The Journeyman | Cagliari Calcio: Part 5 – Season 1 Reflection

Our first full season in Sardinia had seen us nicely improve Cagliari’s fortunes to finish in 8th place, just 3 points away from qualifying for Europe. This blog will look back on our key performers in the 2031/32 Serie A season.

Cagliari key men

There’s only one place to begin here as 22-year-old Italian striker and our vice-captain Thomas De Lucia scored more than half of the goals scored this season. De Lucia finished the season with 28 goals in all competitions. The rest of the squad combined scored 25!

His tally of 28 broke the Cagliari club record for most goals in a season, which had been held by David Suazo’s haul of 25 since 2005. His 9 man of the match awards was also a new club record.

The next highest scorer was Real Madrid loanee Dimba, who scored 7 in 29 appearances. Centre-back Lindani Marengo scored 5, Inter loanee William Zanella got 4 and fellow midfielders Matteo Cristofari and Joao Vieira both scored 2.

That tells you everything you need to know about what held us back this season, a lack of goals and, especially, a lack of goals from midfield.

De Lucia also had the most assists at the club with just 7, then right-back Andrea Esposito with 6 and young winger Demian Aime with 5. So that also tells you a lot about the lack of creativity in midfield!

Award winners

Unsurprisingly, De Lucia won the fans’ player of the season with 75% of the vote. Zanella came in second with 10% then Vieira on 9%. Dimba won goal of the season for his wonderstrike against Torino in the previous episode and De Lucia was young player of the season.

Serie A team stats

The Cagliari board’s number one objective is for us to play defensively solid football. So the fact that we had the 6th best defence in the league with 38 conceded should please them. Champions Inter only conceded 23! And winning the 2nd most tackles in the league goes some way towards that defensive solidity.

We were one of 10 teams in Serie A that didn’t concede from a direct free-kick all season, which is pretty crazy. We also only conceded 2 goals from indirect free-kicks, while Juve only let 1 in.

Our lack of goals, De Lucia aside, is pretty clear but I was surprised that we had the 9th best tally in the league. We also had the joint-most shots on target ratio of 51% and the 2nd best conversion rate of 11%, but only got the 11th most shots on target.

A few interesting stats were our league-high cross completion ratio of 29%, while we also scored the 5th most corners and 6th most indirect free-kicks. So getting crosses into the box is something we should probably look into. We also had the least dribbles in the league and were fouled less than any other side.

We did all of this with the highest net transfer spend, making a profit of £50 million this season, and only the 13th highest salary in the league.

Serie A player stats

De Lucia was 2nd in the top goalscorer award with 25 league goals, 1 behind Lazio’s Elia Ancora. While his tally of 9 man of the match awards tied with Ancora.

De Lucia also won by far the most headers in the league, with his tally of 304 some 42 more than a SPAL striker and 70 more than a Genoa defender in 3rd. He had the 2nd most shots in the league with 170, which was 4 less than Napoli’s Jesus Garcia and 40 more than the guy in 3rd, and the most shots on target with 93. And the striker was also offside more than any other player in the league!

Other than him, we had three players in the top 6 most tackles per 90 minutes, with Vieira winning 7 per match, while Marengo made the most blocks in the league. Worryingly, Esposito made the most mistakes in the league but he’s only on loan from Roma.

We had a lot of loanees this season, which I don’t think is great in terms of building squad morale. So this summer needs to have a bit more focus on bringing in new permanent players and promoting youngsters.

Join us next time as we rebuild the squad in preparation for Season 2 in Sardinia!


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