or ‘Dolph-into the Record Books’
This time last season, I was annoyed by Pescara. Their swash-buckling style had denied my Toro the Serie B title, which irked me. However, I did not wish this season on them. They haven’t won for 19 games (half a season) and have a comedically bad goal difference. They were acceptable at the beginning of the season, so their points tally isn’t quite so bad that they’re up there with the worst seasons ever, but their goal difference is a different matter.
It’s a lazy stereotype that Italians can defend, and its one that the current Pescara team have been at pains to disprove. They’ve conceded 84 goals, and have a goal difference of -57. That’s approaching record levels – for both Serie A and Serie B history; those two divisions make up the database I’m operating with here – it gets so complicated going back through Lega Pro and Serie C.
Here’s a couple of graphs then, showing quite where Pescara are historically bad (though it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work it out if you see the Serie A table).
Firstly, let’s take their average number of goals conceded per home game. I trust, as I did, that you cheered¹ Fiorentina’s fourth goal last night, as it ensured Pescara would top this particular table. That’s right – in terms of goals conceded per game (home), Pescara 2012/13 are the <b>worst there has ever been</b>. They neatly leap-frogged Parma and their own efforts from 1992/93 recently to take that particular crown. Take a bow, fellas, and while you’re doing it, pick the ball out of the net.
That leads us further, though, because this Pescara team haven’t been doing the business at the other end, either. In fact, their fairly goal-shy attack means they sit atop another table (indeed, Fiorentina sealed their fate in this regard yesterday, also.
Pescara have a commanding lead atop the worst home goal difference (averaged by game) as well.
They’re not the only records Pescara set. Remember they came into Serie A as Serie B champions; <b>no Serie B champion had ever conceded even 30 goals at home in the following season – Pescara conceded 42. Not since 1974/75 had the Serie B champion finished bottom of the next year’s Serie A table</b>. Perhaps worst of all, <b>no Serie B champion had lost as many as nine games home games the following season; Pescara lost ten</b>. Italian football is changing, for sure. Home wins aren’t as numerous as once they were, and away wins are seen more frequently. The fans saw the natural conclusion of that at the Adriatico this season.
Pescara, then. Setting records for poor home form all season. So long, Dolphins; I hope you’re back soon – not only do you have a lovely kit, but the more I read about your club, the more intriguing it is – I hope to revisit you next season when you’re in Serie B.
¹It was a gallows cheer; the way I see it, if you’re going down, you might as well break a few records on the way; why be the 1905 Boston Beaneaters when you can be the 1899 Cleveland Spiders?