In order to celebrate what has been an excellent season, I invited Torino fan Peter Bourne to discuss each member of the member, with a focus on which players should be retained for next season.
Tommaso Berni (ITA, age 31), 0 appearances, no vote
Former Sampdoria, Lazio and curiously Wimbledon man was drafted in following Gillet’s ban as third choice goalkeeper. Never featured, aside from in touchline goal celebrations.
Verdict: Unlikely to be retained
Jean-Francois Gillet (BEL, age 34), 0 appearances, no vote
Toro’s virtual ever-present goalkeeper in the 2012-13 season and a faithful stalwart of Ventura. Was embroiled in the calcioscommesse scandal (related to his time at Bari) and received a belated three year, seven month ban during pre-season (later reduced to a little over a year on appeal). Gillet has always protested his innocence but the saga has cost him both his first team place and a spot in Belgium’s World Cup squad as back up goalkeeper. At nearly 35, still has time to resurrect his career. Toro have stayed loyal to the player who has one year remaining on his current deal.
Verdict: Would be surprising if Ventura reinstated Gillet over Padelli as first choice. And given that, unlikely Gillet will stay as a reserve. I would move him on. Feeling is though club will retain his services (short term)
Lys Gomis (SEN, age 24), 1 appearance (-1 conceded), vote 6
The goalkeeper who never plays, the perennial ‘number 13’. At nearly 25, Gomis still has a mere 22 first team appearances under his belt. On a positive note, a bout of sickness suffered by Padelli during the second half of the game against Genoa handed Gomis a 36-minute appearance and long-awaited Serie A debut. He looked nervous but was not to blame for the Rossoblu’s equaliser in a 1-1 draw. Cuneo-born and raised, Gomis switched his international allegiance to his parents’ native Senegal and made his debut in March against Mali. Desperately needs a full season (most likely in Serie B) to mature and improve. Now finds himself behind younger brother Alfred in the pecking order for next season.
Verdict: Lys, go out on loan and play some football somewhere.
Daniele Padelli (ITA, age 28), 38 appearances (47 goals conceded), vote 7
A lesson for Gomis. On signing at the age of 27, Padelli had less than 70 first team appearances to his name, keeping the bench warm in the provinces in between spells at Liverpool, Samp and Udinese. Was signed as an understudy to Gillet but seized his chance when the Belgian was banned for the season. Padelli’s form in pre-season convinced the club not to sign a new No 1. There were though a number of reservations, including the point @TorinoBlogger made that Padelli perhaps showed a lack of ambition have initially signed on as a reserve. Perhaps it was a calculated gamble by both club and player. The opening games were not too encouraging. Padelli lacked Gillet’s tidy footwork (a prerequisite of a Venturian goalkeeper) and looked both nervous and unconvincing on crosses (notably in the 3-3 draw with Inter) and long-range shots. His is a fine example of the benefits of giving someone a run in the side. By the turn of the year, Padelli had improved his kicking (and the defence readjusted to his style), mistakes were few and far between and he made several match winning saves (pick of the bunch away at Roma). Spent the final months of the season one booking away from suspension and sensibly trod the fine line to avoid missing a crucial game in the run in. Matured into a fine and reliable goalkeeper by the season’s end.
Verdict: Has earned his stripes and highly likely to be number 1 next season.
Plan for 2014-15: Padelli should be number 1. With (seemingly) no Europa League football, there is less need for an experienced back-up. Alfred Gomis has had an outstanding break out season in Serie B with Crotone and would be my choice as reserve. Lys Gomis to move out on loan, Berni and Gillet to depart.