END OF SEASON REPORT
Juventus and Atalanta each lost one match in the second half of the season. Our loss was to AC Milan (3-2 at their place) and their loss was to us (3-1 at our home). It seems on the face of things that I cannot have much to complain about, if no one but us can beat them, they will not be easy to overcome. My only issue with the squad were two draws after we beat Juventus. Road contests against Inter and Sassuolo where we had 3-0 leads at the intermission and finished both contests with 3-3 final scores. But, in the end, it would not have made a difference.
Stevanovic finished an amazing season with several new team records most impressive was his total of 46 goals while chipping in 18 assists. The Serie A Player of the Year tied with Higuain for the lead in goals (25) and lead in PoM Awards (8) and had the highest rating at 7.59. He finished the season by putting in his request to be transferred and is currently listed at 90M with 2 recently rejected offers in the 80's.
Capone is set to take over as our next superstar and we can start the clock on his demand for transfer. He gathered 29 goals this season with 20 assists. 19yr old Hernan Dot made his presence felt. A 325K transfer from Murcia last year, he managed 23 goals and 16 assists in his first team action this season. Vujinovic had fallen from the starting picture but pulled himself together at the end of the season getting 5 goals and 5 assists in our last 7 contests. He likely will get a chance to get back to an important role on the front line with Stevanovic's expected departure.
Diego Reyes, our oldest player at 28, along with Cirillo (20) lead our back line but they are constantly challenged by the rest of our young backs. Reyes is constantly complaining that we lack depth at the position but he is obviously just uncomfortable with the age of his competition.
Melegoni was our best in the middle of the park putting him in a position to force a transfer. He will be joining Dortmund for 42M for next year as I am starting to believe that I should start admitting that we are just a stepping stone team. Again, like Stevanovic, we have no problem replacing these players, but we have to figure out how to turn off this faucet.
We lost 1M this year but there was big news on the Italian finances this season. AC Milan AND Napoli failed to qualify for the positions they earned in next season's Champions League. Bologna and Traponi will get those two spots. I cannot begin to imagine the uproar.
We have put together some good runs in the cups this half of the season. We barely managed to get past Sampdoria in round 1 of the Italian Cup with Capone scoring the only goal of extra time. Capone scored twice against AC Milan as we edged them 4-3 in the second round. We lost the away leg to Roma 5-4 but beat them at home 4-0. We won the Cup for the first time in 58 years and the second time ever when Capone scored the only goal in the final with Juventus.
We handled PSV in the first knockout 5-1 aggregate in the Euro winning both legs. We lost the first leg of the second knockout 3-1 against Young Boys but Stevanovic scored 4 times at home to reach the quarters. We beat AS Monaco 6-4 in the away leg and held on losing 2-1 in Italy to advance to the Semi-Final. We paid back Liverpool for their beating us in the 2018 Euro Cup final as 7 different players scored goals in the two legs. We won both contests and finished 7-2 on aggregate to reach the final against CSKA Moscow. The match held in Turkey was really not a contest with a 12-3 shot on target advantage and 60% possession. Stevanovic scored both goals in the contest to get us over a major hurdle. Obviously, not enough to convince our stars that they can make their home here.
Our U18 and U20 squads each repeated their league and cup wins but the U20 squad was beyond amazing. They outscored their nearest competition by more than 100 goals in league play.
Finally, our intake.