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S.S. Lazio - I Biancocelesti

Started on 14 June 2014 by Coxy
Latest Reply on 19 August 2014 by Coxy
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Good to see you continue!
Coxy's avatar Group Coxy
9 yearsEdited

Lazio sign Davide Astori for £7m

17th August 2014
Astori joins the Serie A champions on a 5 year deal.

Lazio have signed Cagliari captain Davide Astori on a 5 year deal to replace Matteo Darmian who joined Inter last week.

Astori has joined to become Matt Cox's 6th signing of the summer as he prepares to compete in the UEFA Champions League this season. It is believed Lazio fought off interest from Manchester City, Liverpool and Roma to secure the former AC Milan man's signature. Astori, capped 8 times for the Italian national team spent 6 seasons with Cagliari who finished 13th in Serie A last season.
Astori was unveiled to the media today and was delighted to sign for the Italian reigning champions: "After six years with Cagliari I felt the time to move on had come. It is a perfect situation for me; I am playing for the Serie A champions and we are competing in Champions League football. If I make my mark then it will mean I can push for a recall to the Italy team so I am very happy."

Lazio fans have applauded Cox's transfer business so far; the Englishman has made a £22m profit on Darmian and replaced the centre back with £6.5m Balanta who impressed at the World Cup and £7m Astori. Cox was very pleased to get his man as he addressed the Italian press alongside his new signing: "Davide is a defender I have always admired. He is a natural leader and someone who I feel should be playing regularly in a high calibre team like ours. He is a great fit for the team as he has a versatile range of attributes. He will be a warrior when we need him and he can also be a cool head at the back and pick a pass. He is a modern, tactically aware footballer and I am very pleased he chose to play his football at Lazio. "

When pressed on other potential transfer moves, Cox was open about his next target in an admission that will please most Lazio fans: "We are very close to bringing Daniele (Bonera) back to the club. Zeman has began a rebuilding process at Milan and we are able to pick up Dani for free. After his fantastic year with us last season it will be great to have him back at the club. He is a true professional and a big reason we reached the heights that we did last year." Bonera was a key figure in the title winning side last season and will challenge Astori, Bellusci and Balanta for a place in the starting XI.

Astori has been given the number 4 jersey and will be looking to make his debut in the upcoming Italian Super Cup Final against Juventus this weekend. The final against Arsene Wenger's Juve will be live on Sky Sports Xtra with coverage from 1pm.
great signing! Astori is a great player, and you did well to stop him going to Liverpool or City!
Coxy's avatar Group Coxy
9 yearsEdited

Cox: "I have funds to sign Rooney... if I want."

18th August 2014
Rooney has grown frustrated with the club's lack of recent success.

Lazio manager Matt Cox has declared that he has the backing of the board should he look to bring in transfer-listed Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.

Wayne Rooney had a transfer request accepted by the club after the Manchester club finished 6th in the Premiership last season. After numerous public disagreements with recently departed coach Louis Van Gaal, interest in the England striker is believed to be high following his transfer-listing and it is believed that he could be picked up for around £35m.

Van Gaal was unable to steady the ship following David Moyes' torrid previous season as the dutchman was only able to lead the club to 6th place and was quickly dispatched by the United board. This led to unrest in the squad and fan-base as many believed the former Holland manager was not given enough time, in turn causing key players Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata to hand in transfer requests.

Argentinian manager Marcelo Bielsa has been brought in from Olympique de Marseille in an attempt to turn around the teams fortunes but Mata and Rooney have not reversed their decision to attempt to leave the club. When addressing the media this morning ahead of the Italian Super Coppa, Lazio manager Matt Cox was quizzed on the possibility of Rooney joining fellow Englishmen Tom Ince and Ashley Cole at the Rome based club: "I am aware of the Rooney situation and Man United's current predicament is one I have paid close attention too. Wayne is a talented player but seems to have stagnated at United over the past few years. Should I decide that he could fit in at Lazio, the board would back me 100% in any attempt I made to bring him in."

Despite asserting his confidence, Cox was quick to warn Lazio fans not to expect Rooney through the Olimpico doors in the coming weeks: "Despite him being available, we have a variety of transfer targets. £35m for one player is a lot of money and a piece of business that Lazio are not known for, plus i'm sure Wayne's wage demands are 4 or 5 times the amount of the highest paid player here at the club and I don't want to upset the balance. Should I decide that he is a viable option then we shall proceed with it."

Cox recently confirmed that last season's title hero Daniele Bonera would be joining the club on a free transfer and says that the move for the AC Milan defender is 99% done: "Daniele will be a Lazio player this season. He is undergoing his medical this morning and will then report to the Formello training facility to re-intergrate with the team."

Bonera will be available for tomorrow's Super Cup Final vs. Juventus but it is doubtful that he will be in the squad the day after his transfer as the Biancocelesti look to win their third trophy under Matt Cox.
Rooney?! Now that would be a helluva signing!
Coxy's avatar Group Coxy
9 yearsEdited

Lazio win SuperCoppa Italia

19th August 2014
Lazio celebrate with the Italian Super Cup after beating Juventus 1-0.

Lazio 1 Juventus 0
Klose (85)

Lazio carried on the trend of last season by adding another trophy to their cabinet as they toppled Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico.

Lazio Starting XI: Marchetti, Cole (C), Bellusci, Astori, Alvarez Balanta, Abate, Motta, Verratti, Ince, Candreva, Klose.
Juventus Starting XI: Khune, Evra, Chiellini (C), Bonucci, Lichtsteiner, Padoin, Vidal, Ghoulam, Holtby, Vucinic, Tevez.

Arsene Wenger's first game in charge of the Turin giants didn't go to plan as his team slipped to a close defeat against title rivals Lazio. In a tight game full of action, the Biancocelesti managed to scrape victory thanks to a late goal from returning World Cup winner Miroslav Klose.

Juventus looked a different team from the side of last season as Wenger stamped his mark on the Old Lady. Last year Juve were looking to secure their 3rd Serie A title in a row but slumped to a 3rd placed finish, despite floating around mid-table for the majority of the season. Following Antonio Conte's departure to manage the Italian national team, Juventus moved to appoint Wenger who had recently resigned as Arsenal boss following a disappointing spell at the Gunners.

Lazio started the stronger of the two teams as Klose planted a header straight at debutant Itumeleng Khune in the Juve goal. With 4 minutes on the clock Ashley Cole was replaced by Senad Lulic as a precaution, as the former Chelsea player clutched at his ankle. Juventus took advantage of the break in tempo to build some possession and fire some shots on goal, only to find Federico Marchetti in good form as he held two long range shots from Arturo Vidal.

With 35 minutes on the clock, Simone Padoin, who impressed on loan with Lazio last season, played Carlos Tevez through on goal. The Argentine was one-on-one with Marchetti but could not find his way past the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year as the Lazio stopper made himself big to smother Tevez's close range effort. At half time the possession was equal at 50% each with both teams having decent chances to break the deadlock.

In the second half Lazio regained the initiative in the match as Antonio Candreva motored past new signing Patrice Evra on multiple occasions and was able to whip in a series of dangerous balls that the Juve back line dealt with well. New signing Marco Verrati, on loan from PSG, then played Tom Ince in behind the defence but the Englishman was unable to keep his composure and sliced his finish wide. New recruits Eder Alvarez Balanta and Davide Astori also made their debuts in the heart of defence but it was the former Cagliari man Astori who really impressed as he lead the back-line and stamped out Juventus' attacks on a regular basis.

Finally with 5 minutes of the match to play. Ignazio Abate found space out wide and powered towards the corner flag. Patrice Evra was caught procrastinating and was left flatfooted as the former AC Milan man played a sweeping cross into the 6 yard area that Khune came to collect. The South African keeper was beaten to the ball by the onrushing Klose who could only head the ball up into the air. However the German record goalscorer was quick to react as he raced around the Juventus goalkeeper to nod the dropping ball into an empty net despite pressure from captain Chiellini.

After the game Arsene Wenger was very complimentary of his opposite number: "Matt has created a very strong team here and they showed that today. It was an even game but Lazio had the mental toughness to fight until the dying minutes and they fully deserve their victory. There is a lot of work to do with my team and with time we will be ready. But I believe that we will still win the league this year."

Matt Cox was ecstatic to win his 3rd trophy as manager of the Rome based club following the 1-0 victory: "It's another trophy for the club and one we fully deserve. The lads fought to the last minute and made sure nothing was taken for granted. The new signings came in to the team and looked like they had played for Lazio their entire careers so I was very pleased at their performance levels."

Arsenal fan Cox was also flattered to receive praise from his boyhood club's legendary manager: "It is so surreal to be stood in the dugout and stare across to see a man you have idolized through a t.v screen for so many years. He did wonderful things with Arsenal and I thanked him for that before the match today. It is a shame that things ended at Arsenal the way they did but I know he will be a formidable foe in the race for honours this year but I hope to also learn from him."

Lazio kick off their Serie A campaign next week as they welcome Udinese to the Stadio Olimpico, whilst Juventus open their season with a trip to newly promoted Spezia.
Awesome late win, you really cut that one Klose ;)
Well done! Juventus put out a great team and you've done great to get a result there. Not looking good for Wenger though :)
Well done!
Awesome win, loving this story so far :)
Hi, what role and instructions do you give to Klose? Even H.Postiga is better in my save... Knowing that all of the other players, especially Candreva, are beasts, so I can't really consider to change tactics! Thanks :)
Great win! and congrats on 100 replies :D
Coxy's avatar Group Coxy
9 yearsEdited

Transfer Window Watch: Lazio Prepare For Champions League With £24m Spending Spree

  • Cagliari captain Davide Astori joins the Serie A champions for £7m and Sebastian Giovinco signs on for £3.5m from Juventus.
  • Lazio president Claudio Lotito confirmed £2.8m signing of Parma's Marco Parolo and £1.8m for Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.
  • Eder Alvarez Balanta joins for a fee of £6.25m after impressive performances help Colombia reach World Cup QFs.
  • Young Italy star Verratti joins on loan from PSG, whilst Daniele Bonera rejoins the club on a free transfer.

  • With the announcement of this season's Champions League group stage only days away, Matt Cox has been extremely busy adding depth to his squad in order to prepare for the club's first Champions League campaign since 2007.

    Lazio's most successful Champions League stretch came in 1999 when they were eliminated in the quarter finals by Valencia after losing 5-3 on aggregate. The Biancocelesti fans are believed to be extremely happy with Cox's transfer business as the English manager looks to go beyond the 1999 team's attempts.

    New Lazio scout and former Inter Milan head coach Andrea Stramaccioni recommended Marco Parolo to Cox following the midfield battler's performances last season earned him a place in Italy's World Cup squad. The former Cesena man played in 35 of Parma's 38 games last season and chipped in with 4 goals. Parolo will most probably deputize for Lazio's midfield enforcer Thiago Motta who had a fantastic season last year and was voted as a substitute for the Serie A Team of the Season.

    Parolo agreed a 4 year contract worth £29k per week with S.S. Lazio following the midfielders good displays last season to help Parma fight off relegation.

    Following the departure of Erit Berisha, Lazio have recruited Palermo's Emiliano Viviano to provide competition for Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Federico Marchetti. Viviano played in every Serie A game for the Rosanero last season but was unable to keep them up as they finished bottom of the table.

    Despite conceding 61 goals, Viviano registered 7 clean sheets and was a shining light in an otherwise negative Palermo defence. The former Bresica goalkeeper was a loanee at Arsenal the previous season after failing to make an impact at the start of his career after a £7.25m move to Palermo from Inter Milan. Cox has brought Viviano in on a 3 year deal worth £17k per week with a transfer fee of £1.8m.

    Viviano will provide backup to Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Federico Marchetti following Palermo's relegation to Serie B.

    Colombia were one of the standout nations at the recent World Cup in Brazil as the team reached the quarter finals only to be knocked out by hosts Brazil. Many of the Colombian players have earned big moves because of their heroics and Eder Alvarez Balanta was one of the pack. Lazio and River Plate agreed on a £6.25m deal and the athletic defender has signed a 5 year deal worth £20k a week.

    Lazio were weak in the centre back area as Matteo Darmian departed the club for Inter in a £25m move and loanee defender returned to AC Milan. However Bonera has now been also agreed a 2 year deal worth £19k a week and rejoined Lazio on a free transfer. Cox continued his defensive recruitment by bringing in Cagliari captain Davide Astori for £7m. Astori has been a mainstay in the Rossoblu team for the last 6 years and has a reputation as one of the most reliable and hard-working centre backs in Italy. Many top European teams were reportedly in for Astori but he has now committed his future to Lazio with a 5 year deal worth £36k per week.

    Cox believes that Astori's leadership and work ethic will be a huge factor in Lazio's title defence this season.

    With former captain Stefano Mauri failing to agree terms on a contract extension, Cox was forced to act and bring in a new playmaking centre midfielder. PSG's Italian mini-maestro Marco Verratti was available following a productive loan spell with Toulouse FC last season and the Azzurri man will again be plying his trade with another club rather than in the French capital.

    Following the signing of Verratti, Matt Cox announced that the club had finally negotiated a new contract with Mauri, two days after his previous deal expired. The new terms keep the 34 year old playmaker with the team for one more year but Cox has confirmed that he will not be keepng the captains armband following the issue. Ex-England fullback Ashley Cole has been given the responsibility, whilst new signing Davide Astori will take up the vice-captain role.

    21 year old Verratti has been touted as the next big Italian playmaker, but he is not required by his parent club, PSG this season.

    Lazio's final major signing comes in the form of Juventus forward Sebastian Giovinco, dubbed 'the atomic ant' due to his size and speed. Transfer listed Giovinco joins Cox's team on a 4 year deal and will earn £35k per week. The 27 year old was a regular starting during his first season at the Turin club but in recent times has been a bit part player. Giovinco has spent 10 years with Juventus with a spell at Parma and a loan at Empoli scattered in between. The 17 times capped striker will now hope to hold down a regular spot with the Serie A champions but will have to impress Cox enough for him to start ahead of German World Cup Winner Miroslav Klose.

    27 year old Giovinco was on the transfer list at Juventus after being told he was not in Arsene Wenger's plans.

    The Lazio fans are said to be extremely happy with Cox's spending over the Summer period and are especially pleased at the low amount that has been spent on transfer fees and wage distribution. With six of the new signings being Italian, Cox has been able to curb Lazio's recent pattern of signing other nationalities.

    In terms of departures from the club during the window, Cox has allowed Nicklas Bendtner to end his short stay in Rome and return to the Premier League with Swansea after agreeing a £1.1m move with the Welsh club. Frenchman Michael Ciani returns to his homeland with Stade Malherbe Caen in a £1m deal and Albanian goalkeeper Erit Berisha joins Serie A rivals Bologna for £3.4m. Lazio's biggest departures were Nigerian midfielder Ogenyi Onazi who joined mega-rich AS Monaco in a £5m deal (Onazi impressed on loan with Benfica last year but was played as an attacking midfielder), and Matteo Darmian who left the club to join Inter Milan in a £25m deal.

    In terms of loan moves Lazio have allowed young striker Balde Keita to join Vitesse Arnhem who will be competing in the Europa League this season. Veteran centre back Lorik Cana will join Osasuna on a one year loan and the La Liga club have the right to purchase the Albanian at any time during the deal for £425k. Young Portuguese centre back Bruno Wilson will also move abroad to find some game time, as he signs a one year deal at FC Sochaux in France.

    Lazio now await their Champions League draw and kick off the new season against Udinese this week. Cox told reporters that he is in good spirits coming into the new season and is confident that the club can defend its crown and challenge in European competition also.
    Overall a great summer for you, I hope Giovinco does well for you! I have a bit of a soft spot for him as he is Italy's top scorer in my Bergomi story ;)
    Jack: Cheers Jack, that was a very different, but well set up Juve side so I'm sure Wenger won't be to disappointed with that as his first result!
    Tallery: thanks mate!
    Pokarioboy: Thanks mate I'm glad you're enjoying it. Hopefully I can keep the success up to keep my readers happy! :D
    Nino11: I play a 5-2-3 system where the wing backs and wingers are key to attacks. Klose plays as a False 9 and drops into midfield to act as a link between the wide players and the two centre midfielders. Meaning he is always arriving late and unmarked in the box to finish the chances! 30+ goals from him last season!
    Fzemdegs: Cheers mate I didn't even notice! :P
    Neal: Cheers bro! Oh wow really? I swear he only has one goal for Italy to begin which as well! Bloody good one! :D

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