Rise Of The Nerazzurri (1.2) #FM16 The Winter Break

1466323229684 We have reached the winter break in the season, my first season in charge at the Giuseppe Meazza and we have started well, we are sat in 2nd place in the league on goal difference behind Juventus.  We got off to a flier winning our opening 8 games which gave us a great platform to build on. After pre season I decided that my 4-3-3 was the right framework to blend our squad together on the pitch. Below you can read about our season so far. The Rise Of The Nerazzurri is well and truly underway. 

23rd August 2015 Bologna Home W 4-0

The opening game against Bologna produced a resounding 4-0 win with Perisic scoring an hat-trick, and substitute Rodrigo Palacio getting our 4th. Icardi our captain had a really good game but was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Perisic on fire game set and match. 

29th August 2015 Palermo Away W 2-0

We visited Sicily and the Renzo Barbera to play Palermo, I named an unchanged side and told the boys to go and prove a point. We started well and took control of the game from the off with both Icardi and Medal going close in the early minutes. On 19 minutes we got the breakthrough with a solo effort from Adem Ljajic. We went in leading by the only goal of the game after a dominant first half. I made a change at the break replacing Nagatomo who had picked up a slight knock with Santon. “I am pleased with your performance, keep it up” Palermo kicked off and forced a corner in the first minute of the 2nd half and nearly forced an equaliser but for a superb save from Handanovic. That was the Rosonero’s only shot on target for the rest of the game which we put to bed after Croatian International  Ivan Perisic netted on 68 minutes. Three more points and a good performance.

3rd September 2015

International break and a number of players away gives me time to analyse our opening games and plan for the visit of Fiorentina who I know will give us a game. I then get the news that Marcelo Brozovic as been injured in training whilst away with Croatia. “Frustrating”

8th September 2015

More “Frustrating News” Mauro Icardi injured on International duty. 

13th September 2016 Fiorentina Home W 1-0

Matchday 3 and the Viola are in town, I leave the injured Brozovic and Icardi out along with Adem Ljajic who looks tired. Melo, Jovetic and Eder come in . This was a test Fiorentina came for the points but our South American centre backs Miranda and Jesus  look solid today with Gary Medal muscling the midfield we go in all square at the break. I decide to give the boys a rocket in the dressing room in the hope they will step up in the 2nd period. Just as the game looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw Ivan Perisic cut in from the right and got a shot off that nestled in to the net, the Croatian won us the game by the single goal with his 5th goal in 3 games….get in we top the table with maximum points.

20th September 2015 Chievo Away W 4-0

Matchday 4 and the injured duo Brozovic and Icardi are back in for our away game at Chievo Verona. Another clean sheet and a 4-0 victory with goals from Medal 2, Palacio and Nagatomo. Another good win against bottom club Chievo.

24th September 2015  Lazio Home W 3-1

Matchday 5 I make a few changes to the side Jovetic,Eder,Kondogbia  and Palacio are all rested. Zivkovic, Melo and Ljajic all start. The media are asking about the undefeated run, I make no comment and then take the opportunity to tell the boys I expect a win and it works we come in at the break 2-0 up through Icardi and Jesus. Brozovic adds a third in the second half in which we conceded our first goal of the season, but the result is never in doubt has we run out 3-1 winners and claim top spot in the league.

27th September 2015 Genoa Away W 3-0 

A visit to the port city served up a convincing 3-0 win that can only be described as the Gary Medel show, after a goalless first 45, Medel scored a brace to put us in control. Medel bossed the midfield from start to finish. Alex Telles rounded the game off for us with a fierce shot from 18 yards inside the last 5 minutes. 

4th October 2015 Torino Home W 2-1 

Matchday 7  The side that beat Genoa was looking a little jaded so I freshened things up a little with 4 changes Eder, Jovetic, Santon and Melo all came in to the side. Eder and Jovetic combined well in the 22nd minute to carve out a goal for Jovetic to put us 1-0 up. Just before the break Eder was upended inside the area for a penalty. Icardi stepped up and dispatched it to send us in 2-0 up. “You are playing well keep it up” was my instruction at the interval. We continued to create chances in the 2nd half but failed to put the game to bed and then with 5 minutes left an error from Kondogbia in midfield left us exposed and Bellotti expertly beat Handanovic to set up a nervous finish. We managed to hold on and kept our 100% record in tact.

5th October 2015

I am told Real Madrid are interested in signing Mauro Icardi, well he is not for sale but I have a feeling if they make a bid his head may be turned. October and I am making back up plans in the wake of  Madrid interest. I have a few targets in mind so I have sent the scouts out to their bit. Milik (Ajax), Ibrahimović  (PSG) in the last year of his contract could be a short term option but I think he may well not be interested, Jovetic who we have on loan, Bonazolli  (Sampdoria) Bellotti  (Torino) and Lacazette  (Lyon) are amongst the list of possible replacements for Icardi. 

18th October 2015 Frosinone Away W 3-0

Stadio Matusa is the setting for matchday 8 the home of Frosinone.  Three first half goals killed the game in our favour, Perisic,Medel and Icardi with the goals. The 2nd half was nothing more than us seeing the game out, 3 more points and top spot in the table.

25th October 2015 Napoli Away D 0-0 

We drop our first points of the season against a strong Napoli side, Nagatomo and Zivkovic combined well down our right side but to no avail. Napoli are a strong side so I was pleased with how we played and reduced them to 1 shot on target a free kick from Hamsik. The game was played out in midfield with both sides giving their all.

27th  October 2015

News today is that Chelsea are also after Mauro Icardi. I am starting to think I am going to have a busy January.

28th October 2015 Carpi Home L 0-1 

My decision to rest a few players 5 in total back fired on us, Carpi got an early goal and then withstood a barrage of pressure from us . Jovetic, Eder, Palacio and Kondogbia all missed good chances during the game. Substitute  Rey Manaj came close in the last minute hitting the woodwork  with an header.  First defeat of the season and I let the boys know my displeasure. 

1st November 2015 Udinese Away W 1-0 

Back to winning ways thanks to a Mauro Icardi strike in the 22nd minute. Icardi ‘s performances are attracting attention from the vultures. I have even started thinking how much we will get if Icardi leaves. I am thinking a new contract offer may be on the cards.

3rd November 2015

I have spent the day looking at our youth squads who are both doing very well the under 20 squad are top of their division whilst the under 18’s are in 2nd spot. 

8th November 2015 U.S Sassuolo Home W 2-1 

The boys played well and we went in level 1-1 at the break after we were gifted a goal by Consigli the Sassuolo keeper. We conceded 2 minutes from half time after Jesus misjudged a back pass. Kondogbia scored our winner in the 80th minute. Overall a good performance that keeps us top of the table. Special mention for Nagatomo and Alex Telles who both provided our width and attacking outlet to great effect. 

10th November 2015

International break time which gives me a bit of time to analyse some scouting reports.

13th November 2015

I make an an enquiry to Dinamo Zagreb of the availability of 20 year old Croatian attacking midfielder Marko Pjaca 

22nd November 2015 Empoli Away W 2-1

We started the game by going 1-0 down after 3 minutes, the early goal knocked us off our game whilst giving Empoli the confidence to have a go at us. Against the run of play Ivan Perisic slotted home to pull us level on 35 minutes. The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of our hosts as we opened them up again just 2 minutes after the goal but this time Melo struck the post with a fierce drive. Half time 1-1. “Show some passion” I raged at the players who all looked motivated. I am not standing for an half hearted performance, these players are earning a fortune and a good kick up the a*** is required from time to time. On the back of that outburst I made a change and brought Jovetic on for the lack lustre Icardi. It was Jovetic who then laid on the winning goal on 68 minutes for Felipe Melo to side foot home from close range. I love it when you make that change that turns the game. 

29th November 2015 Verona Home D 1-1

Another below par performance from us Icardi getting our goal in a game I expected us to win. Let me tell you the hairdryer treatment was dished out. 

30th November 2015

My assistant manager Giulio Nuciari informs me that Felipe Melo wants to have a word with me about his lack of first team football. I get together with Felipe and explain to him that “I can’t guarantee a starting place for him and that I would look to let him go” Felipe is pleased and accepts that he will go on to the transfer list. 

5th December 2015 AS Roma Away W 3-1

The Stadio Olimpico is the back drop for our best performance of the season so far. We play Roma off the park in their own back yard. We go in at the break 1-0 up after a Kondogbia header from a Palacio corner. Palacio and Icardi are running Roma a merry dance. I praise the performance and tell the boys to keep it up along with a few individual instructions to get the boys focused. Icardi on the hour puts us 2 up. We continued to press and got a third after a fine solo run from Kondogbia before drilling the ball in to the Roma goal….3-0 game set and match. Roma grab a consolation goal 2 minutes from time. “Well done lads”

13th December 2015 Sampdoria Home W 1-0

A 1-0 win courtesy of a Marcelo Brozovic goal on the 24th minute mark. The scoreline flatters Sampdoria because we were so dominant in this game with Sampdoria not having a single shot on goal. 

16th December 2015 Coppa Italia Verona Home W 3-0

First round of the cup and a polished performance from us, I made 6 changes to the side that beat Sampdoria. Eder ×2 and Miranda scored the goals that take us through to the next round. 

19th December 2015

On the eve of our last game before the winter break, (which is against 2nd placed Juventus ) Mauro Icardi comes to me to tell me that he would like me to let him talk to Chelsea after hearing of their interest in him. “I don’t want to lose you, wait until the end of the season “. Icardi tells me he can’t wait that long and wants to be allowed to speak to Chelsea if they make a bid. “Yes Mauro if they meet my valuation of you”. 

20th December 2015 Juventus Away L 0-2

Dybala destroyed us with 2 2nd half goals that  puts Juve on top of the table on goal difference at the winter break. The scoreline suggest’s an easy Juve win but in reality it was a close game won by a player on top of his game. I wasn’t too harsh on the lads after the whistle, we have had a very good season so far. The squad are off for a break has I set about another pile of scout reports.

Serie A and Coppa Italia Results

INTER RES

Serie A Table 

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Serie A Possession Statistics

NET TRANSFER SPEND

Serie A Net Transfer Spend

NET TRANSFER SPEND

Squad Statistics

INTER SQUAD

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The second half of the season starts soon and a repeat of the first half will more than match the boards  expectations. I am hoping the board offer me a new contract has I have 6 months remaining on my initial deal. My next post will be coming soon so keep your eyes open has we kick off the 2nd half of the season. 

Arriverderchi 

Rise Of The Nerazzurri (1.1) #FM16 Pre-Season

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Pre Season 

I have officially taken the reigns of the club replacing Mancini. Below you will find a few screenshots from our pre season. 

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 Coaching Staff

I am very pleased with the coaching staff at the club, has you can see below we have the best coaching team in Italy.

coaching team

Scouting Staff

We have a strong core of Italian scouts who I will be analysing over the coming months of the season.

scouting team

First Team Squad On Taking Over

One concern is that we have 5 players who are on loan to us, however there are clauses in their contracts that allows us to buy them anytime during the loan period. 

inter squad

Season Expectations

This season’s expectations have been set, the board expects us to qualify for the Europa League and bring European football back to Milan after  Roberto Mancini’s squad failed last season. 

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Transfer News

We have brought 3 players in to the club, first to join was 22 year old  Chilean defender Enzo Rocco who we purchased from Espanyol for £4.3m . I have moved for Rocco because he can play in a number of roles in our back line including the Sweeper position in our La Grande Inter formation. Rocco is a good strong centre back who I believe will be a vital addition to our squad. We then moved to get 19 year old  Serbian winger Andrija Zivkovic a player I am familiar with. Zivkovic cost us £2m and will go in to our first team squad straight away. Head Of Youth Development Roberto Samaden negotiated a deal of 210k rising to 650k including add ons with Cesena to sign 17 year old winger Nicola Dalmonte. The chance then presented it self for us to sign German striker Miroslav Klose from Lazio for around £1.5m, I contacted my good friend and fellow gaffer Saadiq Bey who I know managed Klose on his Spurs save to see what he said about the veteran German. Saadiq said he was a good professional who he liked a lot to the point that he gave him a coaching contract after his contract ended.. My idea was that Klose would make a top quality back up and tutor one or two of our players. I had a bid accepted around the £1.5m mark and offered him a contract, however Chelsea made an 11th hour move for him . Klose then negotiated a contract with the London club and joined them.

Roco

inter zivkovic

Inter Dalmonte

Tactical Set Up

4-3-3

I have used this set up many times whilst with Fiorentina to good effect, this will be my starting tactic for the season ahead. Our squad fits in to this system with ease.

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3-5-2

Inspired by Antonio Conte I will use this system against the big sides, it offers  a nice compact system defensively along with quick transitions in to attack. The width is created by the full backs who push high up the pitch when in possession. 

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la grande Inter

A touch of nostalgia here in trying to recreate the la grande Inter tactic of Helenio Herrera from the 60’s. I will be attempting to get this system working throughout the season.

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Pre-Season Friendlies 

RFC Tournai  (Away) Won 9-0

Our first pre season game took us to Belgian 3rd division side RFC Tournai  I used the grande Inter tactic for this game. As the score suggest’s we totally controlled this game winning 9-0. It’s difficult to analyse how the tactic played out against a side much inferior to ours. 

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US.Sassuolo (Away) Won 2-0

A good 2-0 win for a rotated side using the 4-3-3 formation on loan Eder netted both our goals.

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Olympique Lyon (Away) Won 2-1 

Two first half Icardi goals was enough to seal a very good 2-1 win against a strong Lyon side. We used the 4-3-3 formation.

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Olympique Marsielle (Home) Drawn 1-1

A Mauro Icardi equaliser earned us a 1-1 draw using the 4-3-3 formation. 

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Galatasaray (Away) Drawn 1-1 

Another 1-1 draw with the goal coming from Biabiany. 4-3-3 formation used again.

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U.D Melilla (Away) Won 3-1 

A comfortable 3-1 win courtesy of  Icardi,  Ljajic and Alex Telles 

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res

Inter Youth (The Futures Bright )

Here you can see the talent we have coming through our ranks.

Zinho Vanheusden

vladen djekic

luka kerin

george puscas

federico dimarco

assane gnoukouri

andrea pinamonti

Head Of Youth Development

The pressure is on Roberto Samaden to ensure the development of our youth, we have a talented bunch in our ranks. I am really wanting the club to produce player’s who can make the step in to our first team.

roberto Samaden

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We are ready for the season opener against Bologna, we need to get off to a good start as we look to get back in to European competition next season. I want us to introduce at least 1 player from our development squads in to the first team squad each season, like at Fiorentina when I took charge there is a lack of Italian players around the club, something over time I would like to address. 

Arriverderchi

 

Rise Of The Nerazzurri #FM16

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Welcome to a brand new save, after leaving Fiorentina for Athletic Club my save crashed and despite my efforts today the save as gone. I have decided to load up a new save and take the first random team. So that random team is Internazionale which takes me back to Italy and the city of Milano. Below is a brief history of the club.

The club won its very first championship in 1910 and its second in 1920. The captain and coach of the first championship winning team was Virgilio Fossati, who was later killed in battle while serving in the Italian army during World War I.In 1922 Inter remained in the top league after winning two play-offs. Six years later, during the Fascist era, the club was forced to merge with the Unione Sportiva Milanese and was renamedSocietà Sportiva Ambrosiana. The team wore white jerseys around this time with a red cross emblazoned on it. The jersey’s design was inspired by the flag and coat of arms of the city of Milan. In 1929 the club’s president, Oreste Simonotti, changed the club’s name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana.

However, supporters continued to call the team Inter, and in 1931 new president Pozzani caved in to shareholder pressure and changed the name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana-Inter.Giuseppe Meazza still holds the record for the most goals scored in a debut season in Serie A, with 31 goals in his first season (1929–30)Their first Coppa Italia (Italian Cup) was won in 1938–39, led by the iconic Giuseppe Meazza, after whom the San Sirostadium is officially named. A fifth championship followed in 1940, despite Meazza incurring an injury. After the end ofWorld War II the club regained its original name, winning its sixth championship in 1953 and its seventh in 1954. In 1960, manager Helenio Herrerajoined Inter from Barcelona, bringing with him his midfield general Luis Suárez, who won theEuropean Footballer of the Year in the same year for his role in Barcelona’s La Liga/Fairs Cupdouble. He would transform Inter into one of the greatest teams in Europe. He modified a 5–3–2 tactic known as the “Verrou” (“door bolt”) to include larger flexibility for counterattacks. The catenaccio system was invented by an Austrian coach named Karl Rappan. Rappan’s original system was implemented with four fixed defenders, playing a strict man-to-man marking system, plus a playmaker in the middle of the field who plays the ball together with two midfield wings. Herrera would modify it by adding a fifth defenders, thesweeper or libero behind the two centre backs.

The sweeper or libero who acted as the free man would deal with any attackers who went through the two centre backs. Inter finished third in the Serie A in his first season, second the next year and first in his third season. Then followed a back-to-back European Cup victory in 1964 and 1965, earning him the title “il Mago” (“the Wizard”). The code of Herrera’s team was the fullbacks Tarcisio Burgnich and Giacinto Facchetti, Armando Picchi the sweeper, Suárez the playmaker, Jair the winger, Mario Corso the left midfielder, and Sandro Mazzola, who played on the inside-right.

In 1964, Inter reached the European Cup Final by beating Borussia Dortmund in the semifinal andFK Partizan in the quarter-final. In the final, they met Real Madrid, a team that had reached seven out of the nine finals to date. Mazzola scored two goals in a 3–1 victory, and then the team won the Intercontinental Cup against Independiente. A year later, Inter repeated the feat by beating two-time winner Benfica in the final held at home, from a Jair goal, and then again beat Independiente in the Intercontinental Cup.

In 1967, with Jair gone and Suárez injured, Inter lost the European Cup Final 2–1 to Celtic. During that year the club changed its name to Football Club Internazionale Milano.

Following the golden era of the 1960s, Inter managed to win their eleventh league title in 1971 and their twelfth in 1980. Inter were defeated for the second time in five years in the final of the European Cup, going down 0–2 to Johan Cruyff’s Ajax in 1972. During the 1970s and the 1980s, Inter also added two to its Coppa Italia tally, in 1977–78 and 1981–82. Led by the German duo of Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthäus, and Argentine Ramón Díaz, Inter captured the 1989 Serie A championship. Fellow German Jürgen Klinsmann and the Supercoppa Italiana were added the following season but to little avail, as Inter were unable to defend their title.

The 1990s was a period of disappointment. While their great rivals Milan and Juventus were achieving success both domestically and in Europe, Inter were left behind, with repeated mediocre results in the domestic league standings, their worst coming in 1993–94 when they finished just one point out of the relegation zone. Nevertheless, they achieved some European success with three UEFA Cup victories in 1991, 1994 and 1998.

With Massimo Moratti’s takeover from Ernesto Pellegrini in 1995, Inter twice broke the world record transfer fee in this period (£19.5 million for Ronaldo from Barcelona in 1997 and £31 million for Christian Vieri from Lazio two years later). However, the 1990s remained a decade of disappointment, and is the only decade in Inter’s history in which they did not win a single Italian Serie A championship. For Inter fans, it was difficult to find who in particular was to blame for the troubled times and this led to some icy relations between them and the president, the managers and even some individual players.

Moratti later became a target of the fans, especially when he sacked the much-loved coach Luigi Simoni after only a few games into the 1998–99 season, after having just received Italian manager of the year award 1998 the day before being dismissed. That season, Inter failed to qualify for any European competition for the first time in almost ten years, finishing in eighth place.

The following season, Moratti appointed former Juventus manager Marcello Lippi, and signed players such as Angelo Peruzzi and Laurent Blanc together with other former Juventus players Vieri and Vladimir Jugović. The team came close to their first domestic success since 1989 when they reached the Coppa Italia final only to be defeated by Lazio.

During the following season, another disaster struck. Inter impressed in the Supercoppa Italiana match against Lazio and took the lead through new signing Robbie Keane and Hakan Şükür—however, they lost 4–3. They were eliminated in the preliminary round of the Champions Leagueby Swedish club Helsingborgs IF, Álvaro Recoba missing a crucial late penalty. Lippi was sacked after only a single game of the new season following Inter’s first ever Serie A defeat to Reggina.Marco Tardelli, chosen to replace Lippi, failed to improve results, and is remembered by Inter fans as the manager that lost 6–0 the city derby to Milan in the 2000–01 season. Other members of the Inter “family” during this period that suffered were the likes of Vieri and Fabio Cannavaro, both of whom had their restaurants in Milan vandalised after defeats against the Rossoneri.

In 2002, not only did Inter manage to make it to the UEFA Cup semi-finals, they were also only 45 minutes away from capturing the Scudetto, when they needed to maintain a one-goal advantage away at over Lazio. Inter were 2–1 up after only 24 minutes. Lazio equalised during first half injury time and then scored two more goals in the second half to clinch victory that eventually saw Juventus win the championship. The next season, Inter finished as league runners-up and also managed to make it to the 2002–03 Champions League semi-finals against Milan, losing on theaway goals rule.

On 1 July 2004, Inter appointed former Lazio boss Roberto Mancini as its new head coach. In his first season, the team collected 72 points from 18 wins, 18 draws and only two losses, as well as winning the Coppa Italia and later the Supercoppa Italiana. On 11 May 2006, Inter retained their Coppa Italia title once again after defeating Roma with a 4–1 aggregate victory (a 1–1 scoreline in Rome and a 3–1 win at the San Siro).

Inter were awarded the 2005–06 Serie A championship after points were stripped from Juventus and Milan due to the match fixing scandal that year. During the following season, Inter went on a record-breaking run of 17 consecutive victories in Serie A, starting on 25 September 2006 with a 4–1 home victory over Livorno, and ending on 28 February 2007, after a 1–1 draw at home toUdinese. On 22 April 2007, Inter won their second consecutive Scudetto—and first on the field since 1989—when they defeated Siena 2–1 at Stadio Artemio Franchi. Italian World Cup-winning defender Marco Materazzi scored both goals.

Inter started the 2007–08 season with the goal of winning both Serie A and Champions League. The team started well in the league, topping the table from the first round of matches, and also managed to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage. However, a late collapse, leading to a 2–0 defeat with ten men away to Liverpool on 19 February in the Champions League, threw into question manager Roberto Mancini’s future at Inter, and domestic form took a sharp turn of fortune with the team failing to win in the three following Serie A games. After being eliminated by Liverpool in the Champions League, Mancini then announced his intention to leave his job, only to change his mind the following day. On the final day of the2007–08 Serie A season, Inter played Parma away, and two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimović sealed their third consecutive championship. Mancini, however, was sacked soon after due to his previous announcement to leave the club.

On 2 June 2008, Inter appointed former Porto and Chelseaboss José Mourinho as new head coach. In his first season, the Nerazzurri won a Suppercoppa Italiana and a fourth consecutive title, though falling in the Champions League in the first knockout round for a third-straight year, losing to eventual finalist Manchester United. In winning the league title for the fourth consecutive time, Inter joined Torino and Juventus as the only teams to do this and the first to accomplish this feat in the last 60 years and outside of Turin.

Inter enjoyed more luck in the 2009–10 Champions League, defeating reigning champions Barcelona in the semi-final, and then defeating Bayern Munich 2–0 in the final with two goals from Diego Milito. Inter also won the 2009–10 Serie A title by two points over Roma, and the2010 Coppa Italia by defeating the same side 1–0 in the final. This made Inter the first Italian team to win Treble, but at the end of the season, Mourinho left the club manage Real Madrid; he was replaced by Rafael Benítez.

On 21 August 2010, Inter defeated Roma 3–1 and won the 2010 Supercoppa Italiana, their fourth trophy of the year. In December 2010, they claimed the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time after a 3–0 win against TP Mazembe in the final. Inter thus completed Quintuple, becoming the fourth team in the world to do so, after Liverpool in 2001, Al-Ahly in 2006 and Barcelona in 2009. However, after this win, on 23 December 2010, due to his poor performance in Serie A and separated by 13 points from the leader Milan (although Inter played two games less, because of the FIFA Club World Cup appointment), the team announced Benítez’s departure. He was replaced by Leonardo the following day.

Leonardo started with 30 points from 12 games, with an average of 2.5 points per game, better than his predecessors Benítez and Mourinho. On 6 March 2011, Leonardo set a new Italian Serie A record by collecting 33 points in 13 games; the previous record was 32 points in 13 games made by Fabio Capello in the 2004–05 season. Leonardo led the club to the quarter-finals of the Champions League before losing toSchalke 04, and leading them to Coppa Italia title. At the end of the season, however, he resigned and was followed by not-so-successful new managers Gian Piero Gasperini, Claudio Ranieriand Andrea Stramaccioni.

On 1 August 2012, Moratti sold a minority interests of Inter Milan to a Chinese consortium led byKenneth Huang.On the same day, Inter announced an agreement was formed with China Railway Construction Corporation Limited for a new stadium project. On 30 June 2013, Moratti’s Internazionale Holding S.r.l. held 98.2% shares of F.C. Internazionale Milano S.p.A.; the deal with the Chinese apparently collapsed.

On 15 October 2013, an Indonesian consortium (International Sports Capital HK Ltd.) led by Erick Thohir, Handy Soetedjo and Rosan Roeslani, signed an agreement to acquire 70% of Inter shares from Internazionale Holding S.r.l. by contributing the capital increases of Inter for €75 million, triggered by a net loss of €79,881,808. Immediately after the deal, Moratti’s Internazionale Holding S.r.l. still retained 29.5% of the shares of F.C. Internazionale Milano S.p.A. Thohir also co-owns Major League Soccer (MLS) club D.C. United and Indonesia Super League (ISL) club Persib Bandung; on 2 December 2013, Inter and D.C. United then formally announced a strategic partnership and in January 2016 Inter and Persib then formally announced a strategic partnership. After the deal, the shares of Inter was owned by a chain of holding companies, namely International Sports Capital S.p.A. of Italy (for 70% stake), International Sports Capital HK Limited and Asian Sports Ventures HK Limited of Hong Kong. Asian Sports Ventures HK Limited, itself another intermediate holding company, was owned by Nusantara Sports Ventures HK Limited (60% stake, a company owned by Thohir), Alke Sports Investment HK Limited (20% stake) and Aksis Sports Capital HK Limited (20% stake).

On 6 June 2016 Suning Sports, a joint venture of Suning Holdings Group and Suning Appliance Group (both partially or wholly owned by Zhang Jindong, co-founder and chairman of Suning Commerce Group), purchased the majority stake of Inter Milan from Thohir’s consortium International Sports Capital S.p.A. and from Moratti family’s Internazionale Holding S.r.l.. According to their official blog, the price was about €270 million, including a subscription of a capital increase of Inter Milan.

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A club with a rich history, my aim is to take Internazionale back to the top of Italian football.

Buona notte 

The Viola Story (3.2) #FM16 Champions Of Europe

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Welcome to The Viola Story, we have achieved our ambition of winning the Champions League in a season that as seen us complete an historic Quadruple. After last seasons failings in Europe I made changes to the squad to make us more competitive, what I never imagined was that we would end the season winning the Quadruple and crowning us Champions Of Europe. 

quadruple

season exp

Serie A

I am pleased that we retained the title, they say it harder to retain the title and to be fair to Juventus they pushed us until we defeated them in the last month of the season. Whilst winning the Champions League was our aim it was important for us to perform well again in the league . 

table

Champions League

What can I say a fantastic result in the Final against Bayern in the Amsterdam Arena. We defeated Bayern 5-0 with a superb display of the Juego De Posicion philosophy. We went in at half time 2-0 up with goals from Carrasco and the deadly finisher Aubameyang. We dominated Bayern by taking the game to them from the kick off.  At half time I knew I had to keep the lads focused and warned them about complacency. We got off to a cracking start in the 2nd half with full back  De Sciglio putting us 3 up. I was now starting to realise what I was experiencing, we had withstand a spell of Bayern pressure with both Lahm and Thiago going close. Isco then put the game to bed with a classy finish after a counter attacking move on 60 minutes, 8 minutes later goal machine Aubameyang finished the rout with his 63rd goal of the season. The Champions League was heading to Florence for the first time in history.  After reaching the knockout round we have faced Valencia, Barcelona and Manchester United on route to the final in Amsterdam.  Against Valencia we lost the 1st leg 1-0 in the Mestalla before winning 1-0 in the 2nd leg back home before holding our nerve in a penalty shootout. Next up the Nou Camp and Barcelona were golden boot winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a delightful hat-trick giving us a 3-2 victory. In the return Yannick Ferreira Carrasco settled our nerves with a first half goal that earned us a well deserved 1-1 draw to set up a Semi Final against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. You can read about the Manchester United game below. 

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The Antonio Conte Inspired 3-5-2 Against Manchester United In The Semi Final Of The Champions League

After watching Juventus and more recently  Italy  I decided to try and recreate Conte’s 3-5-2 as a back up to compliment our 4-3-3 system.  In view of past games against Mourinho teams I knew  this tie would be tricky and feared our 4-3-3 could leave us exposed against a pragmatic Mourinho. So why the 3-5-2?  Firstly after seeing how Conte’s Juventus performed during his time at the Old Lady and secondly how Conte’s Italy beat Belgium this last week I knew in my head that this was the go to tactic that we have been searching for against the European giants of the game. With 2 Central Forwards they ocupy both centre backs in back 4 formations which I am keen on doing. Initially I used Aubameyang has a Poacher and Embolo has a False Nine but decided that to create a more compact system I would use 2 Deep Lying Forwards supported by 2 Central Midfielders and 2 Wing Backs creating the width high up the pitch both on attacking roles. The third Central Midfielder is set up as a Defensive Midfielder on a Support role in front of the 3 Central Defenders all set to a Defend role but with the central one of the 3 as a ball playing defender. Mourinho played a 4-4-2 away in Florence which surprised me because he had used a 4-2-3-1 all season. When the game got underway it was clear to see he was parking the bus and looking for that away goal. We dominated possession 60% to 40% and limited United to 3 shots and 1 on target. Our 3-5-2 without the ball looked very compact (see screenshot below) and in possession looked like a 3-1-4-2 (screenshot below). The 1st leg itself ended 0-0 but felt like a victory to me because I was confident that our 4-3-3 would get us a goal or two in the 2nd leg. I never felt so pleased with a goalless draw, my plan was to prevent the away goal and dominate our opponents because in seasons gone by I have always fell to goals conceded at home. I will continue to develop the 3-5-2 and hopefully post an analysis on the system but for now I feel I have the tools to take on Europe’s finest.

The second leg went to plan we set up in our 4-3-3 and  won 2-0 at Old Trafford with our 19 year old wonderkid Abdou Diakhaté scoring both goals from central midfield against Mourinho’s 4-2-3-1 . Both goals came in the first half which we dominated and were unlucky not to get a third after Isco struck a post. The 2nd half we soaked up some early pressure from United but all in all we saw the game out to progress to the final in Amsterdam. 

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In Possession Of The Ball
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Out Of Possession

As a manager, Conte is known for using the 3-5-2 formation (or in certain cases, its more defensive variant, 5-3-2), fielding two wingbacks in lieu of wingers, and two pure strikers backed by an offensive box-to-box midfielder in his three-man midfield; Conte thus successfully resists the trend to use just one striker, prevalent in formations such as 4-2-3-1 that have come to dominate many clubs throughout Europe. During his time as head coach of Juventus, he won three consecutive Serie A titles using the 3-5-2 formation, which also began to be employed by several other Serie A clubs.

Coppa Italia

We got revenge on Juve after they beat us in last year’s final, Dybala gave Juve the lead against the run of play after 31 minutes, We then got what looked like a soft penalty which Isco dispatched making my half time team talk more positive, “we are playing well keep it up lads” . The second half was pretty much us dominating the ball but not converting our chances. Just as it looked like another extra time battle with Juve Yannick Ferreira Carrasco broke Juve’s hearts with a 90th minute goal giving us a clean sweep in Italy and putting Unai Emery’s job on the line. 

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Coppa Italia Final

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Squad Statistics

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Aubameyang 63 Goals

Manager Profile

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The Viola Story So Far 

2015-2016

Serie A Runners Up – Coppa Italia Winners

2016-2017

Serie A Champions – Italian Super Cup Winners – Coppa Italia Runners Up

2017-2018

Serie A Champions – Champions League Winners – Coppa Italia Winners-Italian Super Cup Winners

I never imagined the impact that our new signings would have this season, it’s been a very lucrative season for the trophy room. I will be back soon with my next update. Thanks for reading and following The Viola Story.

Arriverderci 

The Viola Story (3.1)#FM16 ‘Florence And The (Goal) Machine’

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We have reached the winter break in season 3, it’s been a fantastic few months for us on the back of winning the Supercoppa at the start of the season, we are top of the table by 5 points. Our summer signings have settled in to the club and our tactical system better than I could have imagined. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a goal machine he has netted 30 goals in the first half of the season including 13 in 6 Champions League games which as enabled us to top the group and set up a First Knockout Round tie against Valencia. During the summer I made the decision to inject the squad with players who I thought could take us to the next level, which in our case is success in Europe. Aubameyang is the explosive forward that can win the tight games you get in Europe. The Champions League Draw in Zurich put us in group G alongside Tottenham Hotspur, Atlético Madrid and Sporting Club Portugal. An interesting group kicked off for us at home in Florence against Sporting were we ran out 3-1 winners thanks to a hat-trick for the Goal Machine Aubameyang. Matchday 2 took us to White Hart Lane against Tottenham. I told the boys “to go out and give our traveling supporters a performance they deserve. We came out the blocks on the front foot and raced in to a 3-0 half time lead with goals from Kagawa, Isco and Spurs old boy Toby Alderweireld. Two 2nd half goals from Aubameyang and a Spurs consolation goal gave us all 3 points.  On Mathday 3 we welcomed Atlético Madrid to Florence and yet again we got all 3 points after a 4-2 victory with goals from Aubameyang 2, Carrasco  and Elneny. Matchday 4 and the return game in the Vicente Calderón against Athletic Club .  We lost  the game 2-1,  Aubameyang  got our consolation goal. Aubameyang  then recorded another  hat trick in a 3-3 draw in Portugal  against Sporting.  We went in to Matchday 5  with the knowledge that  we had qualified for the knockout rounds . The game itself turned out to be a very entertaining ending in a 2-2 draw with goals from…….yes you guessed it Aubameyang. We have been drawn against Valencia in the first knockout round .

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Champions League Results 

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Formation And Most Picked XI

Below is a screenshot shot of the system we are using this season in an attempt to dominate the ball and produce a fluent passing game.

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The Viola Story So Far 

2015-2016

Serie A Runners Up – Coppa Italia Winners

2016-2017

Serie A Champions – Italian Super Cup Winners – Coppa Italia Runners Up

2017-2018

Italian Super Cup Winners

Arriverderci 

The Viola Story (3.0) #FM16 Supercoppa

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Season 3 of The Viola Story is underway and we have got it off to a good start by winning the Supercoppa after another heated clash against Juventus. After last seasons poor showing in Europe I decided that it was time to use the club’s superb financial position and try and bring some top talent in to the club in an attempt to improve our game outside of Italy. First of all we freed up space in the squad by selling Romagnoli  £32m to Manchester City after he requested to speak to them, next Badelj joined Napoli for an initial fee of £6m rising to £7.25m with add ons. Mario Gomez signed for Leicester City for £8m rising to £10m. Alberto Aqualani left by mutual consent and Gilberto joined Anderlecht for £3m. We also released a number of fringe players and youth players who we feel won’t make the grade in Florence, Pasquale retired and Balotelli ‘s loan ended , we had an option to buy him but I decided we needed something different.  We then stepped up the chase to bring players in, Belgian winger Yannick Ferreira Carrasco was the first player to join us for £25m after PSG allowed us to talk to him. Next Columbian midfielder  Juan Fernando Quintero agreed terms with us, Quintero is no stranger to me after he played in my FC Porto side which reached the Champions League Final on FM14. Transfer listed Isco  £16m from Real Madrid will add quality to our midfield whilst defender Eder Alvarez Balanta will join us in January after we negotiated a £10m deal with River Plate. Another defender Belgian Toby Alderweireld agreed terms with us after a number of clubs looked to sign him after he had requested a transfer at Tottenham. Fans of the Viola expressed their delight when we signed explosive forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for £40m a club record fee from Borussia Dortmund. Last but not least Breel Embolo joined us from Napoli after spending 2 seasons in Naples. The Swiss attacker will add competition to the rest of the squad. We have invested a lot of money in trying to take the club to the next level over the next few seasons with all the deals negotiated with half the transfer fees up front with the balance spread out over 48 months.

Pre season went really well with us rotating our squad each game playing a 4-3-3 formation that we used to great effect at the later part of last season. We beat Rennes, Carpi, NEC, Palermo, Lucchese, Partizan and Red Bull Salzburg during pre season which led us up to the Supercoppa game against Juventus at the Olympico in Rome. This would be our fourth final against Juventus in little over 2 years with us winning 2 of the previous 3 finals. The last meeting Juve came out on top with a late extra time goal in the Coppa Italia final just a few months ago. Before kick off I told the boys to go and avenge that last defeat and bring the trophy back to Florence. I chose to go with the 4-3-3 and picked Carrasco,Isco and Aubameyang in the starting line up. I also gave a debut to Abdou Diakhate our promising young midfielder who reminds me of Patrick  Vieira.

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Abdou Diakhaté 

The game got underway with both teams looking to stamp their authority on the game, inside 11 minutes we had received 2 yellow cards a( familiar story in our games v Juventus ) Rodriguez and Carrasco the offenders. Then Nabil Fekir gave Juve the lead with a lovely finish. We responded well and piled the pressure on Chiellini, Coman and Pogba went in to the referees book has Juve looked to hold on to the lead. Then on 42 minutes new boy Aubameyang repaid my faith in him by putting us level with a deftly placed finish giving veteran keeper Buffon no chance sending the Viola ultras in to full voice. Isco picked up a yellow on the stroke of half time. I got the lads together and gave them the hair dryer treatment in a hope that it would fire them up for the second half which started with 4 more yellow cards, the game was on the brink of boiling over so I shouted to the lads to calm down. Then on 57 minutes Kingsley Coman breached our back line to put Juve 2-1 up. “Come on boys show some passion” 69 minutes Aubameyang gets his 2nd of the game and we are back in it….game on. Just has I thought we could  get a winner we were delt a blow Davide Astori receives a straight red. Bocchetti on for Zivkovic, we deal with the resulting free kick then defend well from a Juve corner. 78 minutes on the clock Elneny on for the tiring Diakhate, a mistake from the restart and Elneny latches on to a mistake in the Juve back line and scores with his first touch, incredible I punch the air with joy  we are 3-2 up with 10 men. I make another change Sansone comes on for Carrasco, “I have faith in you” Sansone looks deep in thought…..he adds fresh legs in the dying minutes has we hold on for a superb victory and well deserved.  We pick our fourth trophy up in my era, well done boys enjoy your victory.  The media have made us favourite to win Serie A, whist the board expect us to qualify for the Champions League and reach the knockout stage of this season’s Champions League.

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Carrasco -Isco – Quintero – Balanta 

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Aubameyang -Alderweireld -Embolo -Skidmore 

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I am looking forward to getting the season underway and will be back soon with the next Viola Story Update. Thanks for reading Arriverderci 

The Viola Story So Far 

2015-2016 

Serie A Runners Up – Coppa Italia Winners

2016-2017

Serie A Champions – Italian Super Cup Winners – Coppa Italia Runners Up

2017-2018 

Italian Super Cup Winners

The Viola Story (2.2) #FM16 Flying The Flag In Florence

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Welcome to the latest post of The Viola Story (Flying The Flag In Florence). A lot as happened since my last update but I want to start by talking a bit about how I am managing Fiorentina. I am a pretty slow player so a season takes me a long time to finish because I like to get involved in everything in the game, I can sometimes switch on and before you know it 4 hours have passed and I have only played 1 game and spent the rest of the time analysing it and scouting players in West Africa. I tend to watch most games in full to get the feel how we are playing and what we have done well and of course identify areas we need to improve. This last season I feel I that I now manage in game a lot better than years gone by. I have whilst writing these blogs been asked about sharing my tactics with the community which I have shared with a few people who have requested them. I always say though that you need to tweak the tactics to suit your players. I have a clear picture in my mind how I want my teams to play and create a tactic / formation that is the framework that I then build on by setting and tweaking roles via in game management, below is the formation that I am currently using and have used this season with the Viola. It looks a very offensive system but what I do with the player roles and mentality are key to the system being balanced between defending and attacking, this is were I have improved as a manager in my opinion. Yes I want to play fluid attacking football and dominate the ball but to be successful I know we have to be solid defensively.  What I do now in game if things are not going our way is leave the team instructions alone and concentrate on the players and their role within the system (framework). If I need more cover in front of the defence then the change is made and so on. You could plug this tactic in to any team in the world and it could flop big time or equally it could be a world beater , it’s about how you manage your players within the framework, for me that as made this game take on a whole new dimension and believe me when you are staring defeat in the face and you make that change that earns you a point or three on the road at Carpi it gives you a feeling of euphoria that every FM manager loves.

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4-3-2-1

The Season has been built around a strong nucleus of Italian players who have provided us with a professional dressing room, and if you was wondering yes it includes Mario Balotelli who I brought in on loan to cover a small injury crisis in January. Balotelli as given me another option in attack were I have used him as a poacher in our system. The idea was to have an Italian influenced squad which we have done and it’s paid off.  

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History Makers 

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Well I am proud to announce we are Champions of Italy it’s been a superb season in Florence and we can proudly fly the flag in Florence to celebrate the club’s first title since 1969. We won our last 9 league games by only conceding 1 goal after reverting to the 4-3-3 system above. We wrapped the title up with 3 games to go.  With only 2 defeats all season we built a solid platform that enabled us to win the title. Zivkovic was outstanding playing as an inside forward scoring 12 goals plus being our leading assists maker, he was voted player of the year in Serie A and is now a target for PSG. Our leading goalscorers were Rossi 18, Bonazolli 17 and Sansone 13. 

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Europe 

We fell short in Europe after being knocked out of the Champions League we then reached the 2nd round of the Europa League but went out to FC Porto 2-1 on aggregate. The first leg in Portugal was a difficult night for us we took a patched up side to the Estadio do Dragao and pinched an away goal losing 2-1 which gave us a good chance of getting a result in Florence. The 2nd leg was one way traffic but we could not find the net hitting the woodwork no fewer than 3 times with Federico Bonazolli missing a second half penalty. I could not fault the performance but on reflection we need to find something else in Europe. With us being in the Champions League next season I need to have a think about how I can make our system more robust against our opponents next season. 

Coppa Italia 

We reached the Coppa Italia final again after a a tough Semi Final against Lazio, we lost the first leg in Rome 1-0 and to be honest we rode our luck in the Olimpico with Lazio by far the best team on the night. The return in Florence was a tight affair with Lazio parking the bus, it took us until late on in the 2nd half to grab a goal and take it in to extra time were both sides drew a blank. So it was down to penalties were we edged in to the final courtesy of a Balotelli winner giving us a 5-4 result. Our opponents in the final yet again are our old rivals Juventus. In the final we lost 1-0 in the 2nd period of extra time. Again it was a bruising affair with both teams giving it their all.

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Squad Statistics

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Club News

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I am pleased to have signed a new four year contract, it comes at a time when we have been crowned Champions of Italy and shows that both myself and the club are looking long term has we attempt to establish the club as Italy’s leading club. 

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All the squad are all on holiday, recharging the batteries for next season. I will be back with our Pre-Season post soon were I will be setting the scene for my 3rd season in Florence. 

The Viola Story So Far

2015-2016

Serie A Runners Up – Coppa Italia Winners

2016-2017

Serie A Champions – Italian Super Cup Winners – Coppa Italia Runners Up