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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
Hey lads, tough end to Season 13! Hence why I haven't posted for a few days, haven't been enjoying the save, and really struggled to finish the season, but it is done now, so will post an update tonight and start Season 14 tomorrow.

Griffo - Don't blame me about Brescia lol blame Sorensen!
Justice - Inter Milan are so good this season, top 4 is still the aim!
ScottT - Sorensen is a great buy right! I am blessed with some amazing strikers in this save, my challenge now is to build the rest of the team to match their ability as my strikers are by far my best players.
TheLFCFan - Cheers mate, hoping Iglesias can develop into a world class defender, and you are spot on, his fee was funded by the sale of Abel, not a bad piece of business aye ;)
FMBlake's avatar Group FMBlake
4 yearsEdited
Update #61: Season 13 | Can We Secure Top 4?

At the end of the last update we were 3rd in Serie A after a decent January. Adding two players to the squad who are young with great potential was a positive step forward, but could they make an instant impact? The target is still to finish in top 4 and secure another Champions League qualification for Season 14. Young Sorensen has really made an impact since he signed, and our power in attack is arguably the best in Serie A right now. Bayer is the top goalscorer, Duncan won Player of the Year last season, and we also have the young Brazilian, Ronaldo Cruz Ojer. Although, our attack has been good, we have conceded too many goals this season. Urso's injury is a big part of the issue, and with the recent addition of Julian Aschenbroich, hopefully we have secured our new number one for the next few seasons.

February & March Results

February was a great month, with only one defeat, at the hands of Lazio, who we always seem to struggle against. After finishing 3rd in our Champions League group behind Bayern Munich and Manchester City we were drawn against Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League First Knockout Round. In the 1st leg at home, Keith Duncan was the star, scoring a hat-trick. The set us up in a great position to progress into the next round, and we went to Germany and won 2-0, Daniel Bayer this time with a brace. At the end of February I was confident and the team was playing well.

March was a bit tougher. We began with a draw against Torino, which was a poor result, as they were not one of the top teams in the league. We then got the news that we would play Manchester United in the Second Knockout Round of the Europa League. I couldn't believe they were in the competition. Anyway, we surprisingly beat Manchester United 2-1 at home, Duncan played really well again and scored a brace. In the second leg, I knew that Manchester United just needed one goal to go through, since they had the away goal advantage, so I decided to go out and attack them, playing with three up front. Oh boy did that backfire. We were embarrassingly defeated 7-0 at Old Trafford. I think that was the worst defeat in my 13 seasons with Palermo, and I was eager to move on, quickly forget that result, and focus on finishing the league strong. Luckily, the players responded well to the defeat, and won the next game 2-0 against Cremonese.

April & May Results

April did not go as planned at all... Draws against Parma and AC Milan, were followed by back to back defeats. Although we didn't pick up a win in April, we played very tough opponents, and were still in and around the mix to secure a top 4 finish, with just one month to play. Our potent attack somewhat dried up in April, we only managed to score more than one goal in a game against Roma. I have been tweaking the tactics all season and still haven't found the perfect formula. We have sold all of our wingers, so rely on attacking full backs to provide the width. I believe with the quality we have in attack and our two star Brazilian full-backs, we can make the tactic work, but it will take more time to get it right. We were playing either 4-1-2-1-2 (Narrow) or 4-1-2-3.

The final month of the season started really well with a 4-2 win over Perugia. We managed to score 4 goals in a game for the first time since beating Cagliari, 4-3 in January, so I was really excited, and hoping to finish the season strong. But a tough fixture against Juventus resulted in a 3-0 defeat, followed by a 0-0 draw against Udinese, meant of the final day of the season we were in 6th position, needing results elsewhere to go our way, and a win to finish 4th. The final game of the season was at home against Verona. I decided to play attacking and with Bayer injured, Ronaldo Cruz Ojer had the opportunity to start up front with Duncan and Sorensen. In dramatic fashion, we won our final game 3-0, Ronaldo Cruz Ojer scored all three! He hadn't scored all season. Results elsewhere ended in our favour, and much to my amusement, we finished the season in 4th place, and secured Champions League qualification once more. I really though we had bottled it with our poor form in the last two months of the season, but we only just squeezed in to the top 4. A lucky finish to say the least.

Final Serie A League Table

A crazy end to the season, and a very interesting season overall. Sassuolo under the management of Nuno Santos Espirito played really well this season and finished 2nd. Inter Milan won the league for the 3rd season in a row. Roma secured 3rd spot. AC Milan and Napoli really under performed, finishing 13th and 14th. I am happy to finish 4th this season, but really want to take the next step and try to secure a top 3 finish next season.

I think this brief summary really sums up our season well, and although it wasn't the most memorable or glorious season, there were still a lot of positives to look book on and overall is a decent season in the history of the club.

The board have given us £19.79 million to spend next season. I am going to try and ask for more, but also looking to cash in on two players who are arriving on expiring contracts. My investments in youth players last season has also paid of quite well. Our U-20 team won the Youth Champions League, and a good number of players were loaned out and performed well, and developed more this season. One player, Diego Torres, played extremely well on loan at Villarael and may feature in our squad next season, he can play as a CAM or as a ST. I will be evaluating the squad and youth setup in depth, in the next pre-season and look to promote some of the youth players into the first team for next season.

Daniel Bayer, our big German hero, was not only our best player this season, but the best player in the league. He ended the season with 28 goals in Serie A, picking up the Golden Boot and scoring 10 more goals than the second highest scorer in the league. The Serie A Team of the Season, consisted of 10 Inter Milan players, and Bayer, showing how good he was, and also how dominant Inter Milan were! He had an amazing season, scoring 35 goals in all competitions and is attracting interest from the biggest clubs in Europe. But, I do not want to sell him, and will do everything in my power to keep him as a Palermo player, for many more seasons to come.

Overall Squad Stats

End of Season Awards

Bayer was clearly the Fans Player of the Year this season. Our Brazilian right-back score the Goal of the Season with a fanatastic run, and an even better finish against Sassuolo. Our South African center-back, Mudubanya was the Signing of the Season. He only started four games this season, but looks like a quality talent. At 19 years old he already has 17 passing which is amazing for a defender. I am even thinking about training him as a Libero and changing to 3 center-backs with him in the middle.

Goal of the Season

Another season done and dusted, a big pre-season ahead, as we plan to push even higher next season and improve on the club record finish. 4th in Serie A is a great achievement, but we have the players and resources to continue to develop and finish even higher in Season 14. I will be asking for your help and feedback in the chat with decision during the next pre-season.

I hope you enjoyed following another season in the Palermo journey!
As always, thanks for reading!
Bring on Season 14, Forza Palermo!
It's good to know that even 10 more wins wouldn't have secured you the title, makes it less frustrating I can imagine. On the other hand, beating Inter will be a difficult task for the coming seasons, especially with the meagre budget you've been given!
Just about squeezing into the top four. A pretty torrid end to the season but enough to get the job done. The loss at Old Trafford was certainly a low-point in the season whereas the victory in the reverse leg would have been a highlight.

The day you beat Lazio will be something. I know every team has a bogey side but I think this has become a bit of a joke now. :P
Update #62: Season 14 | Making Profit

After just finishing in the top 4 last season, the goal in pre-season was to strengthen the squad and try and push to finish in the top 3 this year. With little money to spend in the transfer budget, my target was to sell three players who arrived for free and make a profit to re invest into the squad. When evaluating the current team, our weakest area is midfield. Our attack is clearly our strength, we have two quality attacking full backs, a promising young goalkeeper who will start this season and a wonderkid center-back to partner Djordjevic.

So after a lot of scouting and wheeling and dealing I managed to sell all three players I wanted to sell and sign three new midfielders. Notably, Lucas Paqueta left the club as his contract expired. I have made quite a few signings that I am looking back on now and regretting, and Paqueta is one of them. I am hoping these three additions to the team will not only strengthen the squad now, but over the next few seasons.

The first addition was the Spaniard midfielder, Dani Olmo. Although he is aging, and nearing the end of his career, he still has great physical and techinical attributes, and with Paqueta leaving and only Maric left to play CAM, Olmo will get a lot of game time this season. To make the deal even more impressive, he arrived on a free-transfer from Arsenal. At 34 years old he will probably only play one or two seasons at Palermo, but will be a player who improves us this season for certain.

Armin Markovic was the second notable signing. The Croatian joined from Dinamo Zagreb for £3.1 million. He looks like a quality player that could feature alongside Olmo in our midfield this season. I managed to sign him for a very cheap deal because he was transfer listed, I think he is a great addition to the squad, and he could still improve even more.

The final key signing, and the most expensive, was Srdjan Milosavljevic.The German defensive midfielder joined for £30 million from Borussia Mochengladbach and will compete with Kane Talley for the DM position. I believe with these three additions we have really strengthened our midfield and with the later two for many seasons to come.

Overall, it was a very profitable transfer window. Fink, Zirkzee and Morales were all sold for a total of £104 million. I also added two younger players who will be loaned out and hopefully develop into first team players. With about £55 million left in the transfer budget, we still have enough to improve in the summer if we need to add more players to the squad.
Transfer Summary

In the Champions League, the draw once again has been against us! We will face Manchester United and Real Madrid in the group stages. Last season we played against Manchester City in the group stage, who won the Champions League the season before. This season, once again, we face the most recent Champions League winners, Real Madrid. I know that if we can push this season to finish in the top three in the league, we will more likely have a more favorable draw in the Champions League.

After a very good pre-season we were ready to start another fight in Serie A. We didn't concede a goal in pre-season, and that was a weakness last season, so I was optimistic about the new campaign. We began with an impressive 2-0 win over Chievo, and the good form continued for the rest of the month, we are currently unbeaten in the league, a dream start! Bayer continues to impress, and Ronaldo Cruz Ojer, now simply known as Ronaldo has also been impressive and scoring in almost every game he plays.

July & August Results

League Table
We are currently top of the league with Sassuolo who appointed Mikel Arteta as their manager this season. Inter Milan have somewhat struggled early on, could this be a sign that maybe this is our year?

Daniel Bayer has been amazing since signing from Bayer Leverkusen in 2029. Since joining the club he has been scoring goals for fun, and is not the club record goalscorer, beating club legend, Fabrizio Miccoli. Bayer has scored 75 league goals in just over 3 seasons, an incrdible achievement and I am hoping he will be at the club for many many more years, to set the record even higher.

September was much more of a challenge, and a bit of a wake up call for our ambitions this season. A draw against SPAL was followed by three consecutive defeats. Against Real Madrid, although we lost 2-0, we played quite well and if we took our chances the result could have been a lot more positive for us. Against Roma, we were 2-1 up and went on to lose 3-2. Then we faced Udinese in the cup, I decided to rotate pretty much the whole squad, and give the players who hadn't featured this season a chance to impress. It back fired badly and we went 2-0 down early on. I subbed on three star players at half-time but it wasn't enough, and we went on to get knocked out of the Coppa Italia in the 2nd round, a really bitter way to go out. Unbelievably we bounced right back, smashing top of the league Sassuolo thanks to a Bayer hat-trick! We then smashed Kobenhaven and beat Fiorentina 2-1. I thought we were back in form, and then we suffered a terrible 1-0 defeat to 17th placed Cagliari. A roller coaster ride already, and the upcoming matches are worrying to say the least!
September Results

Just look at the schedule ahead.. I don't have to say anything more do I? Wish me luck!

Zed - Yeah Inter Milan were unbelievable last season, but for whatever reason, that don't seem to be as strong this campaign.
ScottT - This year we will beat Lazio! I will do it for you man!
Upcoming month could make or break your season, but... it's also early enough where you can save it too if things go a little wrong. Big test for your squad, you'll see who the pretenders are in it at least!
When the only break you have is before the udinese game...
Looks like those friendlies helped you have a good run at the Serie. Hopefully you can hold Srdjan for a long time, looks to be a huge prospect!
I think the best thing to happen that window is keeping Bayer. He is an incredible talent and imperative to your future. The season has been a mixed bag so far having started off well September has been tough. Still a long way to go this year though!
Your schedule looks horrifying. I don't envy that at all! I can only wish you the best of luck! You certainly didn't have any with your Champions League draw...
Update #63: Season 14 | The Schedule of Doom

Last update I posted the upcoming schedule, and it wasn't going to be easy! We were already up for a challenge after a difficult Champions League draw. The first match of the daunting run was at home in the Champions League against Manchester United. We somewhat FM'd United, as they dominated the game, yet we came away with the victory thanks to a single goal from Bayer.

The rest of the run was not as exciting, we went on to lose three games in a row in the league to Napoli, Inter Milan and Juventus. November was a bit better, and we went on a four game unbeaten run, although we ended with four draws in a row. I was happy to come away with a point against Manchester United and Real Madrid in the Champions League, but we should have done better in the league against AC Milan and Udinese. Overall, we got through the run fairly okay, I knew it was going to be a real challenge and it certainly was!

Tough Results

We ended up finishing 3rd in our Champions League group. I couldn't beleive we did so well and actually ended equal on points with Manchester United and Real Madrid, we were knockout out on goal difference! We fought really well, and hopefully can play equally as well as we progress into the Europa League.
Champions League Group Stage Final Table

After the tough run, we continued to play well and went on a good streak in the league. Sorensen was the man banging in the goals, luckily as Duncan and Bayer have actually been less impressive this season.
December Results

At the beginning of January 2033 we are 7th in the league. I was really optimistic about this season, but once again we are really struggling to push on further in this save. It is time to reflect and try to explore the reasons why I haven't been able to progress.
League Table

There are two key reasons I believe I have struggled the last few seasons.
1) Tactical - We have struggled to find a tactic that works consistently and I am trying to tweak the way we play all the time. I have decided to play without wingers and that has limited my options. I have been indecisive about playing more defensive or attacking and need to pick a style and stick with it. I am currently working on playing 3-5-2, with a Libero and really want Madubanya to play a pivotal role in the team over the next few seasons.
2) Poor Transfers - I have made a lot of signings in the past few seasons that I regret. I am signing too many players that are too old and therefore want high wages and deteriorate quickly meaning we can't ever sell them on. I am also buying too many players that I don't need, and aren't quite good enough. So from now on I am going to carefully select who I want to buy, and only buy players that will certainly improve the team and fit our tactical style.

After reflecting on these two aspects, I decided January, and at the end of this season, it is time to sell. I am going to try and rebuild the squad. I am going to try and bring in as much money as I can, without completely destroying this season.

I ended up selling a total of 7 players in January. Djordjevic left for £45.5 million to Bayern Munich. The Serbian defender is one of best center-backs, but bigger clubs have been trying to buy him for a long time now and I decided to finally cash in on him, with a number of promising defenders in the youth team coming through. He played 156 league games for us since arriving from Red Star for just £4 million, so I was delighted to sell him for 10x the amount we signed him for. O'Connor went to Manchester City. The young Irish right back signed at the end of last season on a free transfers, and with an unambitious personality type I was happy to let him go. Urso our long serving goalkeeper left, with Aschenbroich the new number one, Urso needed more game time, and I gave him what he wanted after playing for us for so long. We signed Urso for free and he played a total of 11 seasons! It was quite a sad moment to see him leave, but we progress forward and are looking towards a brighter future. A number of other players were sold and loaned out. Ewen Olivier was another player who arrived on a free-transfer this season, and after only playing one game, and being our 5th choice striker, I was happy to sell him for £15 million.

Transfers Out

So we now have sold a lot of players, and have a big budget to work with moving forward. The plan is to do as well as we can for the rest of the season and really work hard to finalize the tactic I want to stick with, and then begin scouting the right players to build for next season. I still have a lot of young players coming through (out on loan), so will re-asses all of them at the end of the season too. I am also aware of the lack of Italians I have in the current squad, so want to look to bring in more home-grown players, only one player in my starting XI is Italian! I am hoping that by taking one step backwards this season, we can then take two steps forward!

J_ames - You're right mate we are only halfway through, and during that run I definitely realized there are a lot of players I want to sell!
Whytough? - Lol, I know right, and we didn't even beat Udinese!
Wolf - Yeah mate, Srdjan looks good hey?
TheLFCFan - I am glad to keep Bayer too! But this season Sorensen has been the man... hoping Bayer can refine his goal scoring touch in the second half of the season.
ScottT - Some bad luck alright! Would love to have one season where we don't have the past Champions League winner in our group haha
Pretty tough luck in the Champions League but this update sounds promising. It could be the start of something special... Or so I at least hope!
Very hard that you give that CL place away, sad of Dragan but it's a lot of money
Some rough results in October/November but you brought it back around in December! I look forward to see how you fare in the Europa League :)
That truly was a very tough run, wow

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