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Antonio Di Natale - The Slave of Football

Started on 12 November 2014 by TVDLC123
Latest Reply on 6 December 2014 by Verdinho
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Good job keeping him but he'll be a handful now that he's unhappy
@Hashim - Thanks mate, glad you're enjoying it!
@Feliks - Yea, I would try to convince him to stay but he refuses to talk to me. :( As long as he keeps scoring tho its ok :P
TVDLC123's avatar TVDLC123
9 yearsEdited

Serie A Title Race


Last year’s winners, the Old Lady are the clear favourites for the top spot come the end of the season. Champions for the last three years, the club reached new heights last year, finishing on a record 102 points, under the guidance of Antonio Conte. Now he has left to take control of the Italian national side however, and Massimiliano Allegri has come into the head coach role, can he continue the success expected of him, or will this be the year where another challenger beat them to the title?


The only team to mount a serious threat against Juventus last season, Roma led the league table and were looking almost unbeatable for the early parts of the campaign. However, their form petered away, and they could not keep it going to the end, leaving their rivals to comfortably win the title. This time around, the club, managed by Frenchman Rudi Garcia, will be looking to go one better, and with the help of star players such as Francesco Totti and Daniele Di Rossi, they can make that dream a reality.

AC Milan

After a torrid campaign which saw them finish in 8th, missing out on European football for the first time since 1998. However, many fans see this as a blessing in disguise, with the club able to focus solely on the league unlike many of their rivals. After sacking Clarence Seedorf, he was soon replaced by his former teammate and Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi, who will lead the side for this season. Despite letting key players like Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy leave, talents such as Victor Ibarbo have come in, and he still has a strong squad at his disposal and it is very capable of putting up a strong fight for the top spot this season.


In recent times, backed by one the richest owners in the league, Napoli have enjoyed their best spell in the league since the late 80’s, when they had a side featuring the likes of Diego Maradona. After the arrival of attacking stars such as Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon from Real, Rafa Benitez’s side look one of the most dangerous in the final third. So far this season they have spent less, however the acquisition of players like Salvatore Sirigu could prove to be vital for the upcoming campaign, as they push for their first title since 1990.


Getting Inter back into European last season was the vital first step taken by Walter Mazzarri to return the club back to the heights of the 2005-2010 period, where they were champions for 5 years in a row. Now with a much younger squad, with the option to call on the experience of players such as Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso no longer available, Mazzarri will need his young stars such as Mateo Kovavic and Mauro Icardi to step up if Inter want to challenge for the prestigious trophy.


One of the busiest selling clubs in the last few transfers windows, this one was no exception, as they saw World Cup star Juan Cuadrado and promising centre back Stefan Savic both leave to English giants Chelsea, for a combined fee of £38.5M. No big name signings have come into the club, but manager Vincenzo Montella will remain quietly confident his side, which still features the likes of Mario Gomez and Borja Valero, can at least recreate, if not surpass last year’s accomplishments of a 4th place finish.


Stefano Piolo is the man the Lazio board have entrusted in breaking the run of declining league positions at the club, replacing Edoardo Reja, who was dismissed after a 9th place finish last season. At his disposal is a good squad, added to with the arrival of Miguel Veloso, Stefan de Vrij and Teofilo Gutierrez, which should be very capable of staying in contention for the Champions League places, with some even tipping them to be mounting a challenge for the title itself.


A club which has been under the spotlight over the summer, firstly due to the tragic murder of their former manager Andrea Stramaccioni, and then the subsequent appointment of club legend Antonio Di Natale as his replacement, Udinese’s season is looking extremely unpredictable. One of the largest squad’s in the league, it has been added to with Jeison Murillo and Almen Adbi, both acquired through the critically acclaimed ‘Pozzo link’, while remaining young stars such as Simone Scuffet and Bruno Fernandes look to make their mark. Whether they will be at the top of the table, or lurking in mid-table obscurity come the end of the season, only time will tell, but one thing is for certain. They will be playing a big role in what promises to be one of the best Serie A seasons ever.
Quality update! Loving the layout too!
Come on Inter, Nerazzurri for the title! ;)
Brilliant update Tanay, it should be a very exciting season in Serie A!
@Tallery - Cheers Tal!
@Neal - Well Mazzarri is no Bergomi, but I think they'll do alright :P
@Pompey - Thanks and yeah, there are so many contenders who have a shot of winning!

August/September 2014

Udinese celebrating after their strong win against Genoa

As the Serie A kicked off, Udinese has been one of the standout teams from the league, which has been dominated so far by the two Milan rivals. Scoring 12 goals in the process of securing 3 wins out of a possible 5 in the league, the club will be happy with their achievements up to this point, and will be hoping to take this form into the next month, which will see them face some very tough opposition.

The Results

The season began with a cup fixture against lower league side Cremonese, which saw them progress after a strong 4-1 victory, giving the squad a lot of confidence going into the start of the league campaign. First up for Udinese was a trip to Chievo Verona, and despite having less shots and possession, they took their chances well, and went back home with 3 points, with three first half goals from Di Natale, Kone and Muriel making sure of the win. Their first home game came against Lazio, and through a goal from new signing Jeison Murrilo, Udinese won 1-0.

Next came the biggest test of the month, at home to a very strong Roma side who came runners up last season, and in a very eventful game, the score finished 3-3. Roma twice took the lead, but Udinese came back to level it, and thought they had won the match when Pasquale scored an 85th minute header, however midfielder Radja Nainggolan equalized in added time to save his side.

The last two games of the month came against Genoa and Sampdoria. A confident performance from surprise star striker Cyril Thereau, who scored twice, was a vital part of Udinese securing a 3-0 victory against Genoa. The last game against Sampdoria was a tight one, with not many chances to either side, however a second half goal from Djamel Mesbah doomed Udinese to their first loss of the season.

Player of the Month

While the attacking force of Udinese performed well, it was their new defensive signing, Jeison Murillo who takes away the prize this month. The former Granada player was at the top of his game, not only being the heart of his side’s defence, but even scoring a crucial winner against Lazio. The Columbian 23 year old seems to be only getting better, and his performances will be vital for the club going into the next month, where they will be facing some of the league’s best striker.

A Look Ahead…

The month of October throws up some of the hardest fixtures in any season, however especially in this particular season, where they will come up against the top three teams in the league table. After a home tie against Milan, they will face league leaders Inter on the road. The easiest match of the month on paper is against Torino before the last game, away to reigning champions Juventus.
Pretty good month, that Roma game especially sounds like it was a great match! Where are you in the league?
Disappointing to see your unbeaten run end in the fashion it did, but overall it's been a good start to the season. You've got a really tough month next though, but it will still be very interesting to see how you handle the challenges that teams such as Juventus pose.
That is one tough month ahead o.o A win at Torino will be pivotal in keeping moral up and I also think it was essential to get off to a good start like you did!
@Neal - Yep, the Roma match was very intense to watch! I forgot to SS the table this month, but I was 4rd at the time.
@Pompey - Yeah, it was disappointing, we just didn't play well :( Next month should be very interesting, hopefully I can get a few points from it.
@Walter - It doesn't help that Torino are overachieving in 6th atm :P

October 2014

Player-manager Antonio Di Natale was again key for his side scoring a late winner against Milan

In one of the hardest possible months on the fixture list, Udinese defied all odds to come away with 3 wins out of four, accelerating 9 points. Facing the likes of Inter, Milan and Juventus, the club was not helped by injuries to the likes of Emmanuel Badu and new signing Almen Abdi, but still manage to pull off the results without their presence. Going into November, the table sees the club placed in 2nd, however, the top is seemingly very close, with the top 4 all on the same points tally.


The first game of the month was a matchup against AC Milan, who posed a very strong threat to break Udinese’s unbeaten home start. Things did not start well, as Bonaventura gave his side the lead in the 1st minute, however in the second half, Udinese upped their level, and scoring first with veteran forward Thereau, before player-manager Antonio Di Natale scored a late winner.

Next came a game against the other Milan side at the world renowned San Siro Stadium. The home side dominated proceedings early on, and it came as a huge shock when striker Luis Muriel scored on the counter attack for Udinese. A mistake by experienced centre back Domizzi, led to Inter equalising through new signing Gary Medel, but the lead was regained in the 2nd half as Muriel scored another. Inter pilled numbers forward, and had a great chance to level up the match, but wonderkid Simone Scuffet saved Mauro Icardi’s penalty, and secured Udinese the win.

A game against Torino was seen as an ideal opportunity to rest some of the key players, preparing for their upcoming game, and Udinese still managed to secure their 3rd successive 2-1 win. Di Natale gave his side the lead, before an inform Luis Muriel tucked away a fantastic Udinese move, to help send his side into the half time break 2 goals to the good. Juan Sanchez Mino scored a delightful shot from 30 yards, but it was in vain as it ended up just consolation.

Finally, a game against Juventus to close out October did not end well for the visitors, failing to get a foothold against their physical overpowering opponents. Hardworking midfielder Claudio Marchisio scored in the first half, and it proved to be the winner in what was a very tight game. Commenting after the game, Di Natale was quick to criticize the aggressive nature in which Juventus played, which led to several of his players picking up knocks during the game.

Player of the Month

Udinese’s top scorer this season, the 7 goals Luis Muriel has netted this season have been vital to his sides attack. Despite the rumours circulating he is unhappy at his current club and wants to push through a deal to the interested AC Milan, Udinese’s current position might make him reconsider his role. If he does chose to leave, his performances have left him with ample choice of club, with interest both domestically and overseas.

A Look Ahead…

A much easier month compared to the one just gone, the fixtures in November give Udinese the chance to hold their position and keep up with their rivals. Due to the lack of European football, their players fitness is much less of a concern, and with most months around 4 games, this could be a vital factor in determining their position come the end of the season. The highlight of the month is against Caligari where their defence will have to face-off with one of the league’s best strikers at the moment in Marco Sau.
Big win against Milan! A lot of teams gunning for the title though, will be an interesting season!
@Justice - Cheers, it is very tight at the top, but hopefully good months like these can help us keep up with the pace!

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