Cagliari Club Focus: Putting their best foot forward
Cagliari started off the campaign with uncertainty all around the club. Many issues such as to when they will return to Sardinia, or to who would play at right back rang around the clubhouse.
However, Diego Lopez’s side put their best foot forward and played a near flawless performance at the Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste.
The Rossoblu took a tough challenge against Atalanta head on, and showed many promising signs as to continuing their climb in Serie A. Let’s not forget, this is almost the exact same side that finished a very respectable 11th place last year.
The squad only made a few changes, a couple of players came from their homegrown Primavera, such as Werther Cabroni and Andrea Demontis. Cagliari has recently produced many Sardinian talents and are showcasing them around the peninsula.
The 25 man squad is a small, compact and very well organized side. The influx of homegrown talent has made Cagliari a very efficient side. With the core group of players perfectly intact, the smaller additions have a great opportunity to grow and strive, one of those players is Nicola Murru.
The 18 year old left back, native of Cagliari started the game and played the full 90 minutes as well as racking up his first assist of the season. Murru has the chance to grow into a huge player, he has a great passing ability, touches and a solid understanding of the game for a 18 year old. I expect Murru to quickly attract other top clubs. There are not many teenage Italian fullbacks who have those qualities.
The game played in Trieste was a very gritty, rough match. Cagliari dominated possession in Atalanta’s half. While the Nerazzurri made many last ditch efforts to stop the Rossoblu from chances on goal. Nevertheless, Cagliari managed to shoot off 22 shots with six of them on target. Radja Nainggolan and Matias Cabrera scored the goals for the “home team”.
Cagliari only conceded from a corner, as Atalanta defender Guglielmo Stendardo converted the set play. Prompting questions as to how the Isolani will do without Davide Astori, who despite heavy rumors of him leaving, club president Massimo Cellino has insisted that his club’s mercato is over and that no more moves will be made.
Adding fuel to the fire of the possible departure of Astori was the fact that the Italian was left on the bench. Luca Rossettini and Lorenzo Ariaudo partnered in the center defense and performed well, stifling Atalanta’s efforts on goal to only two shots.
Cagliari’s long-term project is off to another good start, but there is a lot of work to be done. Organization will be key throughout the season if they are to make it into the top half of the table. Strong performances from Nainggolan and Andrea Cossu in the midfield will be key as well. And the growth and development of Victor Ibarbo and Marco Sau will be crucial for the goal scoring department.
Next, the Isolani take on AC Milan, a very tough challenge, however the Rossoblu can go into the match with very high confidence, as they started off the season, with their best foot forward.