Serie A preview – The Cagliari Enigma
Cagliari has become an enigma, now that their old caoch, Allegri, has left for AC Milan, the team seems to have little direction. With Allegri Cagliari played an attacking game, using the youth of the team to tire out opponents, often playing through extremely exciting matches. But now, their leader has left, and Cagliari has a very similar team to last seasons, in fact, the starting 11 will probably be the same, unless some new players are signed.
Cagliari can’t boast a wealth of new signings, so far there have only been four official signings, all coming from teams which are below the Serie B except for Biasi from newly-promoted Cesena. The signings have been players which will help reinforce the squad, especially in defense, and hopefully the 17 year-old Martignoni will fulfill his potential in the future. Cagliari’s big hope is that they can seal the signing of Roberto Acquafresca, currently owned by Genoa. The young forward was on loan at Cagliari last season from Genoa, now Cagliari would like to buy half of the player and have him play for them this upcoming season. While there’s rumors that he’s already been bought (half of the player) by Cagliari for 5 million Euros, it’s not sure because so far the negotiations have been long.
Cagliari aren’t missing much, but they could use some fixing up. If Acquafresca has joined Cagliari then the board shouldn’t worry about more forwards with Matri, Nene, Jeda, and the young Ragatzu. The only big problem Cagliari have is that if Marchetti is bought by one of the many interested clubs in him (Arsenal, West Ham, or Fulham), this would leave a shaky defense with a shaky keeper. Cagliari woul only be left with Agazzi as the starting keeper, and Aresti and Vigorito as the reserve keepers, none of which have any considerable Serie A experience. Cagliari should also look at a decent midfielder to help out the slightly aging group of midfielders.
Under Pierpaolo Bisoli the team should play a 4-3-1-2, the starting 11 consisting of Marchetti in goal (if he’s sold then Agazzi), Pisano, Canini, Astori, and Agostini in defense from right to left, Biondini, Conti, and Lazzari in the midfield supporting Cossu who will act as a trequartista, and the attacking duo of Nene and Matri. If Acquafresca joins, then Bisoli could have a little problem: either he has to change formation to accomodate three forwards (a 4-3-3 or a 3-4-3) and probably take out Cossu, or he has to put on the bench either Nene or Matri. Between Nene and Matri I’d keep Nene in the starting 11 and put Acquafresca with him, mainly because Matri is a great “super-sub” and he has a great ability to find important goals at the right time.
I’m not sure how Cagliari will do this season, but I think that it won’t be as bad as last season (16th). And while the dream is to push into the mid-table and maybe in the top ten, it could be a challenging season for this Cagliari team. The toughest part for Cagliari will be that they’re pretty much exactly the same as last season, except with a new coach. Hopefully Bisoli can gather up the talent in this team and find a way to do better than last season, but I think that he will eventually be fired, to be replaced by… Allegri?
The Cagliari enigma baffles me, but what do you think? Share your thoughts by commenting below!