City of Delusion – Torino Season 2024/25 Part 2

GranT2

Ciao Bella! E anche il benvenuto all’ultima rata di il toro tale.
In the last update we had managed to stake a claim of Serie A with an impressive 10 victories out of ten fixtures. We also spoke in more depth about the tactics we had undertaken to get to this point. But there was some gloom to deal with as we had lost our last two Champions League fixtures leaving us third in our group.

ValMazz
This instalment will hopefully update you further into our Season 2024/25 journey.
November’s Serie A fixture would see a shift from the coach journeys around Italy. To staying at home in the Olimpico Grande Torino. Our next match was against Palermo. In short, we would extend our winning streak. We won 2-0 due to strong performances down our left. Both Vannini and Germoni scoring against the Rosanero.
Our next match would be the away fixture against Monaco in the Champions League group stage. We had already lost 3-1 at home to Monaco a few weeks earlier. Where a 21-year-old, Vicent Alonso, had torn us to pieces and scored two in a very convincing display.Marred by the defeat we approached the match with caution. We avoid every ladder and even every crack in the pavement. Yet the return fixture would require more than just superstition to be on our side. Our defence was split in the 16th minute when forward Elliot Noel found space and time in the box to push Monaco into a 1-0 lead. Torino would earn a goal back through some clever work down the left before the on form Vannini decided enough was enough and just drove to the edge of the box before unleashing a wonderful strike and scoring to equalise.

VanniniVsMon

The Vannini Goal

Our hearts were then tainted with pain once again when that ‘Spaniard’ Alonso, scored. He had received the ball inside the box from Noel. And smashed it past Pasotti. We would continue to huff and puff around the Monaco goal with no reward. Are dreams of competing in Europe were becoming a nightmare. Our lack of experience and killer instinct against some of Europe’s “better” teams were certainly going against us. We would have to win our final two matches in the group to qualify for the next round.

valonso

Alonso’s Profile

 

We returned to our solace, Serie A. Where a home match against league strugglers Carpi was just the tonic to shake down our European blues. We won 5-0 in a dominating performance that saw Dell’Anna score a brace and Dalot return to the starting line-up after a month on the side-lines.
Our next match after the international break saw a home victory against Chievo. We won 1-0 in a typically tight match.
We would also returned to the Champions League, with an away match against RB Leipzig. The match was an even affair unlike the home tie that saw Torino dominate and win 2-0. This was our make or break match in the Champions League after three defeats we needed to produce, but once again we failed to show any killer instinct. Dell’Anna would score for Il Toro on 51 minutes for Julien Maes to break Granata hearts and equalise 33 minutes later. Despite one more match in this competition Monaco and Benfica had qualified for the next round from our group. Our next match would be for pride.

MaesVsToro

Maes’ killer goal for RB Leipzig

With November’s mixed bag of emotions now in the past we would open the winter light of December with an away fixture in Serie A against Inter. We were now on a thirteen-match winning streak, could we go fourteen?
The starting line-up would see the return of Francesco Laurenzi, who had not started a match since a disastrous performance against Empoli back in October. We would also see Michael Mensah fresh from his European suspension. Both were key to the Inter match and both had a point to prove. We would win 5-0. With Mensah scoring a brace and Dell’Anna scoring a hattrick. Laurenzi would put in the overall performance to suggest that he could be ready to step into one of the anchor roles in defensive midfield. He not only played several forward balls to start attacks. But he also held a key role in keeping Inter quiet in front of our goal.
With Fourteen in the bag could we go one more and win a fifteenth?
Napoli at the San Paolo. Thierry Henry had his boys well drilled. The match was tighter than…..well something very tight. We had a host of chances but Meret held firm of everything we threw at his goal. Sergio Veca for Napoli would give our defence a warning he would have a goal disallowed for offside in the 56th minute. On 64 minutes he would find himself occupying the space between Germoni and Pan. To then get to the ball before Pan to score at close range.

VacaVsToro
Would this be the day that we would see the end of our winning run? Had we run out of steam? Were our wheels about to drop off?
We lost 1-0 to Henry’s Napoli. Our 14 wins on the bounce would see us written in Serie A record books. However, we could not rest on our laurels. We needed to find it within ourselves to find a fighting response. We had put ourselves top of the table and we now needed to get back to winning ways and to continue what we had started in Serie A.
First up was our final Champions League match of the campaign. Benfica at Home. Benfica came with a four-point margin and sincerity of the Superga air disaster in the form of a huge bouquet of flowers. (Benfica were the team that the Grande Torino team went to play in a friendly. The Grande Torino team perished after the aircraft carrying the team, staff, journalists and air crew crashed into the supporting wall of the Basilica of Superga upon trying to land whilst in thick fog on the 4th of May in 1949).
With the emotions of both sets of supports high both teams failed to bring their respective ‘A’ games to the fore. The only goal came through a penetrative run down the right from Dell’Anna who crossed the ball to the penalty area. David Taddei then cushioned a pass to the late run of Nico Barella. Who hammered home a sweetly struck shot. We won 1-0 to allow Torino to leave the Champions League with a sweet taste rather than the bitterness we had witnessed through much of the competition. With coming third in the group our European adventures would not come to a complete halt. We would be injected into the Europa League Cup competition, and the draw for the 1st knockout round. We were paired with Olympiakos of Greece and scheduled to play the first leg in Piraeus in February.
Right let’s reign it in a bit and not get too carried away with the idea of travel…. We’re still in December!
The next match in Serie A was the first Mole Derby of the season. Away to Juventus. Pep Guardiola’s Old lady were sat in second place and after seeing us lose to Napoli a week earlier I sensed he would look to go for the jugular in this fixture to claw more points back to surmount a comeback in the league.
I set the lads up to play cautiously, knowing that Matteo Benedini (Juventus’ star striker) would probably have more attempts at our goal than any other striker in Serie A. However, it was us that seemed to play the ball in a more positive manner in the first half. We pressed and pushed an in the 34th minute Captain Santiago Mina scored a close-range header from a corner. Five minutes later we extended our lead. Dell’Anna scoring after pressing hard on Juventus defender Cedric Kipre. Which resulted on Kipre making a mistake and Massimo then passed the ball past the hopeless Szczesny. GOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLL! Two Nil…..TWO NIL up in our rivals back garden. The heart rate was racing. With the tactics still set at cautious I felt like I couldn’t tinker. In fact, why would I? We were two nil up.
On 43 minutes Juve played some typical vertical Tika Taka football which resulted in that man Benedini scoring. It was a tense halftime team talk. We opted to keep things calm and to keep going at in the same vein as the first half.
In the 54th minute we created and attack that would be snuffed out by the experience Rugani. A wayward clearance would see Everton scramble to keep the ball in on the left touchline. He then passed to Luke Shaw and the ball would then find its way to Benedini deep in our half. Benedini drove past our defence like they weren’t there. He could have driven to McDonalds drive thru ordered a double quarter pounder meal and large milkshake, eaten them and driven back before our defence could have done something to stop him from scoring.

BeneVsToro.gif

Benedini the Beast

The match ended 2-2. Pep probably left thinking “Great we have taken two points off the team that were top of the table”. I was thinking phew…We didn’t lose in the Mole Derby. Which would have been two defeats in two matches.

TVSJuve1st
We then went on to round up the Christmas period with three victories. Cagliari, Lazio and Sassuolo were our victims.
January would see the arrival of Nacho Campo a right winger from Mallorca, he cost £2.5m with no addons. Claudio Nitti had been told the lad was very quick and held a cracking cross. Armed with that knowledge along with the feeling that Adli and La Torre were not quite good enough even as back up for Mensah, we sent Gianluca Petrachi (our DoF) to go and close the deal.

NachoCampo

Nacho Campo’s profile

The other transfer activity saw us obtain the services of youngster Cesare Cucciari from Roma for £2.2m rising to £6M if he blossoms. And the loan hire of Pietro Di Iubicibus a young left back from Frosinone, the loaning of Pietro would give us the chance to see him close up and judge whether we should acquire his services permanently.
We would only see youngsters loaned out with no significant departures.
Our first competitive match of 2025 was our 1st round tie of the TIM Cup against Carpi. After beating them heavily in the league back in November I anticipated a victory. We did go on to win, but the tie was all about one man. Alessio Vannini. The little magician scored a hattrick. Yet for all three he showed his predator instinct in front of goal/in and around the box rather than his usual spectacular 30 yard run then blast past the keeper.

Vanman.jpg

Van-Man!


We would also go on to win two league games against Genoa and Frosinone respectively.
Our other match of the month was the quarter final of the TIM Cup. We drew Napoli…..The match was as even as the previous against Thierry Henry’s side. We had the possession and Napoli got the better chances, only this time neither side were letting anything slip. After an eternity of play we had to conclude the match with penalties. Van Den Engel missed our opening penalty. They would go on to score. We would then match them until Marcel Sabitzer missed his for Napoli. This drew the shootout back to an even keel. Our Seventh penalty taker then missed, Goldaniga. Which would hand Napoli the victory. 6-5 on penalties.

That Penalty

Pizza Hut are looking for you Eduardo!

Nov to end Jan

Round up from November until the end of January


With my heart now broken after reliving that penalty miss, I will leave this update for now, I may also investigate whether McDonalds still do a double quarter pounder too.
Catch me next time when I summarise the rest of the 2024/25 season.
Ciao for now!

As Ugly as I seem – Torino – Season 2024/25.

GranT2

The last post weaved through the first ten domestic fixtures in Serie A. We had amazingly won ten out of ten. (Pardon my boast).

This post will look to show how I changed the tactic from my initial interpretation of Herbert Chapman’s WM formation in to FM19 to what I currently use with my Torino squad.

(Below sees the Under 20’s being used as guinea pigs as I look to shuffle the positions and roles into a WM for the first time.)

Ticta

I literally used the base from my previous 4141 tactic that I had been using for TS Sports and started moving player positions around to resemble the WM formation. My initial movements led to me plotting the defence with one centre back, and two inverted wingbacks. The thought was that this would provide me with narrow sitting fullbacks along side a central defender. It was only when I looked further at the inverted wingback role and its description of how the role can work that the penny dropped. Two factors make the inverted wingback invert. To have a player in front of them (Check – we have wingers ahead of them). And they require less than two defensive midfielders occupying the space in front of the defensive base line. (Family Fortunes style error klaxon – We have two defensive midfielders). So, in truth the idea of inverted wing backs was great, but it was never really going to happen. And in truth I had the defensive position of the fullback being more inverted rather than the attacking position in my head. So, I went back to the drawing board.

The Inverted Wingback will function defensively much like a standard wingback or fullback. However, while a normal FB or WB offer width to an attack, the IWB will attempt to drift inside and create space for players around him. (When he has a player a head of him and where there are fewer than two defensive midfielders).

If there is no team mate ahead of him, he will support attacks in a more traditional manner. (Notes taken from the role description in the game).

I now use a fullback on support on the left and a complete wingback on support on the right. Both hold a natural narrow defensive position when defending but both have some licence to explore further forward when the opportunity allows. The right back now has the instruction to get wider then the winger to support attacks and to get the ball into the box with (hopefully) quality crosses. Whilst the left back now holds a narrower position apart from when he has the ball, where he is to keep width and space for the inside runs of the more advanced players.
Previously I had an anchor and a half back in the defensive positions. Herbert Chapman’s WM used Half backs for both, but I suspect the instructions he gave compared to the hard-coded instructions of the role in FM would differ. The idea was that both would sit in front of the central defender and not adventure too far from there set positions. My altered tactic now sees two anchors. Both are expected to break play or support the central defender when their respective fullback bolts forward.
The other notable change is to the central midfield area. I have now switched the CMA to an Attacking Playmaker set to attack. This player is now a key element of how we distribute, he is our number 10, our tempo, our heartbeat of how we try to play. If the ball does not flow through this player, then we have gone long in the hope we can catch the opposition out of position.
The other changes are around the player mentality and team instructions. Previously I mentioned how I had simply moved players into positions from a 4141 in to the WM formation, the base tactic was the one I had used with TS Sports. Which was an aggressive (Attacking) tactic that sort to camp in the opposition’s half and bulldoze through the opposition’s defence by using a narrow forward line that pressed. Without even contemplating the playing style I had built a formation without forethought of the tactic and how it should defend and attack on its own. I asked the community where I was going wrong, in short, @Cleon81 told me to change my mentality, and I did, but there were still problems at mill. And it was only until the final three matches of last season that I managed to sort the tactic.
I firstly looked to keep the vertical Tiki-Taka, then looked at the core team instructions that were left. We made sure we were playing to keep the ball, with shorter passing, playing the ball out of defence and maintaining a low tempo. Along with working the ball in to the box. Yet my previous tactic seemed to just use the base vertical tiki-taka style without considering whether it would be of any use.
The tactic now used, still has the red gaps of weakness, but I have the understanding that there will be matches where I will get counterattacked and exploited due to the gaps that are set in my tactic, but like all tactics, there is always a blend between risk and reward. One thing I now consider is for matches away and against teams that have a very quick front line I switch the mentality from Balanced to Cautious, the reason behind this is that the player instructions of certain players become more defence minded. See Below. The first picture is with the team mentality set as Balanced. The left winger operates as a winger (Support), but his individual mentality is cautious. The second picture below, the team mentality is set as Cautious. The same player is set as left winger (support) and his individual mentality is now defensive.balanced LWing_C

Caut Lwing_De

Below is a screenshot of the player that was used in the example. David Taddei is a natural to the position and role.

Davidtad

Below is a screenshot showing most of David Taddei’s activity against Bologna at home. The team were set at Balanced. you can see that David is predominantly in the oppositions half, whether that be passing or receiving the ball. David also scores from just inside the box on 24 minutes. We win the match 2-0.

DT_BAL_VS_Bol_home

The next screenshot is of David Taddei’s activity against Genoa away. The team’s mentality was set a Cautious, as I was expecting a difficult match. We went on to win 4-2. In comparison to the previous picture. David’s activity is still predominantly in the opposition half but the below picture also shows him to be more spread from deep in his own half to in front of the oppositions goal. He scores in this match too, but he also has two saved shots and one missed shot along with a crossed assist. The alterations of individual player mentality within a set team mentality are not just limited to the wingers, this slight change appears across the entire team.

DT_Caut_Gen_Away

The final picture shows how we now play. Within both balanced and cautious now positions are changed. The only changes I have found myself making are the odd change to the forward who gets switched between DLF(A) and CF(S), this is dependant on the player playing the position/role. And I also switch the roles of the two fullback positions. Again this is due to the individual player playing in that position. ie. Luca Germoni my back up left back is a natural IWB. So I switch the role to favour him if he is played. I also ask the team to work the underlap on the left in a hope to involve Luca in the attacking third, albeit centrally rather than out wide. Just to note my first choice left back is club captain Santiago Mina, who favours the full back (Support) role. I have the team set at overlap on the left when he plays. I have made the tactic available to download. (Fingers crossed my first attempt of a button works).

WM2ndseas

 

To conclude, I would like to say this tactic is not how I would normally set up. I have been fond of a three at the back with a libero in the past in a 352 or a solid 4141, so to try something different and not follow the usual crowd, this tactic has felt somewhat liberating. I am by no means a tactical expert. But I have found through this experiment that, I feel I am open to experimenting with other significant tactics from real life and attempting them in FM in the future.

After that change in direction. The next update will be how Il Toro fair in the rest of season 2024/25.

Thank you for reading, Ciao for now!

Figure It Out – Capirlo – Torino 2024/25 – Part 1

GranT2

Following the introduction of the new look squad in the last post…..

The pre-season matches came and went during July and August. I wont go into any depth other than to say we played seven. Won seven. Toured Denmark (Played four matches and won those).

The first true test would be our opening Serie A fixture of the season. Sunday the 18th August 2024 was a hot and dry day in the Mapei Stadium. We visited Sassuolo. With our new look side playing an updated version of the WM tactic i had implemented last season.

The starting line up would see seven new faces in the side with only Daniele Baselli, Tomy Di Lauro, Massimo Dell’Anna and Captain Santiago Mina to have donned the Maroon of Torino (I Granata) before.

vsSass.jpg

With all of this change I had expected a difficult start to life this season, starting with this trick away fixture in Reggio Emilia. The lads must have thought otherwise, that or the preseason tour in the land of the Vikings did help with team bonding. As start hitman Massimo Dell’Anna scored our opening goal of the season inside 3 minutes. And then one minute later Nicolo Barella would double our lead from a close range strike at goal. The match turned in to a scrappy affair. With Il Toro picking up six yellow cards throughout the match. The get stuck in button really did live up to it’s instruction. The sour news was on the stroke of half time when Massimo limped off after a sprint. We through sixteen year old Davide Benazzi in to the mix for his debut for Il Toro. Davide played reasonably well but questions were now raised whether to rush Simeone Zaza back from the medical room or to place faith and trust this raw kid.

The match finished 2-1 Sassuolo would score from a corner on 39 minutes and then the match became a kick fest. Like I said we picked up 6 yellow cards. Sassuolo would pick up seven yellow cards. Two would be second yellows as they saw out the match with nine men.

Matchday 2 would see a return to the Olimpico Grande Torino. We hosted Bologna. Who were on a high after beating Palermo 3-1 in match day 1. I gave full debuts to Davide Benazzi and Midfield playmaker Leroy Van Den Engel. The opening exchanges were nervy with both sides trying to play short to then spread play more directly. On the 19th minute Nicolo Barella would lose the ball in the bologna half but then fight to win it back. With that momentum he would drive down the left hand side of the pitch to pick a pass to the advancing Benazzi. Benazzi received the ball on the edge of the box, then drive in to the middle of the box and placed a well struck shot past the Bologna keeper. Davide’s promise had come to the for and my dilemma between youth and experience had been answered, well for the short term.

Four minutes later loanee David Taddei (from Empoli) would score a wonderful solo effort. He picked up the ball on the left from a Mina throw in. Taddei then weaved passed the Bologna defence to double our lead. We would go one to win 2-0.

TadVsBolog

Match day 3 would see Frosinone visit the Olimpico Grande Torino. We would go on to win 2-0 for a second match. This time Davide Benazzi would again go one to open the scoring. This time picking up a tap in opportunity following a corner. Van Den Engel crossed the ball for Mina to head the ball goalward, and in the malley Benazzi pounced. Our second goal would also see us utilise our set pieces. This time Van Den Engel would pick out Di Lauro on the edge of the box for Di Lauro to drill the ball past the opposition keeper.

Matchday 4 would come after the autumn internationals. The big news of this period was the minor injury to Davide Benazzi whilst playing for Italy under 19’s. I made the decision to call up Simone Zaza who had been injured for the previous three matches. We also recalled Massimo Dell’Anna to the match day squad who had just recovered from and injury which had kept him out. We made changes to the front line (Zaza’s inclusion), and down the right at both the right back and right wing positions. De Leonardis would make his first start this campaign at Right back and Michael La Torre would get the nod to start at right wing. The first half would see us take a 2-0 lead through Van Den Engel and Taddei. Genoa then clawed a goal back through Kouame just before the hour mark. Van den Engel would then score a second for Kouame to score immediately after the restart. Barella then scored a very late goal to make the score line look more specacular. We won 4-2. With a few defensive questions now rasied.

Mid week would see Champions League football come to the Olimpico Grande Torino. After our third place finish in Serie A last season. We were drafted in a group with Monaco of France, Benfica of Portugal and RB Leipzig of Germany.

Our first match of the group would see us up against RB Leipzig at home. This was another master class stage for Van Den Engel to prosper. He opened the scoring after 15 minutes. And he provided the corner(cross) on the 66th minute when Mina headed Il Toro into a 2-0 lead. The defence were on fire that match and barely conceded a shot.

vsrb.jpg

Match day 6 would then see the home match against Ernesto Valverde’s Roma side. I anticipated a tough match due top their strength in midfield having players like Alessio Riccardi, Nico Zaniolo and Lucas Torreira. We played a defensive game throughout the first half with little between both sides to find the breakthrough. We then saw Massimo Dell’Anna pull up with a calf injury. We gave Benazzi instructions to play on the shoulder of their defense and look to run the channel when possible. We got our breakthrough on the 54th minute when Benazzi scored after some good build up work. We would see this match out and win 1-0.

benvsrom.jpg

The move shows the ball start with Mina (Left Back) who passed back to Izzo, who also passes back to Fruchtl who passes forward to Van den Engel who passes to right winger La Torre. Who recycles back to Van Den Engel who passes to Di Leonardis. Who then recycles back to Van Den Engel. VDE then passes long to Barella (our Mez (Att)). Who then passes on to Benazzi. For the ball to be stuck at goal and scores past the Roma keeper. The positive for me here is how involved my AP (Att) is…VDE is demanding the ball and making positions to receive the ball and be the play maker of the side.

BenvsRom1.gif

Match Day 7 would see us continue our winning streak this time Sampdoria were our victims. We won 3-0 with two goals from Left winger Alessio Vannini and the other from Zaza (a close range header from a corner.

Mid Week would see us lose our first match of the season. Benfica away would seize on two opportunities then shut up shop. Two early goals from Pedro their Brazian striker would do the damage.

Match day 8 would be a game to shake off the disappointment of defeat. We played a very muted performance with being away to Empoli we huffed and puffed and eventually found an opening in the 38th minute. Di Leonardis with the cross and Wonderkid of the moment Benazzi scoring a close range header. We wnet on to win 1-0.

Match day 9 would come after the October Internationals. Once again Davide Benazzi would return from the Italy under 19 party with a slight knock. I plumped for Zaza to lead the line once again. The match would turn in to a battle of wits. Fiorentina’s Denis Suarez would find the break through in the 68th minute. For defensive midfielder Ganso to equalise two minutes later with a wonderful freekick. Three minutes later Captain Marvel aka Mina would score the winning goal. After staying in and around the box following a few corners. Mina then picked up a spilt clearence, to drive at goal and then blast a shot past the helpless Lafont. We would go on to win 2-1.

Mid Week would once again see another Champions League football match at the Olimpico Grande Torino. Monaco were our guests this time round. And boy did they hit us hard. The won 3-1. We would struggle with some high paced passing and our lack of European experience may have show in the side that was pick. To make matters worse. Michael Mensah our sixteen year old right winger got sent off for a second bookable offence. And the one man deficit would not really change our fortunes in this match. Our second loss in the Champions League would put us third in the standings.

Match day 10 of Serie A would see us visit the San Siro to face AC Milan. Which was not the tonic we needed following defeat against Monaco. Milan got off to a quicker start with a well crafted goal on the break after four minutes from Di Giacoma. We then responded three minutes later with a well struck shot from Vannini, GOAL!!!! Three minutes after that we took the lead through Davide Benazzi. He once again pounced on a deflected shot to slot home himself. We would grind out the game and win 2-1 to make it ten victories on the bounce this season.

Tab 10

Ciao for now, and join me next time when I discuss the changes that have been made from the initial WM formation idea to the current tactic that has propelled Il Toro to ten successive wins in Serie A.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Build a Home – Torino – Season 2024/25

Il cammino di Torino

Welcome back to the Filadelfia, the training hub for all players of il Toro. This brief update will solely mention some of the transfer activity during the summer of 2024.

Pre-season has been about trying to acquire the targets we have had since last season.
Our first player in through the doors is Santiago Mina, I exercised his release clause to turn his loan deal in to a permanent one.
I also raided former club West Ham Utd for defensive midfielder Declan Rice. He had been placed on the transfer list and I seized on the opportunity to reunite with a very solid defensive minded player.

Squadintaketor24
I have also brought in two goal keepers with Christian Fruchtl (Bayern) and Leonardo Pasotti (Frosinone).
Three defenders Diogo Dalot, Luca Germoni and Eduardo Goldaniga from Man Utd, Entella and Rennes respectively.
I have also brought in two midfielders, Leroy Van den Engel (Feyenoord) and Nicolo Barella (Cagliari). The latter almost became the pursuit of the summer. I had put in a cheeky enquiry after hearing he was keen to leave the club. They threw back the release clause they had set. I pushed for £20m. They then dropped to £47m. I then offered £25m. They then dropped to £40m. I then offered £27m. They then dropped to £35m. I then offered £30m. We agreed, and Nicolo was signed sealed and delivered.
At this point I then sent the club’s DOF Gianluca Petrachi in pursuit of youth players. He would make bids for a few Italian youth players that I would have the final decision over.
I was just about to write a some squad announcement with squad numbers etc then I was given the news…No not Atalanta beating Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia (in RL)… the news that Declan Rice had broken his ankle in training! He had been clowning around with one of the kit men in the car park and tripped over one of the bollards that he had not seen. Rice Rice baby would be out for up to four months. In response to this news we went to Rome. To sign defensive midfielder Ganso on a season long loan, with a buy for perm deal set at £10m. This could be a good deal if he does come as I think he could be the next Casimiro.

Ganso.jpg
The bid for French Right Midfielder Yacine Adli from PSG eventually went through for £3.6m (I had made this bid around the same as the Rice deal so goooord knows why it took so long.
And like I said we also saw four youngsters obtained through Petrachi who all could have some promise over the next few seasons.

Below is the squad registration and confirmation for the beginning of the new season….
GK’s we have Christian Fruchtl and Leonardo Pasotti backed up by Under 20’s starlet Fabrizio Bertini.
Defence we have Diogo Dalot and Sergio De Leonardis (RB’s). Santiago Mina and Luca Germoni (LB’s). Armando Izzo and Eduardo Goldaniga (CB’s). Backed up by Apraham Pan, Luca Madrigali and Matteo Cammarosano all who are in the Under 20’s.
Defensive Midfield we have Declan Rice, Danielle Baselli, Ganso and Francesco Laurenzi. Backed up with Matteo Falco and Federico Pina.
Central Midfield we have Michele Allegra, Tomy Di Lauro, Nicolo Barella and Leroy Van Den Engel. Backed up with Gianmarco Riitano and Pep Pacilli.

Wingers we have (RW) Yacine Adli and Marco La Torre. Backed up with Michael Mensah. For the left we have Davide Taddei and Alessio Vannini. Backed up with Erik Bottasso.
And up front we have Massimo Dell’Anna and Simone Zaza. Backed up with Davide Benazzi and Filippo Calloni.

And the final note has to go to new club Captain….. Santiago Mina. He joined permanently this summer after a very successful loan period with us last season. He played twenty six matches, and in that time scored one and assisted twice. The Columbian is like most Columbian regen/newgens in FM, Amazing! I see this guy as the new Paolo Maldini. And I hope I can keep him at the club to put him up with the club legends.

santam.jpg

Ciao for now…Next time we discuss the opening games of the Serie A season and forage in the group stages of the Champions League…