I started out with nothing and I still got most of it left


October 2035

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The boys did well to recover from a goal down to get a well deserved draw with Nardi picking up his second in 2 European games and adding some weight to his ‘wonderkid’ status.

No need to make any changes
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Well, that was a bit too close for comfort as we’re very close to being pegged back from 3 up.

Longo comes in for the less-than-fit Saito and Hadzeresic replaces Nascimento who is also struggling with fitness. Paulino replaces the injured Messan. To see whether he can make an impact, Appiah is given his first start of the season.
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Marra gets us off to a good start with a clinical penalty and after that we take charge. Marra is the best player on the pitch with a goal, assist and a generally commanding performance. Appiah gets his goal as well.

Colombo returns to the starting line-up along with Ceylan and Nascimento who are the players to make a difference in the European games.
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It was a good effort, but to be fair, we were just beaten by the better side - a better side with ridiculous resources, but they were still the better side.

Away to Palermo and as its only 3 days after the European trip, we have a number of players lacking in fitness so quite a few players are rotated.
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Vitali missed 2 unbelievable chances before he was substituted which pretty much sums up an entirely frustrating game in which we just couldn’t make a breakthrough.

AC Milan retain their record of straight wins as their ninth, takes them to 27points and 5 clear of Juventus in second position. Italy lost a European co-efficient this season, so it’s now only the top 3 that qualify for the Champions League next season but that is a tough, tough ask for us.

Atalanta set up with a weird top-heavy narrow 3-2-2-3 formation, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, but it means that their flanks are there for the taking which we set up to do…
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It was a good win, but the goals didn’t quite come as expected as Lluna scores two good free-kicks before Hadzeresic rounds off a very good flowing move to record his first of the season.

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November 2035

Our away form is better than our home form at the moment, so I’m optimistic, despite a number of suspensions and fitness issues.
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Roselli’s own goal was rather symptomatic of the slack performance on display.

A finely poised group with Dortmund boasting an unblemished record so far.
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Further evidence, if it was needed, that we’re still a few steps away from the best in Europe. Having made some changes which brought about Colombo’s goal, it was disappointing then to gift them the penalty. Demandt’s hat-trick means he’s bagged 5 goals in the 2 games against us.

An attempt is made to try and put the ball in space for the front three to run on to as we’ve been a bit compressed in the last couple of games and unable to get out.
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We got pegged back twice after scoring, so to eventually eke out of the win is a good result.

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A second consecutive 3-2 result and Colombo has another fine game, sealing his hat-trick with a penalty. We rode our luck a little bit, conceding twice, but very happy with a good result against the team one place below us in the league. The media says it’s a fortunate although I’m not convinced.

Given that we have to travel to Madrid in the final game of the group, this is something of a must win game to give us the best chance possible of progressing.
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Well, that was one of the easier European games we’ve played and Nascimento has a great game putting Spartak to the sword.

The good performances in the last month have been typified with a sprinkling of Lazio players across the goals, assist and average ratings with Colombo's prolific month bouncing him up the goalscoring charts in particular.
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December 2035

Spal sit 19th in the league, have struggled to pick up points anywhere and have just one win this season
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Colombo maintains his recent prolific goalscoring form with Lluna bagging a great freekick to complete the rout. The only disappointment was conceding late on denying the defence a well earned clean sheet.

So - this is quite straightforward…if we can avoid defeat, we stay ahead of Athletico Madrid and progress to the knockout rounds. If not, they go through.
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The gameplan was very quickly undone as an early freekick forced us into changes and after that, although we didn’t really threaten, their shoot on site policy bore no fruit until literally the last minute when a long range effort actually ended up on target.

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Just one of those games as we couldn’t put away any of the good chances we created. Their keeper was in inspired form to earn his clean sheet though.

View attachment 60024 View attachment 60023- now that, is very, very tempting. Twice the wage budget, three times the club value, a host of top Internationals and arguably, a team much more likely to win Serie A in the near future than my current Lazio team. I’m not going to apply, but if they approach me I’ll accept the job.

View attachment 60016- and the fans seem keen which is a good sign.

In the meantime, it’s back to business without the distractions…

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That should have been more comfortable and would have been had other players shown the same finishing ability as Colombo, who gets himself another two to add to the collection. The tactical tweak to get the ball in behind the defence for him to run on to is really paying off in terms of the chances he is getting and putting away.

View attachment 60021 - third place in the Champions League means progress through to the knockout round of the European Cup and a draw against Portugese team Sporting.

Having been knocked out of the cup at the first hurdle and embarrassingly early last season, I’m determined to make a better fist of it this time round.
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Well that wasn’t in the script - another hugely frustrating early cup exit and we only have ourselves to blame as we had enough chances to put the game to bed.

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Hardly the convincing commanding response to the cup exit that I was after, but it is three points which I’ll obviously take all day long. That was Vitali’s first goal this season which is something of a surprise given his good record last season.

View attachment 60018- this offer falls into the ‘too good to refuse’ category albeit with a slight reluctance to leave Lazio, but realistically and ambitiously, Inter have a far better prospect of winning the league and European success so it’s on to the next chapter…

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January 2036

View attachment 59688 - so, here we are and, with no disrespect to Lazio or Galatasaray, I’m finally at the top table of Europe’s elite although Inter have struggled as of late. Last champions in the 31/32 season, they’ve flittered between 2nd and 5th since but do have the league’s highest average attendance which has to contribute to the finances.

They went out in the group stages of the Champions League knockout this time round and have never progressed beyond the quarter finals in recent memory. Their domestic cup record is far better having reached at least the semi-finals in 5 of the last 6 seasons and are still in the competition this season.

View attachment 59687 - unsurprisingly, there is some serious quality in the squad. There are improvements that can most definitely be made, particularly regarding more defensive minded midfielders but the core of the team; centre-back Saidi, central midfielder Fattori, attacking midfielder El Allouchi and striker Baptista are without doubt the players to build the team around so we'll be lining up, initially, in a narrow 4-1-2-1-2 formation.

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The transfer budget is not particularly huge, probably due to the massive wages some of the players in the reserves are on, so a bit of a cull may be needed to free up some money and it could be a busy transfer window. A request to the board for additional transfer fees does free up some extra cash.

View attachment 59685 - world class midfielder Veloso is signed from Arsenal for a fee of £14m, mostly to address the lack of genuine defensive midfielders in the squad.

It's not too long before the opportunity comes around to see what this Inter team can do, and w
hat a game to make a managerial debut in.
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A bit of a streaky win and Donnarumma somewhat gifts us the win, but hey-ho it's a result that instantly gets the fans onside.

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Both strikers and new signing give us the win and move us a place up the league, leapfrogging, ironically, Lazio in the process.

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World class Dutch midfielder El Allouchi gives us a lead that we frustratingly can’t build on.

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Conti only came on as a substitute in the 60th minute and very quickly put the game beyond Entella.

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Well that was an outstanding result with Baptista just blowing Sampdoria out of the water with 2 goals and 2 assists. It’s probably 20 year old Nava that gets the headlines with his 30 yard strike though.

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It was somewhat disappointing not to record the win there but the unbeaten league run continues.

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Even with Baptista, Veloso and El Allouchi on the subs bench, a comfortable win was secured as Conti won it for us in the first half and should have grabbed himself a hat-trick.

I don't think I could have hoped for a better start here as we only drop points in the Sampdoria game. More to the point, there's some very good football being played and 5 clean sheets in the 6 league games. I don't think Juventus can be caught at the top this season, but the target of third is well within our reach...as is an appearance in the cup final.


February 2036

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For whatever reason, Italy international Conti (26 goals in 46 games) was largely overlooked before my arrival, but his nine goals in eight games for me means he’s one of the first names on the teamsheet and dovetails with Baptista effectively.

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We were slightly lucky El Allouchi came to the party as until then we didn’t create all that many clear chances.

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Not the best defensive display from us but a solid base for the second leg. One of my old Slovan Liberec players scores the Sassuolo effort.

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Baptista’s form has been a bit hit & miss recently, so he misses out and it’s an unlikely goalscorer with anchor man Marchesi with the only bright spot in what was a pretty dire game.

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Baptista comes back in, suspended Fattori is replaced by Chafai. Conti absolutely steals us the win with the last kick off the game just as we were on the ropes after being pegged back from 2-0 up. El Allouchi misses a month with an ankle injury which could be a blow.

A good month which keeps us third and ever so slightly increases the space to fourth placed Fiorentina, although they have a game in hand. A good result in the cup as well, with home advantage in the second leg should see us through to face either Atalanta or AC Milan in the final.


March 2036

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I have no idea…

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Well, that was less than convincing. 20 year old Bucchi, in his debut season, should have put this to bed. Attacking midfielder Nava’s damaged spine rules him out for 3 months and with El Allouchi already out, we have a problem in the AM position.

Unsurprisingly, AC Milan win their semi-final so it’s the Madonnina derby in the final of the Italian Cup.

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Away to the league leaders by 14 points, so some respect is given…perhaps too much as we start slowly and can’t catch up, even after the sending off.

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We recovered after a poor start and tweaked the emphasis slightly to counter their centre-heavy formation, which had the desired effect as both assists came from crosses.

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We just weren’t at the races, although it did take two worldies to beat us.

For the first time since my appointment, the board look less than impressed though I suspect (hope…) this is more to do with an awful month this time round as 1 win out of 4 isn’t really good enough.


April 2036

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The ex employers came to town and we were fortunate to grind out the win pushing on as the game wore on. Vigano makes the most of Conti’s inury by bagging his first of the season.

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If they could finish, that might have been different.

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Possession eventually turned into goals with the 2 strikers sealing the win. Conti’s takes him to 15 in the league, Baptista has 10.

View attachment 59176 - well, that’s good to know and is a bit better news than the board confidence at the end of last month.

View attachment 59170 - A dominant Juventus side win the league for the fifth consecutive season and still with 3 games to spare.

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We should have won that well before Baptista got the solitary goal as the game was winding to a close.

It's a much more comfortable picture at the end of this month as we find ourselves second in the league for the first time this season.


May 2036

In the season’s last month, my true love gave to me…5 points clear of Roma, 4 games remaining, 3 in the league, 2 against the rivals and the Italian cup final.

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We absolutely dominated and should have scored more than just the one but we’ve been in that position more than once this season. AC Milan could only manage a draw, so the next game doesn’t quite have the significance it might have done.

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It’s fair to say that didn’t go to plan - let’s hope we put up more of a fight in the next game against them in the cup final.

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Not exactly the season-ending finale I was after, but the point is enough to keep us ahead of Roma in fourth...although only on goal difference

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So here we are - just 3 days after the end of season finale, and it’s time to go again. Having done so badly in this competition previously with Bologna & Lazio earlier this season, it is somewhat fortuitous I’m even here….

Given the previous abject performance, a complete change of emphasis is needed for this one, so we’re playing on the counter, exploiting the wings and getting the ball from back to front quicker.
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And that approach pays dividends with Conti bagging the goals to give us a deserved win.

The cup win was the big one, but the league performance wasn’t too bad either ensuring Champions League football next season which is a massive help to the finances. The accounts are in a dire state at the moment as we’re losing £2m a month…something to work on, although the board don’t seem that bothered by it.

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Nava was unlucky not to play more with injuries and El Allouchi ahead of him in the picking order. There are 13 different goalscorers, with Baptista leading the way in his first season at the club. Conti scored more league goals, but only starting playing regularly when I came in to the club. 14 players have assists, with strong showings from Baptista (again) and El Allouchi.

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June - July 2036

The lads all take a very well deserved rest over the summer. However, this should be a busy transfer window as there are two major problems that need to be resolved:

Problem 1:
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There are 9 players in the reserves earning more than £10k a week which is the limit I like to have for players in the reserves…they’re in there for a reason after all. Given the loss we’re making, this number can be reduced and they’re all transfer-listed.

All players except for Bedoya are sold, some for less than their value, but it gets the wages off the books. 19 year old Colombian Bedoya is being re-trained as a BBM. He has the physical and mental skills and I think he can learn the technical skills he doesn’t already have, so some training is on its way.

Problem 2:
View attachment 58643.
I have 4 deep lying playmakers in the first team squad, which is two too since there is only one DLP position in the team. None of them are young, or mobile enough to play the BBM role I’d like, so any two of Chafai, Pires and Soares can be replaced.

Italian BBM, Matteo Pavan, is signed from Middlesbrough. He was a bit on the pricey side but he fits effectively into the midfield three and provides better balance than the recently departed Chafai.
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In addition to this, a very good centreback wouldn’t go amiss either.

There’s only time for four friendlies this month before the SuperCup, the Champions League playoff and the start of the season, so we have a nice little money-spinning jolly to Japan.

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August 2036

The Champions League playoff is drawn…
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...and that is probably one of the tougher draws we could have got.

The Italian SuperCup pits us; the cup winners, against the league winners; Juventus.
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Well that was poor - let’s hope we get that out of our system before the season starts proper. Juventus just seem to be in a different footballing class at the moment.

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Another couple of friendlies finish off the preliminary part of the season before we go to the Champions League qualifying.

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We got absolutely battered for the opening half an hour until I put the shackles on their wingers and cut out the delivery to them. After that, it was much more comfortable and we got the away goal as a reward.

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There’s no way we should have conceded 1 there, let alone 2. Good to see El Allouchi get his season up and running as he’s likely to be a key goalscoring component of this team. Baptista’s goal was a thing of beauty as he powers in a header from the penalty spot harder than some players can kick the ball. Bedoya comes on a substitute as his transition to a BBM in the centre of the park starts to take shape. A good start to the league campaign.

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I don’t know what the **** that was but we only have ourselves to blame as 2 goals in quick succession give them the victory. ******.

The European Cup is a bit of a consolation and the group draws are made…
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Looks comfortable on paper

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We were a touch fortunate but kept knocking on the door resulting in 20 year old youth product Bucchi making the difference as he gets his first for the club. Baptista’s fine early season form continues. 2 wins from 2.

View attachment 58508 - the 21 year old Argentinian signs. He looks like a hot prospect and could be a Serie A leading player for years to come.

I hate having a busy transfer deadline day, but Spurs come in with a £22.5m bid for RB Dojcinovic out of the blue. I have Cortesi in the reserves who can step into the first team so the money can be used to improve the squad elsewhere and it frees up a non-EU spot in the squad.

View attachment 58507 - Turkish LB Kizilkaya is one of the poorer players in the squad and Italy International Ferraro, signed from Atalanta, is most certainly an upgrade and instantly becomes first choice.


September 2036

View attachment 58313- A load of money is recouped from un-needed players leaving and it reduces the wage expenditure significantly. The three players in all come in as first team candidates.

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We were so poor that last minute penalty was an absolute gift.

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We rather gifted AEK their goal, but absolutely dominated otherwise. Great performance from Conti who carries on his goalscoring form from last season.

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Absolutely dominated, deserved the three points, deserved more goals.

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I’m taking the credit for that and I’m a tactical genius - a change to a 4-2-2-2 formation just after the hour mark brings its rewards. Baptista proves his worth again.

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Another good win, but another game where the utter dominance doesn’t translate into scoreline.

Juventus seem to have struggled in the opening few games, although I’m sure they will improve.


October 2036

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Two absolute world-class strikes give them a share of the points in a frustrating game, but an away European game - especially in Turkey - can always be potentially tricky.

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Well that didn’t go to plan as we’re found wanting against the big teams again.

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We should really have won that much more convincingly but the three points are sealed by Pavan’s first for the club.

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Another game where we didn’t make the most of our chances.

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Bologna never looked like scoring as we put in an imperious defensive display…trouble is, our finishing left quite a lot to be desired as well. A frustrating stalemate.

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So long as we’re keeping clean sheets, one goal is enough but sooner of later we’re going to have to find a way to score more than one.


November 2036

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A bit of a ding-dong battle, but El Allouchi proves his worth as he’s involved in all 4 goals with 2 goals and 2 assists in an outstanding MoM performance. A slightly fortunate set of results in this matchweek - a Juve draw and AC Milan loss - means this win takes us top.

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We didn’t get the goals the performance warranted but it was a much more comfortable performance than the scoreline suggests. Fattori’s free-kick provides his first of the season. That result means qualification to the knockout stages are secured with ease and with 2 games in hand. The board are expecting at least a semi-final performance so this is promising.

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Back to the ex-employers who completely smother us for 60 minutes, before a drastic change of formation, tactics and a triple substitution pay off as Bucchi finishes a fine flowing move. Cortesi is looking like a first team player after his step up from the reserves.

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Pavan pops up in the last minute and pays back most of his £20m transfer fee with a fine headed back post goal. We set up up for a draw, so delighted with 3 points against the champions.

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The luxury of having already qualified, means it’s an entirely changed starting 11 consisting of a second string team, none of whom have more than 10 starts this season. Even with the lack of experience, it’s a comfortable winning margin and it probably should have been more. A goal and assist from Vigano earns him a deserved MoM award.

Both ST Bucchi and DLP Fattori sign new contracts. 27 year old Fattori signs a 5 year (with 3 year extension) at £150k a week. It’s expensive, but he’s one of the best players at the club and should keep him here for the duration. I also extend 33 year old CB Santos’ contract by a couple of years too.

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A fine Pires strike from just outside the box, after a couple of tactical tweaks, gives us the perfect November with 6 straight wins. We had to grind this one out a bit but it’s the sign of a good team and the relentless victories continue to take us, temporarily at least, top of the league.

Juventus’s lack of form sees them drop right off the pace, meaning that the title could be anyone’s for the taking. We seem to be making the running and there’s already a gap forming between AC Milan and Roma. The European Cup run has been comfortable so far and allowed some of the squad players to get some game time which has been useful.

All in all, a very impressive month.


December 2036

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They parked 11 men in front of the goal and left us utterly frustrated as we just couldn’t make the breakthrough, despite having a number of good chances with Baptista being the main cuplrit for misses. We spurn a great opportunity to put some distance between us, the unlikely leaders, and the chasing pack.

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Another dead rubber but injuries mean that the rotation isn’t as great as I would like. Conti lays the groundwork for a comfortable win and to round it off, Nava gets his first of the season.
View attachment 57799 - We’ve managed to avoid some big names in the draw, but even so, that may not be an easy match to get through. Am well pleased that the away leg is first though.

Two home games to do what we couldn’t do in the Pescara game.

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A fantastic Fattori free-kick digs us out of a hole there as we eventually make the breathrough. That seventh league game without conceding is a new club record.

£30m valued Baptista is highly rated and has been watched by a number of teams recently. I’m very reluctant to let him go, but everyone has a value too good to refuse.

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The bottom placed team come to town and that’s a very frustrating result.

The only positive about that result is that second placed AC Milan lost and third placed Roma could only manage a draw.

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January 2037

View attachment 57665- Due to our good performances, the board change the expectations which I agree to, not that I need the extra money that comes it with it. The wage adjustment takes the transfer budget up to very healthy £40 million if there are the players out there to sign.

Soares, who is currently sitting in the reserves, leaves for a fee the board won’t be happy with but with his contract running out and only Valencia interested, it was time to cash in.

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We have somewhat mastered the 1-0. Al Ellouchi caps his return to the side after an injury layoff with a fine assist although it was somewhat disappointing not to build on the early goal.

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Hmnnn… Mauri gets his first for the club.

View attachment 57662 / View attachment 57661- most of the increased transfer budget goes on Marinov, whose minimum release feel clause was met. I’m expecting big things.

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Ridiculously, 6 of my last 8 games have ended up 1-0 although this run comes to an abrupt end in an entertaining game. Vigano plays the role of supersub.

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It’s only 2 days later and we play Torino in the first round. Rotation and changes are needed although this backfires somewhat, as a bad-tempered game and an outstanding strike from Guedioura knocks us out. Annoying, but the least important of the competitions we’re involved in.

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The combination of a resolute Roma defence and the woodwork consign us to just our second loss of the season.

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The wing-backs, Pinna and Cortesi, were a constant menace, but it’s new signing Marinov who takes the plaudits with a goal and an assist. Baptista scores his first for 15 hours apparantly...and being watched by Liverpool manager; Aidy Boothroyd…again.

That seemed like a long month but we’re in good shape in the league.


February 2037

View attachment 57576 - 1 in, 1 out for the January transfer window.

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An unlikely goalscorer gives us the lead, as RB Pinna opens the scoring for a game we never really looked like losing and gets the MoM award in the process.

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That’s more like it - some extra width and an increase in tempo causes all sorts of problems as Palermo just can’t handle the additional attacking intent. A nice boost to the goal difference as well.

Vigano’s two fine goals prove to be the last of his Inter career as a surprise £12m bid from Jiangsu is accepted as we already have surplus strikers in the squad.

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Other than the conceded goal and the missed penalty, that was a pretty good European performance away from home.

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A change of tactics to try and take advantage of their wing-heavy formation rather backfires as, despite Marinov’s goal, we succumb to 2 very ordinary goals originating from the flanks. I obviously didn’t get that one right.

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Despite the slight hiccup that was letting them score, our strikers put the tie to bed ensuring progress to the next round. Two El Allouchi assists take him to 14 for the season, one off his season’s best achieved 2 seasons ago.

View attachment 57567 - Villareal it is then.

Aside from that rather painful Empoli result, another good month and, most importantly progression in the European Cup was made.


March 2037

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We got away with one a bit there as Udinese simply didn’t put away their chances when they had the chance. What was looking like a pretty solid run at the top of the league, all of a sudden is starting to look a bit shaky. On another note, Aidy Boothroyd spends so much time watching my players, it’s a wonder he has the time to manage his own team.

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Baptista’s injury means that Conti and Marinov are the untested top 2. Although the formation stays the same, the team are instructed to take a more disciplined, structured approach to stifle the Villareal attack and, although not the intention, it appears to have paid off on the attacking front as well. Pavan picks up 2 assists and a well deserved MoM performance.

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Despite a bit of a scare, El Allouchi’s set piece prowess comes to the fore as he scores 2 free-kicks. Poor Bologna are struggling at the wrong end of the table and this season may be the one they go down which would be a shame, since I got them promoted - and then legged it when a better opportunity came around…but we won’t talk about that bit.

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That was far from the swashbuckling performance of the first leg but we were rather forced to ground out a result as they defended deep and in numbers. Only Bucchi’s 25 yard strike as the game came to a close lit up the proceedings.

View attachment 57477 - by this stage in the competition, they’re all likely to be tough games, but we’ll have to be at our best to beat Chelsea, who I do not have a good record against.

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Baptista has to come off the bench to rescue us a point in a game in which we were far from the better side.

The international break means a lot of players go away, including 22 year old CB Mauri who makes his debut for Argentina. His value is set to continue to rise and he’s already lookigng like becoming the natural successor for the 35 year old Saidi in the heart of the defence. Love seeing this kind of development.
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April 2037

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One expected goalscorer, one unexpected give us a comfortable victory over European place-chasing Atalanta.

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Some players are spared for the upcoming crucial European Cup game against Chelsea, but it’s still a strong team. Both Bucchi and Marinov have the opportunity to add to their season’s total so far. It’s not until I start to panic and replace Bucchi with Baptista on the hour mark with the game goal-less, that the team starts to play. Marinov in particular, puts in a performance with a goal and very fine assist.

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We couldn’t quite get the attacking part of the team right, but the defence was excellent stifling Chelsea and restricting them to no more than half chances and pot-shots from outside the box. 0-0 makes the home leg very difficult with the advantage that an away goal may bring though.

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Games like this, especially between the two massive European games, are the reason you’re grateful that you’ve built up a bit of a cushion ahead of the chasing pack. We did enough to at least draw that, but caught on the counter towards the end as some attacking changes to try and grab the win rather backfired.

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Baptista is injured in the incident that led to the penalty and replaced by the 21 year old Bucchi who promptly dispatches the penalty and then scores a second to put us through - he’s now our top scorer in European competitions this season and proving to be a very valuable rotation option with the number of competitions we have been involved in.

View attachment 57392 - the semi-finals are drawn.

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In the end that was a comfortable win, but Napoli made us work hard for it particularly towards the end of the second half when they missed a number of good chances. The two strikers making the difference.

View attachment 57389
This would be a big enough game without it being first vs second in the league. All in all, the quality of the chances were pretty similar so a draw is probably a fair result. Marinov has starting putting his chances away in a manner that he wasn’t earlier in the year.