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Lorenzo Vicini On August - 17 - 2011

Serie A 2011-12 Club Preview: Cesena Calcio

2010-11 Recap

In their first season back in Serie A since 1990, the belief was the Seahorses would only enjoy their stay in the top flight for all of 38 games. After three weeks in, Cesena were the darlings of Serie A, sitting atop the table alongside Inter. The experience at the top didn’t last for long and the club became embattled in the relegation race late in the season. Yet, Cesena went on a fantastic run during the final two months of the season, ensuring safety with a game left to play. The Seahorses made a name for themselves last season and shed light on some true gems like Emanuele Giaccherini and Marco Parolo while making the Dino Manuzzi a formidable place to play.

Key Acquisitions

Antonio Candreva, Gianluca Comotto, Eder, Roberto Guana, Adrian Mutu, Guillermo Rodriguez, Marco Rossi

Key Departures

Stephan Appiah, Fabio Caserta, Luis Jimenez, Davide Santon

The Summer So Far

The club has been extremely active during the offseason. Not only have the Seahorses brought in a whole host of new players, they will also be led by a new coach after Massimo Ficcadenti left, recently joining Cagliari. Club patron Igor Campedelli brought Marco Giampaolo on board to lead the Seahorses in their second season of top flight Italian football. Giampaolo is a young coach who has had previous stints at the helm of Ascoli, Cagliari, Siena and Catania.

After renewing the contracts of several key players like Giuseppe Colucci, Francesco Antonioli and Marco Parolo, the club quickly addressed and filled holes in each area of the field. Overall, 14 new faces have been added to the Cesena camp while 11 have departed. The club’s ambitious prospects for next season has led to many excellent pickups such as Candreva, Eder and Adrian Mutu. Such talented players should help out an attack that floundered a bit last season. The additions of Comotto, Rossi and Rodriguez could prove to be instrumental in defense.

What Next?

With a flurry of purchases and departures, it has been a pleasant surprise to still see both Parolo and Giaccherini still amongst the ranks. There is still plenty of days left in the transfer window so their permanence cannot be taken for granted yet. Regardless of whether or not one or both stays, the club still needs to bolster their midfield to provide some more depth. Nonetheless, Cesena does not seem to be done making moves yet as rumors suggest they are still looking towards one more key midfielder piece with names such as Almiron, Giandonato, Biondini and Yebda all being linked as possible candidates.

Man To Watch

The Seahorses have managed to keep a large part of their team together from last season, so far holding onto prized assets like Marco Parolo and Emanuele Giaccherini for the time being. They’ve also bolstered their squad during the transfer market with talented players like Antonio Candreva and Eder.

Of everyone on the roster, though, all eyes will be focused on Adrian Mutu. The Romanian star surprised many when he joined Cesena from Fiorentina. The player possesses the kind of ability that can take the Seahorses to the next level; however, Mutu has been troubled throughout his career for his own personal flaws. It was a gamble that Cesena management willingly took when they signed him and they are hoping it pays off.

What To Expect

President Igor Campedelli has bigger expectations for his club after surviving the first season back in the top flight. With numerous acquisitions made to strengthen every part of the squad, Cesena clearly has bigger objectives than Serie A survival. In order to achieve these goals, the Seahorses are counting on an improved defense that could feature three new starters from last campaign with a coach who knows how to organize a back line. The biggest improvement, though, will have to come at the offensive end as the club knows it has to be more prolific after only notching 38 goals last term. While some may expect them to only escape relegation, the Seahorses have the talent capable of finishing midtable this year.

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