What a difference a match makes. Before the Inter game, everything was terrible: the team was trending the wrong direction entirely, the players were slumping, Paulo Sousa was out of ideas, and the ownership and management had utterly mishandled the transfer window. After a stirring last-gasp win over Inter Milan, courtesy of new (and possibly unhinged hero) Mauro Zárate and long-term Next Big Thing Khouma Babacar, things sure look rosier heading into a Europa League match against a suddenly-dangerous Spurs team.
So where are we right now, as fans? Is this the turning point in what's been a topsy-turvy year, which will spur (heh) the team onto immortality in Serie A and beyond? Or is it an outlier, a blip, an instant of good fortune which will slide into the distance and be forgotten as la Viola slip farther and farther down the table?
The third, more rational option, of course, is that it's neither. It's a single game in a long season in which Sousa and company delivered an excellent performance, and not part of a convenient and linear narrative. Much as the members of the Wu Tang Clan were (or are, but I just can't think of it being the same group without ODB) autonomous members of a collective whole that, while possibly influencing each other, were never a traditional band, each match in the season is its own separate entity that, while capable of influencing the others, isn't sequential with them.
On the other hand, it's a lot funner to bring da ruckus.
Hey, remember that time that just happened that Fiorentina beat Inter again this season? Relive it here.
Now that the dust of another chaotic mercato has settled, check out the Viola Nation staff's thoughts on the whole thing here.
Now that the window's closed, here is our usual loanee report.
Here is our analysis on Federico Bernardeschi in his new role.
Here is our preview of the upcoming hang-onto-your-butts type of crazy month la Viola have just entered.
Comment of the week
This one's not entirely Catalogue's, but there's no way I could pass it up, because just look at that Berna birthday picture.
Well, that'll do it for us here. Europa League coverage should start shortly