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The Pozzo Connection

This is the story of three managers of three clubs that have one thing in common: the Pozzo family. They assist each other and take glory in each other's glory. Join us in seeing how they progress.
Started on 4 May 2015 by AlexTHFC
Latest Reply on 27 June 2015 by BillHoudini
AlexTHFC's avatar Group AlexTHFC
7 yearsEdited


Hello, FMScouters, and welcome to The Pozzo Connection! This save, and story, is taking inspiration from several aspects of the footballing world and the FMScout world. First of all, the three Pozzo clubs in Europe, being Watford (in the Championship), Granada (in La Liga) and Udinese (in Serie A). Credit also goes to Feliks and Xander’s net game story, because without it, this story, or this save, wouldn’t even exist. Anyway, moving on to the actual story.

The Pozzo Connection

This story, as you have probably guessed, will be using the three clubs of Watford, Granada and Udinese. This is because of the connection they have, with the Pozzo family being chairman of all three. This will make for quite an interesting save, to see how each of the three clubs does both independently and with the help of each other. However, as you have also probably guessed, I am not alone in doing this story.

That’s right. I am joined by two wonderful people and two excellent story writers, Icarus and Zap! It is an honour to be working on this story with them even if Zap’s spacebar doesn’t work and I have no doubt that they are going to be excellent to work with.
Icarus will be taking charge of the Italian club Udinese, Zap will be managing Liga BBVA side Granada, and I will be taking charge of the club I support Championship team Watford. Of course, there are risks in doing a network game - such as nobody being on at the right time, the save being overwritten and there are several others that come to mind, but we’ll be trying our best to maintain the standard of updates and the save.

The Managers

We will be announcing the managers in the updates we produce. Honestly, I don’t know who Icarus and Zap have chosen, and they don’t know who I’ve chosen. I don’t think they do, anyway. We need to leave some suspense in the story, after all, right? ;)


Watford’s Goals
Get promoted to the Premier League.
Qualify for European football.
Win a European cup.

Granada’s Goals

Udinese’s Goals
Reaccomplish what Francesco Guidolin did throughout his time at Udinese
Build towards finishing in the upper Europa and hopefully Champions League football spots.






Closing Message

With all that said and done, here’s to a successful story! We all hope you enjoy!
Good luck guys, I'm sure this will be great!
OMG! This, honestly has so much potential. Three of FMScout's best writers teaming up together is sure to be great. Hope you can keep this going and consistent unlike Valencia. Good luck!!

Udinese Appoint Andrea Stramaccioni

Following the resignation of Francesco Guidolin to become the clubs Director of Football, Udinese have today announced the assignment of 39 year old Andrea Stramaccioni. The ex-Inter manager has been unemployed for over a year following his one year spell at Inter, and has been selected to join alongside ex-Inter football player Dejan Stankovic to take over the managerial aspects of the club. A former defender, his playing career was cut short by a serious knee injury while with Bologna in the 1994–95 season, with experiences as youth coach of Roma and Internazionale, he was appointed in charge of first team duties at A.S. Roma on 26 March 2012 to replace Claudio Ranieri. He is also a 2010 law graduate.

Stramaccioni also led Inter Primavera to the final of the 2011–12 NextGen series, after defeating Sporting Clube de Portugal in the Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa, Leiria, and Olympique de Marseille on 21 March in Griffin Park, London. The final was played on 25 March in Matchroom Stadium. The match finished in a 1–1 draw and Inter beat AFC Ajax 5–3 in the resulting penalty shoot-out.
I CANNOT wait to read this, i hope it works because if it does, it will be a massive hit
You need to arrange annual friendly competitions between the three of you for direct comparison I think :)
pompeyblue: Thank you very much! I, for one, hope this fulfills all expectations. :D

Tallery: Wow! Thank you so much! I'm really hoping we can all keep this going. :)

No1VillaFan: I hope you enjoy! Thanks very much for the compliment! :D

IrishnukeXD: I'll see if that can be arranged ;) I would destroy everyone

omg everybody thinks this is gonna be brilliant... pressure

Lambert appointed new Watford boss

It has been revealed today that Watford have appointed former Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert as their new manager. He has signed a contract at the club, keeping him at Vicarage Road until 2018.

Former Hornets manager Slavisa Jokanovic was sacked last Friday following a shocking scandal concerning a bottle of shampoo, two stolen pigs and a Mary Berry cookbook. Read more about the horrifying ordeal here.

Lambert, 45, was appointed as manager of Aston Villa back in 2012, replacing Alex McLeish. However, on the 11th February this year, he was sacked by the Villains after a 2-0 defeat against Hull and a disastrous winless streak of ten league games.

In an exclusive interview with BBC Sport, Lambert said, ”It is an honour to be managing Watford - a club with an excellent future ahead of them. I can’t wait to get started with this challenge.”

Lambert is taking over the Hornets at a promising time - the connection between Udinese and Granada due to the Pozzo family, as well as some excellent squad members makes them one of the favourites to be promoted to the Premier League this season.

They should be helped by loan stars Matej Vydra (from Udinese) and Daniel Toszer (from Parma), and the strike forces of Troy Deeney, Odion Ighalo and Fernando Forestieri, to name a few, will be hard to beat in the Championship.

However, Lambert may struggle to keep hold of some of these players, such as Italian centre back Gabriele Angella, who is reportedly facing interest from Southampton, Swiss central midfielder Almen Abdi, who is linked with a move to newly promoted Burnley, and Scottish wing back Ikechi Anya, who has interest from Swansea City. Should Lambert be able to keep these players, or replace them well, Watford should stand a very good chance of promotion this season.

This appointment comes just a day after Javier Pereira was appointed as temporary manager following Jokanovic’s shameful dismissal.

Since leaving the Villains, 45 year-old Lambert has been facing interest from a wide variety of clubs, including Queens Park Rangers, who have been left managerless after Harry Redknapp resigned in February.

Watford owner Gino Pozzo issued this statement regarding Lambert’s appointment, ”Paul was excellent with the young players he brought into the Aston Villa side. We look forward to him exerting his power over the Watford team.”

“We all strongly believe that Paul can be the man to lead us towards the Premier League and beyond. The future looks bright for us, and with Paul’s talent, we can go the extra mile.”

Chairman of the Hornets, Raffaele Riva, also said a few words, ”A new season has come and perhaps a fresh start is necessary. We are now looking at a clean slate at Vicarage Road.”

In his footballing career, Lambert made 40 international appearances for Scotland, and scored one goal for his home nation. He joined St Mirren at the age of 17, and played with them for 8 years, until he joined fellow Scottish side Motherwell.

At Fir Park, Lambert participated in the UEFA Cup after a 2nd place finish in the Scottish League, before moving to Borussia Dortmund after three years. He assisted Heinz Riedle in the UEFA Champions League Final victory against Juventus, with the performance being hailed as a man of the match one. With this, he became the first British player to win the UEFA Champions League since its renaming.

However, after just one year with the German side, Lambert moved to Scottish side Celtic, and spent the rest of his career there. He won four Scottish Premier League titles, two Scottish Cups, two Scottish League Cups and captained the side that reached the UEFA Cup final in 2003.

After he retired from playing football, Lambert moved to management, and took over Livingston. He played 7 matches, despite being manager, but resigned just months after taking over. The club had won just two matches under his reign.

In 2006, Lambert was appointed as manager of Wycombe Wanderers. He lead the English side to the League Cup semi finals, after defeating Fulham and Charlton Athletic amongst others. In the semi finals, they held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Adams Park, before losing the away leg. In 2008, Lambert resigned as Wycombe manager following a League Two play-off defeat against Stockport County.

That year, he was appointed as Colchester United boss. He won his first game in charge 2-1 against Stockport County, and finished mid table with the Us. In 2009, Lambert’s side started the League One campaign with an astonishing 7-1 victory against newly relegated Norwich City, before leaving the Us to join said Canaries.

In his time with Norwich, he got them promoted back to the Championship straight away in 2010, which was followed by a promotion to the Barclays Premier League the next year, meaning he had achieved back-to-back promotions with Norwich. He was inducted into the Norwich Hall of Fame in 2012, but resigned after keeping them in the Premier League that season.

After this, he joined Aston Villa. After a bad start, which included an 8-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea, Villa finished 15th with the Premier League’s youngest squad, which got Lambert praise as a manager for developing the youngsters he had. In the following season, things started brightly, with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal, but the performances worsened greatly. However, the Villains stayed in the Premier League that season, and Lambert focused on bringing more experienced players to Villa Park. This wasn’t enough for Lambert to keep his job, unfortunately, and was sacked in February this year.

Also related to this story
Jokanovic in live pig baking bubble scandal
Aston Villa sack Lambert
Udinese Appoint Andrea Stramaccioni
Awesome story so far, really like the concept too.

Exclusive Interview With New Watford Boss

In an exclusive interview at The Hornet’s Nest, we speak to newly appointed Watford manager Paul Lambert about many different things - some of the questions are actually about football!

Lambert was appointed just three days ago, after he was sacked from Aston Villa in February, and so-called leader Slavisa Jokanovic was sacked for Bubblegate. However, we managed to get a special interview with Watford’s new manager, and we spoke to him about his plans for this season and the future, his link with Udinese and Granada, and various unrelated topics.

Right, so Paul, you sit here as the new manager of Watford, a club with an extremely bright future. How do you feel to be here so soon after your departure at Aston Villa?
It feels brilliant. As you say, Watford are a club with a very bright future and that is a key aspect of the club that I am looking forward to developing effectively. However, right now, we have an excellent squad, and I don’t see why we can’t get promoted this season.

That’s quite a bold statement to be making so early on. While, at The Hornet’s Nest, we love ambition and confidence, we have been promised promotion season after season. What makes you so sure you can deliver now?
Of course, nobody can be sure. I can’t promise that we get promoted, as football is an unpredictable sport, and that’s what makes it so special, but with the right team mentality and barring any horrifying incidents, I believe we can get promoted through playing excellent football and making sure we don’t get complacent. We have one of the strongest squads in the league, but it’s the Championship, and anything can happen.

Who do you see as the team’s star player?
Well, we have an extremely strong squad, and it would be hard to single out just one, but I’d have to say either Gabriele, Almen or Troy. They are all exceptionally good players and I think I may have a tough job on my hands keeping hold of them. I’ve already heard of interest for quite a lot of our players but so far, I’ve managed to fight it off.

I can’t argue against you there. What are the changes you are considering making to the team, if there are any?
We have a relatively large budget for a Championship team, but I think I’m going to focus on getting young players in loan. I already have one deal in the works that I won’t reveal just yet, and there should be more to follow.

Is there not always a negative side to getting loans? If they strengthen us now, that can not only be used against us when they play for their original clubs, but we’d be weaker without them, right?
I understand that completely, but if I get players from Udinese and Granada, who, as most people know, have a strong affiliation with us, as well as a couple of players elsewhere, this can not only mean that they can’t use this player against us, but they will bond with the players, and if they ever wish to move, we would be one of their first destinations, with the visions I have for this club.

Understood. You mentioned Udinese and Granada. How does it feel to have such strong affiliations with the two clubs?
I must admit, it was one of the turning points for me when I chose to join the club. To be linked with the Pozzo family in general, and have three possible squads at my disposal was too good to turn down. It’s a unique job setup and I respect the way all three clubs are run.

Are you sure you’re not just saying that so you don’t get sacked?
Haha, no, I mean what I said.

Anyway, moving on. We’ve spoken about your plans for the short team, this season, but what about the seasons to come? How long are you planning to be at the club? We all hope you don’t try and reproduce Bubblegate.
I’m hoping to establish Watford as the excellent club they are. There is a huge amount of potential in this club, and I want to be the one to help them fulfill it. This means getting promoted, then establishing ourselves as a Premier League club, then getting European football.

Wow, those are pretty high ambitions for a current Championship club. If you manage to achieve, that you’ll be a legend, that’s for sure. Now, do you plan to change the captaincy? Troy Deeney and Lloyd Doyley are currently captain and co-captain respectively, but do you wish to change that?
I certainly don’t want to kick Troy out of his captain position, but if he leaves the club, which I will try my hardest to stop happening, what am I to do?

Let’s hope Troy stays put then! We also asked our followers to ask you questions, related to football or not. I hope you’re ready for this.
Oh dear god.

This one comes from LauraAjacied. What is your favourite pizza topping?
Well, that one’s not too bad, I guess. My favourite would have to be Pepperoni.

Pepperoni is amazing… anyway, the next one is from TotallyNotPitbull. Would you ever do a musical collaboration featuring Pitbull?
I’ll just say… no. I would not do that.

Yeah me neither of course. The next question is from JamesWilson. If you had to ban somebody from the club, who would it be?
I think we all know who that would be.

Yeah of course. Who?
I don’t want to answer that question.

Right… and the next question is from PCPlod. Have you ever got back to back promotions with a club?
Did he not research me at all? I got back to back promotions with Norwich.

PCPlod also tells you to suck a poo. Anyway, the final question is from our very own beloved Tallery. Oh, and this one is actually serious! Wonderful! If you could picture yourself in any scenario with Watford, in any time, what would it be?
Lifting the Premier League trophy.

And with that, the interview ended. There was a lot to think about there, and a lot that Lambert spoke of. However, I think the most important thing we learnt in that interview was that Lambert prefers pepperoni pizza to ham and mushroom. Well, learn to love I guess.

Also related to this story
Jokanovic in live pig baking bubble scandal
Lambert appointed new Watford boss
Listen to “Win Percentage” by Sherwood ft Pitbull
What kinda Graphic is that... I expect better from my student
I'm not gonna lie, i'm kinda disappointed the link to Bubblegate isn't real :P Great update


Ex-Valencia star Gaizka Mendieta is set to make his first strides into football management as he takes the vacant head coach role at mid-table La Liga side Granada. The job was made available former manager, Jose Ramon Sandoval, was released with the board deciding that they needed a change of style at the club.

Granada chairman, John Purdy, has made a huge risk in hiring on a manager who, despite having a very enviable career history, has no experience in management. John will be hoping that Gaizka can turn the experience that has gathered onto the players on the pitch. Owner, Giampaolo Pozzo, has stated that he is fully behind the decision. "John has made a big decision and I am sure it is sound. Gaizka was a fantastic footballer and I firmly believe, as John does, that he can become as good a head coach."

Gaizka spoke confidently at his unveiling, saying that he is determined to get stuck in. "I am happy to get my opportunity at such a club," Mendieta stated calmly. "Granada are a solid base and are under exciting ownership. I feel that I am ready for this management move and I am hoping it will be a succesful one. I know what the chairman and the owner want and their desires are matched. I am looking forward to getting ready for the first game now."

Risky Move
Gaizka Mendieta has, in recent years, been living in England and working as a pundit on Sky Sport's La Liga coverage. This move may be risky, but the Basque man clearly knows his way around the pitch. Gaizka played as a versatile midfielder and made his name as a top european player in the late 90's with Valencia.

Valencia Life
Gaizka made his first team debut for Valencia in 1993 and played 34 games during the 1995-96 season in which they finished second in the league. In 1997 he made his real breakthrough season under manager Claudio Ranieri. He scored 10 goals in 30 appearences and made his debut for the Spanish national team. In 1999 he won his first trophy as he helped Valencia beat Atletico Madird in the Copa del Rey final.

Gaizka pushed on in the 1999-2000 season and started off perfectly as they beat giants Barcelona in the Spanish Supercup. During this season he netted his career high of 13 goals and helped Valencia reach the Champions League final, however they tasted defeat on the day to Real Madrid. He was awarded "European Midfielder of the Season". Valencia reached the final of the Champions league next season also and were again defeated, this time to FC Bayern Munich. He was once again awarded midfielder of the season.

Mendieta had a high value on his head and was snapped up for 48 million euros by Rome based club S.S. Lazio, at the time this was the sixth most expensive transfer fee of all time. Despite the expectations, Gaizka dissapointed in Serie A and was forced to move back to spain just one season after leaving. He couldn't fill the gap left by Pavel Nedved.

Loan Spells
The midfielder returned to his homeland, only for a season, on loan to Barcelona as he tried to return back to the form he showed at Valencia. Despite starting most of the season, Barcelona decided that they did not need him and he made his way to England as he sought out another loan move, this time to Premier League side Middlesbrough. In his first season with the North-East club he managed to win the League Cup after beating Bolton 2-1 at the Millenium Stadium. At the end of this season he managed to impress enough to make his move permanent.

During the rest of his career, all spent at Middlesbrough, Gaizka only managed to make 31 appearences in 4 years. Despite this he managed to help the club to a very memorable UEFA Cup run in which they reached the final, being defeated by Sevilla. At the end of his career he fell out with manager Gareth Southgate and played his final game in 2006 against Everton. Despite the falling out with the manager, Gaizka found that he had fell in love with the town and decided to settle there.

Face to Face

Udinese's manager Andrea Stramaccioni at his first press conference today, speaking about future plans and trying to dribble past journalists enquiring about players coming and going. Stramaccioni has revealed plenty of deals would be made; with affiliated clubs Watford & Granada - players on loan, and sold permanently as the current Italian based team was a bit too big for his taste. He reconfirmed the captaincy of Antonio Di Natale, and his stardom amongst the Friulani as their starting striker for the upcoming season.

Antonio Di Natale with 206 Goals in Serie A currently, at the age of 37. He's postponed his retirement for another year, but most fans can't really see the club without the Italian trequartista in their ranks, and replacing him in the future would probably become a headache for Andrea and Dejan. The assistant manager will also be giving a hand in filtering incoming transfer proposals and players available on a free, which could be in the talks of joining the club soon. The two really seem to make a dynamic duo at Udinese, and with recently retired Francesco Guidolin working behind a desk at the club, he'll make sure to keep an eye out and give a helping hand to Stramaccioni if needed - The Pozzo family is definetly building for the future.

Zip Zap Good Luck!

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