Napoli boss on long term planning and transfer merry go around


Napoli have confirmed all their transfer business is complete bar the completion of two pre-agreed deals which will see Vincius and Wood come in, with Bamford, Brereton and Erlic departing. “I’ve been as busy as I can ever remember of SM in the 13 years I have been a manager. I’ve spent many hours looking at players, speaking with Managers, Looking at the domino affect if I let this player go, or that player whilst trying to balance our incomings so we retain the flexibility we enjoyed last season in terms of being able to change formations successfully with the personnel we had at our disposal. We’ve had to make some big big decisions by letting the likes of Bamford, Milner and Philips move on. I think in Bamford we had a striker capable of getting 15 goals plus next season if we could bring in the players who can pick out the passes and create chances. The downside, those type of players come at a premium, no-one wants to part with their higher rated players, or those that will part with a 33, 34, 35 year old player on the decline want from you your highest rated players and best prospects in terms of rating and value increases. On the other side of the coin we’ve had approaches from half the league for our best players, but then when you engage with certain Managers their opening statement is for example “What do you want for Bamford?” You then tell them you are looking for and he offers you two 29yr old 86/87 rated players on the decline and has zero interest in parting with any of his own assets. I find that rather strange that they think you’ve been dropped off from Mars and are stupid enough to say okay. We’ve had this all pre-season with Rajkovic, lots of offers for our player of the year, who was arguably the most consistent in division 3, with 14 clean sheets, 8 Man of the matches and is expected to move the French Champions in real life to become their number 1. We are willing to sacrifice our best player, knowing it would leave us weaker in that department, with his replacement an 85 keeper, yet we are being offered players who would not get near our match day squad, have no prospects of rising, and to be honest, no-body else wants them. Why other managers even think that’s a proposal is beyond me. We did have a deal in principal for Rajkovic with Fernandinho, however it was reliant on Hamburg selling their keeper, buying a striker and it rumbled on for weeks. It did hinder us on possible other opportunities to use Rajkovic in a 2 for 1 deal in other deals. In the end Hamburg pulled out of the deal, leaving us a little frustrated although thankfully we had already started to plan around that deal not happening. We moved quickly to agreed deals for Vidal, Moutinho and Matic, which were agreed quickly with managers who are always decisive and always balance the deal so both parties are happy with the outcome. What this pre-season has taught us in Top 100, is which managers you want to deal with, and which one’s its pointless engaging with. I’d like to think my approach of, Everyone is for sale, gives the other manager a chance of securing the player, providing what he is offering is balanced and fair. Too many managers will hoard players waiting for them to improve, and will prey on weaker managers by trying to steal their best players with shocking proposals. I’ve seen a number of deals go through already this close season which just don’t make sense. I think other the last few years Napoli have been subjected to losing all its best players by poor management. I know from what I inherited 3 seasons ago, to now, Napoli are suddenly looking at lot brighter. We have a really good starting line up now for Division 3 brimming with experience and decent ratings. However we have not just gone out and signed mid 30 players for short term success, we actually also have 36 players aged 25 or under with lots of improvement in them ensuring the team can continue to evolve and improve, and not find themselves 2 seasons from now with half the squad retired with no assets, and players on the decline. I genuinely fear for teams who have been totally asset stripped. Having witnessed it first hand at Napoli, it leaves you very much just making the numbers up. You don’t get any recognition for the work you are doing or have done. People are quite short sighted and judge on trophies and promotions. This was very evident in applications I put in for other jobs over the close season, I felt my case was strong especially after taking on the team no one wanted, which was in fact my route into Top100. I was approached to take the job on, for my sins I had never even heard of the world, and certainly did not apply to join it, but took the gig on. At that time, I did not realise that any player with a pulse was pretty much snapped up or i’d be looking around obscure leagues for sub 80 rated players which may improve in 3 or 4 years. Everyone had been sold and I had 50 players with a value of £65 Million. I had nearly £600 Million in the bank, but cash is useless in this world. My best player had a rating of 88, second best 86 and then everyone else was 85 or lower. I had to google some of my squad, because I’d never heard of them, and I quickly realised I’d not be able to give them away. Fast forward three seasons Napoli finished 12th in Division 3, 4th Best defence, players people suddenly want, and going into season 16th I think could spring a surprise in the promotion stakes. I’ve read a number of reviews, watched a number of Video’s and Napoli don’t even get a mention. It will be interesting this season, those who suddenly start taking about Napoli, after I was overlooked for all these other clubs which became available at the end of season 15. I have great confidence in my own Manager ability. 13 years is a long time playing soccer manager, my trophy haul is quite large and my SM Diety is 658. Given I’ve not had a million clubs in that time either or played in hundreds of worlds, I’m more than confident that I more than match up with the managers in this game world and time will prove this especially when I get Napoli promoted. I strongly believe I’m in a very small percentage in this world capable of achieving that, from the starting block I had. I think looking at my squad now, a bigger percentage would fancy their chances of getting Napoli up, I just know that same percentage could not have built this team and would of walked away within months of taking up the position. Getting teams promoted is the easy part, keeping them up is the hard part. So right now although we’ve improved, had a high turnover of players this window, realistically I’m looking to improve on 12th with me targeting an 8th Place finish next season. Napoli right now, are not good enough for Division 2. Any promotion this season gives you the opportunity to jump ship for a better club, but leaves Napoli competing in a division 2 with a division 3 squad. Someone else gets the Napoli job, gets relegated, destroys any planning you put in place and the season after they become a division 4 club, hence my earlier comments about people being short sighted regarding how success is measured.

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