After reaching the dizzying heights of 7th in Serie A at the midway point in the season, we eventually secured a very respectable 11th placed finish.

Oh, and did I mention that I was offered, and declined, the Juventus job?

And we signed Donny Van de Beek.

The last post was a rushed journey through our first season back in the big time, but this time I’m planning on going a little more in depth as I navigate a review of our team and player performances without the benefit of Attributes, thanks to the Mustermann Iconic Skin

Team Performance


According to the league table, we conceded the 8th least goals this season (48) and this shows from our Defensive Efficiency chart:

The possession stats are of interest as it seems that whilst our box midfield looks tough to play through, especially with two “destroyer” types at its base, once we’ve won the ball back we’re finding it hard to progress. 

Delving briefly into the player stats, all four of my Attacking Midfielders lose possession way more than they win it, which clearly contributes to this issue. It could also be attributed to playing a lone striker who, when trying to receive the ball from midfield, will find himself outnumbered by opposition defenders. 

As both strikers, Bianchi and Feiertag are in the top 15% for ball retention, it seems the issue could lie with the Attacking Mids.

The last area of our defensive game I want to bring to attention is our Aerial prowess…. or potential lack there of. 

The first chart shows we are terrible aerially and are possibly the worst in the division at winning headers. For a team with THREE central defenders this is worrying. And it would also explain the second chart which states that although we face a below average amount of set pieces from wide areas (due to our lack of wide players) we concede a higher than average xGA from them. Immediately, I’m thinking an upgrade in the back 3 is needed… but I’ll look at the individuals later.



Despite my groans about lacklustre attacking play, I’m still happy with the options currently available in the squad. We added Feiertag and Van de Beek and the tactical switch made for the final month looked to give us an increased threat going forward. We scored the 10th most goals and I’m confident we can imprive on this. 

An area of concern for me – although maybe it should be expected for a newly promoted team with the lowest wage budget – is how terrible our pressing is. As you can see, we allow by far the most passes per defensive action in Serie A, despite having one of the highest defensive lines. I only use a mid block but we have the 7th highest possession per game (51%). In a tactical chance for the final month of the season I increased pressing intensity to Much Higher’ so I’m hoping to see improvements here next season.


Player Performance


Herrera could be one of my favourite bargain signings in Football Manager. Costing just £50k up front with an additional £150k in instalments he’s been great all season (other than a couple of blunders from goal kicks!). He’s got the 7th best save percentage in Serie A and provided a really solid base for our defence. 

Back up, Lezzerini will be moving on. He’s been unhappy all season at being demoted so it’s only fair to let him leave. 

Verdict: He’s safe!

Central Defenders

Close scrutiny needs to be placed on the aerial ability of the central defenders who’ve played a majority of minutes this season. Apologies for the potential data overload in the below image:

Mangraviti and Sosa are both left footed and have both played in the central and wide centre back roles. Same for Cistana and Vogliacco on the right. Therefore these stats will show me where they perform the best and should be used next season. Ideally the central role would be taken by our best header of the ball, and the wide positions filled by the best passers, as well as the ability to tackle out in open space.

Moving clockwise around the image, Mangraviti has had a steady, if not underwhelming season which perhaps shows he’s not quite as Serie A standard. He’s safe on the ball but doesn’t try to do anything with it other than retain possession. He won 67% of his headers, but attempts less than the average amount of headers per game (3.39) and is a below average tackler (74%). He could stay around as a back up option. Cistana also looks after the ball but he progresses it well. Whilst not being outstanding in any area, he wins 70% of headers and 84% of tackles. 

Our £135k signing from Genoa, Vogliacco had an interesting season. He’s very good at progressing the ball and pressuring the ball carrier and won 88% of tackles… however he’s poor aerially (53% headers won). Similar to Mangraviti, he’s probably no more than a back up option… however in doing so could block the path of younger players.

Sosa, a £4.5m signing from Bologna, had a great season, ranking in the top 15% of centrebacks for both progressive passes and ball carries per game and in the top 10% for expected assists. He prefers to play in the middle of the back 3 but he excelled since being moved out to the left. His headers won % isn’t great, but he has been the main target from corners which could be the reason. 

Out on loan, and not shown here is Andrei Motoc. You can see his stats here form his season-long loan at Ascoli. With an average rating of 6.92 he did well and is in the top 99% of all central defenders for possession won and ball retention. He won 73% of headers which is decent. At 23, he could have one more season to prove he can progress to Serie A level. I’ll try him out in pre-season but a loan at a higher level might be the best for him. Incidentally, his performances have earned him a call up to the Moldova squad to face Scotland.

Verdict: Sosa and Cistana are safe. Although I’m not sure where best to use the latter, he’s steady in both roles. I definitely want someone who’s dominant aerially and I may have to trade off technical ability for raw power and aggression. It may be beneficial to bring an older head in to the central role.  


The right flank was a position I wasn’t entirely happy with throughout the season. Jallow remained the starter, but newly signed Paz was given plenty of opportunities, starting 14 games and coming on as a sub 14 times. Despite just the 1 goal between them, they both did well at driving forward with the ball and providing a creative threat, with Jallow grabbing 6 assists to Paz’s 4. Jallow performed better defensively, winning more headers and tackles. 

On the opposite flank, Zagaritis was the clear #1, starting 31 games. He had a very good season with a 7.07 average rating, 4 goals and 9 assists in his role as the more attacking wingback in the system. He’s in the top 10% of wingbacks for Dribbles, expected assists, non-penalty goals, shots and pressures attempted per 90 minutes. Corrado was a player I got in on loan from Ternana after an injury ravaged season as my coaches raved about him. He proved theres a good player in there, with a 6.95 average rating and 5 assists from 10 starts (and 16 sub appearances), although it took him a while to maintain a good level of fitness. I’m finding it hard to not pick up his £1.5m option to buy, especially as he’s got the best crossing and assists per game stats of all our fullbacks.

Verdict: Zagaritis is definitely safe and I’ll be aiming to make Corrado a permanent signing. The right hand side isn’t so certain as I really feel I need an upgrade there. I may test the waters on interest for both Jallow and Paz and allow one of them to leave. Upgrading the right Wing Back isn’t a priority, but if someone comes along for a reasonable price…

Defensive Midfielders

Other than loanee Bastoni, who exclusively player as the more forward thinking, creative one of the double pivot, each of club captain Bisoli, Ndoj and Fabbian played in both roles and therefore I should get a good understanding of where they excel and struggle. Again, apologies for the info overload in the below image. Hopefully next time the players will fit into more defined roles as the squad and tactical system develops. However, it’s easy to see that the most well rounded player was the youngster Fabbian, who joined from Bologna for a bargain £800k. The only weakness being his assist totals, however as part of a double pivot at the base of a midfield box, it’s not his job to laying chances on a plate. He scored 6 goals and 2 assists and should remain a core of the side going forwards.  Bastoni had a steady season but I don’t think he’s what we need to drive the team into the European places. I have no option to buy and he’s a free agent, so he could come back… but only if my other plans fail. 

I felt bad for Ndoj as he spent most of the latter months unhappy as I couldn’t meet his demands for first team football. He never lets the team down when he plays, and he’s even stepped in as an Attacking Midfielder when we were short on numbers. He just doesn’t fit into this system well. He’s not good at heading or tackling so I don’t feel comfortable with him in the pivot, and he’s not as good as the AMs. His contract is expiring so I’ll let him leave and thank him for his service. Finally we move onto captain, Bisoli. At 31 he’s not going to improve and despite making 27 starts across the season, he’s going to be nothing more than a bench option next season. As you can see, the Mustermann graphic has him penned as a midfield Quarterback. He looks after the ball and progresses it forwards and will be able to fill in where needed.

Verdict: I definitely need an improvement alongside Fabbian as the creative pivot option. Bastoni will be allowed to leave, as will Ndoj. Bisoli will hopefully remain and be happy with a reduced role. 

Attacking Midfielders

An area which I’m excited about for next season is the two attacking midfield roles, for which I have 4 strong options.

Berjemo joined at the start of the season for £2.5m from Spanish second division side Burgos to provide a goal threat and act as a deep striker. He certainly achieved that, with 9 goals and 3 assists. You can see from his chart that he also provides a creative threat and his 6.41 xA suggests he was victim of poor finishing from teammates. Van de Beek took a LONG time to get match fit and to look a threat to the opposition. He managed to make 15 starts and in that time got 6 goal contributions (3 goals, 3 assists). His chart shows he provides a strong goal threat so I’ll be looking for him to kick on next season. I mainly played him in the deep striker role, although I know he can play the creative force too and may try him out there in pre-season.

The playmaking role was mainly taken by Besaggio, or as he could be call BesAGGIO... and even the icon shows him to be a maestro, who can drop into space and creative opportunities for others. With 9 goals a 5 assists in 23 starts, it’s been hard to displace the 23-year-old. He scored some beautiful, and important, goals for us this season. Finally we have Olzer, who’s had a season marred by niggling injuries. When he’s found full fitness though, he’s done well. With 5 goals and 2 assist, he’s done all I could ask of him. Hopefully he gets better luck fitness-wise next season. 

We have one more player to discuss. Patrick Amoako Nuamah spent the season on loan at Perugia, where he scored 5 goals and got 3 assists from a withdrawn role in the centre of midfield. Realistically he could do with another season on loan to give his development one final kick, however, if any of the four above leave, I may be tempted to draft him in to the squad and use him as much as possible. 

Verdict: Leaving the four as they are. All eyes will be on Van de Beek, obviously as he’ll be expected to be the best player on the team and earn his high wages, whether thats as the chief creator or a goal threat. 


Bianchi lead the scoring charts with 10 goals, closely followed by Bermejo and Besaggio with 9 each. However, for long spells he looked very unimpressive and went through long barren spells. This is what led to my purchase of Feiertag for £3.5m.

With Bianchi’s 10 goals and 1 assist from 27 starts, I’ve already got a steady scorer who I’m confident going into next season with who I can alternate with Feiertag. Since his arrived in January, the Austrian has 3 goals and 3 assists in 12 starts, an under performance against his xG of 6.03. He’s been ver unlucky though, and scored a couple of beauties which were ruled out for very marginal offsides. 

Other options were Monchi and loanee Said, but neither made any impact in Serie A when given the opportunity. Monchi wants to leave and Said’s option to buy won’t be picked up. 

I’ve mostly used the Advanced Forward role this season, however as defences are better I feel we need more variety from the forward play. I’m going to experiment with the Complete Forward role in pre-season as this may allow more movement to open up space for others. 

Verdict: No changes are planned as I think both can hit double digits next season, all being well. I may need to bring in a 3rd choice, although Bermejo can play up front if needed so this isn’t a role I have to fill.


Tactical Preview

From looking at how we fare against other formations, the only one we really struggle against is a 3-5-2. This is my back up formation but I’ve only used it sparingly. However, a way I can potentially counteract a 3-5-2 is by matching up with it and relying on getting a tactical edge on the opposition manager. Therefore, I’ll try to find a way to be able to switch to a 3-5-2 when needed but maintaining the same playing style and structure as we have in the 3-4-3. 

I also want to get a more settled team this year and forge partnerships throughout the line up, something lacking this season due to me trying to find my best 11.

In the meantime, here’s the 3-4-3 which we finished the season with:


I’ll go into season 3 with Brescia with a transfer budget of £6.7 million. I’ve already outlined that I want:

  • an aerially dominant Central Defender
  • a right sided Wingback
  • a creative defensive midfielder for the double pivot 

Whilst I’m narrowing down the shortlists for these I’ve already got some signings to bring you. None will be first team options, but they’re youngsters I’ve picked up either on expiring contracts or for low fees.

The following will join us in June.

Alvaro Sanz – Free Agent – Mirandes 

I’m hoping Sanz can follow in the style of Berjemo and be an astute signing from the Spanish second division. After coming through the Barcelona youth system, this season he split time between defensive midfield and right fulback, but he’s produced promising stats to show he could be a good back up to Fabbian in the role of ball winner and develop into a good Serie A player. 

Striker Mario Vilardi was released by Napoli and impressed after I bought him in on trail and he played a couple of games for the Under 20’s. With other teams trying to sign him, and my coaching staff thinking he can develop into a Serie A player I snapped him up. He’ll go out on loan this season and we’ll see how he performs.

Finally, a player I paid a small transfer fee for. Raul Moro is an attacking player who my scouts thought showed lots of promise. At 22, he’s played 72 games in the Spanish and Italian second tiers and I have no problem with the £200k I paid for him. He’s another that I’ll send out on loan next season and the rest is up to him. 



  • ThrowingCopperFM

    ThrowingCopperFM is known for unraveling complex FM strategies, often using Girona FC as a canvas to illustrate his tactical theories. Whether it's penning down comprehensive guides on mastering promotion in FM or sharing bargain player finds, ThrowingCopperFM's content is a treasure trove for aspiring managers. His active Twitter engagement further demonstrates his enthusiasm for football discussions beyond the virtual realm, making him a well-rounded and appreciated contributor in the FM community.

1 thought on “Brescia Calcio – S2 Review and S3 Preview

  1. Something about using the Mustermann skin really elevates a blog.

    Interested to see how you get on with your transfer targets.

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