Siena are back again this season, but without their best player and their first-choice goalkeeper. Last year they may not have put forth particularly flashy performances, but they were solid enough to not have to seriously fret about relegation. The fear will likely be more real this time around, particularly since they are starting the season in the negative. The club were docked six points in the calcioscommesse affair, having been found guilty of the fact that individuals within the club had knowledge of sporting fraud. What a way to begin.
14th, Serie A. Siena's first season back in Serie A was a fairly successful one, with the club never slipping into the relegation spots. They got close, certainly, especially mid-season, but it was a more comfortable campaign than many had predicted.
Mattia Destro: Certainly the top player from the robur last season, Destro scored 12 goals and captured many the eye in Italy. One of those sets of eyes belonged to AS Roma, who snapped him up this summer.
Luca Rossettini: Not a flashy player by any means, but the centre-back did play the majority of Siena's matches. Siena were one of the better defending sides last season, particularly for a lower-placed club, and losing both a regular centre-back and a keeper could mean a decline.
Serse Cosmi: Gotta love the way Serie A teams have such faith in managers that get sides relegated, particularly crazy managers that pace the sidelines wearing baseball caps. A baseball cap! Dude, you're Italian.
Luís Neto: The robur recently added the Portuguese defender, signed from Nacional, to shore up the back line.
Andrea Campagnolo: I believe this keeper from Catania was brought in to replace Brkic, as Siena seem to have no faith in Simone Farelli. So they bring in a guy that managed four starts in Sicily before getting injured and dropping to third-choice. This bodes well.
Keep An Eye On
The stretcher. Apparently Siena is the last stop for old footballers determined to cling to life in Serie A. At 21, Destro was the youngest player to see the pitch last season, followed by Francesco Bolzoni, the 23-year-old midfielder who started in eight matches. By contrast, captain Simone Vergassola is 36 and still starting half the matches. Serie A tends to have older players that are still quite talented, but usually they're balanced by a bit of youth. Not so in Siena.
Toward the bottom, again, although with more of a fear of the relegation zone this season. They've got what amounts to an untested goalkeeper. Emanuele Calaio, partner to Destro, broke his leg last March. If he's not healthy, from where will the goals come?