The State of the Serie A: The Curious Case of Benevento

Most recently Benevento’s Serie A education has been nothing short of brutal, with only a single goal to their name and no points.

I would motion towards the outcry of despair aimed in the direction of a certain Crystal Palace before the weekend’s shock victory over Chelsea, and this was a beacon of hope the new arrivals could look for.

There is light at the end of the tunnel-it’s just a very different case…that’s all.


Loan bonanzas usually backfire

Benevento has never been here, therefore quite evidently there is inexperience.

On the positive side, there isn’t the comparable weight of expectation other sides would have to carry on their metaphorical shoulders. It may shock some to hear, or indeed read, that in actual fact there is a talented group at Benevento but this betrays the fact that it is a squad heavy on loan players from other Serie A outfits.

As a basic comparison, I would look to the English Championship as a point of reference, not in style or competitiveness necessarily, but in how squads with huge amounts of loanees fare, generally the smaller the club with a high quantity of ‘part timers’ or those ‘passing through’ as it were, simply do not achieve anything.

Quite often they find themselves relegated, no matter the quality individuals may have in their locker.


Contrast in the matches facing the big teams and those of equal footing

Against Roma and Inter, Benevento saw little of the ball, perhaps not unsurprisingly. In fact, they managed to stifle the latter courageously and produced military organisation that was close to being rewarded with a point.

Clearly they had employed the same tactics against Roma, but upon facing Inter had learned a couple of lessons in when to press and sit deeper to reduce the 2nd placed side penetrating from either side effectively. This was a positive no doubt.

Against Crotone, the same heart wasn’t there but the possession was.

Benevento had the confidence to get on the ball but there was no chemistry or incisiveness in the creative sense, which must be a concern in a game they should expect to take more from.

Incredibly frustrating it must have been, with a fairly youthful Benevento first XI having the chance to showcase their attacking threat by getting either midfielders or forwards on the score sheet or assisting, but instead there was a team seemingly playing as individuals.


The cons of utilising so many loanees

That is the difficulty with having so many loan players, or indeed in allowing such a setup where younger professionals will be looking to secure themselves moves elsewhere potentially, as there was none of the cohesion fans would have witnessed (at least in the defensive sense) against Inter.

It was something of a replica in the loss to Hellas Verona at the weekend. Benevento’s loss to Hellas Verona highlighted how difficult it will be for any future in this league.

These are the games they need to take advantage of, or at least begin to impress their own attacking style on. At this rate they will come to rue the games they simply haven’t taken risks in, the kinds of defence splitting runs forwards would make in Serie B for 90 mins that so often paid dividends, a direct style that turned one point into three.

Conservatively keeping the ball away at Hellas Verona won’t work, as nice as it may be to see more of it.


Written by Ross Wilson

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