Usually a guide is published before the start of something but, this is not the case. Modern football starts in the middle of August when the transfer market is still open, so I think it’s useless to write it before the end of the market.
Just few considerations, for the first time in years the Serie A championship has closed a summer transfer market with a positive balance, Italian clubs have earned 18 million of Euro more than they have spent (392 millions against 374 millions). Last time it happened was during the 2004/05 season, when the balance was positive for 52 millions. In Europe the trend is varied, the other Southern country with an important championship is Spain, where la Liga has closed with 53 millions of earnings; the countries of Northern Europe have behaved differently, Ligue 1 has closed with a loss of 55 millions (thanks to PSG which has spent 138 millions more than it has earned!), Bundesliga has got a negative balance for 98 millions (Bayern’s contributed for 69) and finally Premier League has got a negative balance for 336 millions of Euro.
If Berbatov didn’t sign for Juventus should haven’t come as a surprise with such context…
Let’s start with the top clubs:
Juventus FC, is the last winner of the Italian Serie A and is also the only owner of its stadium, their management are a little bit rude but seems to be effective on the pitch. They have to cope with the long absence of their coach Antonio Conte and with the pressure to be the favourite team other than to play the Uefa Champions League. They’ve bought very good players (Asamoah and Isla from Udinese, Giovinco from Parma and Bendter from Arsenal) but no-one of them is a champion. What’s more they’ve signed Lucio who since the last seasons has a tendency to concede too much to the opponent strikers. Anyway I think they managed to make their team bigger, with more players that could rotate and allow some of their key players to rest sometimes. They’ve kept the base of the team and they have a particular way of playing, so they might compensate the lack of real champions between their strikers with their way of playing as a unite team. Anyway I think they still lack some footballer able to score more than 20 goals in a season and maybe to solve difficult matches when the team could play under their usual value. In fact they’ve bought Bendtner who in his best season scored 15 goals (in 50 matches) and Giovinco who scored 16 (in 38), moreover they already own Matri (best season 13 goals in 39 matches), Quagliarella (21 in 48 in 2008/09 when he was playing in Udine) and Vucinic (22 in 31 during 2004/05 season when he played for Lecce ). Only Vucinic and Bendtner have already scored in the Uefa Champions League, 8 times the first one and 9 the second. We aren’t in front of a Berbatov, just to mention a name…
My judge on their team: 4/5; on their transfer market: 3/5; position at the end of the season: 2nd.
AC Milan, 2nd last season it seems like an old noble man who is slowly dying, yes they have signed Bojan, Pazzini, De Jong and Niang but let’s consider only the facts, the last one is a young player that I strongly doubt is a would-be champion, because I think he’d have been signed by another French team, there are a lot and he cost even few Euro, so why sing for another team abroad? Bojan is an unbelievable talent but he scores very few goals and is too much discontinuous, last season he only scored 7 goals, too few to be considered a champion; Pazzini is an honest footballer but he is not the man who will change this season, he could even score 15 goals by the next summer, but since he’s already scored 3 he has only another 12 goals to score left…De Jong is a waste of Man City even if he is a good player. Anyway it’s even too easy to forecast that most of the problems will come from the defence, last year the two central defenders were Nesta and Thiago Silva, this year Yepes and Bonera, not exactly the same thing…My judge on their team: 3/5; on their transfer market: 1/5; position at the end of the season: 4th.
SSC Napoli, is a great team with a great management, except its coach, Mazzarri a man who seems only able to play counterattacks, he has got a great group of players, very skilled, very good, and the only thing that he wants to do is counterattack. It might even work but, only when you play against teams that leave you play, if they just aim to defend and make the same kind of play as Napoli (like almost all the medium-little teams) then a lot of draws or defeats happens. They’ve a team that could fight for the title, they’ve a lot of good young players: Insigne and Vargas over all, but they seem unable to make the last step to become a top team. However the team has been improved, the sold of Lavezzi hasn’t changed much and they could really aim at something important. My judge on their team: 3/5; on their transfer market: 4/5; position at the end of the season: 3rd.
FC Internazionale, another year without successes, at least is what I forecast, they’ve changed a lot, in a good way in my opinion, selling old expensive players and signing young cheaper ones, but they still seem to lack something. An extremely young manager with no experience in Serie A could be another crucial factor of the season. I don’t think they’ll fight for the title, if everything goes well this season they’ll build their future successes, otherwise there are all the factors to build another disastrous season (a lot of new players, few champions, a team that doesn’t play together). The great number of goals granted to their opponents since now is not a good sign. My judge on their team: 3/5; on their transfer market: 4/5; position at the end of the season: 5th.
AS Roma, they are going to be the real surprise of the 2012/13 Serie A, there are all the ingredients: a spectacular manager (Zeman), a charismatic captain (Totti) a bunch of young hungry players (Lamlea, Destro, Nico Lopez…), a management able to sustain its coach with no pressure. It’s difficult to manage so many young players and work in a city like Rome, where there is a lot of pressure from supporters and media, but Zeman is very likely the best Italian manager when we talk about young development and even if they won’t win the title is quite sure that they’ll have fun with their attacking style. They aren’t going to play European tournaments and this is another advantage, just think at the recent Internazionale – Roma 1 – 3, the first team played in Europa League and it had an influence on their performance at least at a psychological and stress level. Moreover I think they’ve got the strongest attack of the whole Serie A. I really hope they’ll be the surprise of the championship, we need young, funny players and even more important honest men to turn around our Serie A. My judge on their team: 4/5; on their transfer market: 5/5; position at the end of the season: 1st.
I’ll add the remaining teams later.