...but our pride. It seems like only yesterday we were the toast of Europe as we stomped Liverpool and topped a very tough CL group. Now we sit 9th with only Siena(H) and Bari(A) left for this season. Oh, and we can't look forward to any European adventures next season.
Before I continue, a quick introduction for those who aren't familiar. My name is Alex, and I bleed purple. I will be filling in for Ted, Tim, and Dumitru, as they have real life responsibilities and consequently less free time for blogging. Thank you for your dedication to this website, guys, and we hope to see you back here soon.
More about me. I am a math geek and a stats weenie, so posts to this blog might look a little bit different from here on out. On the drawing board for the next few weeks:
- An average rating for each player in our squad for the entire domestic year. (I'd appreciate it if someone could forward me to those Italian ratings, they seem to be less knee-jerk than goal.com's ratings.
- Statistical analysis of how "competitive" Serie A has been over the past few years, focusing on salary budgets, net transfer outlays, and the resulting chaos this has instilled in the table. (Basically, I'm looking for numerical excuses for our season.)
- Transfer market wish-list.
I will also take requests from you guys, so let me know if you have any ideas.
Back to the story of our season. We've tasted the bliss of Champions League, and we need to readjust, so we can find joy where we used to. In competition for competition's sake. Not for gold stars or smiley faces. Not for the approval of the English-speaking media, who consistently ignores Italian football and only pays attention to our league during midweek European nights.
Since the last post to this blog, this is our record: LLL. I'd rather not review how depressing that has been. Zonal Marking has an excellent review of the latest disaster. The main point to get out of their article is that we need one more body in the midfield, as Montolivo shines when given more offensive freedom. However, Prandelli doesn't want to do this, because one of our front four would have to be dropped. That's a difficult decision. Marchionni always puts in an honest, hardworking shift. Jovetic and Vargas have the ability to beat any defense. Gilardino gets the scrappy goals when "skill" isn't doing it for us. Who would you drop?
This summer and the next season will be tough. Sort of like losing your job, then having your supermodel girlfriend break up with you. Then getting rejected by 6's and 7's at the bar. Ouch. Which of our players love the team? And which of them were just hunting for glory or money? This gloomy situation will be addressed further in a season review. For now, lets just enjoy watching our boys play. And let's hope they enjoy playing. Forza Viola.