Ciao Alberto Comazzi
Gradually the mistakes are being erased. First it was Ibrahim Atiku, then Mattia Lanzano was asked to go, now, we wave goodbye to centre back, and disaster central, Alberto Comazzi, writes Alex Cooke.
Comazzi wasn’t a bad signing, he was just the wrong signing for this decade, and this country. As Paolo Di Canio admitted the grizzled centre back always looked like a man out of time, and place.
“I recognise my mistake at the beginning, this was not because of my knowledge of football but that I didn’t recognise what was needed at this level’ Di Canio told the Adver. ‘The style of football at this level is not for him.’
On the rare occasions Comazzi appeared in red he certainly did seem to still be playing the ‘door-bolt’ defending of late 70s Italy, when the football flowed like tar and the referees allowed anything short of dismemberment.
Back in Serie B, back in ‘the day’, he probably would probably have been a good defender – with a sweeper behind him, camped on his own six-yard line. Because he was uniquely ill-suited to Swindon’s pushed up defence and the flurries of attacks in League Two football. It wasn’t that he lacked even a fading memory of pace and an inability to jump, he also had a bent-over stooping gait – like a guilty hunchback.
He was what is euphemistically called a ‘stopper’, in that he was more interested in fouling his opponent than playing football. From the desperate shirt-pull to the accidental obstruction, Alberto knew them all. And so did the refs, for in just five games he picked up three yellow cards and one red.
In the same Rotherham game that he earnt his sending off, Comazzi pulled and pushed, tugged and tweaked, and threw in misplaced blocks like a toddler on level 99 of Tetris. He also made weak clearances that only wafted as far as the 18-yard-box due to a supporting breeze. And while Lukas Magera attracted opprobrium for losing out in the leap that let Alex Revell to score, it was Comazzi’s weak challenge that had allowed the ball to come back into the box in the first place.
The home game against Barnet proved to be Alberto’s last for Swindon, for even in a 4-0 win against a weak side he struggled. His miss-kicking contest with Barnet striker Carl Asaba inside the six-yard box was painfully funny but it put Town perilously close to conceding against one of the worst teams to appear at the County Ground this season.
It has obviously cost Town some money to bring over the former Hellas Verona man on a two-year deal, and then to let him go after just a few months, albeit with a degree of ‘mutual consent’ softening that blow.
And it is clear that Di Canio recognises his error, not only in what he has said but in the scouts that Town use are asking on Twitter for suggestions for experienced defenders from the Championship and League One, not Serie B.
Also with Di Canio asking for three more experienced players, how many of his ‘mistakes’ have to leave to keep Town under the League Two wage cap?