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Empoli - Mission Impossible

Rise of the Azzurri
Started on 16 July 2014 by kFp
Latest Reply on 19 July 2014 by kFp
  • POSTS22
  • VIEWS9380

A new season, a new head coach !

Following Sarri's resignation, the board took a risk by accepting Raul Stoica's application for the vacant post of head coach. He's a unproven head coach from Romania which has no experience whatsoever. The board motivated the decision by saying that they never seen such ambition and willigness to win at no other candidates. Will the gamble of Empoli's board pay off ?! We will have to wait and see.

The board said that my main objective is to avoid relegation and in that prospect they have told me that they would be able to provide me with a 3 Milion starting budget. I told them that budget is not for the first italian division, but they told me that I have to manage with that budget. Seeing my squad, I was surprised that they even managed to get the promotion in Serie A. Such a low quality squad, I had to find a way to get some more cash. Then I saw a jewel, by the name of Daniele Rugani. I owned 50% of the player and decided to put him on the list. Juventus got 3.3M for their share, but I wasn't satisfied with that sum so I told Barcelona's coach that I would not sell the best italian prospect for under 5 milions. After a little battle he accepted, so Rugani was going Nou Camp's way. I had no other choice but to bring some free, experienced players. So I have decided to bring Marco Amelia, the perfect player for the goalkeeping part, due to his experience and quality he brings. The next player is Anthony Annan, a beast ball winning midfielder, probably my best player.

Here is my full list on buy/sell:

PreSeason Results:

Some good friendlies, but a sad, sad result in the Italian Cup. I was denied by Trapani's 90+1 minute goal. The saddest part is that I had a disallowed goal in the 90+2 minute, which came from Necid's header. But if I think it more, success was never going to come in this competition so it's better for me this way because me and my team can concentrate only on the league !

Hope you will enjoy this story !
Good pre-season ! But sin Cup match.
Good luck in the championship!
You've signed some very good players! Good luck with your story!
Nice start! Tomas Necid will be great for you.
kFp's avatar Group kFp
8 yearsEdited

September Update: A really good start

A really disappointing and unlucky defeat. As the stats say the a draw would have been the best result and a fair one. A really good performance from the team, but still to concede a goal when the opposite team has a red card is not acceptable and amends must be taken !

We had the chances, they had the goals and there's nothing else to comment about. They have top-players like Cerci, Nocerino who can make a difference and they did. But the way the team lost, continuously trying to get over Torino satisfied me .. The results will come for sure !

A solid defense gave us a incredible win. The win came from the match we least expected. We literally stole the win. They had numerous occasion but failed to take advantage from them. We ? We had a corner and Lucchini managed a great header to seal the win ! Fantastic result which will for sure boost our morale.

A ugly match in which both sides had some goal chances but none took advantage. A boring draw, nothing more to say.

A well deserved win in which veteran Tavano showed why he's our number 10. He may be old, but he knows how to put them behind the net ! I'm very proud of my team after this away win !

We managed to get a draw at home against Cagliari. It seems that we find it difficult to get some results on home territory, but yet again one point is far more better than zero !

League Table

It was a good month in my opinion and we hope to be able to keep the pace. Some disappointing performances from Necid, but we saw a superb form from Tavano and Lucchini. Let's hope that Necid will bang them in the net, because he's got huge talent and shows a great hunger of goals at training. He promised that he will thrive to improve his form and I have 100% faith in this lad !
Happy to see another Serie A story on here. Good luck with Empoli, it will be hard to begin with but don't give up! I'll be following!
@MCox93 .. Thank you and I assure you that I will not give up !
@AAN .. Thanks .. I hope so
@AaronHJFT96 .. Until now he's not been banging them .. guess it will take a while until he settles in
@bebero .. Thanks and yes, unlucky cup match .. but yet again, fewer matches => more chances to get some good results in championship.
kFp's avatar Group kFp
8 yearsEdited

October/November Update: Serie A is a hard nut to crack

At the start of the season there was Empoli, a side which did promise nothing, a side that all of us expected that will most likely go there where they came from, Serie B ! But the appointment of Raul Stoica has somehow produced a change of air in the dressroom. The players look very confident at every touch of the ball and their stamina is amazing ! They run every minute of the game with no exception. This must be Raul's conditioning which is ruthless as one of Empoli's key player has confessed:

"Stoica's training are the hardest that I have experienced in my career. I played for Valencia, Roma but none where such challenging and hard to accomplish. Every time we step on the training ground Raul wants us to become better than yesterday. He pushes us with no mercy ( laughs )" Francisco Tavano said.

I know this game was hard from the beginning so I tried to draw. But as always nothing is perfect so the team made ONE mistake, just one ! And it was punished by Mario Gomez, a beast in front of goal that bangs them with cold blood. A narrow loss is still a loss so zero points for us.

Empoli - Fioretina, Lazio - Empoli .. it seems the same story ! We were battling for a draw, but it came that mistake which got the romans in front. Couldn't ask more from my team.

Now this result saddened me ! This is a type of game that we should have won if we want to stay in the first division. A relegation battle which helps no-one. We had some attempts on goal but still Necid proves immature and doesn't not bang clears chances. A result to forget and hope better ones come along.

A great result against a young and talented squad like Sampdoria. We battled this one. Masiello cleared two of the goal line and we are lucky and happy to have obtained a draw against Sampdoria.

We were ants and they were the boot. We knew that it would be hard to get a result against the reigning Italian champions, but we had hoped to not make a fool of ourselves. Sadly they crushed us with a ruthless 5-0. Legends like Pirlo and top players like Llorente, Khedira made the difference and we had no chance.

Now we are talking ! Another great result at Giussepe Meazza/San Siro. This one was like the clash of the titans, it could have gone either way.

A must win and a win it was ! Two from Vicente ( Penalty and Free-Kick ) got us the three points and that's all that matters.

League Table

Serie A is hard soil for a small club like Empoli but we are showing that we are no pushovers and I think that we managed some good results for a squad which has been formed 3 months ago. Forza Azzurri !
Good result against Sassuolo, although that loss to Juventus must have being hard to watch.
kFp's avatar Group kFp
8 yearsEdited
@Lockwood .. Indeed, they were merciless and it was nothing I could do about it

Stoica extended

Empoli's head coach Raul Stoica hat put pen to paper on a 2 year contract extension.
The thirty-three year is now set to extend his stay at the club until June 2016.
Stoica had 7 months to run on his existing contract before agreeing the new deal.The contract negotiations were handled by president Fabrizio Corsi who hast declared himself delighted that Stoica has agreed to renew.
Following the contract extension we managed to get a interview with Empoli's manager:

Hello, Raul ! How do you feel about the extension ?

Hello !
I'm happy that the boardroom showed confidence in my ability to get Empoli to new heights.

How do you rate your work so far ?

My work ? Well the season is ongoing so commenting about the work we did is useless because anything can happen and all the good work we did so far can go to ruin.Yes, I can say that we did a good job so far above the expectations.
I'm happy that I have a professional squad with some quality players like Annan, Vicente and so on. They all make a unit, a hard nut to crack. It's not only me to praise, it's us as a group.

You seem very happy about your squad but tell us which do you consider the key-man ?

Eh, you will not see me commenting that. I don't like to star out individuals. I consider that even the best players are nothing if they don't integrate in the tactics and gameplay of the team.
As I said before I consider that we are a united group which forms a fist that is much harder to defeat. That's one of my philosophies to input the idea that the team needs to win, that here all are equal in front of me and they need to prove at the training ground that they deserve a place in the starting 11th.

What do you expect from the future ?

I hope that we can continue growing by putting all we have on the training ground. That's where the matches are won. Nonetheless I thrive to please the Empoli's supporters that have been fantastic so far and with this occasion I would like to thank them for their continuous support and passion that they show at every home and away game.

We would like to thank you for the interview and wish you all the best !
kFp's avatar Group kFp
8 yearsEdited

December/January Update: Living la vida loca

It was a superb month for us. We managed to get a win against opponents like AS Roma, Inter. To be honest we have a record of 6-2-1 in the last 8 games which is CRAZY !

Serie A Results

Like I said these are some amazing results for such a small club. Against Napoli it was a hard result to get because of the high number of top players they posessed but eventually our heart and unwillingness to lose payed off and managed to get a draw. Then came the home match against Udinese in which we lost through a goal in the 81' minute. They were the better team and amends had to be made because we can't lose in front of our own fans. The team responded superb to my remarks and managed to beat Parma 2-0 and AS Rome at Olimpico with a historic 2-1 !! Our strike continued by winning in the 86' minute agains Verona and got our revenge upon Genoa beating them 3-1. Again Ragusa scored against us and 4 out of 5 goals where scored against our team. A boring draw against Torino in which we defended perfect and a yet again historic result against Inter 2-0 at home. Could not possibly ask for more after 22 matches in which we are on the 7th place.

League Table

Man of the moment

After some very good results Empoli find themselves on 7th place in the league table of Serie A. A place which the boardroom and the fans never thought about at the beginning of the season. The man behind the rise of the azzurri is Empoli's head coach, Raul Stoica, whom words after the win against Inter are:

An amazing win against Inter, a win nobody expected. What are your thoughts following another 3 points against a giant in italian football ?

I'm very proud of my team, yet again they have proved that if we play as a unit with the right tactics we can accomplish something big. That's what happened here. We played with our heart, our mind and won the game. Inter are a big side no doubt about that, but I guess they have got complacent and thought the match was over before even it has started.

You are closer to the european places rather than the relegation ones.

Let's take it step by step. It's too much to say that we are near the european places because Atalanta have an 8 point lead over us and we are only a point above our chasers. For Empoli the battle will be for the mid-table position.

So you are pessimistic about continuing this form ?

Not at all. I am a realistic person, not a dreamer. The difference between Atalanta is huge, the competition is high so there are no reasons to think about the european places, only the next match. We want to continue the growth we are showing in the last games, continue training as hard as we can and after the fat lady sings hope to be on the winner side !

Thank you for your time and good luck in the coming future
Winning with Inter! Oh good, I think money is delirious.
Genoa and Rome but have failed in your face, you're very very good game! From as many matches as good.
@ bebero .. Thanks mate but it will hard as hell to maintain this position.
You're doing brilliantly! Well done, fantastic result against Inter!

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