Wanda's World: Serie A 2019-2020

Zososoxfan

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Jul 30, 2009
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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
217
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?