch around 90:40, he ended the match almost immediately after the game was resumed with Pratto driving the ball in front of the opposition area. Also the opening goal against Genoa was a penalty made as most of the penalties my players concede: when the player was not threatening by mindless hacking from behind.




Not in the screenshot: Genoa A 1-3. Mocinic





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((Due to circumstances I may be away from FM for a few days, I'd not expect the next update soon, though anything is possible))
 
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Death Ball

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Little more than a month has passed and Inter still has not recovered form. With the squad unhappy, Andrés and Wallace unhappy with how players are angry at Viktoria. At least they're the only two that were present at the meeting. Only a win in the league in a long time and much trouble to find the net, with Sturridge, Pratto and Taek-Joon in a long dry patch. Eight matches to the end of Serie a and Inter is 7th, still with chances to reach ECL qualification but needing a drastic turn of events to get it.

In the TIM Cup, Genoa played the second leg with an ultradefensive formation (7-2-1, DCx3, WBR DMx2 WBL, CMx2, ST). Inter dominated the match but couldn't find the second goal to get to the final to Viktoria's great disappointment and further burn out.

In Europe, Inter made a good effort at Lyon, but OL still won with a 3-1.









That is why when Valencia came offering an interview, I took it. Players are lacking all sort of sharpness on the pitch, like they had no interest, missing easy chances, failing to correctly block shots they weren't badly positioned for... They're letting slip away any chance of European football for next season. It's very disheartening. In the end they hired Quique Sánchez Flores



Some money was received for Inter due to De Silvestri's sale clauses. Also the youth intake has been announced and there's four interesting players, with Piero Cortinovis as the best of the lot with real chance to become an important first team player in the future.







Now I find myself before a tough decission: Napoli came offering an interview that I took, now they want to hire me and I don't know what to do.





I've been frustrated here, but in the later games, with the tactical tweaks, there are signs of improvement. Results have not yet come but it looks like not unlikely to come. Despite the changes, most of the squad was during the magnificent past season. The new players who seemed to be making constant mistakes seem to be settling down finally. We have a tough second leg at home against OL, but it's not an impossible result to come back from. I said in press conference I'd work to turn things around after I applied for Manchester United (it's a giant club, I couldn't pass the job opening). Then we may end eliminated and with no European football next season. The squad hates me, except for the captain and the youngsters. I may be sacked at the end of the season anyway and then chances of having an available job like Napoli is not likely. Napoli is in Europa League but won the first leg of the knockout stage, they're second and are now in ECL qualification. They have no cushion so staying there is not guaranteed. I could ask a delay of a week and decide once I know we stay in ECL or not. Then I'd miss today's match against Palermo and the second leg of Europa League against Athletic if I delay one week. If I ask to delay to the end of season, then I will miss these last matches to know the team for a better transfer policy.

A look at the future fixtures should give an answer:

Inter:


Napoli:


On top of being second and more alive in Europe, though lesser competition, Napoli is going to play Genoa in the TIM Cup final. That's a chance to win some silverware. And I just find out why it was bugging me the feeling we hadn't played Genoa before in the season: they're in Serie B. Which makes the elimination from the cup more painful and annoying. As well as how lacking were the players to let them get through. With this, I think the decission is made: I will take on the Napoli job right now.

The worry then will be to make sure in summer I do learn from the mistakes I've commited managing transfers this season.
 

Death Ball

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Napoli offered Viktoria her biggest wages yet in a contract running until 2025. With only one and a half million in the bank and a projected debt of several millions, the move that looked a good idea in the short term may not be so good in the long, since there won't be much money for reinforcements and Inter had no need to big investments and yet a big budget. On the plus side, the squad counts with a handful of players laveled as star players. What I least like at this point is the squad is designed for a three man defense, which can look very vulnerable if used against the wrong shape. The considered best player is the striker, in the fight for being the top goalscorer of the league.









Goalkeeper coach Kellner followed Viktoria out of Inter and she offered him a job, which was accepted. Later would add another coach to give some more attention to tactical coaching as players were asking for it.





Results with Napoli have been good, though not extraordinary. The formation mostly used during the season, a flat 3-5-2, was used at first and it did get results, but showed that, despite the defenders' intelligence of the pitch, it was too shaky against most opposition. Eventually a change to a 4-2-3-1 Wide was made. The results were enough to guarantee qualification for Champions League with three games till the end of the game, but Udinese didn't miss the needed points to get directly to the group stage. It was frustrating the game against Athletic, in which we were through with a 1-1 when the referee conceded a clearly offside goal to Athletic. The journalists didn't even ask about it. The spell at Mladost doesn't compensate how often they rob me. On the good side... I've won the cup easily against Genoa, which makes it more painful how I lost with Inter in the two legged semifinal. Oddly, they started with their standard formation and swapped to their ultra defensive when we were already three goals up. The uncomfortable point of the season was the match at Giusseppe Meazza. Most fans were insulting and still I missed to be in the Inter bench. At times I still wonder if I shouldn't have endured the players' hate and stayed there.




Another was "The best in lifr is to beat Viktoria's men and listen to her laments"















A note on that is that Sinnaeve picked an injury that kept him out from the Athletic match, when he got injured, until the Genoa cup final. The worse of all is he's requested to be allowed to leave for Bayern.



Statistically, most of the season was under another manager, but of note are the big amount of mistakes leading to goal and that Konaté has proved Viktoria right when she decided to have him replacing Sinnaeve during his injury spell and she was doubted by the press.



On miscellaneous notes, the initial budget for next season was announced, €2.4M in wages and €15M in transfer, clearly inferior to what Ms. Ackerman would have at Inter. The facilities have been downgraded and financially the club is in red. Sinnaeve and Doria picked awards, best foreign player and best centreback, respectively, also being in the team of the year along Ghoulam. Handanovic as third goalkeeper with his half season at Inter. Inter broke the average attendance. Tottenham was relegated from Premier League, a bit of curiosity due to the facts it's one of the traditional big teams and during winter, when the job was open, Viktoria pondered on applying though she then decided she was well enough at Inter and a team so low in the table was not worth changing club. Next preseason will last seven weeks.





















Viktoria has kept improving as manager, though her determination, level of discipline, man management and working with youngsters have not changed. She has now one more piece of silverware to her name, though her reputation has not changed.


Will reputation update at some point up to 30 June? Will the cup be considered by future employers? Or has the move to Napoli achieved only a move to a team that, while having better result this season, is less developed as a squad and in debt and therefore probably in worse position for the medium term?

Looking at contracts, only Modric finishes contract this season. I want to use a 4-2-3-1 formation as the main tactic next season, as I feel it can be improved and work better defensively that it has, being still superior to the 3-5-2. Centreback looks covered, with reported likelihood of Dória attracting interest being the only concern. Medina is a good choice for right full back with Arias as replacement and he also can work as the fourth centreback. Left fullback is the only position that really needs a new man, as only Ghoulam plays there. Central midfield is well covered, with the temptation to bring in Parodi from Inter, as he's similar to Benassi and it would allow more use of strong presence in the tip of the central triangle. Wings and striker position are sufficiently covered as well, I feel, as long as I can keep Sinnaeve in the team. In goal, Rafael has become unhappy with his little playing time; while he's not bad and very similar to Neto, I've preferred the latter. I gave him the two last matches starts as all was decided in the league and he's performed well. It will depend on whether he stays discontent that I would look for a young replacement or not. The only issue in the squad is some very big wages there with several players above or around €100K per week.

 

Death Ball

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With preseason started, her reputation remains the same. I've made a OOC test in which I've applied to vacant jobs until getting an interview and the chairman did not ask me anything about lack of silverware, though, so it seems some advance has been made with the TIM Cup.
 

Death Ball

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Post season stuff.

Sinnaeve was chosen player of the season, the best season and overall eleven for Napoli were announced and Dória made it to the FIFA World Cup's best team, Sinnaeve to the reserves.









Sinnaeve's matches in the World Cup also made Napoli to pay Anderlecht a few millions.



Fair play awards went for Cyprus, Greece and Italy, so Europa League will be achieved next season down to seventh position.



The rich and reputation rankings were announced, with Napoli surprisingly rising in the top rich list. No change in reputation list. FFP regulations were passed by a slim margin.









 

Death Ball

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Viktoria moved in the market before the start of the summer window. With Modric's retirement and knowing the need of a left fullback, she ordered the scouts to look for potential signings. Alex Sandro was not to be sold for any amount she'd be willing to pay and Alex Telles asked for wages that would be worth three star players. Other high quality players were too expensive or not interested. In the end, she had to settle for a cover player for Ghoulam in Arthut Msuaku from AC Milan. To replace Modric, the scout in Rumania found a very good player for a decent fee in Ionuc Serban.

And that would be all, but in the last day of the window, what was feared happened: Chelsea came asking for Sinnaeve, player who was unhappy as he wanted to move to a bigger club. Knowing how at Inter an unhappy player turned the team against her and how it ruined their season, Viktoria negotiated a bigger fee than the €35M offered and got it, of which more than seven were then lost in payments to Anderlecht and Sinnaeve himself. Then Sinnaeve refused to talk about a better contract than Chelsea's. So she had to find a proper substitute in a few hours. She got one, by some twenty two million as assured fee, and if both go up to maximum possible, nineteen millions cheaper. The chosen striker was Argentinian Christian Cañón Moral.





















Preseason started poorly, with the team showing the lack of match fitness and the shortcomings of Viktoria's tactics, which were ironed out somewhat during the seven weeks length. The only real bad thing of it was that Viktoria got her first defeat to Juventus in the Supercoppa, just the one match she most wanted to win of their encounters to date, though hopefuly not the most important before she moves on from Italy. For the play off to qualify for Champions League group stage, Bursaspor was the rival drawn. At Turkey, Napoli had to come always from one goal behind until the final 3-3 because of a very shaky defence, but at home domination was absolute and qualification ensured. The only problem was that, with no players homegrown in the club, only twenty one could be registered and Milanov was missing from the qualifying matches, which caused shock and discontent. But he's back for the group stage once she found without him the team would be short in the left wing. Pitch size used at Napoli was kept at standard.













In the upcoming Serie A campaign, Napoli is considered the second strongest team. Coaches think it has enough quality to do so, perhaps lacking in the goal line and fullback positions. Viktoria considers that, sure, the team could have better starters there but what they have is enough. The board doesn't care for the cup and wants to reach first knock out stage of Champions League, which considering the group is possible, if not easy.





Financially, the team is in a healthy position, though the end of the current FFP term has been too close to failure. A cash injection by the board in June has helped, as well as money received from Supercoppa and Champions League. New sponsorship deals increase Napoli's income in almost six million from past season. Also helping financial situation, the record gate receipts from the game against Bursaspor and the Sinnaeve/Cañón deals (not reflected in the finances screenshot). Plus the estimated €66M that will be received during the season. That allowed to offer maximum squad bonuses for league and Champions as well as raising the sale revenue from sales to transfers from 40% to 100% (active for the Sinnaeve/Cañón deal).





















 

Death Ball

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With a third of the Serie A season past, it's time for an update. Sinnaeve was let go for more than sixty million total and Cañón Moral, from Greek champions was bought. Has it worked out? The answer is **** YES! Though with a small point of worry. He's top goalscorer along Inter's Ewandro. He scored seven goals in his first four matches. The worry is he went on a brief goalless spell when he was subbed with two goals in a match (though the next he still scored a goal but it was lucky) and he tends to either become complacent or behave as if he had no faith in Viktoria. That is why I decided to arrange another striker signing, choosing Champions League's top goalscorer, Stewart Inglis, who will come in January. Consecutive wins record was broken.

Only three defeats in Serie A to be at the top beyond a match from Juventus and qualified for the first knock out stage of the Champions League as top of the group with a game still to be played in the group stage. And that despite the odds being this was just a chance to learn for Napoli. It still may be just that, but so far, Napoli's passing the test with high qualification.

The lack of clean sheets for a while also set the impression Neto wouldn't be a goalkeeper for a top club made the decission to sign João Paulo from Atlético Mineiro. As soon the deal was confirmed, Neto began to get clean sheets and has made it into the top five goalkeepers of the league. João Paulo will be just be eased into the squad for the second half of the season. ((And will be nicknamed by his family name, Mattos, too many João Paulos))



















the only serious injury issue has been Stanciu long one of four months from end of October. Mascetti has also picked a longish injury but he's a back up player.





mistakes leading to goal have been apparently reduced from past season. Cañón Moral is by far the top scorer and there's not one so outstanding assist maker. Destro and Rafael have been offered but nobody is interested. Rafael won't have time and Destro has been good, but with Cañón Moral form and Inglis coming won't have the minutes he deserves. Romagna has expressed discontent with little first team football and has shown nothing when used, so he'll be leaving. Bertolacci also wants more first team football and his future may still be away.



Financially, the club keeps very strong, with expected profit and one of €105M during the current FFP term. Fees went and came for past signings and the board gave more funds, used for the new goalkeeper.







 

Death Ball

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The first thing after the last update was a pretty bad news item: Inglis picked a two month injury that would see him miss until February, and the scout reported now that he's incosistent. Deal couldn't be canceled. In addition to the two deals already covered, Romagna was to leave the team and also a buyer was found for both Destro and Rafael. To replace Romagna, a centreback was loaned from Atlético de Madrid: Balestro. The two buys make Napoli the bigger expenders of the window. Inglis returned before what was expected in the end, 15th January, just six weeks and some days.















In January a change of expectations was proposed, but not taken.



The Champions League draw made for a first knock out against one of Viktoria's preferred teams, Borussia Dortmund. It also had some tough teams face each other.



Serie A followed well, dropping two points against Palermo. Then a defeat against Roma in which the team seemed like had reunited to play for the first time had Juventus get within three points, having advantage in the direct confrontations from the first league match. Then the month closed with a match against them: losing would see them climb to top, drawing or winning for one goal and more than four for us would give them the advantage in case of ties, a 3-2 win would make classification depend on goal difference... but Napoli won 3-1, placing themselves six points ahead and with advantage in direct confrontations. In the cup a good piece of news when Catania eliminated Juventus.







Regarding player performance, Stanciu is about to return to full fitness and it will me a matter to see how he does when he's back. Inglis is still recovering match fitness, having not been convincing so far. Cañón Moral has broken Napoli's record of goals in a season that Higuaín had previously. Mina has begun scoring recently. Konaté has been out in international duty during this month. Maitos is showing as a better player than Neto already. Fans want him to stay and become the goalie with most clean sheets, but I don't feel like playing with a weaker goalkeeper for the sake of giving him a nice stat, though I set Cañón as penalty taker for the top goalscorer fight. He's not having better pass completion, though. Goldaniga got a three week injury just the last day of the transfer window.







A hefty bonus, marginally greater than the income from a Cup round, was paid to Cañón for his fifteenth league goal, no doubt one big will be paid to his old club when he scores his twentieth. With the past deals finances has taken quite a hit, but still the balance at the end is expected to be better than the current.







Finally, there were some player awards given for the natural year. I onclude that of Park Taek-Joon because he's a signing I made for Inter.







 

Death Ball

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Champions League: Napoli was drawn against Borussia Dortmund, with first leg away. My biggest game yet against a tough rival. I considered for a long time moving to a very defensive formation, at least in the first round, but our current tactics have worked so well I finally decided to keep it. The result was an historic thrashing. I wish I could have fielded Inglish, but as Balestro he had already played in this season.





We got 0-6 at Dortmund, which I cannot believe still!. In the second round they came with a very offensive outlook and the 3-4-1-2 formation than some weeks ago wrecked havoc against us, and they scored three, but they were to reckless in their attacking we could exploit all the space they were leaving at the back to score four. Now we've been drawn against Barcelona for the quarter finals. It is surprising to see that fans consider it a tight match. I'm not that sure.






In the least important competition, Napoli was drawn against AC Milan for the semifinals, which was won comfortably over the two legs. Sampdoria are waiting in the final.





Serie A has gone as good or better than before, though dropping five points. Still, Napoli is top of the table with five points advantage over Juventus and with Champions League qualification assured, into the group stage to boot, as Fiorentina can only catch Napoli by winning every match left and Napoli losing everyone.







The performances have been amazing! Cañón Moral has done way more than Sinnaeve did, scoring or giving a total of forty seven goals. He has broken the record for goals in a season and Milanov that of assists. The next goalscorer behind Cañón is far, but still providing a respectable amount of goals. Logically, Cañón has played almost every game.







Young intake has been mediocre, only one player worth keeping.





The only worrying thing that has ocurred is the financial situation. Winter purchases were expensive and they cost a lot in wages and bonuses, so the balance has gone severely down and the projection has plummeted, specially after hefty bonuses have been paid. Now we're expected to have much less at the end of the season than before and it looks that I may be forced to do some cutting of the squad. Ideally I'd like to keep all of Cañón, Inglish and Maitos, but it seems like I will have to reduce the squad size a bit and try to cash on the older players like Dória or those who have attracted interest from big clubs and want to go. Still, it was surprising that the boatd has given me already an initial budget that is the biggest I've had to work with yet. Maybe with Champions League money there won't be need for anything but what renewals may be forced by players wanting to leave (Bertolacci is leaving to Lazio and Mascetti has been promised to be sold)





















In other news, Viktoria applied for international roles at Cameroon and Ivory Coast and both approached her. She chose Cameroon. Then Ivory Coast approached her again and she, naturally, refused.



 
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