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AdamRK Comments
Off-Season 2035

Last season was horrific to say the least, painful in areas and an absolute nightmare for the most part. Work was needed to sure up the side, so without further ado lets look at the off-season's work.


December Waiver Draft

At the end of the season, clubs are required to guarantee contracts for next season and protect players from being drafted. With this being said, teams can use this as an immediate means of strengthening their sides before setting their sights on major off-season targets.


Chris Begay - 19, DL - with a full season of MLS football to his name already at the age of nineteen, I was surprised to see the Dynamo fail to protect him for the coming season. Alongside Jones, this gives us two good young left-backs to challenge Overgard, but the future and the depth in this position looks bright.


Harrison Fenton - 25, ST - with Muller and Clayden not performing last season, there were times when a fourth option would have been a lovely thing to have and this is what Harrison is here to be. He won't start, he will barely make the bench but what he will do is provide depth to a squad that needs it.


Jack Farnsworth - 25, DR - a common theme with December Waiver Draft players is that they aren't exactly starting calibre. Jack joins to provide depth at right-back and become our nailed on second-choice. With just shy of two-hundred professional games to his name he offers experience behind Vitor, without pushing to start.

MLS SuperDraft

I'll say it from the start here, we did not have a good SuperDraft. Last year's draft set a high standard for me, trading for the number one pick perhaps isn't something that can be done every year. The likes of Muller and Clayden were both traded away for picks and future considerations as the squad was reshaped. I had my eyes on a young 'keeper projected as a Top 5 pick and thankfully our trades saw us occupy fourth. However, he eventually went second making my sole target off the board, leading to the following draftees...


Guillermo Velazquez - 21, MC - with my top target gone I asked the assistant who he'd pick. Generation Adidas midfielder Velazquez was his option and I failed to see a better option. Plenty of room to grow, he'll provide depth in the midfield this season.


Efrain Bernal - 21, GK - third choice, homegrown goalkeeper, nothing more, nothing less. Hopefully he doesn't play for me this season.


Jose Luis de la Cruz - 21, DR - more depth at the back, again should hope to not see him start any games this year.

Transfer Window

Mamadou Beugre - 19, ML
- if we want to be a better side this year we'd have to improve across the board, that's obvious. Chris Adams had been my starting left-mid since my arrival solely because he was an academy graduate. Sentiment has no place if we're looking to be serious contenders and so Beugre was bought in from ASEC to fill this spot. Six games in and he's yet to set the league alight, but perhaps I've rushed him into the team and he needs to settle.


Luis Maldonado - 20, ST - I was close to signing Luis permanently during the summer, but Marseille came in after us with a larger fee and higher wages. No complaints from me, can't hold it against the player. Instead then, I loaned him in for the year. I look at him as a better version of Clayden, mind it'd be tough to be worse. I'm looking to use his raw pace off the bench to see games out and already he's done better than his Irish predecessor.


Paul Collins - 22, ST - I don't know how or why but we've ended up with another International Slot for the year, which I decided to use to get Collins on loan from Liverpool for the year. On paper he looks to be a starter for us alongside Sargent and he can't be worse than those before him. For both him and Maldonado it'll take some time for partnerships to be formed but I have no doubt they can do good for us once they're fully firing.



Same old Chicago... Two wins from our first two games and looking good for it, followed by a no-show against an NYCFC side that we're probably equal to, then letting this affect our form as an average Portland side saw us off comfortably. A nil-nil draw against New York Red Bulls saw us register just one shot on target, a ninetieth minute clear-cut chance that was hit straight at the 'keeper. Back to wining ways against Philadelphia saw us dominate throughout yet failed to make any of our chances from open-play count, only a Reyes penalty secured three points.


Six games in and we sit fifth in our division, though only three points (and eight goals) are between us and second. I'm not sure what to expect for this season. We've improved marginally season-on-season and I'd hope to do so again this year and be slightly better than the mediocrity we've shown.

Next Update

Mid-Season Review
Thanks @bigmattb28 for the continued support, lets see how the season panned out...


End of Season 2035

Now, in the last update the intention was to update again mid-way through the season, but things quickly became clear we were a mediocre side and one that was underperforming too, as evidenced by...




Yep, that's three times during the season where my job was called into question, where each game could've been my last.




A quick look at the fixture list shows that we struggled to put together any sort of good form. We'd win one then we'd lose one, very rarely would a result repeat itself over the course of the season. Furthermore, I'll put my hands up and say there was mismanagement of the squad, which will be covered in the squad review. Towards the back end of the season we looked a much better side, a tactical change to a positive vertical tiki-take went some way to helping with this, allowing us to make a late push at the end of the year.


A push which did see us qualify for the post-season, even sitting as high as 3rd at a point! To me this shows movement in the right direction after we narrowly missed out last year.

US Cup


Having made it to the Semi Final of last season's US Cup I was confident that we could perhaps go one further this season.

A comfortable win against Nashville got our run underway before a penalty shootout win against Minnesota took us into the Quarter Final. A narrow loss against D.C. United ended any hopes of silverware for another year.

MLS Playoffs


Our Playoff draw pitted us against NYCFC in a game that could've gone either way, and looking at the stats you could say we were unlucky. Bossing possession and dominating the shot count suggests we were in the driver's seat, but a bad challenge from Overgard saw the defender receive his marching orders and less than five minutes later the hosts made the man-advantage count, ending our season and halting our late-season momentum.

Squad Review


I mentioned previously that part of our bad season is due to my poor management of the team, but parts were also due to injury. Before the season had started I made the decision to cut a lot of players from the squad and loan academy graduates and previous draft picks out to see them develop, I realised soon that this left me with a bare bones squad. Towards the end of the season we were hit with a lot of injuries and international call-ups seeing me field a bench entirely of defenders.

We were also hurt by players not performing well, only four averaged over a seven rating.

In goal, both Gray and Perez were rotated and performed equally. Ideally I'd let Perez go in the off-season and sign a cheaper, homegrown 'keeper.

The defence was shaky this year. Luciano and Obinna were the usual starting pair, but when the latter left for AFCON duties, Herrin stepped up well.

The midfield played well for the most part, although nobody stood out. Christoffersen was largely disappointing but a lot of this is due to those around him not firing.

This brings me on to the strikers and I've never seen anything like this. How Sargent is still scoring over twenty goals is beyond me, but its certainly changed my opinion on him. Muller was resurgent at the end of the season, but this isn't enough to save him, he's got to go. Jimmy Clayden wins the award for possibly the worst signing made by anyone ever, twenty-eight games without a single goal and only two assists to go with the countless misses over the year; genuinely I've never seen a player so bad in all my years. Big reshape needed.

Next Update

Off-Season 2035
Off-Season Review 2034/35

At the end of the 2034 Regular Season we were nothing more than spectators for the Playoffs after having been a way, way off the mark during the back end of the season. The silver-lining through all of this was that it allowed me to come to an honest and realistic opinion about the squad, setting up the busiest and most important off-season the club has had in recent years.

December Re-Entry Draft

With the season over and done, many clubs made their decision about players within their squads about who to keep and who to let go. Once the players had passed the waivers the remaining players became eligible for the 2034 December Re-Entry Draft, in which we had the 10th pick (due to our league position) and a host of second-round selections.


Jozsef Kasza - 21, DC - the first player we selected was twenty-one year-old defender Kasza, formerly of Cincinnati. All parties in this deal were under no illusions that Jozsef was coming in solely as a backup player and as a means of providing competition.


Joshua White - 23, DC - the second player of the three we selected, although the third player is already off the books, White joins in a similar manner to Kasza. Formerly of FC Dallas, White offers more depth and cover in one of our weakest positions and may feature in times of need.

Free Transfers

Around this time one of our pre-arranged transfers from the closing stages of last season became an official Chicago Fire player...


Jimmy Clayden - 25, ST - with over one-hundred appearances in the English league system and a full Republic of Ireland international, Clayden joins to provide competition for both Sargent and Muller, with both players staying with the club and starting in our new-look side. Jimmy has bags of pace and great attributes where it counts and could partner Muller off the bench, giving us a pacey front-line, or could perfectly compliment Sargent.


Vitor - 29, DR - the right-side of our defence was arguably our weakest position last season after we were left with one fit player in the first-team who was less than the standard needed. Having spent all of his career in his native Brazil thus far, Vitor joins us as he comes into his peak. A much needed step up in quality, Vitor has strong qualities physically, mentally and defensively and could be a very solid player for us over the next few seasons.

2035 MLS SuperDraft

Something I've been keen to experience in my career so far has been the MLS SuperDraft, a love it or hate it system of bringing fresh talent into the league and ensuring somewhat of a balance is kept between teams. A number of trades in previous years had seen us land with four first-round picks. Having scouted the players that had declared it became very clear to me that this year's draft class had two stand out players, one an attacking midfielder and one a defensive midfielder. Knowing that either of these players would be able to play for me this year a trade was struck with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The deal itself would see us move our four first-round picks and $200K in exchange for the 1st Overall Pick. So just who would we end up drafting...?


Tab Ramirez - 20, AMC - with the first overall pick in the 2035 MLS SuperDraft we selected twenty year-old attacking midfielder Tab Ramirez, formerly of the New York Red Bulls Under-23 side. A Generation Adidas player, Tab has bags of pace and a good footballing brain. His technical ability is still very raw but he has all the potential to become a star in this league and is exactly the type of player I'm looking to add to the squad. Opting to pick him over a defensive-mid, the signing of Ramirez sees the squad reshape with our existing attacking-midfielders being shipped out.

Transfer Window Dealings

I've come to notice that MLS has a lot of opportunities to sign players and reshape your squad. By this stage in the Off-Season we had already been through a Re-Entry Draft and the SuperDraft, but now we also had a Transfer Window to compete with. Thankfully the squad had already taken some shape, but there were two more additions, one that I'd been after for a while, that joined the side.


Derek Gray - 29, GK - with Frietas leaving we were in need of a back-up 'keeper that could challenge Perez. More so, with the Frietas deal freeing up and international slot I wasn't restricted regarding who I could sign. I decided to search through all active players with an active Relegation Release Clause and Derek was a player towards the top of the list. £17.5K was enough to get the Scottish international to hop over the Pond and I'm excited to add him to the squad. At best, Derek can displace Perez as our Number 1, at worst he provides great depth.


Bo Christoffersen - 26, AMC - I said at the end of the season that we needed a huge Designated Player addition in order to shake up the squad. My eye had been on Bo last season with a view to bringing him in and due to this our two attacking midfielders from last year were shipped on. This almost proved to be a horrible decision as I couldn't agree on a contract with Bo's agent throughout the summer but eventually I got my man! For just over £3million we've secured a league-leading attacking midfielder who has all the necessary attributes to be a star for us. So far he's not been able to settle and producer but I'm sure once he does the goals will be flowing. The only downside to this deal is a Minimum Fee Release Clause of £6million which we couldn't remove but if Bo impresses this season I'll offer him a new deal and try to remove this.

March Waiver Draft

And the final opportunity to pick players up comes in the form of the March Waiver Draft. Between December's Draft and this one, teams have to further decide which players they want to keep going into the season and which they need to keep. The quality of this draft is much higher than the previous one, with a number of players being made available that could easily start for most teams. With this said, two players were picked up to provide depth.


Morgan Herrin - 26, DC - the first player we drafted was ex-Swansea and Wales international Morgan Herrin. Morgan has spent the last few seasons in New York and the biggest reason I signed him was due to the fact that the gap between our starting central defenders and our backups was too large. Morgan comes in to fill this gap as the nailed on third choice in this position.


Adam O'Brien - 31, AMR/AML - experienced winger O'Brien was the final addition as we looked for back up on the wings. Adam's ability to play further up the wings or sit in a more reserved position were the biggest factor in his signing, but ability wise he should be good for a year or so still. Coming off the bench he has all the attributes to make contributions when he plays.


A Month in Review

A wealth of new signings in the Off-Season led us into the start of a new campaign, with myself being optimistic of our chances of being a better team this year - Playoffs in mind.


And so competitive football returned in the month of March.

We kicked off the season away to LAFC who are a dangerous outfit. With players still jelling we create few chances of high quality, although we did manage to stay strong at the back and keep a clean sheet, something of a rarity last year.

This was followed up with an away trip to Portland to face a Timbers side fresh from wining their opening game. A partnership of Muller and Sargent saw a handful of chances come their way, although none were converted. Another solid defensive showing earnt us a point.

Days later and we had to travel far again to face a Houston who are top-heavy. Despite their weak defence we couldn't break them down, perhaps as players were still getting used to each other's runs and tendencies. But when you fail to punish an opponent with as much quality going forward as Houston there is always consequences, as two second-half goals finally saw us concede.

A few tactical tweaks and player changes preceded a home visit of Vancouver just two days later, and three points were gained by the end of this one after a great display in the second half saw us score three before the visitors scored a late consolation goal.

A narrow one-nil win in LA saw us build some good momentum at the end of the month, before we picked up a single point away against the Crew.


Our fortunes then seem to be on the up. With the side playing much better and looking so much more competent we currently sit in the Playoffs just a month into the campaign. I don't see any reason why we can't keep this up and once Christoffersen clicks with those around him there's nothing to say that we can't do better!

In Other News


January saw me pick up the Argentinian Premier Division Manager of the Year at the end of the calendar year due to my efforts at River.

Next Update

Mid-Season Review!
End of Regular Season 2034

So, with the end of the MLS Regular Season coming to an end, I've got one big take away that we're going to delve into. We are bad. Very bad, in fact. Admittedly, fingers must be pointed at the manager, but I'm also going to point the finger at previous management! We'll look at the squad later, but the previous regime left the club with two serviceable defenders whilst relying on a number of ageing players, but more on this later.



Like I said, we're bad. A 5-1 thumping on my first game away to Minnesota showed me what I was letting myself in for and we'd have to wait until our fourth game to get our first win, but it was an empathic one at that when we welcomed LAFC to Chicago.

This was followed by a run of form in which we'd win one, the lose one, win one, then lose one again. And I have to say, the manner of some of the defeats was shocking. Too many times we'd be in the game only to concede one or more goals in quick succession and we'll talk about the goalkeeping in due time, but oh my god the goalkeeping...

Eventually things began to look up for us, going a whole month unbeaten and managing to win two games back-to-back, but we'd then lose each of the last four games of the season all by a margin of a sole goal - so close yet oh so far away. Some of the defeats should have been draws, whilst others were deserved batterings.


So this puts us in the Top 10 Worst sides in the league on the back of the last season, which could help our SuperDraft chances, but I'd like to not rely on this as a means of turning around our fortunes. We knew we wouldn't be a Playoff team this year, although we did miss out by a single place, but for us to get into the Playoffs, and in turn the NACL, we're going to have to have a sizeable turnaround.

Squad Review


15 players. 15 players are on the chopping board but realistically not all will leave.

Perhaps I'm being harsh on both Perez and Frietas, but they can both leave. Some of the goals they've conceded I've not seen anything like them in my career in management so far. Time and time again a shot would come at them and time and time again they would flap the ball into the back of the net. A 'keeper with a pair of hands on the end of their wrists would be nice - yet somehow Perez was shortlisted for Goalkeeper of the Year?!

Luciano and Overgard remain the club's only good, fit defenders. An awful decision by previous management to not solidify this area.

The midfield I do rate, I think. Rocha and summer signing Garcia are serviceable at this level whilst Reyes is a serious player in MLS too, and a full Columbia international now too. Chris Adams enjoyed a breakthrough season, contributing to a number of goals which is always nice to see from an academy product.

Muller perhaps gets the nod for me ahead of Sargent, who can leave if a good-enough offer is received for the Designated Player, but I wouldn't be against keeping the pair of them.

A majority of the squad is free to leave. A reshape of our International Players is needed and with one free Designated Player slot I'll be looking for one star to come in. On a downside, a majority of the players I'd happily move on are American, meaning we'll need to replace them with their fellow countrymen in order to meet squad registration rules - so it'll be a case of who's good out of the available bunch.

Wish me luck, I've got the biggest rebuild so far on my hands here...

Next Update

Start of the Regular Seasons 2035
@bigmattb28 thank you, its certainly been a good journey so far! The next step has been taken and we're not heading to South Africa yet, although the Chiefs/Pirates duopoly looks to be coming to an end!


Back to the States!

Having left River Plate a few months a go, there was certainly no shortage of jobs going in World football and with a World Cup on the horizon there's no doubt that more jobs would have been free if I had just waited. In the end I interviewed for jobs in South Africa, Mexico and the USA, with the latter being the position I've decided to take up. But where have I decided to call home for now...?

Welcome to the Windy City


Yes that's right, Chicago is the next stop on this journey as we head 9,000km north to touch down in a city rife with famous and successful sports teams. In MLB we have the Cubs, in the NFL we have the Bears and in the NBA we have the Bulls, all teams with a history of success and well respected in their own domains, but in terms of football, or soccer as the natives call it, the Fire are yet to really feel the same levels of success.


Having been tipped to be a nailed on Playoff side, we currently sit 7th in the Eastern Conference after fourteen games with an even record (6-2-6) despite having won three of the last five. Clearly then the board and ownership feel the club deserves better and its looking like it'll be my job to bring the Fire into the conversation with Chicago's other great sports teams.


Time to meet the Players


On paper the squad has its clear weaknesses and strengths. In goal we've got a leading MLS player in Perez whilst our back-up 'keeper is more than well equipped to play at this level too. The defence has two quality players for this level in centre-back Luciano and left-back Overgard although beyond this there's little to no quality at the back. Young academy defender Steve Jones seems a real prospect and will be shifted to right-back for now. Our midfield seems competent without being amazing. Senior member of the squad Rocha will play at the base of the midfield with two ahead of him in the shape of Reilly and Mondragon whilst the wide midfield options will be assessed. Upfront and veteran striker Josh Sargent is still quality at the age of thirty-four and will lead the line.

My plans for the squad going forward will be to cull the ageing players such as Wellisson, Alssnati and Sargent. Whilst this may seem foolish considering the latter is one of our star players, my aim is to get older, declining players off of the books and aim to use the SuperDraft and our academy to being through the next generation of Fire players. A review of the team's Designated Players will be done over the season to assess who is going to stay or be moved on.

What's the Plan?

I'm in no real rush here for the time being. Signing a two-year deal means the board will want to see some signs of progression under my leadership but this will by no means be a quick stint like River was. Barring a run of form that would see us win all of our remaining games it looks unlikely that we'll qualify for the NACL this year so I'm using what time is left this season to assess the squad and prepare for the off-season. Best case scenario is that we qualify for the NACL next season and try our best to win it the season after.

Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing how my time in MLS goes and to gain experience in another sporting culture.


Next Update

We'll probably be back half-way between now and the end of the season, although if anything major happens we'll be back sooner!
End of Season 2033/34

Having won the Copa Libertadores last time out, I opted to stay with River Plate until the end of the domestic season. This would let new storylines unfold across world football as well as offering me a chance to win more silverware and help me make up ground in the Hall of Fame before moving onto the next step of the Pentagon Challenge.

Argentine Premier Division


We followed up our Copa Libertadores win in November with emphatic and professional wins against Racing Club, Gimnasia and Godoy Cruz. At full strength for these matches we looked in full control and no match for any side in the division, picking up nine points from nine and starting us off on an impressive league run.

A sole match in December before the Winter Break saw us rotate a fatigued sided against Lanus, and our strength in depth showed as we ran out one-nil winners to end an impressive calendar year under my reign.

After the Winter Break we had a hectic January, which surely contradicts the purpose of a break(?!), as we gained seven points from nine due to wins over Huracan and Arsenal de Sarandi, but a five minute lapse in concentration saw Banfield expose us defensively and gain a point at El Monumental.

It was around the beginning of February that our progress across multiple fronts would start to come back to haunt us, but nonetheless this would act as a challenge of our credentials. A low scoring draw against Independiente (the first of two games against them this month) set us to win all three points against Argentinos Juniors after a short break. Independiente then travelled to our place for the final of our league match-ups and this time we beat them three-one. A goalless draw and two-nil win against Velez and Sarmiento would round out the month and see us extend our unbeaten run.

If I was beginning to feel the pressure from a congested fixture list before, I was certainly sweating come the end of March, a month in which we played eight games, a game roughly every three days from our first fixture of the month!!! With a handful of games in hand and injuries starting to creep up on us (both Vega and Munro had been side-lined, with the former out for the rest of the season) this was not the ideal time then to play a host of teams that sat above us in the league. At the time of playing them, Tigre, Newell's, Boca and San Lorenzo sat 4th, 3rd, 1st and 2nd respectively and we had seven days to play all four of them! Tigre were brushed aside two-nil, the perfect start to the run in, before we failed to win in the next three games, losing ground on the title. We made up for our faltering form with four wins from four to end the month.

Going into April and due to having played our games in hand, all the power was in our hands after we picked up twelve points at the end of last month. A win against Estudiantes would have sealed the title with a game to spare but a draw kept the narrative running. The title was all to play for then as first placed River Plate faced off against second placed Boca Juniors; of course it would come down to the wire between Argentina's two top sides. Four minutes into the tie and a storming run from Caceres saw the Paraguayan into the box before unselfishly passing the ball across to an unmarked Benjamin Garre who slotted into the empty net from just yards out. After this we set up shop, put everything behind the ball and would go on to win the title due to last day drama!


Confirmation then that after thirty-eight games we sat atop the league as deserved Champions! But how exactly did we do it...?




Despite my highlighting our defence as our weak link upon taking over, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that we ended the campaign with the most water-tight defence, and therefore the most cleansheets too. I feel like Lasalandra and Bhar really grew into their partnership at the back, whilst having two league-leading fullbacks either side of them provided excellent cover should opponents attack down the wings.





I mentioned that our midfield might have been one of our biggest assets when we last spoke, but our overall quality and numbers in the middle of the park was crucial to getting the side to play how I wanted them too. It was the aim to dominate the ball in games and pass our opponents to death and with players like Munro, Vega and Bravo in the team we had real quality on-ball players to help us accomplish this.



And lastly, whilst we may not have scored the most goals, we were a constant threat to our opponents goal, which may be in part to the midfield generating good shot numbers, but also due to having the league's Top Goalscorer and star attacker Larrosa in the side.



Winning the Copa Libertadores qualified us for the Recopa against Velez, who struggled domestically this campaign. The Recopa is essentially the South American equivalent of the European Super Cup and is played over two legs in February. Unsurprisingly we won both legs and the tie five-nil on aggregate to secure another piece of South American silver during this leg of the journey.

Supercopa Argentina


I assume that, due to the previous manager's success, we qualified for the Supercopa and would play Independiente at the Rosario Community Stadium in February. An early Benjamin Garre goal gave us the lead before our opponents equalised through Sala. Mauro Ponce would restore our lead with a low strike from outside of the box. Things went from bad-to-worse for Independiente as goalscorer Victor Sala would receive his second yellow card of the game. Minutes later Larrosa would head in our third and seal our win.

Club World Championships


December saw us head off-continent for the Club World Championships, a tournament I'm particularly fond of. Our first match would see us beat African champions Wydad Casablanca by two goals, seeing us into a Final against world super-club Manchester City. I fully expected the European side to batter us three or four goals to nil but after ninety minutes we found ourselves still even. As Extra Time went on I became more an more optimistic about pulling off an upset, but in classic Manchester City fashion, our opponents scored a late winner with the last kick of the game through world-class midfielder, and former Juventus man, Federico Olivera.

And with all of this said and done...


I find myself the pinnacle of English managers (somehow) having now won titles in Denmark, Sweden, Italy, the US and now Argentina, which of course leads onto the next topic...


Its time to say goodbye to River Plate and goodbye to South America. With two of the five legs of the Pentagon now completed we cast our eyes to either Africa, Asia or North America. Admittedly, we took the easiest route to South American success and I doubt the next chapters will be as short as this. At present, there are no vacancies in Asia, nor are there any in North America, although a host of top Mexican clubs have insecure managers. There is one particularly tempting opportunity in South Africa, though I imagine this would be the hardest step to complete and would take three or four seasons. We'll see... until next time!

Next Update

New Job!
So, after a looooong time away from Football Manager seeing friends, working and playing more FIFA than one person should in their spare time, I'm back. Back to the journey and back to trying to make this the best career possible, let's see what's been happening since my last update way back at the beginning of the summer.


19th November 2033

24' - a long ball over the top is headed back to the Racing Club goalkeeper who fails to control the ball before passing it out straight to Nicolas Ceijas, and the second-choice River striker had no difficulty in hammering the ball into the back of the net to give his side the lead.

35' - a good spell of build up play and inter-passing around the edge of the box finds Paraguayan attacking-midfielder Caceres put through on goal and he dispatched his shot into the bottom corner. Two up and coasting.

90' - The final whistle blows and River Plate win the game by two goals to nil after a dominant performance.


But this wasn't any ordinary game. This was the moment I'd been waiting for since the start of this new chapter...


And to go along with this...


*Record scratch, freeze frame*

Yep, that's me. A Copa Libertadores winners medal sits next to the UEFA Champions League winners medal in the cabinet, but how did I get here? What's been happening since I left Juventus and took some time away from the game?

Welcome to Club Altetico River Plate

From Denmark to Argentina, making stops in Sweden, Italy and the States to get here. Having left Juventus at the end of the last season my aim was to head off-continent and begin a new challenge, this time to win the biggest continental club competitions the game has to offer. Taking the summer off to recharge my managerial batteries, I was offered positions in China, South Africa and multiple offers in South America; where I ended up moving to.

In the end, the choice was between Boca Juniors or River Plate. I won't beat around the bush either, the aim is to complete the Pentagon Challenge as quickly as possible before starting the next challenge and so deciding to take the River job was realistically a no-brainer. The club are the reigning league champions and had previously won the Copa Libertadores two seasons prior - suggesting they are one of the premier sides on the continent.

An 11,000 km journey from Turin to Buenos Aires saw me arrive in Argentina in mid-September in time for the new season. From the Allianz to El Monumental... not bad from temporary digs, eh?


Squad and Tactics

On the transfer front there wasn't a lot of time to get any permanent transfers before the window closed, meaning that nobody was bought in during the window. Once the window closed I did however bring in two free transfers and one loan signing (who we'll cover soon). Martensson and Roald had just been released by Serie A sides and came in as squad players, whilst Bravo was somehow on the loan list and came in from Queretaro to become an instant starter. Starting left-back Lucero was sold to PSG before my arrival but fore the money offered I can understand why.


With little time to shape a squad and very few good options available for free, it was very much a case of working what I was given. The team has two stand-out full-backs but there is a complete drop off in quality at centre-back. We're blessed with one amazing central-midfielder and a host of star attacking-midfielders makes up for a lack in quality wingers. Upfront we're fortunate enough to have one good striker at this level and a serviceable back up in the form of Ceijas too.

Putting all this together resulted in me settling on a 4-2-3-1 Narrow variant in order to get our best players playing on the pitch at the same time. Our aim is to pack the middle of the park and play short, precise passes, using our full-backs as our only source of width. With the quality in the side the aim would always be to outplay our opponents and take our time before crafting a handful of high quality chances.


Meet the Players


Alexis Vazquez - 26, DR - similar to when I loaded in the USA to manage their national team, loading in the Argentine league has generated a few players in the domestic league good enough to play for the national side, and we're lucky enough to have one in our side! One of the best full-backs in the World, I'd have taken him at Juventus, Alexis can go up and down the pitch all day and is blessed with good technical ability and an eye for a pass too! Standing at six-foot tall he rarely gets beaten in the air and on the ground too. The cornerstone of our back-line!


Steven Munro - 26, MC - an energetic, all-rounder in the middle of the park who has great attributes in the areas he needs them. Steven is the lynchpin the centre of the park and is vital in moving the ball from the defence to the attackers. A hard-worker in the midfield and not shy of trying his luck, he really is an influential member of the side.


Carlos Bravo - 29, AMC - signed on a season-long loan from Queretaro, Carlos came straight into the side and made himself a key player in our team, locking down the shadow-striker role in our side. A quick, technical player who can beat most players in the league for pace and skill, I can't quite believe he was allowed to leave on loan.


Gino Vega - 26, AMC - Mr River Plate and a player I had my eye on in my first few seasons in Italy, Gino is the heartbeat of our attack, creating chances and being pivotal in our build-up play. Having picked up an injury earlier in the season, our attack looked dysfunctional and the goals dried up without him in the side, but since he's come back we've looked a real force. His deal was due to expire but I've broken the club's wage structure to keep him in the side (at a time when I was doubting our chances on the continent). His influence on the side can't be understated.


Sebastian Larrosa - 28, ST - the main-man in our attack and drawing interest from Europe, Sebastian has found domestic goals hard to come by in the absence of Vega, but his form in the Copa Libertadores fired us into the Final. Hopefully he'll be able to kick on and fire us to a title.

The Story so Far


There's a lot of games to play in South America and as a result we've been very busy already!

We got off to winning ways in July with an easy win over Union (SF).

August saw us play a total of seven games, picking up thirteen points in the league although failing to beat Atletico Tucuman and Huracan was poor. A second-leg dram away to SEP saw us progress in the Copa Libertadores due to away goals, with the first leg having been played during the previous regime.

September was much of the same. Decent league form saw us gain another seven points but again we looked shaky against sides we should be beating, seeing us drop points away to Banfield and home to Velez. Emphatic victories against CEC saw us progress into the Copa Libertadores Semi Final.

October saw Vega's injury start to affect our play. A game touted as a nailed on win turned out to be a close one-nil victory away to Sarmiento as we failed to create chances against their poor defence. If we struggled in this one then we never turned up to play Tigre as they took all three points from us and we created nothing in front of our home fans. I was surprised to see us put three past San Lorenzo in our next game as we bounced back to winning ways. Boca Juniors would be our Copa Libertadores opponents and on his return from injury, Gino Vega ran the show and laid on chance after chance. Thankfully we took one and ran out one-nil winners. Three more league points followed after Union's visit to Buenos Aires.

This takes us to November which started with the second-leg tie away to Boca. The game could have really gone either way, with both teams fully fit and creating opportunities seemingly at will, but luck would appear to have been on our side as Boca missed some good chances whilst we caught them out on the break a few times to see us into the Final. A respectable nil-nil against a Rosario side who are doing well this season isn't an awful result, though its not a great one either. And with all of this said and done we're all caught up, the next game was the Copa Libertadores Final at the Maracanã which as you know by now, we won!

What's Next

The plan was never to stay here for long. The aim was to win the Copa Libertadores, with River Plate or another side, as soon as possible before moving onto the next club. With no interesting jobs going at the minute the plan is to see out the Argentinian league season before assessing what opportunities there are in North America, Asia and Africa and hopefully win some more silverware along the way.

Apologies for the delay in update and the rambling nature of this one, I'm hoping to be posting more regularly again now. As always, thanks for following!

Next Update

End of Season!
End of Season 2032/33

Last time we touched base things looked much the same as previous years, with us sitting top of the table and making progress as expected in Europe. Would we be able to maintain our form for the rest of the season, or would we find ourselves empty-handed?

Serie A


We started the New Year in poor form, back-to-back losses in the league for what feels like the first time in a few seasons as Fiorentina shocked us away, whilst we failed to turn up against A.C. Milan a few days later. We returned to winning ways with a narrow win against former employers SPAL, but make no mistake, we were poor. Benevento rounded out the month and we took all three points, yet failed to look impressive yet again.

All signs of poor play were gone by the end of February though, as we managed to find the back of the net twelve times in four games, hitting four past both Udinese and Palermo. Championship-winning form.

March would see us pick up another shock defeat, this time away to Pescara as a heavily-rotated side failed to test the hosts, suggesting our squad depth isn't as good as I thought it was. Nine days later and we looked in full control as Cittadella were brushed aside in a two-nil win.

Genoa, Sassuolo and Cagliari were in the calendar for April's league games and we kept the title challenge alive with nine points gained from these three matches, the highlight being a five-nil win over Cagliari.

The title run-in heated up in May as we had six games to play, but with a comfortable lead on second-place, it would take a serious collapse for us to not win our fourth straight Serie A title. A narrow win against Lazio set us up to win the title as early as our next game against Atalanta, and we duly obliged with a three-nil win. With the title secured I promoted our most exciting youth players into the first-team for the remaining games as there was nothing left to play for and the next generation impressed by picking up two wins from four.


Having played all thirty-eight of our league games this is how the table looked. With the title decided as well as the teams doomed for relegation already decided, all that is left to play for is final league positions, but, with all this said and done...


I have decided that my time with Juventus has run its course. The plan was originally to let my contract run down and leave on a free at the end of next season but I feel as if I've taken this team as far as I can and that new management and new ideas will be best for the squad. This was the worst season in terms of on the pitch performances and sure. We still bossed the league and won by a fair margin, but performances have been poor, suggesting that the problem lies within the squad rather than the quality of our opposition increasing. I could have changed up the approach, but I think the players will benefit from a new regime. I've got no regrets about leaving, I've won it all here; Serie As, Coppa Italias; Suppercoppas and a sole Champions League and Club World Cup. All of this and I'm still only 'Favoured Personnel'.

Coppa Italia


Talking about poor performances this year, we managed to win the Coppa Italia again despite not playing well at all.

Narrow, perhaps underserved one-nil wins against Palermo and A.C. Milan in January set us up for a two-legged tie against Inter Milan and we could only beat them by a goal in each game during February, putting us through to the Final against Cagliari.

April's Final saw us lift the trophy, but only just. A fully-fit first-eleven couldn't see of Cagliari over two-hours of football, leaving it to the lottery of a penalty shoot-out in which Gasparini became the hero, saving two penalties.

Suppercoppa Italia


This year's Suppercoppa pitted us against Udinese in a game that I was more than confident that we could win. But, after full-time and extra-time, we had failed to test the Udinese defence or show any credentials as to why we were in the tie in the first place. Some poor penalties from us would see our opponents lift the trophy. Again, we were poor.

UEFA Champions League


Our good performances in the Group Stage set us up to play Newcastle, who would eventually go on to win the Premier League.

February's first-leg would see us look dominant for the most part, before conceding a late equaliser away at St. James'. A vital away goal though would see us have the advantage at the Allianz.

We welcomed the Tynesiders to Turin in March and the tie was a complete reverse of the first-leg. Newcastle came at us from the off and looked dangerous on every attack, but two decisive breakaways would see us through to the Quarter Finals.

Manchester City would be our opponents in April and of course it would always be Manchester City, as long as they're in the competition it feels like you'll always be drawn against them. But we've beaten them over two legs before, although we had a lot of luck on our side, but if we've done it once we could do it again. We looked like the better side in the first-leg, but Merino couldn't apply the finishing touch on any of his four clear-cut chances and a later sucker-punch would see us trailing in the second-leg. City were different class in their own backyard and despite us scoring early, the Citizens would turn it on to see us crash out of the competition. Gutted.

What's Next?

I've got an idea already in mind for the next job, the next challenge so to speak. Having already now started from nothing and made my way to the top and won a UEFA Champions League the World is my oyster. Having managed the USA a few seasons ago now, the journey left Europe and expanded to the whole World, and this is exactly where I'm taking the career, make of that what you will.

Next Update

New Job and Season Progress!
So, after a busy month with work, travelling, having friends visit and moving back to the UK, we're finally back with a long overdue update!

Unfortunately a majority of the games were played at the beginning of the month so I can't remember too much about what's happened so I'll keep things short and sweet for this update.


January 2033

Serie A


Things in the league are looking better than ever at first glance. Only one loss and three draws in total so far and a look at our scorelines suggests that we might be more dominant than ever. The amount of games where we score three or more games has increased, whilst we haven't conceded a league goal since the end of October.

My thoughts about this in general are that the semi-rebuild we had over the summer looks to be paying off. After losing Olivera to Manchester City we went out and spent over one hundred million on two new centre-mids whilst also improving in attacking midfield greatly. This has massively improved our chance creation, which can explain our increased output up top. At the back, the emergence of Rodriguez at the back has justified the sale of Gasperini in the summer and he's gone on to become the perfect partner to White, making our already outstanding defence even better.


And of course this means that we sit at the top of the table going into the New Year with seven points between us and second placed Napoli, who themselves are putting together a good season. The likelihood is that we'll be able to maintain this form into the second half of the season, giving us a very good chance at retaining the title for another season.

[center]UEFA Champions League


A group consisting of us, Marseille, Atletico Madrid (again!!!) and Shakhtar on paper looked tougher than it was. We finished our Group Stage campaign having scored fourteen goals in six games and only letting in three goals in this time shows how tough the group really was.

This sets us up for a tie against a Newcastle side that our under new mega-money ownership and that are consistently challenging for the Premier League title, so we'll be in for a much harder test than we usually face. I've no idea what to expect from the tie as I've never had to play Newcastle but I have kept an eye on their progress since the takeover and they do have some very good players.

Coppa Italia


Our Coppa Italia campaign gets underway in a few days time against a Palermo side that are sitting just outside of the Serie A relegation zone by virtue of having played a game more than Sampdoria, meaning our place in the next round should be all but guaranteed, but nothing is ever a guarantee in football so we'll have to treat the game like any other.

Supercoppa Italia


This year's Supercoppa has us match up against Udinese as we look to secure our first piece of silverware of the season and having played Udinese plenty of times over the last few years I know they have a bit about them so we'll have to put in a good performance if we want to raise the trophy come the end of the match.

World Team of the Year


And in other news this year's Team of the Year sees two of our players make it into the Starting XI as Gasparini is finally recognised as the best Goalkeeper in the World after keeping thirty-three Clean Sheets in fifty-two gams, and Iban Ibero, who has been sensational since he signed, makes it into the side alongside the man he was brought in to replace.

On another note its good to see three former players make the side in the form of Cojocaru, who we managed for a brief time with Hammarby, Olivera, who left on bad terms this summer, and Leite, who if I'm being honest didn't exactly have a year worthy of being in the side. Also two former transfer targets, Barrado and Golik, made the side so remember the names because I may well be back in for them at some point.

European Golden Boy


And lastly, youngster Ladislav Kmet won the European Golden Boy award whilst out on loan with Porto. Admittedly, a majority of his goals have come in the Taca de Portugal, but the twenty year-old's loan deal certainly seems to be doing him a world of good.

Next Update

End of Season 2033!
Running well in the league, let’s hope it continues!
Fingers crossed @HockeyBhoy and its always nice to lift the cup @Dan!


Pre-Season 2032

Ok, so when I said we would potentially have a very busy summer on our hands, I don't think I could have predicted just how busy we were. For the sake of full-disclosure, I was actually close to resigning over the summer due to both the task in front of me, and due to stress of what's to come!



Feast your eyes! £236million spent and £210million received tells you just how busy this window was, but when the window slammed shut I felt happy with the business I'd done.

As always, lets go over the notable outs first:

Federico Olivera finally got his dream move to Manchester City for £83million. In all honesty he is worth so much more than that, he's the best player in his position in the World and to lose him was a big hit. However, he'd been unhappy at the club for the best part of eighteen months despite all we'd achieved in that time. This deal shaped our summer but more on that later.

Kaysan Pirbhai left to head back to England in a deal worth £50million. He was close to leaving last summer so the writing was on the wall for some time. Unlike the Olivera deal, this was one deal that was entirely my decision and was the result of a much better player coming in. He was a good, reliable servant and I wish him all the best.

Antonio Gasperini made his to Roma in a deal totalling £46million after complaining that he needed a new challenge. He'd fallen down the pecking order in the last season and a half, so to get his £325K per week off the wage bill for such a large fee was a big plus.

A quick look at the other sales shows that a few deadwood players were shipped on, whilst a whole host were loaned out again - notably El Hadji Camara, Sinisa Brodic and Ladislav Kmet as they weren't developing as I'd like them to and hopefully a year away will do them a world of good for the development.

Now let's turn our attention to the players joining us this year and as per usual there were some players signed for the first-team and a whole bunch signed for the future too.

First-Team Players


Joris Desmet - 29, MC, £80million from Bayer Leverkusen - with Olivera leaving the club, we badly needed a world-class calibre midfield option and Joris fits the bill almost perfectly. Quick and physically gifted with all the technical stats to boot in both defending and attacking areas. Regardless of the Olivera sale, I was always going to be looking for a new midfielder to take us to the next level and I'm confident that Joris will help us do just that.


Iban Ibero - 27, MC, £65million from Barcelona - like I said, midfield was a priority area for me this summer. I realised at the back-end of last season that we needed two world-class midfielders and stopped relying on a developing youngster. Iban was actually close to joining us a few years before he joined Barcelona but at the time we weren't the side we are now. Alongside Desmet he'll be the more advanced player and with him pulling the strings from deep I'm very excited to see how our new look midfield performs this year.


Kleo Kadiu - 22, AMC, £65million (Rising to £79million) from Atalanta - when I was looking at getting rid of Pirbhai last summer, Kleo was the replacement I had lined up, but when neither deal went through I made sure to keep an invested interest in his development. Around January I saw Liverpool sniffing around him and I knew I'd have to go all-in to get him this summer. A deal was wrapped up shortly after the season ended and Pirbhai was made surplus to requirements. Ability-wise and he's an upgrade in every single area: pace, technical ability, vision; the works. With Pirbhai's sale offsetting most of the outlay, this is a big boost to us.


Ferran - 24, AMR, Free Transfer from Barcelona - Twenty-four years-old, uncapped, ex-La Masia, free transfer, team-friendly wages and now worth £66million. I feel like this could be the steal of the summer. Signed to play second-fiddle to Ilie rather than using Soli on the wing (who, with the loan departures of Brodic and Kmet, is now primarily a back-up striker than a back-up utility man), Ferran's raw pace and strength could make him a handful down the right. Admittedly he doesn't have too much else going for him, but my staff rate him and that's good enough for me.


Maninho - 18, MC, £12.5million from SAN - this is a deal that was agreed upon before the player turned eighteen and I have to admit I had to jog my memory to remember who Maninho was. At first I wasn't sure where he'd fit in this season, with Desmet and Ibero the clear first-choice, Melegoni behind them and Martinez building on a solid breakout season, it seems Maninho will stay with the first-team this year as a back-up. His potential is tipped to be among the best in the club and if he fulfils this he could become a superb all-round midfielder. What's more, it seems we've got a knack for stumbling across good young talents in Brazil who hold a second passport, because like Jonata, Maninho holds a European passport due to his German heritage (whilst Jonata owes a lot to his Spanish ancestry).



Krunoslav Monjac - 16, DC, £2million from VfL Bochum


Bruno Varela - 16, ST, £375K from Teleoptik


Martin van Wijk - 18, AMC, £4million from Groningen - Loaned out to FC Utrecht


Giovanni Pivetta - 17, AMR, £3million from Atalanta - Loaned out to Frosinone


Alejandro Gimenez - 19, MC, £2million from PAOK - signed at a time when I went a bit crazy about signing a centre-mid and if it weren't for Maninho giving me five options then he'd maybe get some game time for the first team, but a year in Serie B won't do him any harm I'm sure.


Alessio Marchisio - 18, AMC, £2million from Cagliari - Loaned out to Cremonese - there was also a time this summer when I went crazy for signing Italian talent. Marchisio and Pivetta are two of these players that join us now. Marchisio looks to have a bright future ahead of him, but I couldn't justify making him third-choice after Gultekin.


Fernando Koniver - 18, ST, Free Transfer from OCSC Academy

Pre-Season Results


Not a great deal to write home about if I'm perfectly honest. A narrow loss to Bayern with neither side fielding their best sides, before a brief, but successful tour of the States saw us beat Chicago and Montreal Impact, its always nice to see new parts of the World.


Upgrading the centre of the park, as well as behind the striker has given us one of the best looking midfields in the league, if not Europe potentially. More so, with Agnesina and Rodriguez developing well at the back, we're now exceptional across the board. Our depth has increased this summer as we now have one back-up per position at the minimum.

I'd expect us now to do a clean sweep domestically, with our best efforts now focused solely on the Champions League.

What's more is that I've made the decision to leave once my contract runs out. If I remember correctly, my deal expires at the end of NEXT season so for now I can't signal anything to the board, but once I enter the final twelve months I'll make my intentions known. In the meanwhile, I want to win the Champions League one more time with Juventus.

I've already decided on my next step, but until then let's kick back and enjoy Juventus whilst we're here!

Next Update

January 2033!

Edit - I'm heading to Granada this weekend so there'll be a delay with the next update!

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End of Season 2032

When we last touched base we found ourselves trailing in the league but having just won the Club World Cup. Our aim was to win as much silverware as possible this season, so lets take a look at how we did.

Serie A


Before the turn of the year we were doing well in the league but there was a lot of room for improvement, especially in the goal-scoring department. A quick glance at our results will show just how much of an improvement we had in the new year.

In January we lay down the gauntlet to our title challengers, winning all three of our games, scoring eight and conceding none. Merino carried on his superb form, making up for the time he spent misfiring at the beginning of the season.

Our form carried on into February, seeing us pick up three fairly routine wins over Genoa, Sassuolo and Benevento, although with other competitions being played at this time a rotated side struggled to draw away to Cittadella.

I expected a much more competitive game against Napoli at the start of March, with this game on paper being the one that could have ended our great form. But the Naples side didn't turn up and we coasted to a five-nil win. Bottom-half strugglers SPAL provided stiffer competition days later but we brushed them aside to claim all three points. Three more followed via Palermo before the month was closed with a home draw against Cagliari.

Heading into April we had moved into first place in the league but we needed a good result away to A.C. Milan in order to make our lives much more comfortable. A narrow one-nil followed. We scored ten goals in our next three games against Udinese, Empoli and Lecce but these are all results you'd expect from us.

Another trip to Milan saw us return with a point from Inter, before a crazy period of five games in fifteen days. Routine wins against Brescia and Torino set us up for an away game against Roma where a win would have sealed the title, however a total non-performance on our point saw us fail to lift the trophy. A three-nil win at Atalanta would see us lift the title a match early, allowing me to field our most exciting youngsters against Fiorentina.


UEFA Champions League


Qualifying as the top seed from Group G set us up for a tie against Real Madrid, and we'd have to be good over both legs if we wanted to progress.

A one-nil loss in Madrid in February wasn't ideal, but it wasn't the end of the world either. Both teams were evenly matched and to lose by a single goal meant we weren't out of the tie yet.

The rematch in March would thankfully give us home advantage, but the opposing goalkeeper played the game of his life to keep us from getting back into the game.

A tough loss to take, but my focus for next season is solely on the Champions League.

Coppa Italia


When the New Year rolled by we had already secured our place in the Coppa Italia Semi-Final against Napoli.

Both legs were played in February and we took a commanding two-nil win going into the second leg. With the job essentially done we locked down the Napoli attack and made our way into the Final.

May's Final would pit us against Udinese in a match that we were heavily favourites for. Just before half-time Udinese took the lead after Pizzo misjudged a searching long-ball, allowing his man to get a free shot away in the box. Late in the second half we switched up to a 4-3-3 with Merino, Soli and Kmet leading the line and with so much attacking presence, Merino was able to poke the ball home with the Udinese defence unsure who to pick up. Federico Olivera would pick up two yellows before the End of 90 Minutes, meaning we'd head into extra-time with ten-men. With time ticking away a late Merino header gave us the lead and would see us lift the trophy!

Suppercoppa Italia


The first piece of silverware in the calendar year would see us play Roma but we might as well have not showed up for the game at all. Poor at the back, unable to create chances or win the ball back in the middle and an inability to test the Roma goal; poor. Lets move on from that.

Squad Review


A quick look at the player stats gives a little indication of how our season really played out.

Gasparini had his best season in goal, keeping a mammoth twenty-five cleansheets in the league alone. Although this was helped by Greg White having the best season of his career next to Lucas Rodriguez, who was able to displace Antonio Gasperini.

Olivera had a fantastic season in the middle of the park once again, and stay peeled for news about his future. Luis Martinez enjoyed a breakthrough season in midfield, cementing himself as our second choice. Ilie continued to produce sensational numbers, with his goal return diminishing this year he notched a personal best for assists instead.

Merino made up for his slow start to the season, eventually hitting nineteen league goals whilst Soli (who I've now learnt should be a starter on any other team) filled in superbly when needed.

Now lets talk about the future of this team...

Gasperini is the second highest earner at the club, drawing a massive £325K per week salary off of the bench. I can't justify this wage considering he's no longer a starter and with his value still high I'll likely look to move him on this summer.

Federico Olivera is a player I've got a lot of love for, but its becoming increasingly clear that he wants out. Just days after we won the Club World Cup he complained about a lack of trophies, I told him to wait until the end of the season and he agreed. Meanwhile I tried to negotiate a new deal for him to remove his Release Clause, because he wouldn't have signed for us without one and wouldn't negotiate last season as he was fairly new. Having won the league and cup after all of this he said he was happy at the club. Perfect, now I'll offer him a new deal. or at least I would, but with Manchester City now interested and tipped to trigger his Release Clause, Olivera doesn't want to negotiate as he'd prefer to head to England. Fingers crossed City's bid won't see them land him, and fingers crossed I can get a new deal for him secured if he stays!

Kaysan Pirbhai is also among the players who I think have played their last match for the club. The same problem with him remains, he's good and on a cheap, team-friendly contract but there are better players out there who can offer us more in the same area. If I can cash in on him then any fee will be a profit given he signed for free. I want to make the squad as good as possible for next year's Champions League push and although I could keep him and sign another attacking-midfielder, I'd rather have one excellent player in this position than two good ones (and Mustafa Gultekin as a younger option).

Lastly, Nicola Soli will be entering the last twelve months of his £40K per week contract and I suspect he'll be wanting a much larger salary to stay at the club. He knows he could be a starter anywhere else and this could be used to his advantage in negotiations. There is a real chance that if his demands are too much he could well be heading for the exit too.

That means there is at least one good quality player in each area of the squad that could well leave this summer, meaning we could be in for a busy window if things don't go to plan.



I realised during the season that for as many youngsters as I've signed during my time with Juventus, I've not once stopped to shed some light on how the under-23s are doing.

Most of the time, when a young player joins us they head into the under-23s until they turn seventeen, at which point they are usually loaned out to gain first-team experience. Last season our crop of youngsters were playing in Serie B for the under-23s but were relegated. This season, playing in Serie C they've had a good time of it by all accounts.

The plan is to see the club back in Serie B and if players DO NOT get offered loan deals, or if the teams coming in for them are of a LESSER STANDARD TO SERIE B then from now they will stay with the under-23s and try to make survive Serie B. Ideally, the aim would be to have the best team in Serie A, with the best team in Serie B too as a place for our youth to develop.

Looking at the players too and those highlighted made their first-team debuts this season. Voryllas, who had an outstanding season for the under-23s played occasionally, as too did Bogado. Korsanin, Bech and Adolfo made their debuts on the last day of the season, Calliaud was part of the side that won the Club World Cup whilst Hubert and Qasmi played a handful of times, the former even scored a hat-trick in a Serie A game from the wing!!! The future certainly looks bright!

Other News


I was voted this year's Manager of the Year, only the second time this has happened since I joined Juventus.


And these were our award winners. No real surprises in the Team of the Season, although perhaps this suggests that Melegoni should be our second choice.

Greg White was the apparent runaway leader for Player of the Season, and young defender Martijn Simons was our signing of the season after he joined for free from Herenveen.

Next Update

Pre-Season 2032!
@Dan - thanks mate, thought a ramble was long over-due! Fair play if you read the whole thing too!


January 2032

Last season feels like it was a long, long time ago, but having now won domestic and continental competitions all eyes would be on us this season to see if we could retain our titles this season. So with that said, how've we done?

Serie A


August started much in the same way as it usually does, with us picking up three points although this time it was away to Sassuolo. We made it six from six a week later with a good, but far from impressive win against Sampdoria. Our poor showing in that game would be a precursor for what was to come against Empoli, where we threw away a two-goal lead in a matter of minutes.

Clearly we had a lot of rust to shake off, but we fell to our first defeat of the season early in September when Cagliari put three past us, looking like they were the side aiming to defend a title. A narrow win away to Genoa followed before a routine win against Cittadella rounded out the month. You'll notice that we aren't scoring freely, but more on that later.

Just as we looked to be building some momentum we struggled to draw to SPAL at the Allianz Arena. With Napoli and Inter to come in October we really should be winning these games. A comfortable away win to Benevento saw us look like our former selves and it couldn't have come at a better time considering out next few games. Napoli were up next and this was a game in which both goalkeepers shone, doing well to keep their sides in the tie. Days later we hosted Inter Milan, with a neat Ilie finish giving us all three points; although there was a delay in celebration due to a bizarre VAR call.


(The throw-in leading to Ilie's goal. The ball was thrown straight to him (where is standing), but check the VAR!

Having looked impressive in recent weeks, would we be able to sustain this heading into November? The answer to that would be no, as we failed to beat a poor Palermo side. A huge game against A.C. Milan was to come and one very important conversation was had before the game. Javier Merino had only scored one league goal until now. I told him it wasn't good enough and that if he wanted to stay in the side he'd need to do something positive. Two goals and an assist sparked an emphatic shock win. Clearly the promise of being dropped lit a match under Merino as he followed this with two more goals against Udinese to inspire us to a win.

With wins against both Milan sides, we'd managed to gain some lost ground on the league heading into December. Another six-pointer in the title race kicked the month off and it was settled by a powerful Merino finish. Unbeaten in ten and finally up and running, its only natural that we would lose against Lecce - let's not even talk about that one. Brescia and Fiorentina would end the calendar year, but before we talk about the results, please look at the dates. TWO GAMES IN TWO DAYS. Due to Club World Cup commitments we had no rest in between our league games, but thankfully our squad is deep enough and some players natural fitness is good enough to see us pick up six points in two days.


Coppa Italia


Having failed to make an impact in the Coppa Italia in the last two seasons, I was eager to go further this year despite the board not caring too much about the competition. By the end of December we'd managed to seal our place in the Semi Final after a late double-salvo against Lazio and a one-nil win against Atalanta courtesy of a Greg White penalty.

UEFA Champions League


I'd love to win the Champions League again this season, but we all know how hard of a task that can be. When we were drawn into Group G alongside Legia, RB Salzburg and Atletico Madrid (again!!!) we seemed to have an easier route to the Knockout Round than most.

In September we travelled to Poland to play Legia and I was surprised by the home side's ability to limit us to a single goal. We then hosted RB Salzburg and failed to carve any chances - although this was when Merino seemingly forgot how to score.

We made the familiar trip to Madrid in October and returned home with a point but it should have been so much more. Atletico were sent down to nine men and we failed to take advantage of this - with the hosts scoring a last-minute free-kick.

A two-nil win in November's return fixture put that to bed though. Legia came to Italy later in the month and we easily beat them to secure our place in the next round.

December saw the conclusion of the Group Stage as we beat Salzburg three-nil; seeing us go through in first place.

Of all the possible sides we could have met, we perhaps find ourselves in the trickiest tie. Real Madrid will be our next European opponents across February and March and if we want to lift the trophy at the end of the year we'll have to play at our best.

Club World Cup


December saw us travel to play in the Club World Cup, which is a tournament I personally have a lot of time for. Wits were our first opponents and our second-string side picked up an impressive five-nil win, sending us into the Final. North American Champions Atlanta United would be the opposition, and our full-strength side ran out as two-nil winners when all was said and done.

Delighted to win another new competition, but the European team in this competition are always the heavy favourites to win.

European Super Cup

Champions League glory set us up for a pre-season fixture against the Europa League winners to see who is the best side in Europe. Manchester United were our opponents... but it wouldn't be the Manchester United that won the Europa League, nor would it be the Juventus side that won the Champions League. The reason for this? Let's look...


Look at the pure state of this. Whoever scheduled this game needs to be sacked immediately. We had ten (10!!!) players away on International Duty!!!. And so did United!!!


This was the solution to this. Every player who was available, fit and in the first-team had to play, regardless of their familiarity with the role or even with the position. This means that eight players had to be called up from the youth ranks to fill the bench. Thankfully Manchester United were in the same position but it begs the question: who organised this game? Who decided to have International Friendlies on the same day? From a neutral stand-point, who would want to see the two reigning European sides play massively weakened sides? The mind boggles.


The game would always be about which side's available players would last longer. Both teams lacked quality and had to give debuts to youngsters, but it would be one of our youngsters that would give us the edge! On off the bench, young winger Rene Caillaud really changed the game on the right-wing, creating chances and grabbing an assist to see us lift some early silverware!

Supercoppa Italia


Annnnnd finally, we're due to play AS Roma in the Supercoppa Italia in two weeks time. Hopefully we'll be able to come away with a win as we look to do a domestic treble this year.

Next Update

End of Season 2032!

«This comment has been edited»
Thank you @HockeyBhoy, you've started well at Edinburgh so I'm sure you'll be flying past me in no time!


Squad Review 2031

Having been in charge of Juventus for a few season now and overseeing wholesale changes in this time, I realised that I've not once given a full run-down of the squad, my thoughts on the players or even provided a name to most of the faces. I don't see myself leaving Juventus for at least a season or two more, so let's get familiar with the players in my squad going into the new season.



Manuel Gasparini - 29 - one of the first signings I made here at Juventus, Manuel has gone on to become not just one of the league's best goalkeepers, but maybe even one of the top goalkeepers in the world; though I guess this could be bias. Despite keeping thirty-five cleansheets during his time here, and putting in multiple Man of the Match performances, he has only just been recognised internationally. His contract is due to run out at the end of next season and I'll be renewing it before then. Still yet to hit his peak in my eyes, I know I can trust him between the sticks.


Ezio Gilardi - 26 - during my first half-season Ezio was my first-choice goalkeeper as there were no other good options at the time. Since then he's developed into a solid second-choice and is rated by the coaching team as a good player for most Serie A sides. He gets his fair share of game time in cup competitions and he doesn't moan about not playing. An academy graduate too so its nice to keep him around.

Right Back


Emanuel Pizzo - 26 - coming into his third season at the club, Emanuel has been outstanding since he signed from Palermo. His influence at his former club was so great that the season we signed him they got relegated. Injuries kept him out for the best part of half a season in his debut campaign but since then he hasn't looked back. Quick and physically gifted, this is matched by his good defensive abilities and a willingness to get forward that more often than not sees him collect a few assists over the course of a season.


Karl Theng - 19 - perhaps one of my favourite players in the squad, Karl could well be our first-choice if it wasn't for Pizzo. Signed as a sixteen year-old from AIK, Karl spent some time with the under-23s before spending a year with Verona that really aided his development. Last season he linked up with the first-team and filled in whenever Pizzo was injured or suspended, and even made the starting spot his for a short time despite Pizzo being available. Every once in a while a team sniffs around Pizzo and honestly I wouldn't be against selling him if the money was right because I know Karl could slot in as a good, maybe even leading player for Serie A clubs already.



Greg White - 30 - I'd have killed for a player like Greg when I was in charge of the USA, but thankfully I've got him here at Juventus. Not blessed with an abundance of pace, nor is he exceptionally gifted in the air, Greg's ability with the ball at his feet is what makes him stand-out and so vital to the way we play. Whoever plays next to him knows that if they can win the ball back, all they have to do is pass it to Greg and let him distribute the ball. He's another player that has reached one hundred appearances for me and is in line for a new contract too. One of the first names on the team-sheet.


Antonio Gasperini - 28 - I've got mixed thoughts about Gasperini and I'll let you know why. On paper he leaves a bit to be desired. He's a good defender, but not a great one which is why he's only been capped a handful of times despite now winning Serie A and the Champions League. This would suggest that he isn't as good as his accolades would suggest; maybe he's over-rated due to playing in a better team. But, his ratings suggest he plays above his level. He may well be one of those players that just performs so much better than he should, but maybe because he doesn't get asked to do too much he's able to coast? Maybe any other player could do just as well if not better? In his late twenties now I've got one burning question: Should I sell him whilst his value is high, get rid of his contract (the second biggest at the club)and put my faith in an equally good youngster? Help me out here!


Lucas Rodriguez - 20 - now if Gasperini were to go, this would be his ready-made replacement. Younger, taller and maybe even a tad better at current, Lucas will one day be first-choice, but is this time now? He's on a much more club-friendly contract and qualifies as a home-grown player now, having signed from Penarol in January 2028 and spending time out on loan in Italy since. In the handful of games he played last season Lucas was good, but not amazing, though this may be due to his age. By the end of the year he may well be a starter for us.


Martijn Simons - 19 - signed on a free this season from Heerenveen, the temptation was to loan Martijn out but having looked at him I'm confident he can do a job for us this season as a fourth-choice, stepping in when there are injuries, suspensions or other fitness issues.



Giampiero Agnesina - 19 - my absolute favourite player in the squad by far. Towards the end of my first full-season in charge I spotted Giampiero in the youth team and thought he had enough about him to come up to the first-team for the end of the season. Since then he's become my first-choice left-back when he was seventeen, gone on to play sixty-five league games, win all there is to win in Italy, a Champions League AND receive his first Italy cap. If he can work on his leadership then he'll be a future club captain. The fact that he's still got so much room to develop makes me very excited to see the player he will become. I could spend all day talking about my love for Agnesina, but there are other players to look at!


Jonata - 19 - another young left-back but nowhere near Agnesina in my eyes. Jonata played a handful of games last season and definitely left a lot to be desired defensively, but was surprisingly good going forward. Perhaps inexperienced, having only played nine games in his native Brazil beforehand, I'm hoping he'll be more solid this year.



Federico Olivera - 22 - the main man, the undisputed best midfielder in the world, Olivera was good when he joined last year but has developed thttps://i.imgur.com/HZNtBtT.png?1o become even better. He can really do it all. Capable of winning the ball back, dribbling past players and then picking out his team-mates or scoring himself all in one move, Federico is like having three midfielders rolled into one he's that good. The likes of PSG and Manchester United have bid for him this summer and I've no intention of letting him go. Just look at him, there's not much else I can say.


El Hadji Camara - 19 - coming off the back of his first season as a starter, I'd have hoped for El Hadji to have developed a little bit more than he did. At nineteen he's still got time on his hands to fulfil his potential, but considering he's been in the first-team since he signed at sixteen I'd have hoped for his game to be a bit more fleshed out by now. At current, he doesn't excel at anything, although his game has no obvious flaws. He's not as highly rated as some of our other options in this position, but he gets the nod due to what he could become.


Filippo Melegoni - 32 - with Olivera and Camara both very young, it is important to me that we have some more experienced heads capable of giving something to the first-team. Melegoni is one such option and now in his second year as a permanent signing but fourth at the club he knows how we play and the players around him. He could and probably should be a starter for me but I like the idea of having good quality players available on the bench.


Gedson Fernandes - 32 - a very similar case to Melegoni though a new signing, Gedson looks more than capable of stepping in and doing a job when called upon. The versatility doesn't hurt either.


Rosario Santagata - 22 - if I'm not honest I'm not sure why Rosario still makes the squad-list. Sure he could grow a little bit more but he won't ever be at the level needed to make an impact to the first-team. Homegrown and cheap so that's a plus.



Cristinel Cocis - 24 - Cristinel was one of the signings I made during my first summer in charge of Juventus. Since he joined he's been nothing short of sensational and has contributed to over fifteen goals each Serie A campaign. Absolutely phenomenal numbers. I think that he might over-perform slightly, his passing and vision aren't brilliant and his finishing could do with some work too, but the numbers don't lie. He's recently signed a new four-year deal, removing a Minimum Release Clause and seeing off Atletico Madrid's interest.


Robert Ilie - 26 - with Cocis on one wing and Ilie on the other we've got two of the best players to come out of Romania in recent years. Much like his compatriot, Ilie has been able to notch between fifteen to twenty goal contributions in each season since he joined; sensational stuff really. Another player to recently agree to new terms, I think he may just edge Cocis in terms of ability. They remind me a lot of Robben and Ribery when they were in their primes - high praise indeed. Recently appointed captain too.


Jorge Demarco - 22 - Jorge was picked up a couple of seasons ago after he was released by Danubio and I decided to take a punt on him. Since then he's been loaned out to Genoa twice and spent some time with the under-23s, meaning that he now qualifies as a home-grown player. This summer I rejected bids in and around the £20million mark from Bayern Munich for him, prompting me to move him into the first-team as a back up for Cocis and Ilie. I'm excited to see what he can offer this year.

Attacking Midfielders


Kaysan Pirbhai - 27 - I was caught between wanting to sell Kaysan this summer or keeping him around in hopes that he returns to his best following his lower leg break. He was set to join Everton in a deal worth over £50million but rejected the contract laid out by the Toffees, seems fair as he's an ex-Liverpool player. He's certainly a good player, but he's not the elite-level attacking-midfielder we need to link the midfield and attack. If he gets back to his best I'll be more than happy to keep him around, but I'll be keeping my eye on his performances this year.


Mustafa Gultekin - 18 - Pirbhai's injury let Mustafa gain a lot more first-team exposure and by the looks of things its done him well. For some reason though I've got my reservations about him and whether or not he'll reach his potential, but at eighteen there's every chance he'll prove me wrong. A broken foot will rule him out until around the New Year, so I hope he doesn't drop off too much.



Javier Merino - 24 - our primary goal-scorer, the player that other coaches try to stop, our most expensive signing. Javier's debut season was one of two halves truly. In the first half he looked off-pace, not up to scratch and far from a £100+million player. The second half of the season saw him bag goals left, right and centre in all variety of manners, eventually seeing us to domestic and European success. Twenty-two goals in thirty-six games is a great return considering this. Fingers crossed he can hit the ground running this season.


Nicola Soli - 25 - as far as back-up strikers go, Nicola might be one of the best going. Fast, strong, good on the ball and an eye for goal to boot, it has only been the arrival of Merino that has pushed Soli to the bench. Since he signed a few years ago he's been short of a goal every three games, which isn't horrendous, but it wouldn't have seen us win so much last season. He's on a very team-friendly deal too.


Sinisa Brodic - 20 - I think Sinisa was the first signing I made at Juventus, if not he was certainly the first youngster I signed. Since then he's spent time with the under-23s and has bounced around Europe on loan. Now a full Croatia international he looks a much better player than he did a year ago and will be getting a shot in the first-team this year as a third-choice striker. I get the feeling he'll be good in the box but won't offer too much from outside of the box. Hopefully he can prove me wrong. I think he might qualify as home-grown now too.


Ladislav Kent - 19 - a new signing but what a player he is and could be nonetheless. He's very similar to Merino in terms of strengths and weaknesses which can only bode well. For now he'll be a fourth choice as Brodic has earnt his spot whilst out on loan, but I really feel like he could become our second choice by the end of the year; big claims.

Next Update

Hopefully this provides a bit more insight into the squad and my thoughts on some of the players!

January 2032!
@Dan firstly, welcome back! Secondly, thank you for taking the time to catch up! There's been some ups and downs like you said but I feel like we're back on track now!

@bigmattb28 I appreciate the support mate, fingers crossed we can push on!


Pre-Season 2031

Another Pre-Season comes and goes and again we only played a handful of matches, most of which we won, all of which I forgot to screenshot! What I can tell you is that we played A.C. Milan (again) and the MLS All-Stars as our standout opponents and we came out winners in all of our games.


Having won back-to-back Serie As and now the Champions League I felt that there wasn't a great deal of work to be done this summer, but nonetheless let's take a look!


Looking at the Outs and a few things must be said. We loaned out a lot of youngsters as my policy of snapping up young talent and developing them continues, whilst some youngsters who sadly won't make the grade here left for small fees, although some do have buy-back clauses. Zivkovic left on a free to Dynamo Kyiv and in all honesty we should have let him go a year earlier. van de Beek also left on a free to Feyenoord, though not shown on screen, and the same can be said for him. Zamfir left for a slightly smaller fee than I'd have liked but we've got his ready-made replacement at the club already. The last outgoing transfer worth noting was Fran Beltran heading to Celta Vigo for £22million. Not getting any younger and on the decline I think this represents a good value deal.

In terms of Ins and there are only three players who will be in and around the first-team this year:


Martijn Simons - 19, DC, Free Transfer from sc Heerenveen - I've had my eye on Martijn for a few years now and when I noticed that he was letting his contract with Heerenveen run down, I knew I had to act fast to snap him up. Having played over fifty games despite being only nineteen this is an indicator of the potential he has. A good all-rounder with plenty of room to grow, he'll be in the first-team squad this year.


Gedson Fernandes - 32, MC Free Transfer from Real Madrid - with Beltran leaving, we needed to sign an experienced player capable of being a back-up option. Gedson fits the bill perfectly. At thirty-two he's played over three-hundred games for Real Madrid and still has a lot to offer. On a much cheaper deal too, this looks to be a smart signing.


Ladislav Kmet - 19, ST, £5million from Braga - with Merino, Soli and now Brodic returning from loan our attacking options for this year were already looking deep when Ladislav was signed but I couldn't turn down the chance to sign him. I had no idea who he was until my scouts recommended him and pointed out his £5million Release Clause. With a whole host of teams sniffing around him I knew I had to get him in. He could become better than Merino and he's already got a lot of similarities to our key man!

And then as we do every year, we signed a whole host of youngsters as we definitely cast an eye on the future. Let's cast an eye on them!


Nuno Lima - 19, ST, Free Transfer from Leiria


Jean-Louis Hubert - 16, ML, £3.4million from Bordeaux


Ben Medina - 18, AML, Free Transfer from RSL Academy - Loaned out to Alessandra


Davide Cuoco - 18, AMC, Free Transfer from NYRB Academy - Loaned out to Pordenone


Gaetan Hamel - 16, ST, £1million from SM Caen


David Fotheringham - 18, DL, £325K from Hearts - Loaned out to Benevento


Maung Maung Maldini - 16, ST, £1.3million from Hadjuk - let's be honest, I wouldn't have signed him if it wasn't for his name!


Goran Kosanin - 16, AMC, £575K from Radnicki


Miodrag Sarenac - 16, AMC, £220K from Radnicki


Rilind Gashi - 16, DC, £700K from Lausanne


Dimitris Voryllas - 16, ST, £3.7million from PAOK

Next Update

In-Depth Squad Review
Cracking start to the season mate, keep it going!
End of Season 2031

Halfway into the season and things had been going well for us, although there was definitely room for us to improve in attacking areas. Reshaping the attack through the signing of Javier Merino was proving to be tougher than I initially thought and he would often go through games without as much as a sniff of the ball. The burden therefore fell onto the shoulders of the surrounding players, a recipe for disaster surely?

Serie A


We entered the New Year in poor form, despite scorelines suggesting otherwise. January saw us host both Chievo and Lecce but in both games we struggled to perform like a side challenging for the title, whilst an away trip to Benevento saw us return with just a point when we were looking for all three.

Our poor run of performances carried over in to February. A poor performance against Genoa kicked off the month before we returned to winning ways with an impressive win over Napoli at home. On the back of a good result I was expecting a similar performance away to SPAL, but my former employers had the last laugh, thoroughly out playing us. Newly-promoted Cagliari hosted us to close out the month and the league's surprise package sent us home with a single point.

A good few days rest put us in a good position at the beginning of March as our revitalised side got the job done at home against Palermo. We'd been struggling to put goals past teams and keep cleansheets in recent weeks and it was looking like we'd ended this streak after thrashing Empoli, but a one-all draw against Sassuolo served as a reality check. A good win against Fiorentina could have been better, but I'm not going to complain about three points.

With only a handful of games remaining, we entered April top of the table, but draws and losses in previous months had opened up the title race and Inter were breathing down our necks. It was Inter's Milan rivals A.C. who represented the first challenge in the title run-in and we seemed to be cruising to a win before a red card opened the game up, a switch to a defensive 4-4-1 was enough to prevent A.C. from scoring again. A week later and another side pushing for European football were our opposition as Udinese came to play. The match itself was fairly even and tied at two-two with twenty minutes to go, but a late rally saw us take all three points. Confidence was running high and we expected to gain another three points against Atalanta but we were brushed aside as we had our worst performance all season. A routine win against Torino was sealed early in the first half.

As May came around the league was still very much all to play for. Losing to Atalanta let Inter move within three points and a late goal at the San Siro would see us and Inter go level, with Inter edging us on goal-difference with three games to play. Looking at the fixture lists for both sides and it looked like the title race would be coming down to the wire. A huge performance against Lazio put us top, but Inter picked up all three points yet again. A draw in Rome looked to be catastrophic for our title charge, but Inter dropped points too. It would all come down to the final game of the season. Inter sat top by virtue of a healthier goal-difference. We hosted an already relegated Pescara side whilst Inter faced another relegated side in Lazio. Interestingly, not all of the fixtures in Serie A are played at the same time and our five-nil demolition of Pescara put us in the driving seat. All eyes were on the Inter game later that evening...


Inter would go on to win three-nil, yet somehow we won the league! Both sides finished with an identical points total, goal difference and head-to-head record, with both sides beating each other one-nil. How we won the league I'm not too sure, although I'd be inclined to think we won because we scored more goals over the season? Those performances against Lazio and Pescara may well have won us the league!

Coppa Italia


For the second year in a row we crashed out of the Coppa Italia early doors. With both of our games being played in January we were out of the competition as soon as we were in it. A rotated side scrapped a penalty-shootout win against Lecce before Napoli knocked us out in a game that was sure to please the neutrals.

Supercoppa Italiana


January also saw us retain the Supercoppa Italiana in another game that I'm sure the neutrals would have enjoyed again, but one that we enjoyed more! We took a commanding lead against A.C. before letting them back into the game, but once we put our foot on the gas we made sure we would be picking up some early silverware this season.

UEFA Champions League

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Having qualified from a group containing Brondby, Porto and Atletico Madrid, we went into the next stage where we would face Olympiakos in what was billed as a favourable draw.

The first leg saw us travel to Greece in February and we came away with a two goal lead, although the hosts put up much more of a challenge than I had expected. In March we welcomed them for the return leg and after scoring early we coasted for much of the game, until Olympiakos scored early in the second half to put some pressure on, but we had enough about us to see us through.

If the draw for the last round had been favourable, then the draw for the Quarter Final couldn't have been tougher. Manchester City would be our opponents in April and we knew we would either have to play our of our skins or pray for a miracle if we stood any chance of beating a side who routinely buy the world's best players. City will have surely felt hard done by after the first leg as they saw two goals disallowed for very tight offsides whilst we offered nothing. The stage was set in Manchester for City to use their home advantage. Before half-time they had seen yet another goal chalked off for offside by just a few millimetres. We came out of the gates flying at the beginning of the second-half, with Merino and Ilie both finding a way past the City 'keeper, but three goals in nine minutes quickly put the hosts ahead on the night and reminded us just who we were playing. With everything to play for I had to go for it. We ended up playing a 4-1-3-2, with Olivera mopping up in midfield, Cocis, Ilie and Pirbhai (who wasn't even fully fit following a lower-leg break) and Merino and Soli up-top. With time ticking away I told the boys to push forward and to play more direct and when Cocis ran down the wing, Vagnoman slid the ball away from the Romanian's feet but into the path of substitute Soli, who buried a first-time shot into the top corner! A draw on the night would see us through and so we dropped to a much more defensive shape. Cocis and Ilie had to come into less advanced roles, Pirbhai came and sat next to Olivera in midfield, Merino sat just in front of them, leaving Soli as the only player in an attacking position. This was enough to cancel City out and send us into the Semi Finals!

Going into the draw and I had a feeling that we would be drawn against Atletico Madrid rather than Benfica or Barcelona. So of course we were drawn against the only side to have beaten us in this year's competition, a four-nil battering way back in the Group Stage. The first leg was to be played in April and we defended exceptionally before Javier Merino scored the game's only goal. The second leg was scheduled for May and the last time we played Atletico Madrid at home we beat them four-one. Whilst not a repeat performance of that night we did manage to scrape past the visitors, although they stayed with us every minute of the game. Truth be told I was grateful that the game wasn't as dramatic as Quarter Final tie against Manchester City. Into the Final we went!

As expected, Barcelona comfortably beat Benfica in the other Semi-Final, setting us up for the Final at the end of May. There was extra incentive for both sides too. A win for us would put Juventus back in the conversation of Europe's elite sides, whilst Barcelona would have loved to lift the Champions League at bitter rivals Real Madrid's soil. We lined up in our typical 4-2-3-1 with Gasparini/Pizzo-Gasperini-White-Agnesina/Camara-Olivera/Ilie-Pirbhai-Cocis/Merino. The game kicked off and Barcelona looked the better side for the first half, yet the scores remained even. We started the second-half off brightly with Cocis finding space in the box to curl home at the near-post. With sixty-five minutes played we found ourselves down to ten men after a two-footed challenge by Olivera saw him see red. A re-jig of the side saw Melegoni come on for Pirbhai and sit deeper, whilst Soli came onto the wing for Cocis who was struggling for fitness. The resulting free-kick was whipped into the box and headed clear for Merino to collect and dribble wide, with plenty of Barcelona bodies thrown forward, substitute Soli used his pace to break through the middle and latch on to a pass from Merino, taking the ball into the box and coolly finishing one-on-one. Yet again this season leading quality opposition and needing to hold our lead. Into a Strikerless 4-4-1 we dropped. Minutes later and Pedro Gomez grabbed one back as his back-post volley beat Gasparini. For twenty-five minutes we had our backs against the wall but when the full-time whistle rang the score stayed the same. Two-one to Juventus... Champions League winners!!!


Squad Review


There is not much I can say about this squad that I haven't already in previous seasons. Instead what I'll do is address the changes in the squad this season and the plans for the coming summer.

Giampiero Agnesina has now established himself as our actual starting left-back and at only eighteen years old he's played over fifty Serie A games and is now a Champions League winner. He's got a huge future.

El Hadji Camara and Federico Olivera enjoyed a good debut season as our starting midfielders. Camara is still very raw and at nineteen will continue to develop. Having Olivera next to him will likely help this cause, as Olivera is capable of sweeping up any mistakes made by his partner. Olivera himself put up really good numbers this season, contributing to seventeen goals in thirty-eight appearances, justifying the fee paid for him and staking a claim for being the best midfielder in the world.

Ilie and Cocis continue to do amazing things from wide positions, although Ilie had a much better season that his compatriot this year. Between the two of them they've contributed to forty-six goals from wide positions. A huge injury derailed Pirbhai's season and Mustafa Gultekin benefitted from this greatly.

Javier Merino had a season of two halves. Until January I was seriously asking myself why I paid over a hundred-million for him, with his performances not justifying his price-tag let alone a place in the starting eleven. However, come the New Year and he completed his intensive language course and he didn't look back from there. Hat-tricks in the league, vital goals and performances not only in the league but in Europe too. Some of the goals he scored were absolutely phenomenal too and he looks every part of the player I hoped he would be. He and Olivera were signed to take us to the next level, and they've done just that!

In terms of the squad as a whole, there a players who I'll likely move on and some who I'd listen to offers for. Valiente, Zamfir, van de Beek and Zivkovic are prime candidates to leave. Valiente has been good but not great in his first full-season for Juventus, but there are better players out on loan who can come in and fill that spot. The same can be said for Zamfir, who hasn't progressed as I'd have liked him too and with some promising youngsters developing for us at other clubs I'd rather sell him now than demote him to a fifth choice. van de Beek and Zivkovic have been complaining about homesickness this year and with both well past their primes and eating up a combined salary of over £200K a week, its a no brainer to get rid of them for anything. Pirbhai and Beltran however are two different cases to the others. Pirbhai suffered a serious lower leg break this season and I've got my reservations about whether or not he'll be able to get back to his best. Valued at over £50million and eating up a non-EU slot, I'd happily listen to offers around this price but on the other hand he has three years left on a £65K a week contract which represents good value for money for a player of his quality. Beltran is a similar story. Not an awful player by any means, but he's on the way down now and earning over £100K a week perhaps its time to trust a younger player to fill the void? We'll see, but if I can get £20million or above for him then he'll likely be off.

Next Update

Pre-Season 2031 Review and In-Depth Squad Review!

«This comment has been edited»
January 2031

Having bucked the trend over the summer and spent big on two players to improve the first-team, it felt like all eyes were on us this season. The question is, would we be able to bed in the new signings in time to hit the ground running in August?

Serie A


Our season started as it usually does, with us putting goals past both Chievo and Benevento, before the inevitable end of August slump, this time against Lecce.

With a long break until our next game in September, we were able to find the fitness and regroup in time for the visit of Genoa, who we comfortably dispatched three-nil. An away trip to Naples followed in what would be our first real test of the season and as quickly as we scored, the hosts equalised and that was that. Former employers SPAL were next up and they proved to be tougher opposition than they were last season, making us work hard for our three points.

The season was well underway as we got into October. Feeder-side Cagliari were first up and the high-flying newly-promoted side played well to keep the scoreline to two-nil. A routine win against Palermo followed before a shock defeat to Empoli handed us our first loss of the season. With morale dipping we could only gain a point from our tie against Sassuolo.

The morale wasn't looking much better in November as we recorded two more draws, making it three on the bounce. Admittedly, drawing at home to A.C. isn't normally a bad result, but given their position in the league this year you'd have to think we could have done better. Our run of draws was put to an end however at the end of the month as we brushed aside Udinese, who are proving to be good competition for the title this year.

Finally, we closed out the year with a very busy December period, playing six games in total. Of these six games we managed to come away with four wins and two draws, which when you consider the fact we played Inter and Roma in this run-in has to seen as a success. More so we only conceded one goal and scored ten, showing our credentials as title challengers yet again.


This sees us sit top of the league by Christmas! Its no real shock considering we've only lost one game, but similarly, Udinese have only lost twice (once against us). All in all though we're looking like a side that should be winning the league this year, our points total and goal difference being prime evidence of this. What is concerning however is the form of Javier Merino, who has failed to perform like a £114million player. Hopefully once his Italian is better he'll have no problem fitting in, but in recent times I've preferred Soli over the Spaniard.

UEFA Champions League


Having been knocked out by Lyon rather disappointingly last season, the aim in Europe this season was to go one better this season.

Brondby were our opening game of the campaign in September and I'll be the first to say that I underestimated the Danish side, fielding a weakened side that was lucky to scrape a draw come the end of ninety minutes.

Porto and Atletico Madrid were the other two sides drawn into Group A, and we had two very different performances against the two sides in October. We stormed to a three-nil lead at home to Porto before conceding a late consolation goal, before being on the received end of a four-nil hammering in Madrid; the worst defeat of my tenure so far.

Our fortunes changed when we welcomed Atletico to Turin for the second year in a row in the early days of November. Having learnt my lesson from the last game against Brondby I sent out a much stronger side, coming away with all three points and qualification in the bag.

We wrapped up our Group Stage campaign away to Porto in December, walking out one-nil winners.

This sets us up for a favourable tie against Thierry Henry's Olympiakos over February and March. All due respect to Olympiakos, but they're arguably the weakest side left in the competition and I fully expect us to progress.

Other Competitions

Having won the league last season, we've qualified for the Suppercoppa Italiana in a few days time, whilst our Coppa Italia campaign gets underway before the end of the month too. Fingers crossed we can pick up some more silverware this season.

Next Update

End of Season 2031 Review!
@bigmattb28 thanks mate, really getting back into the swing of things now!


Pre-Season 2030

With last season's title win already being reduced down to nothing but a memory, the focus switched on to how we can be better this year. The aim is to retain Serie A, reach the Coppa Italia Final and maybe even stake our claim for Champions League success. But with a squad that lacked a cutting edge, what transfers were made to ensure we go one better this year?



A quick look at out outlay this pre-season gives you an idea of my intent. £171million spent but a majority was spent on two players. A quick glance at the outgoing transfers will show that not a lot of money was brought back in. We let go of youngsters that no longer cut it or didn't have significant potential to justify being kept around, more so, a whole host of players were loaned out for experience.

But we're here for the ins so lets have a look at the players signed.

Key Players


Filippo Melegoni - 31, MC Free Transfer from Chelsea - having spent the last two season on loan with us, it was a no brainer to sign Melegoni to a permanent deal. A world-class midfielder who still has a few years at his peak left. He became an integral part of the team since he first arrived on loan and I'd rather not lose him to a rival.


Federico Olivera - 21, MC £40million from Atletico Madrid - With Melegoni, Beltran and van de Beek on the books, three of our midfielders at already in their thirties and sure to regress. Olivera is the perfect solution to this issue. He's already a world-class player and at twenty-one he's likely going to improve still. A hefty wage, but in a year or so I'll have phased out the likes of van de Beek and Zivkovic from the squad so the financial burden will be cleared. Federico can play absolutely any role in the middle of the park. Originally I was trying to sign him las January but Atletico wanted £100+million, perhaps Federico became unsettled after this or maybe fancied a new challenge, but £40million got him through the door. He's the type of player that can play in the middle by himself!


Javier Merino - 23, ST £114million from Athletic Bilbao - Let's address the elephant in the room with this one. £114million paid for a striker and I'll be the first to admit I've probably overspent here. Over the summer I had two targets upfront, Merino or a different striker playing for Real Sociedad. Neither club wanted to negotiate a deal and every offer for either player was rejected, meaning I'd only be able to sign one of the two by triggering their release clauses. Merino's clause was set to £114million, whereas the other option was £179million. But I think Javier could be worth it down the line. Every great side has a world-class striker up top and this was a large factor in why I signed Javier. We needed a player of his quality and he could be a real game changer for us. And having Soli come off the bench isn't bad either!

Squad Players


Dirk Wille - 23, GK Free Transfer from Bayer Leverkusen - Dirk comes in as a good third-choice option between the sticks. He's young and experienced too. I don't expect to see him playing at all this season unless there is a serious injury crisis.


Aritz - 21, ST Season-Long Loan from Real Madrid - signed at a time before Merino was signed, Aritz was brought in from Real Madrid to play as a back-up option. This season I've decided to loan out a whole host of the youngsters that were in and around the first-team last season and so a back-up striker was needed. Blessed with more pace than most players in world football, I'm confident that he'll be able to stretch opposition players and break lines left, right and centre.


Jonata - 18, DL £2million from CEC - With Turani and Firpo not at the club this season, we were left needing a second-choice left-back behind Agnesina; who has earnt a starting role. The deal for Jonata was done over a year ago and in all honesty I'd forgotten who he was. At eighteen he seems like he could develop into a really good left-back and if both he and Agnesina develop then we could have two exceptional players in this position. Finally, Jonata holds a Spanish passport, meaning he doesn't count as a non-EU player and can be registered this season.



Owen Kil - 17, AMC Free Transfer from Waasland-Beveren - Loaned out to Frosinone


Aidan Haynes - 18, DC Free Transfer from Toronto FC III - Loaned out to P. Ferreira


Fabien Petit - 16, AML £7million from FC Metz - an exciting young winger snapped up for a deal rising as high as £7million, Fabien already seems an assured player with good technical abilities. He may well find himself in and around the first-team at some stage of the season and could become the eventual successor to Zivkovic.


Mirko Schmeer - 16, MC £2million from Eintracht Frankfurt


Theo Bourgeois - 16, AML £1million from FCSM


Luis Martinez - 18, DMC/MC £2.5million from Nacional - Loaned back to Nacional


Renato Santos - 16, DR £68K from Braga B


Adrien Durand - 16, DC £2million from AS Monaco


Radek Pospisil - 16, ML £250K from Sparta Prague

Pre-Season Results


Another pre-season arranged by my assistant means only a handful of games were played before the season started. A.C. Milan were beaten one-nil away and this is a massive result, admittedly its only pre-season and players won't be up to speed but this is a good sign. Mainz have become a top-tier team in the Bundesliga and a regular in the Champions League so beating them two-nil is another promising sign. Benfica CB were the whipping boys as we put five past them to build confidence.

Next Update

January 2031!
End of Season Review 2030

When we last touched base, we found ourselves seven points adrift of A.C. Milan as they led the charge for the Serie A title, whilst we had also managed to progress into the knockout rounds of the Champions League. With the team competing on multiple fronts, how would things look when the dust clears at the end of the season?

Serie A


Our form from January onwards looks good on paper, but let's take a look at some of these results.

Our sole game in January was a one-nil win over an average Lazio side, but a win nonetheless.

February followed with a three-one win against SPAL in which we were fortunate to put as many past the visitors as we did. A draw to Brescia followed, this is a game we should really be taking all three points from. We followed this us with an emphatic win against Bologna, but wins like this need to become more routine than they are. Palermo took us to the wire to round out the month, but we had just about enough about us to edge our opponents.

A quick look at the calendar and March quickly looks like the month in which the title race could have been decided. We struggled away to A.C. Milan who played with ten-men for the best part of an hour, though taking points off of them isn't the worst outcome. Again we struggled against a side we should have beaten easily, as Chievo rallied late to heap pressure on us. Inter travelled to Turin for another game tipped to be influential in the title race. Both sides went at each other from the off in what would have been a great game for the neutrals, and Inter came very close to equalising late on, but thankfully for us they couldn't beat Gasparini for a third time on the day.

Our less than impressive performances looked well and truly behind us in April as we won four of our five games, and more impressively kept cleansheets in all of our games too. An early goal against Roma was enough to knock the wind out of their sales before we comfortably beat Perugia days later - a game I feel we would have dropped points in during the first half of the season. With confidence high we took apart a good Atalanta side before grinding out a nil-nil draw against Napoli with both sides failing to convert their chances. We put three past Lecce to end the month.

The title race was heating up as the season came to an end in May. A.C. had dropped points in recent games and Inter were seemingly out of the race after we beat them. We found ourselves with a game in hand over A.C. and a win against Pescara would have taken us top, however we couldn't get the better of a much worse side. The next four games were incredibly tight and we may have rode our luck in them. A real Jekyll and Hyde performance against Fiorentina almost cost us and we had to come from behind to beat Sassuolo. Genoa threw a spanner in the works and blew the title race wide open. A.C. though dropped points again. A win away to Empoli followed and put us in the drivers seat going into the last game. For whatever reason not all of the last games were played on the same day and we had the benefit of playing a few days earlier. A point against Udinese would do with goal-difference working in our favour, but they themselves had recently taken points off of A.C. On the day we were far too good for Udinese and didn't let the pressure get to us!


Champions of Italy!!!

UEFA Champions League

In the first half of the season we topped a group consisting of Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Krasnodar to progress into the knockout stages against Lyon.

In February we travelled to France and were held to a nil-nil draw. Our defence in this game was outstanding to keep Lyon out, but our attack was the polar opposite, failing to test Lyon at all.

With all to play for we welcomed Lyon to Turin in March. With the fixture list getting fairly congested at this point in the season, perhaps fatigue set in, or maybe focus was on Serie A. Maybe we just weren't good enough on the day. The silver-lining though was that we could focus on the league.

Coppa Italia

Last season we picked up our first piece of silverware in Italy as we won the Coppa Italia. Having beaten Palermo in the First Round way back in December, we were drawn away to Atalanta for our first game of the New Year.


Three-one the final score but in all seriousness, we really could have been pumped in this game. We couldn't string passes together, nor could we track their runs in behind.

Supercoppa Italiana

With our Coppa Italia win from last season, we qualified for the Supercoppa Italiana this season, facing Inter Milan in January. Inter are a good side and both sides went in to the game confident of a win. When the full-time whistle rang, we walked out one-nil winners, claiming another trophy!


Squad Review


As to be expected given our title win this season, we had a lot of players play well this season.

The Defence played well, with Gasperini and White solidifying themselves as one of, if not THE best partnership in the league. Pizzo missed the start of the season through an injury picked up in pre-season, only to pick up another injury in training once he returned. When he eventually made his debut he showed why I signed him, a real threat going forward and solid at the back too. Giampiero Agnesina built upon a good campaign last year and had a real breakout season. With Firpo's legs beginning to drop off and Turani on loan as back-up, Agnesina was able to nail down the starting spot at left-back. Zamfir solidified himself as a solid third-choice, whilst I think a loan for Nuevo may benefit him next season.

Our Midfield was good, but has become an area that we need a revamp in. Injury and age have caught up with van de Beek and next season will likely be his last here. Melegoni played well on loan again this season, and with his contract at Chelsea expiring he will be joining for free in the summer. Beltran becomes the forgotten man for me in midfield, he is good, but he's not amazing either. Toonen didn't play too much over the course of the season, but when the Lyon man did play he offered us something else in the middle. El Hadji Camara couldn't produce the numbers he did last season, but at eighteen it is a testament to his talent that he racked up another thirty game season.

Our Attackers had another great season, though not at the level of last year. Ilie and Cocis both shone on the wings, contributing to over forty goals between them, though not quite at the red-hot level they did last year. Kaysan Pirbhai had an amazing debut season and justified my decision to let Leite go. Whilst Leite struggled to find team-mates or finish chances last season, Pirbhai was the opposite this season and his form in the back-end of the season was crucial to our title win. Andrija Zivkovic again proved his quality despite his age, although did require a month-long leave of absence because he's started to feel homesick. Mustafa Gultekin had a great first-season and the seventeen year-old's form has meant that Vecchione will likely be sold upon his return from loan.

Our Strikers need to be looked at. Soli is good, but he isn't good enough for us to be comfortably winning the league and he certainly isn't good enough to bring us a Champions League. He scored in the last game of the season, but before that had gone fifteen games without a goal. Off the bench he'd be immense due to his pace, but I hope he won't be starting next year. Petrelli's form on paper looks good, but he has knack of scoring all of his goals in just a few games. More so, he ruptured his Achilles and likely won't be the same player when he comes back; he'll be off. Seventeen year-old Alvaro Gutierrez racked up a good amount of appearances, but was often shifted onto the wing. Sixteen-year old Korbinian Ott found game time when Soli couldn't perform and whilst Petrelli has been out, and the youngster looked promising too, notching a handful of goals.

Transfer Plans

It has become clear this season that we need to revamp the midfield. Three of our four options in this position for next season will be thirty-plus, and whilst their mental and technical abilities may be holding out, they lack the physicality to be elite now. A new starting striker is on the list too, as Soli's ten goals leaves a lot to be desired. Past this and I'm fairly content with the squad. I'd like to move on Firpo and Petrelli with both eating up hefty wages and in all truth, probably not justifying it. Could do with a back-up left-back in their twenties, and a lot of the youngsters out on loan will be re-evaluated to see if they could do a job next year.

Next Update

Pre-Season Review 2030!
January 2030

After going so close yet seemingly fall a long way from the top of the league last season, all eyes were on us this year as our young side looked to go one better than last season. After a short, injury-plagued pre-season it was finally time to get back to competitive games!

Serie A


Early signs seemed to indicate that we would be in for a good year if August was anything to go by, as we scored five against both Lazio and Brescia.

It would seem that we scored all of our allotted goals for September in August, as we only managed eight in our next five games. Former side SPAL held us to a point and so too did Bologna and A.C. Milan, although drawing against A.C. is a lot better than drawing to Bologna. Convincing wins against Palermo and Perugia were to be expected and helped boost the points total.

October saw us pick up our first league defeat of the season against Inter Milan, who scored twice in five minutes during the first-half to kill the game off completely. Either side of this we dispatched Chievo and Pescara. With two games against our two biggest title rivals played we come away with just one point - not promising.

An away trip to Roma started November, with all three points returning to Turin. A score-draw against a ten-men Napoli side followed and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed by that result. The month ended with a dull tie against Atalanta, a side we should be beating if we're serious with our challenge for silverware this year.

The calendar year came to an end in December with wins against Empoli, Genoa, Sassuolo and Udinese. We slipped up against Lecce and Fiorentina however, failing to put serious pressure on the top of the table.


At the half-way stage in the season and we find ourselves in an all too familiar position. Second-place and some way off of A.C. Milan who look to be the runaway leaders this season. Our biggest problems this year have been our form against the teams around us (out of the seven sides we've only beaten Sassuolo and Roma) and the hefty numbers of draws we've played (we're joint second for draws). This has hurt us this year and going into the new year the focus is going to be on correcting these two problems.

UEFA Champions League

Earlier in the season we were drawn into Group E alongside Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Krasnodar. Realistically there are three teams in this group playing for two qualification places and we'd do very well to pip Atletico or Benfica to either spot.

Benfica beat us in Portugal in September thanks to a late winner.

October gave us a chance to set things right when Atletico visited Italy, and we sent them back empty-handed after an impressive three-nil win. We gained another three points three weeks later after a hard-fought win against Krasnodar in Russia.

Krasnodar made the journey to us in the next fixture a week into November and again proved to be stiffer opposition than I initially thought; but the three points stayed with us. Our home form in Europe has been vital in our bid for qualification, which was shown once more when Benfica visited the Allianz, only to leave empty-handed.

Our last Group E fixture game in December and with qualification already in the bag we fell to a three-one loss to Atletico.

Next we'll play Lyon over two legs in February and March respectively. I'd liked to have had the home advantage for the first leg so instead we'll have to be sharp in France to come away with something against a good Lyon side.

Coppa Italia


Our Coppa Italia defence got underway in the latter stages of December as we eased past Palermo at home.

This sets us up for an away trip to Atalanta in a few days, fingers crossed we'll be able to edge a tough opponent.

Next Update

End of Season 2030!
Pre-Season 2029/30

After coming so close to winning Serie A last season, the question was always going to be about how the squad could evolve this pre-season to give it a fresh look going into the new season. With that being said, I was busy again this year as I looked to identify areas that we could improve in whilst not rebuilding the squad. Again similarly to last year, there were three tiers of signings made: First-Team Players, Back-Up Players and Youngsters.


We were busy on the outgoing side of things too this year, and a quick look at the names and fees might give some clues as to how our summer went.

Fabio Leite left the after a very disappointing time under my management. Despite being one of our better players and being valued as our most expensive player, no top teams were interested in him. Normally, a club's best player is coveted by sides like Barcelona, Real Madrid and the Manchester sides. Fabio however only ever had two sides interested in a full-transfer; Crystal Palace and Wolves. Eventually, the Portuguese midfielder left for London in a deal totalling £60million. Not bad all things considered.

Levente Hegedus was the second biggest outgoing transfer. My coaches rate Levente as being on par with Robert Ilie, but I just didn't see it. On loan with Genoa last year, he almost joined them for £15million as per a clause in his loan, but rejected the move and eventually moved on to A.C. Milan for £39million. Despite scoring fifteen goals last season from the wing, he'd never scored more than five goals in a season before and at twenty-five I decided to cash in.

Carles Alena finally left, settling for PSG after being sent out on loan last season. Having never been in my plans from day one and getting into his thirties now, £35million for a player I never played is sensible business.

The sale of Ramuel Belle may raise some eyebrows. However, his sale has greatly helped the side in two areas. Firstly, the main reason for his sale was to free up a non-EU slot in the squad for our new attacking-midfielder. Secondly, having made money in other sales, I decided to spend some of our money on a new right-back, who was my first choice last summer but I was priced out of a deal. A nice profit made too.

The last notable sale was that of Erling Haland. Having signed for a free last summer, the journeyman striker failed to provide any life into a game when he was brought on. A small profit made, but wages off the books too.

On to the ins then and there are only two players who can make an immediate impact on the first-team, four players who could get time as back-ups and then a further twelve youngsters signed to be developed.

First-Team Signings


Emanuel Pizzo - 23, DR Rising to £37million from Palermo - the right-back I've had my eye on for some time now and I'm over the moon to finally sign him... but less happy about the torn groin muscle he picked up in our last friendly. Not the most technical defender in the world, but I think he makes up for it with great defensive stats and even better physical attributes too. Emanuel has all the potential to nail down this starting role for club and hopefully country for years to come!


Kaysan Pirbhai - 25, AMC Free Transfer - the biggest deal this summer and he cost us nothing! Kaysan was released by Liverpool at the end of the year after making just shy of a hundred appearances for the Reds. Why he was released I'll never know! Technically, physically and mentally, Kaysan is almost a carbon copy of Leite, with a few minor differences between the two. Signing Kaysan meant I could sell Leite so I've essentially made £60million and then signed a near identical player for free. However, this meant that I had to free up a non-EU slot, meaning that Belle would leave. But that let me sign Pizzo. A real domino effect but its seen me about £50million better off for two players as good as, if not better than the players I already had! He earns £200k a week less than Leite too! Result!

Back-Up Signings


Ludovico Turani - 20, DL Season-Long Loan from A.C. Milan - with Firpo sustaining a few injuries last season and a few more over pre-season, another option at left-back was needed with Agnesina being still too young to become a starter. Ludovico comes in for a year to offer competition and depth in a position that we could do with some if Firpo drops off this year.


Frank Zimmermann - 21, DR Season-Long Loan from RB Leipzig - unfortunately we couldn't get Baronti back on loan, so instead we nabbed Leipzig's next-best right-back on loan for the year. A great young talent and different to Pizzo, he provides us with another option in this area. With Pizzo side-lined, Frank will see some game time in the early weeks of the season that will let me gain a better idea of his ability.


Gregory Toonen - 22, MC Season-Long Loan from Lyon - there was a time in the summer where it looked like Melegoni wouldn't be extending his loan to this year and we were looking for a fourth central midfielder for the coming year. In came Gregory and then days after Melegoni confirmed his extension too. Toonen comes in then to play a role either on/from the bench whilst adding some good depth in this area. I could've cancelled the deal but I thought another option could be useful at some point.


Mustafa Gultekin - 16, AMC £4million from Hamburger SV - yes that's right, at sixteen years old, Mustafa comes into the squad as a back-up player. With Casazza sold and Vecchione loaned out, I was initially in talks with a Spanish attacking midfielder who eventually joined Napoli on a free. I then found Mustafa playing for the German under-19 national team and decided to bring him in. He's already better than the average attacking midfielder in the Serie A and I've developed a record for trusting youngsters with Juventus (Camara, Agnesina, Nuevo and Zamfir for examples) and I'm hoping he can come in and be a similar success.


As I mentioned, there were twelve youngsters brought into the club this summer. Without dwelling on them for too long, let's see who joined, for how much and from where!


Joris Bijl - 16, AMR £1million from AZ Alkmaar


Dominik Bednar - 16, DM £1.2million from Jablonec


Korbinian Ott - 16 ST £1million from Greuther Furth


Nurullah Tuncer - 17, DR £6million from Hoffenheim II - Loaned to Cagliari


Benjamin Nikolic - 16, DL £64K from Sarajevo


Ione - 17, GK £1.2million from Las Palmas - Loaned to Salernitana


Jorge Demarco - 20, AML Free Transfer - Loaned to Genoa


Karl Theng - 17, DR £1.8million from AIK - Loaned to Verona


Anthony Giraud - 17, AMC Free Transfer - Loaned to Venezia


Charis Georgatos - 18, MC £2.9million from Panathinaikos - Loaned to Empoli


Audrick Piquionne - 18, AMC £6million from Rennes - Loaned to Trapani


Atanas Yanakiev - 16, AMC £375K from Cherno more

Squad Review

With all the transfers caught up on, its time to see how the squad looks going into the season.


The defence fairly strong on paper. In White and Gasperini we have two very capable central defenders and behind them Zamfir and Nuevo will continue to deputise, with both having another year's experience under their belts. Pizzo and Zimmermann will make our right-back spot very solid this year, though with both having suffered knocks over pre-season Turani will likely start the first game in this position. Firpo looks set for his swansong this season and I'll be looking for a replacement towards the back end of the year, but until then Turani and Agnesina can step in when needed.

Central midfield continues to be a position of real quality for us. van de Beek is approaching the twilight of his abilities, whilst Melegoni and Beltran both offer world-class quality too. El Hadji Camara gets better by the day and the seventeen year-old's stock in the game is even better. With a full season to his name last year I'm hoping he can continue to gain minutes this campaign. Toonen offers a touch more depth that could help us in times of congestion. Santagata too remains in the squad as the home-grown talent looks to push on.

Further forward and things feel very different yet still very much the same. Ilie and Cocis will have to repeat their sensational debut season form, whilst Zivkovic looks set to shine from the bench or when rotated into the starting eleven. We're all change behind the striker and it will be the performances of Kaysan Pirbhai that will be crucial for me. If he performs then it justifies my decision to sell Leite, but if he fails does that suggest a larger, system-wide error on my part? And what about the knock-on effects his signing has had on the squad with regards to selling Belle and signing Pizzo? Gultekin has nothing to lose yet everything to prove, with the sixteen year-old set to get minutes in some way or another over the season.

Up top and I'll be looking at Nicola Soli to run red-hot again this year. With Haland gone, Petrelli will be our go-to second choice striker and behind him, youngsters Gutierrez and Ott make up the numbers and will see some gametime I'm sure. If we fail to get going up front I'll likely sign a striker next summer provided things don't go wrong and I end up sacked. Soli is good, but can he win silverware for me?

Pre-Season Results


I left pre-season to my assistant and this was the best he could do? Both in terms of arranging fixtures and performances? Perhaps the only talking point was the defeat to A.C. Milan, but I suppose its only pre-season and these things aren't taken too seriously.

Next Update

January 2030!
Interesting to see the league dynamic shift so much, good luck nonetheless getting Lincoln back to their former glory!
Season Review 2028/29

We started the new year off two points clear of Inter Milan as we aimed to get Juventus back to where they belong. With half a season to go, would we be able to stay on top of the league?

Serie A


We started the year off with good, but not great form. January saw us pick up wins against Sassuolo and Fiorentina, with the performances in those games differing drastically different. This must've been a precursor for what was to come, as we struggled against Brescia and Parma; two teams we should have been comfortably beating.

Our form continued to dip heading into February as we scrapped a draw against a bad Bologna side, before suffering a shock defeat to Genoa. We returned to winning ways against former side SPAL, before throwing away a two goal lead against A.C. Milan, though drawing to them isn't all too bad of a result.

Any and all bad form was forgotten about as we looked back to our best in March, beating Lecce and Torino with ease either side of a well earned win away to Lazio.

The title seriously began to heat up in April. A disappointing draw to Sampdoria was followed by a massive home win against Inter Milan. Eight days later we swept Palermo aside before pulling off another massive win against Napoli. A huge month for us.

We rounded the year off with wins against Atalanta and Udinese in May. The title was already decided going into our last fixture against Empoli, in which a number of academy prospects were handed Serie A debuts with nothing to play for.

So, with all that said and done, who exactly won the league?


Sadly for us, it wasn't meant to be this season. Despite having a great first half of the season, we seemingly fell-off towards the back end of the season. Disappointing losses to Genoa and draws against Brescia and Parma may well have killed our hopes in the long-run. A quick look at the draws column may well indicate just why we didn't win the league - eleven draws just isn't good enough for to be crowned Champions in any league. We looked good for the most part and built upon last season, so there is no reason to believe we can't go the distance next season!

Europa League


There was once a time in during the season where the treble really looked like it was on the cards. After sharing the spoils in Bilbao we gained a massive win in Turin, seeing us through into the 2nd Knockout Stage where we drew Real Sociedad. Sociedad are a very good team and have a number of quality players, including one world-class striker. Another poor performance away in Spain had the writing on the wall at half-time in the first leg. Despite taking the lead in the home-tie we couldn't extend our lead, let alone hold it, and the dream of doing the treble ended.

Coppa Italia


Our Coppa Italia campaign kicked off in January and I'd be lying if I said the First Round went smoothly. Lecce were flying high in the league at the time and took us to penalties, but thankfully luck was on our side. Genoa played us later in the month and we laboured to a tight one-nil win. We beat Torino comfortably over two legs in February, setting up a final against Udinese. Our opponents found themselves a goal ahead with ten minutes to go, but a late equaliser sent us to Extra-Time. Nicola Soli would be the hero of the night, scoring twice in Extra Time!


...Meaning that my first piece of silverware since arriving at Juventus was confirmed!


Two more youngsters joined the ranks in January.


Alvaro Gutierrez - 16, ST - brought to my attention by the scouting team, I knew I had to sign Alvaro right away. At sixteen he had already made his debut for Valladolid when he was signed and by the looks of things he has all the potential to go very far in the game! Time will see!


Lucas Rodriguez - 18, DC - another young defender to join the ranks alongside Nuevo and Zamfir, Lucas joins the club with an equal amount of potential to his new team-mates. Admittedly he doesn't excel aerially or physically, but he seems to be more than well equipped as an all-rounder. Shipped out to LA Galaxy for the remainder of the season, I'll be watching his development carefully.

Squad Review


All in all, we played quite well this season, as to be expected given our league finish and cup win. A majority of the first-team had good average ratings, even those players in their maiden Serie A seasons.

Greg White and Antonio Gasperini formed a solid partnership at the back, whilst Belle enjoyed a good debut year. Junior Firpo was hit by a number of injuries this season, causing his stats to drop off slightly and give way to academy product Giampiero Agnesina breaking into the first-team at seventeen years of age. Baronti played well and it's a shame he'll likely return to Leipzig this summer. Nuevo and Zamfir played well too and managed to play in over ten games each.

Our central midfield saw a lot of chopping and changing this season, although due to the star quality in this area we rarely saw a change in output. Melegoni nailed down a starting spot and will be sorely missed next year, although van de Beek and Beltran both showed their world-class ability when called upon. El Hadji Camara notched an impressive twenty-nine appearances this season, whilst maintaining a high average rating. He also contributed to eight goals - all whilst still only being seventeen years old. Academy graduate Rosario Sanagata played in over ten matches too, aiding his development nicely.

The attacking midfielders really carried us in stages this year. Ilie and Cocis both notched double-digits for goals AND assists in their first season, earning high praise, often switched the ball to one another to score. Zivkovic excelled in his new role as a quality bench player - something akin to a 6th Man in basketball. Vecchione, Casazza and Bianchi played ok when called upon, although the latter is leaving on a free, whilst Casazza may well find himself plying his trade elsewhere too.

Lastly, our attackers were good, but not great. Soli ended the season with over twenty goal contributions and is still growing as a player and could easily surpass this total next season. Petrelli and Haland however weren't anything special, scoring a majority of their goals against either significantly weaker opposition, or when games had already been won. One will likely leave in the summer.

A total of seven players in the first-team this season may not be here at the start of the next campaign:

Despite playing well, I feel that there are better players than Belle out there and if an English side came calling for the newly capped international, I would seriously consider the offer if it was good enough.

You might think I'm mad for saying it, but van de Beek isn't safe either. In his early thirties now, the midfielder's physical attributes are beginning to drop off and he's complaining about missing home. He still has a lot of quality but this will begin to wain greatly next season. Still valued highly and on a large contract, if someone were to bid big for him this summer I'd have to consider it - which isn't unlikely as he is a wanted man.

Fabio Leite is on the chopping block. His performances don't justify his wages, nor a starting spot in the side. In forty games he scored eight goals and got one assist, but five of these goals came from the penalty spot. These numbers aren't good enough for a player earning £250K. Valued at over £50million, I'd accept an offer equal to this value. Maybe he doesn't fit the system, maybe he just isn't as good as the coaches say, either way his performances have been very disappointing.

Fran Beltran is unhappy at the club, however with Melegoni leaving back to Chelsea, the Spaniard will likely find more game-time next season. However for now if a good enough offer comes in, he's gone.

Haland will more than likely leave, making us a nice profit on a player we signed for free just under twelve months ago.

A host of players will be coming back from loan too and are likely to be sold. Carles Alena is one such name, as too is Levante Hedegus, a twenty-six year old winger we loaned out this year who hit fifteen goals whilst not being better than what we have at the club already - valued at over £40million we could well make some good money off of him.



Robert Ilie won the Serie A Player of the Year award after his impressive debut season, contributing to twenty-two goals in twenty-eight appearances from the wing.


But yet somehow didn't make it into the Serie A Team of the Season. Shoutout to Gasparini for making his way into a heavily Inter Milan dominated starting eleven. Do the critics know that there were other teams than Inter playing this season...?

And finally...


Just days into the New Year the board offered me a new deal running until 2032! Delighted to sign it and hopefully build on this season and win the title next year!

Next Update

Pre-Season 2029!
January 2029

With half of the current campaign done and dusted, its time to take a look at how this new-look Juventus side has fared to date.

Serie A


Early signs would seem to suggest that a busy summer of dealings may have gone some way in restoring the Old Lady to their former glory.

Although things didn't start particularly brightly with only one goal scored in August in our season opener against Sassuolo.

September saw us flex our attacking muscle, knocking five past both Brescia and Parma. Roma looked to have beaten us until stoppage time in the second half when we equalised to rescue a point, before the month concluded with a two-one win over Bologna that was less than comfortable. By the end of this month I'd already began to notice the impressive development of El Hadji Camara, the 16 year-old midfielder we bought in in the summer. Two stunning goals against Brescia made me think that perhaps Juventus may well have another French superstar teenage midfielder on their hands... lets hope we can hold onto this one.

Our impressive run carried on into October with a personal highlight being an emphatic win against prior employees SPAL. This was followed by a massive home win against A.C. Milan who themselves are in the hunt for the title this year. Despite going a goal up we were reduced to 10 men and I opted to go for a strikerless formation, which paid dividends as we went on to score two more. We seemed to have Lecce all but beaten however a lapse in concentration saw us drop points.

By the end of November it was beginning to look like we could go the distance this year and maybe even do it unbeaten. Inter had been our biggest rivals in the title race so far and when we travelled to the San Siro at the end of the month, many were calling it a six-pointer. The hosts would go down to 10 men and a superb Van de Beek freekick would ensure three points came back to Turin.

A busy December of fixtures would be the climax to our calendar year. Our year would end with just one blip against it, a two-nil loss to Napoli that the media hailed as lucky for the hosts, yet in reality we didn't turn up. Three comfortable wins against Udinese, Empoli and Roma would cap off the year, and what a half-season we've had!


With just the solitary loss to our name we find ourselves sat top of the league, though only just! Beating both the Milan sides has done us a world of good, however losing to Napoli has let them back in the race somewhat and they've found themselves in our position on occasion. Outside of this and the league is looking unusual this season. Roma, Lazio and Udinese all find themselves in the bottom half whilst Brescia and Lecce are fighting for continental qualification.

Europa League


With all the excitement of the title race, its easy to forget that we're in European competition this year too. We were drawn into a group with Rennes, Trencin and FC Nordsjaelland and it was to no surprise that we topped the group, despite having a slow start. This sees us drawn against Atletico Bilbao in the First Knockout Round and we'll do well to get past them. They've got a world-class centre-mid and a striker who isn't half bad either.

Coppa Italia


And lastly, we play Lecce in a few days time as our Coppa Italia campaign gets underway. Lecce are flying high in the league this season and will prove to be stiff competition, so we'll have to be at our best to go through to the next round.

Squad Review


A quick glance at the squad to round things off. As to be expected when you've lost one game going into January, everyone is performing incredibly.

Greg White has been immense at the back, whilst Belle and Baronti rotate at right-back. Special mention to Gasparini too for being reliable when called upon.

Our midfield has been very good and very solid too. We're lucky to have two, maybe three if Beltran is at his best, world-class players in this position. I can't sing Camara's praises enough either, the youngster has already notched goals and assists both domestically and in Europe - he's going to be phenomenal.

Our attacking players have been able to rotate seamlessly too. Cocis and Ilie have been particularly impressive in their maiden campaigns, often switching the ball to one-another to score. Zivkovic has been flourishing in his reduced role, whilst bit-part players Vecchione, Bianchi and Casazza have played well in limited minutes. Leite however has not been as good as I thought he'd be. He's notched five goals so far, although four have been penalties, whilst his chance creation has been below-par too.

Nicola Soli has emerged as our undoubted first-choice striker, but has found goals hard to come by in December, giving way to Petrelli and Haland gaining more minutes. Overall, the attackers have faired well so far and hopefully they can all carry on producing at the same level for the remainder of the season.

Next Update

End of Season Review!
Pre-Season 2028/29

A big job was needed this summer, and with contracts expiring and players coming back from loans yet to be assessed, the club was always going to be busy this summer. However, I did not expect to be as busy as we were.


In total, nineteen players were signed this summer. Nineteen. 19!!! However, not all of the players are signed for the first-team and in fact there are three tiers of signings that were made this summer: First-Team Players, Squad Players and Youngsters. So then, let's take a look at the deals we did!


First-Team Signings


Manuel Gasparini - 26, GK, £12.5million from Udinese - with Gilardi starting in goal for me last season, I was left less than confident in his ability to be a first-choice 'keeper in Serie A at the current time. Thankfully though, Serie A is ripe with good, Italian goalkeepers. Gasparini was signed due to having a wealth of experience at this level, whilst also being a quality player available in a good deal. At only twenty-six he's still to hit his prime, but regardless he is a massive step-up in goal.


Greg White - 27, CB, £12million from Minnesota - with MLS loading up and a host of quality players emerging into world football, the question was always going to be about who was going to be signed from the States. Wanting to tighten the defence amongst other targets being identified in other positions, Greg quickly became the number one target in defence. I was quick to trigger his release clause and bring him in to partner Gasperini at the back. What a quality signing!


Junior Firpo - 31, DL, £40million from Chelsea - signed by the previous manager, I was initially apprehensive about keeping Firpo in the squad this year, but his performances in the back end of last season helped calm these nerves. I'm less than impressed with the fee my predecessor paid for a thirty-one year-old defender but this is out of my control. A few injuries picked up over pre-season have seen him decline physically already which is less than ideal.


Ramuel Belle - 25, DR, £11million from Brighton - As the window ticked on I found myself more and more in need of a right-back. I was quoted £88million for my first choice, a twenty-three year-old playing for Palermo. After searching the top leagues for a second-choice I found myself looking at Ramuel. Quick, physical and ok defensively, what really turned my head was his £11million Relegation Release Fee. Worst case scenario is that an English team finds themselves needing a home-grown right-back down the line and we can turn a profit.


Roberto Baronti - 24, DR, Season-Long Loan from RB Leipzig - the second-to-last signing of the window, Roberto joins on loan having played in Seire A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga despite his tender age. Arguably better than Belle, the two will fight it out for the starting berth this season. Paying a fraction of his wage is a major plus, but perhaps a major con of this deal is a lack of agreed future fee. Either way, he's a different option in this position.


Fran Beltran - 29, MC/DMC £22.5million from Chelsea - another signing from Chelsea (and not the last either) and yet again one I had no say in. Admittedly signed for a good price considering he's probably hitting his peak now, I'm still unusure as to why I had no say in the fee or the contract handed to Fran. This being said, he'll be a key member of the squad and I'm happy to have him back.


Filippo Melegoni - 29, MC, Season-Long Loan from Chelsea - the last of the signings coming from London, Filippo comes in for a year with only a small percentage of his wages being paid by us. Adding a third quality option to the midfield alongside Van de Beek and Beltran, this deal makes tonnes of sense. Described by the media as a World-Class Midfielder, this deal is full of upsides.


Robert Ilie - 23, AMR, £13million from Quanjian - part of the overhaul was focused on the wide-areas of the squad this summer. Zivkovic isn't getting any younger and Bernardeschi was let go too. Robert had found himself playing in China last season having left his native Romania and it seems the year has done him a world of good. An out-and-out winger, I'm looking forward to seeing how he settles in. Just look at how much his value has increased by!


Cristinel Cocis - 21, AML, £19.5million from Standard Liege - Ilie isn't the only Romanian winger to join the club this summer! International team-mate Cocis joins the ranks and looks set to play on the opposite side to his compatriot. Cristinel had interest from a number of top sides so we had to bid more than our competitors to get our man, but on the face of things this seems to have been a good deal. More of an Inside Forward than a Winger, he offers us something different on the other side of the midfield which should hopefully give our new-look, dynamic attack another option.


Erling Haland - 28, ST, Free Transfer from Wolves - with Lukaku leaving, we were in need of a striker in a similar mould to the Belgian. Erling seems to fit the bill. Tall, quick and strong he'll be fighting it out for the starting spot, but I think he'll get the nod for now after an impressive pre-season. Signed for free too after bouncing around some top clubs, this deal should work out for us.


Nicola Soli - 22, ST, £19.5million from Sassuolo - one of the first names on my shortlist for a number of reasons, Nicola is the last signing who will be challenging for a starting spot this season. He's a much more raw talent than Haland and Petrelli, but he's homegrown and still has some development to do. He could become a real star down the line and a talisman for the club.

Squad Players

Beyond the starting-eleven last season, we lacked any real depth in the side and it was always the same three players coming on or coming off. I decided that we'd need some good players in the squad to bring on, or to rotate in if we needed to keep things fresh.


Massimiliano Vecchione - 24, AMC, £1.3million from Holstein Kiel - Massimiliano probably never saw a move like this coming. He'd been on my shortlist since I was in charge of SPAL, where I saw him as a starter. Now though, I see him as being a good squad player. On the face of things he hasn't got stand out attributes, but he has it where is counts. A good dribbler, a great first touch and a good passing ability too. He's been playing in the 2.Bundesliga so he'll need to step up big-time, but this deal could be the blueprint for our Squad Player transfers going forward.


Ciprian Zamfir - 19, DC, £2.2million from FC Steaua Bucharest - the third and last Romanian player in the squad, but one that was here last year. Ciprian played a majority of the games I was in charge of last season and it made so much sense to bring him back. I know his quality and what he can do, delighted to have him back.


The final tier of signings we made were youngsters that have joined the club as I cast an eye on the future. I think that any good club signs not for now but for the future too, so let's take a very quick look at the players signed. Most have headed out on loan to aid their development, but two will be sticking around this year.


Johann Gueguen - 17, AMC, £2.8million from EA Guingamp - Loaned out to Verona


Gilles Rouyard - 17, ST, £2.8million from EA Guingamp - Loaned out to Cagliari


Sinisa Brodic - 17, ST, £2million from Dinamo - Loaned out to Cittadella


El Hadji Camara - 16, MC, £2million from Lyon - What a player we look to have on our hands here. El Hadji looks like he could be one of the better players in his generation. Already rated fairly by the coaching staff I'll be looking to play him this year. He could become an absolute superstar.


Daniel Wagner - 17, DC, £725K from Sparta Prague - Loaned out to Siena


Jose Carlos Nuevo - 17, DC, £3million rising to £7million from Real Madrid - Jose looks like he could become a quality defender and at only seventeen he's highly rated. A big fee and a big wage for a player that could well justify it down the line. He'll be sticking around this year to be our fourth-choice central defender this year.


A whole host of players left the club this summer too such as Brunn Larsen, Montiel and Lenglet. Others were loaned out with their wages being paid and optional future fees lined up such as Alena and Hegedus. Lastly, Lukaku and Dybala were released. These deals helped to offset the spending (although a staggering £62.5million was spent without me having as much as a say). Despite all the players coming in, the wage bill is in a much healthier position with just under £1million per week being taken off of the books!

Squad Summary

With all this said and done, the squad is looking like this! I'd argue that the squad is in a much better position compared to last season with the average age being brought down to 24.2 from around 27/28. The amount of money we spent as a whole has hit the club but once we get into the season and we start generating money the club will be in the best all-round position its seen in years. In short, I'm very excited to see what this squad can do this year with the right mix of quality and experience.

Pre-Season Results


Fixture-wise we had a fairly calm pre-season, with only six games scheduled. I could resist playing former side SPAL, who we beat emphatically before going on to play a mix of similarly-matched sides and sides I'd consider better than ourselves.

Next Update

January 2029!
Thanks @bigmattb28, I'm still a bit shocked to have the job, but the club certainly where it is in real life!


Season Review 2027/28

Having taken the Juventus job in February, the expectations were clear - European football is a must or I'll be searching for another job. The club were already in seventh place when I took the reigns, so how did we fare across the back-end of the season?



Overall, I was only in charge of two losses from February to May!

With only two games left in February we had what on paper looked like two relatively winnable games. Former side SPAL, who were sitting comfortably in the Champions League places welcomed me for me first game and the script must have been written in advance, as a last minute goal from Paracampo gave the hosts a win. Palermo followed and having recently sacked the Manager/Assistant duo of Dani Alves/Messi we managed to pick up three points against a dysfunctional team.

Sassuolo and Lecce held us in consecutive weeks as March came by, and these were disappointing results given both sides were battling it out at the bottom of the table. A comfortable two-nil win against Chievo followed to maintain an impressive, yet slightly underwhelming start.

April was somewhat of a mixed bag. A poor performance gave us a narrow win against Sampdoria before we earned a point against Lazio. A huge win against Roma gave us some leverage in the race for continental qualification, although we let the capital side back into the game and were lucky not to concede. Any leeway we gained over Roma was thrown away days after against Genoa, with former SPAL man Hassan Mane sealing the loss with a cracking free-kick.

But our finish to the season was near perfect! A draw against Napoli started May before narrow wins over Cagliari, Benevento and Atalanta set us up for an impressive win against A.C. Milan. It was during these last few games that my ideas for the squad started to take some serious shape, but there will be more on this to come.


With all this said and done then, we were able to secure a sixth placed finish and thus gain entry into the Europa League. Back in February I told the board that Champions League qualification was possible but I learnt quickly that we are a few pieces short of that. I'm not the most popular man in the boardroom you could say.

This being said though, there was a marked upturn in results since I took the job. With 36 points in 24 games prior to my arrival, the team was averaging 1.5 points per game and in the 14 games since we picked up 28 points, giving us 2 points per game. This may not seem a lot but in the context of this season that is the difference in finishing 8th in the league and finishing 2nd. Impressive work if I do say so myself.

Squad Review


The squad remained the same for the most part since my arrival. An injury to Vodisek saw me call up youngster Conti as a back-up option. He was joined by fellow youngsters Lech, Santagata and Ghedini to fill out the squad and in some preparation for next season, more on this later.

Three players in the squad who are currently who will be joining permanently next season. Junior Firpo had his loan turned permanent by thr previous manager for a whopping £40million, but his performances since my arrival have gone a long way to reassuring me about his quality. Young Romanian defender Zamfir has some good qualities about him despite his age and has bags of potential too, so I pulled the trigger on his release clause too. Lastly, Beltran's loan was made permanent days before the season ended but I had no say in the matter, nor did his loan deal have any appearance-based clause in it(?). We'd struggle to find anyone as good for as cheap so I don't have too many complaints, I'd just like to have a say in who is in the squad!


What's more is that there are nine players I'm looking to move on this coming window, or who's loans won't be extended. Maehle, Bjortuft and Bloxham's loans won't be renewed whilst Lenglet, Grimaldo, Bernardeschi and Brunn Larsen will likely be sold. Dybala and Lukaku won't be having their deals renewed either. These are just players in the first team and presently at the club, more players will be moved on I imagine.


With so many players being tipped to leave, the club is certainly in for a big overhaul this summer. Deals have already been wrapped up for a goalkeeper, a left-winger and a right-winger and a back-up attacking-midfielder, with a deal for a center-back due to be confirmed in the coming days. I've hinted that the club isn't in the best of financial positions and so the deals will likely reflect this and form a key part of my transfer strategy for the foreseeable future at Juventus.

What this means is that the club will be operating well within its means. There won't be an influx of first-team quality players necessarily and instead I'll be looking to develop youngsters from the academy, whilst signing cheap squad players who can develop and perhaps be sold on in the future. There is only room really to sign three first-team quality players a season for now. This has to be put down to the failures of previous managers when it comes to reshaping the squad and hopefully after a few seasons of off-loading bad contracts and signing cheaper, younger players the club can get back to where it used to be.


With just over a year left on my current deal I thought I'd ask the board for an improved deal, or at the least a longer one. Perhaps its because I'm still in the early stages of the current deal, perhaps due to falling short in terms of Champions League Qualification, but the answer was a resounding no. Fingers crossed there will be a new deal at some point, otherwise this could be a short stint!

Next Update

Pre-Season Review

NOTE: I'm heading off to Barcelona this weekend so won't be able to get through pre-season, so the next update may be some time away! Thanks for reading!
Year in Review & Job Update


With 2027 coming to an end, this marks the year anniversary of me taking charge of the USMNT. All in all, I'd say its been a fairly successful time and a refreshing one too, swapping the misery of SPAL for the joys of international success. In a similar fashion, the job has well and truly served its purpose so far. Winning the Gold Cup provided a nice bit of silverware and reputation boost, whilst the Confederations Cup Playoff was treated similarly to a cup final.

In the NA Nations League, we'd been top our group and fully expected to qualify having beaten the Dominican Republic and Honduras last time out, but could only muster nil-nil draws in the reverse fixtures. Enough to qualify though.

After this I decided to search through the MLS, having previously cast a blind eye on the competition (NOTE: this is when I loaded MLS into the game), and to my surprise there were a lot of good players ready and waiting for their call-ups, bringing a complete overhaul to the national set up.

NOTE: With the USA sitting as a Top 20 nation when I loaded the MLS up, a lot of the players that were generated are real quality players, some could even cut it at the top clubs in Europe I think. I find it really interesting that this is how the game handles player generation based on nation ranking. I can only assume that if we were a lesser ranked nation that the players generated would be much poorer.

Job Offer


Yes you read that correctly. Juventus have offered me the chance to be their manager! I've applied for the Juventus job three times in my career so far, once at SPAL, once when I'd left SPAL and once now. If this doesn't give you an idea of the turmoil in Turin I'm not sure what else can. I attended the interview and was caught in two minds, do I risk my chances of getting the job by asking to take over at the end of the season, or, do I turn my back on the USMNT and all the new players at my disposal?


In the end I had to make my decision. The news report tells you all you need to know, I was missing day-to-day management and this was the ultimate factor in making the decision. After some negational on the original offer the board made to me I take the reigns on a one-year deal which doesn't exactly scream of confidence, but I'm sure that I can take hold of this team and earn an extension.

Recent History

As I eluded to, the club hasn't been in the best of positions in the past few years and upon inspection there isn't any surprise as to why.


A succession of poor managerial stints puts me in perhaps what might be the hottest seat in European football. It speaks volumes that no manager has made it past the three year mark since Allegri left, and this has had a wide-scale knock on effect on the club as a whole.


This is the available first-team squad I have at my disposal from now until the end of the season. The club lacks a real quality goalkeeper and for now I'll be using academy product Gilardi over Vodisek.

The defence is another area in dire need of a makeover. Gasperini looks to be a quality defender, the type that you can build a defence around and maybe even become club captain in the coming years. Beyond this though and the club is reliant on loan signings from bigger teams. For the time being I'll be utilising Manchester United loanee Bloxham over Lenglet whose physical stats just make him seem too much of a liability. The same can be said for Grimaldo.

Midfield is a slightly better area for us. Signed last year after an impressive loan, van de Beek is a nailed on starter and a real key asset, whilst Beltran can partner him nicely, although he too is another loanee. We're ok in wide areas but we don't have a great deal of quality. At thirty-one Zivkovic's legs won't be able to hold much long, whilst I don't rate Brunn Larsen at all, but he'll have to do until the end of the season. Fabio Leite is a player to be excited about and looks to be the fulcrum of our attacking moves in the final third. Young enough to be a star for many years to come, I've already seen what he can do during my time with SPAL and I'm hoping he can develop still. The club still has Dybala and Bernardeschi on the books, but with both players thirty-four and on astronomical contracts, it seems I'll have the hard task of letting some club legends go this summer.

Up-front and there are only two options. Thirty-four year-old Romelu Lukaku or twenty-six year-old Elia Petrelli. I'll be using both until the end of the season, but I think Petrelli will see more minutes. Both are rated equally by the coaching staff and I plan to get rid of Lukaku and his wages in the summer.

Overall, the squad is in need of a massive overhaul. A new goalkeeper, centerback, left-back, right-back, left-winger and maybe even a new striker are all needed for the first-eleven alone. One of the biggest problems with the club is that due to managers being sacked so quickly, nobody has had a chance to address the ageing squad. Including players that were registered for the Serie A and then loaned out, the average age of the squad is twenty-seven, yet only one player is close to this. The squad is made up of players like Dybala, Bernardeschi and Lukaku who haven't been moved on, or players like Gilardi and Petrelli who are inexperienced despite their age.

Furthermore, there are players out on loan who really shouldn't be at the club still. Cancelo is still on the books earning £135K a week whilst on-loan at Lazio, whilst Alena was loaned out to Roma for the season. More so, some of the loan signings in have been disastrous. Junior Firpo was signed on loan from Chelsea and the previous manager decided that the thirty-one year-old's loan should be made permanent in the summer for a whopping £40million!


Financially the club is really struggling due to the decisions made by previous managers. A failure to move older players on and a willingness to extend their contracts has hurt the club financially. There are currently eleven players over the age of thirty on the books at the club and between them they earn an eye-watering £1,541,000 a week; just over half of the wage budget alone! As it stands I can only envisage four of these eleven players sticking around next season if I can manoeuvre the summer window as I'd like to. Outside of this, Gasperini and Leite earn a combined £500,000 each a week, but they're the core of this team and could be for the foreseeable future so I'm happy enough for them to be high earners, though I wouldn't mind negotiating their deals.


Competition wise and all I have to focus on is the Serie A. At current we sit 7th but only a few places of the Champions League places and I think that we could just about make them, at least that's what I told the board! You'll see SPAL sat in 4th with mainly the same team I built, which is nice but also annoying that I couldn't get the best out of the young players I had there. My first game coincidently... away to SPAL!

Next Update

End of Season Review!

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Gold Cup 2027

Having left SPAL at the turn of the year and taking charge of the USMNT, attentions were immediately turned to the upcoming Gold Cup which we were being touted to win on home soil.

Group Stage Draw


Being a First Seed going into the draw, we were always going to be heavy favourites to progress from our group. Thankfully we were drawn into what is on paper the easiest group, with Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti our competition. Rather luckily were able to avoid drawing a Jamaica side who had won the competition in previous years.


Around the same time, the draw for the NA Nations League was drawn too. Similarly, we were one of the top seeded teams in the draw and again were able to get a preferable draw; this time pitting us against Honduras and the Dominican Republic once again. Fixtures are scheduled to take place prior to the Gold Cup, with the remaining fixtures due in September and October.

Fixtures and Results


The Group Stage saw us beat Cuba four-nil before putting three past both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. These performances were good enough to see us through to Quarter Finals where we would play Honduras. A two-nil win followed and credit goes to the squad as a whole, with many players needing to be rotated as the knockout rounds get underway. This set us up for a Semi Final against Jamaica in a game that we were heavy favourites to win, and I thought we would do well as long as we kept Leon Bailey quiet. We needed a big game from our own superstar Christian Pulisic to step up, and the winger duly delivered, setting up Josh Sargent before scoring a goal of his own in injury time after Weston McKennie was sent off in regulation time. A final against rivals Canada awaited us after they knocked Mexico out of the competition. The boys were looking tired at this point and a number of changes were needed going into this one, with Pulisic and Sargent among the names slated for an appearance off of the bench. Full-time passed us by with little-to-no action worth mentioning, as did the first-half of Extra-Time. Into the second-half however and substitute Josh Sargent was brought down in the box and fellow sub Pulisic stepped up to roll the ball past the 'keeper to give us a late lead. Big-time players score big-time goals and Pulisic definitely put the team on his back in the most important games of the competition.


And there we have it! A one-nil win against bitter rivals sees us win the Gold Cup at the first time of asking, although we were heavy favourites to win the competition!


There was little else to report other than Sargent finishing as the Top Goalscorer in the tournament. It is also worth mentioning that we didn't concede once during the duration of the tournament, though this may be an indicator of the quality of our opposition.

What's Next?

Having won the Gold Cup I've seen a very slight boost in reputation, and with the NA Nations League coming up there is a real chance of wining another competition against similar opposition. That couldn't do my reputation any harm, surely? Also I'm searching for the right opportunity to return to club management and as soon as there is news on that I'll be sure to let you know. Lastly, with this current stint in charge of the USMNT, this has become much more of a "Worldwide Journeyman" rather than a European one!

Next Update

NA Nations League OR the Job Hunt!
Mid-Season Review 2026/27

After a busy summer of transfers aiming to right the wrongs of the back-end of last season, I was quietly optimistic that some of our young signings could kick on and push us to be better this season. We only won six games in the whole of 2026 going into the season, so lets hope that a change in formation and some slight tactical tweaks could serve us better.


What an absolute shambles we've endured so far. Admittedly, playing Napoli and Juventus back-to-back was not the best start to the season, and by the time we travelled to Cagliari at the end of August morale was too low to muster a win. September saw us play three more good sides in Atalanta, Roma and Sassuolo. Losses in the first two games weren't exactly unexpected, but the loss to Sassuolo set the trend for our season. Having gone two goals up we went down to ten men and threw the game away. October saw us gain a vital three points before another sending off killed the game against Udinese. Defeats against A.C. Milan, Sampdoria and Parma followed with more players picking up suspensions due to yellow cards; with the last two games being ones we should have easily won. November started with a nervy win against Torino in which we went three up and then let the visitors get within a goal of taking points off of us. I thought this would have been a platform to build from but a narrow shock defeat to Empoli followed. Perugia dumped us out of the cup to kick December off and this was followed by an emergency board meeting. 8 points from our next 5 games would see my job safe. Draws to Palermo and Lazio were either side of an impressive away draw to Inter Milan in which the home side equalised in the 89th minute. The calendar year was rounded off with a tight loss to Fiorentina, but the side had shown a marked improvement over the last month.


And like that the Italian leg of this journey is over... for now. I can't have too many complaints because at the end of the day we haven't been good enough this season, or the whole year in general. In fact, since the start of 2026 we only managed to win nine of our Serie A fixtures. Truth be told, I'm not too sure what started the rut last season but I've a few ideas about this season. A mixture of inexperienced youngsters, a defence that isn't up to scratch and poor disciple saw us slip into the relegation zone for the first time since my arrival. I didn't picture this season going this way, but this is all part and parcel of football I suppose.


There it is then. I mentioned that our form saw us dip into the relegation zone during this season, but our form in December was good enough to get us to safety and part of me feels like it could have seen us put 2026 behind us and climb up the league, but we'll never know.

What's Next


Thankfully I won't be out of a job at all! The U.S.A approached me in the last week of December when the writing looked on the wall at SPAL. I was caught in two minds but in the end the decision was an easy one. Even if I took the job and kept the SPAL job, I could have easily resigned to focus on Serie A, but I took the job expecting to be sacked and this serves as a good cushion.

For the foreseeable future I'll be scouring the national pool and arranging friendlies in preparation for the upcoming Gold Cup, which we will be hosting in 2027. Fingers crossed 2027 can be a better year for me than 2026.

Next Update

Gold Cup 2027!

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