Best teams to manage in FM 2014: Ce la fate in Italia! – Part Two
written by Pedro Roriz
Hello FM community and welcome to the second article on FM 2014 in Italia! (you can find Part One here)
I was thinking to myself what to write here this morning and suddenly it struck me: this is an article made by a Brazilian, about Italian football, posted on a website founded by a Romanian. The other day, Alan was explaining somethings about Malasya in the forum, and another of our friends was teaching a bit about Iceland. I guess this is the best part of technology, right?
But, enough of chitchat, lets get to the analysis! This time around, I’ll give my recommendations on the “nice experience” clubs and challenges floating around in the ‘bel paese’! What are the differences between the great experience and the nice ones? For me, the ‘unique’ bit of it: if you can find similar challenges in other countries, well, your experience can become a commodity, so to speak, and so only ‘nice’. Therefore, I answered in the last post that Juventus isn’t present in any section I’d write: they’ve become too good in Italy. Grab hold of Barcelona’s seat, or even Bayern Munchen, or Boca Juniors, Galatasaray, Porto, etc and you’ll eventually have the same kind of thrill and challenge as you would have with La Vecchia Signora.
(Unione Sportiva Città di) Palermo (serie B)
Challenge: Preparing for grandeur (without delusions)
With every possibility to be your easiest first season ever in FM, the manager of Palermo will basque in the fact that his team is much stronger than the average serie b club. So, why are they here in this section? Well, FM is a long shot game. It will take a lot of your time mainly because, well.. you’ll play many seasons.
In that way, bringing back Palermo to serie A (where they shouldn’t have left) is only the beginning of the road; keeping it there and challenging for big things should be tricky. I say that because you’ll find a mix of negative things: first, their infrastructures aren’t top level. So, it will require lots of money to start producing homegrown goods. Second, your best players will be really tempted by bigger clubs and you’ll have little chance to keep them. And last, having Zamparini as the president well… is a certainty of weird decisions. So, you’ll probably need great scouting skills for the first years to replace those who have left, not allowing your performance to drop because it is a big club and the fans will demand results year in year out.
Sorrentino and Ujkani are a great duo for the GK position and can be your choices even for serie A no doubt. Munoz is absolutelly brilliant and should take care of any attacker in serie B. In Franco Vazquez and Stevanovic you’ll have plenty of flair and Hernandez and Dybala will fight head to head for the Player of the Year award. Usually, whenever you start a game all those players will have clubs interested in them and in many times will want to leave for greener (and richer and bigger) pastures.
I giovani (young players): Dybala being your brightest star, there isn’t much more to brag about. There are some decent youngsters out on loan, but it shouldn’t be enough to fill the holes in the first team for the ones you sell.
I campioni (established players): for the ones who like to play with Bologna, Terzi is always looked at with admiration. I guess, aside from him, a name that must be here is of Sorrentino. Trustworthy, efficient: one of the last treasures of the Italian GK school.
Fiorentina (serie A)
The challenge: The eternal promise
La Viola is one of those teams that have a great pass, but a not-so-glorious present. After going bankrupt, the club had to face some serious reshaping, changing mentality and project. Andrea Della Valle, their president, is quoted on their website saying “we’re still developing” and that is maybe the best definition to this team.
If you should choose to take them on, you’ll see lots of positives, like good infrastructures in place, a (great) Artemio Franchi stadium, a passionate crowd. But you’ll also be struck with difficulties to raise your income, expand the brand’s appeal to attract better players and, last, better prepared opposition. So, it will represent fun and challenge for any fm player.
The GK position should be looked at, as no option is 100% reliable. Things won’t get much better for the defenders, as none are worldclass and some duos will tear them apart (llorente and tevez, gervinho and totti, etc), so they should represent your first priorities when going for new faces. Things look different in the middle. You’ll be presented with great quality on Borja Valero and Ilicic, with the likes of Aquilani and Matias Fernandez (yes, that one) trying to stand a challenge. Cuadrado and Joaquin will do for the wing-lovers as well. Finally, the team has put a great effort to grab both Mario Gomez and Peppe Rossi together. The result? Havoc.
I giovani: Both Savic and Wolski are good prospects and are already in your first team. Aside from that, you’ll have to scout a bit.
I campioni: I guess the special mention will go to David Pizarro as, even in the wrong side of the 30s, is still a master of passing and free kicking skills. Also, the air bomber Mario Gomez and the nimble Joaquín should be named. At last, Massimo Ambrosini, in the final years of his carrier, will give the team the experience needed to go further.
Pescara Calcio (serie B)
The challenge: grow bigger and grow younger
In the last two years, Italy saw a certain Zeman, lover of the
harakiri attacking football, and a certain Marino, another lover of the attacking football taking charge of the team from the Stadio Adriatico. Their mission was clear enough: bring young players to the club and play attacking football. Well, it kind of worked, because they got promoted to Serie A and it kind of went wrong because they were relegated. But what is really nice about this club that won some hearts throughout Italy (and Brazil!) is the fact that they’ve kept the mentality of nurturing young talent. So, the FM player will find a rather young squad.
Apart from the defence (Pelizzoli 32, Belardi 36, Bocchetti 33, and Zauri 35), the first squad is full of great raw talent ready to be carved. Pigliacelli makes for a promising GK, even though he is loaned from Roma. Capuano and Cosic (sorry for the mispelling but I can’t write his name right with a portuguese keyboard) are already a reality for the defence, making maybe the second best defence in serie b (palermo has the first). Rizzo 22 and Viviani 21 are the best options for the middle and won’t let go of a single fight for the ball. Upfront, expect great things of Padovan 19 and Ragusa 23.
As for the club finances, don’t expect much. Italy is going through a rough time financial wise and serie B isn’t a sellable product to asia as the british championship is. So, you’ll probably use much of the loan list. The team is set to play formations with 4 in the back and many offensive midfielders or 3 defenders and a more centered formation.
I giovani: well, I pretty much already said their names. To add someone new here, I’d like to mention Zuparic, a good center-right mid/FB that should develop well, if you help him.
I campioni: Luciano Zauri, the captain. A player with so much experience, having played for so many big teams in many stages will help tons when it comes to developing your youngsters. I’d pick him for tutoring Cosic from day one.
Lecce (Lega Pro Prima Divisione A)
The challenge: make or break
The centenary club of Lecce (for people in the older nations, it isn’t much of a big deal, but for us in Brazil it is quite impressive to be 100 years old!)! After 36 years away from the Lega Pro, Lecce was brought to that level by the justice as a punishment for the scandals of the Scommessopoli. The team never quite had much success, with the all time best 9th position in serie A some years ago. However, Italy’s lovers will remember them often more than they wanted because this club has managed to win ‘impossible’ games, changing the fate of the season for many teams. In 85, for instance, they managed (somehow) to beat Roma (bad Lecce!) who had the powerful bomber Pruzzo and helped Juventus clinch the title. In 2004, they managed to beat Juve (good Lecce!) and Inter (good Lecce²!), 3rd and 4th respectively, helping Milan to be crowned champions. So, they bring this karma of being the stubborn club that won’t go down without a fight.
Even for Lega Pro, their actual squad isn’t strong. They have Rullo and Bencivenga as their gladiatori in the defence, but that is pretty much it for that department. In the middle, a good (and old) Melara, a reliable Bogliacino and a (not) Parfait will try their best to fight for balls and add some flair. Their true strenght is at the attack: (the eternal) Miccoli will destroy the opposition often, while Zigoni makes for the hopes of a brighter future. Beretta and Doumbia also can score a lot, which will give the manager enough options for formations with lots of attackers.
A good thing here is that, despite not having any money, their structures are much better than any of their rivals. This will attract better players and create much better regens. Also, the Via del Mare stadium holds 30k+ people, which will be very useful for pre season friendlies against big clubs.
I giovani: as you may guess, not much. There is much work to be done here. Maybe, MAYBE, you could count on one or two like Luperto and Montagna. But, by a longshot.
I campioni: who else but Miccoli? I used to admire and hate him at the same time as he always scored agains Roma when we has playing at Palermo. He is a true champion, with great experience, flair and finishing.
Well, that sums up to this part of this project of mine. I hope it can help someone to take more interest in the Calcio and start a save there.
Every comment will be answered and taken with great consideration.
Arrivederci from Pedro Roriz!