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
Serie A Table
Serie A Possession Statistics
Serie A Net Transfer Spend
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.