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Forza Napoli sempre! - Moving from France to Italy!


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Derek
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SSC_Neapel.thumb.png.e0209a4653cea45a3a07f55e1d8cf7ed.png

 

Well, I've let you known I might want a new challenge after winning the league title, and after the match against Stade Brest Napoli approached me with an interview, which I attended. According to the media Brendan Rogers was first choice to replace previous manager Marcelo Gallardo, but Napoli decided to appoint me. Very happy with this challenge, but Napoli is also very ambitious. 

Club Vision:

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The club sit in 14th position at the moment, but I'm still expected to rise the table to secure Europe Conference League qualification. Within 4 seasons the club is expected to win the Serie A title. I have been given a 30M transfer budget, and a 2,8M (Currently spending 2,5M) wage budget, so there definitely some room to improve the squad in the winter.

Squad:

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The squad looks decent, but there is definitely room for improvement in some areas.

My first match is against Udinese...

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  • Tempelman changed the title to Forza Napoli sempre! - Moving from France to Italy!
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You've still got most of the key players from the current Napoli squad and some interesting players like Xavi Simons. I think you will definitely rise up the table.

Good luck with this one mate.

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Little update, been looking at the players and what formation to use... The squad is flooded with good midfielders, so at first I wanted to opt with a 4 4 2 formation, also because Napoli has three good strikers. However, Napoli used this exact formation before me and as such lie in 14th place.

So upon looking more closely, and tactically I actually want to play more attacking and in a higher tempo, as there is definitely quite a lot of pace in the attack, I opted for a 4 3 3 formation, and leaving some potential starter players out of the first XI. 

First XI:

image.thumb.png.8f77bf7719ca8699e4ea2daaaf8fe5e8.png

 

Looking for improvements in the defence, because the whole back four needs more depth and overall better players. Koulibaly isn't getting any younger either at age 34, but he still is the best defender of the squad. My priority for the winter transfer period definitely is the rightback position, and maybe sell some of the midfielders I don't intend to use. Long term hopefully the rest of the defence. It's a good starting XI, but when injury plagues the defence, there definitely will be trouble!

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Derek
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In the mood a little to play... Just a little update.

As said, the first game is against Udinese. The game was equal, though we were 2-1 in front quite easily. In the 89th minute Udinese decided to score the equaliser, but a few minutes later super-sub Oscar scored the winner! A narrow win, I have to admit we were pretty lucky. 

Next is the 5th CL game against Olympiakos, we had a small chance to reach the next round if we would win the remaining two games. It was a tough match which ended with ten men for us, but despite being one man down, we scored twice in the final 10 minutes to take the win. With the win we secured third place, we're unable to reach the second round of the CL.

Up next is an away game against Sassuolo, I replaced Scamacca with Belotti because he seems to be a better fit for how I tactically want to play (Scamacca is more of a target man, I want to play fast and flowing football) and he brilliantly scored the only and winning goal: 1-0. Our first home game with me in charge is against Salernitana. It wasn't a difficult match as we dominated, though we only narrowly won, but never in real trouble, 2-1. Roma are league leaders at this time, and it was my next test. The first half was equal and we were 1-0 behind, but in the second half we turned it around and eventually won 2-1.

Next is the final CL match against Real Madrid. I have simulated this match because there was nothing at stake anymore and saw Osimhen score a hattrick in a 3-3 draw.

 

Schedule and results:

image.thumb.png.fcf0203b52ba01050ae2a83da234b896.png

 

Competition overview:

image.thumb.png.a08595e52a39a1d5465e2f2f3db330d7.png

 

I have not lost a game yet with this team, we play pretty good games so far, though we have yet to really dominate games and score a little more. Nonetheless, we moved up in a few league wins from 14th to 5th pretty fast.

I have also made my first purchase. I was looking for right defenders but was not satisfied with the players I found and scouted... So decided to shift the focus to a left defender, so Renan can move to the central position (Gozzi isn't good enough). I went to buy a player who I wanted to replace Wijndal with when at Bordeaux, that is right: 23 year old Riccardo Calafiori is joining Napoli from Atalanta for a total fee (plus installments) of 50M plus future fees. 

More teams are after Osimhen now, Milan and Juventus have joined the chase. He is worth 102M to 111M and obviously I would want more than that (I'm greedy). I wanted to extend his contract but thanks to a bug in the game regarding promises (Which I removed prior) I was not able to.

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You've really started well with those results mate staying undefeated. I think you were in the bottom half of the table when you took over?

I always seem to sign Belotti and Berardi when I play in Italy. Where is Berardi in your game?

Would you be open to selling Osimhen or prefer to keep?

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I was 14th when I started, so I moved up pretty quickly!

Berardi is still at Sassuolo, he is 31 now, still a good player, but I won't make a move for him.

Preferably I would like to keep Osimhen at the club, he is an obvious key player, but for over 120M, I would sell him and look for talent. He is definitely awesome, but for a high bid like that I would probably let him go.

Meanwhile Bordeaux (coincedence or not) have expressed interest in Zielinski and Mbabu...

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Derek
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Time to play!

Home against Torino first, it wasn't a very good game of either side but we came back from behind to win 2-1. Next is an away game against Milan before the winter break, despite both teams creating lots of chances it was the first draw with me in charge: 1-1, Scamacca equalised in the dying seconds of the game, but the game could have gone either way to be honest, so a draw is a decent and fair result. 

In the Europa League we start against Oympique Lyonnais in the first knockout round.

An away game against Benevento is next on the list. It was a very easy 1-0 win but we should have scored more, hitting the bar 4 (!) times. Next is a home game against Bologna. We played well but needed a penalty to secure the win: 1-0.

Next we face Spezia at home for the Coppa Italia. We secured the match early in the game to make it a 2-0 victory, on to the next round!

Before the game against Benevento Lozano came to me asking for more playing time, and yes, he is a good player, but simply put: Fabio Vieira is just the better player... I refused it and unfortunately this caused a stir in the dressing room atmosphere. I do want to keep him around though, so I started giving him some more playing time than usual. He's always complacent. Nothing I can do about it. Koulibaly got an offer of 3,7M of Milan, which I refused for obvious reasons, which has clearly unsettled him, I made him a promise he can go for 6M. All of these things together probably cost us the next game home against Atalanta, which we lost 2-1, with Scamacca even missing two massive chances to score.. 

It was about the same story the next game, a draw against ten-man Cagliari, again at home, although the atmosphere seems to have improved again a little... Away to Pisa we finally managed to scrape a win. 2-1. 

 

Schedule and results: 

image.thumb.png.fa9bc791ff2950bdf948f04a4ac04dab.png

 

Competition overview:

image.thumb.png.f7d8ae6e35ca8352f2b1e969e08310fc.png

 

- After Hirving Lozano's complaint and subsequent things that happened, I placed him on the transfer list. I received a few bids of around 15M, but deemed these as too low. I still believe he had no right in the first place to react the way he did, whenever he DID play, he just played awful. Plus that Fabio Vieira just plays a lot better. After the transfer deadline he is still at the club.
- Tottenham made a 86M offer on Osimhen, which I rejected. There were no bids of any other clubs (Though Juventus made a loan offer which was out of the question) after this.
- Berat Ozdemir got a 23,5M offer of Barcelona, decent, but greedy as I am, plus that his estimated value was higher, I eventually rejected. Obviously unsettled the player, but managed to convince him around.
- After Milan's bid on Koulibaly we did not get any other offers.
- Kevin Mbabu was sent on loan to Lazio with a mandatory future fee of 2,3M.
- A newgen was also sold for 6M (Name not that important lol).

- Obviously Riccardo Calafiori has joined the club.
- On my quest for improvements to the defence I turned my attention toward Diego Paolino, he is a newgen who I have been after since my Bordeaux spell, but he chose Man City at the time. He wanted to leave to have more playing oppertunities, and I signed this now wonderkid for 20,5M. Very happy with this lad, I think he's a gem of a player! Plus, he can play on the right too.

 

Diego Paolino profile:

image.thumb.png.ddce41e610e278921a43e8b56b9181bb.png

 

Maybe I should have sold Lozano for the fee received to hopefully improve the atmosphere again, but I hope that with time it will solve itself. We'll see how it goes...

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I have decided to play some more today and I'm actually glad I did... Kind of a spoiler isn't it? 

We have some very difficult matches ahead, not going to lie, the big 3 all in a row. We started against Lazio with a lucky draw, with us scoring the 2-2 in the last minutes of the game. Little did I know that after this match the machine really started... Starting with Sampdoria who we absolutely destroyed with a 2-0 victory. Granted, they were ten-man down, but it was the start of an impressive run of matches. Udinese was next in the Coppa and they had no chance: 3-1. Ternana didn't stand a chance either as we dominated to a 2-0 win there. 

Next was our first leg in the Europa League against OL. We finished this match in the first half but in the second half we were pushed back a lot but still took the win: 2-1.

Next up: Inter, league leaders. I expected a difficult match and hoped to snatch a draw but it was a pretty even affair with us perhaps edging it narrowly. With the game nearing to an end Fabio Vieira scored the winner in the 88th minute!

The second leg against OL was up, and we again had a good performance, holding them quite easily to a draw, and through to the next round which will be Spanish side Hispalis.

Next up is a difficult match against Juventus/Zebre (On a side note: I haven't added the real names yet, since the new patch arrived). Again we played an impressive match we probably should have won, but The Old Lady scored in the last minute of the game to hold us to a draw. Against Milan in the Coppa, the first of two legs, we totally dominated and should have won by more, but I hope 2-0 will be enough. Spezia away seemed to be a difficult game for us and we got away with a 1-0 victory. We didn't play as well as we did before, but a win is a win. 

The first leg against Hispalis was next and we didn't really have any troubles with them, as we dominated to a 2-0 win, with one goal questionably chalked off for offside...

Next up is Verona away, they were also no match for this unstoppable machine at the moment as we dominated to a 3-0 win.

Away to Hispalis we didn't play well, but won 1-0 thanks to a screamer from distance of Fabian. In the next round we face Lazio.

Before the international duty period starts we have one game to go, against Fiorentina. We didn't have much difficulty against them but forgot to score in the first half, and they did just that. In the second half we missed three great oppertunities in a row, and it took some time, but eventually we cruised to a deserved 3-1 victory!

 

Schedule and results:

image.thumb.png.a1ff197b0fec57c094e8b316c4e679f7.png

 

Competition overview:

image.thumb.png.6c6a79b380966fbb117b896630101ca7.png

 

So, a very impressive run of matches, though still 5th (even went down to 6th after the draw against Juve) since the Lozano incident! I'm so incredibly frustrated with this guy, I took him off the transfer list and started playing him more than before, but he is never motivated and for the love of God I can't get him to play like I know he can. I hope I can offload him in the summer because he is of no use at all anymore. I'm already eying two replacements, either Selem Bressi of San Lorenzo (19yo newgen wonderkid) or Filip Stevanovic of Man City. Both are talented but Bressi is probably a lot cheaper...

I've managed to extend Osimhen's contract and as such any interest has now gone. There's a lot of interest in other players though, we'll see how this goes when the summer transfer window opens!

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I was pretty excited to continue the game now, after the last great run and hoping to capatalise on it further. Unfortunately Osimhen got injured for 6 weeks (or so), and we will have to miss him.

Starting the game again against Udinese, though it was a pretty easy game for us, we should have won by more: 1-0.

Up next is the first leg of the quarter final at home in the Europa League against Lazio. We dominated the game but like the game against Udinese we narrowly won 1-0... I hope we will finish it away from home.

We moved up to 4th since the last league win, and continueing our impressive run against Salernitana: 2-0. We're now making a title challenge, with 6 games to go we're only 6 points behind league leaders Inter. Pretty impressive if you see where we were half the season! The team is just totally crushing it at the moment!

Time for the away leg in the Europa League against Lazio. Can you believe I cheered for the wrong team? Immobile opened the score (and I thought it was Scamacca, but Lazio played in blue, and my team in red 🧐) with a scorcher from distance... Later it was Scamacca who scored with an easy tap-in, and the score remained that way. Never in real trouble, and on to the semi finals against Roma!

Difficult match against Roma is next! It was a tight affair but we managed to edge it, Roma missed the equaliser through a penalty and we ran away 1-0 winners, a huge victory, taking over 3rd place from them!

Coppa time, the away leg against Milan. Milan was dominating the game but Livakovic was dominating the goal. Through a mistake at the back we were 1-0 in front at half-time. Milan was throwing everything at us in the second half but Livakovic kept us in the game, we won, and play the final against Inter!

The Serie A is so bloody exciting... We're only 3 points behind league leaders Juve and Inter now. Our next game is against Sassuolo. Although the match was fairly even, we just finished the chances a lot better: 2-0.

 

Schedule and results:

image.thumb.png.abf890e53c3d9ab36ff1d02d4a7400bb.png

 

Competition overview:

image.thumb.png.b028ac2a2615a6faa8f513104761c1de.png

 

What an amazing comeback this has been! Just 3 points and into a title challenge out of bloody nowhere! Can't wait to finish this season, this team keeps surprising and amazing me!

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