The Lord Spencer Serie A Thread: Round 6

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Post by Lord Spencer Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:15 pm

Serie A have regained some of the excitement of first week this round, with a good number of great matches. From the tight first half between Inter-Napoli, to the complete dominance of Juve against Milan. This week confirmed the statues of Napoli and Juve as title contenders, while it gave Roma and Lazio a chance to still be in the race.

All in all, 26 goals in 10 matches have been scored at a rate of 2.6 goals per match. This round saw two draws but both matches have been exciting affairs, even if one of them was a scoreless draw.

Without further ado, here is my analysis of the week:

The Milanese Woes Continue:

Another major round of matches saw both of the Milan giants expertly dispatched. And although Inter can points some blame at the ref Milan can only blame their own inadequacy (and injuries).

After an intense and cagey affair in the first half between Inter and Napoli, where neither side looked clear favorites, a controversial decision by the ref gifted Napoli a penalty which caused a red card for Obi and a goal. Some Inter fans might want you to believe they were dominant the first half, but the states say otherwise. Both sides shared 6 shots on goal and I am not counting the penalty and the subsequent goal for Napoli. Also, both sides shared position even with Napoli not being a position based side.

Afterwards, Napoli completely dominated Inter who were a man down. The pressure on Inter throughout the past weeks was obvious on the way Julio Ceasar and Ranieri acted after the dubious call (which is wrong for the record). Even culminating on a rare yellow for skipper Zanetti. However, nothing excuses the defensive shambles that led to the two goals. Simply, the Inter defense seemed incapable of making working an off side trap, while Ceasar’s lack of communication with Nagatomo lead to the second goal. Even with a goal and a man down, Inter should not have capitulated as they did. Lucio and Samuel were a solid pair, and they need work to cover up their rust.


However, nothing can be more woeful than Milan’s performance in the new Juve stadium. Having 4 shots to Juve’s 20 (even if many of Juve’s shots were aimed at the moon via Vidal) is an embarrassment, pure and simple. Beaten, battered, and old is what Milan looked like in the midfield, and if not for another magnificent performance from Nesilva Milan would look at a much bigger scoreline.

Although Milan had to deal with injuries and fatigue, with Seedorf showing signs of his infamous alter ego “Slowdorf”, and Cassano simply not up to it physically. Both Ibra and Prince looked like they were coming out of an injury (which they were) and Nesta needs Mexes to debut for him or he will collapse. Regardless, Allegri should have been more adventurous in his calls, and he should not have EVE NEVER AT ALL played fraking Bonera. I can’t bash my head at the table enough, and I still don’t understand what possessed Allegri to switch that liability to CB. Unsurprisingly, it was a Bonera error that led to the first goal, and Milan died after all.

If Milan want t compete this year, they need to fix the gaping hole that is their midfield. For it is unfortunate to waste the last year of your star CB Nest by not building a proper midfield, and it is the biggest cliche in the game that the mid is where the game is decided.

Roman Summet

Both capital teams claimed the maximum points this round, as Roma looks to stabilize the ship, and Lazio keeps their dark horse statues. Roma were fortunate to build on their win last week with a match with minnows Atalanta, while Lazio had a typically difficult match vs. Fiorentina.

The Gillarossi ended Atalanta’s unbeaten run in a fairly complicated match. Where Roma managed to get more than 15 shots on target for the first time this season (24). Ironically, Roma abandoned their possession style for a more direct approach, and it seems to have worked well. Atalanta had 51% but could not do much with the ball, as the Roma midfield hassled them to no end, while Roma directed the ball towards the goal as much as they could.

In fact, it was in the games that Roma had least possession in that they looked as a unit, instead of the disjointed team we saw earlier this season. Which begs the question of whether Louis Enrique will abandon his Barcelona-lite project in favor of the Spalletti buccaneering spirit Roma were famous for.

Also, the Roma fans should be happy Bojan scored. Best of luck to the lad.

In the city of Florence, the Aquile managed to comeback against La Viola in a tight encounter. With the German canon and Hernanes providing the goals for Lazio. Both players performed brilliantly in the match, sharing 9 shots among them. With Klose assisting Hernanes’s goal as well.

Fiorentina did not go down without a fight though, as they completly dominated the match up to Lazio’s first goal at the 28th minute, and even then forced 4 fine saves from Marchetti.

In fact, it was the men in purple who looked most likely to come out as winner, just when Klose’s sucker punch sealed the match. Fans of Germany should be happy as Klose is quickly becoming a cult hero among the Aquile’s faithful.

View from the top:

It is not lonely at the top as Napoli and Juve battle it out. Both sides look to prove they are match to the Milan teams and they are very mush proving it. Maintaing form is however what decides the championship.

A Cavani-less Napoli showed their strength in battling out with Inter in the first half, eventually getting a goal from a dubious call (even though a goal could have been in the cards if Maggio was not pushed). Then we saw that Napoli could be ruthless as well as they completely threw the numerically inferior Inter out of the match.

Inler and Gargano bossed the midfield, while Maggio made a mockery of Inter’s defense.This victory does not prove that Napoli is superior to any side in Serie A, it however proves they cannot be beaten by an undermanned Inter like they would have two years ago.

Simply put, this Napoli teams is a strong unit, from its defense to its attack. Yet, you wonder if they have the ability to cope with long injuries to key players. As I said before the outcome of this season will be decided by the health of the contenders more than anything else.

Which brings us to an important point; the health of Pirlo. The guy is fast becoming Juve’s metronome, and Conte’s handling of the player will prove pivotal. Whose performances are reminding us of his best years.

But it was not only Pirlo, as Marchicio and Vidal controlled the midfield along with long haired talisman. With Vucinic dropping deep to help control the game, rewarding his coach’s faith in him. However, the fact that a Bonera and a GK error sealed the game for Juve belays the question of their offense.

For starters, Vidal need to work on his shooting accuracy, while countless crosses were failed to be met by someone from Juve. Controlling the midfield makes you control the game, but if you don’t have anyone that scores the goals then you don’t win the game. How much would Aguero’s signing made Juve’s position stronger this year.

Even though, Juve’s hustle and bustle midfield will provide a foundation in which to build for this title challenge. Yet, form needs to be maintained, and history taught us that an early form is not an indicator of things to come. Juve needs not to make a Ciro.

The Rest of the South:

This round hosted the first match between two southern teams as Cagiliri defeated Lecce away from home. While the schizophrenic Palermo dominated Siena. And the other Sicilians drew newcomers Novarra is breath taking match.

First, Lecce must be devastated as they were Cagiliri’s equal and better throughout the match. And it was an own goal and Cagiliri’s better accuracy that sealed their fate. With more shots on goal, Lecce should have scored at least a goal, but a commanding performance from Agazzi between the posts denied them a chance at a point. Nevertheless, Cagliari should not be without praise, as although not convincing they still managed to win.

Second, Palermo were in their one of their good days as they completely dominated Siena even while being a man down. And they got two goals for their troubles. Siena need to fail bad about this result too, as their inadequacy at shooting at goal was not going to help their cause, especially when the one shot the keeper had to deal with was a tame effort.

However, Palermo are not looking like the team of last season as Zampirini is losing grip on the creation of a powerhouse. Old Zamp can learn from Napoli’s example that the keyword is “Stability”, however, I a have the feeling Zamp does not know the meaning of the word.

Finally, a match that was an absolute joy to watch as Catania and Novarra exchanged blow to blo, shot to shot, goal to goal. With six different goal scorers, two of them subs, this match was everything a football lover looks for. Excitement, tension, tactics, and plenty of goals.

Both teams should pat themselves in the back at their resolve. Twice Catania scored, and Novarra equalized, and when finally Morimoto put Novarra ahead, against his own team nonetheless, Catania equalized at the death.

Big clap to both teams for an excellent display, and 39 shots on target speak for themselves really.

Elsewhere:

At Parma, again it was the Giovinco show as Genoa was dispatched confidently. However, despite the scoreline, it was not an easy affair. And it was the extra magic from the ant that decided the fixture.

Genoa had equal chances to parma and if it was not for some bad luck, those chances would have gotten in. Parma in the other hand did not depend on luck as they doggedly made sure their chances counted as seen from the third goal. Giovinco simply had a sublime game, and could have had a crazy assist to his name if Bibiany had not missed the goal.

Udinese swiftly dispatched Bologna who look like relegation candidates at the moment, where Udinese probably could have gotten more goal as they controlled possession and unleashed 26 shots at target which is the largest this round. Which is why Bologna needs to be thankful their GK Agliardi saved them from a premier league like scoreline.

Finally, Cesena again failed to win but at least got their first point. Yet they would feel robbed as they were clearly the better side against Cheivo, but Sorrentino between the posts saved a point for the guys in yellow.


The Tactical Analysis:

Since there was not much input or discussion on this section last week, I did not include it. Please ask if you want it back.

The Lord Spencer Awards:

The Best Match:

Novarra 3-3 Catania

19 shots for 20 says it all. Theses sides exchanged blows like it was a boxing match. This game had it all, from dogged goals, to a fantastic free kick. Morimoto scoring against his former side added a little spice on the side, and the last goal by Catania was symbolic of the determination they had. This game tells other relegation candidates not to expect Novarra at the bottom, this is a team with balls gentlemen, the Milan teams can learn from this.

Heroes and Zeroes:

The Heroes:

1-Sebastian Giovinco: Sublime performance from the diminutive man. As he completely ran the show, starting with a sublime assist to Biabiany who missed, to an assist for the last goal which was not missed. Also getting a sublime goal himself, and winning and then converting a penalty in between. The only performance so far comparable to the Miccoli performance against Inter in the first round. The boy is growing up.

2- a) Andrea Pirlo: Making a mockery of the decision to let him go for free. It is day light robbery what Juve did, instead it was Milan that let the golden goose go. Juve controlled the mid, and it was a large part due to the midfielder. Also provided a sublime free kick that was expertly saved, and an a cross which should have been converted if not for quick thinking from the Milan defense.


2- b) Gokhan Inler: Completely rendered Cambaisso ineffective in midfield, as he ran the show along with his partner Garagano. From destroying Inter’s possession to creating Napoli’s chances, Inler seems to do it all. A fine assist to Hamsik was not bad either (or was it Maggio). Andrea Pirlo: Making a mockery of the decision to let him go for free. It is day light robbery what Juve did, instead it was Milan that let the golden goose go. Juve controlled the mid, and it was a large part due to the midfielder. Also provided a sublime free kick that was expertly saved, and an a cross which should have been converted if not for quick thinking from the Milan defense.

3- Claudio Marchisio: stole the headlights with his brace, but those goals are not what I am rating him for. It is his heart and dogged determination in midfield that eventually opened the chances for both goals, and it was his heart that made him follow through till the end for the first goal. The second is just a cherry on top.

The Zeroes:

1- Marco “The Old” Di Vaio: is finally losing it, 55 minutes with not shots at all, even being upstaged by the terrible Aquafresca. It is time for retirement at last oh great Di Vaio, rest and let the Bologna fans rest their eyes.

2- Antonio “Headless” Nocerino: if running and doing nothing was a sought after attribute in football, Noceriono would be swimming in request right now, as that was what he seemed to do al match. Deployed as a support to MVB, we all knew that, except the headless chicken himself.

3- Esteban “The Invisible” Cambiasso: Since that was what he seemed to be after the break, as Inler and co. completely negated his existence. Although he never gave up, his lack of effective effort made Inter look like a 9 man team.

The Ceasars:

Follow Vibetribe’s thread from now on, as he is making the definitive Goal Legacy league.


Conclusion:

A classic round with plenty of excitement, this title race will be a 6 horse race imo, but the prizes are the three CL places. There will no longer be room for mistakes, this round should have been a wake up call to both Milan teams (mostly Milan who have been defeated AND outplayed) and I hope to see them both performing.

Stay tuned for more episodes of the Goal Legacy’s Serie A thread, by yours truly.

Discussion:

Discussion Questions:

Please take the time to respond to some if not all of the discussion questions, share your opinion folks;

1- Will Lazio be a dark horse during this title run, or the further they will get is 6th place?

2- Which teams would like to have the Napoli offensive trio, and are they Madrid quality?

3- Milan’s weakness is super obvious, but what is Inter’s weakness?
/Aside from Moratti stopping from bribing the ref’s /troll

Please read, comment and feel free to discuss.

Also, any suggestions are highly appreciated.

Thank you.

Also, for those interested

After finishing from this thread, immediately click on this link to go to the super awesome SNES gaming thread

https://goallegacy.forumotion.com/t7622p18-the-official-snes-gaming-thread
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Post by Lord Awesome Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:26 pm

Teams like Lazio are always Daek Horses in any league, tbh. Klose is a top tier player. I'd also like to give a shoutout to Cannavaro who has been amazing for a while now.

I'd say Cavani's RM quality. Lavezzi and Pandev don't meet RM starter level but can be used as squad players.

Inter's waekness I'd say is their Speed. That backline is shaky due to the amount of slowness. Any quick player is bound to breach their Defense.
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Post by Art Morte Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:07 am

Superb writing once again, Spency buddy Thumbs up

I only watched Juve v Milan (and am happy that Juve managed to score in the end as I had a couple of euros on their win) and therefore am not really prepared to comment on the whole round that profoundly.


Looking at the table:
http://www.skysports.com/football/league/0,19540,11853,00.html

I'm delighted for Udinese being 2nd after five games and all the criticism they received in the summer.

AC Milan in their 15th place have got the chance to "start their season over" in their next game when they face 4th placed Palermo at San Siro.
Then again, Milan losing that game would already be a catastrophy...

Catania v Inter
Chievo v Juventus
and Lazio v Roma

should further guarantee that coming back from the international break will be very exciting in Serie A Thumbs up
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Post by Vibe Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:30 am

Who neg reps this :facepalm:
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Post by Seth Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:34 am

VibeTribe wrote:Who neg reps this :facepalm:

Probably the most anti serie A poster =/

Only a few names that immediately comes to mind if that's the case =X

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Post by S Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:26 am

Well Great post once again Lord Spencer..I read the whole thing and you cant really refute anything of it..

As for your questions.

1- Will Lazio be a dark horse during this title run, or the further they will get is 6th place?

No i dont think so..Similar to the previous season they'll fade out in the second half..Also the lack of depth i feel in the attacking department..I guess they'll be pretty satisfied to finish fifth or sixth to be honest..Well i think its more appropriate to label Juventus as dark horses' for the Title as i still think Milan are the favourites for this and Napoli and Inter in contention as well

2- Which teams would like to have the Napoli offensive trio, and are they Madrid quality?

Well Lord i am not sure if this question was inspired by the crazy argument some of us(especially me) had the other day but anyways..

Cavani?Definite Real Madrid quality..Cavani over Higuain and Benzema definitely..

Hamsik?Mou likes Hamsik and remember he wanted him when he was Inter coach in 2008 and taking this into account and also his unquestionable talent in my opinion he would start over both Kaka and Di Maria..

Lavezzi?With a truckload of attacking talent currently and add to that his lack of finishing prowess which at that level you require i guess he will end up as a substitute for Real Madrid imo..Not taking any credit away from Lavezzi..


3- Milan’s weakness is super obvious, but what is Inter’s weakness?
/Aside from Moratti stopping from bribing the ref’s /troll

Inter's weakness ?IMO its the defense..With Rannochia's lack of speed coupled with the ageing legs of Lucio and Samuel ,i think its a problem area..

This defense would suffice in Serie A but will struggle in the Champions League against Quality opponents imo..

Also other than Sniejder,they lack genuine creativity..Alvarez still cant be relied upon whilst Zarate is too inconsistent and you cant expect wonders from 32 yr old Forlan who seems to be on a steady decline..

So definitely these are the problem areas for Inter at present..
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Post by nicholasmenger Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:58 am

At least Nocerino ran...

Nocerino>Seedorf in that game.
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Post by McLewis Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:53 am

Fantastic read again, LS.

Also, welcome back, Nicholasmenger. Knew you'd show up eventually, brah. Good to have you here.

As for the questions:

1. Lazio are most certainly dark horses (as much as it pains me to say it). They don't have anywhere near the quality in depth to win the title, but they can make a good run of it.

2. Of Napoli's front 3 on current form, I'd say Lavezzi and Cavani are RM material. Though I do think that's a bit of a loaded question as there are so many variables as to just what "Madrid quality" means. Other than Madrid, I believe all 3 of those guys would walk into just about any major European side and do relatively well.

3. Inter are still in recovery from their crisis at the beginning of the season. It's natural for them to be rather inconsistent at this point. Defensively though, not much has changed since Mourinho left. Julio Cesar's form has a bit to do with that as well. Ranieri needs to instill some solidity into that backline if Inter are to get back to something resembling their best.
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Post by Lord Spencer Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:59 am

Thanks for the input guys.

I don't mind the neg repping, but if the person who does it would at least give some reasons to his neg repping then it would be cool.
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Post by Lord Spencer Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:26 pm

*bump*
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Post by Patrick Bateman Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:39 pm

Great read Lord Spencer,Kudos.


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Post by Lord Spencer Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:05 pm

Thank you
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