Update #74: Season 16 | Winning Ways
This season we play in the Europa League. After succesfully winning with Europa Conference last season, I am aiming to push on and reach at least the semi-finals of the Europa League this season. In the group stages we will face Everton, Bursaspor and Wacker Innsbruck. We are favourites to top the group, but Everton will be a tough challenge. Tottenham won the Europa League last season and the Final will be played in Portugal this year.
Europa League Group Stage
After losing 2 of our first 3 league games this season, we needed to start picking up points fast. September began with a 2-1 victory over Cagliari. Daniel Bayer was the standout player, scoring both our goals. We then played Sassuolo away from home. They have become one of the top teams in Italy over the past few seasons with Mikel Arteta as their manager and some quality players. However, we managed to win 2-1, goals from our left back Chopko, and under-rated midfielder El Badaoui.
After winning two league games in a row we had our first Europa League game. Everton came to Italy and we absolutely pumped them. I rotated the squad, and our South African center-back, Madubanya scored two goals, as well as Bayer scoring another brace. We ran out 4-0 winners, playing a 4-4-2 diamond seemed to work really well and allow us to create more opportunities going forward.
The next league match was away against Hellas Verona. They aren't the toughest team we will face, and we comfortably won 3-0. Bayer opened the scoring and then El Badaoui added two more goals to his tally this season. Our next match with in the cup against Napoli. Bayer was unstoppable again scoring a brace to beat Napoli 2-0 away from home and knock them out of the cup early on. Napoli were by far the more create side in the game, creating 5x the amount of shots we had. Although our possession based style of football prevailed. This was the first time we have beat Napoli since 2030, 4 seasons previous.
The final game of the month was a Serie A match against Lazio, who have always been a tough opponent to play. However, we played extremely well, bossing possession and creating chances. Our dominance payed off as we were awarded a late penalty in the 92nd minute and Bayer stepped up to bang it in. To my disbeleif we were awarded another penalty int the 95th minute! Bayer once again finished it off, to seal a famous 2-0 win over Lazio and cap off a perfect month.
Not only have the results improved this month but we are really dominating most of the games we are playing. Bayer is bang on form and looking like the world-class player we know he can be. El Badaoui is also playing really well in the CAM position behind Bayer and Vaughuan who has struggled for goals but contributing in other ways.
After an amazing month we sit in 2nd place in the league after 7 games played. Inter Milan, unsurprisingly are top of the league.
My first game with Italy was against Belgium. Looking at the players I had available in the squad I decided to try and play 4-2-4, with a focus on getting the ball to our quality pacy wingers. Although we had quality and created a lot of chances, we couldn't score and drew 0-0.
In the second match we played Bulgaria and won the match 4-0. Tagliani scored a brace, he is Inter Milan's main striker this season and an incredible talent at just 21.
The start of my journey with Italy was decent and I am hoping I can bring success to the nation and win at least one major competition. Italy haven't won the World Cup since 2006 and haven't won the EURO's since 1968. I have a quality squad and the desire to make it happen! Stay tuned for more Italy action..