Atalanta: The Rise of La Dea – 2015/2016 End of Season Awards & Round Up

As the last balls were kicked in anger, final whistles sounded across the continent and the curtain came down on Europe’s club competitions.  The 2015/2016 season drew to a close and the European Championships and awards season drew near.

The big questions were on everyone’s lips; who would be top dog in France?  Who would the surprise package be?  Who would SeenThem GivenFM be wearing at the Serie A awards do?  (It was H&M, naturally.)

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Atalanta: The Rise of La Dea – May 2016

Heading into May, Atalanta’s season was done and dusted.  A 2nd place finish, the highest in the club’s history, had been confirmed and the club had Champions League football to look forward to next season.

Two of our three May fixtures were against sides whose season was certainly not done and dusted.  Genoa were staring relegation to Serie B in the face while Inter were continuing their battle with Fiorentina for the final Champions League spot.  A dead rubber at home to Juve rounded up an incredible debut season for the club and yours truly.


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Atalanta: The Rise of La Dea – April 2016

La Dea headed into April, after an international break, hoping to have consigned their three game wobble against Samp, Milan and Joe Hart’s Torino to the history books after two successive clean sheets in a 3-0 win over Bologna and a 0-0 draw at Empoli.

We held a six point lead over Fiorentina and Inter and a maximum points haul from April’s first four fixtures was a must before heading into a difficult end to the Serie A season.


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Atalanta: The Rise of La Dea – March 2016

A promising start to 2016 had been somewhat soured by our loss to Sampdoria at the end of February, but our battling point at home to Milan proved we had the mettle for the Champions League qualification fight.

The remaining eleven fixtures were very much divided; I felt we had to restart our momentum and take maximum points from the first six games before hoping for bonus points in our last five against teams with spoils to fight over at both ends of the table.

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First up was a trip to Turin to face Joe Hart’s Torino for the third time this season.  We then welcomed a struggling Bologna side to Atleti Azzurri d’Italia in front of the TV cameras before ending the month at an Empoli side who were also punching well above their weight in 7th.

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Atalanta: The Rise of La Dea – February 2016

Atalanta sat 2nd in Serie A, five points clear of 3rd placed Fiorentina.  Having escaped a tough January with 10 points out of 12, February saw us play the teams lying in 18th (Crotone), 17th (Palermo), 6th (Lazio), 16th (Sampdoria) and 12th (Milan).

This month represented a chance to take a huge stride towards the Champions League; 2nd to qualify automatically for the group stages or 3rd and having to negotiate a play off.

Let’s do this.


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Atalanta: The Rise of La Dea – January 2016 – Part Two

We were half way through our most testing month of the season and sitting relatively pretty having picked up 7 points from a possible 9.

After the weekend win at Chievo Verona, a midweek home tie in the Coppa Italia vs Ternana followed.  Three days later we faced the only side yet to beat us this season, Paulo Sousa’s Fiorentina, before a long trip to Naples the following Saturday.

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Atalanta: The Rise of La Dea – January 2016 – Part 1

Like a student frittering away their December days watching all three Home Alone movies in a single sitting, the spectre of January was causing me sleepless nights as we hurtled through the all-to-quick winter break.

In a single month we faced four of Italy’s biggest sides; champions elect Juventus, European competition chasing Inter Milan and Fiorentina, and a Napoli side seeking revenge for their 4-1 defeat at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia earlier in the season.

A trip to Verona to face the Flying Donkeys of Chievo was anything but straightforward while the very winnable cup quarter final against Serie B side Ternana completed a busy month (hence January being a two parter!).


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Atalanta: The Rise of La Dea – December 2015

December saw La Dea return to cup action.  Having disposed of Modena in my first game in charge, we took on Joe Hart’s Torino in the final qualifying round of the Coppa Italia nearly four months on.

Following that we returned to league action; travelling to Sassuolo (12th), a hit and miss side struggling to combine the rigours of Serie A and European football for the first time, facing a Roma side (6th) that was so far failing to kick into gear before ending the month at a struggling Genoa (17th).


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Atalanta: The Rise of La Dea – November 2015

Heading into November, there were plenty of positives on show.  We sat comfortably in fourth and hadn’t conceded a goal since the middle of September (spanning just over six matches).  We were also unbeaten in eight matches since the 2-0 reverse at Fiorentina in only the second game of the season.  Plus we’d even started scoring goals – yes, goals plural – again.  Huzzah.

November provided fixtures that, on paper, would allow us to build on these positives.  Home games against an Empoli side, punching above their weight in 7th place, and rock-bottom Pescara sandwiched a tricky looking game at high flying Udinese (2nd) and a trip to face promoted Cagliari (15th).


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SeenThemGivenFM: FM2017 Challenges and Play-Throughs

So, we have the new features, we have the data updates and, most importantly, we have a release date.  Now it’s time to think about the challenges and play-throughs I’ll set myself for the upcoming instalment of the FM series.  I’ve started with three, though this may change heading into 2017.

For what it’s worth, I will continue on with Atalanta save until the end of this real-life calendar year to allow SI to iron out the various bugs and issues in FM17 before starting the below challenges.

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