SEASON 6 | CAN WE AVOID RELEGATION?
After a fairly successful first half of the season in Serie A, we are aiming to continue our form and try to avoid picking up so many suspensions.
Our next game was a disappointing loss to Verona at home. We played well but didn't take our chances and paid the price.
Like Colido, Merletti wanted to leave. So off he went. I don't intend to ever keep players at the club who don't want be here. Again, a nice profit on a player we signed for free.
Benevento had been struggling this season, so it was important that we beat them, and we did! Gutierrez with a double. That was our first win after 6 games without a win. A vital 3 points.
Discipline is still a big issue, and something I am working to fix. I have instructed the players to stay on their feet, and next season I am going to increase the fines for players who pick up yellow cards hoping to cut out this poor attitude we currently have. It is really difficult to gain momentum and consistency in results when every game we have to change the team due to suspensions.
We played well against Udinese and were unlucky not to win. Maldini's goal in this game was a contender for goal of the season! An amazing free-kick from our talented winger.
We played Genoa next, at home. They are bottom of the league, so this is a must win game!
A solid 3-0 win, puts us 10 points above the relegation zone, surely we can stay up now!
Back to back wins! A massive win over Sassuolo who are 7th in the league! We have had a very good month, with some important wins.
Juventus at home is a huge game. Look at the quality of the players in their team. Vinicius Jr, De Ligt and Keita their stand out players. Can we compete?
No we can't.... a poor result and another red card! I can't believe it...
We gained anothe 3 points with a win at home over Brescia. Colombo missed a penalty early in the game, but it was Nico Otamendi with his first goal for the club who was the hero for us!
Against Brescia, our starting midfielder Goudmijn picked up a terrible injury that will put him out for the rest of the season. He has been an important player for us and will be sorely missed and hard to replace.
Our annual youth intake came in. This is the worst one we have had in our 6 seasons. None of these players will ever be good enough for the first team.
Another huge game, at the San Siro, against Inter Milan. Salcedo and Curtrone are a deadly duo together up front who will be hard to stop!
We lost 2-0. Urso saved a penalty though! And we didn't get any red cards
Our worst performance on the season. 5-1 loss at home to Bologna who are in the relegation zone, and guess what... another red card. It has been the story all season. Without suspensions I truly believe we could finish in the top half of the league.
Our next game is against the team currently top of the league, Lazio. They have a lot of new faces, and have a quality team that will be hard to beat.
A 9 goal thriller! Gutierrez was superb! A hat-trick from our main striker, but Lazio were too good to keep out.
Although we have dropped far more points than I would have liked this season. One constant positive has been our club finances, they have been increasing all season and we are now in a very stable position. This will hopefully provide us with a larger transfer budget for season's to come, so we can invest in signing better quality players.
Another poor loss. To a team just one place below us. We are really struggling at the moment, largely due to player's being unavailable due to suspension. There is still a chance we could be relegated so we need to start performing soon.
We drew 1-1 with Torino at home in a game we should have won! Gutierrez missed a penalty with the last kick off the game in the 96th minute after we went 1-0 down after 1 min. Maldini scored another free kick. A crazy game, but I was gutted we didn't claim all 3 points.
We are now 1 win away from guaranteeing our position in Serie A next season. But we have 3 really tough games! I am not feeling too confident.
So we need a win, and we lose 4-0, terrible performance again.
Luckily for us though, results elsewhere went our way. We have secured safety in Serie A and can no longer be relegated this season, it takes all the pressure of our final 2 games.
We played well against Atalanta, and nearly won! Lucera with a brace, as we conceded 2 late goals.
The season is now over, and looking back at our results in the second half of the season does not look pretty. February was a month to remember, but other than that we were awful. We have to be more consistent next season. We were lucky really that there were some really poor teams in the league. Worse teams than us.
A look at the final league table. Inter Milan were crowned champions. It was really tight at the top! We finished 16th in the league with 34 points. 9-7-22 isn't the best record. I am going to aim for at least 10 wins next season! Bologna, Benevento and Genoa were relegated to Serie B, better them than us. We finished the season with 9 red cards.... that cannot happen next season.
I mentioned previously that we had been doing really well with increasing the club finances, and the board have given us a respectful transfer budget for next season. I am hoping I can find some quality players so we can improve our team. Otamendi, Pastore and Fellaini are all retiring so that will also free up some wages. We have a number of player's coming in on pre-contracts who I will show you in the next update.
This man has had two successful seasons for us. 12 goals and 6 assists is a good return for a player who was moved between ST and RW. I will be likely looking to bring him back next season on loan again if I can. Or potentially looking elsewhere for an even better striker.
Juan Manual Gutierrez
11 goals and 2 assists in just 16 appearances was a very good season for this man! I am delighted to announce that he will be signing for us at the end of the season, as his contract expires at Inter. I believe he can continue to be an important player for us for many years.
Juan Ignacio Urso
Our goalkeeper had a hard time this season, as he didn't always have the best defence in front of him. But he made so many amazing saves, saving penalty's and obviously playing an important role in our more impressive results earlier in the season. For a free transfer he has been superb and will continue to be an important player for us.
The 'End of Season' awards: Colombo narrowly won Fans Player of the Season. Maldini picked up goal of the season with a superb free-kick. Goudmijn was our signing of the season, even after only really playing the first half of the season. Colombo was also Young Player of the Season (strange as I wouldn't see him as a 'young' player at 23).
Maldini Goal of the Season
Next season the board are aiming for us to scrap in the relegation battle again. But after next season they expect us to maintain a comfortable position in Serie A. Therefore next season is important in building a squad that can perform more consistently.
Overall I think I have to be quite happy with this season. We exceeded media expectations and remain in the league for another year. The board wanted us to scrap in the relegation battle, and although we lost a lot of games, we were never actually in the bottom 3. Discipline is a problem that I know how to fix. I am certainly going to increase the fines next season. Honestly our more experienced players (Pastore, Fellaini and Otamendi) were costing us quite a lot of wages and weren't performing all that well so I am not too dissapointed to see them leave. We will be making some big signings next season, as we have the money to spend. I can't believe we have completed 6 seasons already! When I look back and think how far we have come and what we have been through I am actually really proud. We have certainly resurrected Palermo and will continue to strive for more.
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
Another year to come in Serie A! Forza Palermo!
As always, thanks for reading!