Coppa Italia: Third Round / Team rating: [4/10] / Top scorer: Camillo Ciano (7) / Europe: N/A
Last season's promotion play-off winners couldn't prevent an instant return to Serie B, writes Rob Glover.
Some might call it divine justice after Frosinone’s controversial promotion play-off victory over Palermo, which saw all sorts of shenanigans including players throwing extra footballs on from the side-lines to interrupt dangerous counter-attacks. The Canarini came and went in Serie A, making very little impact in their second ever top flight campaign.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Frosinone’s season was their awful home form, picking up just a single victory (3-2 against Parma on April 3), six draws and 12 defeats at their state of the art Stadio Benito Stirpe. The venue and their supporters deserved more opportunities to celebrate, but ultimately they popped their heads above the parapet of the relegation zone for one weekend – the second – and remained glued to penultimate spot throughout.
Sacking Coach Moreno Longo in December to make way for Marco Baroni made little real difference, although there was a surprising goalless home draw with Milan on Boxing Day, swiftly followed by the most humiliating of defeats to rock bottom Chievo. Shock victories over Bologna, 4-0 no less at the Stadio Dall’Ara, and 1-0 away to Sampdoria and Fiorentina suggested a possible miracle comeback, but they were blips rather than a change in fortunes.
From the opening 4-0 defeat to Atalanta, it was pretty obvious Frosinone were not going to be in Serie A beyond May 2019. It would’ve been nice for them to have made a little more of their time in this division rather than float by looking hopelessly out of their depth, but their failure to score a single goal in the opening six rounds made that improbable.
The Coach: Moreno Longo and Marco Baroni
While Longo’s rather negative approach barely got them promoted last season, it proved completely inadequate for stronger opposition and the lack of goals was a huge problem. Baroni arrived in late December and in truth made very few tactical adjustments to the 3-5-2 formation. At least they counter-attacked better, as it’s no coincidence the good results were against bigger clubs.
Player of the Year: Andrea Pinamonti
Inter youth product and Italy Under-20 international Pinamonti contributed numerous pivotal, match-defining goals, securing his side rare victories over Parma, Bologna and SPAL as well as a hard-fought point against Fiorentina to reaffirm his importance to the Canarini, who struggled to find the back of the net throughout a torrid campaign.
Highlight: Sampdoria 0-1 Frosinone
Frosinone recorded their only win over a top 10 outfit with a brilliantly articulated victory away to Sampdoria in February, thanks to Daniel Ciofani’s 25th-minute instinctive close-range strike. Frosinone stunned the Stadio Luigi Ferraris by preserving their narrow lead to depart with all three points in a shock triumph.
Nightmare: Frosinone 0-5 Atalanta
Frosinone suffered a disastrous home defeat to the side who had previously condemned them 4-0 defeat on the opening day, a telling reminder of the standards needed to reach to achieve survival. The fans had been so encouraging until then, but Coach, players and President could only offer an embarrassed apology.
Did you know?
- Frosinone were made to wait until October 28 for their first win of the season, when after two draws and seven defeats, they beat SPAL 3-0.
- For the first time since 2003-04, two teams ended the Serie A season with under 30 goals, as Frosinone had 29 and Chievo 25.
- The Canarini received 100 yellow cards during the Serie A, with only Chievo (110) and SPAL (110) awarded more.