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DP91 Comments
March & April Part II

Barcelona Banished
The second leg against Barcelona played out the same as the first leg had ended, with Napoli dominating the proceedings with possession firmly in our favour and general control of the game. We struggled to find the target mostly thanks to Patrick Roberts deciding to continually cut inside and shoot wide of the goal which is a characteristic I have seen of his since departing England. He really hasn't been quite the same player at Monaco or Napoli but still does a job better than most! The game was all but over when Messi pulled one back for Barcelona late on as our opponents had a couple of threatening attacks but the game was already over and our place in the semi-final secured once again for a consecutive season.

The semi-final draw contained two of my previous clubs and another club who had yet to taste 'European Glory' in Arsenal and it would be a clash against my most recent club that we would be given. Having technically both won and lost against Monaco in the European Super Cup at the start of my tenure at Napoli it should make for a good encounter.

Champions Once More
In April we were crowned kings of Italy and in doing so stopped the domination of Juventus and Roma whom had won the league for the previous 10 seasons and in Napoli's case an achievement not accomplished since 1990, a 33 year wait!

Unbeaten Streak Still Intact
Over the months of March and April the greatest achievement for me was that we remain unbeaten in Serie A. Even though it is not the aim of the career I would be elated to secure a second unbeaten season with a club after the two years we achieved the feat whilst at Shakhtar.

Next Up - May & Monaco

March & April

Sporting Dealt With
The second leg was more of the same for Napoli as we coasted into the quarter final stage of the competition, 7-2 on aggregate, our reward however was less satisfying as we drew Barcelona. Having finished higher than them last year in the group stage and an ever ageing side I believe we have what it takes to send them out of the competition though.

Another Encounter with Barcelona
The first game against Barcelona was a close encounter and we actually finished the much stronger side dominating the last 30 minutes of the fixture coming close twice by hitting the woodwork before winning a penalty with 10 to play which was converted by former Barcelona player Halilovic. Stats wise our opponents dominated but funnily enough we came away looking the more likely side, a 1-1 draw and the away goal puts us in a good position to progress to the semi final.

It was a good campaign for Halilovic already as the star broke the record for the most player of the match awards, mostly down to his set piece abilities this year which have often found the back of the net for the club.

Back-to-back titles is a great start with Rushden Jamie! Very few losses in two seasons should put you in a good position for a top half finish next year once more I'd have thought.
Going Strong

Juventus Take II
Our league fixture away against Juventus started the month of February and after the recent collapse against our Turin opposition we needed to ensure things were done differently this time and a change in philosophy and creativity ensured we came away avoiding defeat. A counter attack based tactic was implemented with a target man aim of finding Lukaku which worked perfectly until in the latter stages of the game our defence caved in on us and Juventus managed to bag a quick fire double to save a point.

Champions League - 1st Leg - Last 16
We had made a great start in the 1st leg against Sporting and found ourselves 3-0 up before the 40 minute mark before letting our opposition back into the tie and then once more to be holding a 3-2 lead which was still brilliant away from home but frustrating. A change of tactics late on and an aggressive approach to kill the game insured that we came away 4-2 victors and sit comfortably on the verge of the quarter final stage.

February Fixtures
Another unbeaten month and Lukaku bang on form once more with a goal in almost every game. The best news of all was that we are now 10 points clear in Serie A and look to finally be on the verge of putting Juventus down with Napoli.

February Table
Great start to the year TMR, hopefully you can progress in Europe in a fairly tough group which will likely come down to results away/home game differences. Get something away at Juve and you'll be in a good position!
Doing well in League and good draw in Either Sporting or Marseille

Congratulations on top spot.Didnt look good at the halfway mark but you got there.

What a turn around, didn't see that coming so quickly!!

Thanks gents, looked like we might even be facing elimination at the half way stage but thanks to those 90+ minute goals in consecutive games we've managed to pull it out the bag. I'm sure Sporting will be dealt with fairly easily as well for us to progress to the QF stage.

And Then Came Juventus

Another good month of results in January and quite a few clean sheets along the way too as we continued our run in Serie A to 21 games without defeat and sat 8 points out in front.

Win Streak

January Table

Not many tough fixtures this month until our last tie of January which alike to last year saw us draw Juventus away in the Italian Cup, a fixture we have struggled with since my appointment in Naples. With our form this year I was hoping we could get one over our rivals in what could really be a statement of intent but it wasn't to be. What makes things worse is that our next fixture in Serie A is against Juventus, the streak might well be over next post

January Fixtures
Great performance in the Europa League Kez and not a bad season in Serie A either first time out. Much to build from, won't be too long before Inter are back at the top.
Solid as ever so far Dan. May have dropped a few too many points it would have seemed but clearly domestic opposition haven't faired all too well either and some very good European results.
Good squad strengthening once more Johno, the WHU squad is really coming along, I'm certain you'll start to challenge on all fronts soon! Was especially impressed with the funds attained from the sale of Podolski at 32, incredible business!
Good luck with Walsall Rick, fantastic opening introduction to the club and such which has been a good read, I look forward to seeing you attempt to accomplish the set goals, good luck!
Such success in Fiji in your previous career meant I was sad to see it end but look forward to seeing how you fair with Burnley mate.
Massive wins in Europe mate.Now on course for qualification.

Qualification secured now due to Galatasaray and Valencia not being able to out do us for points and we have the superior games against record.

December Delights

Would You Adam & Eve It
After out torrid time in the early stages of the Champions League this season we have only gone and topped the group! A 94th minute winner over Galatasaray and now a 91st minute winner over Man City see's us top the group due to a superior games against record. Crazy.

Either way it appears a good draw would have been the outcome as ourselves and Man City draw Sporting Lisbon and Marseille respectively.

A short but perfect month in December for Napoli as we now sit top in Serie A and are still unbeaten whilst having drawn favourable opposition in the first knockout stage in the Champions League it's safe to say that the year so far has been a delightful one for Naples.
You weren't lying mate.Quality month from lukaku.Hopefully youll be able to get some good form going in the cl.

Fantastic stuff from Lukaku that month! You're going well in the league, unlucky in the Champions League though!

Absolute beast of a start for Lukaku in Naples and proving to be a great signing for the relatively small fee paid. Frustrating in the CL so far indeed!

Struggling a little in the CL but very good in the league at the moment

Possibly the worst outcome for me would be early elimination from the competition the career is built around! Hopefully our domestic form came be brought through into Europe soon!

Nice November for Naples

A brief update for November, can tell it's Christmas as I'm struggling to find time to post updates and such!

Champions League Group
After 4 games and our win over Valencia the second time around the table now looks a little nicer for Napoli!

Hail Halilovic
If it wasn't for Halilovic scoring late on against Galatasaray we may have been once again on the verge of elimination from the Champions League but thanks to a 94th minute free-kick not only did we get the win but have no advanced to the next stage as neither Galatasaray or Valencia can best us on results against should we lose the final game and either match our points total. We could also still top the group with a win over Man City and a better goal difference over the two games!


League Table

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Good start with Fylkir Wilc one of few teams in Iceland I truly recognise. Plenty of goals for Zekovic and long may it continue, but a shame to see players leave on the back of not wanting new contracts when it was most likely down to previous management than your own!
As you say Gendo it looks like it'll be United's year this time but still 30 points to play for, you never know! Still going strong in the FA Cup and some good signings made, shocked GG Romero still hadn't left Estudiantes though but all the better for you in signing him. Looking good in Europe too, it can still be a very good season for sure.
A big ask with B71 according to the bookmakers but plenty of new arrivals to shake things up, I'm sure you'll have a good season mate.
A good enough start with Dynamo Dan, good luck for the second leg in Europe although it wouldn't be the end of the world if you were eliminated allowing for a better shot at domestic dominance.
A good season once again last year Johno and commiserations on the FA Cup final! European football once more though and plenty of money to invest once more as WHU are starting to transform into contenders, great work so far mate!
The Belgian Beast

The month of October was the month of the Belgian beats as Lukaku found form in the 4-3-3-DM once more under my guidance and fired Napoli into great league form and additionally a good position in the league table. There were however some issues in Europe as the club saw their first defeat to Valencia which came as a slight shock as the Spanish side had failed to claim a point from their first two games.

Champions League

With 3 games played we're struggling and sit bottom of the group table. 5 points from the top spot and the record of topping every group is now not even a consideration as just qualification would keep me happy and with 9 points available but 2 behind a spot in the latter stages it isn't over just yet!

October Fixtures

10 goals for Lukaku in 6 games and a goal in all but one, complete domination in what may have been quite straight forward fixtures but 4/6 being away from home I believe it was a good month for the club, just a shame about Europe! Roma proved tough opposition at home as we fell short somewhat for me but yet again we avoided defeat in Serie A and therefore sit in a good position in the league table after 10 games.

October League Table
Dominant in Portugal as expected but an amazing record you achieved Dan, great stuff! Is there another trophy still to win in Portugal or is that it now complete? Looking forward to the next venture once again, seems to be a very good run of winning every competition at the first attempt for a good few years now!
Unlucky last year Juve really did press on this year!

I thought PSG pushed my Monaco side hard but Juve last year and as ever when I'm in town were pretty untouchable.

Tough group mate.Good luck this season.

Tough but I think we can get through if we are anything alike to our European performance levels last year.

This Time We Mean Business

So with the transfers complete and the squad raring to go we kicked off the 2022/23 season and this time Juventus must be stopped and Europe must be conquered. We would be facing early pressure as Juventus would be knocking at Sao Paulo only 3 games into the season followed by Inter alike to last seasons campaign and within our opening months fixtures we would also travel away to my previous club Man City.

We started as we meant to go on with a 4-2 win over Verona which was actually left quite late in assuring 3 points after a brilliant start where we had bagged an early 2 goal lead. Next up were Genoa in our first away game and a fairly even game which was quite a worry but we came away with the points all the same with a close 2-1 victory.

Our first game in Europe was against our Turkish opposition this year, Galatasaray. A pretty slow encounter ensued in our return to the big stage and we came away falling short with a 0-0 draw and being at home in this fixture an early worry but nothing to write home about!

Then came Juventus. Time for some revenge and that was exactly what we took from the game. We took the lead just after the latter stages of the first half and were pegged back prior to half time. The second half though was a different story as the team rallied out and dominated with chance after chance, frustratingly once more though not many were hitting the target. A penalty was put away by Halilovic for his second of the game at the hour mark and prior to a brief resurgence from the old lady we continued to pepper the opposition box and finally killed the game off in the late stages of the game keeping form and scoring once every 30 minutes in the game duration. A good 3-1 victory, early defeat inflicted upon our foe and a joint top spot secured.

We travelled next to Milan to face Internazionale and came away with a draw after a thrilling game which we should have really put to bed late on but once more couldn't quite hit the back of the net when it really mattered. A 3-3 draw the result in what was a very tense game but one we probably should have come away with another 3 points. We were however back to winning ways in our final Serie A league game of the month against opponents Cagliari who always put the pressure on us but with Lukaku starting to find his feet in Serie A he ensured we got the win we needed to keep the pressure on at the top.

Our final game of the month and a return to Manchester. A very tough game away from home which we could have come away without anything had City made the most of their chances for a change as it is usually us whom struggle to make the most of our opportunities. The formation change since my departure at City I feel probably made the difference as the 4-4-2 our opposition played resulted in little control of the game in terms of possession for the home side. A 1-1 draw at full time and not a great place to be after 2 games but one that I am sure we can turn in our favour with the fixtures over Valencia coming up.

Aug/September Fixtures

League Table
Dropping points to Inter was detrimental to letting Juventus right back into the race for the top spot early on but of course at this stage it means very little. We may 'Mean Business' this year but our opposition clearly have no intentions to let us run away with anything!

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Season 2022/23 - Napoli Take-Two

So as we approach the second season in Naples and my fourth in Italy it is time to strengthen the squad after the domination of The Old Lady last season who ran-away with the treble and defeated us 4/5 times!

We start with two transfers whom instantly took up our foreign player allocation for the season, both of whom arrived on free transfers thanks once again to the 'bosman rule'. This sadly did mean however that once again I would not be able to pursue Ortega as much as I am determined to bring him in and fire Napoli to glory.

Ezequiel Delgado - CM

Jonathan Costa - AML

A total combined valuation of over £50m for two free transfers was just too good to turn down as much as I had wanted to sign Ortega. In doing so I now have a complete central midfield and also complete cover for the AML position.
A further acquisition was made on the back of the bosman rule as another long term target arrived to bolster the midfield further both in CM and DM allowing for a potential departure to occur and therefore additional funds to acquire a striker as priority.

Rewiedath Sandvliet - CM / DM

Two final players arrived to bolster the first team squad, both of whom have played under my leadership before. A beast of a striker and a winger who had previously dominated.


Transfers Out
Transfers out totalled £43.5m meaning an £8m was spent overall on the two transfers in saving around £20m in finances and also reducing out wage budget by 250k, not bad at all!

Finally for this update I was offered another shot at International football as the Netherlands sought out a replacement for Brendan Rodgers who was recently sacked although I had to turn down the offer once more as I currently have no intentions to venture into that department. Additionally a look at our Champions League group prior to the next update containing our August and September fixtures.
Quite a tough group I feel but as ever one we can progress from for sure. I'm not yet overly confident about Napoli as an elite force in Europe even after our semi final appearance last season but the squad is stronger now so who would write us off!

Would be killer to not wrap up Fiji now but I'm sure you'll finish well and finish it off! A good nation to tick off early doors!
Poor Klopp. I hope the same outcome is not forthcoming in real life for him! Still unbeaten and 6 clear Simon great form!
Well done on the title with UCD Wilc Looking forward to the next season should you decide to stick around in Ireland or not.
Big ask to make it to the Championship within 10 years but a great start and dominant first season with Rushden. Has been cleared up already somewhat but it is indeed just the history of the former Rushden that has been included for their profile. Could be argued either way whether it is truly their history or not but I would argue it is as the former club are no more. The AFC Wimbledon argument is more so they are an original side due to the team / squad and such of Wimbledon simply just became MK Don's as it was only a ground move and name change after much ongoing debate I believe.

Good luck for the new season Jamie!
Would expect to see Portugal dealt with quickly and it's fair to say you went about it in that manor, although a shame to see a slight blip in the latest fixtures Dan. A cup final secured and Porto eliminated plus a likely 2 points behind leaders and rivals Sporting isn't a bad position to be in at this stage! Despite the quite weak on paper back-line they haven't faltered much so far which a handful conceded after all these games.
Great to see you about to tick off Wales so easily!

Oh that sarcasm
Typical that you would draw United in the Capital One Cup! Not a bad month and as Dan mentioned great to see you top in the Champions League group stage, hopefully the final game can secure that spot for the better draw in the next round. Fingers crossed United drop points in the league, must surely lose a game soon!
Tough to take the Champions League exit but hopefully a good run in the Europa League will make up for it. Still going strong in the league as well with the 2 games in hand hopefully resulting in seeing you leapfrog Litex and CSKA Sofia into 1st.