Wanda's World: Serie A 2019-2020

Zososoxfan

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Jul 30, 2009
5,538
South of North
I'm embarrassed to say it took me several minutes before settling on that thread title. Mamma Mia! Chasing the Celtics (more below), Calcio Pepe, and others are strewn about the proverbial cutting floor.

I don't have much to say, but really wanted to start this thread to have an appropriate place to showcase this goddamn masterpiece (embed fail):


Once again, Juve are the heavy favorites going into the season. They've won every Serie A going back to approximately 1608 (N.B. actually 2011-2012), with only 3 of those campaigns as close as 4 points to the second place finisher. That being said, Inter seems to be reviving out of their doldrums, Napoli remain shrewd at player movement, Atalanta had a great season, Milan and Roma are there, and other teams exist too. Even if one of those teams finds an XI that can match Juve's best XI, Juve's 12-22 are stronger than almost any other club's (MANC being a notable exception).

Juve made some big pickups after crashing out against the Ajax team that captured the continent's admiration this spring. The biggest headline by far has to be the acquisition of De Ligt from Ajax. This guy is the closest thing to VVD--he's not there yet but he's also 19 (!). His leadership qualities and scoring ability on headers are huge value adds. But I swear to god if Chiellini, Barzagli, et al teach him the dark arts, I will hate him forever. Ramsay got paid immense wages as a result of no transfer fee, Rabiot despite having agent representation shenanigans that would make Griezmann AND Icardi blush is still an excellent young player, and ritualistically picked off some of the most promising young players from other Italian clubs. If they win the Scudetto this year, it would surpass the Celtics of the 60s for consecutive championships (clutches cloverleaf-shaped pearls).

Napoli splashed some serious Lira for Manolas (poached from Roma, ouch) and not much else. They have a lot of same core coming back, but it's not a particularly young core you'd expect to make strides. Will be interesting to see if they can keep up their performance.

Inter's biggest transfer was bringing in Conte, who demands immediate respect from other big clubs and players. Conte is a demanding manager but one who can whip a club into shape in a hurry. This man belongs gesticulating in Italy and as a Nerrazzuri I'm thrilled with this development. Inter spent big to bring in a lot of promising young guys who presumably Conte will train and mold into a competent team. Lautaro seems primed for a huge breakout this season, but question marks abound in the attack after him. Godin should corral a good defense. What in the actual fuck is going on with Icardi? Inter seem a year away from spending even bigger and mounting a real challenge for the Scudetto.

Roma absolutely botched Daniele De Rossi's exit from the club (sounds familiar...), but did spend on some promising young players. Roma seems to be collecting quality young talent at reasonable prices and it will be interesting to see if that's the strategy for the foreseeable future or whether the club (owned by FSG I believe) intends to sprinkle in some more expensive talent and really take it up a notch.

Milan was less active than the other clubs, but did make two bigtime pickups with Theo Hernandez (a world class LB from Madrid) and Atalanta standout Kessie. This squad looks better than the others on paper (IMO), but the wage structure is a bit messy with Donnamura (sp?) still the most valuable player.

Atalanta only major moves were bringing in Muriel from Sevilla (very solid move) and Malinovskyi (?) from Genk. However, the losses were significant with Kessie to Napoli, Cristante to Roma, and Petagna to SPAL.

I still think of Italian football as defensive, slow, stodgy, dramatic, and inferior to EPL, La Liga, and Bundesliga (both in quality and entertainment value), but it does seem like Serie A is slowly getting ready to get back to a respectable level.

Edit: Juve also picked up some teenager named De Ligt (facepalm). Thanks @SocrManiac
 
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rguilmar

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Jul 16, 2005
220
Atalanta will most likely take a step back due to playing in the UCL. Just the wear and tear, increased injury risk, and general fatigue will play a role. Both Kessie and Cristante were loaned out last year so they didn’t really lose those players from the squad that played so well last year. They kept the four most important pieces so far: Gomez, Ilicic, Duvan, and Gasperini.

Serie A is definitely more defensive, tactical, and cagey than the other major leagues. Part of me hopes that watching a smaller club like Atalanta do so well last year while playing attractive, attacking soccer will inspire other teams to try the same. I mean, they looked like a video game for most of the season.

Juve are still kings, but other teams are improving. There is a ton of pressure there as it feels like the demand is to win the Champions League. Inter has made nice moves and have been building over the last few years. I like what Milan have been doing too, building a strong spine from GK to S. Both teams are well behind Juve now though. Napoli is still there, but not close enough to Juve and potentially due for a step back in the future. Roma? Who knows?
 

rguilmar

lurker
Jul 16, 2005
220
Bump, because we are actually playing football.

Curious as to what others think so far this campaign. Juve still look like the class of Italy to me. I know they are barely in first, but they beat Napoli (fantastic game) and Inter already. Both challengers just seem to lack enough quality to put up a fight, but it’s early going. I’m pleased my binky team from last season, Atalanta, is still looking strong in league play. 18 goals in 7 matches leads Serie A. Keeping the attacking trio and manager was a huge win for a team without a home right now.

At the bottom, Milan are struggling. Just look to have a lot of good and sporadically great players, not enough consistently great ones. Meanwhile, the city of Genoa is getting salami’d with both teams in the bottom two. Not that I expect it to happen, but have two teams from the same city (even same stadium) been relegated in the same year in Italy?
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Mar 24, 2008
3,836
Anyone else disappointed by ESPN's Serie A coverage?

I have not paid up for ESPN+, partly out of principle with what I already spend on cable that goes to them, but I don't know anything going on in Serie A because even their game of the week seems like it often isn't the best match of the week. I see these teams in CL matches (if they're playing an EPL or La Liga team) and that's about it. The Bundesliga has much better US coverage.
 

67YAZ

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Dec 1, 2000
1,696
Over the in Spurs thread, I mused that Mourinho should be heading to Milan since Serie A is maybe the only top-tier league left where his tactical style would play well. Then I started reading around some, and came across this tidbit from Milan's attempt to hire Jose this summer:

He did not pretend a high salary, however, Mourinho had one non-negotiable condition: the appointment of Luis Campos as sporting director of AC Milan. The Portuguese coach wanted to work with his compatriot who has done wonders at Monaco and Lille. It was impossible to bring Luis Campos at San Siro with Lille unwilling to allow his departure. Negotiations lasted for just a few days and AC Milan eventually opted for Giampaolo.
Not sure what would be different a few months later. Will be fascinating to see who Milan can get and under what terms. It's still a good job and they aren't that far off the mark...but it's an awkward time to land something better last summer's cold left overs.
 

wonderland

lurker
Jul 20, 2005
274
Bump, because we are actually playing football.

Curious as to what others think so far this campaign. Juve still look like the class of Italy to me. I know they are barely in first, but they beat Napoli (fantastic game) and Inter already. Both challengers just seem to lack enough quality to put up a fight, but it’s early going. I’m pleased my binky team from last season, Atalanta, is still looking strong in league play. 18 goals in 7 matches leads Serie A. Keeping the attacking trio and manager was a huge win for a team without a home right now.

At the bottom, Milan are struggling. Just look to have a lot of good and sporadically great players, not enough consistently great ones. Meanwhile, the city of Genoa is getting salami’d with both teams in the bottom two. Not that I expect it to happen, but have two teams from the same city (even same stadium) been relegated in the same year in Italy?
Agreed on Napoli. They don’t look as strong this year; struggling at times to score goals. I’m not sure what’s going on with Insigne of late. Llorente has been playing too many minutes for my taste. I wasn’t thrilled with the Lozano signing. There’s a long way to go but the hole might be too deep already.
 

Zososoxfan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 30, 2009
5,538
South of North
Bump, because we are actually playing football.

Curious as to what others think so far this campaign. Juve still look like the class of Italy to me. I know they are barely in first, but they beat Napoli (fantastic game) and Inter already. Both challengers just seem to lack enough quality to put up a fight, but it’s early going. I’m pleased my binky team from last season, Atalanta, is still looking strong in league play. 18 goals in 7 matches leads Serie A. Keeping the attacking trio and manager was a huge win for a team without a home right now.

At the bottom, Milan are struggling. Just look to have a lot of good and sporadically great players, not enough consistently great ones. Meanwhile, the city of Genoa is getting salami’d with both teams in the bottom two. Not that I expect it to happen, but have two teams from the same city (even same stadium) been relegated in the same year in Italy?
I don't follow the league closely, but I'm an Inter supporter and have caught a few of their matches. Conte is still one of the best managers around and is whipping this squad into shape. The squad still needs to be filled out a bit, but I'll be curious to see where they are in Serie A at the holiday break and after the UCL group stages. Lautaro is already a top 10 striker in my opinion--if they can keep him there for another 2-3 seasons, that will be immensely helpful to them. The club lacks some options at FB for example and Godin may not be an elite CB for much longer if he's still on that level, but I really like the direction of the club ATM and it feels like they're ready to take over the official #2 position from Napoli, but with potentially a higher ceiling to challenge the Bianconeri.


Anyone else disappointed by ESPN's Serie A coverage?

I have not paid up for ESPN+, partly out of principle with what I already spend on cable that goes to them, but I don't know anything going on in Serie A because even their game of the week seems like it often isn't the best match of the week. I see these teams in CL matches (if they're playing an EPL or La Liga team) and that's about it. The Bundesliga has much better US coverage.
I agree--I refuse to pay extra for ESPN+. Although it's a bummer to hear that the coverage isn't that good anyhow.