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

Julian De Martinis On August - 21 - 2011

Italian Serie A 2011-2012 Club Preview: Catania

Season Preview: Catania

Opening/Recap

Catania finished last season in a relatively comfortable 13th position, exactly the same as the season before earning a point more in the process- which was a record for the club for the third year in a row. The side featured an exciting mix of stalwarts and rising youngsters, such as Matias Silvestre and Ezequiel Schelotto. Maxi Lopez rather single-handedly carried the strikeforce with eight goals throughout the season, including a match winner against Udinese and a strike against Roma. The team went through three coaches, moving from Marco Giampaolo to Diego Simone halfway through the season before appointing Vincenzo Montella at the campaign’s end.

Key Acquisitions/Key Departures

All acquisitions: Moretti (Ascoli), Barrientos (Estudiantes), Delvecchio (Atalanta), Terracciano(Nocerina), Keko (Atletico Madrid), Lanzafame (Palermo), Paglialunga (Rosario), Suazo (Inter)

All departures: Schelotto (Atalanta), Bergessio (Saint-Etienne), Carboni (Banfield), Terlizzi (Varese), Pesce (Novara), Morimoto (Novara), Martinho (Cesena), Silvestre (Palermo)

The side have endured a mixed off-season, acquiring several promising players but losing a few important pieces to their puzzle. The biggest loss could prove to be centerback Silvestre who headed off to Palermo. Besides being the side’s top defender last season, the Argentine was also the team’s second highest scorer. Schelotto may not have fulfilled his potential but will be a name to watch at Atalanta nevertheless. Finally, the young Japanese Takayuki Morimoto may have only scored six goals in 39 appearances over the last two season, but did give the side an unpredictable element up front when on form.

In terms of acquisitions, Davide Lanzafame should prove a decent reinforcement in the attack, although he will need to improve on his finishing as he failed to score entirely last season in 16 appearances for Juventus and Brescia. David Suazo also surprisingly joined the side after being abandoned by Cagliari; his veteran presence up top, despite his age, could easily make fans forget about the departed Japanese man.

Needs

The side shipped 52 goals last season and the departure of Silvestre will only make the side more vulnerable. A big name defender has yet to be brought in and could expose the side’s frailty should the acquisition not occur by August 31.

Player To Watch

David Suazo has much to prove as a player. After numerous injuries with Inter it seemed the 31-year-old’s career was coming to a standstill. A loan move to Genoa did help him gain crucial playing time which was hard to come by at the Nerazzurri but a return of only 3 goals in 16 appearances left something to be desired from a striker. The bizarre incident between him and his beloved Cagliari earlier this summer reflects how much of a gamble the player now seems, as the club’s chairman confirmed his comeback only to later change his mind about the move. Somewhere within remains the player that scored 22 goals in 05/06 and 14 in 06/07 for Inter, but between age and form, questions linger over whether that man can be found any longer.

Prediction

A solid midtable finish. The side have lost main players and added ones that could prove rather solid. Defensively, Catania could be found lacking against big teams, but they should have the firepower up front to deal with the minnows of Serie A. Vincenzo Montella advocates an attacking style of play which could suit the team very very well. It appears solid enough on paper to find itself somewhere in between the giants of the league and the teams far worse than it below them.

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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