seasonTen.episodeOne | Preseason
Welcome to the next instalment of my journey with Parma Calcio. As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, via twitter @fmfutbolmanager, or my slack channel #fmFutbolManager — if you’re not a part of the Football Manager Slack community, then you can join here!
If you’re new to the series, day one starts here!
Now, onto the update.
After last season there is a renewed buzz around Ennio Tardini. A new stadium build is underway, we’ve cleared out the rotten core of players who wanted out and wanted to disrupt anyone to get out, and we’ve smashed all records to win Serie A last season.
This year I’ve not made many changes. In keeping with the philosophy of buying young and developing youth, we’ve brought in players for the future who will unlikely be much of a feature this season. We’ve also seen another big name leave for a huge profit.
Let’s look ahead to season 10.
We’ve continued to invest in youth, spending another €15.5m on players. Selling €66m of talent leaves the bank balance looking very healthy.
We were extremely close to signing Matthijs de Ligt, terms were agreed but the deal broke down at the last minute due to an issue with the finances. I’m hoping a deal can be done in January, as he is unhappy at Liverpool after they lost their Champions League place.
OUT | Marcos Michelli | €63m (potential €68m) to Manchester United
In keeping with my ‘you want to leave, then you can leave’ rule, it was time to say goodbye to Michelli. My most talented central midfielder wanted out, so off he goes to Sunny Manchester with our blessing. In exchange, we bank €63m. Considering he was a free transfer, this is excellent business.
IN | Francis Salami | Loan from Paris St. Germain
We’ve signed Salami for another season-long loan from PSG. He did well for us last season so will offer cover on the left wing.
IN | Sebastián Quiroga | €5.25m from Boca Juniors
One for the future, but he will get some game time this season. My scouts were full of praise for him remarking on him being driven, consistent and very technical and having the ability to dribble. I look forward to monitoring his development.
IN | Lamin Camara | €9.5m from Saint Etienne
An eye-watering fee for a 16-year-old, but my scouts’ rate Lamin very highly so it could turn out to be a bargain in years to come. He possesses good pace and acceleration and is very brave. Another young player who could become a starter at Parma next season.
There were a few other signings, but very young players with potential so I won’t bring them all here, but hopefully you’ll get to see them in the first team soon enough.
THE PRESEASON RESULTS
I’ve been refining the 4-4-2 a bit more as it brought us a lot of success over the season. We still have the more adventurous 4-2-3-1 that we will use from time to time but this season will probably be more about the 4-4-2
Playing with a Standard mentality and a Fluid team shape we’re pretty balanced in attack and defence. Because of the lower team mentality, we can afford to have a few more attack-minded players without being over committed.
At the back, I am still using a Sweeper Keeper with a flat back four. Because of the attacking central midfielder, my Full Back on the left is less attacking than on the right, to ensure we’re not over-committing on that side of the pitch.
Across the middle, it’s pretty simple. My left winger is more driven to get in earlier crosses into the two strikers, whereas my right winger will drive at the defence and cross from the byline. My attacking Advanced Playmaker will drive through the middle, either running with the ball or making late runs into the box. My defensive Deep Lying PLaymaker is my hook, he will sit just in front of the defence, and with the trait to come deep to get the ball, he will often be seen collecting the ball from the defenders before looking ahead of him.
I always use an attacking Complete Forward. But his partner will vary on a game by game basis. More often than not I’ll use an Advanced Forward, but sometimes I’ll drop to a Deep Lying Forward if I need a more withdrawn role. Both my strikers are allowed to roam from their positions and move into channels. I want lots of movement between them to cause the opposition trouble.
Results over pre-season have been as expected. We’ve won every game and managed to get a tour of China and the US.
The expectations are the same. Win the league and qualify from the group stages of the Champions League. I’m comfortable with these expectations. I think we can possibly challenge for the league and would expect us to be around the top of the table at the mid-way point.
Until next time, arrivederci.