SEASON 8 | CAN WE STEP UP?
This season the expectation is mid-table, although we are aiming to step up to the next level. We have a very good squad and have the ability to do well.
Our next game was against Parma. Hodges, Marino, Pirola and Roudout all came into the starting XI.
We had a 2-0 lead and bottled it! A dissapointing draw against a team we should be beating. Hodges scored on his debut and looks like a promising young talent. We now have a lot of wingers to choose from!
We beat Atalanta 2-1 in a tough away game. Hodges scored again, thats 2 in 2 for our young Englishman.
A poor draw against Brescia. We were let down by Joensen who was sent off for a reckless tackle. He is a very talented winger but occasionally he loses his head and gets sent off needlessly.
Nuno Santos picked up an injury and will be out for 5-6 weeks. Quincy Promes will be the likely replacement for him.
Our first loss in the league was a 2-1 defeat to Fiorentina. Strangely all the goalscorers use to play for London clubs. Abraham formerly of Chelsea, Pepe and Hodges ex Arsenal men. And yes, Hodges scored again! He has been a stand out early on in the season for us.
Next was a good victory over Cagliari. Brobbey scored a brace and Hodges scored again.
Colombo was on loan for us for 3 seasons and scored against us in the last match. I had the option to sign him for free and decided against it... I am regretting it now, look at his transfer value! He would have been a better option right now than our two young back up strikers who haven't impressed much yet (Sgro and Batrachenko)
We had a crazy cup game against Parma which we won 4-3 in extra time! We dominated the match with 40 shots! Brobbey scored a brace again, and both our wingers; Hodges and Promes got on the scoresheet.
Unfortunately our in-form man Hodges picked up an injury and will be out for 3 weeks.
We had a very disappointing loss to Nagglesmans Inter. 0 shots on target... let's move on.
Another intense game against Benevento who were 4th in the league! A Brobbey double again, was cancelled out by a 92nd minute equalizer. Pirola picked up our second red card of the season.... the discipline issue is creeping back in...
Now Brobbey is out for 5-6 weeks! Why does FM do this!? Every time I have had a player find form, they get injured..
Our next match is a very tough game against Lazio the champions of last season. So we changed to our 4-3-3 tactic.
We played well and earned a respectable draw. Hodges was stand out again, scoring 2. I can't beleive we got him on a free! What a baller!
Next was a tough match against Sassuolo. They have a very nice team, with their recent acquisition Asensio a player to watch out for.
I can't believe we didn't win... we were 2-0 up and bottled it again, we have done that 3 times this season!
We now play AC Milan. They have one of the best teams in the league and will be a very tough opponent. We are yet to beat Milan yet on this save.
But we did it! A fantastic win! Pol Joensen was the hero of the match!
After we played so well against Milan, we went on to lose to 17th place Trapani, if only we were more consistent!
Our next match was against Napoli at home. We stuck with the 4-3-3 that has been working quite well. Our star man Hodges was unavailable.
The game resulted in a draw which was a decent result for us.
Next though we couldn't match Juventus who have been fantastic this season under Zidane's management. They are top of the league and proved to us why.
Roma came to Palermo for a big game. Hodges was fit and back in the line up.
We put in one of our best performances of the season! A big win! 4-1, with four different goal scorers. I was very please with this result.
My next match was my 300th game in charge of Palermo! I am expecting the boys to reward me and celebrate the occasion with a win.
Which they did! A 3-0 victory, and that man Hodges was the star again.
We then went on to beat Udinese, a narrow victory provided by our solid centre back Pirola, performing well at both ends of the pitch.
Our next cup game was against Lazio. A very tough game resulted in a 3-2 loss. We were 3-0 down and fought back well, but they were too good for us.
Our last result of the year was a very poor performance against bottom of the league Genoa. We were terrible.
Overall we have had such a mixed bag of results in the first half of the season. We seem to be very inconsistent. I have been playing around with the tactic a lot which doesn't help and we are still relying on young players therefore inconsistency is to be expected. I want to keep faith in the youth and keep thinking about the long-term progress of the club.
Although results haven't been amazing we sit in a good 7th position in the league. The issue is the teams above us have a lot more points, and the teams below us are very close... we need to start winning some more matches if we still want to finish in the top 10 which is a realistic target.
Our first Youth Intake preview with our new HOYD looks interesting, let's see when they come through.
When I signed him for free from Arsenal I envisioned him as a back up player. He has certainly cementing a starting place in our team and has been our best player when fit in the first half of the season. 8 goals and 2 assists in 14 games is a very good return!
We spent big money on him last season and he is starting to repay us with his goals. I wanted him and Gutierrez to play together, although we seem to be getting better results when we play 4-3-3, and he has been the first choice over Gutierrez. He tends to score in bunches, 8 goals in 11 games is very good.
I wanted to add another quality striker in the mix and loan out my two younger players. Immobile was available and comes in for £975k for the remainder of the season. He is again but still has brilliant finishing and could be able to make a difference off the bench when we need a goal.
We also signed another goal keeper. Bohorquez looks like a very good young talent. My plan is to loan him out for a couple of seasons, then sell Plizzari and Bohorquez can be Urso's back up. I couldn't say no when my scout's recommended him as he only costs us £700k and he has 5 star potential.
Overall I am quite happy with the first half of our season. At times my optimism and expectations hinder the success we are having. 7th in Serie A is very good! We are progressing each year! They key for the remainder of the season is consistency. I think we will stick with the 4-3-3. I like the balance of the midfield with Veratti playing as the DM and utilizing our pacy wingers.
We still have money to spend, so could potentially see some new faces in the next update.
As always, thanks for reading!