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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
Much much better! The change in tactic has seemingly worked wonders and despite the cup exit, the league is looking positive now. Much better!
FMBlake's avatar Group FMBlake
4 yearsEdited
Update #69: Season 15 | Saying Goodbye

So, the January transfer window is upon us and I decided to do some business. The team has been playing better but there are several players I wanted to offload. The first was a man who helped us jump into the top 10 when we were first promoted to Serie A. Keith Duncan ‘Duncandinho’ has been poor the last couple of seasons, and at 25 isn’t going to get much better. So, I decided to sell him to Chinese side Gangzhou who paid £39.5 million for the Scottish striker.

Duncan Sold

After the sale of Duncan, I had a little bit of money to play with, and a decent amount left in the wages. I decided to go in for a player who has played for us twice before, a man I would love to buy permanently but I just don’t have the money for. Goran Runje returns on loan for his third stint at the club. The Croatian has never been able to break into a very strong Manchester City side, as they have been loaning him out for years. Last season he was at Inter Milan and was one of their key players. He will slot straight into my starting line up and feature heavily for the remainder of the season. The acquisition of Runje certainly make’s us a stronger side, he is our most highly valued player.

Runje In on Loan from Manchester City

In January we only had four games, they were all Serie A fixtures. We began with a 1-0 home win over Benevento, Srdjan with the only goal of the game. We then went away to Genoa and won 2-0, another clean sheet, El Badaoui with a brace. The next fixture was against Lazio, who we always struggle to beat, Runje had a chance to win the game from the penalty spot but his penalty was saved and hence we drew the game 0-0. We finished the month with another 1-0 home win, over Torino. El Badaoui scored the only goal of the game. I was delighted with our results this month, although there weren’t a lot of goals scored, we were defensively very solid and hard to break down. Bayer has been quiet the last few months, but the emergence of Dutchman El Badaoui has been impressive.

January Results

League Table

After a good couple of months after changing to 5-2-2-1 we now sit 9th in the league. Inter Milan sit top of the league but the top 4 is very tight. We are hoping now to push on and aim to finish in the top 6, but also have the opportunity for European qualification through the EURO Cup II. In the EURO Cup II we topped our group, absolutely smashing every team we played. 6 games played and 6 wins with a goal difference of +23. We really fancy our chances to go all the way in this competition this season. We have been drawn against Russian side Dinamo Moscow, who won’t be a push over, but we consider ourselves favourites and after recent performances will approach the game with confidence.

EURO Cup II Group Stage

EURO Cup II 2nd Knockout Stage Draw

Walkinshaw - The last two month have been pretty good, have really struggled the past few seasons in the cup..
Zed - You are right consistency is really important, we have looked a lot better the last few months and hopefully the addition of Runje can help keep the run going.
ScottT - Yeah man! That's why I love football :D
TheLFCFan - We are improving as the seasons progresses, hopefully we can keep it going!
Again, signs of improvement and a lot better defensively. Runje is a welcome return and perhaps one day you'll be able to bring him in permanently :P A point against Lazio is better than usual and Dinamo Moscow should present an opportunity for further progression in Europe.
A shame to see a legend in Duncan leave, but some good money bought in from his sale. Form has certainly turned around and the European spots are certainly not out of the conversation.
Update #70: Season 15 | Perfecting the Tactic

The plan for the rest of the season was to stick with the 5-2-2-1 formation and try to make small tweaks in attempt to perfect the tactic. Focusing on possession has seen improved results, and importantly we are conceding less goals.

February started with poor performance as we suffered a 1-0 away defeat to Frosinone. We then played Cagliari at home and struggled to score again, but we kept a clean sheet and drew 0-0. We then had two away fixtures. We picked up a good 3 points against Fiorentina with a 1-0 win and then went to Brescia to win 2-0, a good end to the month. Although results have improved there is a lot of pressure from the board to keep winning matches.

February Results

March began with a trip away to play Juventus. Frustratingly we were 2-0 up and some how bottled the lead to lose 3-2. We quickly moved on to play the first leg of the EURO Cup II 2nd knockout round. Away from home we managed to beat Dinamo Moskow 3-2 thanks to Bayer scoring two goals, but Maric scored a winner in the 93rd minute! In the league we played SPAL at home and drew 0-0. Then in the second leg at home against Dinamo a goal from Victor Hugo was enough to see us through into the quarter-finals. We were drawn against Ukraine side, Shaktar Donetsk. The final game of the month was at home against Parma, it ended in another draw. Bayer has started to find form again scoring 4 goals this month. Only 2 months left to play in the league and we are slowly rising and currently sit in 9th place.

March Results

EURO Cup II Quarter Final

League Table

ScottT - I really rate Runje but right now the club isn't in the best position financially, I lost my mind last season and spent too much lol. So probably won't be spending big money and try to secure our financial position again first.
TheLFCFan - Duncan will be remembered for all the good things he did for the club, but it was time to move him on and we made a good profit.
No problems in the European Conference League! A little blip perhaps in the league. An important month ahead.
The Euro Cup could be massive for your season. If you do miss out on Europe via league position a win in the Euro League will be huge to keep you in continental competition next year and all the benefits that come with that. It would also be nice to add the trophy to the collection!
Update #71: Season 15 | Board Meeting

Although results have improved since the beginning of the season, we sit 9th in the league and are far from competing for the title this season. Before the season started, that was the expectation of the board, unfortunately that meant they were unhappy with our current performances and called me in for a meeting. I begged the board to give me one month to prove them wrong (not that we were going to end up challenging for the title), but the board have agreed so I essentially have one month to save my job.

1 month to save my job

The fixtures in April are difficult, but we cannot hide and must grind out some good results. The EURO Conference League quarter finals is a huge chance to impress the board as we are favourites against Shaktar and although Milan and Roma look like tough fixtures, neither of them are the teams they use to be.

Must win games

The fixture that resulted in the board calling me in was a 3-1 away defeat to Napoli. It was from then that every game was crucially important if I wanted to keep my job. We played Shaktar at home in the first leg of the quarter final and we continued our perfect record in Europe this season with a 2-0 win, Bayer and Sorensen with the goals. We then faced Chievo at home. Bayer was the hero scoring the only goal of the game in the 64th minute, a tight but very important win. We then traveled to Ukraine to beat Shaktar again 2-0 and progress into the EURO Conference League semi-final where we were drawn against Spanish side Atletico Bilbao. The next league fixture at home resulted in a 0-0 draw with AC Milan, then another draw came against Bologna away 1-1, Victor Hugo with the goal. The first leg against Bilbao was at home and we managed to win 1-0 thanks to defender Iglesias with a powerful header. We ended the month with a very impressive win over Roma, 2-1 at home, goals from El Badaoui and Maric. We haven't lost a game this the board called us in for a meeting, and we are one result away from reaching the EURO Conference Final!

April Results

In the final month of the season we travelled to Spain to play Bilbao in the second leg of the semi final. After beating them 1-0 at home we went to Spain with a slight advantage. Daniel Bayer turned up and scored two goals in a 2-0 win, which meant we would progress into the final with a chance of Europa League qualification if we are to win the final match. We then faced Inter Milan in the league and managed to beat them 2-1! Bayer again with a brace. The final two league games of the season were away matches, both of which we didn't play great in and struggled to score. We lost 2-0 to Sassuolo and 1-0 to Entella. But we had one final important fixture.

May Results

The EURO Conference Final was against FC Ingolstadt 04. The German side came into the final in a similar league position to us, but we were considered slight favourites. The final took place in Manchester and this was our first chance at silverware since we won Serie B, many many seasons ago.

EURO Conference Final 2034

In a rather dull afair, we were the slightly better team, and a goal from our Croatian midfielder, Armin Markovic in the 56th minute meant that we won the Final 1-0. I was delighted to end the season with a trophy and although we didn't compete for the title in the league, there were a lot of positives and we are beginning to find a Palermo identity, keeping possession and dominating most matches. The board now are happy enough for me to stay on as manager, and we will embark on Season 16 with Palermo with another trophy in the cabinet.

We ended up finishing 9th in the league, but after winning the final we have qualified for the Europa League. Inter Milan won their 5th league title in a row. Benevento, Chievo and Frosinone were relegated. This wasn't a season to remember in the league, but our first European trophy won't be forgotten quickly. Now it is to time to go again stronger next season and build on the success we had this year.

Final Serie A Table

ScottT - Inconsistency was an issue this season, but I am happy with how it ended.
TheLFCFan - We are lucky we did so well in Europe, and we are stoked to win a trophy for the first time in years!
Ouch the board are savage but hopefully the Euro win can appease them a little and keep you on board. Shame about the 2 results after the huge Inter win 3 wins this month would have helped you massively.
Very tough season for Palermo, but the 5-2-2-1 seems to have turned things around for you. Looks like an off-season of clearing the deadwood is required, because it's obvious that some of your lads aren't pulling their weight atm. Always good to win a European trophy, hopefully you can regroup and challenge for the top-2 next season!
A tough season domestically but in Europe you seemed to be a different side. Congratulations on winning your first European title and subsequently qualifying for the Europa League once again next season. A massive year lies ahead. You need to get the club back competing in and around the top four again, personally.
Excellent to see the Euro Cup win save your job! Now it is time to build a squad capable of contending for the League title as I don't see the board expecting many more midtable finishes. Congratulations on the win though :D
Update #72: Season 16 | Show Me The Money

After a rather unsuccessful season with just the EURO Conference trophy to celebrate, Season 16 did not look all that promising for Palermo. With the finances in the red and Inter Milan continuing to dominate Italian football, my aim was to try and consolidate the club in the top four and assert ourselves back into the Champions League. Since gaining promotion to Serie A it has been a bumpy, up and down ride, with the highest league position still being 4th place. My aim this season is to match that, at the very least.

In terms of transfers. we really didn't have much money to spend at all. The past few seasons I have been somewhat careless with the finances and my transfer decisions, so this was a time to really focus and be smart about my transfer negotiations. Two players arrived on free-transfers. The first was Amr White, a promising English winger from Tottenham. He looks like a decent talent but really doesn't fit our tactic or style of play, so I decided to loan him out this season, and will look to sell him for profit in the near future. The second free signing was Couto, a young goalkeeper from Porto. He has a lot of potential and could be a first team goalkeeper in the future. Hopefully he grows, as he is not the tallest keeper.

Amr White joined for free from Tottenham

Julio Couto joined from Porto for £1.1 million

There was a lot of business done in terms of players leaving the club. I needed to sell to improve the club finances. The first player that left the club was a tough one to deal with. Sorensen left the club as he refused to sign a new contract. He is a quality striker and wanted to be the main man, but Bayer is our number one striker and therefore Sorensen became unsettled and wanted to leave the club. He left for free and signed for Manchester United. Pirola was sold to Sassuolo. We have a lot of good young defenders and as he was aging I decided to cash in on him. Pirola played 10 seasons at the club and was a quality player for us, but we are looking towards the future and want to give our younger players more game time. Divanes left for Liverpool for £12 million. We signed him just one season ago for free so that was another good profit margin for the club. The final transfer was a deal I was not expecting but was delighted to get over the line. Armin Markovic went to Tottenham for £80 million! He was a good player for us the past two seasons, but considering I signed him for £3.1 million and to sell him for £80 million just two seasons later, I couldn't say no. Overall we brought in £103 million just from player sales, and completely turned the club finances around.

I made a decision I wasn't planning on making this season but I am excited to see what I can achieve. I have been offered the Italy job twice during this save, and this was the third time and I decided to give it a go. The Italian squad is full of world-class talent and the opportunity to use different player's is exciting too. I begin my reign as Italy manager in the UEFA Nations League and can hopefully manage the Italy national team in major competitions such as the EURO's and World Cup. Watch this space.

The board have lowered their expectations after our performances last season and only expect us to qualify for the Europa League this year. In the Europa League we are expected to reach the semi-finals. In the cup, the board also expect us to reach the semi-finals. Consistency is going to be key this season and I seem to have found a couple of tactics that suit our team well. Playing a possession based style of football and trying to dominate games will be the focus this season.

Board Expectations

League Prediction

Walkinshaw - Winning a trophy surely saved my job, but bring on the new season, can't believe this is my 16th season with Palermo!
J_ames - The tactic and style of play suited us well and we managed to pick up some good results. The trophy was a great end to the season, and I have certainly cleared out the club.
ScottT - Cheers mate, top 4 is certainly the aim this season!
TheLFCFan - Thank you bro, looks like the board are actually giving me a bit more leeway this season.
Losing a player on a free that could have been sold for a decent sum is disappointing but you've certainly made plenty elsewhere. Good luck for the season ahead.

Also, congratulations on being named the new Italy boss. There was only so long you could keep declining their advances.
Was not expecting to see that. Sorensen going on a free is a tough loss as he was a brilliant player and to make no money on him is massive. However, profit has been made an now with the finances looking a bit better hopefully funds to improve in the winter will become available.

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