Serie A Preview 2009/10: Catania

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Main Transfers: Gennaro Delvecchio (Sampdoria), Andrea Campagnolo (Reggina),
Pablo Barrientos (FC Moscow), Mariano Andujar (Estudiantes), Adrian Ricchiuti (Rimini)

Outlook: Having troubled the upper reaches of the Serie A for most of the season, Walter Zenga was justified in being irritated after fans started criticising the team after a late dip in form and announced that he was about to leave a couple of days before the end of the season. To replace him
Catania turned to the Gianluca Atzori, a man with only one season of management behind him. It looks a risky choice but, then again, Catania know that they have to take a gamble now and then if they are to keep progressing. The same applies to their transfers where sporting director Pietro Lo Monaco has once again turned to the South American market that has offered such rich dividends in the past. A look through the squad shows that there is enough quality there for another good season but Atzori is too much of an unknown quantity to really make judgements.

Manager: One season at Ravenna, whom he took to the play-offs of the Lega Pro Prima Divisione (the equivalent of League One) is the only reference in Gianluca Atzori’s calling card so a job in the Serie A seems like quite a huge jump. That said, at Ravenna he impressed for imposing an attacking brand of football – his favourite tactic is the 4-3-3 – and such a style should fit in nicely with the talent available in Catania’s squad.

Key Player: It is astonishing that a player of Giuseppe Mascara’s (pictured) talents only made his Serie A debut three years ago when he was already twenty-five years old. A penchant for spectacular goals and a quite brilliant creative instinct mark him out as one of the finest players in the Italian top flight, one that should be playing at a much larger stage than that which Catania offers him.

One to Look Out For: At 31, Argentine attacking midfielder Adrian Ricchiuti is far from a fresh faced youngster yet this is his first season in the Serie A after a career spent kicking about in the Italian lower leagues. At Rimini he showed an abundance of talent and, like Mascara, will be eager to grab this late opportunity of playing in the top flight to prove his worth.

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