[STORY] Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

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Redknapp69
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Redknapp69 »

Shocker of a month results wise

Performances maybe deserved more but looks like some superkeepering but also lack of cutting edge has fooked you over


Mentality Monsters need to brush this month off and no go on a pretty big unbeaten run to get in with a shout of title run

Europa result is a complete embarrassment not to score against those minnows

But as the CM readers would say ............. "at least you can focus on the league now!"
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November 2054

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

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Serie A: Verona 0 Napoli 2


Goals

Llorente 8
Vázquez 45


Assists

Nanni 8
Harrison 45


Attendance: 30088


Summary

We remained unchanged for this solid win at Verona.

Captain for the day, Fabio Nanni, found the run of midfield partner Carlos Llorente, who was left with a simple finish, to give us a 1-0 lead.

We'd contained the hosts superbly throughout the first half, and doubled our lead just before the interval, when striker Diego Vázquez received the ball from attacking midfielder Reece Harrison, moved forward, then unleashed a 20 yard shot, to send us in with a 2-0 lead.

The second half was closer. Both sides could've added to the scoreline, but we remained solid, to see out the win.

Man of the Match: Diego Vázquez

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Serie A: Napoli 3 Sassuolo 1


Napoli Goals

da Costa 48
Harrison 57
Llorente 90


Napoli Assists

Nanni 48
Ríos 90


Sassuolo Goal

Ramos 87


Attendance: 53209


Summary

A nice win over a side that started the game above us in the table.

There wasn't much action in a scrappy opening thirty minutes, so I switched from a normal mentality to attacking. This enabled us to start creating chances, and we finished the first half strongly.

We started the second half in the same vein, and took an early lead. Striker Andrei da Costa received the ball from midfielder Fabio Nanni, showed superb control, went past a defender, then hit a high and hard shot, to give us a deserved 1-0 lead.

Nine minutes later, a header by da Costa was saved, but attacking midfielder Reece Harrison was first to the loose ball, and drove us into a 2-0 lead.

The visitors pulled one back with their only effort on target in the 87th minute. This set up a nervy finish, but those nerves were calmed three minutes later. Substitute Javier Ríos fed midfielder Carlos Llorente, and the young Spaniard surged forward with the ball, went past an opponent, then hit a fierce shot which made it 3-1, and completed the scoring.


Man of the Match: Carlos Llorente

A brilliant display. Carlos was exhausted by the end of the game, but after winning five tackles in an energetic midfield display, he grabbed the goal to kill the game off. At just £3.3M, he looks the pick of my summer signings.

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Serie A: Roma 2 Napoli 3


Roma Goals

Rodrigues da Silva (pen) 15
Raymond 52


Napoli Goals

Harrison 8, 11
Vázquez 61


Napoli Assists

Giménez 11
da Costa 61


Sent Off

Sikora (Napoli) 15


Attendance: 68505


Summary

A hard fought win at the Olimpico di Roma, having been down to ten men for most of the match.

The game started brilliantly. Right midfielder Diego Giménez had an effort saved following a corner, but the ball fell to attacking midfielder Reece Harrison, who smashed us into a 1-0 lead.

Three minutes later, we doubled our lead with some great direct play. Central defender Maximilian Schulz hit a long diagonal pass to Giménez, who immediately flicked the ball out left to Harrison. The young Englishman then let fly on the half volley from 20 yards out, to make it 2-0.

Everything was looking great at that point, but four minutes later goalkeeper Patryk Sikora received a straight red card for a professional foul. Teddy Ramé came on for Giménez, and I had a reshuffle, so that we deployed an attacking 351 formation. Roma made no mistake from the resulting spot kick, and halved the deficit.

This evened the game out, and both sides had chances to score before half time.

The second half continued in much the same way. Both keepers were busy, and it was the hosts that were able to make one of the chances count, when they grabbed a 52nd minute equaliser.

The game didn't stay level for long. In the 61st minute, midfielder Fabio Nanni took control of a loose ball, and played it forward to Andrei da Costa, who was in the attacking midfielder role. The Brazilian international sent the ball into the area, and striker Diego Vázquez was left with a simple finish, to make it 3-2.

We contained the hosts superbly after that, and Harrison was denied a hat-trick when he struck the woodwork in the 77th minute.


Man of the Match: Reece Harrison

Reece got us on our way with those two early goals, then moved into a deeper role when we went down to ten men. Another of my signings who has made a good start to life in Naples.

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Serie A: Napoli 0 Juventus 3


Goals

Peralta 8
Ribera 59
Nickel 82


Attendance: 57734


Summary

Our four game winning run came to an end with this shocking defeat at home to title contenders Juventus.

This was an abysmal display. We were sloppy defensively, outplayed in midfield, and toothless in attack.

I need to see a response in our next game, or I'll be ringing the changes.


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Serie A: Ascoli 1 Napoli 3


Ascoli Goal

Garro 45


Napoli Goals

Llorente 19
Vázquez 57, 83


Napoli Assists

Giménez 19
Figueiredo 57, 83


Sent Off

Cervenka (Ascoli) 6
Llorente (Napoli) 79


Attendance: 16839


Man of the Match: Diego Vázquez


Summary

I got the response I was looking for with this dominant win against an Ascoli side that started the game in 5th place.

Our cause was helped when the hosts had a player sent off early on, for a two footed challenge on our captain Diego Vázquez.

It wasn't long before we were able to make the most of our numerical advantage. In the 19th minute, right midfielder Diego Giménez aimed a cross to the near post, which met Carlos Llorente's burst into the box from midfield, and the young Spaniard headed us into a 1-0 lead.

We had numerous chances to extend our lead, then on the stroke of half time, central defender Marcos Ruschel gave away a free kick. Debutant keeper Serhat Arikan will have been disappointed to have been beaten from distance, with what proved to be the hosts only effort at goal throughout the entire game.

We didn't have to wait long to go back in front after the break. In the 57th minute, left midfielder Luís Figueiredo made a good run, went past an opponent, then delivered a cross into the box for Vázquez to climb above the Ascoli keeper, and head us into a 2-1 lead.

We continued to dominate, and I thought we'd killed the game off in the 79th minute. Llorente had a goal disallowed, and petulantly kicked the ball away, having already received an earlier booking. This meant that we were also down to ten men.

This didn't prove to be a problem. Four minutes later, Figueiredo provided his second assist of the game. The former Portuguese under 21 international delivered another pinpoint cross into the box, and Vázquez headed in his second of the game, to make it 3-1, and complete the scoring.

Luís Figueiredo had a brilliant game. He created three chances, and provided the assists for both of Vázquez's goals.

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Round-up

The Juventus defeat spoiled what was otherwise a very good month, and we have a lot to do to reduce their ten point lead over us.

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The Turin side have had a blistering start to the season. They've scored way more than anyone else, and are very solid defensively.

Now that we're around a third of the way through the season, I can see a familiar pattern emerging.

All season, I've deployed the attacking 352 formation, with a normal mentality both home and away. We've done very well on our travels.

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Best in the division. Better than leaders Juventus, better than champions Inter. It's a very different story at the San Paolo.

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At best, we're inconsistent at home, and that's probably a generous appraisal.

Something needs to change at home. I'll stick with the 352 attacking formation, but will start games with an attacking mentality. If that doesn't work, then a different formation will be needed. The flat 352, the 343, and the 4132 have all worked well for me in the past.

I'm sure one of these shapes will work. That away form suggests that there is no problem with the squad, it's been my tactical approach at home which has cost us. I'm confident that I can turn this around.




FC Köln News

My former club are still in with a shout at retaining the Bundesliga.

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Hoffenheim have had a great start, but I'll be surprised if they can sustain their form. No-one else is showing particularly good form, including Bayern.

I thought I'd highlight another key player from my time at FC Köln.

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As you can see, Lukas has settled in nicely at Inter. Like when he played under me, he's been a utility player. Inter have used him either as a right back, a holding midfielder, or in a slightly more advanced midfield role.

A real asset for any club.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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Atalanta could be tricky, but we then play three teams in the bottom seven. It's important that we pick up as many points as we can, to chip away at the gap that Juventus have over us.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Here2Win79 »

Interesting that the 3-5-2 has been better away from home, I was expecting it to be very frail considering it has three players in AM circles when with ball, but maybe it’s benefitting from the AI over committing men forward in home games.
What are the other components of your tactics, ie passing style, pressing, marking, offside, etc?
Any rhyme or reason to the players who underperformed v Juventus and their ‘mentality monster’ stats?
Should hopefully be able to generate momentum over those next four matches. What’s happened to the Coppa Italia games, shouldn’t there have been a couple of rounds before Xmas or have I missed an instalment?
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Libertine73 »

Here2Win79 wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 8:27 am Interesting that the 3-5-2 has been better away from home, I was expecting it to be very frail considering it has three players in AM circles when with ball, but maybe it’s benefitting from the AI over committing men forward in home games.
What are the other components of your tactics, ie passing style, pressing, marking, offside, etc?
Any rhyme or reason to the players who underperformed v Juventus and their ‘mentality monster’ stats?
Should hopefully be able to generate momentum over those next four matches. What’s happened to the Coppa Italia games, shouldn’t there have been a couple of rounds before Xmas or have I missed an instalment?
The attacking 352 formation has worked really well for me in my last couple of saves. Especially away from home with the normal mentality.

I was determined to make it work after regularly reading on various forums that the only way to get success with non wib wob was to play a back four, a DMC, no wide players and one or three strikers. The flat and attacking versions of the 352 tick none of those boxes.

I've found that direct or mixed passing works. I select Hard tackling, and pressing with the offside trap. All of the outfield players are set to mark zonally.

The only conclusion that I can draw from the Juventus game, along with our poor home form in general, is that the AI has sussed my tactics. A formation change usually turns things around.

We'll enter the Coppa Italia at the last sixteen stage. I'm not sure why. Perhaps through being in Europe.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Here2Win79 »

I think it depends on the definition of success, I’ve won plenty of leagues playing wide players and/or two up front but not sure I have any CLs from that style.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Libertine73 »

Here2Win79 wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 1:43 pm I think it depends on the definition of success, I’ve won plenty of leagues playing wide players and/or two up front but not sure I have any CLs from that style.
My recent Champions League win with FC Köln was with the attacking 352, but I didn't use it I'm any of the four that I won with Borussia Mönchengladbach. I used the 4132, the flat 352, and the 343 (twice).
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Redknapp69 »

12/15 will do very nicely there - shame the manner of the defeat v Juve though

Not just them to catch but 9 points to Atalanta as well = kind feels like a 6 pointer coming up against them

Needs to be at least 9/12 in next 4 games for me and I don't think you can afford to lose v Atalanta
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December 2054

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

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Serie A: Napoli 1 Atalanta 1


Napoli Goal

Nanni 16


Napoli Assist

Giménez 16


Atalanta Goal

Pinna 20


Attendance: 53861


Summary

We were unfortunate not to beat 2nd place Atalanta.

We used an attacking mentality, and our reward came fairly early on, when midfielder Fabio Nanni headed in a 16th minute cross by right midfielder Diego Giménez.

Our joy was short-lived, when the visitors equalised just four minutes later.

Early in the second half, I switched from the attacking 352 formation to the flat version, as we were struggling to break down the visitor's defensive tactics.

This had an impact, and Atalanta keeper Jacopo Cipriani was the busier of the two keepers, saving efforts by Andrei da Costa in the 59th minute, and Nanni in the 69th and 89th minutes.

Sadly, we couldn't get what I feel would have been a deserved winner.

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Serie A: Cremonese 0 Napoli 2


Goals

da Costa 30
Silva Costa 90


Assists

Schulz 30
Marques da Silva 90


Attendance: 15055


Summary

A comfortable win at struggling Cremonese.

In the 30th minute, central defender Maximilian Schulz won a tackle, then hit a direct ball to Andrei da Costa. The Brazilian international moved forward, got into the area, then struck the ball with fury to give us a 1-0 lead.

We dominated the remainder of the game, but was thwarted by the host's keeper Christopher Di Pietro, who went on to be named Man of the Match.

We made sure of the points in the 90th minute. Central defender Kléber Marques da Silva sent a corner into the area, and club captain Sérgio Silva Costa climbed above his marker, and headed us into a 2-0 lead which completed the scoring.

Andrei da Costa did a brilliant job behind the front two. Five of his six shots were on target, but I was particularly impressed with him winning an incredible nine tackles. This is an immense stat from a player that was a constant menace.

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Serie A: Napoli 4 Perugia 1


Napoli Goals

Nanni 41, 63
Vázquez 43
Ramic 83


Napoli Assists

Marques da Silva 41
Giménez 43
da Costa 63
Chumak 83


Perugia Goal

Tasevski 32


Sent Off

Gori (Perugia) 69


Attendance: 54938


Summary

We came from behind to get a nice win over bottom side Perugia.

We hadn't created much in the opening thirty minutes, so I switched from the 352 attacking formation to 343, and continued with an attacking mentality.

I was left wondering if this was the smartest move, as the visitors took the lead two minutes later, but then Fabio Nanni took control of the game.

In the 41st minute, the Italian midfielder received the ball from central defender Kléber Marques da Silva, surged forward, then unleashed a shot from distance, to give us a superb equaliser.

Two minutes later, the game was turned on it's head when right wingback Diego Giménez sent the ball into the area for striker Diego Vázquez to drive us into a 2-1 lead.

We were well worth our half time lead, and carried on where we left off in the second half. Right winger Andrei da Costa took control of a loose ball, then sent it into the area for Nanni to head us into a 3-1 lead, with his second goal of the game.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors, when they had a player sent off a few minutes later.

I made a triple substitution, and two of them combined in the 83rd minute to make it 4-1. A loose ball came to left wingback Dmytro Chumak, and the Ukrainian squared it for striker Marko Ramic, who finished emphatically to complete the scoring.


Man of the Match: Fabio Nanni

The want away midfielder put in an outstanding display to earn a 10 rating. Along with his two goals, he won seven of his eleven aerial duels, made three successful dribbles, won four tackles, and made five interceptions.

The Perugia keeper made a string of saves throughout the game, which prevented us from scoring twice as many goals, and denied Nanni the chance to complete a hat-trick in injury time.

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Serie A: Fiorentina 0 Napoli 2


Goals

Vázquez 66
Nanni 67


Assists

Ramic 66
Figueiredo 67


Attendance: 42278


Summary

A comfortable win in Florence, where once again, the opposition goalkeeper has prevented us from scoring many more.

We dominated the first half, but the woodwork, along with Fiorentina keeper Lorenzo Martorelli, stopped us from being deservedly in front at half time.

One significant moment in the first half was when club captain Sérgio Silva Costa went off injured, and was replaced by Marko Ramic.

The hosts started the second half well, but we survived the pressure. Serhat Arikan made an important save, and our central defenders got some important blocks in.

We didn't seem as lively in the second half, so in the 65th minute I took off right midfielder Diego Giménez, and brought on Javier Ríos. Ríos played on the left, and Luís Figueiredo shuffled across to the right.

The impact was immediate. A minute later, Ramic fed the ball to strike partner Diego Vázquez, who had taken the captain's armband when Silva Costa went off. The Argentina striker controlled the ball, went past one defender, got into the box, went past another defender, then drove in a low shot to give us a 1-0 lead.

Sixty seconds later, Vázquez fed Figueiredo. The wide man moved forward with the ball, then sent it into the area for midfielder Fabio Nanni to half volley us into a 2-0 lead.

We continued to put the hosts under pressure, but we had to settle for just the two goals.

Man of the Match: Marko Ramic

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Round-up

A good month. At home we were unlucky not to beat a good Atalanta side, then the formation change was key to the victory over Perugia. This will hopefully be the start of a good run at the San Paolo.

We maintained our very good away form with those comfortable wins at Cremonese and Fiorentina.

We move up one place to 4th.

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We're still a fair way behind a rampant Juventus side, but there is still over half of the season left to play, so there's time for the Turin side to slip up.

Having won our last three games, now seems like a good time to go on the kind of winning sequence that saw my FC Köln side lift the title last season. Our immediate goal is to try to leapfrog Inter and Atalanta.




FC Köln News

A mixed month for my former club, having failed to win the Club World Cup.

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Another two key players from my time there have departed.

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Jan Kraus has been a regular under Martijn da Foseca this season, and has been one of the best keepers in the Bundesliga this campaign. His contract was due to expire at the end of the season, and he'd wanted out during my time there. They've done well to pick up £45.5M for him, which is a nice profit on the £20M that I paid to bring him to FC Köln.

Maurice Sirch was an important member of the squad during my time there, but had completely fell out of favour under da Foseca. Again, mid table Wolfsburg are the beneficiaries, and have paid £14.5M for a player that I brought to the club for just £8M.

FC Köln have slipped down to 5th. Their games in hand suggests that they are still in the title race, but will they remain as solid without Kraus?

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Forthcoming Fixtures

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We need to look to extend our Serie A winning run to seven games. We'll also see our first bit of Coppa Italia action. With our early exit from the Europa League, I'll be looking to go full strength in the competition, and attempt to win some silverware in my one season at Napoli.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Redknapp69 »

Good points haul there - shame we couldn't get the W against Atalanta

Meh - gutted Koln didn't get WCC

10/12 in next 4 leagues games needed

Chievo wont be easy in cup but should get through

The legend that is KRAUS! :)
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Kingsley »

Getting better, but I thought you would be strolling this. Koln going backwards is predictable.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Libertine73 »

Kingsley wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 6:29 pm Getting better, but I thought you would be strolling this. Koln going backwards is predictable.
Our home form hasn't been great, but Juventus are the only ones strolling this, after spending well in the summer.
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January 2055

Post by Libertine73 »

Transfer News

Three players have departed, the most significant one being Óscar Díez.

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Napoli picked Óscar up on a Bosman, a couple of years before I arrived. I had him in the side at the start of the season, but his performances didn't match his talent.

I dropped him after three games, and since then, Youssouf Camara and Carlos Llorente have established themselves as the main options to partner Fabio Nanni in midfield.

Granada agreed to pay £31.5M for Óscar.

There wasn't too much of that money made available to me to further strengthen the squad, but there was enough for me to meet the £4.7M buyout clause of Mainz attacking midfielder Christopher Steinmetz.

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I've been tracking Christopher for around eighteen months, having unsuccessfully tried to take him to FC Köln. It looks like he'll develop into a top player, and will provide competition right across the midfield.




Results

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Serie A: Napoli 1 Udinese 0


Goal

Vázquez 31


Assist

da Costa 31


Attendance: 54573


Summary

We survived a couple of late Udinese chances, and held on to make a victorious start to 2055.

We lined up in the 343 formation, with an attacking mentality, but found it difficult to break down the visitor's men behind the ball tactics. After around twenty minutes or so, Udinese started to become a bit more expansive.

This was perfect for us, as we dominated the remainder of the game. Right winger Andrei da Costa played in striker Diego Vázquez, who finished neatly to give us a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute, and we were unlucky not to be further ahead by half time.

We continued to dominate the second half, and it was only a Man of the Match winning performance by Udinese keeper Julen Bernal who prevented us from scoring many more.

We had ran out of steam by the end of the game, and Udinese had those two late chances, one of which hit the bar.

Thankfully, we held on for a well deserved three points.

Young central defender Kléber Marques da Silva was immense at the heart of the back three. He won three key tackles, all four of his aerial duels, and made six interceptions.

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Serie A: Napoli 1 Chievo 0


Goal

Vázquez 66


Assist

Giménez 66


Attendance: 57094


Summary

A narrow victory where the scoreline doesn't do justice to a dominant performance. We had 19 shots (11 on target), whilst the visitors were unable to register a single shot at goal in a game where we also enjoyed 63% possession.

Chievo keeper Dmytro Tymchenko put in a brilliant display to keep us at bay. After around 35 minutes, I switched from an attacking mentality to normal, as I felt that we were starting to run out of steam after bombarding the visitors.

We started the second half slowly, so I made a double substitution in the 64th minute. Off went midfielder Youssouf Camara, to be replaced by Carlos Llorente, and I took off left winger Marko Ramic, and replaced him with Javier Ríos.

The changes had an almost immediate impact.

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We continued to press for a second goal, but Tymchenko remained in excellent form, and prevented his side from enduring a thrashing.


Man of the Match: Diego Giménez

Right wingback Diego Giménez was outstanding this afternoon. Along with the assist, he forced three saves from Tymchenko, and completed nine successful dribbles.

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Coppa Italia Round of 16: Chievo 0 Napoli 2


Goals

Ramic 1
Ríos 76


Assists

da Costa 1
Nanni 76


Attendance: 30061


Summary

Chievo were our opponents again, in this comfortable win that sees us into the quarter finals.

We got off to a great start. The host's keeper Dmytro Tymchenko saved an effort by Diego Vázquez, then the rebound fell to attacking midfielder Andrei da Costa. The Brazilian international fed striker Marko Ramic, who finished emphatically to give us a 1-0 lead.

This was another dominant performance, and once again, Tymchenko made a string of saves to keep the score down.

The second goal eventually came in the 76th minute. Fabio Nanni surged forward with the ball, and hit it out wide to left midfielder Javier Ríos. The Argentine international took the ball into the box, then drove in a low shot, to give him his first goal for the club. This made it 2-0, and completed the scoring.


Man of the Match: Andrei da Costa

Andrei was brilliant in the role behind the front two. Along with his assist, he made seven ball recoveries, winning the ball fairly high up the pitch, to start our attacks from an advanced position.

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Serie A: Napoli 2 Reggiana 0


Goals

Giménez 17
Vázquez 45


Assists

Figueiredo 17


Attendance: 55647


Man of the Match: Diego Giménez


Summary

A comfortable, solid win.

We continued with the 343 formation that we've been using in home games in recent weeks. I started with a normal mentality for this one though.

The visitors deployed defensive, counter attacking tactics, but they couldn't contain us. We had a couple of early chances, then in the 17th minute left wingback Luis Figueiredo received the ball, then hit a 70 yard crossfield pass to right wingback Diego Giménez, who headed us into a 1-0 lead.

We were dominating the game, and in the 45th minute Giménez delivered a cross to the near post. Right winger Andrei da Costa's header was saved, but could only be parried into the path of striker Diego Vázquez, who was left with a simple tap in to make it 2-0.

The second half was much closer. I sensed that my side took their foot off the gas from an attacking point of view, but we were in complete control defensively.

One player who was a bit of an unsung hero today was young midfielder Carlos Llorente. The Spaniard only received a 7 rating, but won six of his nine aerial duels and made a very impressive sixteen ball recoveries. (Seven tackles, nine interceptions)

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Serie A: Lazio 0 Napoli 1


Goal

Vázquez 35


Assist

Giménez 35


Sent Off

Ramic (Napoli) 41


Attendance: 70589


Man of the Match: Diego Giménez


Summary

We had goalkeeper Teddy Ramé to thank for this hard fought win at the Olimpico di Roma.

The first half was scrappy, but a moment of magic put us in front. Striker Diego Vázquez received the ball from right midfielder Diego Giménez. Vázquez then moved forward with the ball, kept going, and unleashed a shot from 20 yards out with the outside of his foot, to give us a 1-0 lead.

Six minutes later, we were down to ten men after striker Marko Ramic received his marching orders for shoving an opponent over.

The hosts were able to use their numerical advantage to put us under pressure, but a string of saves by Ramé meant that we were able to hold on for the three points.

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Round-up

Those four league victories extends our winning streak to seven games in Serie A. This means that we move up another place to 3rd, with Atalanta struggling to stay the course.

We've closed the gap on reigning champions Inter by a couple of points, but Juventus have been winning relentlessly, to remain 10 points clear of us.

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We also beat Chievo in the Coppa Italia, to reach the quarter finals. The draw hasn't been too kind to us, and we'll have a tough trip to Inter next month. Our away form is very good though, so I can't imagine that they'll relish playing us either.




FC Köln News

My former club managed to win their games in hand, to jump from 5th place at the end of December, to 1st.

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My successor Martijn da Foseca has done a very good job there under difficult circumstances, having brought in over £263M in player sales.

One player who is still there is Marc Sander, who I brought to the club in January 2053 for £11M.

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Marc never got beyond the fringes of the first team squad during my time there, but has thrived under da Foseca.

You can see from his stats this season that he's used his fitness and work rate, along with his ability to run at defenders, to become an important member of the squad this season.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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Our first three games of February look particularly tough, but we're in good form, which will hopefully continue.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Redknapp69 »

Perfect month!

Clean sheets everywhere!

New signing looks good!

Tight in Germany!

Bitch of a draw in Cup - full team out for it I guess?

Again with Juve not leeting up it feels a 10/12 month in league needed - Inter away feels massive
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Libertine73 »

Redknapp69 wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:33 pm Perfect month!

Clean sheets everywhere!

New signing looks good!

Tight in Germany!

Bitch of a draw in Cup - full team out for it I guess?

Again with Juve not leeting up it feels a 10/12 month in league needed - Inter away feels massive
We seem to have sorted out our home form. I persevered with the attacking 352 formation for far too long.

We'll be at full strength for the cup. It seems to be our best chance of getting some silverware.
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February 2055

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

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Coppa Italia Quarter Final: Inter 0 Napoli 2 (aet)


Goals

Ruschel (both pens) 115, 117


Assists

Nanni 115
Steinmetz 117


Sent Off

Kersken (Inter) 39
Giordani (Inter) 117


Attendance: 79972


Summary

We reached the Coppa Italia Semi Finals, after a dramatic extra time win at the Guiseppe Meazza.

We started the game really well. We were containing the reigning Serie A champions superbly, whilst forcing their captain Cristian Giordani to make quite a few saves.

Inter were struggling to cope with the pressure that we were putting them under, and in the 39th minute former FC Köln legend Lukas Kersken received a second yellow card, to put the hosts down to ten men.

Our opponents went with a strikerless formation after having a reshuffle, and for the remainder of normal time, neither side were able to create any chances in a scrappy encounter.

Before full time, I'd switched from the attacking 352 formation to the 343 with an attacking mentality, and replaced left wingback Javier Ríos with Luís Figueiredo, but we were unable to break Inter down.

I made another substitution during the break after 90 minutes. Sérgio Silva Costa came on for left winger Marko Ramic, but the opening fifteen minutes of extra time were just as scrappy.

I made my final substitution during the short break in extra time. Right winger Andrei da Costa's tired legs were replaced by Christopher Steinmetz.

The freshness in our attacking wide areas, along with our numerical advantage eventually reaped it's rewards. With just five minutes to go, and the game seemingly heading for a penalty shootout, midfielder Fabio Nanni was fouled in our opponent's area. Central defender Marcos Ruschel made no mistake with the spot kick, and fired us into a 1-0 lead.

Two minutes later, we won another penalty. Giordani brought down Steinmetz, earning the Inter captain a straight red card for the professional foul. The hosts had used all of their substitutes, so one of their outfield players took the gloves for the spot kick. Ruschel scored his second of the game, to secure a superb victory.


Man of the Match: Marcos Ruschel

Marcos showed nerves of steel to score the penalties, particularly the first. He was also solid as a rock at the heart of the back three, winning five tackles, and four of his five aerial duels.

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Serie A: Napoli 1 Torino 0


Goal

Figueiredo 66


Assist

Vázquez 66


Attendance: 54415


Man of the Match: Marcos Ruschel


Summary

A hard fought win over a good Torino side.

The first half was quite even and scrappy. We struggled to break down the visitor's defensive, counter attacking tactics, but even after twenty minutes, when Torino became a bit more expansive, the game remained rather tight.

We deployed an attacking mentality in the second half. This made little difference, so I had a reshuffle, and switched from the 343 formation to the flat 352.

The extra man in midfield helped. Clément Thuram became a bit more influential, and he started the move that led to striker Diego Vázquez laying the ball off to left midfielder Luís Figueiredo, whose 20 yard effort gave us a 1-0 lead.

Both keepers were busy during those final twenty five or so minutes, but I was pleased with how we defended. Marcos Ruschel was Man of the Match for the second successive game, but I was also pleased with his compatriot Jonatan de Oliveira Cardoso, who won an impressive ten tackles playing on the right of the back three.

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Coppa Italia Semi Final, 1st Leg: Ascoli 3 Napoli 3


Ascoli Goals

Fachan 22
Martins Vieira 28
Garro 90


Napoli Goals

Silva Costa 10
Vázquez 38
da Costa (pen) 86


Napoli Assists

Giménez 10, 38
Silva Costa 86


Sent Off

Peruzzi (Ascoli) 85


Attendance: 14847


Man of the Match: Diego Giménez


Summary

This entertaining draw means that there's everything to play for in the second leg.

Key Moments

10 mins: Right wingback Diego Giménez took control of a loose ball, surged forward, then delivered a cross to the near post, which found the excellent diagonal run of left winger Sérgio Silva Costa, who headed us into a 1-0 lead.

22 mins: A poor clearance fell to Ascoli striker Christophe Fachan, who drove in the equaliser. 1-1

28 mins: Ascoli attacking midfielder Diogo Miguel Martins Vieira found himself in space to receive a low cross, and smashed his side into the lead. 1-2

38 mins: After switching to an attacking mentality, Giménez took control of a loose ball, and provided his second assist of the game, by delivering a cross into the box for striker Diego Vázquez to head in the equaliser. 2-2

Half Time: An even first half, but I was disappointed that the hosts had scored from their only two shots on target. Goalkeeper Teddy Ramé will have been disappointed.

71 mins: We'd been the better side in the opening stages of the second half, but had started to run out of steam, so I took off right winger Christopher Steinmetz, brought on left wingback Dmytro Chumak, and pushed Luís Figueiredo from left wingback to the right wing.

82 mins: Figueiredo wasn't doing much in his different position, so I took him off, and replaced him with Andrei da Costa.

85 mins: Club captain Sérgio Silva Costa was brought down in the opposition area, to win us a penalty. This infuriated the hosts, and Ascoli full back Riccardo Peruzzi was shown a red card for elbowing Andrei da Costa in the face.

86 mins: da Costa recovered sufficiently from the blow, to make no mistake from the spot, and send us into a 3-2 lead.

90 mins: The hosts pushed hard for the equaliser. It came in injury time, and once again Teddy Ramé will be disappointed to have been beaten by Ascoli striker Matías Garro's shot, which made it 3-3.

Full Time: I'm disappointed not to take what I feel would have been a deserved lead to the San Paolo for the second leg. Ascoli keeper Yevhen Yashkov may have been at fault for our first two goals, but he made several saves after that. Our young keeper Teddy Ramé failed to make a single save, so despite him being on good form lately, I'll be leaving him out for our next game.

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Serie A: Inter 1 Napoli 1


Inter Goal

Harrer 25


Napoli Goal

da Costa 45


Attendance: 74021


Summary

A decent point at reigning Serie A champions Inter, but we were unlucky not to come away with all three points.

The hosts started the game well, and took a deserved lead. This prompted us into action, and on the stroke of half time, a loose ball came to attacking midfielder Andrei da Costa, who blasted it into the top corner to give us a deserved equaliser.

I felt that we were the better side in the second half, but we didn't test the Inter keeper enough.

We almost nicked it at the end. Substitute Javier Ríos delivered a cross to the near post. Christopher Steinmetz headed an effort at goal, but we were denied a winner by a goal-line clearance.

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Serie A: Napoli 4 Bologna 0


Goals

Llorente 30
Silva Costa 54
Vázquez 63, 68


Assists

Thuram 30
Figueiredo 54
Giménez 63
Silva Costa 68


Attendance: 53958


Man of the Match: Diego Vázquez


Summary

A dominant win over mid table Bologna.

We started with the flat 352 formation for the first time this season. Our opponents deployed defensive, men behind the ball tactics, but simply couldn't contain us.

It was only a matter of time before we opened the scoring, and the goal came in the 30th minute, when Carlos Llorente got on the end of a corner from midfield partner Clément Thuram.

We kept at Bologna, and in the 54th minute, Thuram fed left midfielder Luís Figueiredo. The former Portuguese under 21 international moved forward with the ball, then delivered a cross into the box for club captain Sérgio Silva Costa to head us into a 2-0 lead.

Our three man centre midfield were having plenty of possession, and feeding our wide men. In the 63rd minute, midfielder Christopher Steinmetz fed Diego Giménez, and the Argentine right midfielder surged forward with the ball, then delivered a cross into the box for compatriot Diego Vázquez to get above the Bologna keeper, and head us into a 3-0 lead.

We completed the scoring five minutes later. The influential Clément Thuram sent the ball into the area. Vázquez played a one two with strike partner Silva Costa, then finished neatly to make it 4-0.

There were some brilliant individual performances today. Strike duo Vázquez and Silva Costa both received 10 ratings, but I was also pleased with Clément Thuram, who was at the heart of all of our attacking moves in his role at the centre of my midfield trio.

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Serie A: Parma 0 Napoli 3


Goals

Giménez 12
da Costa 56
Vázquez 75


Assists

Silva Costa 12, 75


Attendance: 21465


Summary


A solid, clinical victory.

We took the lead in spectacular fashion. In the 12th minute, club captain Sérgio Silva Costa laid the ball wide to right midfielder Diego Giménez. The former Argentina under 21 international had just one thing on his mind. Diego went past one central defender, then another, before unleashing a superb shot, to give us a 1-0 lead.

We'd contained the hosts well throughout most of the first half, but they had a bit of a rally just before half time, and we had to rely on Serhat Arikan to make an important save.

We started the second half well. In the 56th minute, Giménez delivered a cross to the near post. The header by midfielder Christopher Steinmetz was saved, but the rebound fell to attacking midfielder Andrei da Costa, who smashed us into a 2-0 lead.

We remained on top, and in the 75th minute Silva Costa took control of a loose ball, went past a defender, then delivered a cross to the near post for strike partner Diego Vázquez to head us into a 3-0 lead, which completed the scoring.

Both sides had chances to add to the scoreline, but I was delighted with the result. I was particularly pleased with striker Sérgio Silva Costa. Our skipper was a constant menace to the Parma defence. He completed six successful dribbles, and provided two assists.

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Round-up

It's been a very good month. We're in good form. Since that 0-3 thumping at home by Juventus at the end of November, we've gone thirteen league games unbeaten, and sixteen games unbeaten in all competitions.

Key to the turnaround was ditching the attacking 352 formation in home games, though it has still proved to be an effective formation on our travels. The 343 and flat 352 formations are working well at the San Paolo.

Juventus have had a bit of a wobbly month, suffering two defeats. This has enabled us to close the gap on them to six points.

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With thirteen games to go, this has opened things up quite nicely. Can Juventus cope with the pressure? March will be an interesting month. Will the Turin side get themselves on another good run, and increase the gap between them and us, or will my Mentality Monsters be able to take advantage of further slip ups?




FC Köln News

As much as anything, this final season is an epilogue about my previous club, and the key players in our success last season.

It's been quite an eventful month.

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I don't blame da Foseca for making this move. His initial appointment by FC Köln was a surprise, but in his short time there he has enhanced his reputation by keeping my former club in the Bundesliga title race, despite overseeing player sales to the value of around £263M.

da Foseca will have been disappointed to have crashed out of the Champions League at the first phase, but he leaves the club with a great chance of retaining the Bundesliga. He has also guided the club to this season's Europa League Quarter Finals, along with reaching this season's DFB Pokal Final.

I wish him the best of luck at Leicester City.

da Foseca's replacement at FC Köln is rather underwhelming.

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Marvin Plattenhardt is an experienced manager, who took his first job in the summer of 2029. This is his 14th managerial appointment, and he's either been sacked or resigned, eight times in his career.

I guess he has something about him, to have been headhunted by several clubs, whilst in position elsewhere, but his most notable achievement is to win the 2.Bundesliga with Mainz fourteen years ago.

Hopefully he'll add some more silverware to his CV this season.

The Bundesliga seems to have become a three horse race.

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I'm going to stick my neck out and say that I think that Bayern will regain the title.

One player that has done well this season is Sascha Werner.

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This is by far his best season at the club. I signed him on a Bosman in the summer of 2046. He was nothing more than a fringe player in his first seven seasons at FC Köln, but made the breakthrough during the last few months of last season.

Sascha played an important role in the run-in, and crowned it by winning the Man of the Match award in the Champions League Final against Inter, by setting up Marvin Koch's goal.

I'm glad to see him finally making the most of his obvious talent.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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Back to Napoli, and this could be a pivotal month. A clean sheet at home to Ascoli in the Coppa Italia will ensure that we reach the final. Whoever goes through will face the winner of the other semi final between Juventus and Torino.

We then play three sides in the bottom six of Serie A. We simply must win all three games, to keep up the pressure on a Juventus side who are starting to show cracks.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Redknapp69 »

Cup - mad game v Ascoli! Surely you are favourites to make the final but no letting up!

League - 10/12 will do nicely there and Juve dropping points is a joy - the race is ON!

Assume you still have to play Juve again?

Kinda feels like it should be 9/9 in upcoming games

Koln still in the mix - shame the manager has gone but still a good shout of the title
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Libertine73 »

Redknapp69 wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 7:55 pm Assume you still have to play Juve again?
Yeah, we go there in the middle of April. We're almost certainly going to need to beat them.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Kingsley »

Maybe left it a bit too late to catch Juve, but cup would be a decent result,
Good to see Koln making a challenge.
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March 2055

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

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Coppa Italia Semi Final, 2nd Leg: Napoli 1 Ascoli 0 (Napoli win 4-3 on aggregate)


Goal

Figueiredo 45


Assist

Ruschel 45


Attendance: 52729


Summary

A solid 1-0 win over Ascoli sees us reach the Coppa Italia Final, where we'll face Torino, the surprise winners of their semi final against Juventus.

Despite needing to score, the visitors deployed defensive, men behind the ball tactics. As we only needed to keep a clean sheet to reach the final on away goals, I switched from an attacking mentality to normal after around ten minutes.

The first half was incredibly scrappy, a far cry from the goalfest that was the first leg. There was just one effort between both sides. It came to us at the end of the first half, and we made it count.

Midfielder Fabio Nanni won a free kick, central defender Marcos Ruschel delivered the ball into the box, and left midfielder Luís Figueiredo powered in a header to give us a 1-0 lead.

This opened the game up in the second half, as Ascoli needed to score twice. We contained them superbly though, and Serhat Arikan didn't have a save to make. Our opponents had their keeper Yevhen Yashkov to thank for not falling further behind.

Central defender Jonatan de Oliveira Cardoso picked up a yellow card, which means that he'll be suspended for the final. I was able to take off Ruschel though, as he had picked up a yellow in this game, and a second would have obviously meant a red card and a suspension too.

Man of the Match: Luís Figueiredo

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Serie A: Napoli 3 Gozzano 0


Goals

Thuram 24
Silva Costa 61
Figueiredo 72


Assists

da Costa 61
Thuram 72


Sent Off

Russo (Gozzano) 82


Attendance: 52906


Summary

A dominant win over struggling Gozzano.

The visitors deployed defensive, men behind the ball tactics, but they simply couldn't contain us.

We suffered a blow in the 19th minute, when influential right midfielder Diego Giménez went off injured, but I brought on Tiago Nunes as a like-for-like replacement, and we continued to put our opponents under pressure.

We didn't have to wait long to take the lead. A Gozzano defender made a good sliding challenge on Nunes, but the loose ball fell to midfielder Clément Thuram, who scored his first goal for the club, with a low shot, to make it 1-0.

The visitors couldn't live with us, and were unable to register a single shot at goal throughout the entire game. We had numerous chances to double our lead, and the goal eventually came in the 61st minute. Left midfielder Luís Figueiredo hit a 30 yard pass to Thuram, the Frenchman found striker Andrei da Costa in the area, who fed strike partner Sérgio Silva Costa, and the Brazilian international made it 2-0.

We completed the scoring in the 72nd minute. Thuram was involved once again. The former FC Köln player headed the ball into the path of Figueiredo, who hit a 20 yard shot, to make it 3-0.

Man of the Match
: Clément Thuram

A brilliant performance at the heart of midfield. Along with his goal and assist, no other player on the pitch completed more than his 37 passes.

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Serie A: Brescia 1 Napoli 3


Brescia Goal

Marini 19


Napoli Goals

Figueiredo 28
Silva Costa 36
Vázquez 75


Napoli Assists

Marques da Silva 28, 75
Nunes 36


Attendance: 6978


Summary

We came from behind at bottom club Brescia, to secure what turned out to be a comfortable win.

We didn't start the game particularly well, but falling behind in the 19th minute seemed to wake us up, and it was plain sailing from then on.

Left midfielder Luís Figueiredo rose highest to meet a corner by central defender Kléber Marques da Silva, to head in the equaliser, and make it 1-1 in the 28th minute.

Eight minutes later, right midfielder Tiago Nunes delivered a cross to the near post, and club captain Sérgio Silva Costa headed us into a 2-1 lead.

We continued to perform well in the second half, and in the 75th minute, Marques da Silva provided his second assist of the game, when striker Diego Vázquez headed in another well delivered corner, which made it 3-1, and completed the scoring.


Man of the Match: Sérgio Silva Costa

Our skipper performed brilliantly as a striker in the attacking 352 formation. Along with his goal, he led the press, making eight ball recoveries. Sérgio has performed well as an out and out striker. In eight league starts, he's scored four goals, and provided three assists.

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Serie A: Napoli 3 Verona 0


Goals

Vázquez 43
Silva Costa 54
Llorente 71


Assists

Llorente 43, 54
Steinmetz 71


Attendance: 60237


Summary

Young Spanish midfielder Carlos Llorente inspired us to this comfortable victory over struggling Verona.

Like most visiting sides, Verona deployed defensive, men behind the ball tactics, but they struggled to contain us. It was only their keeper Jakub Nemec who prevented us from opening the scoring before the 43rd minute.

That goal came when Llorente took control of a loose ball, went past an opponent, then delivered a cross from the three quarters position on the right, for striker Diego Vázquez to head us into a 1-0 lead.

We carried on where we left off in the second half, and in the 54th minute, Llorente was the architect once again. After winning a tackle in the opposition half, he sent the ball into the area for club captain Sérgio Silva Costa to head us into a 2-0 lead.

We kept at Verona, and in the 71st minute, Llorente crowned an outstanding display when he received a pass from midfield partner Christopher Steinmetz, and unleashed an exocet missile of a shot from 20 yards out, to make it 3-0, and complete the scoring.


Man of the Match: Carlos Llorente

It was more than just the goal and two assists from Carlos. From his position to the right of the three centre midfielders in the flat 352 formation, he completed seven successful dribbles, made eight ball recoveries, and won seven of his eight aerial duels. This was one of the best all-round midfield displays I've seen in this save.

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Round-up

I'm pleased to reach the Coppa Italia Final. It'll be nice if I can finish this save by winning some silverware.

In Serie A, we've done everything that I could have hoped for this month, by winning all three of our games. We're now sixteen league games unbeaten, and twenty games unbeaten in all competitions.

However, Juventus have got themselves back on track by winning all three of their league games too, so the six point gap to them remains.

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Meanwhile, reigning champions Inter are having a difficult season domestically, and it seems unlikely that they will go on to win a fifth consecutive Scudetto.

Incidentally, the other three teams in the top four have all reached this season's Champions League Quarter Finals, by winning their respective second phase groups.




FC Köln News

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Life under new manager Marvin Plattenhardt isn't going too well for my former club. They've lost three of their last four games, to effectively end their hopes of retaining the Bundesliga. They've also crashed out of the Europa League Quarter Finals at the hands of Montpellier.

The best that it can get now for FC Köln is to hold on for a top four finish, and beat Wolfsburg in the DFB Pokal Final at the end of the season.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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The standout fixture in April is that trip to Juventus. I think that we're going to need to beat them to have any hopes of lifting the title. I'm hoping that they'll be distracted by playing Liverpool three days later in the Champions League.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Redknapp69 »

Koln - ugh - gone to shite!

Cup - nice - little final and silverware would be good!

League - expected 3 wins and got them - GD could be pivotal so a few more big win would be nice

That Juve game is looking make or break

Costa on crazy form

Clement chopping in finally at the right time in last couple of updates
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by ebfatz »

You have been on a fantastic run of form since the tutor of the year.

Hell of a run in fact.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Kingsley »

Lets hope for the cup to finish off the adventure
Juve just look like they will never lose.
Sad to see Koln regressing.
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April 2055

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

Image


Serie A: Sassuolo 2 Napoli 3


Sassuolo Goals

Viti 40
Williams 75


Napoli Goals

Steinmetz 21
Vázquez 68, 79


Napoli Assists

da Costa 21
Nunes 79


Attendance: 21546


Summary

We threw away a lead twice, but a winning goal by striker Diego Vázquez sent him joint top of the Serie A goalscoring chart.

We completely dominated the first half, and took a deserved lead in the 21st minute when attacking midfielder Andrei da Costa found Christopher Steinmetz in space, and the young midfielder's low shot gave him his first goal for the club. 1-0

Everything was looking great, but the hosts equalised just before half time, with their only shot at goal in the first half. Goalkeeper Serhat Arikan should have done better.

The second half was much closer. This was a bruising encounter, and a number of my players had picked up knocks throughout the game, causing low condition. In the 61st minute, I made a like-for-like double substitution. Javier Ríos came on to replace left midfielder Luís Figueiredo, and Diego Giménez came on to replace Andrei da Costa behind the front two.

This gave us the freshness that we needed, and just seven minutes later Vázquez received the ball, went past two opponents, then rifled in a low shot, to give us a 2-1 lead.

The normally reliable Serhat Arikan was having a bad day at the office. In the 75th minute, the hosts equalised for the second time, and this was only their second chance of the game.

My side were determined to continue our winning run though. Four minutes later, a good move led to right midfielder Tiago Nunes nodding the ball into the path of Vázquez who lobbed the keeper, to make it 3-2 which completed the scoring.


Man of the Match: Diego Vázquez

The Argentine is proving to be one of the best strikers that I've worked with in this save. After starting the season slowly, Diego has really got into his stride, and has proved to be quite prolific, considering most of his appearances have been as one of a duo.

The only black mark against Diego in this game, was that he received a yellow card that means he'll be suspended for our next game.

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Serie A: Napoli 3 Roma 0


Goals

Llorente 9
Thuram 27
da Costa 56


Assists

Nunes 27
Ríos 56


Attendance: 60206


Summary

A comfortable win over a decent Roma side, that was all the more impressive, as we were missing strike duo Diego Vázquez and Sérgio Silva Costa through suspension and injury.

In the 9th minute, central defender Kléber Marques da Silva's corner was flicked on by midfielder Carlos Llorente, and the ball fortuitously flew into the back of the net, to give us a 1-0 lead.

We doubled our lead in the 27th minute with a great example of direct play. da Silva hit the ball out wide to right midfielder Tiago Nunes, and the Portuguese international hit a first time ball into the box, that found the surging run from midfield by Clément Thuram, whose neat finish made it 2-0.

Having dominated the first half, we carried on where we left off in the second half. In the 59th minute, Nunes delivered a cross to the far post. Left midfielder Javier Ríos headed the ball down for striker Andrei da Costa, who drove in a low shot to make it 3-0, and complete the scoring.

Man of the Match: Tiago Nunes

In the absence of club captain Sérgio Silva Costa, Tiago took the captain's armband, and led by example with a brilliant display on the right side of midfield. Along with his assist, he completed four successful dribbles.

Image




Serie A: Juventus 0 Napoli 1


Goal

da Costa 70


Sent Off

Nunes (Napoli) 14


Attendance: 41475


Summary

We blew the title race wide open with a plucky win at the Allianz Stadium, that puts us just one point behind leaders Juventus, with seven games remaining.

The first half was quite even, but didn't start too well. In the 14th minute, captain for this game, Tiago Nunes, received a straight red card for a two footed challenge.

This prompted a reshuffle. Diego Giménez moved into the right midfield role that Nunes vacated, and striker Andrei da Costa dropped into the attacking midfield role, leaving Diego Vázquez on his own up front.

The hosts started the second half well, and we had to rely on Serhat Arikan making some important saves.

We weren't creating much, but a chance came our way in the 70th minute. Vázquez took control of a loose ball, went past two Juventus defenders, and got a shot in. Their keeper did well to get a hand to the effort, but couldn't prevent it from falling to da Costa, who smashed us into a 1-0 lead.

We came under pressure in the last twenty minutes, but more excellent goalkeeping from Arikan kept Juventus from grabbing what would've been a deserved equaliser.


Man of the Match: Serhat Arikan

Our keeper saved each of the host's six on target efforts, in what must have been a career best display for the Turkish international.

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Serie A: Napoli 1 Ascoli 0


Goal

da Costa (pen) 42


Assist

Vázquez 42


Attendance: 52720


Summary

Our winning run continued with this hard fought victory .

We utterly dominated the first half. Ascoli keeper Yevhen Yashkov made a string of saves to keep us at bay, but we persevered, and won a penalty just before half time, after striker Diego Vázquez was clattered in the opposition area. Andrei da Costa made no mistake from the resulting spot kick, and gave us a 1-0 lead.

We almost certainly deserved to be further ahead at half time, but we couldn't sustain that level of performance in the second half. The game became much closer, and either team could have scored.

We held on for a deserved win, that keeps the pressure on Juventus.

I was particularly pleased with January signing Christopher Steinmetz. I deployed him on the left of the three centre midfielders in the flat 352 formation. In a game where we enjoyed 62% possession, no-one completed more than the forty-six passes that Christopher made. He worked hard, making eleven ball recoveries, and constantly took the game to our opponents, completing thirteen successful dribbles.

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Serie A: Atalanta 1 Napoli 0


Goal

Pinna 37


Attendance: 21296


Summary

Our twenty-four game unbeaten run in all competitions, (and possibly our title hopes) ended with this defeat.

I don't want to be too critical - we've been on an excellent run - but we were below par today. Serhat Arikan will have been disappointed with his part in the goal. The midfield didn't do enough to try and get on top of the game, and the strikers didn't do enough in front of goal.

A bad day at the office

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Round-up

Considering my Mentality Monsters were ten points behind Juventus at the beginning of February, they did brilliantly in the following eleven weeks to chip away at the Turin side's lead, then win at the Allianz Stadium, to reduce the gap to just one point.

A late title charge suddenly looked realistic, but the defeat at Atalanta has allowed Juventus to reopen their four point lead.

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We're probably going to need to win all of our five remaining league games, to have any chance of leapfrogging Juventus. Even then, we would need the league leaders to slip up twice.

There is actually the potential for this to happen. The Old Lady have three tough away games in their run-in, as they will face Lazio, Inter, and then Parma.

They also have to play Torino at home, which shouldn't be easy. Their only straightforward looking fixture is at home to Bologna.




FC Köln News

My former club are continuing to struggle, and picked up just four points in April.

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Bayern are just one win away from regaining the Bundesliga title, whilst FC Köln will probably do enough to stay in the top four.

One player who has done reasonably well during the second half of the season is Frank Daum.

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I signed Frank in August 2050, after one of my scouts spotted him when carrying out a youth search.

He was quite low down in the pecking order during my time at FC Köln, but in my last season I gave him the DFB Pokal games, and he helped us to reach the final.

After the club sold Jan Kraus in January, Frank has been made first choice, and he's put in some decent displays, despite his side struggling these past couple of months.

He has the attribute values to qualify as a Mentality Monster, but despite agreeing a deal with FC Köln, and personal terms with the player, I passed up the opportunity to sign him for Napoli.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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Back to Napoli, and my final month of fixtures of this save. On paper, this run-in looks kind. Udinese away looks the toughest proposition, but potentially we could get the five wins we need if Juventus do slip up.

Amongst those league games is the no small matter of a Coppa Italia Final against Torino. If these final six games go well, this save could end perfectly.
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Redknapp69
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Post by Redknapp69 »

• Vasquez a beast
• MASSIVE 3 points v Juve and what a game for the keeper to have a blinder!
• Noooooooooooooooooooo – that Atalanta game is a killer!
• 12/15 is very good and better you won the 6 pointer v Juve but that Atalanta games leaves a sour taste
• Fooked on GD as well as it stands
• Slight chance with their run in
• Sad for Koln and crazy they sold Kraus
• Prioritising Fiorentina game or Cup Final? Assume final but maybe need to see league results at that stage and see if really in the mix?
Libertine73
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 5 - Not Ready To Retire!

Post by Libertine73 »

Redknapp69 wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 11:52 pm • Prioritising Fiorentina game or Cup Final? Assume final but maybe need to see league results at that stage and see if really in the mix?
I'll go full strength for the Fiorentina game, and see who is fit for the final, where I'll send out my strongest, available XI.

Hopefully they'll be no extra time, causing low condition ahead of the Udinese game.
Moved from Stories to Hall of Fame on Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:41 am by Kingsley

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