Brescia went down fighting once again, dropping straight back into Serie B after a season that had more highs than lows for the Lombardy side. Their 12th relegation alongside Bari was one where the team impressed at times but fell short in terms of results.
The season began on a high for the Rondinelle as they recorded three wins from their opening four games, with notable victories against Roma and Palermo. But the losing cycle which followed was quite extraordinary as they lost nine of their next 13 games and accumulated a mere eight points from these fixtures. By this time, Beppe Iachini had been sacked and Mario Beretta was installed in his place.
Beretta’s subsequent firing at the end of January and the return of Iachini helped stem the tide for a while. The best result coming against a resurgent Inter side who were held to a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Rigamonti. But, it was the same inability to convert one point into three that kept the Biancoazzurri rooted to the bottom of the table. In fact, the team failed to win any of its last seven games and it was this meltdown which eventually sent them down.
The team played with a slightly outdated 3-5-2 formation and the defence was often found wanting on the most basic of plays. However, it was a lack of goals and creativity that cost the side dearly. When they did create chances, more often than not the forwards’ finishing let them down. Only Sampdoria and Bari scored fewer goals this season, and the fact that those two got relegated just goes to show the uphill battle the Lombardy natives were facing.
Life in Serie B for Brescia is likely to get harder as the whole squad has been put up for sale. But throughout the season, they were a few that sparkled and none did so better than Andrea Carracciolo. His goals gave the Rondinelle a fighting chance and without him, the team may well have ended with a points tally closer to that of Bari. During Beretta’s tenure it became apparent that the Coach’s tinkering with the squad was yielding no results. He tried a few different formations before consigning himself to the default one finally.
The return to Serie B is one which is deserved for the Biancoazzurri though they can do so without their heads hung in shame. It was a reflection of Serie A’s changing dynamics that a team based on pragmatism like Brescia went down while that following an attacking philosophy like Cesena stayed up. More notably, it also showed that teams that come up to the top division have to work even harder to stay there. A couple of seasons back, the club’s form would have been enough to keep them up but not so this year. The summer will be an interesting one particularly as Carracciolo, Alessandro Diamanti and Eder among others will look for new clubs in the hopes of continuing their Serie A careers.
Coach – Giuseppe Iachini:
His two stint tenure ultimately ended in despair but had he been given the time, things could have been different. Iachini’s defensive philosophy proved to be his boon and his bane. However, he possibly could have gotten more out of his players who showed that they could provide a result on the day.
Player of the season – Andrea Caracciolo:
His one man displays were ultimately the reason why Brescia impressed in spurts. His finishing was a letdown at times and had he been more proficient in front of goal, the Rondinelle could have picked up more points. However, he has done enough to convince teams to take a gamble on him.
Turning point – Iachini’s sacking:
The Coach was let go just before the winter break which ideally would have been a good time to change guard, but it was the wrong decision ultimately. Beretta never managed to get the group together and Iachini’s experience in relegation dogfights would have been vital.
Average starting XI:
Zebina – Bega – Zoboli
Zambelli – Hetemaj – Vass – Berardi
Caracciolo – Éder