Hello there! In the last post we dove into Ternana’s incredible promotion campaign.
In Part 1 of the 2022/2023 season we will take a look at the summer transfer window and how the team performed until the 2022 World Cup break.
Summer Transfer Window
I mentioned in the first post of the save that we had a total of 110 players in total at the club. After this ridiculously busy transfer window, we’ve reduced that number to 58. This includes the players brought in during this window.
We offloaded 50 players for a total of £11.7m. From those 50 players, the majority were from the youth teams, also a further 12 were released. We sold 6 and loaned 2 players from the first team, Stefano Pettinari – £2.7m to Sampdoria, Davide Agazzi – £1.5m to Fiorentina, Fabrizio Paghera – £1m to Salernitana, Aniello Solzano – £875k to FC Midtylland, Felippo Damian – £525k to Brescia, Alessandro Celli – £400k to Crotone, Matija Boben – loan w/ a future fee £350k to Empoli, Lorenzo Mazza – loan to Lecco, and Alexis Ferrante – £275k to Catanzaro.
As you can imagine, there were a lot of incoming players. We signed a total of 24 players for about £18m. Two of those transfers were already agreed upon my arrival to the team. We signed 8 players from Atalanta, 11 players from St. Pauli and 4 Chilean players (one of them coming from Atalanta).
Let’s take a look:
Defenders: Jannes Wieckhoff (£625k), Jakov Medic (£1.2m) & utility man Park Yi-Young (free) join from St. Pauli. Enrico del Prato (free) joins from Atalanta.
Midfielders: Tomás Alarcón joins on loan from Cadiz with a £6.5m option to buy, Alessandro Mallamo (free) & Andrea Colpani (free) join from Atalanta, César Falletti (£850k) joins from Bologna, and Finn Becker (£1.3m) joins from St. Pauli.
Forwards: Alfredo Donnarumma (£675k) joins from Brescia, Ben Bremerton Diaz (£12m) joins from Blackburn, and Marco Tumminello (free) joins from Atalanta.
Defenders: Giovanni Bonfanti (free) joins from Atalanta & Marcel Beifus (free) joins from St. Pauli.
Midfielders Alassane Sidibe (£1.6m) & David Perez (£110k) (half Chilean) join us from Atalanta. Franz Roggow (£230k) & Niklas Jessen (£200k) join us from St. Pauli.
Defenders: Gerald Brandt (£100k) joins from St. Pauli & Lorenzo Carrara (£170k) joins Atalanta
Midfielders Lapo Assuma joins as free agent, he has dual Chilean/Italian nationality. Ljubiša Dragićević (£150k), Oliver Schwartz (£90k) & Samuel Utaka (£200k) join us from St. Pauli.
The transfer window allowed us to offload some deadwood and upgrade where we needed. This season we will be using 23 players in the first team, 13 returning and 10 fresh faces. Incase of emergencies we will use youth team players.
At the beginning of the preseason the bookies were predicting for us to finish in 18th place and go straight backdown to Serie B but by the end of the preseason they moved us to 16th place. I’m not to trust the odds but it did give me comfort knowing that the AI no longer saw us getting relegated.
This preseason was shorter than usual as the 2022 World Cup was due to begin in November. We only had two weeks of preparation in which we played four friendly matches. The team cohesion did not skip a beat, we won all four matches – fellow Serie A teams, SPAL (8-0) and Roma (3-0), Hungarian first division team Újpest (0-7) and Serie B affiliate Catanzaro (0-5).
Staff – I don’t believe I’ve written much about the staff this time around (or even during my time at SC Verl). Before the end of last season I took a lot of time to assess every single staff member at the club, including youth teams, to find the proper replacement. After releasing the majority of my staff, I began a complete staff rebuild. The only staff member that’s worth a look is our new Head of Youth Development, Boro Primorac. The Bosnian was the perfect candidate, he even has our current formation as his 2nd preferred tactic. Although we still don’t have the best Scouting Team or Medical team, I couldn’t be more content with how the coaching team turned out.
We did not have any breathing room as the Serie A campaign begun just a couple of weeks after preseason. We were scheduled to play fourteen matches between July and October. Then we would take a month off due to the World Cup and would have us return in early December to play a few friendly matches to get us ready for the rest of what would be a busy season.
The season would go on to have a lot of ups-and-downs in terms of league position and joy. We started off with back-to-back wins against Bologna (1-2) and Fiorentina (5-0). New signing “Big Ben” Brereton Díaz was on fire with 5 goals in two games. Fellow new signing, Finn Becker, also had a great start to the season with 1 goal and 2 assists. Then, our 40-match unbeaten run came to a close after Napoli’s (0-2) win at the Stadio Libero Liberati.
We bounced back with three consecutive wins in the league. Alfredo Donnarumma broke Ternana’s goalscoring record in a single match with 5 goals against Spezia (5-1). A comeback win against Sassuolo (3-1) was followed by a hard fought win against bottom of the table Benevento (0-1). The excitement from those consecutive wins went straight down the drain as they were followed by three consecutive losses. The first was a competitive match against Joachim Low’s Roma (2-1), then two back-to-back thrashings by Sampdoria (0-3) and Milan (2-0).
The last five matches of the season were entertaining. Torino had a horrible time in Terni, they didn’t have a shot on goal and lost the match (4-0). We then drew (2-2) against Cagliari, both teams had lots of chances but a fair result nonetheless. Two more wins followed, against Verona (1-0) and against SPAL (2-6). Atalanta was next in the last game before the break. Gasperini was on the brink of getting sacked as Atalanta were in 12th place. Even though the match was quite even, Atalanta was more prolific winning the match (3-0). Things got worse when Chilean DM Tomás Alarcón injured himself. He will be out for 3-4 months therefore, I will be terminating his loan in January.
Fourteen matches in and we find ourselves in 5th place, way beyond expectations. We’ve scored the 3rd most goals in the league, with Alfredo scoring 15 in 14 matches. Our defense isn’t there yet, I’m hoping to find the right combination in back as I’ve rotated the back-four way too often. If we’re able to maintain the current form I have no doubt that we can earn one of the European spots.
I hope all of these screenshots of players didn’t bore you. I have to find a replacement for Tomas Alarcon as we only have one natural DM in the first team and no one is ready to step-in from the youth team.
Next post I will review the second part of the season – January Transfers, maybe some player & team analysis, and some change of plans for the 2023/2024 season.
Thank you for you time, feel free to message me on Twitter or Slack.