Season preview: Cesena – Seahorses face another season in the big pond

Last Season: Catania 2010-11 season review
The Squad: Cesena have achieved a great deal thus far in the transfer window simply by keeping the majority of last season’s squad together. Key players such as Marco Parolo and Emanuele Giaccherini have been coveted by clubs up and down the league but have yet to be the subject of any serious offers. Veteran goalkeeper Francesco Antonioli has signed on for another season despite the fact that he will turn 42 next month.
While the majority of last season’s key men have stayed, there have been departures. Luis Jimenez was allowed to leave when his loan came to an end, while Yuto Nagatomo has made his loan move to Inter permanent and Davide Santon has rejoined his parent club after his loan period at Cesena.
The attack has been reinforced with the signings of Eder, Antonio Candreva and Adrian Mutu, suggesting that Cesena will remain a side focused on attack. Eder brings with him a good record in Serie B and a desire to prove himself at the highest level, while Candreva is a player looking to continue to rebuild his reputation after his ill-fated time at Juventus.
Easily the most interesting signing, however, is that of Mutu. The Romanian has endured a troubled career but is a player of undoubted talent and can win games almost single-handed. His experience of playing at the highest level is priceless and, if Marco Giampaolo can keep him fit and focused, he could prove a key player for the Seahorses.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo – Despite survival last season, Cesena parted company with Coach Massimo Ficcadenti and replaced him Marco Giampaolo shortly after the end of last season. The former employed a fast, attractive playing style that utilised out and out wingers, something of a rarity in Serie A. While one of those wingers, Luis Jimenez, has departed the club, Emanuele Giaccherini remains and Giampaolo’s attacking signings suggest that the new Coach will look to a similar system this season.
Although Giampaolo is relatively inexperienced in Serie A, he will be confident that he possesses a squad capable of achieving survival and more during the coming season. Giampaolo will look to build his side around a midfield of captain Giuseppe Colucci and Marco Parolo while Mutu and Erjon Bogdani will be tasked with providing creativity and goals, a commodity that was in short supply last season.
Giampaolo will look to Candreva to provide creativity from midfield while Parolo will continue to play in his swashbuckling style and will hope to continue his solid goal scoring record from last season. In defence, Luca Ceccarelli and Maurizio Lauro are likely to be given the same license to attack from the fullback positions as last season as Cesena continue to break the Serie A mould by utilising the flanks.
Player to look out for: Emanuele Giaccherini – The little Italian was one of the standout players for Cesena last season and Giampaolo will rely on him again for pace and penetration in attack. He is a rare commodity in modern Italian football, an old-fashioned winger, and is always a player to watch as even the best fullbacks often struggle to contain him.
Prediction: While they will doubtless be tipped for relegation, the Seahorses will be confident in their ability to dodge the drop for another season. Their quick, fearless style of play and talented attacking line up should see them through to another season in the big time.
Probable XI:

Ceccarelli – Von Bergen – Benalouane – Lauro
Colucci – Parolo
Giaccherini – Candreva – Mutu
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