We’re back and going for promotion to Serie C, when you last read this we were into the semi final of the Serie D cup and 5 points clear of Forli and Mezzolara in the Serie D leaue table who were both in good form, so you might be surprised by the headline. How can we win a treble featuring in only 2 competitions? We’ll come to that further in to this update..
Serie D Table
So the number one priority was to win the league title in our Serie D group and guarantee promotion at the first attempt, after 19 games we had given ourselves a 5 point lead over our nearest challengers, those title challengers Forli and Mezzolara stayed with us for the majority of the season albeit the latter fell away due to crumbling in the last 6 games.
A major impressive part of our second half of our season was defensively again, we were largely very solid and kept 11 clean sheets in our last 19 league games, like in the first half of the season scoring goals was the bigger problem and we managed only 25 goals in the same period which is an area I want to improve through upgrades on player acquisition as the system creates enough to be smashing teams but we miss so many clear cut chances.
Key points in this second half of the season were an early defeat to Mezzolara which was undeserved but brought the title race to just 2 points at that stage, however after this defeat we went 12 games unbeaten with a 6 game winning streak which included 5 clean sheets in a row.
A 4-1 away win over Bellaria and a 3-0 home win over Union Arzignano were the standout performances of the second half of our league season with our number 10 Rodriguez dominating both games and being our creative outlet.
By this late stage in the season Mezzolara had dropped away however Forli, who had become our closest title challengers went into the 33rd round of fixtures in the campaign high on confidence due to their recent form but incredibly crumbled to a 3-0 defeat to 16th place while Parma supporters were delighted with a comfortable 3-0 victory over 15th placed Union Arzignano. This result put us 11 points clear with just 5 games left.
We then faced Forli in the 35th league game of the season at the Ennio Tardini stadium, a draw would be enough to win the Serie D title in front of our own fans and take our first steps back… and we lose the game 1-0. In a game where we don’t turn up and throw a great chance away, I walk into the dressing room and tear the whole squad to shreds and make sure they know in no uncertain terms the next game must be won.
We are Serie D champions with two games to spare after a 2-0 victory over Altovicento with goals coming from youth prospect Vincenzo Quaranta and Daniele Melandri in a quickfire double at the start of the second half, we dominated the chances and possession statistics and fully deserve the win which could and should have been more.
Serie D Cup
We were about to go into the semi final stage of the competition at the end of the last update and were big favourites to progress here against Fiorenzuola and duly won the first game at home 2-0 with goals coming from veterans Lucarelli and Migiletta. The away fixture is probably the worst game under my tenure, we don’t turn up and they punish us by taking the lead deservedly in the first half then strike again on 68 minutes.
The tie goes straight to penalties and fortunately we are victorious (2-2) 8-7 on penalties as we don’t miss a single chance from 12 yards, nervy but we go through to the final which is played at our home stadium, not sure on the fairness of that decision but we’ll take it.
The cup final is against Venezia who went on to win their Serie D group but we destroy them and 2 goals from striker Daniele Melandri on 56 and 66 minutes see us win the Serie D cup in a 2-0 victory. If we take a look at the match statistics we were in complete control – 20 shots to 3, 4 half chances to 1, 3 clear cut chances to 0 and we enjoyed 59% of the possession which is always pleasing with our philosophy.
Serie D Scudetto
So that’s the double won and that’s all we can win this season, right? Wrong, I wasn’t aware of this but after winning Serie D due to there being 9 different groups, the winners of each group go into 3 groups of 3. You play each other once and the winners of each group and the best runner up go into a 2 legged semi final then the winners of the semi finals play the final to see who wins the Serie D Scudetto.
A comfortable 2-0 victory over Venezia puts us in a good position, we know a victory over Taranto now puts us through to the semis due to having a better goal difference than Taranto however in one of our best displays of the season we smash them 4-1 with a double from Walter Rodriguez and goals from Yves Baraye and Daniele Melandri.
Our semi final opponents are RapalloBogilasco, they put up a good fight over both legs as we win 2-1 in front of our own fans, again Walter Rodriguez and Daniele Melandri on the scoresheet and proving to be key players, the second leg away we gain a credible 1-1 draw in a game we were comfortable and had went 1-0 up after 9 minutes through Rodriguez again, only to be pegged back on 79 minutes but held on to reach the final.
We then face Pro Sesto in the final of the Scudetto and as we’re drawn as the away side, the final is played at E Brada – Pro Sesto home stadium. In a quite even game, we took the lead through the inconsistent Yves Baraye after 37 minutes and manage to hold on to that scoreline to win the Scudetto, Migiletta sending off on 75 minutes put the victory under question, but we managed to tighten it up. Treble Winners 2015/2016
January Transfer dealings
Going into the January windwo I was looking for a striker due to Daniele Melandri’s long term injury and I had identified Andrea Vasallo as a target and a strong defensive midfielder. We signed Vasallo on loan from A.C Milan which I was pleased with, Filippo Romagna came in on loan from Juventus until the end of season and impressed making the anchor man role his own. Negro and D’Ignazio came in from Napoli just to give us greater depth but never impressed enough.
Guazzo was let go for £7k as he never did enough to get into the first team and was continually moaning about not getting any chances so I was happy to move him on and we released Cristian Longobardi on a free as he realised he wasn’t to the required standard.
As I mentioned the two loanees from Napoli featured only a couple of times from the bench and didn’t show much so I won’t cover them but I’ll discuss Romagna and Vasallo appearances further.
Filippo Romagna – Current ability – 4 stars Potential ability – 4-5 stars
Romagna gained an average rating of 7.01 in 12 appearances but had a decent pass completion rate of 78%, I always find that holding midfield and goalkeepers are harshly rated in terms of average rating by FM but he was really impressive in making us solid and breaking up many attacks. He goes back on loan to Juventus and is someone I may look at if he is listed for loan again as he could play in Serie C.
Andrea Vasallo – Current ability – 2 stars Potential ability – 4-5 stars Avg rating – 6.82
Vasallo was a bit of a disappointment in all honesty, I was excited at getting him on loan until the end of the season but only scored 3 goals in 9 games with 2 of them being from the penalty spot, in my opinion he under performed for his ability but not every signing will be a success.
On the last update I mentioned around 70% of the players running out of contract in the summer wouldn’t speak to me, well footballers are fickle and once we had secured the league all of them were happy to speak to me and in the majority I gave them new deals however there is one big name who has left the club, this will be updated on the next update.
So the youth intake was a massive success and the 4 players I have screenshots of are the most talented, Montanaro has a 4.5 star potential and the rest have 5 stars so could have bright futures. Cangini has actually made the match day squad however Quaranta has played in quite a few games in the holding midfield role and has popped up with 2 assists and 1 goal in 9 appearances with a solid 6.99 average rating.
Quaranta actually became our youngest ever player and subsequently our youngest ever goalscorer so I have trust in youth and feel a few of this crop could be special.
Key players this season
Claud Adjopang – Current ability – 4.5 stars Potential ability – 5 stars Avg rating – 8.42
Adjopang was an incredible attacking wing back for us this season and unless we can lure him back on loan again, he will be a big loss to us – he suffered an 6 week injury near the end of the season and we missed him greatly. He contributed 2 goals, 11 assists and 18 man of the match awards and was a big part of our attacking system when working at it’s best.
Walter Rodriguez – Current ability – 3 stars Potential ability – 4 stars – Avg rating – 7.9
Rodriguez is our number 10 and after a decent but slow start he came to life in the second half of the season being really vital in the Scudetto run and in the title run in, he is a talent who loves getting shots away and seems to have a Lampard-esque way of being in right position to run on to balls and get goals, he chipped in with 13 goals, 5 assists and 6 man of the match awards and is one of only a few who will start next season.
Notable mentions go to Dimitar Traykov who was promoted from the 20s and managed a 7.52 rating, 8 goals and 17 assists from right wing at just 19 years of age and striker Daniele Melandri who despite having major injury issues managed 14 goals and 6 assists in 28 appearances with an average rating of 7.37.
Link made with Napoli
I’m delighted to have struck a link with Napoli, they are currently one of the top 4 or 5 Serie A sides and we will benefit from player(s) we like from them being sent out on loan while we have no obligation to play them and we don’t pay a penny. We also host an annual friendly with Napoli with all gate receipts to be kept by us, in our current position this is a very smart and good deal for us.
Parma turn professional!
Turning back professional is a big step forward, I asked in a board meeting for this to happen at around March time which was rejected however due to promotion the board felt this was an acceptable move, an added bonus to this is the increased staff we can now employ.
I have also accepted a contract to be the Parma manager until June 2019, which could mean leading Parma out in Serie A within this contract period all things going well and being promoted from each league at the first time of asking, that is an aim of mine however I am happy to win Serie D and C first time, one adjustment year in Serie B due to higher quality and then push for promotion the second season.
Taking a look at our financial summary for the season, we recorded a £443,595 loss this season but retain a healthy balance of over £10 million, due to it being Serie D although we enjoyed season ticket holders of 8,000 which is impressive we failed to gain much more attendance than 10,000 for home games so hopefully with the step up, more fans turn out and thus a better financial result can happen going forward.
Budgets for next season..
This is obviously a downloaded database from FMScout and so far things have been spot on, however this is clearly a flaw, our wage budget has increased from £28k p/w to £88k p/w and our transfer budget has went from £100k to £9.42 million. Now it would be both daft and risky to go and spend millions on player recruitment, it is both not needed and would ruin the save/series as it’s over the top.
I asked a few people who follow this series whether I should buy/download FMRTE to adjust the budgets to a more respectable one but it was agreed I would just leave things and spend what I feel is necessary – in my opinion £500k for transfers and possibly doubling wages from £25k p/w to £50k p/w if needed would be fair to win Serie C.
The next update will be our summer transfer dealings, how the signings shape our side and possibly include the first few games of the Serie C league season, we have made some excellent signings and a major player may leave, who could it be?
I hope everyone who has read this has enjoyed this first post, if you wish to discuss anything then leave a comment or you can find me on twitter @johnmcintosh19 and I’ll be happy to discuss.