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S.S.C. Napoli: Return of the Neapolitan

An FM12 Story by Adonis
Started on 22 October 2012 by adonis_p
Latest Reply on 31 October 2012 by adonis_p
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adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited
S.S.C. Napoli

Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli

”The Partenopei”

In June of 2011, movie mogul and owner Aurelio De Laurentiis, decided to part ways with the man many believed to be a catalyst in the resurgence of the Partenopei, Walter Mazzarri. De Laurentiis cited a desire to return to Champions League play and continue on in the rebuilding of the storied club. Mazzarri had been under heat despite having brought the club back into the elite of European play. Mazzarri had led the team to the knockout stages of the 2010/11 Champions League*, a campaign that would only see them lose twice, away to Bayern Munich and Chelsea, both of who reached the final. De Laurentiis had said to have been furious that Napoli finished 5th in Serie A*, relegating them to Euro Cup play instead of a return to the Champions League. Many feel that Mazzarri received and unfair fate, not only because of the congested schedule that surely led to fatigue, but Mazzarri would end the 2010/11 season lifting the Coppa Italia. Napoli defeated a heavily favorited Juventus, a side that had gone unbeaten to lift the scudetto trophy.

* Details have been altered slightly to accommodate a late 2012 update for transfers while using 2011/12 as the story start.
De Laurentiis and Mazzarri

For the owner, that is all in the past and the club wants to continually be looking forward and building on recent achievements. It was then with great surprise, when De Laurentiis would appoint former semi-pro and unproven manager, Adonis Pimp as the new manager. The owner has run the risk of firing a real fan favorite in Mazzarri, especially replacing him with such an unknown. The owner has taken a lot of heat for the move and the new manager Adonis will be up against it to succeed right away and win over the supporters as well.
Adonis Pimp

Napoli: A brief history.

Napoli is largely recognized as Maradona’s club, The Argentine led the club to much success, including a Euro Cup title (88/89) during the 80’s. Here is a look at the clubs titles and achievements:

The club suffered a spell starting at the turn of the century that would find them not only relegated from top flight, but hitting a low point when Neopolitans would find themselves in the Italian C1 division for the 04/05 season. It was then that De Laurentiis would save the club from bankruptcy and lay the ground to lead them back to top flight and where they are today.
Stadio San Paolo

The Stadio San Paolo is rich in history itself. It hosted the 1990 World Cup and has a capacity of 60,000+. Napoli boasts a top training facility as well. Below you will find an overview of the team and additional information. The media has a prediction of 6th for the coming season.

The 2011/12 Season

Adonis Pimp accepted a payroll budget of 825K p/w and a transfer budget of 8.5 million. It is largely expected that the minimum will be to reach Euro Cup qualification, but may be able to last with a simple top half finish.
Adonis began his tenure with the club by announcing two new signings in July.

Napoli agree to 1.1m transfer for Bressan of Bate (Belarus)

The young manager has stated his desire for Bressan to fill the role of playmaker from the central midfield position. Bressan, having just won the Belarusian Highest League title with Bate, has the quality to start right away and plenty of room to grow at only 22 years of age.

Napoli secure 2.5m swoop for Ricardo Osorio of Monterrey (Mexico)

The Osorio signing was a bit of a surprise, as Mexico has never been considered much for scouting in Napoli. Osorio won the Mexican First Division with Monterrey in 2010 and can play either as a left or right back very strongly. It’s assumed Osorio will push Andrea Dossena for time right away on the left and could prove to make Italian national team member Christian Maggio expendable on the right.
Over the next month Adonis would bring in additional staff and a few new scouts, a reworked summer friendly schedule as well as an overhaul in the club’s training (Maestro Ugo Training). Adonis has also revealed his preferred tactic, a 4-3-3 (4-5-1). The tactic is very similar to the famed “goals galore” with a few tweaks based on individual roles and personnel available. Adonis has stated his teams will “attack, attack, and attack some more” and “will use the same tactic no matter who or where we play”. It’s clear the manger has begun a philosophy at Napoli and will look to implement it at all levels of the club. Adonis inherits a core of great talent including striker Edinson Cavani and attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik. Below we find a predicted starting 11 for the 2011/12 Napoli side along with the philosophy and tactic of the new manager:
Look forward to this one. The players recent teams have had to deal with ought to make it a good FM play if a solution can be found to the same lineup question the IRL managers fight with: can it defend well enough while utilizing the attacking strengths? Is three defenders the answer?

back "into character" :)

Maradona's team? This is a new club.

In England, it's often claimed that you can't play successfully in a multi purpose ground, the fans will be taken out of the equation (mainly, if a running track separates the pitch from the seats). But San Paolo is one of these multi purpose stadia and I haven't heard much complaint about fan involvement. Once you've managed a few matches and gotten a feel for the support, can you comment on this question?
adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited

Greetings Mwichmann,

Thank you. These are great questions! In my first report, I will address attendance. (What it has been and is currently). Napoli face a real quandry. Supporters wish to see attacking football to utilize these attacking players (Hamsik, Cavani, Pandev, Vargas) but I admit even I am skeptical there is enough at the back. I will be playing 4 back and with a high line of course. I will NOT be playing classic sit back and counter Italian football. I will be implementing a new style, a new way that will change the way people view the Italian game.

Initially, I see a problem with speed and coverage at the back. In my 4-3-3 all out attack, the backs HAVE to be capable or we will get eaten alive with the speed of teams in Serie A. I have brought in Osario who not only can play both on the right and left side, but has the pace, coverage and experience to help for the 2 years he is under contract. Maggio, Zuniga, Aronica and Dosenna have great pace and attacking prowess, but only time will tell if they can contribute enough in coverage.

As for the issue of the Stadio San Paolo and attendance, I firmly believe that if we bring and attacking style (and win) we will endure fans and fill this beautiful stadium of ours. Neopolitans are proud and appreciate their club always, but we feel they are poised to embrace even further a new way of play if we can show them how enjoyable it can be while proving to be a success on the pitch.

These are exciting times and we thank you for following us on our journey.

The Adonis Pimp
S.S.C. Napoli Manager
adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited

Cavani and Hamsik will lead the Partenopei.

Edinson Cavani is a world-class striker that needs little introduction. The Uruguayan forward was secured just before the 2010 World Cup on a year loan for 5m but more importantly with a 12m-buyout option to make the move permanent. Prior to the season finish in may of 2011, Napoli made the move permanent by exercising that option and signing Cavani to a 5 year deal.

Edinson Cavani Profile

Cavani features great attributes and has been used as a single forward in the past. Cavani will be asked to be more of an advanced forward for us with the occasional spell at AMR or AML as an inside forward. With anticipation, and acceleration of 13, we have focused his training on quickness. Cavani is also being trained to favor placing his shots, as he has all the tools do so. He has a tendency to come deep for the ball and try first time shots, both of which we are fine with. With a light hearted attitude, Cavani will be looked at to continue to lead this team as our most important player and though the major European clubs have come knocking, the club is confident he will be patient as we continue to grow.

Marek Hamisk is a formidable attacking midfielder who many will recognize from his signature hairdo. Hamsik moved to Napoli from Brescia (then relegated to Serie B ) after Napoli secured a promotion to return to Serie A, in 2007. The move cost the club 5.5m but Hamisk has become a fixture of the rebirth of Napoli.

Marek Hamsik Profile

Hamisk has played more central in the past, either deeper in the midfield or further forward. In our system he will be asked to play out as an AML and cut inside often. Having all the tools to do so, he will also find time back in the midfield as some would consider him even stronger there either as a advanced or deep-lying playmaker. With only defensive deficiencies, Hamsik is being trained to improve upon his dribbling (14) and asked to favor placing his shots. Marek already has player referred moves such as moving into channels, getting forward often, knocking ball past his opponent and cutting inside. Upon completion of learning to favor placing shots, he will be asked to favor more killer through balls. Hamisk will feature as our assistant captain in 2011/12 as he has much influence (16) amongst the players. Marek is more ambitious than Cavani and will be tempted far sooner by the long list of clubs seeking him. His asking price has been set at 30m, while Cavani’s at 40m. Losing Hamsik would be seen as a major blow unless a high performing similar candidate was found to replace him.
adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited

2011/12 Preseason Wrap

After settling on a friendly schedule around what they hoped would be a successful Italian Super Cup match against Juventus, Napoli took on the Italian giants outplaying them for stretches of the match with more chances. In the end, Juventus scored off a set piece via a Giorgio Chiellini header. Juventus would win 1-0, and the Naples side would be awarded 1 million.

Juventus 1, Napoli 0

With only one slip up at home to Ascoli (when most of the first team was away on international duty), the friendlies would serve their purpose in getting the side acquainted with the tactics of the new manager.

Friendly Results

In other news:

As the preseason comes to a close, Napoli would end up selling 11,800 season tickets for the upcoming campaign. Based on last year’s average attendance of nearly 46,000, the club anticipates close to 50,000 in attendance this season should the club challenge for European competition again.

Napoli would agree to a 1 year co-ownership of Leandro Rinaudo with Torino. The deal would see Rinaudo move to Torino in exchange for $950K and a buyout fee of $950K. The club felt they had similar sufficient quality to cover the loss of Rinaudo who would be hard pressed to find the field.

Napoli have canceled their link with Italian Lega Pro 2nd Division side Norman Aversa and announced a new partnership with Lega Pro 1st Division Sorrento. Napoli possess above average youth facilities, but hardly a squad that befits it. Sorrento will provide a place where few can find potentially enough first team appearances that may help them grow into commodities that can be sold. Adonis Pimp has spoke of strengthening the youth recruitment and adding to the youth ranks in the future. The club has also said it is looking to Serie B sides for future partnerships.

Napoli has chosen center back Paolo Cannavaro as captain and midfielder Marek Hamisk as vice-captain. Cannavaro may be in his final run with Napoli as his pace lacks and Hamsik could be in line for a future captain’s role should he continue with the club.
adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited

Injuries hit early, Napoli fight through

The season would begin Sunday 28th of August on the road at Chievo. Goals by Bressan, Cavani and Hamsik would secure the 1-3 away win. A great start heading into the first international break of the young season, then it all happened.

Bressan was injured on duty for Belarus leaving him unavailable for a month.

Eduardo Vargas was injured on duty for Chile putting him out for 3 weeks.

Marek Hamsik would sprain his MCL in the 2nd match of the season on the 9th of September; a 2-0 win against Bologna. Napoli would be without him for the next 5 weeks.

In that same game against Bologna, Napoli would suffer additional injuries to Dzemali (5-6 months, broken leg), Ricardo Osorio (2 weeks, achilles tendonitis) and Panagiotis Kone (2-3 weeks, hamstring)

Over the next month, the first team often found themselves playing out of position and covering just to field a lineup, especially in the midfield. Christian Maggio (7.53 rating, 2 assists) and Lorenzo Insigne (7.88 rating, 3 goals, 4 assists) stepped in and delivered solid performances to help carry Napoli to a record of 3-1-1 to close out September. Here is a look at the matches:

In other news:

Napoli agreed to a 2.2 million transfer for highly rated youngster Muhammed Demirci() and 750K for Yaya Sanogo(). Sanogo will join in January 2012 and Demirci will join January of 2013.

Muhammed Demirci

Yaya Sanogo
adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited

October 2011 Review

October would see good results as everyone slowly return from injury. A tricky away match at Sampdoria resulted in a poor performance and 1-1 draw leaving the team in a real spot as they headed into the much-anticipated A.C. Milan match at the Stadio San Paolo on the 23rd of October. With the early season in danger of heading in the wrong direction and being down 1 goal with less than 10 minutes to play against the Rossoneri of Milan, Edinson Cavani manufactured a real effort to snatch a 1-1 draw and a vital point. The last matches of the month would see us outscore our two opponents 7-1 as Lorenzo Insigne notched 3 goals during those two hopefully signaling a move in the right direction for the side.

In other news

The Napoli board has made a small amount (675K) available to the club to raise the remaining transfer budget to 2.7 million. With the early season success including crowds of nearly 50,000 and a wage budget that has been kept in check, the manager will more than likely see an even further increase as the side head toward the January transfer window.

Napoli will face Torino in the Italian Cup first round. The match will be played at San Paolo on the 11th of January, 2012. The winner of the match will meet either Rome or Cittedella in the Quarter Final.
adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited

November 2011 Review

Napoli has been in some form over the past month, logging 4 wins out of 4 matches (17GA, 1GA) moving them in 2nd place behind Juventus in Serie A. Insigne’s run has continued, Cavani scored 6 time during that span and Marek Hamsik has flourished in the deep lying playmaker role in center midfield

As of the 2nd of December, Napoli find themselves 3 points in front of the 3rd place A.C. Milan team, but with an amazing +27 goal differential that dwarfs the next largest goal differential, that of 1st place Juventus (+15). The Partenopei have scored 37 goals to only 10 allowed (only 4 in past 9 matches) on the season.

In other news

Manchester City has fired Roberto Mancini and replaced him with former Barcelona man Pep Guardiola, the club announced the 2nd of December.

While the press tout Marek Hamsik as a favorite to win the Serie A Player of the Year (Cavani and Insigne also in the mix), Napoli legend Diego Maradona has heaped praise on the star as well. Bayern Munich and Tottenham appear non deterred by the 30 million asking price reportedly set by the Napoli brass as they continue to hover and float speculation about a potential bid. It is widely expected that they will both make a bid in the January transfer window. It remains to be seen if the new manager can withstand a bid of 30 million, seek more or simply hang on to Hamsik despite the player having shown some ambition in the past.

Left-winger Luigi Vital, on loan at Ternana, continues to shine with the Serie B club notching 5 goals, 5 assists and 5 man of the match awards (7.76 rating)
If you get an offer, counter with something obscene (as long a you're not stuck with a buyout. If you are, and you desperately need to keep, maybe try for a new contract?. Anyway... 50m? 60m? I get the feeling Hamsik is a fairly loyal guy. Though if you end up deflecting a big bid, you may get a request for a new contract anyway.
adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited

Greetings Mwichmann,

We at Napoli would like to keep Hamsik. Though my scouts suggest he is ambitious, I too get the feeling he is more loyal than that might suggest. Hamsik currently makes 30k a week less than Cavani and we are prepared to make him an offer in 2012 either during the season or at the end. If we get offers, as I imagine we will, we are prepared to decline (no buyout) and would expect his agent to ask for new contract or for Hamsik to become slightly unsettled. We are then prepared to either offer him a contract on the spot (something in line with Cavani) or will promise him our ambition matches his and reward him toward the end of the season or offseason.

Although a potential price tag of 30+ million is enticing, we are not prepared to let him go and would like to see him grow in line with our club and our own ambitions. Can we as a club grow quickly enough? I sure hope so, as do the supporters of this fine club.

The Adonis Pimp
S.S.C. Napoli Manager
adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited

A Hometown Hero

Lorenzo Insigne was born and raised in Naples and is a product of the Napoli youth system. Insigne has been loaned out the past 3 seasons, but after the departure of Ezequiel Lavezzi, the new manager saw the time for the youngster as being now. Adonis knew exactly what he was doing as the inclusion of the hometown boy has helped endear the new manager to the supporters.

What would follow was unpredictable, but was it? When injuries to Vargas and Hamsik struck the side, Insigne was thrust into a starting role. Lorenzo is widely known to possess the technique (18), dribbling (18), agility (18) and flair (15), but was he ready for a full run of matches on a consistent basis and how would he fit in the new system. Being very strong with both feet made Insigne the perfect candidate in the new manager’s tactic.

As the Partenopei sit near the top of Serie A heading into December, it is largely due to the quick trickster Insigne. Through 13 matches so far, Insigne is tied for the league lead in goals (9, teammate Cavani and Juventus’ Alessandro Matri), and leads the league in both assists (9) and player rating (7.84). He is tied with Edinison Cavani with a team leading 3 man of the match awards. A truly sensational start from the player who hails from the city of Naples, Insigne has allowed Adonis Pimp to move Hamsik back to a more central midfield position and taken some of the glare off of a rather average start from Lavezzi replacement Eduardo Vargas. For Insigne it’s a dream come true and for Napoli and Adonis Pimp, he’s been a revelation.

Lorenzo Insigne Profile
adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited

December 2011 Review

One might find it reasonable that the 2011/12 Napoli side might coast into the transfer window after such a great start, but instead it was full steam ahead. Napoli would finish out the first half with 4 wins including a 4-0 home win against Roma and a 4-2 defeat of the Nerazzurri of Inter Milan at the San Paolo.

So at the midway point of the season, Napoli find themselves atop Serie A (42pts) with a point lead over Juventus (41pts). The club set a new record with 9 consecutive matches won to head into the break as well. Napoli (13-3-1) has indeed become a new, more attacking team as evidenced by their 50 goals scored thus far. The high pressing, all out attack that sacrifices possession for more chances has proven to work wonders against even the best in Italy and the squad looks poised to continue on in the second half. Here is a look at the Serie A table through December:

Serie A Table

Lorenzo Insigne has to be considered the player of the year thus far for Napoli. His season totals stand at 11 goals, 12 assists and a 7.96 rating. Cavani, Hamisk, Maggio and Cannavaro also performed especially well while keeper Morgan De Sanctis started every league match and produced 8 clean sheets with a rating of 7.02. Here is a rundown of the first team stats:

First Team Stats sorted by rating:

Serie A Player Stats: Napoli dominates

Once the transfer window opened, the board awarded us with the option of changing our expectations and receiving more transfer funds:

Not yet comfortable relying on his new team and with no noticeable difference in choosing simple Euro qualification over a bold Title prediction, the manager settled on improving his expectations to qualifying for Euro cup (6th or higher) and an additional 11.25 million to bring the transfer budget to over 13 million.

In other news:

Former Napoli manger and fan favorite Walter Mazzarri was appointed manager at Roma a mere hours after they suffered defeat to Napoli the 10th of December.

PSG agreed to a transfer fee of 44.5 million for the acquisition of Brazialian Lucas Moura from Sao Paulo.

Napoli features heavily in Serie A awards:

So far this season, Napoli has averaged 50,362 in attendance at the Stadio San Paolo, behind only Inter and A.C. Milan.

Yayo Sanogo joined on the 2nd of January (750K) from AJ Auxerre (Ligue 2, France)

Christian Maggio sold to Chelsea for 12.5 Million

Chelsea have made a surprise bid of 12 million for the right winger, a bid in which Napoli have accepted. Maggio (29yrs) has been rated near 6 million in value of late, and a bid of double his value was simply too good to pass up. Maggio has been terrific this season and absolutely key to the right side of the pitch. The move may be a surprise, but Maggio isn't getting younger and Napoli was unsure whether they would ever again see an offer quite as lucrative.

Juan Carlos Zuniga will replace Maggio in the starting eleven. It remains to be seen how or even if the club will spend the Maggio funds along with the already available 13 million transfer budget. So far the club have been fairly hush in transfer speculation during this transfer window.

Neapolitans everywhere would like to thank Maggio for his service over the last 4 years. His 19 appearances for Italy over that same span only show the sort of quality Maggio provided. We in Napoli wish Christian the best in his new adventure with Chelsea and the EPL.
adonis_p's avatar Group adonis_p
11 yearsEdited

January 2012 Review

Napoli acquire Luca Antonelli from Genoa

In almost immediate response to the loss of Maggio, Napoli have agreed to a 5.5 million transfer with Genoa for the services of left back Luca Antonelli. The move will see Antonelli and Dossena split on the left and Zuniga and Ostorio split on the right. Luca, only 24, already has 2 caps for the Italian national side and fulfills a very key Italian trained requirement. Help us welcome Luca Antonelli.

Luca Antonelli

The players would come back after 2 weeks off with a very important road match against Serie A title holders Juventus. Napoli seemed the stronger side for much of the match and after goals by Kone, Cavani and Pandev, Napoli would capture the 3-0 win. The month would include a home win against Catania and an away win versus Bologna. A scoreless draw at home to Chievo would be the only blemish.

The month would also feature 2 Italian Cup matches; the first, a 1-0 victory at home to Torino and then a more convincing 3-0 victory again at the San Paolo against Cittadella to match them againt Cagliari in the semifinals in February.

Serie A Table

In other news

Yaya Sanogo joins from Aj Auxerre but due to broken shin picked up in training last month, he will see little time while he mends.

Napoli agreed to a July 1st, 2012 transfer of Croatian attacking midfielder Mateo Kovacic for 5.5 million. Kovacic who is strong with both feet will find himself in center midfield and both right and left attacking positions.

A day after the transfer window closed, backup keeper Antonio Rosati requested a transfer. Rosati has not seen a single first team match and understandably wants to be get a run of matches somewhere. His request was granted but with the window closed may not get resolved until the end of the season.
Antonelli will be a star! Keepup this amazing story adonis!

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