For a club that has had an unimpressive record in Serie A over the years, Brescia has a proud soccer history. Home of Andrea Pirlo and the last club for the legendary Roberto Baggio, the Rondinelle return to Serie A for the first time since the 2004-2005 season. Unlike most clubs that spend their first year in Serie A acquiring talent with at least some top flight experience, in the hope of avoiding immediate relegation, Brescia has been quiet on the transfer front hoping that their current roster is good enough to finish seventeenth or better.
Brescia lead Serie B with 21 wins last season but fell to third place late in the season and had to enter the Serie B playoffs to be promoted. They advanced past Torino 2-1 on aggregate. But if history is a guide, the club should not expect to stay up – only twice since 1950 (1965-68, 2000-2005) has it stayed in Serie A for more than a year. To build a permanent place in Lega Calcio Serie A, they need to coax more production from current players while being more active on the transfer market.
The Manager: Giuseppe Iachini is a career Serie B former player and coach whose best coaching job was leading Chievo Verona to a promotion after the 2007-2008 season. He was, however, fired by the club only a month into the 2008 season and took over Brescia in 2009.
Transfer Activity: The club so far has been absolutely quiet. Their biggest signing has been keeper Matteo Sereni from Torino, where he made eighty-nine appearances over three seasons. He will compete with Michele Arcari for the starting job in goal. Brescia is rumored to still be active in the transfer market, looking at acquiring forward Alessandro Diamanti from West Ham or Jeda from Juventus.
Players to Watch: Possibly the best player on the club is forward Andrea Caracciolo, who came over from Sampdoria in 2008 after losing his starting job to Antonio Cassano. He finished last season with twenty-four goals and the year prior with fifteen. He was linked with a move to Fiorentina last season but the club has held on to him to have at least one Serie A quality player up front.
Another player that was almost poached from the club is defender Gaetani Berardi. The twenty-one year old has played his entire career with the Rondinelle and has capped with the Swiss youth team. In fact, Brescia has a core group of very young players who contribute, including eighteen year old midfielder Fabrizio Paghera and former Stoke City midfielder Adam Vass. The captain of the club is Davide Possanzini, who has spent the majority of his career starting on Serie B clubs.
Outlook: Signing Diamanti or another player who can start for a top flight club is an absolute necessity for this club. Otherwise, they are an early favorite to be relegated this season. The roster is composed of Serie B regulars and Serie A backups, a bad recipe for success at the top level. One reason to watch this club is its young core of players who could be poached in the next transfer window or at the end of the year. If the young players mature quickly and players like Caracciolo have career years, then maybe Brescia could survive. But it doesn’t look likely.