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Resurrecting Palermo

Our journey to bring Palermo back to Serie A & beyond!
Started on 13 April 2020 by FMBlake
Latest Reply on 18 July 2020 by d4vidjames
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Can see a good season coming up here, good luck.
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An incredible window, with Marco Verratis world class technical ability and vast experience to surely help the young guns you have at your disposal. I like the signing of Quincy Promes too, he still looks very solid. Also some of the regens you signed look proper good! Best of luck with season 8 mate!
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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.


Key Performers

Anthony Hodges
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!


Brian Brobbey
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.


Transfers

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!
Sitting on the edge of European places, time to try and lift performances just slightly
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A few ups and downs for sure but so far definitely a half-season where late drama has taken over! Hopefully the signing of Immobile will add something extra in attack, as you aren’t that far from producing the kind of form you’re looking for.
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an excellent first half of the season I'm sure you would be happy with 7th at the end of the season. Can you catch Inter though and claim and European spot.
Your strikers are firing on all cylinders and you've had some real stand-out results. Seventh is a very respectable position to be in. You secured back-to-back clean-sheets lately but that has definitely been one of your frailties this season. A lack of defensive solidity evident in the limited number of clean-sheets. Hopefully that can be improved to help guide the club to a top-half finish at the least and continue the upwards trajectory of the club.
A good start and it hasn't been easy with the amount of injuries you have been getting. Hopefully this second half of the season can see a fitter squad and with the additions made, improved results pushing you into the European spots.
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Hey guys - thanks for all the support! I am sure some you voted for Palermo in story of the month :)

Griffo - Amen bro, I am going to try lift the performances for sure! Making a European position this season would be an incredible achievement

Justice - Immobile still looks pretty good aye! We need to learn how to kill off games better for sure

Tedbro20 - I would be very happy to finish 7th this season! Let's see what we can do :)

ScottT - I agree mate. Definitely going to look for a new centre back for next season to partner Pirola. D'Emannuele is probably not quite good enough if we want to make the step up to the next level.

TheLFCFan - I know man injuries are hindering us again... we will push on as high as we can for sure.
FMBlake's avatar Group FMBlake
5 monthsEdited
SEASON 8 | NOT WHAT WE WERE HOPING...


After a decent first half of the season we found our self 7th in Serie A. If I had the opportunity to end the season now I definitely would. 7th would be a very good finish for our 3rd season in Serie A. Injuries and suspensions certainly hindered us and could be a problem for the remainder of the season. Going in to this season I decided deliberately decided to have a smaller squad to hopefully keep player happier as I would be able to give them game time easier. Although, this has appeared to be an issue, and we certainly don't have enough quality back up when our starting players pick up injuries. We have to put things into perspective though, we are fairly new to the Serie A, and to be in the top 10 and competing with the top teams is an achievement in itself. I am determined to step up to the next level and qualify for Europe. Although we have to be patient as I am quickly realizing that Italy is a tough place to play! There are so many good teams, even when we play teams in the relegation zone I feel it is a tough challenge.

Anyway, let's see how we got on in the remainder of our season.

P.S. Thanks to anyone and everyone who voted for me to win 'Story of the Month'. When I started writing this blog, I couldn't have imagined I would have this much support and interest in my save, but I really appreciate and it makes playing the game even more enjoyable that I can share it with other people and hear your guys thoughts and feedback, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

Torino 2-1 Palermo
Torino is a team we have struggled against in the past couple of seasons. They don't have very good players but always seem to be tough to beat. Joensen scored for us after we went 2-0 down. Their first goal was a terrible mistake by Urso, he just kicked the ball into Verratti. Not the way we were hoping to start 2027.

Verratti Own Goal


Mourinho returns to Italy!
AS Roma decided to hire Mourniho as they have been underachieving this season. This is bad news for us as Mourinho is a world-class manager who will certainly make AS Roma a top team again. We beat them earlier in the season, but will expect a much tougher game when we play them next.


Palermo 3-0 Benevento
We picked up our first win in 5 games with a good 3-0 victory over Palermo. Roudout missed a penalty in the match which was followed up superbly by Joensen. Miele scored a fantastic goal from distance. Gutierrez rounded off the game with the final goal.


Cagliari 3-1 Palermo
A poor result. Joensen was our bright spark, scoring again. We were completely out played, and are really struggling to find consistency. I have to put my hand up and admit a lot of that is to do with me being so uncertain about our tactic. I don't know what is best for us. I keep wanting to play shorter passing, possession style of football. Then I think I want to utilise our pace on the wings with Hodges and Joensen. We have tried 4-2-4, 4-3-3 and 4-4-2. I cannot seem to decide what I like best.


Lazio 2-0 Palermo
Lazio are one of the top teams in the league, and playing their at their home ground was always going to be a tough battle. They scored 2 goals early, and we couldn't seem to break through. A rather expected defeat.


Palermo 1-0 Tornio
I said earlier that we always struggled against Torino and this match was no different. We dominated the game creating 19 shots, 12 on target, but we still couldn't score. Torino are 17th in the league.. this is a terrible result, and we seem to be crashing down the league, a top 10 finish is looking less and less likely each game we play.


Palermo 2-3 Parma
This is becoming a joke now. We were 2-0 up thanks to Brobbey and Guttierez, only to go on and concede 3 goals in the last 12 minutes of the game! We cannot afford to lose games like this is we want to make the next step as a club. I was absolutely gutted.


SPAL 2-4 Palermo
Not the best performance, but we will happily take the 3 points! SPAL were the more dangerous team in the match and created more chances. But for once we were quite clinical. Hodges scored a brace, he has been superb this season. Gutierrez and Brobbey also scored.

Palermo 2-0 Bologna
We secured back to back wins with a good home win against Bologna. Both our midfielders got on the scoresheet, Roudout and Kingsley bagging the goals. Bologna picked up a red card late in the second half, easing the tension of us throwing away a lead like we have done before.

Pirola is out for 4 weeks. He picked an injury in training. Pirola is without doubt our best defender, and will be a huge miss in the next few games! We definitely need to look at strengthening at the back next season.


Udinese 1-4 Palermo
A fantastic win! Our best performance in the second half of the season for sure. 4 different goal scorers in this match; Hodges, Joensen, Guttierez and Miele. I am hoping this win will lift the spirits and help us kick on in our next few games. This win put us back up to 9th in the league, but it is very close and a loss could put us down to 13th.


Roma 1-0 Palermo
Injuries and suspensions meant we only had 6 players to sit on the bench against Roma. Mourniho's men won the macth with a goal from the Frenchman Diaby. This loss meant we dopped to 13th and the top 10 finish we had hoped for is looking more and more out of reach.



Our annual youth intake came in and it looks quite good. We have one player who looks like he could develop into a first team player; Capriotti.



Napoli 4-4 Palermo
An 8 goal thriller against Napoli, was one of the most entertaining games of the season! Michael Kingsley scored a hat-trick for us and there were 2 own goals in the game too. We were 4-3 down and scored a penalty in the last minute of the game. I think a draw against Napoli is a decent result.


Sassuolo 0-0 Palermo
This game was a cagey affair with a number of bookings. Sassuolo were the better side, yet we did well not to concede. I will walk away with a point fairly happy even though we didn't play well.

Brian Brobbey picked up an injury in training! Apparently he got injured sprinting and will be out for 4-5 weeks. These injuries this season has killed us and I don't know what to do about it. Maybe sign some new physios? Change up training? Or need more rotation so players can rest? What do you think?


Palermo 2-4 Juventus
Another high scoring game that ended in defeat for us. ZIdane's Juve are top of the league and we really took the game to them and played quite well. We had two goals disallowed by VAR, and Lukaku's late penalty killed off the game. I would have been delighted to gain a point in this match but it just wasn't to be.


Brescia 3-0 Palermo
This was a terrible loss. There is not much else to say. We were never in the game. We are really not looking like a team that deserves to break into the top 10. We really must improve our performances next season, because this is getting disheartening to see the club struggling to progress forward.


AC Milan 1-0 Palermo
AC Milan have been one of the top 3 teams all season, so I think we did well to compete and only lose 1 goal. But it is another loss, and our poor form at the end of the season means we are going to miss out on a top 10 position


Palermo 0-1 Atalanta
A tough defeat to take as we actually played quite well. Atalanta scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot. The team seems to have lost motivation now as we don't have a lot to play for. Just one game left in the season and the highest we can finish is 13th.


Palermo 0-1 Fiorentina
Our final game of the season somewhat sums up what happened this year. Throwing away opportunities and a bit of bad luck. Pepe scored with the last kick of the game. A bitter way for it all to end. This has been a tough season and I am glad it is over and we can begin to look forward and quickly but this behind us.


On a more positive note... Our U-18s won the league for the second year in a row! They only lost two games in the league all season. That is definatley a good thing to see that we have the best youth team in Italy. Hopefully some of these players can break into the first team in the next few seasons. Calabro impressed me the most out of the U-18 squad. He is a right back that racked up 16 assists this season in all comps! One to look out for, we seem to be good at developing quality full-backs.


Looking at our results in the second half of the season it isn't a pretty sight. We had a good spell around the end of February but our form in the last two months of the season was dreadful. We definitely need to bring in more players into the squad next season, and hopefully have a bit more luck on our side.


The final league table sees us finish 14th this season. The top 10 ended up finishing quite a bit ahead of us. This was certainly a season to forget. We started well but couldn't maintain it throughout. Juventus were crowned champions with Zidane at the helm. Genoa, Trapani and Torino were relegated (pretty sure all these teams beat us.... smh).


Key Performers

Although we under-achieved this season, we did have some really stand out players. We are still a young team and have some real talent, this is evident by the bids that were coming for the likes of Joensen, Marino and Urso.

This man was a quality player for us this season and was our main striker. We wanted to play him up top with Gutierrez but struggled to find a tactic that worked with both of them playing at the same time. The Dutchman scored 10 goals and 6 assists, with his injuries somewhat holding him back he could have scored even more.

Hodges surprised me this season. Originally I planned on Nuno Santos being our first choice left winger. But Hodges quickly stamped him position in the team and he was a stand-out all season long. He is a wonderkid with bags of potential and made a big impact in his first season. 13 goals and 4 assists at just 20 years old finishing as our top scorer. This guy has a bright future at the club.

Our other winger was also quality alongside Hodges. Joensen ended the season with 10 goals and 3 assists. I would like to see my wingers pick up more assists next season, but he did play very well. Lazio keep on coming in with bids, so we will see if we can hold on to him. If they bid enough I will pack his bags. Money talks!

Here is a look at the full squad stats for this season. Please let me know your recommendations. Who in this squad should I look to sell? Do you know any tactics I should try based on the players I have? I will listen to whatever you guys say.


End of Season Awards


Goal of the Season - Joensen v Juventus


The board have given us £10.19 million to spend next season. I will certainly be looking to strengthen our defence and add more depth to the squad. What position do you think we need to improve the most?


Review of Seasons Past:
Season 1: Won Serie D (Unbeaten Season)
Season 2: Won Serie C
Season 3: Relegated from Serie B
Season 4: Won Serie C
Season 5: Won Serie B
Season 6: 16th in Serie A
Season 7: 11th in Serie A
Season 8: 14th in Serie A

In summary, I cannot lie, I am gutted about this season. I feel we have taken a step back and there is a lot of pressure to pick up our form again next season. I thought we had a very good well balanced squad but we struggled when a couple of players got injured. I am struggling with a tactical identity too.

I think I need to pick a tactical style and stick with it. I believe we have to utilize our wingers because that is probably our biggest strength. I am just unsure if I should play a shorter passing possession based game, or try to play more direct counter-attacking. Would love to hear your thoughts. I am sure we will be better next season. Hopefully this is just a hiccup in our longer journey. Not the update I wanted to share, but this is what can happen in FM. It doesn't always go as we would like!

As always, thanks for reading!
A poor season in the end but sometimes you need to take one step back to take two steps forward
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A very inconsistent season overall, but with your faith in youth and the amount of injuries you picked up, it was kind of expected. At least you werent scrapping for relegation and you are now a very decent, established Serie A team. Maybe a top 10 finish is more realistic next season. 10 mil or so is alot to spend, and hopefully that can fix any holes you have in your squad. Advice? Go to your sqaud depth sheet, and find positions that dont have many players over 2.5-3 stars.Those are the positions you really need to strengthen. And i think utilising your wingers is a great idea, as you have the wonderkid Anthony Hodges out on the left, who you should look to as a key player. And congrats on SOTM! ;)
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Griffo - Yeah I think it was a poor season too, let's hope that's the case!

Eoin97 - You are right, we are an established team in Serie A now which is good. Thanks for the advice mate will definitely do that and see what we can do. Hodges is so good right! Cheers mate, was delighted to win SOTM
FMBlake's avatar Group FMBlake
5 monthsEdited
SEASON 9 | REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS



We are approaching season 9 with Palermo with more realistic expectations. When I look at the finances we have available and players in our squad, we are not quite at the level ready to push for European qualification. We should be aiming for a mid-table finish and anything better will be fantastic. We have solidified ourselves as a decent Serie A team, and it may take a couple more seasons before we can progress to the next level. I am hoping this season that we can build more consistency in our results. This pre-season we will aim to add depth to the squad so that we are not so short on numbers when we inevitably pick up injuries and suspensions.

I have also decided this season that we are going to stick with 4-3-3 and make this part of the Palermo image. We have designed 3 tactical adjustments to the 4-3-3, one with a focus on possession, one focused on counter-attacking and one balanced. We can pick which one of the three options of 4-3-3 to use each game based on our opponenets.

New Director of Football
I took a look at our staff and evaluated who we could look to improve. DOF was definitely a position that could be improved. I am happy to welcome Van Geel to the club. The Dutchman comes in with a lot of experience in the Eredevise, most impressively formerly at Ajax. We will look to work alongside him to take Palermo forward in the right direction, and keep building as a solid Serie A club.

Elsewhere in the league, there was some big news. Inter Milan decided to sack Naglesmann after they finished 4th in the league. Who will replace him? We will keep an eye on the news and find out soon.

Ciro Immobile retires. We bought him in hoping to contribute in our attack during the second half of last season. Unfortunately he couldn't really make an impact for us, failing to score, and only getting 1 assist. Although, we will always remember him as a world-class player who pulled on the pink shirt. He bows out of the game, representing our great club. He has had a very good career and we wish him all the best for his future.


Transfers
Like I mentioned earlier, the focus this pre-season was to try and add depth to the squad. We were able to bring in a number of players who I feel can contribute right away in our upcoming campaign. We used all of our transfer budget, so will not be able to sign anyone else until next season, unless the board increases our transfer budget, or until we sell some players, which right now I don't want to do.

Our first signing was Schmidt from Borussia Dortmund. The German winger signed for us for free as his contract expired at Dortmund. The ambitious winger has bags of potential, and with the impact Hodges made last season, I am hoping Schmidt can make that sort of impact when he get's a chance too. I feel like this is a win-win signing because even if he doesn't perform for us we can sell him and make a profit.

Squillaci also came in on a free transfer. Formerly at Manchester United, the 23 year old Italian will provide cover for our centre-backs. He is already a decent player with very good heading and tackling attributes. I also hope this his leadership qualities can add something extra to the team.

Djordjevic was our biggest signing of this window, costing us £4 million to prize him away from Red Star. We paid the release clause for the Serbian International as his attributes matched with his ability and age make him a real talent. He isn't quite the ready made defender I was looking for, but he will provide stiff competition to D'Emannuele, and will potentially be our starting centre-back alongside Pirola this season. Having made 7 appearances for his country already at 19, shows his quality. Let's hope he can perform well here in Italy this season!

Turco signed on a free transfer as he was released by Manchester City. He will add depth to our already strong midfield of Roudout, Kingsley, Miele and Verratti. He certainly has some very good attributes, and if he performs well could also cement a position in the starting XI. He is another player who I could also consider making a hefty profit on, already valued at £15 million, his value will only increase if he performs well.

The last addition to our squad was a loan deal. Runje came in to bolster our midfield and will be our starting DM for the beginning of the season. The 19 year old Croation Wonderkid is already a very good player, his ability to tackle and pass will make him an important player for us and provide a really good balance in our midfield. The last few seasons we have lacked a real DM, I am hoping that for this season at least, Runje can be the man to make the difference, and really help us to perform more consistently in the Serie A.


The season expectations from the board this season remain the same. They would like to see a mid-table finish and for us to reach the third-round in the Italian Cup. I agree that those expectations are a fair evaluation of where we stand. Let's see how we get on this year, I will be happy to finish anywhere higher than last season. As long as we are moving forward, I do not want to take any steps further back.


Inter Milan sign Favre! The Nazzuri have found their new manager and former Dortmund manager takes reign at the club. This is an important acquisition to note, as we play Inter Milan in the first game of the season.

There are two new managers in Milan this season. AC Milan appointed the Portuguese manager, Conceicao as their new man.

Pre-Seaon Results

Palermo 0-0 Nimes
Our opening game was a dull affair. We will take the positives from every game, and we will focus on the clean sheet in this match. Runje had a good debut, and was our best player in the match.

Palermo 1-1 Arsenal
Another draw but a much more pleasing result. Marino lost his head and got sent off after just 20 minutes, and we were still able to compete with one of the top teams in the Premier League. Pol Joensen was our only goal scorer

Pro Vercelli 1-1 Palermo
Another draw! Although we drew the match, we did play well and created a lot of chances, we were really unfortunate won to win the match. Hodges was the solo goal scorer.

Palermo 3-2 Valencia
A fantastic way to wrap up our pre-season games. We were 2-0 down, but luckily for us, Ferran Torres was sent off just before half-time. That completely swung the game in our favour. Promes scored a double, and Verratti went on the win the game with a beautiful strike in the final minutes. It was great to get a win, and finish pre-season unbeaten.

Overall I am fairly pleased with our pre-season results. We played well against two tough teams in Arsenal and Valencia. I would like to have scored more goals, but we will be quite confident to begin the season, going in without a loss.

We were able to add depth to our squad this season, only really losing Immobile who retired. Surely this season we can do better now we have added some more quality to the team. Here is a look at our entire squad for this season:



The odd's previewing this season predict us to finish 12th place. The focus this season as I have mentioned many times is to aim to be more consistent, but also realistic. I would love to finish above 12th, but also wouldn't complain as that would be a better finish than last season. Let's take one game at a time, and see how we get on. Forza Palermo!

As always, thanks for reading!
Hopefully this season can see you push on and stake a claim for that top half!

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