Rise Of The Nerazzurri (3.1) #FM16 Pre-Season #wearethecommunity

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Welcome to my season 3 pre-season post, after winning the Europa League last season the board have raised their expectations, we are expectated to win Serie A, reach the Champions League quarter final and win the European Super Cup. The board does not deem the Supercoppa and the Coppa Italia as important. So with expectations raised it was time to knuckle down and start pre season. The players returned from holiday and the fun began Mauro Icardi kicked things off by requesting that I let him speak to PSG if a bid was made. I didn’t want to lose our top scorer from last season but I was not going to stand in his way if he wants to leave. Sure enough a bid was made and negotiations got under way. A deal was struck and Icardi left for an initial £49.5m that could rise to £58m subject to conditions.Since season one I have been expecting Icardi to leave so it was no surprise. Soon after both our first team keepers both left, Handanovic also joined PSG for £11m again subject to conditions rising to £15.25m. Carrizo left on a free and joined Huracan. John Guidetti joined Napoli for £18.5m, Saphir Taider joined Bologna for £7.5m, Taider had been on loan at Bologna who triggered his release clause. Also joining Bologna Lorenzo Crisetig for £2.6m. Dodo signed for Bordeuax after spending last season tutoring in the development squad for £1.2m. Just has I thought the wave of players leaving was at an end Real Madrid came after Eric Bailly who I signed last season for £19.75mfrom , Bailly’s head was turned and after trying to play hard ball and keep him he started to disrupt the dressing room, I did not hesitate in selling him once he had tried to turn the squad against me. Real Madrid came back with an offer so he joined them for an initial fee of £23.5m rising to £29.5 subject to conditions. The total income in player sales was £114m without any future payments adding on.

It was now time to add to the squad we had already made Steven Jovetic an Inter player after triggering the agreed fee of £8.5m in his loan contract last season. After losing Icardi I felt we needed to bring in a top class goalscorer and decided to sign 23 year old Argentine forward Luciano Vietto from Atletico Madrid for a total of £40m. I feel Vietto can fill Icardi’s boots up top and hopefully take us to the title. With both first team goalkeepers leaving I needed to go out and bring in a top keeper has I feel we don’t have the quality to step up from inside the club. I made 25 year old former Barcelona stopper Marc-Andre Ter Stegan my first choice keeper after signing him from Borussia Monchengladbach for £26m. I then made a move to strengthen the defence and signed John Stones from Everton for £40m and Jesus Vallejo for £22m from Real Madrid. I returned to Madrid and set up a season long loan deal for promising Polish goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski, within the loan terms we have an option to buy the 19 year old for £30m. The window closed with us spending £136m which calculates to a net spend of £22m which I feel we have replaced the outgoing players with better quality.

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We kicked off our pre season with a 5-0 win against Besiktas, we started like a train and raced in to a 4-0 lead at half time with goals from Pjaca, Odegaard and a brace from Jovetic. At half time I made 8 changes to give the squad some game time. We added to our 4 first half goals courtesy of Perisic. A good solid start and on to our next fixture this time against Belenenses and awe  chance to blend youth and experience in my line up,we led 1-0 at the break via a Miranda header but turned the heat up in the second period running out 4-0 winners,  Jovetic netted another brace along with youth team player Luka Kerin getting his first senior team goal. Another 4-0 win next at Sivasspor and another 2 goals for Steven Jovetic this time from an inside forward position taking his tally to 6 in 3 games, our other goals were scored by Zivkovic and a John Stones penalty. Trofense away was next and a third 4-0 win on the bounce produced 2 goals for Luka Kerin another for Jovetic (his 7th in pre season) and 1 for Berardi. Our next warm up game was at Forli, we won the game 3-0 with Berardi scoring 2 and Pjaca getting the third. Our last game of pre season was a 3-0 win against Benevento and you guessed Jovetic with a brace and Palacio with a half volley. So with pre season over we are ready to challenge Juventus for the title.

results

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What can I say…. 2-0 up and cruising with goals from Vietto (41st minute) and Berardi (50th minute) I was thinking this is a formality and then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back for Juve in the 58th minute. Juventus revitalised by the goal put us under pressure and forced a leveller in the 66th minute via that man again Aubameyang with a delightful chip over Ter Stegan, who I feel was way to far off his line. I made 3 changes to counter Juventus introducing Jovetic,Medel and Odegaard. We pressed high and created an opening with Pjaca hitting the upright has we looked for the winner. Minute 87 Juventus gambled and forced an error from Nagatomo, Dybala hit a deep cross which Samir headed home to the joy of the Juve tifosi, they had won the game from being 2-0 down. I was gutted we had thrown the game away.

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Eindoven was the setting for the European Super Cup showdown with Champions League winners Arsenal. I had to lift the boys it was just 3 days after we had threw the Supercoppa away. The first half ended 0-0 however we had created 7 chances but failed to make them pay. I told the boys at the break to go out and do it for our fans.Just 1 minute after the restart we took the lead thanks to Luciano Vietto, “come on boys” I yelled, then just 1 minute later Arsenal keeper Szczesny gifted us with an own goal (2-0) but this time I was not getting carried away as we had been in this position just a few days ago. In the 52nd minute Gonzalo Higuain  pulled one back for the European Champions, I got that sinking feeling surely not a case of history repeating. This time we looked more in control and continued to look solid with Granit Xhaka bossing the game then in the 82nd minute Ruben Neves extended our lead 3-1 with 8 to play. We don’t do things easy though as Santi Cazorla pulled one back in the 86th minute. I made a change to run the clock down the tired looking Neves off replaced by Medel. The referee blew for full time “get in” a superb performance despite shipping 2 goals we dominated the game.Our 4th piece of silverware added to the trophy room.

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We went to Zurich for the Champions League draw and got pulled out with Chelsea,Sporting Club and FC Steaua. All in all not a bad draw which gives us a chance to qualify for the knockout stage.

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The board have pronounced the club to be in a good financial position.

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So Season 3 is underway and my main goal this season is to win the league, we have come close in my 2 previous seasons in charge but I feel this is the one were we need to go to the next level. I am excited about our new signings and how I plan to blend them in to the squad over the season.Followers of my FM saves and Twitter know I use a 4-3-3 system influenced by Bielsa has my default tactic however over the period of this save I have been flirting with a 3 at the back system with a Conte influence which I am keen to evolve in to a Hybrid influenced by both Bielsa and Conte. To build this tactic I am going to take charge of my development squad (U20’s) for the season ahead. This will enable me to make tweaks to the system without compromising 1st team results during the testing period, it will also give me the chance to take a closer look at the players within the development squad. I may even do a series of posts dedicated to our development of the tactic and the squads journey through the season.  Thanks for reading and look out for my next post.

 

The Story So Far

2017-2018 Supercoppa Runners Up – European Super Cup Winners

2016-2017 Serie A Runners Up –  Europa Lge Winners –  Supercoppa Winners –  Coppa Italia Runners Up

2015-2016 Serie A Runners Up –  Coppa Italia Winners

 

The Inter Academy #FM16 Rise Of The Nerazzurri (3.0)

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After my last post my dear friend Saadiq Bey @Rovazzz said to me that I should do a post on player development, so here it is. Firstly I want you to know that this post is in no way the definitive guide to player development it’s my preference that works for me. There are a lot of good guides across the FM community on player development that work, so here is my way.

When I took the job at Inter I decided that I would spend more time on the player development side and drew up a blueprint for how I want to go about managing an academy on FM.

Day 1 I make an assessment of the facilities and looked to see were I could improve them. (Inter have excellent  facilities) If I was at another club not so fortunate I would look to the board to improve areas of the academy as required, I would keep pestering the board over time to make the required investment. Next I look at the coaching staff both youth and first team. I like to have specialists in each area again this is driven by what budget you are working with. If I think a coach is not up to the level I want he is offered mutual termination of their contract and replaced by someone who I think can improve the quality of coaching on the training ground. I will again ask the board if required to increase the number of coaches that allows me to cover all areas of coaching with specialists. In the youth sector I know it’s obvious but I want coaches with high working with youngsters statistics and also high technical stats. The workload of the coaches also comes in to factor for me, I want ideally each category to have a light as possible workload.

I then move on to the squads, in Italy when you takeover  you tend to have very big squads of players with loads out on loan with the majority on season long loans with no recall clause. I spend a lot of time making an assessment of the squads. At Inter we have the following squads 1st Team, Under 20’s and Under 18’s. I think of the youth team squads and name them like this:

Under 18’s  (Youth team)

Under20’s (Development Squad)

I will refer to them like this from now on, Season 1 is set up like the following:

Year 1 (Youth Team) So the Youth team squad is assessed and left to my head of youth development to set up training both team and individual for the duration of season 1. I am happy to trust my staff to start the development process for year 1. I don’t interfere with the youth squad for the whole duration of the first season. Tactics are set up to mirror the first team.

Year 1 (Development Squad)  Now with this squad you find a mix of players out on loan, players who are over the age of 20 who are not part of the first team and players of 20 or under who are still at the club. This is were I start to weird the axe if a player is not deemed part of my plan he has no future with us so they are either released or transfer listed this includes any players who are out on loan. My aim for this squad in year 1 is to start the process of both development of any players who I think have a future at the club and getting rid of players who have no future with me. Again tactics are set up to mirror the first team along with the training schedule again I let my staff set up individual training in year 1. If I think a player will benefit from being promoted to the first team I will do this straight away.

Year 1 (First Team) I run training both general and individual in line with my philosophy  ( Juego De Posicion ).

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Year 2 and Onwards  (Youth Team) Now year 2 is were I analyse our squad and youth intake. What I do after analysing the squad I decide along with my staff who is going to be promoted in to our Development Squad and who is going to be released from the club. I make these changes to streamline the squad. Ideally the squad will be cut to between 22 to 25 players has I want the best players to receive the best coaching and game time within in our club at this level. I leave the training to to be set by the Head of Youth Development at this level. I am pretty ruthless with the cutting of players at this level because I don’t see any point in developing players who will more than likely not make the grade at this club.The above process will now be repeated each season from year 2. The Youth team won the Under 18 title in season 2.

Year 2 and Onwards (Development Squad) Any players returning from season 1 loans will now either remain in the development squad or be transfer listed or be released. Any player who I think is ready for the step up in to the first team will be introduced to the first team set up with a view of giving them a reasonable amount of minutes during the season ahead. Last season Puskas, Dimarco and Gnoukouri made the step up, unfortunately for Puskas and Dimarco they both had spells in the treatment room however Gnoukouri featured in 30 games over the season. All 3 players played a vital role in us winning the Europa League with key moments that turned games in our favour. Back to the development squad again the squad is streamlined to mirror the first team squad in numbers again ideally 22 to 25 players. They play with the same system as the first team. If my first team play with 2 inside forward and my development squad as 2 wingers do I start to train them as inside forwards? (Yes or No) You might be surprised but my answer initially  is No, the reason for this is my development team manager will automatically pick them for the inside forward position by default if he doesn’t have an option there, we will get a good idea if the player is worth re training or if he is better off training in his natural position / role. My philosophy remains the same always but my player roles can change within the system. If I feel the club will benefit by re training a role then I will do it but it’s not set in concrete. So with the squad streamlined again players get good game time within the club. I always get a lot of requests for players to go out on loan however I want the players in the development squad to develop within our system but if I feel a player would benefit from a loan spell I will access the loan club and make a decision based on the players best interest. If a club wants a player on loan I will only let the player go if 1. The club can offer a level of football that is either equal or greater than that of our development squad, 2. They have a recall clause in their contract.

So a recap from season 2 all squads are streamlined to 22 to 25 players allowing for game time. Player’s are analysed during the season and a decision made about their futures at the club.

The Head of Youth Development is responsible for all incoming youth. The scouting network is also constantly looking for youth team players who fit a set criteria. We want to bring the best players in to the club and realise the future of our club is in player development.

I will always look to keep and bring quality staff in to the club this area is key to players development.

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If you have read my last post you will know that our Development squad won the league and reached the Champions Cup Final losing to AS Monaco in the final. My next move will be to see what players may move in to the first team squad for the coming season and which players will make the step up from the youth team. Like I said at the very start this is my way of developing players which I am pleased with. Its my blueprint to developing players at the Inter Academy, like Bielsa and Guardiola I will give youth a chance in our first team.

Following on from this post I will include details of our player development progress in every post throughout the season.

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First Team

Thanks for reading and thanks Saadiq you have inspired  me to write this post.

Forza Inter 

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Rise Of The Nerazzurri (2.2)#FM16 Europa League

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Welcome to my end of season review….Let me begin, Serie A turned out to be close but not close enough for us has Juventus retained the title with us trailing by 3 points. The problem for us is that we lost 7 games in the league. We struggled with injuries and juggling the squad with European games however we came up short and will move on and plan for next season. The Champions League proved we still have work to do to be competitive in Europe’s elite tournament after we finished 3rd in the group. Finishing 3rd we qualified for the Europa League which I decided we would give it our best shot. The First Knockout Round Draw paired us with Dutch club AZ with us travelling to Holland for the first leg. Granit Xhaka scored the only goal of the game to give us a narrow first leg win. In Milano the second leg was also won by a single goal by us, this time a Martin Odegaard strike giving us a 2-0 aggregate win. Round Two we drew Schalke  and ran riot in the 1st leg winning 4-0 thanks to Marko Pjaca scoring an hat trick along with a Mauro Icardi goal. Gelsenkirchen proved a tough place to go with Schalke beating us 3-2, Kondogbia and Perisic netting the goals for us rounding off a 6-3 Aggregate win for us. The Quarter Final draw paired us with Athletic Club with the 1st leg at home. The Spanish outfit played their part in a 5 goal thriller which we edged thanks to goals from Icardi a brace and a Auttenetxe own goal. We jetted off for the 2nd leg in Bilboa mindful of the 2 away goals we shipped in Milano. We produced our best display of the season in the New San Mames hammering Athletic by 5 goals to nil. Icardi 3, Berardi and Neves on the score sheet to set up a Semi Final against Olympique Lyon. For the first leg in France I had to make 5 changes with Icardi, Beradi, Kondogbia, Jovetic and Nagatomo all ruled out. We lost lost 2-4 as Lyon punished our poor performance, but with 2 away goals scored by Miranda and a last gasp Zivkovic strike we had hope for the 2nd leg.That hope looked good after 26 minutes in the Meazza with Berardi and Perisic levelling the tie on aggregate. I told the boys at half time to keep it up. The 2nd half was a very nervous affair which I watched in full with both sides knowing a goal either way would put them in to the final. Federico Dimarco our young full back became an hero with just 4 minutes of the half and extra time looming he cut in from the left flank and unleashed an unstoppable shot that bulged the Lyon goal sending our tifosi in to a frenzy,  the young Italian had sent us in to the final in Stockholm. The Final would be an all Italian affair with us facing Udinese. The game was an epic with both sides looking to seize the initiative with 4 goals and a 2-2 scoreline after just 12 minutes of the game. 3 minutes  Fernandes Udinese 1-0, 4 minutes Gnoukouri 1-1, 7 minutes Edenilson Udinese 2-1, 12 minutes Perisic 2-2. I screamed at the boys to get tighter, we settled down and started to impose our game on to Udinese and got our reward in the 29th minute with Gnoukouri getting his second which gave us a 3-2 lead at the break. The youngsters are repaying my faith in them in the big games.The 2nd half was a tighter affair and just as it looked like we had our hands on the trophy Piotr Zielinski netted a 94th minute blow to our hopes with an equaliser. Extra time and a change for us Pjaca on for the shattered and fellow Croatian Perisic along with an roasting for the players in a hope to get them over the line. A nervous 15 minutes with no goals and a manager me shouting at my screen at 02.00 hrs in the morning it was time for one more and our last change of the game, I decide to gamble by taking off our top scorer and captain Icardi off and replacing him with George Puskas our young 20 year old forward. With Penalties looming in only what I can describe has my finest moment on FM, Puskas presses the Udinese defence and wins the ball 20 yards out and lays the ball off to Pjaca who thunders a shot in to the top corner….yes, yes, yes get in we have won the Europa League 4-3 after extra time. I am over the moon Dimarco,Gnoukouri and Puskas 3 of our youth produced at key times along the campaign which helped us deliver a European trophy for our fans.

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Serie A 

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Squad Statistics

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Coppa Italia Final

The Coppa Italia proved that we need to see out games better after again having one hand on the trophy we throw it away with a 91st minute Juventus goal sending the game in to extra time. Kondogbia gave us the lead after 21 minutes which we held on to until Alex Sandro equalised. a goal in extra time by Aubameyang gave Juventus the Cup with us thinking what might have been a treble.

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Under 18’s

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Under 20’s

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Under 20’s Champions Cup

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Under 20’s Squad Stats

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Another season over and by far my most tiring on FM, I have found my self living the save night and day. It as been rewarding with me having more influence with our youth squads who have had fantastic campaigns with both winning the title and our under 20’s getting to the Champions Cup Final before losing to AS.Monaco. Andrea Pinamonti scoring 43 goals and looking like he could be a top player in years to come shined for the under 20’s along with Nicola Dalmonte who netted 33 goals, the futures bright.for the Nerazzurri. Tomorrow I will start our pre season and will be posting our pre season round up very soon. Thanks for reading.

Forza Inter 

The Story So Far

2015-2016 Serie A Runners Up –  Coppa Italia Winners

2016-2017 Serie A Runners Up –  Europa Lge Winners –  Supercoppa Winners –  Coppa Italia Runners Up

Rise Of The Nerazzurri (2.1) #FM16 “Bella Jovetic”

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Bella Jovetic (Beautiful Jovetic) were the cries of the Inter tifosi has he scored a quality finish to give us a 1-0 win against Juventus in the Supercoppa final.

Pre Season 

U.S Sassuolo were our hosts for our opening pre season game, I fielded a mix of first team and Under 20 squad players for this game which we won 2-0 with goals from Zivkovic and Palacio in the second half. Overall we had a good run out and never looked like conceding. Dutch Eredivisie club AZ entertained us next and we produced another good performance running out 4-0 winners with goals from Perisic,Miranda,Palacio and new signing Eric Bailly on his debut. Another away game next against Lega Pro B club L’Aquila Calcio 1927 based in central Italy. We ran out 5-0 winners giving 22 players a run out during the game, our goals came via Perisic, Santon, Kondogbia 2 and new Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka. On to Belgium next and the home of R.F.C Wetteren,  the Marcel De Kerpelstadion was the backdrop for our 8-0 win. Zivkovic 4, Palacio 2, Berardi and Kondogbia all on target in a game were we utilised the whole bench giving valuable minutes to the whole squad. Next was to be our biggest test yet of the pre season has we welcomed Real Madrid to Milano, Real fielded a strong side but played second fiddle to us has we warmed up for the Supercoppa match against Juventus with a 4-2 win against the Spanish side. Berardi scored a super hat-trick with Perisic getting our other goal in in a fine display. Next was the Supercoppa match which you can read about below. So our final pre season game was against Centre d’Esports l’Hospitalet the Spanish Segunda League club, I fielded 6 Under 20 squad players for the game that we won 3-0. Pjaca and Kondogbia along with an own goal rounded off our pre season schedule which I feel went well in getting players match fit for the season ahead.

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Real Madrid Won 4-2

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Supercoppa Final

The Supercoppa final was a chance for us to lay down a marker for the season ahead against a Juventus side with new signing Pierre Emerick Aubameyang making his debut for the Old Lady from Turin. The Olympic Stadium was the venue, I named my team 24 hours before the game with both Mauro Icardi (Argentina) and Ruben Neves (Portugal) both away on International duty at the Olympics. I went with my tried and tested 4-3-3 with Handanovic in goal and a back four of Telles,Santon,Miranda and new signing Bailly, a midfield 3 of new boy Xhaka,Kondogbia and Medel behind a front 3 of Palacio and new boy Berardi in the inside forward positions supporting Jovetic up top.

After a confident start on 14 minutes Jovetic scored with a deft touch from close range after a spell of quality passing and interchanging involving Telles, Berardi and Palacio. Juve created a few chances of their own but we limited them to long range efforts before the break. Palacio and Berardi brought quality saves from Buffon after the restart. Our midfield out muscled Juve for much of the 2nd half to their frustration before we seen the game out late on by keeping the ball. So a 1-0 win to open our campaign and add some silverware to the trophy room. I was extremely pleased with the performance and feel we should be a contender for the title if we can manage both our domestic and European campaign by utilising our whole squad through the season.

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The Season Ahead

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Director Of Football

Our Director Of Football Piero Ausilio has moved to sign Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid, Odegaard will go straight in to our first team squad to start his development at the club. Ausilio has a list of targets that fit the D.N.A of my Bielsa inspired system.

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Well we have had a busy end to the transfer window with 3 players leaving the club and 1 loan signing coming in, D’Ambrosio has joined Benfica, Enzo Rocco has joined Aston Villa and Davide Santon has joined Bayern Munich. Santon pressed for the move so I let him go, he wanted a big club move. Full back Gino Peruzzi has joined us on loan from PSG to provide cover. With the window now shut we can concentrate on achieving our goals for the season. We have a net transfer spend of £46m which I am pleased with because I feel we have improved the squad.

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With players leaving it as freed up space in our squad for a few youngsters to step in and get some valuable game time to aid their development. I have promoted the following players in to the first team squad, 18 year old Federico Dimarco, 19 year old Assane Gnoukari, 17 year old Martin Odegaard and 20 year old George Puskas. Its a superb opportunity for these young lads to grow in to our system likewise we have more young players in our ranks who can break in to the first team squad.

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The Champions League Draw has been made we have been drawn with Benfica, Manchester United and Panathinaikos.

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The Serie A Season is underway we opened the season away at Fiorentina and after a goal less first half we stepped up our game in the 2nd half to win the game 4-0 with goals from Kondogbia, Santon (before leaving), Xhaka and Pjaca. Kondogbia stole the show with a superb performance in the middle of the park.

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Next up Lazio visited The Meazza and it was Kondogbia again with a man of the match performance, he opened the scoring after 32 minutes. We got a second 3 minutes before half time via Serbian Inside Forward Andrija Zivkovic. With Kondogbia running the midfield we extended our lead in the 48th minute through Granit Xhaka. Lazio got a consolation goal in the 54th minute but it was not enough to get them back in to the game.

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We go in to the International break in positive mood after our opening 2 games, the season promises to be interesting with a squad made up of quality players and young development players who I hope can make their mark home and abroad. Thanks for reading and thanks for all the messages discussing FM. I will be back soon with a post during the winter break, until then

Arriverderchi

Rise Of The Nerazzurri (2.0) #FM16 ‘Calciomercato’

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We have done our business in the transfer window, I started off with making cuts to our reserve squad has we had a large number of fringe players who had come back off loan spells who I thought would not make the grade here at Inter. We also had a number of players returning to their respective clubs after being on loan with us last season, Eder, Pulišić (who I tried to sign but he signed a new contract with Dortmund), Manaj and Costa. Alex Telles was due to return to Galatasaray but I paid the £6m clause in his contract to keep in Milano. Mauro Icardi came to me again about joining a bigger club (Real Madrid) but I convinced him to stay at least until the January transfer window. Steven Jovetic will stay with us on loan until January with an option to buy for £6m. The main players to leave us are Marcelo Brozovic  £19m to Chelsea, Juan Jesus  £18.5m Bayern Munich, Jonathan Biabiany  £4.2m U.S Sassuolo and Marco Andreolli 750k Verona. Brozovic and Jesus both asked for moves amid interest from Chelsea and Bayern. Biabiany was not getting games with us so a move to U.S Sassuolo should give him game time. Andreolli is not part of my plans so Verona should be a good move for him.

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I decided to strengthen the first team by adding 4 players who I believe can take us to the next level, first through the door was Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka £12.5m from Borussia Monchengladbach, then I paid £35m for Italian Domenico Berardi from U.S Sassuolo, Berardi gives us options up top by being able to play in a number of roles. Next through the door Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves from FC Porto for another  £35m paid over 48 months, Neves adds that touch of quality to an already strong midfield. Finally Centre back Eric Bailly joined for £19.75m from Villareal, Bailly looks a good prospect and will add competition for places.

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I have got to say the Icardi situation as got me thinking that he really wants the move to Real Madrid and come January he will be knocking on the door again, Jovetic does have the clause that will allow us to buy him outright for £6m. The situation will be monitored over the next few months. I have promoted promising midfielder Assane Knoukouri in to the first team, Knoukouri  looks a promising talent. I will give Knoukouri some quality game time during the season.

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The board expectations for the coming season are that we qualify for the Champions League via our League position and that we reach the 1st knockout road of this season’s Champions League, they don’t consider our performance in the Coppa Italia this season to be important. I feel that these expectations are fair however I want us to defend our Coppa Italia win from last season.

The youth team are looking strong with me looking at a number of players development over the season. I am looking for us to be in a position of promoting at least 2 players in the the first team picture from the end of next season so the youth team squad is an important feeder to what I call our development squad (U20’s) from where I will be expecting progression.

After a successful campaign last season I was thinking about our short to long term goals. It’s clear that my philosophy is influenced by Bielsa and his Verticality, I want my teams to break down the opposition’s layers by playing our type of Juego De Posicion  (Positional Play ).  I theorise constantly about the philosophy and tinker constantly micro managing my teams. My bro Saadiq Bey @Rovazzz is another Bielista who keeps me thinking about our systems of play. Saadiq is currently turning Hajduk Split in to a Bielsa influenced club, if you don’t already you should give him a follow.  So back to my goals at Internazionale on the pitch my default formation is 4-3-3, a few people have said to me that they didn’t think it looked defensively solid because the tactic screen shows it has your defensive formation and some people think it looks too offensive however when I set my teams up I set up to defend from the front. Without the ball I want a high block like Bielsa so my front 3 are in position to initiate the block straight away supported by my 3 midfielders we close down very quickly and through watching hours and hours of match footage it’s clear to see that we turn the ball over in our favour very quickly and consistently.  I don’t want my team to sit in and wait for our opponents to break us down, I want us up on our toes and closing down aggressively. We play a high line with the central defensive pairing  made up of 1 marking  and 1 covering. The full backs will push high up the pitch supporting either inside forwards or wingers depending on who I play and what roles I give them. My midfield 3 are made up of 1 sitter,1 runner and a playmaker. Up front I change the roles frequently for example I may use a target man flanked by 2 inside forwards or a defensive forward flanked by a winger and an inside forward. Like I have said before I tinker and micro manage from game to game but the philosophy is always Bielsa inspired with verticality the goal.

When I took over last season my thinking was:

Year 1 Push for the top 4 and try and win the Coppa Italia (I have a bit of a love affair with the Coppa Italia if you have read my other saves)

Years 2-5 Win Serie A 2 times and reach the Champions League final.

Years 5+ Established as the number 1 team in Italy and win the Champions League. Have at least 10 players in the first team squad that have been developed by the club.

I hope you enjoy following my journey with Internazionale, I will be posting our Pre Season results plus a report from the Supercoppa final against Juventus shortly so keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment of ‘Rise Of The Nerazzurri’

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Rise Of The Nerazzurri (1.4) #FM16 Breaking News

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Breaking News

After a few days of deep thought I have decided to remain at Internazionale and turned the offer down from Sampdoria.

I am now planning our pre season and have made our first signing of the summer, Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach.

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Xhaka will join up with the squad for our pre season training camp, Xhaka will add strength to our midfield as we look to embark on our European campaign.

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The board have also offered me a contract extension which will keep me at the club for the next 3 seasons. After last seasons success I am looking to build on that and hope to introduce at least one player from our development squad to the first team squad this season. Then each season after I would like us to develop at least 2 players to introduce in to the first team.

Arriverderchi 

Rise Of The Nerazzurri (1.3) #FM16

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End Of Season Review

The curtain as come down on our season which as seen us finish runners up in the league just 2 points behind champions Juventus and qualify for the Champions League which as pleased the board. The media prediction for us was to finish 5th and the board expectation was to qualify for the Europa League. So all in all we have had a very good season has we also won the Coppa Italia beating Sampdoria 6-0 in the final. 

final table

The January transfer window was interesting with Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United all expressing an interest in Mauro Icardi, to a point that Zidane and Co sempt to spend most of their time in Milan. Icardi himself had requested that I allowed him to speak to them if a bid was made, reluctantly I agreed and kept my fingers crossed that we could see out the transfer window by holding on to the Argentine. I also decided to terminate the loan of Adam Ljajic who was not getting enough game time with us. I signed Croatian  Marco Pjaca from Dinamo Zagreb, the winger joined for £6m.

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 I decided to have a look at the transfer listed players and noticed Chelsea had put Diego Costa on it for £25m, plus he was available for a loan move. With this in mind I approached Chelsea with a view to taking him on loan until the end of the season. Chelsea agreed and Costa joined us until the end of the season. My thinking behind the move was that if Icardi left the club Costa would fill that void as a short term option, if Icardi stays we have a quality option that strengthen’s our squad for the run in. 

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A few days before the window shut I decided to offer Icardi a new 4 year contract which he signed to my delight. So the window slammed shut and we had kept hold of Icardi for the remainder of the season. On the final day of the window I used the loan market to sign 17 year old Christian Pulišić on loan until the end of the season from Borussia Dortmund. Pulišić is a top talent so I also agreed a £14m clause in his loan contract that enables us to purchase him at any time during the loan spell. I also let midfielder Felipe Melo go to Udinese after he asked for more game time.

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pulisic

We have a number of players on loan who will be returning to their respective clubs this summer if we don’t action clauses to buy. Diego Costa,Christian Pulišić, Alex Telles, Eder, Steven Jovetic and Rey Manaj. Out of the list Telles and Pulišić are the 2 players that I may try to sign.

During the first half the season we used the 4-3-3 system but the second half of the season I introduced a 3-5-2 system based on Antonio Conte’s Juventus and Italy system. We still used the 4-3-3 formation but reverted to the 3-5-2 for games against Juve, Milan, Napoli and Roma. The most satisfying was a 2-0 win against Juventus in the Giuseppe Meazza. We played counter attacking football to great effect in a match which produced 11 yellow cards and a red for our very own midfield destroyer Gary Medal on 84 minutes. 

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 The 4-3-3  was equally as devastating, we destroyed Bielsa’s Milan in the derby. Icardi got a superb first half hat-trick to sink Milan which made me think how lucky we had been to keep him in the midst of the transfer window. 

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We came so close to catching Juventus but dropped valuable points in the second half of the season. The  Coppa Italia was a welcome victory that added silverware to the trophy room. Rodrigo Palacio scored 4 first half goals in the final. 

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Serie A & Coppa Italia Results

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Squad Statistics 2015-2016

Top Scorer’s Mauro Icardi (16) Rodrigo Palacio (12) Ivan Perisic (12) Geoffrey Kondogbia (9) 

player stats

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I have been offered the managers job at relegated Sampdoria, the club have been taken over and have cleared their debts. They have a number of players looking to leave the club after their relegation. To be honest it looks a very good project with the chance to rebuild the club. The rules in Serie B are very interesting, see below.

trans rules

squad reg

promotion

I am going to take a few days to decide if I am going to leave Inter after just one season in charge and drop down to Serie B with Sampdoria or continue my work at Inter and embark on a European campaign.

Arriverderchi