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Scot Munroe On July - 14 - 2011

Catania: An Established Club, A New Coach

When Catania were promoted to Serie A back in 2006 most people thought they would not really survive in the top flight, but over the following seasons they have undoubtedly proved those people wrong with some really good displays against the top sides, while playing some very attack-minded football.

Last year the club finished in 13th and went through two managers during the season. Marco Giampaolo started the campaign as manager but on the 18th January he was relieved of his duties and replaced hours later by former Estudiantes and River Plate manager Diego Simone.

There was a South American feel to the squad last year as there was at one point 11 Argentinean players in the squad. Simone got Catania playing well in his four and half month stint in charge in an attacking 4-3-3 formation with Maxi Lopez as the focal point of the attack.

With Simone in charge Catania gave some resilient performances and came back from goals behind to take points away from Roma and Juventus, two of the bigger boys of Serie A. Both games had last minute goals and it was Alejandro Gomez and Francesco Lodi on the score-sheet.

Catania built a relative fortress at home with 10 wins out of 19 at the Stadio Angelo Massimino. But their away form was horrible as they only picked up one win, although they did manage respectable draws at both Champions Milan and Juventus.

One of the players of the season for Catania was Matias Silvestre; the Argentine centre back has been a real rock all season and he has caught the attention of both Liverpool and Juventus. Catania have set an £8m price tag on their club captain and Silvestre was also the club second top goalscorer in the league with six for the season.

Another player that had a good season was fellow Argentine and scorer Maxi Lopez. The much travelled striker has been a real hit in Sicily and last season he had good start but in the final three months of the season he only managed to net once, in a 1-1 draw at Bari. He was led the side with eight goals but at the end of the year he was very close to joining Lazio in the summer and the player is willing to make a move to a higher level of football.

On the June 9th Catania announced their new boss would be the former Roma and Sampdoria player Vincenzo Montella, joining on a two year deal. Montella was at Roma as their head coach from February to May, and in the sixteen games as manager he had seven wins, four draws and five loses, a win percentage of 43.75%.

For Catania next season they need to keep the spine of their team which of course includes some more Argentine squad members - goalkeeper Mario Andujar, Silvestre, Pablo Ledesma, Alejandro Gomez and Lopez they would have a chance of surviving in Serie A for another season. One player they have lost is the Japanese striker Takayuki Morimoto who has joined Novara for the season.

Catania have established themselves as Serie A club since their promotion to the top flight back in 2006 and hopefully, after 22 years away, they will be there for years to come.

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Scot Munroe

A Football fan for around 18 years since the age of 6 years old. My first love is Swindon town now managed by the mad man that is Paolo Di Canio. I have been a fan of Italian football for around 10-15 years now since the Channel four days back in the Uk with James Richardson. I am a Roma fan as well and i have been following the club since 2003 with the attack minded football with Totti and Cassano.

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