Sampdoria Club Focus: Creativity Issues for Rossi
Sampdoria lost 1-0 to Juventus in the first match of the new Serie A season and put in a credible performance. Aside from the goal that was conceded, the team defended solidly.
Going forward was something different for Samp. The Blucerchiati looked predictable in attack and the only shot that Gianluigi Buffon had to save was a cross-shot from Eder.
Although it was the opening round and Samp played against the reigning champions, creativity is something of a concern for the Blucerchiati. Neutrals will be quick to criticise any Italian team that lacks creativity but Delio Rossi has to find a way to provide supply for emerging striker Manolo Gabbiadini.
Andrea Poli was one of Sampdoria’s creative outlets last season with his short passes and little dribbles. He hasn’t really been adequately replaced in midfield.
Fans were expecting Mirko Eramo to be that player. He was tough in his challenges and received a yellow card but he offered little input offensively. Perhaps he can shine against weaker opposition but against a big team, he looked out of his league.
Only a few days remain until the transfer window closes and it looks unlikely that Samp will add a regista to their roster. Even sporting director Carlo Osti does not look for one on the market, perhaps coach Delio Rossi can look at what he already has.
Nenad Krsticic could play in a more advanced role. Former coach Ciro Ferrara used the Serbian midfielder as an attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 formation in last season’s 3-1 win against Genoa and 2-2 draw with Fiorentina. Instead of using a standard 3-5-2 formation, perhaps Rossi should consider playing Krsticic in between the lines.
Enzo Maresca has been frozen out of the squad for unknown reasons since Rossi arrived at Samp. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like that the two will resolve their differences and it was rumoured that Maresca was on his way to Torino.
It’s a pity that Rossi has not used the veteran playmaker. Maresca was one of the few star performers during the ill-fated reign of Ferrara. He had excellent ball distribution, posed a threat at set-pieces (something Eder fails to do) and he was capable of scoring the odd goal.
Another possibility is that Pedro Obiang could make more offensive runs. He is an excellent ball-winner and an adroit passer of the ball but he should make the most of his confidence on the ball.
Obiang also had five assists last season, more than any Samp player and against Juve on the weekend he was one of the few players who bothered to shoot. Surely he can be more than just an anchor in midfield.
If Sampdoria need a regista, they could also do with a decent support striker too. If Rossi is going to rely on Eder to create chances for Gabbiadini and the rest of the team, fans have a right to be concerned.
The Brazilian forward finished last season well but he is known to be inconsistent or too content with diving. He also lacks the self-belief or hubris that previous Doria support strikers like Roberto Mancini, Francesco Flachi and Antonio Cassano possessed.
Even if Osti doesn’t look for a better support striker, Rossi could make better use of Gianluca Sansone. He has been bought outright from Sassuolo but he was left to sit on the bench against the Bianconeri.
Despite being a left-footer like Gabbiadini, he has excellent ball control, can take free-kicks and he doesn’t dive. Whenever he came off the bench last season, he would usually make an impact. If he gets chances to starts, he might provide the spark Samp need on a regular basis.
Sampdoria fans shouldn’t expect any more purchases in the next few days. If Rossi can analyse his players more thoroughly, he might be able to find a way to make the Blucerchiati less predictable in attack.
Follow Vito Doria on Twitter: @VitoCDoria