Make the Italian Geneose like the Bulgarian Konnik

The real Geneose Crossbowmen were crews of 2-3 with a shield and Halberdier.

Option 1: Give the CrossbowMEN a spear so they are effective at dealing with cavalry at range and even more dangerous at close range (but not as effective as a Halberdier). Perhaps the animation could reflect a team of 2, or just a spear could be added to the shield.

Option 2: When the CrossbowMAN dies, he takes up a spear (like the Konnik).

Like the Konnik, this would make the unit the most expensive to fully upgrade, requiring both archer and infantry upgrades.

But they already are!
GCs are one of the best counter to ALL Cavalry. Huns, Franks and Persians cannot even win against Imp Age italians with FU Arbalests, FU Skirms and GCs with Pavise.

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I mean if you want a game with the whole crew for each and single aspect of the game then AoE2 isn’t for you. After all most crossbowmen were working by pair, so that one dude could reload a crossbow while the other was firing another crossbow. Knights had their squire. Of course, siege weapons had to be built on the spot and operated by many engineers. And frankly I don’t think you needed to be some Bulgarian dude with a weird mace to survive your horse’s death.