Coppa Italia: Third Round / Team rating: 4 / Top scorer: Ciofani and Dionisi (9)
The fairy-tale lasted only one year, but the Canarini and their fans left a lasting impression on Serie A, writes Susy Campanale.
Frosinone made their first ever foray into the top flight after coming second behind fellow absolute beginners Carpi in last season’s Serie B tournament. Roberto Stellone remained at the helm with much of the squad unchanged and their attitude consistent with what helped them get into Serie A in the first place.
We’ll never know if that was a wise move or not, as the Canarini had a disastrous defensive record, but they certainly couldn’t be faulted for holding back. They started out with four consecutive defeats, scoring just one goal and conceding seven, until picking up their first ever top flight point with a last-gasp 1-1 draw away to Juventus. That’s certainly one way to make history memorable.
There were some very heavy scorelines, mainly away from home thanks to their attacking approach, including a 9-1 aggregate defeat to Napoli and 5-1 hammering at Chievo (albeit in that case down to nine men). The club stuck to its guns too, resisting the urge to fire Stellone or order a change of tactics, something Palermo and even Carpi failed to do.
It was on home turf that Frosinone felt most at ease, the Matusa fixed up to handle Serie A football and the fans making their passionate support felt. This provided us with one of the finest moments of the season, as at the final whistle of their 1-0 defeat to Sassuolo - ensuring relegation after hitting the woodwork twice - the ultras stood and applauded their team, singing ‘Thanks lads.’ The players and even opposition joined in praising the Frosinone fans as an example for all of Italian football.
The 38-year-old was younger than some of the opposition players, but brought that bond with his squad that comes from remembering what it’s like to be in their boots. The former striker remained committed to attacking football and must be praised for that sense of tactical consistency.
It wasn’t just Frosinone making their Serie A debut, but their 30-year-old striker too, and he took to it very well with nine goals in 37 games. With brother Matteo in defence, Ciofani made the team feel more of a family affair and was instrumental in their promotion.
- From Week 15 onwards, Frosinone were never out of the bottom three.
- Both Frosinone’s first Serie A victory and maiden away win were against Empoli.
- The Canarini had comfortably the worst defence in the Division, keeping just seven clean sheets and conceding 76 goals, 11 more than the next side Palermo.
|1||GK||Massimo Zappino||4 (1)||-||-|
|6||D||Leonardo Blanchard||28 (1)||3||-|
|93||D||Arlind Ajeti||16 (1)||1||-|
|28||D||Aleandro Rosi||27 (3)||-||-|
|44||D||Vasyl Pryima||5 (2)||-||-|
|3||D||Roberto Crivello||17 (1)||-||1|
|13||D||Matteo Ciofani||18 (4)||-||1|
|4||D||Adriano Russo||10 (1)||1||-|
|21||D||Davide Bertoncini||5 (1)||-||-|
|8||M||Robert Gucher||24 (9)||-||-|
|22||M||Raman Chibsah||22 (8)||-||2|
|5||M||Mirko Gori||28 (2)||-||-|
|10||M||Danilo Soddimo||28 (8)||1||2|
|19||M||Aleksandar Tonev||22 (11)||-||1|
|11||M||Oliver Kragl||15 (3)||1||-|
|21||M||Paolo Sammarco||28 (3)||4||2|
|7||M||Alessandro Frara||20 (6)||2||-|
|18||A||Federico Dionisi||32 (4)||9||4|
|30||A||Nicolas Castillo||6 (3)||-||-|
|9||A||Daniel Ciofani||37 (4)||9||1|
|12||A||Samuele Longo||18 (15)||-||1|
|17||A||Luca Paganini||27 (6)||2||3|
|11||A||Daniele Verde||6 (5)||-||-|
|29||A||Massimiliano Carlini||14 (12)||-||-|