Welcome to the boys from Bergamo winter update. I spent hour upon hour looking at our 3 squads of players before the season kicked off. We have a large number of youth players out on loan so I wanted to make sure I had a good knowledge of the players at my disposal for the next few years. What I have done is draw up a chart that outlines our tactical system / formation and roles and then add each player in our ranks to the chart along with their contract details, age,squad / loan details, value and potential. This then allows me to micro manage our squads and individual players with a user friendly at a glance single page portfolio of our club. This also allows me to pin point areas in the club that need improving in terms of training and scouting. Its just something I do and even when I am not in game something I can digest that improves my knowledge of a club. With all the information on board we kicked Pre-Season off and enjoyed building morale and team cohesion with 7 friendly games and a Coppa Italia game during July and August. I don’t pay too much attention to the results during the close season I just use the games to implement the system of play and get the boys ready for the season ahead. We did not bring anybody in to the first team squad during the summer transfer window however we brought young winger Mirko Antenucci in to our youth system on a free transfer from Roma.
Pre Season Results
August / September 2016
With a good Pre Season behind us we start the season with a solid 2-0 win at Sassuolo courtesy of Alejandro Gomez and an own goal. Its always nice to start the campaign with a win and I was pleased with how we controlled the game. Next we played our first home game of the season at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia against Bologna who shut out our attack earning themselves a 0-0 draw. We went in to our next game away at Empoli encouraged by the news that Alberto Paloschi would be available after a slight knock picked up against Bologna, however I chose to start Aleksander Pesic up front with Paloschi on the bench. It looked a good decision after just 2 minutes with Pesic giving us the lead. We did grab a second before the break courtesy of Bryan Cristante however Empoli had also scored twice giving me a rage which I gave the players a roasting. The second period looked like a draw was going to be the order of the day until Alberto Paloschi entered the play on 75 minutes. Paloschi won a penalty which he dispatched in the 84th minute and then scored his second two minutes from time giving us a 4-2 victory. Up next an home game against Udinese produced another win this time 2-0 and another brace for Paloschi. Paloschi’s form continued in the next game with the inform forward grabbing a hat-trick in a 5-0 win at Pescara, Alejandro Gomez and Marco D’Alessandro scoring our other goals. We finished a fantastic month off with a superb performance in a 2-0 win at home to Torino which saw us dominate and restrict the Turin club to just 1 long range effort on our goal. We got a goal in each half via Jasmin Kurtic and Aleksander Pesic that rounded the month off with us sat just behind Juventus on 16 points out of a possible 18.
We kicked October off with an hard fought 1-1 draw away at Genoa who caused us a fair few problems. Winger Marco D’Alessandro got our goal to earn the point. Next up we entertained Internazionale who were sat just behind us in the table. We produced a good performance running out 3-0 winners with a man of the match performance from 2 goal Swiss playmaker Remo Freuler along with in form winger D’Alessandro netting his 3rd goal of the season. Another big game followed away against AS Roma and another top draw performance from the boys in a 3-1 win with goals coming courtesy of Freuler and Paloschi 2. The Boys From Bergamo are enjoying their football and this showed in another win in our next game at home to Chievo who we beat 3-0 to go top of Serie A with goals from Gomez 2 and Mattia Caldara. We finished the month with a trip to Sardinia to play Cagliari. We visited the island has league leaders on the back of an unbeaten 11 game run from the start of the season however we left the island suffering our first defeat of the season 0-2 after the side from Sardinia deserved their victory.
We started the month off with a tricky game against Napoli at home and after just 15 minutes we trailed 0-2 with the previous game against Cagliari fresh in our minds, however Remo Freuler gave us a lifeline with a 17th minute strike. Freuler’s goal gave us a foot in the game and on the stroke of half time Alberto Paloschi grabbed us an equaliser. Just has I thought we would finish the half on level terms Alejandro Gomez netted our third in injury time to give us an incredible 3-2 lead at the break. I raged at the boys at half time and to their credit they came out firing in the second half were Remo Freuler netted his second to give us a 4-2 win and all three points. Juventus up next and the visit of the Turin giants gave us a lift has we produced our best performance of the season beating the Old Lady 3-0 with goals from Paloschi, Caldara and Drame. If the Juve game was our best performance our next game in Sciliy was a mirror of our last game on an island with Palermo inflicting a 1-2 defeat on us with our consolation coming via Paloschi. We ended the month with a 6-0 win against Cesena in the Coppa Italia with goals from Paloschi 3, Gomez 2 and D’Alessandro.
December would prove to be a mixed month for us, we started with a 1-2 defeat at home to Fiorentina who scored all 3 goals. That is 2 league defeats on the bounce so I was looking for a reaction from the boys away to Sampdoria and they responded with a good 3-0 win with goals from Drame, Freuler and Zukanovic. Next up an home game against Milan would prove to be a frustrating afternoon for us with the Milan giants running out 0-1 winners in a game which we failed to break a solid back 3 down. We end 2016 with another visit to Rome this time to 5th placed Lazio and like our game against Roma we come away with all 3 points with a 3-1 win with goals from D’Alessandro 2 and Kurtic. So we end the year in 2nd place in the table which is more than we visualised at the start of the season.
Serie A Table Winter Break
I am very happy with our showing in the first half of the season and has you can see we are in a fantastic position in the table with European qualification a possibility if we can sustain our form in the second half of the season. Has you may have spotted our central forward as not scored for a month so we will be keen to put an end to that particular run.
Squad Stats All Competitions
- Paloschi 15
- Gomez 9
- D’Alessandro 8
- Freuler 6
- Gomez 8
- Paloschi 7
- D’Alessandro 7
- Drame 7.69
- Caldara 7.60
- D’Alessandro 7.59
A 2 year contract extension was offered at the start of December which I signed without hesitation.
The board have made me aware of our expectations this season which we are on course for matching. They have made £6.5m available as we enter the January transfer window.
Thanks for checking out this post, the first few months in Bergamo have shown great promise. I am fully up to speed with the players at our club and hope to be able to keep hold of a number of our first team players in the forth coming transfer window as a few clubs are sniffing around the likes of Kessie, Gomez and Conti. The second half of the season promises to be interesting both on and off the field. We have no less than 9 players in our first team squad who are on loan to us with a few of them having clauses in that would enable us to purchase them if we want. The players in question are Goalkeepers Berisha and Gollini, Defenders Spinazzola, Caldara and Zukanovic, Midfielders Grassi and Cristante, Winger Mounier and Forward Pesic. What I do have at my disposal are some excellent youth potential which I am looking to integrate in to the first team squad during the second part of the season and in the summer. A few community mentions before I go:
@FMKits4you Thanks for the superb kits you made for me that you can see in this post.
@VanDerCharks Thanks for the interesting chats on Atalanta and football in general.
@Rovazzz Thanks for the continued friendship and sharing your thoughts on the game.
And a general thanks to the FM Community who make this game more than a game.