Update 1 - Season 1: Pre-Season is the Beginning of Success
I am a firm believer in having a good pre-season to set up the competitive campaign. I think it is the best time to set the tactic that I intend to play and allow my best players to build chemistry in game based situations. I have taken this pre-season quite slow, and been meticulous about my tactic and signings. Hoping this will pay off when the Serie B season begins.
Before I talk you through our pre-season, let’s take a brief look at the club history and board expectations.
Pisa SC was founded in 1909 and have bounced between Serie A and Serie B during their birth. The most successful spell was during the 1980’s when Pisa SC finished 2nd in the Serie A. They have won the Serie B only once, and have not won a trophy since 2010. We play our home games at the Arena Garibaldi - Romeo Anconetani with a capacity of 9500. Our fiercest rival is Livorno and the club colours are blue and black.
In terms of the Club Vision, there is only one thing the board want me to do at the moment, and that is sign players under 23 for the first team.
The expectation from the board this season is to finish in the top half of Serie B, and reach the second round of the Coppa Italia. Over the next 5 years, the board expect me to continue to build towards promotion from Serie B, with the expectation that we gain promotion by 2024/25. Ideally I would like to get promoted in the first two seasons! That is the goal I am setting for myself.
In terms of the tactic, as I alluded to in my introduction to the save, I want to build around our young striker - Lorenzo Lucca. He has good finishing ability, but his real strength is in the air. I have set two tactics for season one. The first is a 4-3-3 wide with a DM. We will look to start games with a balanced mentality and adjust based on the opponent. We will play shorter passing, but focus down the wings and aim to get crosses in as often as possible. We want to play a pressing game, with a higher line of engagement and a higher defensive line.
The second tactic will just be slightly more attacking, set up as a 4-2-3-1, moving our DM to a CAM to hopefully create more opportunities in the attacking third. I want to try and keep the team instructions consistent throughout the season, to set our playing style for the long-term.
In pre-season we played 5 matches, the toughest being against two top flight clubs - Augsburg (Bundesliga) and Verona (Serie A). We started with our preferred 4-3-3 tactic and began pre-season with an emphatic 4-1 win against Augsburg. Lucca scored his first goal under my tutelage from the penalty spot. We then comfortably beat Como 3-1, with our midfielder Idrissa Touré scoring his fourth goal in just his second appearance. The third game was a boring 0-0 draw against Serie A side Verona, who we will play in our first competitive fixture of the season. We ended the pre-season with two easier games, a 4-0 win against Ponsacco and a 2-0 win against Juve Stabia. Overall a very pleasing pre-season, and the lads appear to be reading to start the season with a bang!
Now sadly I don’t have a lot of transfer news, and I only bought in one player, a player who certainly doesn’t meet the boards vision, but I think he will add some quality to the team.
We bought in 35 year-old center back, Gabriel Paletta for £65,000. He has vast experience playing in Serie A, and will add leadership qualities as well as the technical ability to improve our defence. Ideally I would like to bring in a couple of young players before the end of the first transfer window, but that is yet to materialize.
The next step is to begin our competitive season! We start away against Serie A side Verona in the Coppa Italia and then our Serie B season kicks off against Monza. The media are predicting us to finish 11th this season, the top two gain automatic promotion, and 3rd-8th compete in a playoff for the final promotion spot. That being said, I think we can make a push for promotion in our first season, we have the quality, and if pre-season is anything to judge the team by, then we have to be confident!
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Stam - Cheers for the good luck mate. Keeping Lucca will be tough, but I will pay him whatever he wants, and if we can gain promotion in our first-season I am hoping he will stay!
Tango - Cheers for the support, I hope it will be fun and an entertaining read