A roller-coaster journey – with the Samp board taking a massive gamble on Beddows, a man who arrived in Genoa with a transfer ban meaning he couldnt sign players. Immediately Beddows was left reeling as a player developed a Level 5 concern within days, but he was so good that Beddows doesnt even remember his name.
The facts and discrimination against Beddows are well known – with Marsden’s jealously that he never got the Madrid job being No 1. As such every misdemeanor he has ever committed, every loss and failure he has been stamped on and publicized to maximum effort – leading to at one stage Madrid creating a republic and calling for a referendum – in or out.
So back to Samp – it was elected early on that Beddows would sell on the dead wood for cash and work with a very small squad of 28 players. In terms of managing teams in Top100 my heart will always be at Milan – I lived and worked there in real life – and really didnt believe I could love a team as much as them – but since taking over Samp, as a football lover and a history teacher I have naturally done my research and I love Sampdoria now! It was also the city I first arrived in when I moved to Italy and so where my love affair with the country began so it seemed like a natural fit.
Working with 28 players was a massive challenge early on – and the transfer ban took me 15 (FIFTEEN) games into the season. It saw some very average players pull on the Samp jersey but when game 15 arrived and with Samp bottom of the table at one point we finally made some transfers. None of which are world changing but a many for the future and some for the present.
Naturally Balotelli was a big buy for me – in game his stats are brilliant and at Samp since he arrived – 21 games, 11 goals and 7 man of the match and he has made a big difference. Kums was a short term solution and in the middle of the park we still search for youth and talent. Kwon I believe is a semi decent player and gets minutes in the Bundesliga. As for the youngsters above a few have moved on already but we now have a fully functioning youth team – to start we only had 10 players. Zappa and Cordero are the stand out players above.
More players followed for the first team including Gonalons and Lazovic – both of whom have made good contributions – from bottom of the table a run at one point in April saw Sampdoria go 4th FOURTH! But we threw it away and a lack of depth in quality is what cost us. Further signings/sales followed including.
Also Bradaric arrived as part of the Szoboszlai deal. We have kept hold of Thuram and Maehle – and with Dennis and Ramsdale I believe we have 4 fairly good players in terms of potential moving forwards.
At the end of the season we have added a few more players – including Gael Clichy (87) to compensate for the sale of Layun (for Candreava and Bondar – young Shaktar CB) and Sepe. Sepe was an interesting decision – Butland isnt going to rise – Sepe might not either – but he has been first choice at a decent Parma side over the last two seasons.
Positionally Samp finished in their lowest ever position this season – but I take alot from the season – going from bottom to 4th was a great achievement and this team has potential to make the play offs – although next season sees a group of very good managers join the journey.
Season 13 and beyond
GK – Sepe is a safe bet and sooner or later Ramsdale will rise – keeping the other Bournemouth keepers out is no mean feat and fingers crossed he will keep them in the Premier league and a rise is assured – with most lower rated Prem sides have 87 rated keepers and at the age of 22 he becomes saleable.
RB – we will stick with De Silvestri – with Maehle as back up and another good prospect he is the heir apparent and unlikely to be sold unless another RB of age and quality is included. With two young Italians, Zappa and Zortea (both 20) with good minutes in Serie B – the later on loan from the infamous Atlanta youth team – both will rise for sure and I’d happily bet on one of the two playing at a decent level in coming years.
LB – Layun wasnt even a LB but did well there last season – Clichy has just been reviewed and is a good stop gap whilst we continue to wait for Bradaric (still only 20) to develop. First choice LB at Lille in his first season in France and recently rised to 85.
CB – everyones problem position – Fairly certain one of Gil, Espinoza or Siovas will fall in the coming season – but getting a centre back is nearly impossible. All 3 have good mins so hoping they will maintain 87. Laifis is a decent age and has potential to rise further. In terms of youth ranks we have Maras – who has had a very good season on loan at Almeria – so a wildcard? Interesting to see where he goes for 2020/2021. Our under 21s have 4 CB’s with the Ukrainian – Bondar the pick of the bunch. The Croatian would be good – but I bought the brother and not the talented one by mistake! 🙂
CM – We have predominately gone with 3 in midfield. De Roon being the key player – we have had numerous offers for him but feel we’d be daft to sell. I love Atlanta 🙂 Gonalons will support in midfield as long as is necessary and then the 3rd place is up for debate – considering playing someone out of position if I am honest – but with Guttierez as an option (good age and minutes) and I am willing (as I have done this season) to play Thuram as well. The wildcard option being my signing of Van Ginkel (still 87) for p/e. IF he can keep his 87 till August/September then I will be able to get value out of him. The young Italian Maleh at Venezia is also being closely watched by a number of Serie A clubs.
Wingers – We are blessed – I play 3 up front. Jason is under rated at 87 in my opinion and is definitely safe. Candreva is a good bet (88) with decent mins at Inter in real life. Dennis is clearly very much in demand (87) and Nestorovski having amazing in game stats and decent stats in real life we are blessed with 4 options! We also have Paulinho (86) at a decent age and Kwon (85) at Freiburg. Youth wise we have picked up a few decent prospects including the Swede Gudmunsson and Sabitzer (Linz).
Strikers – Well obviously we have Balotelli (89) – we are hoping SM choose not to review Serie A until at least Season 14! Back up we do have the Spaniard Enrich and of course many of the wingers listed above can play striker. In the youth team Vizinger – a Croatian playing in Slovenia – aged 21 and scored 18 goals this season. A good prospect surely moving forwards? Cordero too playing good mins in Argentina and finally the young Bermejo – playing his first season of Segenduna B football aged 21 – with good minutes and contributions at a mid table Tenerife.
So targets for Season 13 – We really should aim high and say play offs but I would be happy with mid table again. 🙂