Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Julian De Martinis On May - 23 - 2011

Six Things We Learned On The Last Serie A Weekend

Giornata 38, despite being the last gameday of the 2010-2011 season, was as fascinating as ever. 10 games, 37 goals, 1 red card, 2 penalties scored, and 2 own goals demonstrated that Serie A went out with a bang. Here are six things that the last matchday of the season taught us.

The Old Lady wants a young coach

Ahead of Juventus’ final game against Napoli, Sporting Director Giuseppe Marotta confirmed what most fans already knew: Gigi Delneri would not be returning next season. Instead the side will turn to forty-one-year-old former legend Antonio Conte, who was able to achieve top flight promotion with Siena this season from the depths of Serie B, to lead the side, beginning on Monday. Given Juventus’s position in the table, and the fan’s banner claiming that Conte would be a “dream” coach, the move hardly seemed too surprising. Still many Juventini are left wondering what could have been if Delneri had been given just one more year to form his side into a true team.

Roma can indeed beat Sampdoria… but there’s a catch

Make Roma play Sampdoria when the side are attempting to hang onto first, and they’ll lose, as Giampaolo Pazzini demonstrated last May. Make the team play when attempting to gain form such as this past January and they’ll still lose nevertheless. But make the two sides meet when the latter is already relegated and the former have little to play for, and Roma can actually win. Francesco Totti, Mirko Vucinic, and Marco Borriello all netted for the capital side in what was likely Vincenzo Montella’s final game in charge. As the newly released shadow of Carlo Ancelotti loomed large, Montella even sent on several primavera players to gain some experience in the match. The win was enough to ensure that Roma play a part in the Europa League qualifiers this summer.

Bari, without pressure, can produce a star performance. And a star player

Bari have long been relegated but go down to Serie B with their heads held quite high. A 4-0 thrashing away against Bologna shows what could have been for the club if only the season had gone differently. Eighteen-year-old Francesco Grandolfo netted a hattrick in only his fourth game for the club all season. Though fans may see Serie B as a place of darkness, they can take solace in the light that emanated from the starlet’s stellar performance on the night.

Udinese-and not Lazio-deserve the fourth spot

Udinese, due largely to the heroics of Marco Amelia, secured a point against Milan to keep the side in fourth. Lazio’s win away against Lecce puts the team level on points but down a position due to the slimmest of margins: goal differential. Edy Reja says his team are angry but that the blame lies solely with them, which is entirely true. Lazio flew high at the beginning of the season and have only slipped downwards; Udinese on the other hand recovered from a rocky start to jettison their way into Europe’s top flight competition at the expense of both Roman clubs. Both clubs now face a similar issue: keep star players to ensure this season will not be just an anomaly.

Palermo: There will be exits

Not Javier Pastore, whom Mauro Zamparini is adamant will stay on at the side, but exits nevertheless. Two huge names, too. Delio Rossi looks set to the leave the club he was fired from but returned to merely weeks after, as the coach and the president just cannot seem to get along (Zamparini famously referred to their relationship as being like a marriage). Captain Fabrizio Miccoli looks to be on his way out as well, to his beloved Lecce where the star will want to finish out his career. The two departures mean that the side have a massive amount of work to do this summer in finding adequate replacements.

Inter are where they are because of Giampaolo Pazzini

Coach Leonardo gets much of the credit for turning around Inter’s disastrous start under Rafa Benitez, but without Il Pazzo the side would be similarly poor. The striker has netted five times in the last five games, scoring crucial goals and gaining points. A double against Catania ensured a win; the opener against Fiorentina begot points as well; and two last minute screamers against Cesena kept faint Scudetto hopes alive. Diego Milito’s drastic decline has been rendered relatively meaningless due to the acquisition of one of the most decisive players on the peninsula.

    Julian De Martinis

    Calcio, Azzurri, and Roma tifosi. Blogger, correspondent, podcast host (@LaMagicast). Lover of books, movies, wordplay, family, and a good cappuccino.

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    • Ted

      A Roma supporter claiming Lazio don’t deserve the CL spot.
      Now that’s original.

    • Julian De Martinis

      Ha it gets even better once you read beyond the first line, let me tell you.

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