Torino Club Focus: A goalkeeping SOS
In fact those fixtures are having rather severe consequences for Torino this season and some of the points they have dropped.
For it is those games that saw competent Belgian goalkeeper Jean Francois Gillet, a consistent and accomplished member of the Granata last year in Serie A, handed a career-ending 43 month ban for match fixing.
With the club’s former number one now out of the picture at the club, it forced them into signing a new number one in the summer when they moved for Daniele Padelli of Udinese.
He is the classic case of a calcio journeyman, helped by having a big reputation when he was a youngster and having a well-connected agent able to garner him loan move after loan move (six in total).
In fact, in almost eight-year long career with Sampdoria from 2004, he failed to make one senior appearance with the Blucerchiati.
At Udinese last season, he featured a little more but even then he really did little to impress enough to warrant the move and in fact would probably have slid to the number two spot at the Friuli had he stayed this year behind Ivan Kelava.
Padelli’s signing is another classic case of the club giving Giampiero Ventura too much control over arrivals at the club as he continues to put faith in players he had at his disposal during his Bari days.
Padelli was number two to Gillet during his time there, while he continues to afford average to mediocre players from his time with Bari a chance at proving themselves in the big time at the Olimpico.
A prime example is Padelli but there is also Paulo Barreto, Riccardo Meggiorini, Alessandro Gazzi and Salvatore Masiello to name but a few who have been handed an easy ticket at Torino.
Yet at the moment, they are the least of Torino fans concerns with a lot of ire being directed towards the new number one for another below-par performance last weekend against Cagliari.
Again, Padelli single-handedly (or should that be no-handedly?) cost Torino a share of the points when he inexplicably let a well-struck but central Daniele Conti fly in under him.
The reaction of his teammates was interesting. No consoling hand extended towards him. No words of comfort for a goalkeeper making a rare error as you would see with top quality net-minders like Gigi Buffon or Pepe Reina.
That is because for the players who line out in front of him, it is becoming an all to often occurrence. They clearly have lost faith in the man in goals and confidence should always exude from the back out and not have players worried that the man behind them is going to drop another clanger.
He has been extremely prone to these errors throughout the year. Against AC Milan, with Toro holding on to a 2-0 lead as the minutes ticked down, he ran a long way to the edge of his box but instead of catching a cross with no pressure on him or even getting a good punch on the ball, he flapped at it and it rolled out to Sulley Muntari who stroked home to start the comeback.
When the Granata played Milan’s other side Inter last month, a game in which they managed a 3-3, Padelli was again at fault arguably for each goal conceded.
Watch him flap at Inter’s first from a corner in which he goes for the ball, misses, and ends up lying helpless on the ground as Fredy Guarin overhead kicks the ball home.
The second goal conceded borders on laughable as he again comes for a cross that he gets nowhere close to. Rodrigo Palacio supplied the finish as he did for the third when Padelli, as a result perhaps of being fearful to come for any balls in case he conceded another easy finish, and Palacio scored once more.
A list of his errors could go on but five already this season is simply too many for a goalkeeper with the latest looking to prove that even his teammates have become frustrated with the former Liverpool loanee.
Unfortunately, options are limited at the club with unproven Lys Gomis and fellow journeyman Tommaso Berni the only other men at the club who could try and displace him.
With competition like that, it is hardly surprising that Padelli has become quickly comfortable in his new role and they could rue the missed chance to sign Gianluca Pegolo in the summer for some time yet.