Saturday, 24 May 2014

Torino FC Awards 2013/14

After only recently recovering from the heartbreaking end to the season that Torino suffered, it is now time to reflect on the positive aspects of what has been an excellent campaign.

Please read the write ups for each player in each category and email your votes to torinoblogger@hotmail.co.uk. The winning player for each category will be announced at the end of the month.

Player of the Season

Ciro Immobile
Signed in the summer as a replacement for the outgoing Rolando Bianchi, Immobile exceeded all expectations with an outstanding season. Despite not scoring his first league goal for the club until October, the former Genoa striker ended the season as the Serie A Capocannoniere with an exceptional 22 goals in 33 matches. His exceptional form at club level has lead to him being called up by Cesare Prandelli to the Italian national team, and he is expected to be included in the final 23 man squad for the World Cup.

Alessio Cerci
It will be difficult not to mention that penalty miss when referring to Alessio Cerci's season, but it is important to remember of the incredible contribution he made to Torino's campaign before that error. Giampiero Ventura's decision to move Cerci from his normal right wing position to a more central striking role seemed curious, but there is no doubt the switch worked better than anybody could have dreamt. Whilst statistics can often be over analysed in the modern game, the fact that Cerci was the only player in Serie A to achieve a 'double-double' (double figures in both goals and assists) his hugely impressive.

Kamil Glik
Whilst his season may not have been as exceptional as the previous two, Glik has been included for both his contributions on and off the field. Despite initially struggling to adapt to Ventura's new 3-5-2 formation, the Pole gradually grew into the role, and provided a number of imperious performances at the heart of the Torino defence, AC Milan away for example. As the first non-Italian player to captain Torino since 1960, Glik had a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but his personal tribute to 'Il Grande Torino' in the form of a personalised captain's armband was a classy touch.

Signing of the Season

Nikola Maksimovic
A summer signing from Red Star Belgrade, Maksimovic had to wait until to December to make his first start for the club, but even in this game against Udinese away it looked as if Toro had found a star. Comfortable on the ball and in the air, Maksimovic even played at right wing back towards the end of the season and never looked out of place.

Omar El Kaddouri
The Moroccan international signed for Torino on loan from Napoli, and added a creative spark that was so often missing last season. At times could be frustrating to watch when he lost possession, but his certainly one of the most gifted dribblers in the whole league. His tally of 5 goals and another 7 assists was an impressive return in his debut season.

Emiliano Moretti
The veteran defender arrived from Genoa in the summer tasked with providing experience to a young side, Moretti excelled on the left hand side of Toro's back three and apart from one slight mistake against Catania performed well in each of his 36 appearances, scoring 1 goal.

Surprise of the Season

Giuseppe Vives
At 33 years of age, I don't think anybody expected Giuseppe Vives to play such an important role in Torino's excellent campaign. Given the task of being Toro's regista, the former Lecce man often orchestrated Toro's play, perhaps best illustrated by his outstanding assist to Ciro Immobile against Roma.

Daniele Padelli
Now, I have to be a honest, at the start of the season after Padelli had made a number of high-profiled mistakes I was one of the Toro fans who believed that the former Liverpool goalkeeper should have been dropped and replaced by Lys Gomis. However, I am delighted to admit that I was wrong, and a number of outstanding performances in the second half of the season contributed to Toro's 7th place finish.

Matteo Darmian
For the past two seasons, Matteo Darmian has been Torino's most consistent player and therefore I guess the only 'surprise' was that he was able to continue this for yet another campaign. Despite being a player who is more comfortable defending than attacking, Darmian adjusted well to being played as a wing back (on both sides) and is finally receiving the international recognition his form has deserved.

Forza Toro

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