2015-16 SERIE A REVIEW

TORINO

2015-16 review

Serie A Pts P W D L F A
12th 45 38 12 9 17 52 55

Coppa Italia: Round of 16 / Team rating: 6.5 / Top scorer: Belotti (12)

It was in many ways a frustrating campaign for Torino, but they can grow their occasionally brilliant squad into something more, writes Chris Smith
 

Young talent not enough

 
Giampiero Ventura’s Torino spent the beginning of the campaign dreaming of a European place, and after an excellent run of form to start the season, it seemed a worthy goal. Yet a shaky defence and inconsistent attacking play doomed the Granata to a mid-table finish.
 
Ventura’s preferred back three struggled mightily at times and conceded the seventh-most goals in the league. The Granata won by far the fewest aerial duels per match in Serie A, and often relied on counter-attacking football to score, placing significant pressure on the first-choice backline of Kamil Glik, Emiliano Moretti and Cesare Bovo. 
 
Afriyie Acquah and Giuseppe Vives, who typically shouldered much of the burden in midfield and looked to protect the back three, played well but struggled to keep pace with quick, physical teams. The often poor play of Daniele Padelli in goal did nothing to solve the problem.  
 
Yet the midfield also saw the emergence of Daniele Baselli as one of Serie A’s most promising young players. The Italy Under-21 international, who often played on the left-hand side of central midfield, displayed terrific passing vision and a keen eye for goal, including a thunderous long-range strike against Fiorentina in August. While he and Marco Benassi - who also showed flashes of immense potential - faded towards the end of the season and late in games, Ventura has done brilliantly to groom talented prospects into bright players. 
 
On the flanks, Bruno Peres, Davide Zappacosta and Christian Molinaro all saw significant playing time, with the former earning the admiration of several top clubs around Europe. Peres continues to be a dynamic force, and while he was unable to top his superb solo goal against Juventus last season, his pace and dribbling were often deadly on the counter-attack. 
 
Torino did not struggle to score. The Granata’s nine counter-attacking goals were fourth-best in the league and their 52 overall were tied for sixth-best. Andrea Belotti emerged this season as one of Serie A’s most exciting young forwards, notching several impressive goals and forming a promising partnership with returning hero Ciro Immobile. Fabio Quagliarella, who moved to Sampdoria in January after drawing fire for apologising to Napoli fans for scoring against them, also provided important goals.  
 
With Ventura’s future unclear, the Granata will need to do everything they can to hold on to Baselli, Belotti and Peres if they are to build upon this season. Defensive reinforcements are a must, but the project Ventura has overseen - and the progress of the side’s young players - show that there are building blocks for a bright future at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino. 

The Coach - Giampiero Ventura

At the helm since 2011, Ventura continued to demonstrate a knack this season for grooming young talent into productive, first-XI calibre players. While his 3-5-2 occasionally resulted in ponderous football and his side were prone to mental lapses - Ventura himself called them “spectators” after a 2-1 defeat to Napoli in May - Torino showed flashes of brilliant football. An strong candidate for the Italy job, he’ll have plenty of pieces in place for next season if he does choose to remain in Turin. 

Player of the Year - Andrea Belotti

 
Belotti was Torino’s top scorer with 12 goals, all at the age of 22. The striker showed pace, superb finishing and a knack for clever movement, as seen in his brilliant solo goal against Udinese in May. With 12 goals and four assists and several excellent performances in Italy’s U-21 side, Belotti will look to build upon his breakout season next year and emerge as a top Italian striker. 

Did you know? 

- Torino averaged the fewest aerial duels won in Serie A, with only 11.8 per game. 
 
- Toro’s nine counter-attacking goals were fourth-best in the league, behind only Napoli, Roma and Verona. 
 
- The Granata never went more than four matches without a loss in Serie A, fourth-worst in the League.

Squad

No Pos Player Apps Gls Assists
1 GK Daniele Padelli 35 - -
28 GK Salvador Ichazo 3 - -
26 D Danilo Avelar 4 (2) 0 2
25 D Kamil Glik 33 0 0
5 D Cesare Bovo 20 (1) 2 0
18 D Pontus Jansson 6 (1) 1 0
19 D Nikola Maksimovic 16 0 1
3 D Christian Molinaro 23 (4) 1 1
24 D Emiliano Moretti 35 1 1
21 D Gaston Silva 10 (2) 0 1
7 D Davide Zappacosta 13 (12) 1 1
33 M Bruno Peres 30 (1) 3 4
6 M Afriyie Acquah 22 (7) 2 3
16 M Daniele Baselli 25 (10 4 3
15 M Marco Benassi 21 (11) 3 2
8 M Alexander Farnerud 0 (5) 0 0
14 M Alessandro Gazzi 11 (4) 0 0
23 M Sanjin Prcic 0 (2) 0 0
4 M Joel Obi 7 (3) 1 0
20 M Giuseppe Vives 28 (5) 1 1
9 A Andrea Belotti 31 (4) 12 4
90 A Simone Edera 0 (2) 0 0
10 A Ciro Immobile 11 (3) 5 2
17 A Josef Martinez 10 (11) 3 1
11 A Maxi Lopez 8 (18) 4 2
27 A Fabio Quagliarella 16 5 0