So here we are and I have made a change to the format, due to only really having the league to focus on and it being a 34 game league this update will cover the full season 2, getting to business our board are requesting that we reach the playoffs in the Lega Pro A (Serie C) and we are rated as the 5th favourites for the title with the bookmakers and with odds of 33-1 we are not fancied to win the league but we are expected to challenge for the playoffs which ties in with the board request.
However I am very excited by some of the signings I have made and the team we have assembled and feel quietly confident we can certainly challenge for the title, I have been given essentially £9 million and an extra £55k p/w on wages but I have decided to keep to spending around £500k on the transfer budget for this season and have increased the wage budget by £26k p/w to £54k p/w.
If we firstly take a look at the outgoing players we let most of the players go on a free due to running down of their respective contracts, the big shock may be Alessandro Lucarelli, our club captain of last season was 39 years old and wanted a wage increase from £6k p/w to £9k p/w and having looked at his contribution I felt the wages could be used better elsewhere so it was time to let him go.
The rest that we let go of on a free were due to them not being of the required standard as we progress through the leagues and none of them even featured much for me in Serie D, however losing Otello Cangini to Torino was a bitter blow he was one of our bright youth hopes if you remember from the previous post but Torino lured him before I could agree pro terms with him so we lost him for £92k compensation fee.
Now to the incoming players, goalkeeper Vid Belec came in on a free transfer and £3k p/w from Carpi and with reflexes of 14, positioning and handling of 12 he is a massive upgrade on Zompers, next I felt we needed to improve our centre back area for the step up in quality and I was able to recruit two very good centre backs for this level – in came Alex Sirri and Andrea Mei.
Mei has 15 tackling, 14 marking and 13 for pace and is a 4 star player who can be a leading player for Serie B sides, it’s always pleasing signing a player who can be a strong player in the division above as we need to keep on progressing, Sirri was a £230k buy and my scouts at the time rated him with a potental of 4.5 stars which after an injury has sadly come down to 3 stars so we’ll see how much further he can progress.
We also make purchases in left and right wing back so yes, we’ve changed the full back 4 and keepers, this was a big transitional period in any case we bring in left wing back Lorenzo Pasqualini on a free and right wing back Tommaso Cancellotti for a fee of £350k. Pasqualini is a 4 star player with key stats of 12-14 in the wing back areas he is worth the outlay, while Pasqualini is a 3.5 star wing back who improves us instantly.
Hernan Pereyra then joins us also on a free on just £1.1k p/w he gives us a better option at left wing than we currently have and is on less wages than some of our squad players, I also bring in anchor man Tommaso Morosini in on a free he is a 3.5 star player so can make the step up to Serie B if we make it and with little outlay the deal makes perfect sense.
A fellow midfielder brought in is Mattia Minesso also on a free, after a stunning season he is now worth £2.4 million and is a 4 star player with excellent technical stats such as 16 for passing and 14 for technique, we then make use of the link with Napoli and secure the loans of right inside forward Roberto Insigne and centre back Sebastiano Luperto – 4.5 star potential and 5 star potential respecitvely with the current ability to comfortably play at this level.
The rest we signed that I won’t discuss simply did not impress enough and I gather you all are bored of transfers and want to get into the action?
Serie C Cup
Our board once again said this was not a competition they cared about and this time neither did I, I’m not saying that because we were disgraced by Reggiana but promotion to Serie B was going to be a massive task and the extra games I could do without. We won comfortably over Cuneo and then were outplayed by Reggiana who would go to push us in some games later on in the season.
We started the league well with 6 wins out of a possible 8 however then picked up just one win in 5 games including 3 defeats, incredibly we defeated Mantova 5-1 in a thrilling display within this period, before winning 3 of the next 5 including a draw in this period the 1-0 loss coming against Giana Erminio.
We then beat Pro Sesto 2-0 to make it 2 out of 2 for the season against them, before 2 stuttering back to back draws against two sides we should have beaten in Renate and Venezia, then something magical happened I had been working on defending in training and a small tactical tweak to move the DLP (s) to a CM (s) and A (D) to a DLP (D) and we went 8 wins on the bounce including 6 clean sheets.
This excellent run of form moved us from 5 points behind Modena to 5 in front, we then had the chance to move 8 clear of Modena and despite dominating the game lost 2-1 despite taking an early lead through Walter Rodriguez, we then finished the season with a win over Bassano, awful loss to Regianna (again), a great late comeback win v Cuneo where Rodriguez again inspried us and this lead us to some last day drama.
In a 18 team league, this allows for 34 games and this is how tight it was going in to the last day of the season, I should probably say that only one team goes up and then 2nd to 4th are involved in a playoff which is very complicated however all it would require is to equal Modena last fixture
Much to my dismay we could only manage a draw in our last game in a 1-1 draw however battered Pordenone, thankfully Modena decided to collapse on the last day losing 2-0 to Bassano and we are champions, back to back promotions is good going so far however whilst our domination of the ball improved this year only scoring 50 (joint best in league, how?) is not something I am happy with, I’m not Louis Van Gaal.
Tommaso Cancelotti was brilliant in replacing Claud Adjopang and helped us to the title with an average rating of 8.35, 12 man of the match awards, 2 assists and a credible pass completion rate of 82%, Walter Rodriguez probably was my player of the season and just a delight to have in my team – 7 goals, 10 assists and 7 man of the match awards, pass completion rate of 81% and with an average rating of 7.88 this proves how vital he was to us.
Credible mentions go to Daniele Melandri with 17 goals and 4 assists in 28 starts and centre midfielder Mattia Minesso with 4 goals, 6 assists and a pass completion rate of 83% which has seen his value soar to £2.4 million – not bad for a free signing after one season.
Good player performances and players with high potential meant we had work to do in securing some contract extensions and tied up Daniele Melandri, Gabriele Silva, youngster Nardi and also extended deal of Mattia Minesso due to a good season and him almost causing a squad mutiny, he behaved poorly but realistically could take us to next level so did enough to get him on a longer deal and improved terms.
On the opposite side there are several players I will be letting go of, reserve keeper Alioune Fall, Maikol Benassi, Dimitar Traykov, Franceso Corapi will all be let go for not being of the right standard needed, after one season Faissal El Bakhtaoui did not perform to the level I expected and midfield veteran Crocefisso Migiletta has retired from football but been a decent servant.
In regards to the youth intake we signed four youngsters that I feel have decent potential even with us progressing through the leagues, they were Riccardo Cipolla a wide man with incredible physicals for a 16 year old with a 4-5 star potential too, Ermes Capone a raw but talented 17 year old striker with potential of between 4 and 5 stars.
The last two exciting talents signed up were centre back Davide Tancredi with a potential of between 3.5-4.5 stars and a winger/forward Ivanno Penna with potential of 4.5 stars and flair of 17 – delightful.
Signings for next season
A teaser for next season as we have tied up pre contracts for two players Josh Brillante from Fiorentina and Armando Vajushi from Chievo.
Josh is a current international and will battle with Morosini in the deeper midfield role I always like to have good competition for places, he is just 24 years old a great age and has potential of 5 stars so I couldn’t really turn the deal down for him.
Vajushi was a player recommended to me by my chief scout and with current ability of 4 stars, a first touch of 13, dribbling 14 and acceleration 14 I think he could be a valuable addition, Francesco Corapi won’t be getting a new deal due to poor performances so he will come in to replace him.
Another season and another financial loss for Parma, realistically I don’t see things improving until we get back to Serie A, the added wages would have added around £1.35 million to our expenditure, add in £500k net spend on transfers and we’re not too far away from the loss but at the moment we have a healthy bank balance so I’m not too concerned.
Once again I’ve been given a healthy transfer budget of £8.7 million and a wage budget of £92k p/w (38k p/w spare) however once again I don’t want to go mad so wish to be financially prudent to get back to where Parma belong in the top flight in a healthy manner.
Aims for next season
Our board haven’t given us any expectations yet but I have heard that others have been asked to secure a mid table position in Serie B if they get back to back promotions, my aim is to get back to Serie A by season 5 so this allows for me to have a transitional season in Serie B if I need to. However if we recruit well and perform then of course we will go all out to get back to Serie A a year early. Forza Parma
I hope everyone who has read this has enjoyed this 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.