BLOG ITALIA
Thursday January 10 2013
Team of the Season so far…

Having reached the half-way point of the Serie A season, Dave Taylor goes 4-3-3 with his best XI of the campaign to date.

Andrea Consigli [Atalanta]

Superb from the off, especially in Week 2’s 1-1 draw with Cagliari when, after stopping two penalties and making several other superb saves, he was stretchered off and sent to hospital. The former Italian Under-21 international, now seen as one of Gianluigi Buffon’s heir, offers a rare level of security to one of Serie A’s poorest defences and fears no man nor beast. Buffon-like.

Mattia De Sciglio [Milan]

Young players need encouragement and Massimiliano Allegri has provided it for the former youth team prodigy. With his accurate passing and crossing ability, the 20-year-old has shown on many occasions that he is an excellent decision maker. His pace aids his game, as does his versatility to play on both flanks. Maldini-like.

Andrea Ranocchia [Inter]

He has been immensely consistent this season. At set pieces, one of the tallest defenders in Serie A at 1.96m, is a real menace and showed it with his perfect looping header from a free-kick in the 3-1 win at Bologna. But it is stopping goals where he reigns and his performances this term have earned him international recognition again. Burgnich-like.

Giorgio Chiellini [Juventus]

Every team needs a big ugly defender at the back and they don’t come much bigger or uglier than Chiellini. Equally at home in the centre or at left-back, the Italian international epitomises Juve’s fighting abilities with his decisive tackles and aerial supremacy. An uncompromising defensive pillar and a superb professional, he absolutely refuses to buckle if the going gets tough. Giorgio also has one of the highest percentages of successful passing of anyone in the League with a 91 per cent success rate. Ferrara-like.

Kwadwo Asamoah [Juventus]

In the short time he has played for Juve, the Ghanaian’s thrilling runs down the left have already started to become part of the club’s folklore. Despite principally being a central midfielder, he has added an extra dimension to the way the team attack this season, exemplified by his five assists. Asa is also no slouch at scoring and showed it with a dazzling overhead kick against Pescara. Cabrini-like

Arturo Vidal [Juventus]

Like a Chilean miner he backs down to no-one and is always looking to win the ball and set up another attack. As an integral part of Serie A’s best midfield he, as much as anyone, has been one of the driving forces in Juve’s run at the top this season. He also has an unerring ability to get into the right place at the right time and does the unseen work, allowing others to do the more intricate stuff. Tardelli-like.

Andrea Pirlo [Juventus]

You might be able to control the bearded Lord of the Rings occasionally, but he is certainly more Gandalf than Gimli if a set-piece presents itself. Juve’s second goal against Atalanta in Week17’s 3-0 win was a perfect example of his unassailable self-belief, as his free-kick ripped through the Turin air to almost break through the back of the net. One of the game’s great statesmen, he has made the most passes in Serie A with over 1,373 of which 1198 or 87.3 per cent have been successful. This ability sees him deliver sublime balls that the recipient has no need to break his stride as he slots it goalwards. Zidane-like.

Marek Hamsik [Napoli]

The Slovakian ace has been Napoli’s most consistent player, featuring in every match and has a brilliant presence in front of goal, scoring seven times already, just two short of his total last season. On the assist front he has nine to his name, equalling his complete total from last term. His direct running has made a massive contribution to the Partenopean cause and he possesses a superb sense of where to be at the most pivotal of moments. Alemao-like.

Francesco Totti [Roma]

Er Pupone has been incomparable at times in his 21st campaign and, with six goals plus six assists, what can you say that has not already been said? He has been ruthlessly direct and his power to score and set up others was best seen in the 4-2 win over Fiorentina in Week 16, with his two goals and two assists. Giannini-like.

Edinson Cavani [Napoli]

Napoli attack and defend from the front via the electrifying Uruguayan and, with 16 goals to his name, the perfect modern striker has shown his fitness, pace, strength and extreme resourcefulness. Hat-tricks, braces, winning goals in the closing minutes, penalties, headers, there is nothing much he can’t do and his second hat-trick of the season against Roma last week went a long way to prove it. It also meant he has now scored 25 goals in 23 games in all competitions. Jeppson-like.

Stephan El Shaarawy [Milan]

The youngster has been a real revelation and is Serie A ‘s second top scorer on 14 goals which accounts for 42 per cent of Milan’s total. Eight were scored with his dynamic left foot, while his rampaging pace and energy has seen him score 50 per cent of them in the last 15 minutes as his superb stamina exploits weary defenders. Inzaghi-like.

Coach: Vincenzo Montella [Fiorentina]

The Viola decided on a completely new direction after last season’s problems and embellished their squad with 17 new players, plus Montella, last summer. Arrivals like Mounir El Hamdaoui, Facundo Roncaglia and former terrace hero Luca Toni have all added to the basics of a good squad and with Montella’s fresh exciting hand to guide them they could finish in a Champions League spot. Zeman-like.

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Have your say...
Half of text could pass, half of text is utter comical. Mister Taylor, you should write as a serious man, not as passionate child.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 5:54pm
Seems odd to have no Lazio players. I'm an Inter fan, but has Ranocchia been that good? I suppose the problem is that Serie A lacks good defenders at the moment.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 5:52pm
Lazio's players are overlooked time after time even if Klose, Mauri, Biava and Marchetti should probably all be there. And what have Montella done better than Petkovic?? Blaah...
on the 10th January, 2013 at 5:21pm
Hernanes?
on the 10th January, 2013 at 5:20pm
No one from Lazio?! This is just a joke best 11!
How can you not include Marchetti, Biava, Hernanes or Klose?
on the 10th January, 2013 at 5:18pm
I think the writer should start following other League than serie a !!
PLz Hernanes is missing and Totti is there ? Hernanes was decisive on 19 points for lazio this season and heeloo lazio is 2nd, Marchitti has the best goalkeeper average this season in italy (0.64) and thats even better than Buffon and 3rd best in Europe is Missing??? Klose 2nd best to cavani is Missing ?

PLz thats a real Joke
on the 10th January, 2013 at 5:17pm
Ya Montella over Petkovic even though Lazio are ahead of Fiorentina and in 2nd place and its Petkovic's first season in serie a. MAH
on the 10th January, 2013 at 4:24pm
Ranocchia deserves to be there. He's been outstanding this season. One of the very best in the world right now. Anyone who says otherwise hasn't paid attention to him and is going by past seasons rather than the current one.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 4:19pm
his sentence ¨"Arrivals like Mounir El Hamdaoui, Facundo Roncaglia and former terrace hero Luca Toni have all added to the basics of a good squad "
says it all about the writers calcio knowledge to think these three players are the revelation of the viola team that right now plays the best football in penisula is laughable.
with players lika borja valero,pizzaro,gonzalo and cuadrado whom have been amongst the very best in the leauge at their positions.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 4:11pm
Gonzalo Rodriguez has been brilliant this season, how he didn't make this team I do not know
on the 10th January, 2013 at 3:58pm
Not one player from Lazio? Didnlt realizr this was the riomma site.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 3:37pm
Na you have to do 4-5-1 mate

Consigli

De Sciglio
Chiellini
Bonucci
Asamoah

Pirlo
Lamela
Hamsik
Vidal
Totti

El Shaaraway
on the 10th January, 2013 at 3:08pm
Yawn. Fiorentina and Roma are the most entertaining sides with the talent. Juve are clinical, but tiresome. Vidal? Anyone see Pizzaro play? Better than Pirlo methinks this season. And Lamela? C'mon. He missed 4 games and is still sitting at 10 goals.

This list is a joke, and could benefit from having a bench. Basically, just add whomever they have written a column about in the last month....their names are on the TOTS list.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 2:40pm
Some of you are judging this incorrectly!Yes Marchetti had a terrible world cup, but then most of the Italian players did. This is team of the season so far!!

Handanovic;
Di Sciglio, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Chiellini, Asamoah;
Vidal, Montolivo, Hernanes;
Totti, Cavani, El Shaarawy

Honourable mentions:

Marchetti;
Cavanda, Barzagli, Biava, Pasqual;
Pizzaro,Pirlo,Inler;
Hamsik,Osvaldo,Lamela;
on the 10th January, 2013 at 2:30pm
My young/under rated team of the season so far...

......................Perin.............
.........Roncaglia....Gonzalo.....Ogbonna...........
Cuadrado....Pogba...Cigarini....Florenzi....De Sciglio..
.................SES....Belfodil........

Tried to mix in some obvious young talents with some players who are not quite good enough to make the "real" team of the season, but have had good performances so far

Others could include; Iacardi, Schelotto, astori, poli, peluso, insigne
on the 10th January, 2013 at 2:19pm
buffon (because if you have the choice you always want the very best)
barzagli bonucci chiellini
marchisio - pirlo - vidal
jovetic - cavani - klose - el shaarawy

coach: conte
on the 10th January, 2013 at 1:50pm
I agree with this squad/system for the most part but i think Vidal shouldn't be there.He played good half of season but in Serie A were better than him. For exemple Marchisio and Boja Valero... these are two men who deserve a special mention
on the 10th January, 2013 at 1:45pm
Lazio is in second place guys. Need I say more? Candreva is firing rockets, hernanes runs an incredible show, and Klose is feared throughout the peninsula
on the 10th January, 2013 at 1:33pm
Ranocchia LoL, this is a joke...

Its 3-5-2 for me...

Buffon
Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini
Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah
Cavani & SES

Coach: Antonio Conte

End of Topic ;)
on the 10th January, 2013 at 1:21pm
@Hrant - Dubai

LOLOL dont forget SES, the revelation of the season. So no, not 10 juve players and cavani.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 1:05pm
Consigli-De Sciglio-Biava-Chiellini-Pasqual-Pirlo-Vidal-Marchisio-SES-Cavani-Lamela

Based purely on who's impressed me the most this season.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 12:54pm
No Borja Valero? No idea Dave Taylor.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 12:50pm
I actually agree with the team...almost. Ranocchia out and probably either Cannavaro or Barzagli instead.Consigli is good but is he better than Handanovic? There are no Lazio players...interesting but man for man they are not better than those in the team selected although as a unit the are very good.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 12:25pm
And what has Marchetti's performance in 2010 WC got to do with 2012/13 Serie A? Thought so...

Valero should definitely be in, good call.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 12:25pm
where is Hernanes ? where is Klose plz go and do a better one
on the 10th January, 2013 at 12:15pm
lol Lichsteiner? This is a 4-3-3 and De Sciglio is much more defensively sound and its clear u havent watched him play

Cuadrado for RB? are u insane?
on the 10th January, 2013 at 12:03pm
where is BORJA VALERO?
on the 10th January, 2013 at 11:55am
Though i agree with most players, the team of the season should have a bench aswell.

Serie A is going through a rough time and these year are the years of the youngsters.

I suggest you make 2 teams of the season so far, with 1 team being the real team of the season and the other a youngster team of the season.

Pogba, De Sciglio etc are good players and deserve to be in a team of the season, but not this one.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 11:53am
Although SS lazio is clear in second place in serie A, semi final of coppa italia, and the group winner of their europa league,undefeated in their last 8 games, club in form at the moment with 4 wins and one draw in their last 5 games, surely they dont deserve to have anyone in the team of the season. Dave taylor you are a joke !
on the 10th January, 2013 at 11:44am
@ Massi

I agree I am surprised that there is no Lazio player on the list, Hernanes or Klose deserves to be in the top 11
on the 10th January, 2013 at 11:41am

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