Previewing Serie A Clubs for the Rest of the Season (Part One)

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It’s official! Serie A will be back on June 20th and I can’t be more excited! It’s definitely exciting to write about the current season, once again! So, here’s my article previewing Serie A clubs for the rest of the season (Part One).

Brescia

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Despite having arguably the brightest prospect in Serie A, Brescia’s season has been disappointing. Now, I did predict they’d be relegated at the beginning of the season. However, to see last season’s leading Serie B goalscorer, Antonio Donnarumma, and Mario Balotelli underperform has been sad to see. As a result, there’s a good chance they’ll get relegated. Let’s see if they can recover and avoid relegation for next season. Of course, if relegation ends up happening.

Spal

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For the previous couple of seasons, Spal has been able to narrowly avoid relegation to Serie B. However, so far this season they haven’t performed with that same fighting spirit that kept them up. As a result, they currently sit in 19th in the standings. Their main striker, Andrea Petagna has been superb with 11 goals in the current campaign. He’s even caught the eye of Napoli. As a result, he’ll join Napoli in the summer. If SPAL wants to stay up, they’ll definitely need to improve their performance

Lecce

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Coming into this season, I expected Lecce to be relegated. They are performing like expected. However, they’ve had some massive results this season. Currently, they sit in 18th, tied in points with Genoa. They could very well avoid descending to Serie B. If they continue to shock some other clubs within the league, you never know. Also, their squad has one of the most underrated players in Serie A in Marco Mancosu. He could definitely lead them to staying up in Serie A. Of course, only time will tell.

Genoa

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It’s sad to see such a historically great club in Serie A fall this far. Even, last season they avoided relegation by such a slim margin. I’m not sure exactly what they have to do in order to change their results week-in and week-out, but something has to change. It doesn’t help that they loaned out two bright young players in Christian Kouamé and Kevin Agudelo to Fiorentina in January. They definitely need to improve immensely if they don’t want to have to fight to stay up for the rest of the season.

Sampdoria

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Coming into this season, I thought that Sampdoria were going to be one of the more underrated clubs. However, I was completely wrong! Instead, they’re fighting to stay in Serie A next season. They only sit 1 point above the relegation zone. What I thought was going to be a great season for Sampdoria under Eusebio Di Francesco, was a disaster. They’ve definitely been very underwhelming. It didn’t help that at the beginning of the season, they lost 6 of their first seven matches. Although, under Claudio Ranieri they’ve improved slightly. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on the blucerchiati as the season progresses.

There you have it! This is my article previewing Serie A clubs for the rest of the season (part one). If you haven’t already, be sure to follow me on Twitter @calciofanblogs1, on Instagram @calciofanblogs. Be sure to follow and like my Facebook Page, which is Calcio Fan Blogs. Additionally, if you would like to reach out to me via email, write to josephporco6@gmail.com or calciofanblogs@gmail.com.

The Most Disappointing Serie A Clubs So Far This Season

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Last week, I published an article of who I thought were the most impressive Serie A clubs so far this season. However, in this article I will be writing about who I think have been Serie A’s biggest disappointments this season. So, here they are! Enjoy!

SAMPDORIA

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Sampdoria’s start to the season was worst than I think anyone could’ve imagined. They had only won 2 matches in their first 8 under Di Francesco. After that horrible run of form, Eusebio Di Francesco got sacked and in came Claudio Ranieri. Ranieri has only earned two wins so far as Sampdoria’s managers. However, they’re steadily improving. Their place in the standings is not where they should be at all, despite their improvement. They currently sit one point above the relegation zone in 17th, which is disappointing, considering at the beginning of the season, I thought they’d be able to challenge for a spot in a European competition. It could still very well happen, however with Quagliarella not scoring like last season, I don’t see anyone bailing them out enough for that to be possible.

UDINESE

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For me, at least, coming into this season I would’ve thought Udinese would fight for a midtable place in the Serie A. However, fast-forward to their current situation and they sit in 16th, only being 4 points from relegation. Their current position is very surprising, considering, some of the talent they have. For example, a player like Rodrigo De Paul is very underrated, in my opinion and may very well leave Udinese soon if they are this low in the standings down the road. However, there are rumors linking him with a January move to Inter. I’m hoping that this iconic club stays up. But, if they continue to play the way they are, I don’t see it. Indeed, they’ve developed some great players such as Dino Zoff, Alex Meret, Antonio Di Natale, etc. It’d definitely be a tragedy if they were to go down to Serie B.

AC MILAN

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At the start of this season, many thought that while AC Milan was going through a rebuild, they’d Challenge for a Champions League spot. However, as of now, they are in 10th place and their performances this season have been consistently underwhelming. Yes, they seem to be improving under Stefano Pioli, however, they’re still not performing as expected. Gennaro Gattuso may have said why he resigned as the rossoneri’s manager last summer. But, now many are starting to realize what he said about the players was true. There’s still a long way to go before the season is done and dusted, however, they need to improve immensely before the end of the season. A signing of a certain someone in January may help them. That someone would be Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

NAPOLI

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If you were to look at Napoli’s results in the Champions League this season, you’d think they’d be scudetto contenders. However, it’s not been like that at all. They’ve been very disappointing this season. So much so that they fired Carlo Ancelotti earlier this week and replaced him with Gennaro Gattuso. There are many reasons people think as to why this has been a disastrous season for Napoli, so far. A big portion of the blame is going to some of the core players that have been underperforming. There are also several other reasons why they’re underperforming. However, if Napoli want to be scudetto contenders this season, they’ll have to improve immensely. With the squad that the club has, there’s no excuse not to finish in the top 3, in my opinion.

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Will Stefano Pioli and Claudio Ranieri Work Out for AC Milan and Sampdoria?

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This week, two massive developments have taken place within the Serie A. The first was that Di Francesco got sacked from Sampdoria, then, not too many days after, Giampaolo got let go from AC Milan as well. Then, in the same week, Stefano Pioli got appointed to be the rossoneri’s new manager and Claudio Ranieri became Sampdoria’s new manager. So, here’s how I think they will do at their new clubs!

STEFANO PIOLI AT AC MILAN

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Immediately after Stefano Pioli was appointed as AC Milan’s manager, fans of the club started using the #pioliout on social media. While, I don’t think it’s right to dismiss a manager that quickly, I also don’t believe that by the end of the season he’ll work out for the club. Now, does that mean I don’t think he’ll improve the the club’s results by the end of the season? Of course, I believe he will! However, even if he leads Milan to qualify for the Europa League in fifth like Gattuso did last season, I still don’t believe they’ll want to keep him. AC Milan’s upper-management does not seem to have any patience at all in regards to managers, therefore, unfortunately I don’t see him working out with the rossoneri by the end of the season. However, I do hope it works out for the sake of the fans within the city.

CLAUDIO RANIERI AT SAMPDORIA

 

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One of the interesting parts of this appointment by Sampdoria is that it’s the second time in a row that Claudio Ranieri has been hired as a club’s manager right after Eusebio Di Francesco has been sacked at the same team. However, I do think that Ranieri appointment as Sampdoria’s manager will work out for the club. The reason I believe this is because the style he implements at clubs is usually a more defensive one, as opposed to a possession/heavy pressing one. I think that with Sampdoria’s current squad, that style will work the best. I know that under Giampaolo, they played very possession based football, however, a big part of that was banking on the fact that Quagliarella was on his game and constantly banging in goals. However, under Di Francesco, he tried to get them to play a very offensive style of play, but, unlike under Giampaolo, Quagliarella hasn’t been scoring enough so far this season. That lead to Di Francesco downfall at Sampdoria. Anyhow, I do believe Ranieri’s style will cause headaches for opponents, as they’ll be tougher to break down. This will lead to them improving significantly this season.

3 Takeaways From Last Weekend’s Serie A Action

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Like usual, this past weekend of Serie A matches were amazing! As a result of the matches this past weekend, there were two managers fired, as well. This made this past weekend’s fixtures seem even more fascinating. So, here are 3 of my takeaways from last weekend’s Serie A matches!

 

1. JUVE SHOWED WHY THEY’VE KEEP WINNING THE SERIE A TITLE WHEN THEY FACED INTER.

 

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This past weekend, Juve were victors in the Derby D’Italia, beating Inter 2-1. However, this match demonstrated why they’ve won the scudetto 8 consecutive times. Not only did they get the job done, but they dominated such a big match in the Serie A. I’ve had my doubts about Maurizio Sarri ever since he got appointed to be the manager of the bianconeri. However, it seems as though the squad is beginning to learn how to fit within his system. In my view, Juve’s defence still needs work. However, Bonucci looks as though he is becoming comfortable with leading that backline. Despite, Juve’s key injuries, they don’t look like they’re missing a beat, whatsoever.

2. SAMPDORIA NEED TO GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER QUICKLY

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Last season, Sampdoria seemed like they had so much upside under Giampaolo. Then, he left and they appointed Eusebio Di Francesco. I must admit that before the season started, I had written a blog post that mentioned Sampdoria as being underrated with Di Francesco as their manager. However, I was completely wrong and instead, he was a bust at Sampdoria. After, only leading Sampdoria to one win in his seven matches on the touchline, it was inevitable that he’d be sacked and he was. Now, Sampdoria will need to get back to how they played last season if they want to finish in a mid-table spot by the end of the season. They will need to fix their issues fast, as they are currently on track to be relegated to Serie B by the end of this season.

3. AC MILAN WON AGAINST GENOA, BUT GIAMPAOLO IS NO LONGER THEIR MANAGER

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AC Milan has now gone through 8 different managers in 5 years as a result of this sacking. The weird part is that AC Milan’s upper-management decided to sack Giampaolo after they won against Genoa last Saturday. However, it is not surprising, as AC Milan’s upper-management seems to not have had patience with their managers over the past several seasons. I understand that under Giampaolo, AC Milan were performing way below par, but they should’ve given him more time to implement his philosophy with the squad. However, the club’s board has clearly not possessed patience for a while, in regards to the managers they’ve hired. As a result, they are a mess and all I will say to AC Milan’s new manager is good luck because whoever it is, will need a ton of it.

 

 

The 4 Most Underrated Clubs Heading Into the 2019-2020 Serie A Season

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   When Serie A fans discuss this upcoming season, clubs like Juventus, Inter, Napoli, and even Fiorentina are mentioned. However, in my view, there are a few clubs that are not talked about enough and even underrated. So, I will discuss who I think are the 4 most underrated clubs heading into the 2019-2020 season.

4. AS ROMA 

   The giallorossi have been very busy in this summer transfer window. They sold a key defender for them in Kosta Manolas and it’s almost like the floodgates opened after that, as they made many big signings. Notable ones include Gianluca Mancini, Pau Lopez, Jordan Veretout, and Leonardo Spinazzola. They also signed a few more players. However, despite all this, many fans and pundits don’t believe they’ll get a Champions League spot for next season. However,I beg to differ. Many underrate this club and under the leadership of new manager, Paulo Fonseca, they may regret that, as Roma will come back with a bang this season. Last season they missed out on the Champions League. This season, I don’t see it happening.

3. LAZIO 

    Lazio has not made any huge signings this summer. However, I still think they’ll make a splash in the upcoming Serie A season. Simone Inzaghi is an underrated manager and he could very well lead them to new heights. However, Lazio are a club to watch out for, not because of the money they’ve spent, but, the player they’ve been able to keep. Based on many rumors, it would’ve seemed nearly impossible for Lazio to keep star midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic at the beginning of the summer. However, they did. Now with some smaller additions, this Lazio squad could shock many Serie A fans and really do something extraordinary.

2. ATALANTA 

Atalanta did something that was uncalled for last season, they qualified for this season’s Champions League by placing third in the last Serie A campaign. They haven’t made a huge splash in the transfer market, as you’d expect a club going into the Champions League would. But, they’ve made a couple key signings. One is Luis Muriel, who will add firepower to that already jaw-dropping attack. Also, they bought Martin Skrtel, who will provide crucial veteran presence in the back for Atalanta. This club may now be playing in multiple competitions, but look for them to shock the calcio world once again, like they did last season.

1. SAMPDORIA 

For those who’ve read some of my blog posts, it is obvious that I admire Eusebio Di Francesco as a manager. His style of play is exciting and the heights he can get his squads to reach is remarkable. Sampdoria will just be another one of those squads that he improves. Sampdoria acquired Colombian centreback, Jeison Murillo, on loan from Valencia this summer. That’ll be huge for them in the back. Also, many people are writing this Sampdoria squad off. But, it seems as if they can elevate their level of play and possible earn a Europa League spot for next season. I wouldn’t bet against Eusebio Di Francesco or this Sampdoria side. So, watch out for this club, as they should make waves in this upcoming Serie A campaign.

To conclude, I am excited to see how these underrated clubs do in this upcoming league campaign. However, what I am most excited for is watching the upcoming Serie A season happen. The new Serie A season begins at 12 pm Eastern Time today and I absolutely can’t wait to see these and other clubs in action once again.