2015-16 review

Serie A Pts P W D L F A
15th 40 38 10 10 18 48 61

Coppa Italia: Round of 16 / Team rating: 3 / Top scorer: Eder (12)

Samp wasted the season with a lack of planning and forethought. Christian FitzHugh looks into what went wrong.

Incoherent strategy for rudderless campaign

The early signs were not good when Sampdoria were embarrassingly knocked out of the Europa League in their first qualifying tie against Vojvodina. This set the tone for a season of underachievement and inconsistency. The selection of Walter Zenga as Coach seemed like a left-field choice after six years away from Serie A and his brief tenure in the hot-seat did little to alter that perception.
The Blucerchiati, shorn of key members of a promising group of players assembled under former tactician Sinisa Mihajlovic following a summer of non-committal recruitment, failed to establish any real identity. Though form was good at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, the side was largely dependent on moments of individual brilliance, mainly from the likes of Roberto Soriano, Luis Muriel and goal-getter Eder. On their travels they were hapless and Zenga’s constant tweaking of personnel appeared to be based more on guesswork than on a true understanding of his players.
There were no great tears on Zenga’s ousting and indeed there was a significant amount of excitement upon the arrival of his successor, Samp legend Vincenzo Montella.
L’Aeroplanino came with goodwill and with no little credit in the bank following successful forays at Fiorentina and Catania. But the customary new Coach boost never really materialised. In fact the form produced under him was that of relegation.
Under his stewardship the same failings persisted. Samp suffered an eight-match winless streak and several losing runs, the last of which saw 10 goals conceded in the final three games.
Formations changed as players did under Zenga but to no avail - his cause not being helped when topscorer Eder was sold to Inter in January. Inadequate replacements have been a recurrent theme of the Blucerchiati’s season. Eder’s void was never properly filled. Stefano Okaka, Pedro Obiang and Samuel Eto’o left the building in the summer only to be replaced by an unwanted Antonio Cassano. 
Bright sparks are hard to come by for 2015-16, but Emiliano Viviano in goal has shown his undoubted talent and has grown considerably with a full uninterrupted season under his belt.
Should Montella stay then he needs to be equipped with a squad that reflects his playing ethos and vision. If owner Massimo Ferrero fails to back his Coach again then another troubled season surely awaits.

The Coach – Walter Zenga (Weeks 1-12) Vincenzo Montella (Weeks 12-38)

When Walter Zenga’s slightly underwhelming stay at Samp came to an end, much was expected of Montella. Few thought matters would get worse. What has followed has tarnished his reputation. Though he has promised to respect his contract and learn from the harsh lessons of this campaign, he may find that it makes sense to cut his losses, having been linked with numerous clubs and even the Azzurri national team.

Player of the Year – Emiliano Viviano

Though Eder scored 10 goals in his first eight games and remained Doria’s top scorer until the end of the season, it was Emilano Viviano looking to force his way into the Euro 2016 reckoning who picked up five man of the match awards and eight clean sheets. Without the stopper, now finally realising his potential, Samp’s scrap at the bottom might have been that much more uncomfortable.

Did you know?

- Samp have lost 18 games this season, which is 10 more than in the last campaign.
- Emiliano Viviano has saved more penalties than any other Serie A goalkeeper this term, keeping out four.
- Samp tactician Vincenzo Montella had an average of under one point per game.


No Pos Player Apps Gls Assists
2 GK Emiliano Viviano 37 - -
57 GK Alberto Brignoli 1   2
6 D Andrea Coda 2(2)   1
26 D Matias Agustin Silvestre 21(4)   3
23 D Modibo Diakite 7(1)    
16 D Andrea Ranocchia 13(1)    
4 D Niklas Moisander 19(3)    
87 D Ervin Zukanovic 14(2) 3  
37 D Milan Skriniar 2(1)    
3 D Djamel Mesbah 6(1)    
19 D Vasco Regini 14    
11 D Dodo 16(1)   1
5 D Mattia Cassani 23(2)   1
29 D Lorenzo De Silvestri 17 1 2
13 D Pedro Miguel Almeida Lopes Pereira 7(2)   1
20 M Nenad Krsticic 6(4)   1
21 M Roberto Soriano 33(4) 8 4
10 M Carlos Joaquin Correa 14(11) 3 1
92 M Michele Rocca 0(1)    
25 M Ricardo Gabriel Alvarez 9(4) 1 1
17 M Angelo Palombo 3(4)    
8 M Edgar Barreto 26(4)   1
7 M Fernando 34(1) 4 2
  M Jacopo Sala 3(2)    
77 M Carlos Mario Carbonero 11(3)   3
95 M David Ivan 12(9) 1  
23 A Eder 19 12 2
24 A Luis Fernando Muriel 19(13) 6 5
30 A Adrian Fabian Ponce Nunez 0(1)    
99 A Antonio Cassano 14(10) 2 5
27 A Fabio Quagliarella 13(3) 3  
9 A Alejandro Rodriguez De Miguel 0(6)    
22 A Pawel Wszolek 0(2)    
11 A Emiliano Bonazzoli 0(4)    
18 A Lazaros Christodoupoulos 3(7) 1