Parma Club Focus: Is it time for a change?
Parma continued their disappointing run of form, losing 3-1 to Roma at home.
Recent acquisition from Napoli, midfielder Walter Gargano, made his first appearance in a Parma shirt during this game. This comes in spite of him only having a few days to train with the team beforehand.
Unfortunately, Gargano’s presence was not enough to turn the tide for this faltering Parma side. In the three games so far, they have one draw and two losses. In total they have been scored on six times whilst only managing two goals of their own.
And, unfortunately, this is Parma’s primary fault. They aren’t solid enough defensively to get by with only scoring two goals in three games. Having purchased Cassano in the transfer window, it is no secret that Parma hopes to increase its attacking prowess. Sadly, it has had little effect so far. Aside from a 39-minute mark goal from the likes of Jonathan Biabiany, Parma presented little threat to a strengthened Roma side.
Perhaps the issue is the formation Parma uses? Despite utilizing a 3-5-2 formation intended to increase possession, they managed only 47% of possession against Roma. And, to reiterate, any extra possession they do get (they had 58% against Chievo) is not translating into goals. Possession means nothing if a team does nothing with it.
Rumours within Parma’s camp suggest that coach Roberto Donadoni might have realized this already. Supposedly, he began practicing a 4-3-3 formation with his team, though he chose not to utilize it in the game against Roma.
More than just failing to use possession, Parma is just not taking advantage of opportunities. Despite taking 11 shots against Roma, only two were on target. For a point of comparison, Roma managed 14 shots, of which eight were on target. Additionally, Parma had a staggering 18 fouls and four yellow cards. Playing like that gives Roma far too many unnecessary opportunities to score.
So, what is the solution? Well, it is incredibly difficult to win when a team is incapable of investing heavily in the transfer market. Unfortunately, cash-strapped Parma may have no other option. And, given their 10th place finish last season, it is possible to overachieve with the right approach.
With an offense that consists of known commodities such as Antonio Cassano, Amauri, and promising youngster Nicola Sansone, the focus needs to be on Parma’s attack. However, perplexing decisions continue to be made in regard to it. For instance, why does Sansone continue to be used only as a substitute?
In three games, he has failed to log one starting appearance. In Sansone, Parma has one of their most promising prospects in years. But, Sansone can’t improve and help his team if he doesn’t receive substantial playing time. Instead, Parma starts players like Massimo Gobbi and an under-prepared Gargano. Granted, some of this might be due to the preferred playing formation. But, if your playing style is translating to wins, perhaps its time to make a change?
Up next, Parma faces Catania and Atalanta before taking on a weakened Fiorentina team. This is a manageable schedule. If Parma has any hope of turning around their fortune this season, it is time for them to get some points in the subsequent weeks. Right now, Parma sits 16th in the table. That needs to change.