For those of you who watched last night’s Coppa Italia encounter between Cesena and Roma, the news that the Serie B side sit third from bottom of their division no doubt came as a surprise.
The Seahorses for large swathes of the match were easily the better side and made what is a good Roma side look pedestrian. Indeed, it was not until the Lupi introduced Radja Nainggolan in the second half that they finally stamped any semblance of authority on the game. In the end the Serie A giants would emerge with the win, but only in very fortuitous circumstances.
Given all this to be the case, how then are we meant to believe that this club from Romagna are sitting in the automatic relegation places in the second tier. Are we to believe the commentators on Sky Sports when they say that the quality of Serie B must be extraordinary if Cesena are in such a position. Well I more than anyone would love that to be true, but alas it is simply not.
The Bianconeri headed into this campaign with far loftier ambitions then where they currently find themselves. Having last season reached the play-offs only to come up short. However, a poor start to the campaign has seen things snowball into what can only be called a full-blown crisis. The dismissal of Massimo Drago as manager has seen a minimal up take in form and it can be argued that the club perhaps showed too much loyalty to the former Crotone man.
The real problem for the club and newish manager Andrea Camplone, is when you look into rather straight forward and it is the clubs away form. Of the 24 points that the side have gathered in the league so far only four of them have been away from the Dino Manuzzi. In fact, their away form makes for some rather despairing reading, of the 12 matches played away they have won Zero, drawn four and lost eight, scoring only ten times whilst conceding 21. With these stats, it will come as no surprise to find that it is the worst form of any club in the division.
What is just about keeping the club afloat at the moment is their home form, which would have them tenth in the table if they didn’t have to go on their pesky travels. While it is always stated that it is most important to win at home try pick up some points on the road, the discrepancies between the two present a real problem for the club.
Chief among them being what if this excellent home form ends up deserting them at a crucial stage of the season. Possible signs of this were seen this past weekend when they let slip three massive points against Ascoli by conceding incidentally a 95th minute penalty (Twice in four days is really careless).
Probably considered by many to be too big to go down, the same could very well be said for Livorno last season and we all know how that ended. One benefit for Cesena is the sheer competitiveness of the division this year, case in point being Novara who currently sit bang in mid-table four points off the play-offs and five above relegation. If the Seahorses can put a run together, then there is a real possibility of them pulling away to a degree of safety. Although on the flip side this competitiveness means every side has something to play meaning no easy matches right to the end of the season.
On Wednesday night Cesena showed against Roma that they can mix it with very good sides, whether they can carry that belief into the league is another matter.
Having only won once all season, Trapani have now won two on the bounce, fuelling talks of a miracle escape. While plenty of work remains for this to become a reality, this is a side who finished third only last season suggesting they have the players to do so.
The transfer market proved a mixed bag for many a Serie B side, none more so then Bari. The loss of a couple of talented young players was met with disappointment, but the additions made have gone some way to appease the fans. Antonio Floro Flores and Filip Raicevic are the new names at the San Nicola and will be expected to deliver a play-off space at the very minimum.
Pisa have scored NINE goals in 23 matches this season. Putting that in context Serie D side L’Aquila beat Foligno 11-0 a few weeks ago. Yes, you’ve read that right L’Aquila have scored more goals in one match then Pisa have scored all season.
View Table HERE.
Week 23 Results:
Frosinone 1-0 Brescia, Avellino 2-2 Virtus Entella, Pro Vercelli 1-3 Trapani, Vicenza 1-1 SPAL, Novara 1-1 Pisa, Bari 0-0 Perugia, Ternana 1-0 Cittadella, Benevento 3-0 Carpi, Cesena 2-2 Ascoli, Hellas Verona 2-0 Salernitana, Spezia 3-2 Latina.