Is Cesena’s spell in Serie A going to be short-lived?

It had been 19 years since the last time Cesena played in Serie A. But they currently sit second bottom in the table and their new spell in Italy’s top division risks being short-lived. After a quite promising start to the season in which they managed to reach 7th place in the opening two months of the competition and claim the famous scalp of Milan, the team have dropped in form and managed to win just three matches since October 2010.
Many claim the team are not strong enough to stay up and Coach Massimo Ficcadenti made no secret of his need for some extra strike power during the January transfer window. Albanian forward Erjon Bogdani is the team’s top scorer with just six goals so far in the league, and he is the only player from the attacking department to have scored for Cesena this season. Ficcadenti saw Alessandro Rosina coming in on loan from Zenit St. Petersburg but also saw Yuto Nagatomo, the most valuable piece of his defensive line, being loaned to Inter, in an exchange that has brought in Davide Santon from the Nerazzurri.
Cesena’s supporters feel that is a bad deal, especially in the light of the Japanese defender’s surge in recent performances. He had already caught the eyes of a few big clubs and the many fear that this loan move is just paving the way for his permanent departure. The fans wonder why, if Nagatomo was destined to join Inter anyway, the club didn’t hold on to him until the end of the season as he would have been a great asset in the relegation battle.
Ficcadenti will now have to try and resuscitate Santon’s career, after worsening performances in the past three seasons. After a cracking start to his career that had the Italian press hail him as the “new Maldini”, injuries, the temptations of the “footballer’s life” and clashes with José Mourinho kept him away from the football stardom Marcello Lippi stated he was “predestined” to. Santon is arguably a good defender and when he is focused and committed he can be devastating on the flank. Ficcadenti will have to bring the best out of him if he wants to retain any chance of surviving in Serie A.
Rosina will offer different alternatives in attack to Ficcadenti. His favourite role is that of attacking midfielder but he is very versatile and can play as a winger a wide forward and as a second striker. He has excellent technical ability and has scored some exceptional goals that earned him the nickname of “Rosinaldo”.
Ficcadenti needs results and needs them soon. He may have to tinker a bit with the formation to find the best way to utilise the new signings and hopefully he will soon find the best line up, possibly avoiding the chaos he created during the defeat in Naples, when he changed his formation many times and threw in so many attacking players that even Walter Mazzarri at some point struggled to understand what Ficcadenti was trying to do.
Cesena have lost three and drawn two of their last five matches. Only Bari have done worse, losing all of their last five matches and it is not surprise that they are bottom of the table with just 14 points. At this stage last season, Parma were where Cesena are now, but then they went on a run that earned them 21 points and survival in Serie A. Ficcadenti will want to look at that stat as good omen, but to ensure Cesena’s survival he needs a tighter defence and a more prolific attack.

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