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

Julian De Martinis On August - 24 - 2011

Italian Serie A 2011-2012 Club Preview: Genoa C.F.C

Season Preview: Genoa


Genoa’s tenth place finish last season could be viewed as a disappointment from a number of angles. Most strikingly, the side had finished a place higher the season prior and could have hoped to fight for a European spot last campaign.  Out went Marco Amelia and in came Eduardo to fill in between the sticks - a move that should have turned out to be much better than it did, given the latter’s solid reputation before joining and penchant for horrible errors after. The side featured an enormous array of attacking talent, including veteran Hernan Crespo, Raffaelle Palladino, Giuseppe Sculli, Roberto Acquafresca, David Suazo and Rodrigo Palacio, but still struggled offensively. Davide Ballardini was sacked this summer for Alberto Malesani, who now faces the task of incorporating a glut of new players, as nearly ever Genoa coach faces each summer.

Key Acquisitions/Key Departures

All Acquisitions:
Birsa (Auxerre), Constant (Chievo), Granqvist (Groningen), Ribas (Digione), Ze Eduardo(Santos), Pratto (Universidad Catolica), Seymour (Universidad de Cile), Jorquera (Colo Colo),Krajnc (Maribor), Vinetot (Crotone),  Meggiorini (Bologna), Lupatelli(Bologna), Kharja (Inter), Papastathopoulos, Beretta e Merkel (Milan), Frey (Fiorentina), William (Corinthians), Bovo (Palermo)

All Departures:
Domenic Criscito (Zenit San Pietroburgo),,El Shaarawy e Paloschi (Milan), Rafinha (BayernMonaco), Boakye e Cofie (Sassuolo), Floro Flores (Udinese), Boselli (Wigan), Lamanna (Bari),Rodriguez (Bologna), Konko (Lazio), Destro (Siena), Meggiorini (Novara), Acquafresca (Bologna),Eduardo (Benfica), Paro (Vicenza), Chico (Mallorca), Zuculini (Saragozza), Milanetto (Padova),Hallenius (Padova), Kharja (Fiorentina).

Where to even begin? Genoa are often the club with the most turnover each Serie A summer, and this mercato has been no exception. Enrico Preziosi’s side offloaded a number of big names, including defender Rafinha to Bayern Munich, whose brief time at the club never reached the expected heights. Domenico Criscito has departed as well to join Luciano Spalletti at Zenit St. Petersburg, and goalkeeper Eduardo has been shipped off after a season of disastrous keeping. Milan has acquired one of the side’s most promising young players in Stefan El Shaarawy who played a very minor role at the club last season. Finally, Antonio Floro Flores has returned to Udinese to fill the huge void left by Alexis Sanchez.

In terms of acquisitions, the side have been equally frantically active. Sebastien Frey may turn out to be one of the signings of the season, given Genoa’s goalkeeping problems in recent years. The former Fiorentina man is a superb shot-stopper and will hope that Cesare Bovo can improve his defensive side and keep the club’s backline from being so porous. Many of the other acquisitions are youth gambles, such as Milan’s Alexander Merkel and Juraj Kucka from Prague.


The side still need to acquire a deadly finisher. The side have let go of no less than three strikers over the window but have failed to sign at least one proven Serie A caliber marksman. This could prove tremendously costly for the club; although the side may prove to be stronger in the back, the attack only scored 45 goals in 38 games last season.

Player To Watch

Sebastien Frey has a bit of a point to prove. Despite being excellent with Fiorentina whenever being called up, the Frenchman was cast aside by La Viola this mercato after being told he would be second fiddle at best to Artur Boruc. Genoa may have improved defensively in the latter part of last season, but Eduardo definitely cost the club more than a few points. Frey’s superb shot stopping will be needed especially if the likes of Bovo does not improve to give Genoa any hopes of improving upon last season’s 10th place finish.

What to Expect/Prediction

Wildcard. Genoa are nearly always impossible to predict given the tumultuous nature of the squad. The high amount of turnover often means that the team has little time to gel and thus fails to live up to its potential. However, Alberto Malesani may be able to mold his men into a tight-knit counterattacking force built upon the speed of Rodrigo Palacio. It all depends on how well some of the variables pan out- for example, if Merkel can have a breakthrough season- but the transfers may simply have not been enough up front. Another midtable finish is likely for the side.

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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