My Five Serie A Manager of the Year Nominees

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This Serie A season may or may not be continuing after this tough time. However, in any case, the majority of the season has happened already. So, I’ve decided to nominate five managers of the year candidates. Here they are!

5. Paulo Fonseca

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Coming into this season, I expected Roma to barely get a place within the Serie A top 4. However, as of now, they aren’t. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster type of season for the giallorossi. But, they currently sit in fifth. A big reason for that has been the work of Paulo Fonseca. Roma’s backline is still suspect. But, it has definitely improved under Fonseca. Last season they scored a total of 66 goals, which was fourth-best in Serie A. This season they’ve scored 50 goals in 26 matches. So, they’ve definitely improved in that aspect. Their midfield has also stood out, as offensively the speed of their track has improved. Also, without the ball, the midfield looks better this season. Fonseca has elevated Roma this season. We’ll see what he does in the future for them.

4. Roberto D’aversa

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Roberto D’aversa’s Parma side hasn’t been talked about much this season. However, they’re definitely proving to be a formidable force within the league. Last season, Parma was only three points from relegation and ended up in 14th. This season, they’re way past being in the relegation zone. They currently sit in ninth. They’ve proved to be a difficult opponent for any club that faces them. Roberto D’aversa has made them tough to break down at the back. Also, they’re dangerous for any backline to face, as their counter-attack has lots of speed to it. Their biggest flaw is they don’t have a top goalscorer. But, other than that, Roberto D’aversa has gotten the best out of this group.

3. Gian Piero Gasperini

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Based on last season’s spectacular season from Atalanta, many people, including myself didn’t think Atalanta would be able to maintain this level of play because of being in the Champions League this season. Fast-forward to this season and they’ve somehow been able to continue staying in the Serie A top four. They also made it past the Champions League round of 16. They do have issues at the back, but they’re able to outscore most clubs. This should be credited to Gasperini’s work. The likes of Duvan Zapata, Josip Ilicic, and others weren’t big names. But, under Gasperini, they’ve become household names in Italy and around Europe, they’re starting to get the recognition they deserve.

2. Ivan Juric

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The biggest Cinderella story in Serie A has to be Hellas Verona. I expected Hellas Verona to be relegated this season. But, they’ve surpassed my expectations by far. Who would’ve predicted that they’d possibly be challenging for a Europa League spot for next season? I certainly didn’t. Ivan Juric has elevated this squad beyond levels that I could’ve ever imagined this season. They may not qualify for the Europa League, at the end of the season. But, I’d consider it successful for Ivan Juric. Ivan Juric has earned the right to be a top nominee for the Serie A manager of the season, in my view.

1. Simone Inzaghi

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If you would’ve told Lazio fans that they’d be contending for the scudetto at the beginning of the season, I think they would’ve taken it. This season has been beyond anyone’s imagination for Lazio. Like I’ve reiterated in several other articles, over the past several seasons Lazio hasn’t had issues creating chances and scoring goals. However, this season their backline has immensely improved. A massive amount of credit should go to Simone Inzaghi for that. This Lazio project has been a work in progress. But, it seems like they’ve figured out the issues they’ve had and fixed them. Whatever happens, I’m sure this will be a season to remember for fans of the club. Simone Inzaghi has been a big part of making this dream season happen.

Comparing Atalanta and Roma’s Market Values from February 15, 2018 to now.

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Coming into this weekend’s match, both Atalanta and Roma are battling for the last Champions League spot for next season. For each of these clubs, this could be the most important match. It should be a good one. So here’s an article each club’s respective market value from February 15th, 2018 to February 15th, 2020. The market value is in US Dollars, so keep that in mind when you read this article.

Atalanta’s Market Value

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As a result of last season, Atalanta is in the Champions League for the first time in their history. That remarkable feat is definitely reflected in their market value. According to transfermarkt.us, on February 15, 2018, Atalanta’s club market value was $167.59 million . At that time, Atalanta was Serie A’s 8th most valuable club. Now, if you fast-forward a year later, their market value increased to $188.93 Million. However, as a result of them being in the Champions League this season, and possibly other factors, their market value is currently $328.79 million. Which, is a massive jump in value. From February 15, 2018, to February 18, 2020, Atalanta’s market value increased by 96.2 %, which is remarkable. Looks like things are looking up on and off the pitch for this club.

Roma’s Market Value

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Since 2018, Roma has qualified for the Champions League Semifinals as well as being in the competition every season other than this one since then. So, here is their market value from 2018-2020. On February 15th of 2018, their value was $378.84 million. That was a couple of months before they made it pretty far in the Champions League, of course. Their market value was forth-highest in Serie A at the time. Exactly, a year later in 2019, their market value was $438.24 million. However, they went down a place and we’re the fifth most valuable club in Serie A. Then, today their market value is $484.33 million. As a result, from February of 2018 to February of 2020, their market value increased by 27.8%. It’s obvious that since 2018, they’ve been doing well off the field. However, in the field, it hasn’t been that great.

As you can see, off the field Atalanta and Roma’s market values have increased since 2018. But, we’ll see how they do on the pitch when they face each other today.

Previewing the Derby Della Capitale

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It’s only the first month of 2020 and there’s already a weekend with some great rivalry matches taking place. The Rome Derby is the first one, then, the Juve and Napoli match will be the second one. Both matches take place on Sunday. However, fans of Serie A will be spoiled for choice. So, let’s take a dive into the first match between Lazio and Roma. Here’s the preview!

ROMA

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Coming into this match, Roma has won 3 of their last 5 Serie A matches. They have a Champions League spot in their site for next season, as a result. Indeed, they’re currently fighting with Atalanta for that final Champions League spot. Unfortunately, for Roma, they’re missing such a key player that would be crucial in any match, especially for this match. That player is Nicolo Zaniolo. He got injured against Juve and will probably miss the rest of the season. However, with the way Roma has been playing, they shouldn’t be worried about this match. If they play their typical 4-2-3-1 against Lazio I believe it’ll definitely help them. Veretout and Diawara have shown that they’re very capable of shutting down opponent’s midfield as defensive midfielders. Also, by playing this formation, Roma is adding an extra dimension to their attack, which would help them against their rivals.

LAZIO

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If you would’ve told Simone Inzaghi that his club would’ve been in third at this point of the season and possibly challenging for the scudetto, I’m sure he would’ve taken that 100 % of the time. Lazio has definitely been in superb form, as they’ve now won all 5 of their last Serie A matches. That’s tremendous. It seems that everything is clicking for this squad. Francesco Acerbi has been a rock at the back for them. Their midfield has been superb, led by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. However, the thing that’s stood out the most has been their frontline. Immobile can’t stop scoring and is Serie A’s leading scorer so far with 23 goals. Even, Joaquin Correa has looked solid with him. However, derbies such as this tend to be more difficult to win and Simone Inzaghi will definitely meet his match in Paulo Fonseca. It’ll be interesting to see who’ll win tactically. If their match in September is similar to this one, it’ll be very exciting to watch.

Previewing Roma Vs Juventus

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There have been some massive matches this season in Serie A so far, such as last week’s game between Napoli and Inter. However, not many matches get bigger than the one that’ll be played today at the Stadio Olimpico between Roma and Juventus at 2:45 pm Eastern Time. So, here’s my preview of this match for both clubs.

ROMA

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Paulo Fonseca has led Roma to heights that a lot of people have been surprised about. Coming into this match, they are in decent form, by winning their last 3 matches, losing a match, and drawing one. They do have a few injuries coming into this match, however, that shouldn’t faze them, based on their recent form. They will have a massive test against Juventus, who are currently competing with Inter for the scudetto. It’s possible, though, that being at the San Siro against this other Italian giant may inspire them to victory. However, a victory for them in this match for Roma would depend on how well they can contain Juve’s attack. That will be a monumental task for them, but maybe, Paulo Fonseca has something up his sleeve.

JUVENTUS

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So far this season, Juve has had a huge challenge trying to win Serie A’s biggest prize, once again. Inter has been challenging them for the title throughout the season and this match against Roma just adds to the tough season. However, coming into this match Juve should be motivated to win, as this will probably be one of Juve’s toughest matches over the whole season. Juve will have to be on their game if they want to get a result in the Eternal City. The key to the game for Juventus is being clinical and converting their chances. There’s a good chance they will get a lot of chances in this match, so being clinical would give them the edge. This will prove to be a big test for this Juve squad.

MATCH PREDICTION

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This match should be a very close one. I don’t see either club blowing out the other. As much as Roma is in decent form and are really coming into their own under Paulo Fonseca, I see Juve winning this match 2-1. Just because upfront, they’re on a roll and I don’t see how Roma can contain their frontline.

2 Reasons Why Roma Is Surprising Serie A Fans

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So far, Roma seems to be impressing many Serie A fans. Before the season started, I predicted that Roma would qualify for the Champions League next season. However, it’s still early. Here are two reasons why I believe Roma is surprising calcio fans, thus far!

1. Paulo Fonseca’s Brilliance

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Despite the fact that Roma upgraded their backline over the summer, it still seemed very suspect on paper. However, it seems as though Fonseca has gotten the best out this backline, so far. In the last couple of seasons, Roma’s defence has looked vulnerable, but Fonseca has improved that backline. It also seems as though Roma’s midfield has been improving under Fonseca. Veretout and Mancini are very underrated and have been doing well in the midfield. Under Fonseca, they’ve improved in several different ways. If Fonseca keeps this up with this group of players, their potential is endless. Time will tell.

2. Roma’s Improvements on Defence

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When Roma signed Chris Smalling and Leonardo Spinazzola in the summer, I thought that they’d definitely be upgrades to Roma’s vulnerable backline. However, I didn’t anticipate that they’d be as good as they’ve been during this season. At Manchester United, Chris Smalling was used as a scapegoat for their recent lack of success. However, at Roma he’s definitely proved his doubters wrong. Even, Spinazzola has been superb, thus far. As a Juve fan, it’s still mind-boggling that they decided to sell him to Roma. He is very underrated and has looked better than he ever has been. This backline has proved many critics wrong and it’ll be interesting to see whether they can continue to do that.

The 4 Most Underrated Clubs Heading Into the 2019-2020 Serie A Season

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   When Serie A fans discuss this upcoming season, clubs like Juventus, Inter, Napoli, and even Fiorentina are mentioned. However, in my view, there are a few clubs that are not talked about enough and even underrated. So, I will discuss who I think are the 4 most underrated clubs heading into the 2019-2020 season.

4. AS ROMA 

   The giallorossi have been very busy in this summer transfer window. They sold a key defender for them in Kosta Manolas and it’s almost like the floodgates opened after that, as they made many big signings. Notable ones include Gianluca Mancini, Pau Lopez, Jordan Veretout, and Leonardo Spinazzola. They also signed a few more players. However, despite all this, many fans and pundits don’t believe they’ll get a Champions League spot for next season. However,I beg to differ. Many underrate this club and under the leadership of new manager, Paulo Fonseca, they may regret that, as Roma will come back with a bang this season. Last season they missed out on the Champions League. This season, I don’t see it happening.

3. LAZIO 

    Lazio has not made any huge signings this summer. However, I still think they’ll make a splash in the upcoming Serie A season. Simone Inzaghi is an underrated manager and he could very well lead them to new heights. However, Lazio are a club to watch out for, not because of the money they’ve spent, but, the player they’ve been able to keep. Based on many rumors, it would’ve seemed nearly impossible for Lazio to keep star midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic at the beginning of the summer. However, they did. Now with some smaller additions, this Lazio squad could shock many Serie A fans and really do something extraordinary.

2. ATALANTA 

Atalanta did something that was uncalled for last season, they qualified for this season’s Champions League by placing third in the last Serie A campaign. They haven’t made a huge splash in the transfer market, as you’d expect a club going into the Champions League would. But, they’ve made a couple key signings. One is Luis Muriel, who will add firepower to that already jaw-dropping attack. Also, they bought Martin Skrtel, who will provide crucial veteran presence in the back for Atalanta. This club may now be playing in multiple competitions, but look for them to shock the calcio world once again, like they did last season.

1. SAMPDORIA 

For those who’ve read some of my blog posts, it is obvious that I admire Eusebio Di Francesco as a manager. His style of play is exciting and the heights he can get his squads to reach is remarkable. Sampdoria will just be another one of those squads that he improves. Sampdoria acquired Colombian centreback, Jeison Murillo, on loan from Valencia this summer. That’ll be huge for them in the back. Also, many people are writing this Sampdoria squad off. But, it seems as if they can elevate their level of play and possible earn a Europa League spot for next season. I wouldn’t bet against Eusebio Di Francesco or this Sampdoria side. So, watch out for this club, as they should make waves in this upcoming Serie A campaign.

To conclude, I am excited to see how these underrated clubs do in this upcoming league campaign. However, what I am most excited for is watching the upcoming Serie A season happen. The new Serie A season begins at 12 pm Eastern Time today and I absolutely can’t wait to see these and other clubs in action once again.

 

 

 

My Serie A Top 4 Favourites Before the End of the Summer Transfer Window

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So far, this summer transfer window has been full of thrills and shocks, especially if you’re a fan of Serie A. I will predict my top 4 favorites to win the scudetto before the end of the summer transfer window. So, let’s begin!

4. AS ROMA

On the surface, this Roma side doesn’t look up to par, as they’ve already sold their best defender to Napoli, Kostas Manolas, so far. There are also rumors that Edin Dzeko will be leaving the eternal city as well. Also, don’t forget that the Roman Gladiator, Daniele De Rossi has left Roma as well. However, they just brought in young centreback, Gianluca Mancini. They are also on the verge of signing Jordan Veretout, who is a young midfielder that currently plays at Fiorentina. They’ve brought in a few other reinforcements as well. What will guide this club to a Champions League spot will primarily be because of their manger, Paulo Fonseca. He has a great track record in both Portugal and Ukraine, so expect him to continue that in the eternal city!

3. INTER

At this point last summer, Inter was going on a spending spree to try and gather reinforcements for the upcoming season. Many people including myself, thought they would contend for the Serie A title. However, it didn’t pan out that way and they barely qualified for this upcoming season’s Champions League. However, this summer they added a world-class manager in Antonio Conte, as well as bright young Italian midfielders in Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella. Considering, the squad at Inter’s disposal and their new manager, they will definitely give headaches to opposing clubs. If the top 2 favorites weren’t so good, Inter would truly challenge for the scudetto this upcoming season. Who knows, they may do that.

2. NAPOLI

Despite selling Jorginho last summer, Napoli were able to remain in second place and be Juve’s challenger to the Serie A throne. Now, Napoli’s defense has just become a brick wall, as they signed Kostas Manolas from Roma. Him and Koulibaly will probably be one of the best defensive duos in the world, next season. Napoli has also been able to keep their key players, which is a huge plus for them. Let’s not forget, they are rumored to be going after Mauro Icardi or James Rodriguez. Even, if Napoli don’t buy either of those players, they will still be a club to be reckoned with. It also helps that Carlo Ancelotti is their manager, as he is a tactical mastermind. With this current squad, they should be looking to contend on all fronts. Even, in the Champions League.

1.JUVENTUS

You’d think that it’d be easy to pick Juventus as being the Serie A favourite for this upcoming season. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Juve have made many signings in the summer so far, including young Dutch phenom, Matthijs De Ligt. He’ll definitely improve their squad. Juventus are also rumored to be going after other big fish in Mauro Icardi, Federico Chiesa, and Paul Pogba. Despite, all these new reinforcements, there is still a bit of doubt in my mind on whether Juve will win the Serie A title this upcoming season. My doubt stems from the fact that Juve’s new manager, Maurizio Sarri, has never managed a club with this squad and very high expectations. He is a manager that only likes to utilize 14-15 players out of a 23-man squad for an entire season. That worries me a bit because Juventus will be expected to win trophies on all fronts and if he thins his bench, players will have a lot of fatigue midway through the season, then there’s a possibility that Juventus may not win any trophy throughout the season. Maurizio Sarri will need to improve his squad management if Juve are to win the scudetto this upcoming season, as it will be the toughest title race in a while for them.

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