It's the month of the scavenger, the season of the armchair pundit. A single game at any time of the year can expose any weaknesses a team might have, but there's only one month in which anyone can really do anything about it. Defense looking leaky? Midfield have an off day? Strikers seem unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed? Time for some ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.
It's really easy for fans to freak out about one game, but it's important to take the longer view sometimes. Yes, it'd be nice to get a Starman, another Antognoni or Batistuta, who can lead the club to the Golden Years. It's cool to think about how we'd make that work: who we'd sell and buy, how it would all fit together for a Scudetto run. How we could be heroes, just for one day. Then again, look at the list of saviors who haven't worked out recently: Mario Gómez, for example; every time we thought we'd got it made, it seemed the taste was not so sweet.
What tends to work for this club is the unheralded player, either young or washed up: Adrian Mutu, Stevan Jovetić, Borja Valero. All guys we didn't know a whole lot about until they showed up and became game-changers. So don't let me hear you say that this club's taking you nowhere. Maybe Daniele Pradè digs up a Future Legend who can Join the Gang and beat Juve and Napoli and Inter Milan and Roma for ever and ever. Or maybe it's just some stopgap players, and we, as fans, go back to our Occasional Dream of the ultimate success.
If you're not already tired of it, here are more English clubs trying to pry Khouma Babacar away. Yawn.
Marcos Alonso and Matías Fernández just renewed their contracts. Details here.
Fiorentina are linked to the "new Verratti." Get the details on the Stefano Sensi rumors here.
As has been recently demonstrated, Paulo Sousa needs a backup plan for when his strategy goes off the rails. Here is our analysis.
Comment of the week
James of Melbourne dug up a typically flawless Borja quote that gets better every time you read it.
That's it for this week, folks. Stay tuned for a big rematch with AC Milan; we might have some extra-special stuff for that one. Until then, forza Viola.