Guide to Serie A, season 2012/13

Serie A 2012/13

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.

What does it remain of the Italian football?

Italian football: a matter of crime.

Another scandal, just after 6 years from the last one, and I’m only referring to the main scandal, because otherwise it would have been a long list of scandals.

Many football players, coaches, even some president sold games for money, or to do a favour to friends or to other team that eventually would have done something in exchange.

It’s a tradition in Italy to do not play the last games of a season if they have nothing to gain.

It’s also a tradition to be not so tough with someone found guilty, because next time that one could be yourself.

It’s also a tradition to promise no tolerance with the cheater, and eventually after five or more years you would find out that something more than tolerance will been used.

The president of the Italian federation was nominated after the scandal of the 2006, match fixing mainly from Juventus, but what changed? Has he done is job properly?

He should resign immediately, and all the people who will be found guilty should be banned for life from football, and the teams should be relegated to an inferior division. Will this happen? No, we will have to watch a poor show where few will pay and more will get by.

The Lazio captain Mauri just some weeks ago said to his fans: “No worry, everything is fine.”. Now he is in jail.

The Genoa player Sculli, the one who didn’t take off his shirt when the hooligans ordered it, avoided the jail only luckily, at that time everyone thought that he is a player with a great personality because he didn’t obey, but now we have found out that he didn’t do it because he is an accomplice.

Is anything left of the Italian football? Yes, two things: Zeman and the players like Farina and Pisacane (the two who called the authorities).

Invasion: an alien has become our Prime Minister!!!

E.T.

That’s the only rational explanation to his request for a stop to our football! Even of 2-3 years!

That’s unbelievable, someone in Italy, called for a radical change of attitude towards our main religion: the football. Oh my god.

Can I just say that I love that man (as a prime minister I mean)?

Anyway I think the only thing we got by stopping the football for 2 or 3 years would be a whole championship fixed because they would have the time to arrange all the matches, not just a dozen of them!

Napoli won its first title in nearly 20 years

Last Sunday Napoli won its first title in a lot of time, when the got the last one Maradona was still playing in their team.

Anyway this post is not about that triumph but about Napoli’s coach Walter Mazzarri, a good trainer, a serious person, he gets to be not fired for 3 years in a row (nearly a miracle in Serie A) and got a trophy, the Coppa Italia, and made Napoli play great games in the last Champions League, being eliminated only the next champion Chelsea. But for my point of view this has not been being a great season.

Let me explain, Napoli has got some astonishing good players, Cavani an unusual forward but able to score even 30 goals a season, Hamsik a great offensive midfielder and the genius Lavezzi, a man who can invent anything when attacks. When you have those guys playing for your team I think you should do a lot more of what they did during the last season. Playing only on counter attack it’s not so bad if you are the weaker team on the pitch but those times are gone, Napoli is a top team right now, maybe it lacks of experience especially in Europe, but that is no so serious, the next years they will reduce the gap, so they must play like a big team, trying to make the game and win by playing better than the opponents.

It is time to become big, a Coppa Italia is not the end of the ambitions it is a start but they need to change coach to make the final step through the big teams of Europe.

Who cares about Pescara’s comeback in Serie A?

Pescara is a medium town in the hearth of Italy, it doesn’t have a great football history, having played just 5 times in the Serie A until now. The company had failed in 2008 and then was rebuilt in a lower series. They’re nearly 20 years since their last appearance in the maximum championship. But last Sunday with their win at Genova against Sampdoria, they’ve reached it again.

I’m not a Pescara fan and I’m not a big passionate of lower Italian championship, but in Italy we have a coach who is more a faith than a man. His name is Zeman. He is a natural enemy of Juventus and its fans, because of he was the man who spoke about the illicit practices in that team when no-one was brave enough, about drugs abuse. He had paid for years that declaration, it was like a man with plague no-one would have hired him because of his powerful enemies, so he ended training in lower series.

But he is also the man who drove Foggia during the 90s to unbelievable targets, with team of unknown players.

And he is definitely the most offensive coach in Italy and maybe in the world (with Bielsa and Guardiola).

He allows young player to play, something unheard of, he always attacks, I can’t remember what was the match but in the 90s when he trained Foggia, during a match they were winning 4-0 at home, he made a substitution between a defender with another forward, he tied that match 4-4. But that has been the mentality for so many years.

He’s been seen as a guru for many Italians fan even if they do not support his team, because of his honesty, his attitude to attack and his spectacular way of playing football.

So even if Pescara is not a historical team or a great name, many Italians football fans celebrated its big achievement on the last Sunday.

GO ZEMAN!

 

Prandelli says let me modernize Italian National Football team…

Italian coach, the same old story

…and he has just started hiring his son as a athletic trainer of the national team. That’s a revolution in Italy hiring a relative as a collaborator, isn’t that?

The most important record of this edition of Italian Serie A

1/17

1/17

With the last week of Italian Serie A almost gone, one record shines upon every other, is the number of coaches fired, a mark of the national crisis someone could put it.

But we are talking of 17 (seventeen) coaches fired in just a championship and I’m sure if it wasn’t ending this Sunday they would be more.

A lot of people, journalists, fortune tellers, Prime Ministers, have tried to explain why so many of our trainers are fired every year; no-one has got a solution. Even looking at the standings doesn’t help. Let’s consider the Queen of all companies this year with three coaches fired (one of them twice…) Genoa, they’ve changed a lot and nevertheless they’re still playing to not be relegated tomorrow in Serie B. So why so many decide to fire a coach?

The main reason seems to be the lack or results but the most curious, and let’s me point out the true innovations of this season, is to have beat a player out (for reference see: http://wp.me/p28Qga-3C).

So if someone wanted to sum the season of Italian football up he could mention: the failure of Italian teams in the European cups (no-one reached the semi-finals), the nervous breakdown of Luis Enrique (a man who the only guilt was trying to play in a decent way), the new peaks reached by some of its most famous player (Ibrahimovic) in the good manner field, the first Scudetto of Juventus after their relegation (obviously immediately became a fight, as always) and at last our all time record of coaches fired.

And with an explosive couple to be called in the national team, Cassano and Ballottelli…see you in Euro 2012!