They were 17th with the back end of the season so can our plucky Salernitana boys stay afloat in the big, bad world of Serie A? They’ll certainly try their best to do so…
So. We got relegated.
I can’t sugar coat it. I can’t ramble on. We went down on the final day thanks to Genoa’s late season resurgence and our own inability to take chances or keep clean sheets. It’s as simple as that. Shall we just dive right into this? Let’s go…
So, you’re all aware of what happened then. Here’s the league table to confirm the horrific news.
A whole stinking point. One point. We spent so long outside of the relegation zone before Genoa just hit their stride and conveniently got the points they needed to stay up. Here’s the run-in for you as well.
I mean, our form was never catastrophic and we were competitive for the most part. That’s what’s most disheartening about this whole thing. We’ve done far better than we had any right to do with the smallest budget in the league. Annoyingly too, Benevento managed to stay up comfortably, those bast…
I will say, when we won games, they were impressive wins. The win over Sampdoria was a masterful performance from start to finish; the Lazio victory on the road was a smash and grab; Genoa away was a battle with both sides getting a player sent off while the Napoli one was built on, surprisingly, a solid defence.
That being said, we deserved to go down with performances like the home defeats to Atalanta and Benevento which I have no doubt relegated us. But undoubtedly the worst game for us was on the final day of the season at Empoli. With Genoa drawing at home to the rock bottom Udinese, we had chances to drag ourselves out at the last but it wasn’t to be in the end.
I can look back on parts of this season with pride, we played well in parts but the step up in class for some and the lack of resources available to me made this a tough ask. But there is a distinctly bitter taste knowing that we could have won some of those we drew and drew some of those we lost. In the end, I’m left ruing what may have been. And it sucks.
All in all, disappointing. Players like Moses Odjer and Max Busellato made the step up well enough but far too many of our players were far too far out of their depth. The awful Jherson Vergara was diabolical, Stefano Pettinari was dreadful; Alberto Barison was hopeless and Massimo Coda finally reached the end of the line with me. Suprise of the season was King Udoh who turned out to be a better option up front than Pettinari and Coda and managed to score too.
Niko Datkovic (Spezia, Free) – 27 appearances, 2 goals, 6.84
Started off poorly and I thought I’d bought a dud but Niko formed a good partnership with Shaqir Tafa in spite of our defensive weaknesses. Adds a bit of experience at the back as well which is always welcome. 7/10
Nikos Vergos (Omonoia Nicosia, £1,000,000) – 32 appearances, 1 goal, 2 assists, 6.62
On paper, he looked ideal. In reality, he struggled to adapt to a much tougher league and didn’t score at all after his solitary goal in August. Could have been different but for some better luck but a disappointment to say the least. 4/10
Zsolt Kalmar (Free Agent, Free) – 27 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist, 6.86
Quietly kept the ball but didn’t really do too much else. Solid but unspectacular. 6/10
Christopher Oikonomidis (Free Agent, Free) – 21 appearances, 2 goals, 1 assist, 6.73
A lot of money every week goes into Aussie Chris’ bank account every week yet he did very little of note all season. He has talent but he very often doesn’t use it at all. 5/10
Yohei Kajiyama (FC Hiroshima, Free) – 13 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist, 6.74
Did a decent job considering he was a 19 year old coming to a completely different world mid-season. Missed some chances in crucial games but that comes with inexperience. Promising. 6/10
Leonardo Fontanesi (Sassuolo, Loan [£45,500]) – 13 appearances, 6.86
Came in with a point to prove and proved it. Rather undersized as a centre back proved to be competent enough to play full back as well. One of the surprise packages of the run-in. 7/10
End of Season Awards
As per usual, nothing outrageous throughout the intake but for a couple that look semi-competent so I’ll introduce you to them.
And that’s about it. I’ve not been sacked and I’ve played through the summer with some exciting and interesting moves as we look to get promoted at the first time of asking. I’ll also be including a link to a spreadsheet that shows not only that I need more friends but every Salernitana player to play competitively for me. The link to that can be found here.