9th Pts 54 P 38 W 14 D 12 L 12 F 48 A 45
Coppa Italia: Round of 16
Team rating: 7/10
Top scorer: Fabio Quagliarella – 13 goals
Europe (if relevant): Europa League, Round of 16
Despite losing one of Serie A’s most lethal strike partnerships, Torino gave fans cause for optimism with a Top Ten finish and wins in the derby and in a thrilling European night at the San Mames writes Edo Dalmonte
Not a Grande Toro by all accounts, but a Good one will do
For the first time since the early nineties, Torino have achieved two consecutive Top-10 seasons, finally giving their fans hope for the future. Having had a torrid time of it alternating between Serie A and B, Granata fans feared the worst early when Torino opened with only one win in six games, having lost lethal strikers Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci during the summer.
Yet nine months later, the Granata are just four points short of last season’s total, and have capably replaced their former stars with a resurgent Fabio Quagliarella and Maxi Lopez, whose European magic was a red card short of qualifying a third Italian side to the quarter finals.
Even more importantly, Urbano Cairo’s club has finally happened on a teambuilder in Giampiero Ventura, who further boosted the squad with some shrewd signings. It was one thing to finalise the deal for Nikola Maksimovic, quite another to add quality players like Marco Benassi, Fabio Quagliarella, Maxi Lopez and Bruno Peres.
These additions made a difference once the squad gelled in 2015. Six points clear of relegation halfway through the season and with a leaky defence, Torino’s rotation was one of the factors that helped the team suddenly kick into gear, adding 35 points in the second half.
Up till late April, Ventura’s were the best away team in Serie A in the calendar year, though they squandered that advantage against Genoa (1-5) and Milan (0-3). By then, of course, Europe was far from their minds, being too difficult an objective (they were six points short with two games to go) and a thing of the past, their thrilling 3-2 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League Round of 16 being cancelled out by Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Not many clubs would see such a season as a success. Yet in Torino’s case, a small step backwards feels more like a big step forward.
The Coach – Giampiero Ventura. After his experience at Bari, questions abounded about Ventura’s ability to pick up a club and take it to the next level, especially after the club was relegated in 2010-2011. No-one’s asking those questions anymore.
Player of the Year – Kamil Glik. A true leader everywhere on the pitch, Glik has become one of Serie A’s most reliable defenders, and one of the most expensive players available in fantasy formats in light of the seven goals he netted this year. Running a system with three at the back is infinitely simpler with talents like Glik and Nikola Maksimovic, another centre-back who could well figure in this column sooner rather than later.
Did you know?
Torino have given away a record 28 penalties over the last three years, more than any other side from Europe’s Top 5 leagues.
Torino broke two negative streaks this year, first a winless 27-year rough patch at the Giuseppe Meazza, then a 17-game winless run against hated rivals Juventus, beating them 3-2 at the Comunale late in the season.
Kamil Glik has earned seven penalties for Torino over the past two seasons. A Serie A record.
|2||DF||Cesare Bovo||14 (1)||–||–|
|3||DF||Kamil Glik||31 (1)||7||–|
|4||DF||Bruno Peres||28 (6)||3||3|
|6||DF||Matteo Darmian||28 (5)||2||1|
|15||DF||Cristian Molinaro||17 (7)||–||1|
|17||DF||Gaston Silva||4 (1)||–||–|
|18||DF||Pontus Jansson||7 (2)||–||–|
|24||DF||Salvatore Masiello||0 (1)||–||–|
|5||MF||Giuseppe Vives||26 (2)||1||4|
|9||MF||Alessandro Gazzi||27 (3)||–||–|
|10||MF||Omar El Kaddouri||25 (7)||3||4|
|14||MF||Alexander Farnerud||15 (7)||1||5|
|16||MF||Marco Benassi||17 (8)||3||2|
|20||MF||Juan Sanchez – Mino||4 (7)||–||1|
|23||MF||Alvaro Gonzalez||1 (3)||–||–|
|25||MF||Ruben Perez||0 (6)||–||–|
|26||MF||Antonio Nocerino||2 (3)||–||–|
|27||MF||Migjen Basha||1 (5)||1||–|
|8||A||Fabio Quagliarella||33 (1)||13||4|
|21||A||Josef Martinez||20 (6)||3||1|
|28||A||Marcelo Larrondo||3 (2)||–||–|
|29||A||Facundo Lescano||0 (1)||–||–|
|30||A||Simone Rosso||0 (2)||–||–|
|31||A||Paulo Barreto||0 (1)||–||–|