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BatiGol Weekly 95: Pressure

In which we discuss defensive tactics, expectations, and how much I hate public speaking (it’s a lot, in case you were wondering).

SSC Napoli v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A
Stress it just drive them underground.
Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Pressure’s a funny thing, in that everyone interprets it differently and it causes everyone to react in singular ways. For example, every time I have to give a presentation or a talk or whatever, my heart rate skies to about 130 beats per minute. On the other hand, I can calmly look at all my options when falling off a 30-foot roof and take a course of action that will minimize damage to my body. That’s stupid. Speaking in front of people is in no way scarier than accelerating towards the earth at 9.8 meters per second, but for whatever reason, that’s not how my brain works.

Football is kind of the same way. Fiorentina is a perfect example this year, as the fans’ expectations are so different from person to person. Maybe you think it’s a rebuilding year in which the goal is to blood as many talented youngsters as possible. Maybe you think the Viola should push for Europe next year. Maybe you think everything should be about creating a winning culture as a foundation for the future.

But whatever you want to see from this team, you’re probably disappointed. The Viola seem to fold under the pressure of even the most modest expectations, tamely surrendering to big teams and hemorrhaging points against the small ones. Yeah, we know it’s a transition year, but nobody was ready to see losses to Crotone or draws with SPAL. The players on the team are either too young, too old, or too mediocre, and the coach simply isn’t ready for the big time, this narrative says. They’re incapable of sustaining any pressure, either emotionally or in footballing terms, as the midfield can’t create chances for the attack.

But then again, pressure is starting to look like the name of the game, too. Encouraging draws against Lazio and Napoli bookend a 3-0 win over Sassuolo, and the constant in those three matches has been Fiorentina’s disciplined, intelligent pressuring of opposing midfields. It’s a glimmer of hope that the Viola could be on the brink of a breakthrough and that we’re going to enjoy years of watching them harry opponents into mistakes that lead to easy goals. Really, we just want to see Fiorentina turn that pressure into something constructive.

Latest news

Fiorentina held Napoli to a scoreless draw at the San Potato, and honestly looked the better side for half the match. Here is our full coverage.

Must read

We love and cherish Federico Chiesa, and that’s why we expect so much from him. Kyle reminds us that, even though he’s not perfect yet, we need to take it easy on the young man.

Giovanni Simeone sounds like a pretty weird dude, and we like him even more for it.


How do you respond to pressure?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Tears and the fetal position
    (1 vote)
  • 29%
    Great vengeance and furious anger
    (9 votes)
  • 12%
    Full scale retreat
    (4 votes)
  • 35%
    Eating 17 pounds of porchetta
    (11 votes)
  • 19%
    Haha, what pressure? I don’t know what you’re talking about *runs away screaming*
    (6 votes)
31 votes total Vote Now

Comment of the week

Can we all agree to chip in and buy slakas either a professional intervention by, like, Anthony Bourdain or at least a gift card to Chili’s?

That’s it for this week, folks. Listen to more Welsh reggae metal. You can thank me later.