To Dream A New Dream : Champions #FM17

IMG_20170424_224448The season as come to an end in Russia were we have been crowned champions and gained promotion to the Premier League by winning the league by a massive 32 points only losing 1 game on route to the title. The ease in which we have won the title shows a gulf in class between us and the rest of the division. I have really struggled to settle in to the save but wanted to see the season out before making a decision on my next move. Dinamo are a super club but I just really struggled with the save and have even tried playing through pre season to see if I can get attached to it but it’s not happening and if I am not enjoying a save then its time to start over.

September 2016

Our early season form continued with 4 wins out of 5. We suffered our first defeat of the season in the League.

september 16

October 2016

Five wins and a draw put us in control of the league.

october 16

November 2016

We end November and go in to the winter break 16 points clear at the top.

november 16

Winter Break

table

March 2017

We start the season back up with a penalty shoot out defeat against our City rivals Spartak after a goalless draw. Our form continues in the league with 4 out of 4 wins stretching our unbeaten run to 16 games in the league.

march 17

April 2017

Another good month see’s us wrap the title up with 2 draws and 4 wins. The unbeaten run stretches to 22 games.

april 17

May 2017

We end the season with 4 straight wins this month taking our unbeaten run to 26 games. Our last 8 games we have kept a clean sheet and celebrate the title win with a goal difference of plus 79. We only conceded 11 goals in the league all season.

may 17

Final Table

final table

Top Goalscorers

  • Panchenko 21
  • Lutsenko 17
  • Beciraj 9
  • Pogrebnyak 7

Assists

  • Lutsenko 15
  • Zotov 11
  • Panchenko 10
  • Sapeta 7

Player Of The Season

Kirill Panchenko Kirill_Panchenko_D_2016

21 Goals

10 Assists

7.58 Avg Rating

 

To Dream A New Dream: Passovotchka #FM17

IMG_20170424_224448Welcome to Passovotchka.  Passovotchka is the name given to Dinamo Moscow’s system of play introduced to them by manager Boris Andreyevich Arkadyev during his spell at the club from 1940-1944 and continued by interim manager Lev Nikolayevich Korchebokov and then by Mikhail Iosifovich Yakushin who managed Dinamo from 1944 until 1950 and then again from 1953 until 1960.  The Passovotchka system was based around an high tempo, fluid short passing game that encouraged players to roam from their positions causing organised disorder for their opponents. Sound familiar fast forward 30 years to the Netherlands and Rinus Michels Ajax side and a system that become very famous that is known to us all has Total Football. Fast forward another 46 years and here I am the new manager of Dinamo Moscow who have been relegated to the 2nd tier of Russian football for the first time in the clubs history. After a good look around the club its pretty evident the club as some very talented footballers who can take this great club back to the top tier. Before we look at the players here are a couple of screenshots looking at the clubs background and the general information:

background

club general

Has you can see the club is valued at £11.75m with a loan debt of £66m which will be payable to the current owner when he leaves the club. With this in mind I have to be very prudent with the finances going forward has we are in a recovery period after the club has been badly run in recent years. You can also see we have excellent training facilities, good youth facilities along with above average youth recruitment and average junior coaching. I will look to improved the youth facilities and both the youth recruitment and junior coaching as soon as possible.

Now lets take a look at the players that I have to work with on day 1 of the job:

First team squad

first team squad 16-17

Under 21 Squad

u21 squad 16-17

Under 19 Squad

u19 squad 16-17

Dinamo 2 Squad

dynamo 2

Squad Rules 

squad rules

Season Expectations

The board are expecting us to win the league and bounce straight back in to the top tier.

expect2

Transfers 

I will start with the outgoing players the first was full back Luke Wilkshire who I felt was not needed and at the age of 34 was not part of my long term plan which he accepted a mutual termination of his contract, he also frees up £9000 per week in wages of which he also came knocking for a wage rise, well sorry but you were part of this team that got relegated and you want more money, not happening. Another player asking for an improved contract was 27 year old midfielder Stanislav Dragun who was already on £12.5k per week and being chased by Rubin Kazan. When an offer came in for him I negotiated a deal of £1.8m. So we have saved £21,500 per week which is around £1.1m a year.

I brought 2 players in to the club on free transfers, the first was 25 year old Ukrainian winger Vitaliy Fedotov. Fedotov will had depth and options to our squad and at £875 per week is well worth bringing him in. The second player coming in is 22 year old Dutch midfielder Sinan Keskin. Keskin again was available on a free transfer after being released by Ajax, Keskin has spent 6 years in the Ajax system but failed to break in to the first team. I believe Keskin can shine at Dinamo if given the opportunity and again he comes in on £875 per week.

fedotov transfer

keskin transfer

First Team Squad 

I think if you look at our squad you will soon see that we have a very talented squad who are head and shoulders above anything else the 2nd tier as to offer in overall squad depth, experience and quality. Its a squad who are above the normal age that I tend to work with, we have an average age of 27 which over time I would like to reduce but I cant argue with the quality that I have at my disposal starting with the Goalkeepers who I have 2 well established keepers in Anton Shunin and Sergey Narubin. Shunin will be my first choice but the 34 year old Narubin is a solid back up.

We turn our attention to the Defence and the full backs, on the right side we have Alexey Kozlov (29) and Grigory Morozov (22) who give me strong options on the right side of defence. Early season as seen the younger Morozov keep his elder statesman on the after a solid start. Morozov also gives me cover in the left back slot for 26 year old Sergey Terekov who is the outstanding option in that position. This is an area which I am looking to strengthen to allow cover for Terekov. The centre of defence is strong with 4 established centre backs contesting the 2 places on matchday, we have 33 year old Dimitry Belorukov, 28 year old Vladimir Rykov, 27 year old Vitaly Djakov and last but not least 24 year old Sebastian Holmen.

The Midfield / Wingers starting with our central midfield we have some good quality options with 25 year old Alexandr Zotov  and 27 year old Alexandr Sapeta being our first choice centre pairing pushing them for a place in the starting 11 we have new signing 22 year old Sinan Keskin, 26 year old Anton Sosnin and 20 year old Maxim Kuzmin who I have promoted from our Dinamo 2 squad. All 5 options are adept at playing different roles within our system offering me good flexibility in the middle of the pitch. In the right midfield attacking midfield strata I have 3 good options in Ivan Temnikov (27), Vitaliy Fedotov (25) and another player promoted from Dinamo 2 Anatoly Katrich (22). On the left wing we have Alexandr Tashaev (22) and Ivan Markelov (28). Tashaev is my first choice with Markelov providing back up. In the Attacking Midfield / Forward position we have 26 year old  Kiril Panchenko who is on loan from CSKA until the end of the season with an option to buy for £1.5m. Panchenko is a class performer and my type of player he plays in the Trequartista role but can also play has a Shadow Striker or Attacking Midfield my back up for Panchenko is Sinan Keskin who I have spoke about in our central midfield. We move on to our Forwards and this is an area were I will be looking to improve over time. We have my first choice Evgeny Lutsenko (29) who is in his first season with the club but joined before me coming to the club. backing up Lutsenko we have Pavel Pogrebnyak (32) and Fatos Beciraj (28).

Goalkeepers

sergey narubinanton shuninDefenders   grigory morozov

alexey kozlov

sergey terekhov

dmitry belorukov

vladimir rykov

sebastian holmen

vitaly djakovMidfielders and Wingers      alexandr zotov

maxim kuzmin

alexandr sapeta

anton sosnin

ivan temnikov

anatoly katrich

vitaliy fedotov

alexandr tashaev

ivan markelov

sinan keskin

kirill panchenkoForwardsevgeny lutsenko

pavel pogrebnyak

fatos beciraj

Passavotchka 2016

When I came in to the club I had an idea that I would introduce a system that used a back 3 with wing backs and then I looked at the players at my disposal closely and decided that we had good strength in other areas, yes I could introduce the system of my choice but that would mean a bigger rebuilding job in very little time. I had also been reading a lot about the Passavotchka system used by Dinamo in days gone by and soon realised it fits in to my philosophy and how I like my teams to play. I was also aware that we need to hit the ground running if we are to return to the Premier League. The Pasavotchka of the past was a fluid high tempo system based on short passing with players interchanging causing what you call organised disorder. I decided that I would use a 4-2-3-1 formation as our foundation to build a system around and came up with these instructions some of which are taken from the Passavotchka system. I wanted to set up a basic system that embraced some of the Passovotchka qualities whilst getting the job done and securing promotion to the top tier. The club with promotion will then be able to evolve the system over time which then we may use a different shape ect whilst still embracing Passovotchka.

Mentality Standard using a Fluid Team Shape with an Higher Tempo and Balanced width. We are not blessed with great pace at the back so we would look to hold a Normal defensive line. One think I have noticed already is that we are coming up against teams playing long with a target man and pacey forwards so I am looking at my central defence to stay firm and counter the target man and runners by making them play in front of us and not behind. I have also chosen that we will close down much more like the Dinamo side of the 40’s were very clever at controlling space. We will also look to stop short distribution from the goalkeeper. Our build up play will use Shorter Passing whilst playing out from the back and exploiting the centre of the pitch. I want possession but also want my players to look to create openings by using the Pass in to space option. We will also look to use the overlap and work the ball in to the box options. I am a believer in player roles and instructions and have set certain instructions to accompany the team instructions and will update at a later date. I have not set any opposition instructions.

dinamo 1

instructions

 

First Division Results

1st div logoJuly 2016

We have started the season off well winning all of our 5 games during the month including 4 out of 5 clean sheets which I am pleased about, the system is working very well and the players are adapting well. We are creating chances whilst limiting our opponents at the other end. We are controlling ball averaging around 60% per game. The outstanding player of the month is Kiril Panchenko who has been outstanding in the Trequartista role scoring 5 goals in 5 starts. Pushing Panchenko I would have to say a special mention to 23 year old Alexandr Tashaev  who is putting in some very good performances whilst netting 3 times.  We got the season off to a winning start by beating Luch 3-0, Kuban 2-0, SKA Khabarovsk 2-0, Yenisey 5-2 and Shinnik 3-0.

july 16

August 2016 

We continued our good start with a 100% record this month winning 5 league games whilst also defeating Yenisey 4-1 in the Russian Cup 4th round. The month got started with a 1-0 win at home to Sibir thanks to a Penchenko strike. We then faced the league leaders Fakel on their own patch and just edged them 3-2 with a brace from Tashaev and a Lutsenko strike. The scoreline flattered our opponents who we totally out played them and gave away 2 sloppy goals. We then hammered struggling Spartak Nalchik at home 4-1 with goals from Panchenko,Lutsenko,Rykov and a debut goal for Keskin who replaced Panchenko in the 2nd period. I started Sinan Keskin in our next game and he repaid my faith in him by netting again in a 2-0 win at Sokol. We ended the month after the cup game above with a 2-0 win at home to Mordovia in a game that saw Kelsin get his 3rd goal of the season along with Lutsenko scoring his 7th of the campaign. Player of the month goes to Grigory Morozov who has been outstanding at Right Back.

august 16

League Table

table

Squad Statistics

stats 10 games

Kits 

Our kits this season have been made by @FMKits4You  who I think has done a fantastic job.

dynamo_1 dynamo_2dynamo_3

Well that ends my first post of the season which as started very well. I am working on keeping the clubs head above water financially and will continue to help the club Dream a New Dream….thanks for reading.

 

The Boys From Bergamo / To Dream A New Dream : A New Era Begins #FM17

IMG_20170422_214616

To Dream A New Dream : Dynamo Moscow 

It’s been a busy week in Bergamo, I have decided to leave the club to take on a different challenge in Russia with Dynamo Moscow, Russia’s oldest club formed in 1923. The club have fallen on hard times after mismanagement financially and a string of bad results that have caused the club to be relegated for the first time in the club’s history. The club are well known for their tour to England in 1945 at the end of the war. The club from Moscow beat Cardiff City 10-1 and Arsenal 4-3 and drew with both Chelsea 3-3 and Glasgow Rangers 2-2 whilst playing a style of football that people who witnessed it say they are the best club side to have played in the UK. A book called Passovotchchka written about the tour is a fantastic read which I recommend. images Dynamo have won the Russian title on 11 occasions the last one being in 1976 some 41 years ago so they have not won a modern day Russian Premier League title. They have won the Russian Cup 7 times with the most recent in 1995. The club were the first Russian club to reach a European Final when they were runners-up to Glasgow Rangers in the 1972 European Cup Winners Cup Final. The legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin spent the whole of his career at Dynamo, Yashin is considered by many to be the the greatest goalkeeper of all time. Back to the save and the challenge of restoring this great club back to the top of Russian football. With the club in the 2nd tier it’s imperative that we get back in to the Premier League quickly, the club have a debt of £69m which the balance is payable to the current chairman when he leaves the club. The club have around £5m in the bank and a transfer budget of around 900k. The Dynamo fans deserve better from this great club and aim to:

  • Stabalise The Club Financially
  • Build A Strong Youth Development Policy
  • Build A Scouting Network
  • Introduce A Tactical Philosophy  (Club DNA)
  • Gain Promotion To The Premier League
  • Stabalise The Club In The Premier League
  • Win A Domestic Trophy
  • Win The Premier League
  • Win A European Trophy

I will be releasing a post over the next few days looking at the squads at Dynamo and our Pre-Season findings.

The Boys From Bergamo 

Total Football 1-1So my time at Atalanta as come to and however the save is going to continue and be blogged about because my son has taken the save file and installed Paulo Maldini has the new manager of Atalanta.

Hi I have played FM on and off for a few years now but recently went out and purchased FM 17 loaded it up and enjoyed playing around getting to know my way around the game. I have decided to carry on with this Atalanta save and see were it takes me, has you can see Paulo Maldini will start his managerial career not far from were he became one of the finest players and model professionals in the history of the game at Milan. My dad has left Atalanta in good shape and I am hoping Mr Maldini continues his good work. I will be blogging about Maldini’s time at the club and how he introduces his own philosophy to the club. Maldini has played under some top managers during his career and I am pretty sure he will have picked up a few tips on the way. Mr Maldini has been watching a few club’s and managers implement their tactics / philosophy over the last season and I know he is a big admirer of Leonardo Jardim and his Monaco side and Julian Nagelsmanns Hoffenheim, so don’t be surprised if Atalanta adopt one of these tactical styles. I will getting on with the save and with my father’s consent will be posting my progress here on his blog. I am glad to be contributing something to the FM Community and can be followed on twitter @fmmaldini . Lastly I would like to thank @FMKits4You  for creating this set of fantastic Atalanta kits for me to use in game and in my posts.

IMG_20170422_230441  IMG_20170422_230449

IMG_20170422_230458

The Boys From Bergamo : No Limits #FM17

Welcome to the first post of Season three which looks at our Pre-Season preparations as we look to build on last seasons double winning season. I had a few decisions to make during the summer months regarding the first team squad and in particular our defence, the first issue I touched upon it in my last post regarding the coming to an end of the 2 year loan deals for both Mattia Caldara (BPD) and Leonardo Spinazzola (LWB) from Juventus. We had an option to make Spinazzola’s loan deal permanent but I decided not to activate the clause. Caldara was fantastic and played a big part in our back line during the last 2 seasons and unfortunately we have to say goodbye to him and look at our options to fill the gap he will leave. The next decision to make was to allow Boukary Dramé (LWB) to join Lille for 300k, Dramé has been excellent for me but I decided that now was the time to part company with the ageing wing back. So with Dramé and Spinazzola outgoing we now needed 2 options in the left wing back slot. Moving over to the right wing back slot I have also let our back up Hans Hateboer (RWB) join last seasons Eredivisie runners up  SC Heerenveen for £4m after the Dutch club raised their initial bid of £2.7m, Hateboer failed to impress me over the last 2 years so I felt I could pick up a better option to be understudy to first choice Andrea Conti. Moving on to the midfield and after being resigned to losing Franck Kessie after I agreed to let him speak to PSG, I was stunned when the Ivorian asked to withdraw his transfer request which I did without hesitation. PSG did come knocking and this time I lost the battle to keep Jasmin Kurtic (CM) but was pleased with the £19m the French money bags stumped up. Roberto Gagliardini (CM) completed his £17.25m move to Inter after his 2 year loan to them, this deal was done before I joined the club 2 years ago. On to the Forward line and I made the decision to send Andrea Petagna (FWD) to PSV Eindoven on a season long loan in the hope that he could find his goalscoring boots after having 2 difficult seasons in the wings here at Atalanta. For some reason I just could not get the best out of Petagna but I didn’t want to give up on him so decided to take the pressure off him and see if he can find the potential in Holland. I also sold the following players, Bryan Cabezas to Valencia for £5m after the Ecuadorian winger shone in La-Liga last season. Goalkeeper Boris Radunovic has joined Frosinone for 475k and Midfielder Nicola Fazzi has joined Empoli for 325k.

With the outgoings sorted how have I strengthened the squad ? Firstly we welcome the two players we signed during last season both Facundo Colidio (FWD) from Boca Juniors and Pierluigi Gollini (GK) from Aston Villa, both players will go straight in to our first team squad with Gollini already acustomed to us after spending the last 2 years on loan with us. I then looked at the two Right Wing Back slots available in the squad and decided that we would use our shortlist to recruit the ideal players to fulfil the role and first player to join us was Giuseppe Pezzella (LWB) from Palermo for £4.1m. I then went all out to sign the exciting Federico Dimarco (LWB) from Inter for £10m. The two Italians will provide excellent options for me at left wing back. Switching to the Right Wing Back position I wanted someone who will provide a quality back up option to Andrea Conti and decided to bring in Italian Davide Calabria (RWB) on a season long loan deal from AC Milan. I then looked at a number of options to bring a Ball Playing Defender in to the club and finally decided to sign the Argentine Emanuel Mammana (BPD) from Olympique Lyon for £12m. Mammana is nicknamed ‘The Wall’ from his days at River Plate and will battle it out with Bastoni, Mancini and Tolòi for a starting position in our back 3, I also have cover already in the squad with both Kessie and Ajer both competent at dropping in to the back line. I then went back in to the market and secured the services of the young Norwegian Attacking Midfielder Martin Odegaard on a season long loan from Real Madrid with an option to buy for £8m. I am pleased with our dealing in the window has we prepare to defend our Serie A title and make our mark in the Champions League.

emanuel-mammana-valencia

davide calabria

federici dimarco

emanuel mammana

Atalanta Squad 2018-2019 

Players in bold are new additions to our squad

Goalkeepers 

  • Marco Sportiello
  • Pierluigi Gollini

Defenders 

  • Andrea Conti
  • Davide Calabria  ( on loan from AC Milan )
  • Giuseppe Pezzella
  • Federico Dimarco
  • Alessandro Bastoni
  • Gianluca Mancini
  • Anton Kresic ( promoted to first team )
  • Rafael Tolòi
  • Emanuel Mammana

Midfielders 

  • Franck Kessie
  • Matteo Gasperoni
  • Luca Valzania
  • Fillipo Melegoni
  • Kristoffer Ajer
  • Remi Freuler
  • Louis Schaub
  • Martin Odegaard ( On loan from Real Madrid )

Forwards 

  • Alberto Paloschi
  • Kasper Dolberg
  • Simone Mazzocchi
  • Facundo Colidio
  • Gaetano Monachello

Pre-Season Results 

We opened our Pre-Season preparations with a 3-1 win at home against Dynamo Kiev with Dolberg, Kessie and Schaub all netting. Next up we had been invited to play Juventus for Claudio Marchisio’s testimonial. Both sides played rotational line ups with the knowledge that we would be meeting again in a few weeks in the Supercoppa. We managed to win the game 3-2 with our new boy Facundo Colidio scoring 2 goals and Simone Mazzocchi netting the other. Our next game took us away to play Renate were we ran out 6-0 winners with Colidio getting an hat-trick backed up by goals from Odegaard 2 and Monachello. We then went on to beat Giana Emino 3-0 with 3 midfielders getting the goals Kessie, Gasperoni and Melegoni. Mapellobonate were our hosts for our next game which resulted in a 5-0 win the goals coming from Paloschi 2, Colidio 2 and Conti. Our next game we went goal crazy in beating Aglianese 13-0 with Dolberg 3, Colidio 3, Monachello, Mancini, Pezzella, Ajer, Mazzocchi, Kessie and Schaub all getting among the goals. We then had back to back games against Juventus in the Supercoppa Italia and Arsenal in the European Super Cup Final (see later in the post). Our next game took us to play Lumezzane were we came away with a 1-0 win with Franck Kessie hitting the winner. We stayed on the road and visited Pontisola and came away with anothing easy 4-0 win that allowed me to get more game time through the squad, Paloschi 2 and Mancini getting on the scoresheet along with an own goal.  Grumellese were our hosts for the final warm up game and a chance for the boys to get their shooting boots on in a 7-0 win, Dolberg 3 Mazzocchi 3 and Pezzella getting the goals.

Supercoppa_Italiana_logo Supercoppa Italia

Our first competitive game of the season would pair us with an old foe in Juventus for the crack at adding more silverware to the cabinet. Rafa Benitez seems intent on getting under my skin however I am not rising to his daft comments. Once the game was under way we got off to a flier with Louis Schaub giving us an early lead which settled the nerves. Paloschi then doubled our lead after just 18 minutes, We could not have asked for a better start but then Juve and Higuain capitalised on a second ball after Gollini pulled off a save,  2-1 at the break I tell the boys to guard against complacency and we start the second period well and then get delt a blow when Rafael Tolòi gets a straight red on the hour. I drop us in to a deep 3-4-1-1 formation to try and nullify the predictable Juve onslaught. Juve push players forward and we catch them on the break with Louis Schaub capitalising on a Mattia Caldara error to put us 3-1 up. Dybala then grabbed a lifeline for Juventus 3-2 but the outstanding Schaub completed his hat-trick in the 82nd minute to put 4-2 up and take the matchball home along with another winners medal after we held out for a 4-2 win.

juve

UEFA_Super_CupEuropean Super Cup Final 

We travelled to Estonia for the European Super Cup Final against Champions League and Premier League Champions Arsenal and could not have wished for a better start when both Louis Schaub and Kasper Dolberg both score twice in the first half to give us a resounding well deserved 4-0 lead at half time. I knew this Arsenal side would be gunning for us in the second half so I tell the boys to guard against complacency again and sent them out for the 2nd period. We conceded 2 goals after the restart but manage to see the game out and the boys deliver our 4th trophy in the last few months with a 4-2 win.

euro super cup

pre

Commercial Summary

We look to be doing well financially and will have Champions League money

commercial summary

tv money

Season Expectations

The boards minimum expectation is that we qualify for the Europa League via our League position which is more than achievable and shows that the board are not getting ahead of themselves with our recent success.

expectations

UEFA_Champions_League_logo_2.svgWe have been drawn in a very interesting group when the draw was made in Zurich. We had been seeded in pot 1 after winning the Title in Italy and the Europa League double last season. Once the draw was underway the first side draw in to our group was Tottenham Hotspur followed by Ajax and then Stade Rennais. It’s a very interesting group that brings together a number of clubs with similar philosophies.

clge

No Limits For The Boys From Bergamo !!!

A fantastic curtain raiser to our third season saw us do the domestic and European Super Cup double which gives us a platform to build our season on has we look to defend the Serie A title and embark on our first Champions League campaign. I feel we have added quality and depth to our squad. I am looking forward to seeing the young talent that is Facundo Colidio develop in Bergamo alongside our talented squad. I believe this group of players have No Limits to their potential. My next update should be out over the next weekend so until then

Arriverderchi

The Boys From Bergamo ( The Story So Far )

2018-2019 Supercoppa Winners Euro Super Cup Winners 

2017-2018 Serie A Winners  Europa League Winners  Coppa Italia QF

2016-2017 Serie A 4th Coppa Italia 1st rd

The Boys From Bergamo : Campioni D’Italia #FM17

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Campioni D’Italia yes we have won our first Serie A  title after a fantastic season that ended in Lyon with us also winning our first European trophy when we beat fellow Italians AC Milan in the Europa League Final. So without further a do read on to find out how our season panned out.

January 2018

We entered January in top spot but we knew that we had to maintain our form from the opening months if we are to mount a serious challenge for the title. If you have been following our exploits you will know that we sold Alejandro Gómez to Monaco for £11.5m and Marco D’Alessandro to Dortmund for £12m when the window opened. I also decided to bring in to the club the versatile 19 year old Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic for £10m. Ajer is a very promising talent who can fulfil a number of roles in our system. I never intended bringing anyone in until we had an horrendous injury crisis in our midfield with Gasperoni, Freuler, Valzania and Melegoni all sidelined. Our first game of the month ended in a 0-0 draw at home to Torino. Another home game followed this time a 5-1 win against Carpi with the king of Bergamo Alberto Paloschi netting 4 of the 5 goals after a superb performance. Louis Schaub hit our other goal. A below par performance followed has we scrapped a 2-1 win in Florence with a 2-1 win against Fiorentina with goals from Dolberg and Dramè. We then took on Lazio in the Coppa Italia and suffered a 1-2 defeat with Franck Kessie netting our consolation goal. Lazio stayed in Bergamo for our league game which we won 1-0 with a Paloschi goal. Next up a visit to Napoli and another head to head for me against one of my favourite managers Marcelo Bielsa who I have a good head to head record against and that continued with us winning 2-1 courtesy of Dolberg and Paloschi which resulted in the club from Naples sacking Bielsa after the game. We ended the month against another legendary manager when we took on Zeman’s Pescara which resulted in Paloschi netting a brace in a 2-0 win. The double strike took Paloschi’s total to 35 in all competitions.

january 18

kristoffer ajer

February 2018

The month of February started with a 0-1 defeat at Sampdoria which would be our only blip of the month with us realing off back to back wins against AC Milan 4-1 (Paloschi 3, Dramè 1) Paloschi is just a dream in this form which continued in to the Europa League 1st Roundbut first  1st leg game in Belgium against Standard Leige were Paloschi scored a brace in a 3-1 win. Jasmin Kurtic netted our other goal. Our next league game saw us visit Gian Piero Gasperini’s Chievo were we needed goals from Dolberg and Schaub to pick up all 3 points in a 2-1 win. We then went in to the 2nd leg tie against Standard confident of finishing the job off after a a solid 1st leg win and we did just that winning 4-0 that saw the much wanted Franck Kessie score an hat-trick which put a few more pounds on to his value. Louis Schaub got our other goal. We finished the month with a 2-1 win in Bergamo against my bogey team Bologna with strikes from Paloschi and Kurtic, Paloschi took his tally to 41 goals in all competitions with his 6 goals this month.

february 18

March 2018

The draw for the 2nd round of the Europa League paired us with CSKA Moscow, however we had an important league game first in Turin at Juventus who are now managed by Rafa Benitez after Max Allegri took over the Italian national team. We came out of a tough game with a priceless 1-0 win thanks to a goal from the returning Remo Freuler. The long trip to Moscow took its toll on us with us running out of steam in the 2nd period against CSKA who punished us with 2 second half goals thus inflicting a 0-2 defeat on us that dashed our European hopes. We returned to winning ways back home beating Palermo 4-1 with goals from Mazzocchi 2, Schaub and Caldara. I decided to keep Mazzocchi in the starting line up for the visit of CSKA to Bergamo. We started well against the Russian side and led at the break through a Kurtic goal, I told the lads that I was not happy with their performance in an attempt to psychologically get them fired up for the second half. The second period was one way traffic with us peppering the CSKA goal looking for a much need goal and then on 78 minutes Kurtic slammed the ball home that looked like extra time until the skilful play of Schaub was rewarded after a CSKA defender brought the dashing Austrian down in the area Peeeenalttttty. Up stepped young Simone Mazzocchi to send the keeper the wrong way with a superbly taken penalty to give us a 3-0 win and put us in the Quarter-final draw. We then drop points at home to Sassuolo with a 0-0 draw before beating Roma 3-2 courtesy of Louis Schaub 2 and a own goal. The draw for the Quarter-final of the Europa League pulled us out of the bag against Bayer Leverkussen who would visit Bergamo to open next months games.

march 18

April 2018

So Bayer Leverkussen at home kicked the month off and to my delight we were leading 3-0  via Kessie 2 and Dolberg going in to the last 10 minutes of the game in Bergamo, however my delight turned to anger has we shipped 3 goals in the last 10 minutes of the games to finish 3-3. The draw felt like a defeat and that showed in the next game away in Sardinia has we drew with Cagliari 1-1 after Kasper Dolberg netted for us. We travelled to Germany knowing we had to win the game against Bayer Leverkussen or our European dream was over. I picked a strong side after resting a few players in Sardinia and the boys put in the performance of the season with a 2-0 win with Paloschi’s 43rd and 44th goals of the season to put us in to the Semi Final. Alberto Paloschi picked up a knock that would keep him out of our next few games none less so than our next fixture in Milan against Inter with us needing a win to secure the club’s first title in our long history. We scored early on with a 6th minute Louis Schaub goal that we managed to hang on to giving us a 1-0 win that sparked mass celebration on the streets of Bergamo with us being confirmed as Campioni D’Italia. The Boys From Bergamo had made history and their city proud winning the title with 4 games to play. The draw for the Europa League Semi Final paired us with Tottenham Hotspur  with the first leg away from home but first we had an home game against Genoa to play first in front of our own fans who wanted to celebrate their Champions return. I decided to pick a fully rotational side for the game to allow our first choice 11 a rest before we travelled to London for the first leg. An entertaining game with Genoa  finished 1-1 with Gaetano Monachello netting his first goal under my leadership after a successful loan spell at Anderlecht. So off we set for London and Wembley Stadium for the Semi Final 1st leg against Tottenham Hotspur which ended in a 1-1 draw coming from the unusual source of young substitute defender Alessandro Bastoni who netted a priceless away goal from an header in the 89th minute to keep our hopes alive. This was probably the best game of football all season with both sides giving their all. With a game against Verona to end the month I decided to pick a strong team to try and get some momentum going before the 2nd leg. Mazzocchi, Paloschi and Kurtic all netted in a 3-0 win.

april 18

May 2018

The atmosphere in Bergamo was fever pitch for the visit of Tottenham and the Bergamo boys responded by firing us in to our first European Final in the club’s history with a superbly executed 3-0 win against a strong Spurs side, Paloschi, Kurtic and Dolberg set up a Lombardy Derby against AC Milan who overcome Celta Vigo in the other Semi Final. We entertained relegated Spal for our final home game of the season and took all 3 points with a Dramé goal that gave us a narrow 1-0 win. We ended our league game with a 1-2 defeat at Torino that saw Conti grab our consolation goal. With just the Europa League Final left to play we headed for France were you can read about below.

may 18

table

champions

title board

UEFA_Europa_League_Logo Europa League Final 2018 Atalanta  v AC Milan  

I decided to name our starting line up on the eve of the game encouraged by the fact that Carlos Bacca was out of the Milan starting line up, Bacca always scores against my teams so it was welcome news. The XI that I picked to start the game was: Sportiello, Conti, Tolòi, Mancini, Caldara, Dramé, Kessie, Freuler, Schaub, Paloschi (capt) and Dolberg.  Just under 57’000 fans waited in anticipation in The Parc Olympique Lyonnais for the 2 sides to take the field for the biggest derby of Lombardi to take place. When the game got under way we were on the front foot and tested the Milan keeper with a couple of half chances in the first 15 minutes, Milan had a couple of long range efforts but nothing to worry our back line. The next 20 minutes saw us impose our game on the Milan giants without reward. I am feeling nervous and want nothing more to deliver a European trophy for the Bergamo people. I am watching the game intensely and start to to think about my half time team talk, I considering making a change at the break and introducing Simone Mazzocchi and then on the stroke of half time we win a penalty when the referee awards the kick for obstruction. Up stepped captain Alberto Paloschi who sends the young Milan keeper Donnarumma the wrong way Goooooaaaal 1-0 Paloschi with his 47th goal of the season what a player he has been for me. Half Time. Inside I am ecstatic however I tell the boys assertively that I am not happy with that first half performance, the whole dressing room is fired up, I decide not to make the change of bringing Mazzocchi on and send the same 11 out for the 2nd half.  Milan look rattled and in the 51st minute Goooooaaaal 2-0 Dolberg from close range, come on!!! I am now glad I didn’t make that change because it was Dolberg who was coming off. 52nd minute Milan win a free kick Goooooaaaal 2-1 Bonaventura pulls one back for the Rossoneri. I get that feeling the game could turn I encourage the boys passionately and we get back on the front foot and get our reward in the 60th minute Goooooaaaal Dolberg gets his second 3-1. I make a change on 66 minutes Freuler off and Kurtic on, Freuler has worked hard and was tiring so I have freshened things up. 72nd minute Goooooaaaal Dolberg Hat-trick 4-1 get in, I shout to the boys to concentrate we are on the cusp of history, all we have to do is see the game out but Milan look a beaten side and another change is made Dolberg soaks up the love from the Bergamo tifosi has he makes way for Mazzocchi. 89th minute Goooooaaaal 5-1 Albeerrrrrtttto Paloschi thunders a shot in to the Milan goal for his 48th goal of the season and writes his name in to the history books, the referee blows up full time. We have pulled it off and completed a domestic and European double, I am delighted with the boys and let them know.

final

euro cup review

double

paloschi record

Statistics

Paloschi the goal machine!!!

stats

Awards

awards

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Pierluigi  Gollini Loan Deal Clause Activated

I have decided to make Gollini’s loan permanent and paid the £4m release clause.

pierluigi gollini

Chief Scout 

I have made a change to my backroom staff by bringing in Andrea Carnevale to work as our chief scout replacing the departing Gabrielle Zamagna whos contract expires in June. I felt that a change was needed and welcome Carnevale to Bergamo.

carnevale

Summary Of The Season 

Most club’s experience highs and lows in a season and there are no surprises what our high points are but I will go through them anyway, winning Serie A and the Europa League are pretty much obvious but it’s the way we have done it that pleases me. I introduced a new tactical system in to the club last season and tested it with our youth teams before introducing it to our first team at the start of this season. The players and staff throughout the club have embraced it and made it a huge success not only with the first team but with the youth teams as well with our under 18’s winning the league and the under 20’s just being pipped to the title on goal difference. We also won the Youth Invitational tournament beating Mainz in the final. I also promoted 8 youth team players in to the first team set up who have been a huge part of our history making season. Gianluca Mancini has started most of our games this season and has become a quality part of our first team. Bergamo born Fillipo Melegoni is another who has featured regularly despite picking up a few injuries during the season. Simone Mazzocchi has been nothing short of fantastic when called upon and as scored 12 goals during the season. Bastoni, Valzania, Gasperoni have also all featured this season and will hopefully continue their development next season. The players I recruited at the start of the season have been fantastic, Kasper Dolberg has scored 23 goals and free transfer Louis Schaub has netted 18 times and got 21 assists in his debut season for us which again is absolutely fantastic. Kristoffer Ajer joined in January and has done a super job covering a number of positions at critical times during the second half of the season. Franck Kessie has been a rock and both Rafael Tolòi and Mattia Caldara have been solid. Both full backs Dramé and Conti have both had very good seasons. Marco Sportiello is developing in to a top keeper and made saves that were worth at least 10 points for us during the season and of course Alberto Paloschi who I have nicknamed The King Of Bergamo has led the side with both the armband and his astonishing amount of goals breaking records for fun along the way. Whilst there have been many highs I have also noted a couple of low points the first being the form in front of goal from Andrea Petagna who has failed to find the net for us this season when called upon, I am puzzled to why I can’t get him to play in our system which resulted in me sending him out on loan to try and give him the chance to try and build some form. The second low point is also player related and regards Leonardo Spinazzola who is in his second season on loan to us with a buy out clause in his contract however I have decided not to trigger the clause as again I have failed to get the best out of him and will let him return to Juventus this summer. Mattia Caldara will also join up with Juventus has his loan spell also runs out. The summer will see our very own Roberto Gagliardini complete his move to Inter after a 2 year loan spell in Milan, a deal that was done before I took over in Bergamo. The summer months will be interesting we are now a Champions League club next season so I am hoping that will help me keep hold of our players. Thanks for reading and all the messages discussing the save and tactics, look out for my next update as we prepare for the European Super Cup Final and a Champions League campaign.

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The Boys From Bergamo ( The Story So Far )

2017-2018 Serie A Winners  Europa League Winners  Coppa Italia QF

2016-2017 Serie A 4th Coppa Italia 1st rd

The Boys From Bergamo (Season 2 Winter Break) #FM17

20170409_201437Welcome to the season 2 winter update. If you have been following The Boys From Bergamo you will know that we finished 4th last season and qualified for the Europa League. If you are visiting this for the first time you can scroll to the bottom of this page or to right off this page depending on what you are viewing it on and choose to catch up with my earlier updates.  I always thought that this season would be a pivotal one for the club after 12 first team squad players departed in the summer who were considered not needed and the promotion of 8 of our academy players in to the senior squad. We also welcomed two additions in the summer, Austrian playmaker Louis Schaub and the versatile young Danish forward Kasper Dolberg. So with 10 players to integrate in to the squad how would we get on ?  I also introduced a new system to the first team squad, however the players from our youth teams had used this system last season because I developed and trialed it with the youth teams so some of  the boys were already familiar with it. The system itself named after our academy il futuro is inspired by a number of tacticians none less so than Gian Piero Gasperini and his Atalanta side and Fabio Capello’s title winning Roma side from the 2000 / 2001 season I think there are also traits in there from Sacchi and Herrera who in many ways are perceived to be different but have many traits that are very much the same. I have like many been an admirer of the Ajax development system which is Atalanta are replicating today.

roma2001Roma 2000-2001 Team Shape 

This is the shape I wanted to create 3-4-1-2 or however you interpret the lines but for this I will refer to it has above. I am also not trying to recreat an identical Roma tactic however there are some similarities. Anybody who has followed me will notice I mostly  use a back four set up 9.5 times out of 10 and to be honest it’s because I have never managed to create a central back 3 that I was ever happy with. However my closest football allies will tell you that I am big fan of the 3 Central Defender Systems that have been used in Italy more and more over the last few years including Gasperini at Genoa and Atalanta who have used a 3-4-1-2 shape today against Sassuolo. So what do I want to achieve in creating the il futuro tactic / system ?  I want to stamp my tactical philosophy on to my Atalanta club whist creating a club D.N.A that embraces the fantastic work that the club has done in creating one of the best youth development systems in football.

  • Play Entertaining Football Whilst Having The Lions Share Of Possession
  • Create A Solid Defensive System Catenaccio Style Using A Sweeper / Libero
  • Create A High Number Of Passing Options / Triangles
  • Create A Cohesive Unit Who Work Hard with A Team Ethic.
  • Use Full Backs To Overlap whilst creating our width And Who Drop In To The Defensive Zone To Make A Back 5
  • Use 2 Hard Working Central Midfielders Who Will Contribute To Both Defensive And Offensive Phases
  • Use 2 Forwards Supported by a Number 10  Totti Style Who Can Create And Score
  • Create A Winning Mentality Throughout The Club

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Defensive Phase Creating The Sacchi Arc Across The Back Whilst Covering The Passing Lanes. Each Player Contributes To The Defensive Phase.

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il futuro the system is not a plug and play tactic it’s development as been shaped around the players at my club and of course training the role of Sweeper to a number of players across our club. I like my players to be versatile and be comfortable in a number of different roles if called upon. A perfect example is our young Defender Alessandro Bastoni he can play at Centre Back at Full Back and now can play in the Sweeper role, this is the type of versatility I am looking for from The Boys From Bergamo. I like my senior players to tutor were ever possible as well. I am not releasing this tactic as a download due to the fact of its complexity in tweaking the player roles it involves a lot of micro management within the club and not just on the pitch, plus I see no fun in using someone else’s tactic because for me it’s the best part of the game creating your own style and seeing it play out in the game. Already for me in this save I am enjoying watching Louis Schaub play a Totti role in our side after scouting him and picking him out specifically to play that role in the system and even more pleasing is that he was available for free.

LegaSerieAlogoTIMAugust / September 2017 

We kicked the season off testing the Il futuro system away to newly promoted Carpi were I gave both our new signings Dolberg and Schaub debuts along with Gianluca Mancini who I trusted to play in the Sweeper role alongside Tolòi and Caldara. We took the game to Carpi from the off and went 1 up after  Dolberg and Schaub combined to create an opening for the Austrian playmaker who slotted home showing great composure. The Defence looked solid with the Wing Backs dropping in to make a back 5 that was hard to break down. Our leading scorer last season Alberto Paloschi picked up a knock so I replaced him with Simone Mazzocchi who put the game beyond our tired opponents to give us a 2-0 victory. Our first home game of the season was against Fiorentina who beat us in this fixture last season but this time we took all 3 points in a thrilling 4-2 win. I had been forced to switch back to our 4-2-3-1 system due to injuries to our defence. Paloschi hit a double with the young Midfielder Matteo Gasperoni netting his first senior goal along with Mazzocchi giving us back to back wins. With Caldara, Mancini and Bastoni still out of action I was forced in to using the 4-2-3-1 for our away trip to Rome to play Lazio. I had to call on Kessie to drop in to the back four alongside Tolòi. We looked out of sorts battling to a 3-3 draw in a game that saw Kasper Dolberg open his account for us. D’Alessandro got on the scoresheet however the goal of the game came courtesy of a nonchalantly executed lob from Louis Schaub who I still can’t believe we got on a free transfer. Next up a trip to Greece for our opening Europa League game against PAOK. I had a decision to make Mancini was available so should I go with the il futuro system? After debating with myself I put my faith in the boys and went with the new system. What happened next was a fabulous performance from the boys which saw us thrashing the bemused Greek side 7-1 with Paloschi scoring 4 supported by goals from Dolberg, Tolòi and Conti that rounded off a superb European night for us.

IMG_20170410_003149

We jetted back to Italy with our heads firmly fixed on our next game against Marcelo Bielsa’s Napoli, who are early leaders in Serie A with 3 back to back wins. The Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia was the back drop for another incredible performance this time after making 3 changes to the side that played in Greece we only went and scored another 7 this time the goals coming from Dolberg 2, Freuler 2, Schaub, Paloschi and a first senior goal from Luca Valzania in a 7-2 win.

IMG_20170410_003209

Next up we travelled to Pescara were I picked a rotational side who got over the line with a 3-2 win with goals coming from Schaub and a brace for our left Wing Back Dramè who puts in a performance week in week out.  Another home game followed and another 3 points has we beat Sampdoria 1-0 after a Franck Kessie strike who was captaining the side in the absence of Gómez and Paloschi. We would finish the month with our 2nd Europa League game at home to Club Brugge who had won their opening game 5-0. We dominated the Belgian side on the night by beating them 4-1 with a Dolberg double and who else but Paloschi and an unfortunate own goal that puts us on top of the group with 6 points. A very good first month of the season ends with Paloschi on 8 goals and Dolberg on 6. Both Dolberg and Schaub have hit the ground running along with the boys who have stepped up from youth level. 2 of those boys Gasperoni and Valzania scored their first senior goals for the club this month.

aug sep 17

October 2017

We would kick October off with a trip to the San Siro to face Milan who pipped us in to third spot last season. We had failed to beat them last season losing 0-1 at home and drawing 2-2 away. I was expecting a tough game from Montella’s side who are sat at the top of the table and I wasn’t wrong it was a tough game despite us celebrating a fans tic 3-1 win with goals from Paloschi, Schaub and Gasperoni. The Boys are looking good this season and I am pleased with how the system is coming along. Next up Chievo at home and another 3 points in the bag with a 4-0 win with on form Paloschi 2, Schaub and Dolberg all hitting the back of the net. Back to European action next and a solid 6-0 win away to Ludogorets with the in form Paloschi getting 4 of our goals along with Louis Schaub who has settled in nicely after his move in the summer, our other goal was an own goal. Our first defeat of the season at Bologna who are definitely our bogey team since I took over, Donadoni’s men beat us 2-0 and deserved the points. Up next the visit of Rafa Benitez and his Juventus side who he took over after Max Allegri took the national job. We ran easy 2-0 winners with strikes from Dolberg and Paloschi. We ended the month with a 3-0 win at struggling Palermo with both Paloschi 2 and Dolberg adding to their goal tally again. With just one blip this month we go to the top of Serie A.

october 17

November 2017

We start the month with the Europa League return game at home to Ludogorets who we do the double over with a 3-0 win courtesy of Paloschi 2 and a first senior goal from Filippo Melegoni. Sassuolo visit Bergamo for our next game and another 3 points with both Dolberg and Paloschi giving us a 2-0 victory. We visit Rome next and get lucky with 2 late goals giving us what looked like an unlikely 2-1 win over AS Roma. We then welcomed Greek side PAOK for our penultimate Europa League group game, I chose a rotated side and was pleased with their performance which ended with us winning 3-0 with goals from Mazzocchi, Schaub and a first Atalanta senior goal from Mancini. Our form continues with a 2-0 win at home to Cagliari with goals coming from Paloschi and Schaub. We end the month with the battle of Bergamo against Inter, so called with the number of cards dished out to both sides during an i’ll tempered game which we edge 3-2 after goals from Paloschi 2 and Conti. Six wins out of six this month keeps us at the top of the league and through to the next round of the Europa League.

november 17

December 2017

After picking up a few injuries against Inter we travelled to Genoa and came away with a 1-0 win thanks to a Conti piledriver. The final group game at home to Club Brugge next gave me a chance to have a look at a few of our fringe players with us already confirmed as group winners. In a thrilling game that we won 4-3 Simone Mazzocchi shown why I rate him so high with a suberb hat-trick along with Kasper Dolberg getting the other goal. Simone Mazzocchi is being labelled as the next Roberto Bettega by the media.  Verona at home next and there was ever going to be one winner with us hammering them 5-1 with the returning Paloschi getting a brace along with goals from Mazzocchi, Schaub and Conti. That win extended our winning run to 11 games in all competitions. Coppa Italia 1st Round action and again I decide to rest a number of players and take the opportunity to play young Bastoni alongside our other young Central Defender Gianluca Mancini who has been fantastic so far this season and is already attracting interest from Milan. I am keen to see how the young pairing play together has I plan to use them both as first choice next season. The pair play well alongside Rafael Tolòi and keep a clean sheet with ever improving Conti getting our goal in a 1-0 win. Our last game of the month and year before the winter break see’s us demolish a fragile Spal side 5-0 with Dolberg getting his first Bergamo hat-trick along with a club first goal from Bastoni and Paloschi who netted his 27th goal of the season. We extend our win streak and unbeaten run to a club record 13 games that as put us on top of the table 8 points ahead of Milan in 2nd and 12 points clear of Juve in 3rd.

december 17

Serie A Table

table

UEFA_Europa_League_Logo

A superb 100% record takes us in to the knockout round with Alberto Paloschi netting 11 goals on the way.

europa res

europa tab

1st Round Draw

We have been paired with Belgian side Standard Leige in the First Knockout Round which gives us a good chance to progress to the last 16.

europa draw

Other News

We are pleased to announce that Belgian club Antwerp are a new affiliate.

antwerp

Transfer News

I have agreed to let both Alejandro Gómez and Marco D’Alessandro leave the club after both expressed a desire to move on. Gómez asked in December for me to let him speak to AS Monaco  if they made a bid, they actually made a bid that triggered the £11.5m release fee. Gómez agreed personal terms and as left the club with immediate effect. D’Alessandro has agreed terms with Borussia Dortmund who I negotiated a £12m fee.

Collage 2017-04-11 15_44_12

I am more than happy with the performance so far this season the players have embraced our new system that as seen us perform above expectations both domestically and in Europe. A lot of positives in the first half of the season non less so than the performance of our players who have been promoted from our academy. Filippo Melegoni, Gianluca Mancini and Simone Mazzocchi have repaid my faith in them with outstanding performances added to that Luca Valzania, Matteo Gasperoni and Alessandro Bastoni have also had good game time and performed well. The 2 new additions to the squad Kasper Dolberg 14 goals and Louis Schaub 11 goals have also settled in well. Schaub’s value as rose to £23.5m since his free transfer 6 months ago, he as come in to the side and has been nothing short of fantastic. Again no surprise a lot of interest in Franck Kessie with FC Barcelona and Manchester City leading the team’s to his signature. Kessie has stated that he want to be playing Champions League football and after a discussion with the Ivorian he has agreed to help us try to get in to the Champions League. Hopefully with the January transfer window open it could prove difficult to keep the big boys away.  Away from the club Gaetano Monachello is in fine form on loan at Anderlecht, the forward is definitely playing himself in to my long term plans especially with Andrea Petagna struggling to make is mark when given the chance over the last 18 months. The board have allowed me to keep all of the transfer fees that have come in to the club which as taken our available budget up to just above £30m. It remains to be seen if we will bring anybody in to the club during this window. Before I go I have forgot to mention the super displays from our goalkeeper Marco Sportiello who has been top draw since his return from his loan spell at Fiorentina. Thanks for reading and look out for the next update this coming weekend were I will be rounding up our season.

The Boys From Bergamo ( The Story So Far )

2017-2018 Serie A  Europa League  Coppa Italia

2016-2017 Serie A 4th Coppa Italia 1st rd

The Boys From Bergamo ‘Calciomercato’ #FM17

20170406_105606

Welcome to my Pre-Season round up post, after last seasons achievement of getting in to the top four it now that time of year were you either love or hate for the simple reason that if you have any type of success you can guarantee that the big clubs around Europe will come knocking looking to take away your prized assets and then on the other hand it can give you a sense of good feeling when you sign the player you have been tracking for the last 12 months or more. So whats happened in Bergamo?  We had a number of players at the club who were on loan last season with a few of them with clauses to buy in their contracts however I have decided not to activate any of the clauses to buy so the following players will be returning back to their respective clubs:

  • GK Etrit Berisha  ( Lazio )
  • DF Ervin Zukanovic  ( AS Roma )
  • MF Bryan Cristante ( Benfica )
  • MF Alberto Grassi ( Napoli )
  • MF Anthony Mounier  ( Bologna )
  • FW Aleksander  Pesic  ( Toulouse )

We have three players who we had on loan last season who have 2 year loan deals and these will remain at the club for the 2nd year of there loan deal:

  • GK Pierluigi Gollini ( On loan from Aston Villa until June 18 )
  • DF Mattia Caldara ( On loan from Juventus until June 18 )
  • DF Leonardo Spinazzola ( On loan from Juventus until June 18 )

We also say goodbye to a number of first team squad players who I feel are not required or part of the club’s future, the following players have left the club with immediate effect.

  • GK Francesco Rossi
  • DF Abdoulay Konko  ( Retired )
  • DF Andrea Masiello
  • DF Giulio Miglaccio
  • MF Cristian Raimondi
  • FW Salvatore Molina

So with 12  players from last year’s first team squad departing it leaves us with a good few position to fill within the squad and this is how we are doing it:

logo_calciomercato_com

I am pleased to announce the signing of three players who I feel will add quality and depth to how our squad, two of the players have joined up with our first team squad with the third joining next summer:

Louis Schaub : The 22 year old signed on a free transfer after Rapid Wien let is contract run down. Schaub is the type of player that fits in to my football philosophy. The Austrian playmaker was on my shortlist within my first 2 weeks in Bergamo and I could not believe our luck when Rapid let his contract run down.

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schaub 2

louis schaub

Kasper Dolberg : I have been tracking Dolberg since day 1 in Bergamo and asked my director of football to target Dolberg however he failed to agree terms with the Danish forward in the January transfer window so with Dolberg staying in Holland I decided to go back in for Dolberg at the end of the season and once Ajax accepted a £7.5m deal that could rise to £10m with add ons I entered in to contract talks and was confident Dolberg would sign. Like Schaub Dolberg will offer a top quality option and will develop his game here at our il futuro training facilities.

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dolberg

Facundo Colidio : Another player who I have had my eye on for a while, 17 year old Colidio has all the attributes to become a leading player in any league in the World and I am pleased to have secured his signature after Boca Juniors agreed to sell for a fee of £2.5m. Colidio will stay at Boca for the forth coming season before completing his move to us next summer were we hope to develop him in to a World beater.

iCbDP6TS_400x400

facundo colidio

Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio 2017-2018 Squad 

Goalkeepers 

  • Marco Sportiello ( Return From Loan At Fiorentina )
  • Pierluigi Gollini  ( On Loan From Aston Villa )

marco sportiello

pirluigi gollini

Defenders 

  • Andrea Conti
  • Hans Hateboer
  • Leonardo Spinazzola  ( On Loan From Juventus )
  • Boukary Dramé
  • Rafael Tolòi
  • Mattia Caldara  ( On Loan From Juventus )
  • Alessandro Bastoni  ( Promoted From U20 Squad )
  • Gianluca Mancini  ( Promoted From U20 Squad )

andrea conti

hans hateboer

leonardo spinazzola

boukary drame

rafael toloi

mattia caldara

alessandro bastoni

gianluca mancini

Midfield / Wingers

  • Luca Valzania ( Promoted From U20 Squad )
  • Filippo Melegoni ( Promoted From U20 Squad 
  • Jasmin Kurtic
  • Franck Kessie
  • Matteo Gasperoni ( Promoted From U20 Squad )
  • Remo Freuler
  • Alejandro Gómez
  • Christian Capone ( Promoted From U20 Squad )
  • Marco D’Alessandro
  • Emmanuel Latte ( Promoted From U20 Squad ) 
  • Louis Schaub  ( Free Transfer )

luca valzania

filippo melegoni

jasmin kurtic

franck kessie

matteo gasperoni

remo freuler

alejandro gomez

christian capone

marco d'Alessandro

emmanuel latte

louis schaub 2

Forwards

  • Alberto Paloschi
  • Simone Mazzocchi ( Promoted From U20 Squad )
  • Andrea Petagna
  • Kasper Dolberg  ( Signed From Ajax £7.5m )

alberto paloschi

simone mazzocchi

andrea petagna

kasper dolberg

squad numbers

Expectations

A season were we have a European campaign and the board are looking for a top half finish in the league which is a fair enough expectation and an expectation that gives me the chance to integrate the players in to the squad that have been promoted from our youth ranks. The expect us to navigate our way in to the 2nd knockout round of the Europa League and reach the quarter finals of the Coppa Italia.

expectations

Pre-Season Results 

Has you can see below we have had a good pre-season but like always I take what we do in these games with a pinch of salt, for me its all about building team cohesion and fitness. I think the 19-0 win in our last pre-season fixture sort of backs my theory up however I do believe that the result is my biggest win in any game through out the whole CM / FM series which as been a long time. I have kept the 4-2-3-1 system that served us well last year but also introduced a 3 at the back system that is a work in progress that incorporates a version using a Sweeper / Libero.

preseason

Europa League Draw

I was waiting in anticipation for this draw. We were a 4th seed team so a tough draw was possible however I think we did pretty well avoiding the big clubs. We have drawn Club Brugge from Belgium, PAOK of Greece and Ludogorets from Bulgaria. Whilst I am sure these teams will make it difficult for us we have not done bad.

europa lge

Well that just about sums up our build up to the new season, a season that will see a lot of home grown boys from Bergamo take their place in the first team. I am pleased that we held on to the core of our players however the likes of Kessie, Gomez, Toloi and D’Alessandro have all expressed a desire to play Champions League football in the near future and with the likes of Barcelona, Manchester City, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern waiting in the wings it could prove a tough ask to hold on to some of our stars. These clubs are paying big money in the windows, I have just been looking at Bayern who have just spent £155m in the last week of the window. What I have done is offer long term deals for a number of our younger players including Mazzocchi {2022} Melegoni {2022} Gasperoni {2022} Latte {2022} Bastoni {2022} Mancini  {2021} Capone {2021}.

Thanks for reading and lookout for my next post which will be live over the weekend.

The Boys From Bergamo ( The Story So Far )

2016-2017 Serie A 4th Coppa Italia 1st rd