Simy: Why didn’t Fabrizio Castori start frontman against Atalanta?

Salernitana remain winless after four games, but did the marksman’s boss make an error in his selection on Saturday.

Simy Nwankwo (Instagram/Salernitana)

Salernitana’s return to Serie A certainly isn’t going according to plan.

The Granata’s latest match at the weekend ended 1-0 to Atalanta, meaning they’ve now lost all four games since returning to Italy’s top division for the first time in 23 years.

Only two goals have been scored in the current run and a staggering 12 have been conceded. If you’re a glass-half-full individual, the latest 1-0 defeat may represent progress, especially as the new boys had shipped three goals against Bologna, four against Roma and four against Torino.

They haven’t netted since that opening day 3-2 loss at Bologna and not even Simy’s arrival has changed anything. The on-loan frontman made the temporary switch from Crotone and was signed to deliver the goods after last year’s success in which he netted 20 Serie A goals.

The Pythagoreans eventually suffered instant relegation, but there was an inconspicuous record from last season that could have been utilized on Saturday.

Simy netted in both games against the Bergamaschi in 2020/21, and perhaps Fabrizio Castori shouldn’t have dropped the towering frontman against Gian Piero Gasperini’s troops.

The 67-year-old tactician introduced the striker in the 74th minute, but there was little time to affect proceedings.

Even though both aforementioned encounters finished in favor of La Dea— 2-1 in October and 5-1 in March — the striker’s goals eventually counted in his amazing haul of 20 league goals.

Perhaps emphasizing this perceived Castori error is the fact Simy’s first-ever Serie A strike also came against Atalanta, in September 2016, suggesting the 67-year-old missed a trick at the weekend.

Despite a fourth reverse on the trot, the experienced tactician seemed upbeat following the game.

It was in my view an undeserved defeat because we had 11 shots on goal, we pinned Atalanta back with courage and intensity,” Castori remarked.

“We deserved better luck tonight, but if on the one hand I am disappointed to lose, on the other I am reassured because I have seen my team again. ''I had lost sight of the squad, but they had the right mentality and intensity this evening''.

''We’ve got the team back, which means we are on the right track. Safety will be earned in the head-to-head battles''.

“We cannot ‘defend’ last place, so we need to be aggressive and attack anyone we face, no matter who they are. The important thing tonight is that I found my team again.”

Perhaps if he started Simy, the optimism in Castori’s tone would have doubled. While this is anyone’s guess, Salernitana need to start picking him points sooner rather than later to avoid instant relegation to Serie B.

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Seye Omidiora is a passionate football writer and pundit whose deep appreciation for the beautiful game exceeds the usual. He is currently a columnist for Goal Africa and has previously written for Vital Football UK, IBCity Info and Opera News.

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