In the last update we covered the 6 players coming in and the 6 players departing for pastures new.

The decision was made to drop Donny Van de Beek from his Attacking Midfield role back to be the creative element of the defensive midfield double pivot in the 3-4-2-1, because I couldn’t afford anyone good!

This lack of funds will come as no surprise when you learn we’re bottom of Serie A when it comes to wage budget, with even newly promoted teams offering way more than we do:

The season so far

August to October

The season had started well with a 2-0 win over Salernitana, before a 2-3 defeat to bitter rivals Atalanta in a game where we dominated throughout. 

That disappointment was offset by a 4-1 win over Bologna, who lost a player to injury in the 50th minute and had a player sent off a few minutes later and completely collapsed.

Full of confidence we travelled to Parma, where we fell to a 0-1 defeat despite completely dominating the game and putting up 20 shots (1.92 xG) to their 5 (1.13 xG).

Frustrations then continued as we again dominated a game, this time against Cremonese, but could only come away with a 1-1 draw. 

Something wasn’t right.

Over these five games we scored 9 goals, but only 1 of those was scored by a striker... and even that was in our rampant second half vs Bologna after they were down to 10 men. We’d had plenty of shots. Not including Bologna, we averaged 15 per game for an average of 0.12xG per shot, but have never looked particularly dangerous. Even worse, we were slipping into the dreaded realm of possession for possession’s sake. 

Further investigation was needed.

However, it could wait as up next we were playing Lecce who were to play a 3-5-2. In the previous update I mentioned how the formation we struggled against the most was a 3-5-2, so going forward I would simply match up man for man and see if that worked any better. Well, a rotated team drew 1-1. But we looked much more threatening.

We faced Lazio next, who lined up in a 4-2-3-1, so I decided to stick with the 3-5-2, figuring my midfield 3 should be able to find plenty of space in the middle but giving the central defenders plenty of opportunities to bypass their #10. We dominated the early stages and scored the only goal of the game after just 4 minutes when Feiertag fired a shot in off the post.  To hang on for 84 minutes and never really feeling like we were going to lose, against superior opposition was a welcome sight. We looked solid and dangerous on the break. 

We were then hit by the news that Donny Van de Beek – who was looking great in his withdrawn role – injured his ankle in training and would miss a month.

I stuck with the 3-5-2 for a visit to Fiorentina, who were the in-form team in the division having won their last 4 games in a row. For the entire first half we didn’t give them a sniff and we looked really good. Until the 44th minute when our LCB, Sosa misplaced a pass directly to their striker on the edge of the box. 0-1.

We battled away until our RCB, Mendes, gave away a penalty in the 73rd minute which Nico Gonzalez smashed in. They then nicked another in the 93rd minute, which was 100% offside, but the ref disagreed. Full time 0-3.

Still in the 3-5-2, up next were Udinese, who missed an early penalty and then found themselves behind when Stefan Feiertag tapped in a lovely low pass from Fabbian, who was not back from his 8 week injury with a fractured arm. The visitors pulled one back just after half time but we took the win when a low cross was turned in for an own goal by one of their defender. A deserved win which put us in 7th place.

The final game of October was against Cagliari where we came away with a 1-0 win thanks to this beauty by Bianchi:

I was also able to give a substitute appearance to 16-year-old Robert Fiori, as a reward for him scoring 18 goals in 9 games for the U18s. To ensure we didn’t end the month in good spirits, however, we lost captain Bisoli for 6 weeks as he picked up an injury in the latter stages of the game. 

With Goalkeeper, Herrera, winning GK of the Month for October, we entered October in 6th place in Serie A.

November to December

Just 3 days after the Cagliari game, and down to just 4 fit midfielders we took on a Sassuolo team who haven’t won for 5 games. For the second time in two games, Fabbian connected with Feiertag who gave us a lead which we were good value for. We started to fade in the second half and it turned into a very entertaining end-to-end match. It was here I learned a lesson. With all midfield options shattered, I tried to force players into the midfield three of my 3-5-2, rather than switching to the 3-4-2-1, where I could’ve got a more natural fit. On came Sassuolo substitute Lipani, full of fresh legs and vigour which enabled him to find two dangerous positions in the final 5 minutes of the game, scoring on both opportunity. A loss I can’t complain at as it was a fun game.

Fully rested we took on – and soundly beat – newly promoted Palermo, in their dashing pink kit. In a switch-up to my midfield, and with Van de Beek still absent through injury, I placed Besaggio in the DM slot as a Regista and I really liked how it worked. Zagaritis got us off to an early lead and then both strikers, Feiertag and Bianchi, scored in a 3-1 victory. 

It when then that I looked at the upcoming fixtures… and what I saw wasn’t a pretty sight.

Before dropping points to Sassuolo we were sitting pretty in 6th and we’re now in 8th. If I’m still in the top 10 after run I’ll be delighted!!

However, we’re now 10 games unbeaten at home so I’m hopeful we can scrape a few draws, otherwise I could VERY easily lose 7 games in a row here and find my job at risk.

The run from hell

Starting off this tough spell of games against Roma, I decided to stick with the Regista as the base of the midfield 3. To counteract its “aggressiveness” against a much stronger team I dropped Fabbian back from a Box to Box midfielder on a defend duty. This would also give me the 3-2 shape in build up which makes playing out of defence much easier. A fit again Van de Beek slotted back into the starting line up and Pereira Da Costa switch his role to a Mezzala on support. I was going to place him on an Attacking duty, but against a better team I wanted to be safe. 

The new midfield set up vs Roma

I’m not going to lie – I’m a fan of Roma! When I turned down the Juventus job last season I thought to myself the only job I’d leave Brescia for would be AC Milan. Well, Milan came knocking at the start of this season and I declined… but actually, if Roma offered me a job I’d find it VERY tough to decline.

What a game it was!

Bianchi gave us a lead after 13 minutes when he latched on to Pubill’s low cross from the byline after a very nice spell of possession. We continued to dominate the rest of the first half, heading into the locker room without them having a shot on target from the 3 they managed to muster. As expected, they slowly clawed their way back into the game and eventually found an equalised from a nice Pellegrini finish on 69 minutes.  Just 4 minutes later Van de Beek put us 2-1 up with a beautiful curling shot from outside the box.

Enter Tammy Abraham. On as a sub just after Donny’s goal, he was a constant threat and rescued a late point for Roma when he ran onto a nice through ball and cheekily dinked the ball over the on-rushing Herrera

A good point!

Up next, Scudetto winners for the past two seasons: Inter Milan.

We’d played well against Roma so I didn’t want to change my playing style. The only tweak I made was for the deeper of our two strikers, Bianchi, to man mark their creative pivot player, Asllani

We got off to a great start when Bianchi scored in his third game in a row, slotting in a nice assist from fellow striker Feiertag after 11 minutes. They’re forming quite the partnership in this 3-5-2. We were then inches away from doubling the lead 2 minutes later when Feiertag scored but was fractionally judged offside. We continued to look very strong and, like the Roma game, they grew stronger and stronger as the second half went on and I thought we’d lost the lead when Rugani turned an Inter corner into his own goal, but luckily they we judged to have fouled in the build up and it was disallowed.

The full time whistle went and lowly Brescia Calcio had scored a momentous victory over defending champions Inter Milan!

Backroom Changes

Before we headed to face Torino, I bought in a couple of staff members. 

Firstly is one you may have heard of, and one of my all time favourite players ever. Right up there with Lars Bohinen and Colin Cooper!

That’s Director of Football, Joachim Low, telling me that Paulo Maldini has signed to be Technical Director! Quite the backroom set up being built!

The next move is mildly controversial. My Head of Youth Development was at the club when I took over. He seemed like a nice chap and was decent at the job so I left him in. However, we’ve grown now… AND his preferred formation is a 4-2-3-1… so what I don’t need is all the wingers he’s been bringing through. Thanks Ihor!

After scouring the jobs board I found this guy:

Michele Mercuri (what a name!)

Despite this appearing to be his first job in football – hence the controversy – he seems to fit my footballing style perfectly. 

His favoured formation is a 5-3-2, likes to play attacking, counter attacking football and builds up from the back.

This could be a match made in heaven and I’m looking forward to how he performs in the role. This next youth intake could be interesting….. hopefully it’s not based off HoYD reputation!

There was ONE MORE interesting appointment worth mentioning. but not at Brescia…

Antonio Conte has joined Sassuolo after being sacked by Bayer Leverkusen.

I’m 100% going to start some beef with him! Could be a fun battle!

Back to the football – The run from hell… continued.

First the bad news! 

Our outstanding goalkeeper, Herrera, who’s already won GK of the Month once this season, will miss 4-6 weeks through injury. Dammit.

The good news is that both Sosa (CB) and Bianchi (ST) were voted into the Serie A team of the month. 

As the team had two tough games against Roma and Inter, I wanted to use the Torino game to rotate the squad a little. Only LCB Sosa remained in the back 5 with Jallow coming in at RWB, Vogliacco at RCB, Corrado at LWB and Mangraviti – who I’ve been having some battles off the field with – slotting in to the centre of the back 3. Besaggio also came in for Pereira Da Costa in the attacking Mezzala slot. 

We also had Plizzari in goal, replacing Herrera.

So it’s no surprise that a team with 7 changes would struggle against 7th placed Torino. I think overall we were the better team and we look so solid in the 3-5-2. It took, however, until the 92nd minute for left wingback Zagaritis, on a a late sub, to get on the end of a BEAUTIFUL assist by Van de Beek to give us a hard fought 1-0 victory. 

This loss to lowly Brescia caused the sacking of Ivan Juric and the appointment of Pochettino. his first job since being fired by Chelsea in November 2023. 

Some good managers coming to Serie A!

Pereiera Da Costa, who’s been playing really well as the Mezzala, pulled knee ligaments and will miss a crucial 3 weeks or action, in what is already a thin midfield.

We ended up losing a very frustrating game against AC Milan, 0-2, where we played some lovely football but couldn’t win.

Just a few days later we face arch-rivals Atalanta in the Coppa Italia. The traitor Andrea Cistana was playing. Tackle harder, press more and force on to weak foot all applied. We went behind after 14 minutes when Kolasniac scored from 10 yards but we equalised instantly from the kick off to pull level through Feiertag. Our goalscorer was forced off in the second half with a hamstring issue and Besaggio was shattered and was having a stinker. With a lack of bench options I bought on 17-year-old attacker Finardi and 19-year-old Vilardi on. Not ideal. Extra time ensued with both sets of players dead on their feet. We took the lead through a Bianchi penalty but with just minutes left they got a penalty of their own to bring the score level at 2-2. In the dying seconds we pulled a win out of the bag due to an own goal by Atalanta from a corner. 

Fabbian picked up a thigh injury in the game and will miss 3 weeks. 

We now only have Donny Van de Beek and  ball winners, Bisoli and Sanz fit amongst our midfielders. So, it’s not great that we had Juventus in 3 days time. 

We did welcome back Herrera from injury though and he took his place back in the line up, however maybe I should’ve let him recover a little longer as he completely fluffed a shot from Rabiot to being the visitors back level after Bianchi gave us the lead. A few minutes later Chiesa scored with a nice volley from a tight angle (again, Herrera could’ve done better). With Feiertag still struggling with a thigh issue I bought on Vilardi who wasted no time in scoring to bring the score back to 2-2. He continued to look lively, curling a shot fractions over the ball a few minutes later and then hitting the post with the keeper well beaten just after that. A 2-2 draw and another good point.

Just days before the Napoli game I declined an interview from them to replace the sacked David Moyes, and they hired Tite as the new Head Coach on the eve of the game.

I was right to fear the new manager bounce as, despite not winning in 5 games, they absolutely walloped us 1-3.


After being fearful that I’d be lucky to pick up 3 point after the Palermo game, I’m delighted to have achieved 8 points. 

The wins over Inter was a save highlight so far and it’s nice to have beaten Atalanta in the cup.

Going into January we sit in 8th place, just two points off the European places, with a more favourable run of games ahead of us.

Transfer Plans

Club Director Karol Poborsky continued to support the team and offered me £2.9m to spend to give the team the push it needs to try to get a top 7 finish. 

We’ll need all the help we can get. The switch to a 3-5-2 has left us a little unbalanced in the midfield and in attack and we’re running thin in certain areas.

There’s also other issues which will need addressing.

Free agent signing Alvaro Sanz was unhappy he wasn’t playing as a Ball Winning Midfielder in the Defensive Midfielder strata as he’d agreed during his contract negotiations. Since the switch to a 3-5-2, and the DM slot being used as a Regista, the Ball Winning role was used in Central Midfield. He started 9 games out of the 18 we’ve played and has exclusively been a BWM… but he demanded to be transfer listed.

Luckily, 6 teams soon came in for him around the agreed amount of £5.5m. Not bad for a free agent signing just 6 months ago. 

The next player heading out the door is star goalkeeper Sergio Herrera who had his head turned by an offer from Saudi Arabia. He wasn’t happy that I declined the £1.2m offer so I reluctantly agreed he could leave for £3m…. which Montpellier very quickly matched. I now have to decide if I should hand the reins to the 25-year-old Plizzari much sooner than planned. 

Atlanta United have matched Vogliacco’s release clause of £500k so he may be on the way out and lots of teams have been actively pursuing our very impressive left Wing Back Vasilis Zagaritis’s £6.5m release clause, including Everton, Nice and Anderlecht. Luckily, he says he wants to stay in Brescia…. but we all know money talks. 

Thankfully, Sevilla seem to have cooled down on their interest in Donny Van de Beek, so hopefully he’ll still be around when the Transfer Window closes.

As you can see, there’s already been movement which means more recruiting is needed to bring in at least a combative midfielder and a goalkeeper. Vogliacca could be replaced by Andrei Motoc who’s playing well on loan at Benevento in Serie B, averaging 7.07 with 2 goals and 2 assists. We definitely need a striker to back up Bianchi and Feiertag so either a seasoned veteran or someone not far off first team level who can rotate in when required and develop would be fine.

In the next update we’ll look at who ended up going, and who’s come in!

I’ll also try to delve more into the tactics which I’ve been using and establish the improvements which need to be made.  



  • 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.

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1 thought on “Brescia Calcio – Season 3 Part 2

  1. 8 points from that run of fixtures and your injury concerns is quite the feat. Well played sir.

    Very much looking forward to hearing all about Conte getting a beat down.

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