Welcome back to The San Marino Story, The Ultimate San Marino Challenge. This is the second season review where we will look back at the transfers, results and players of Juvenes Dogana. We were looking to build on our first season and qualify for Europe through any means possible, with the ultimate goal being to win the championship and qualify for the Champions League (or champions cup if your like me and haven’t downloaded a name fix).
These are the transfer made during the season. On the outgoings list was a few players who retired and the loss of Marco Bernardi, a player who had been on loan in the first season and looked like the ideal upgrade for our target man position but never performed complained about the lack of playing time as soon as he returned from injury and was just useless. On the incoming though was a different story, mainly getting in young regens poached from other teams. I also got in two real player, William Innocenti and Massimo Broccoli who did not feature at all.
Here is a look at a couple of the more impressive regens. Don’t expect wonderkids as this is San Marino an attribute over 10 is a rare sight.
A class player by San Marino standards, by which I mean he has 9 attributes that are 10 or over. Sure he only has 5 dribbling and first touch but that can be worked around. He will mostly lead the line for us this season.
Oh Manuel you had so much promise. Or that’s what I thought. He was the first regen I saw when scouting the other teams and was drawn to the high attributes. I was not expecting players Like Gobbi to enter the frame so snapped him up. Only when he signed did I see the 1 work rate, vision and concentration. He will probably be 2nd or 3rd choice throughout the season.
A signing that was needed to improve the team but one I was reluctant to make. Riccardo Santini had been first choice right winger for me and was in the favoured personnel but was getting old and realistically this signing was needed. Much like al the wingers in the league Lorenzo is not great at dribbling but can put a good ball into the box, which is why I use a target man. He also has decent work rate and teamwork which is important for the tactic which I will get to later on.
The other player are not as impressive as these guys and are not screenshot worthy. They will be fringe players or go into the under 19s squad to develop, which is a bit of a challenge considering our appalling facilities.
This tactic was going to be our more attacking one that we used during games I expected us to win in. I know it has a defensive mentality but it also has a lot of attacking roles and duties. It also has a more direct passing game and contains a target man, both of which I am trying to implement but I am struggling massively to get it to work. Compared to last season this is not as long ball, more just quicker transitional play to the target man.
This tactic is the complete opposite of what I was trying to achieve going forwards compared to last season but after reading Cleon’s brilliant School of Defensive arts it aims to concede as few goals as possible. The main differences between this and the other tactic are all in the roles and duties because even though I am willing to change my philosophy on long ball I don’t want to go to crazy and change my shape from a 4-4-2. I have changed the wingers to wide midfields attack as they will help out more defensively, the full backs are now full backs on support, the target man has changed to a deep lying forward and the central midfield pairing is now a deep lying play maker on support alongside a ball winning midfielder. This is a more possession based safe tactic which will mainly be used in games I expect to lose.
As you can see we had a indifferent league campaign but did not lose to many, which is key to qualifying for the champions playoff rounds. We did not win our group as we came second again. This set up a tie against Tre Penne in the first round where we dispatched them 1-0. This set up a 2nd round clash with old favorites Virtus who beat us 1-0. However due to the crazy rules we then had to play Pennarossa to keep our European dreams alive.
We beat them 2-1 and then went on a great run beating La Fiorita 4-1, Folgore 1-0 to set up a final against you know who, Virtus. A true blockbuster event that had to go to extra time to decide the winner. We took the lead in the third minute through goal machine Gobbi, only for them to reply a minute later. We then scored one just before half time which would put the game to bed as we rarely conceded more than 1 goal. But they struck back after half time. Team talk out the window, I thought, only for us then to instantly reply. Renzi, the central defender from our youth intake in the first season then scored an own goal in the 74th minute to set up a cagey last 15. No-one scored and it would go to extra time. The boys were up for it as I pulled out on hell of a team talk with everyone responding well, apart from Gobbi who might be deaf as it constantly says he didn’t seem to be listening but I don’t care as he scores goals. And that is exactly what he did with two goals in extra time within 3 minutes of each other, Virtus could not reply and the title was ours. Champions league here we come. We did not improve on our cup run from the first season going out in the quarter finals again but I just put out a mix of fringe players and promising youngsters as the board don’t care about the cup.
I forgot to take a screenshot of this years youth intake and as you have probably seen I take all my screenshots way to late. It was a poor intake with this guy being an ok full back, would like him to have higher work rate and team work. He is decent defensively so will training his crossing and hope he improves.
A decent midfielder who I would like to train as a deep plying play maker so he can slot into both systems. May push for a starting place in the future depending on the quality of central midfielders about.
Right that is it for now. Next season we will go on our European adventure, don’t expect much we will most likely get knocked out in the first round. Thanks for reading and if you want to know any more ask me via my twitter @RoamingRegista.