Serie A season review, Cagliari: shocking relegation in Sardinia

by | May 23, 2022 11:58

Position: 18 (Relegated to Serie B)
Points: 30
Comparison with previous season: -7 (16th)

Season overview

Cagliari‘s season has been a long one as they have struggled immensely; after hiring Walter Mazzari in September of 2021, Cagliari hoped to make a transition to become safer from the relegation zone. The season started with a 2-2 draw with Spezia but would soon lead to an 8-game winless streak. It wasn’t until matchday eight that they secured their first win of the season against Sampdoria but would then go on to another winless game streak until matchday 20, prevailing against Sampdoria once again. Then, on May 2, Cagliari decided to part ways with Walter Mazzari and appointed Alessandro Agostini as the club’s caretaker. After losing to Inter on matchday 37, they had one last chance to gain survival, but failed to beat already relegated Venezia without making the most of Salernitana‘s 4-0 loss against Udinese.

Turning point of the season 

It was on matchday 20 when they defeated Sampdoria 2-1 and managed to gain some momentum from this. After their victory over the Blucerchiati, Cagliari were able to pick up another win in the following match against Bologna and collected 15 points from matchday 20 until matchday 27. It seemed all set for another narrow survival, but they would lose momentum once again, convincing the club to Mazzari and hire Agostini, a club legend. However, it was too late for a turnaround and collected just one point in the last three games under the new coach, facing relegation for the first time in six years.

Coach – Leonardo Semplici, Walter Mazzarri, Alessandro Agostini

Walter Mazzari has been coaching for many years and has had some successful sides. He is known for his stint at Napoli, where he helped them qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years. Known for his 3-5-2 formation which has became a trademark of him, he helped Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi, and Marek Hamsik blossom at their time at Naploli and was able to win a Coppa Italia as well as finishing 2nd in Serie A. Brought in to Cagliari to help improve and avoid relegation Mazzari struggled as he only managed a 20% win ratio in 35 games before his sacking which is the lowest win rate of his managerial career.

Player of the year – Joao Pedro

Joao Pedro is Cagliari’s captain and the Sardinian’s Player Of The Year, who has contributed 13 goals and six assists. It can be argued that leadership has been vital and helped keep his squad calm in challenging situations. Joao Pedro’s hard work and consistency in goal scoring helped him earn a call-up to the Italian national team making his debut on March 18, 2022, against North Macedonia as a substitute. It wasn’t a year to remember both for Cagliari and La Nazionale. However, his goal-scoring contribution has been immense for his team, which wouldn’t be able to fight until the final matchday if it wasn’t for the Brazil-born striker. Cagliari have been relegated, but Joao Pedro will likely remain in Serie A, joining a new team in the summer.

Disappointing player of the year – Keita Balde

Keita Balde was acquired by Cagliari on a free transfer hoping to bolster the team’s options in the attack. The versatile striker racked up 26 appearances with the Sardinians in Serie A but only managed three goals in 1,230 minutes. The lowest contribution for any attacking player in the squad. Teammate Gaston Pereiro managed four goals in 951 minutes as an attacking midfielder. Keita Balde’s goal contributions to Cagliari was simply not enough. This is his lowest goal-scoring season since his stint at Inter in 2018-19, where he struggled and only managed five goals in 24 appearances. Cagliari needed more from him this season.




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