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BatiGol Weekly 101: Back on the chain gang

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In which we discuss midtable obscurity, man’s search for meaning, and what Conan can tell us.

ACF Fiorentina v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A
Hit that one like a pigeon from hell (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh).
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Well, here we are again, mired in the absolute worst part of the season for a Fiorentina fan. With a slew of bottom half opponents looming, it’s just about time for us to talk ourselves into the prospect of the Viola putting it all together, making a magical late run for the Europa League (they’re only 9 points out so it could totally happen!), and salvaging what sure feels like a lost year.

Let me go ahead and burst that bubble, assuming it remains unburst for anyone. Fiorentina are not going to Europe. They’ll drop points against Crotone or SPAL or Benevento, securing their position as a boring side in the middle third of the table, then nick some points from a top team late in the season while putting in some reasonably strong performances against the other top teams and losing. Throughout this process, we’ll see the same scuffling midfield, the same misfiring strikers, and the same moments of magic followed by moments of astonishingly bad shots from Federico Chiesa. In a word, we’ll see Fiorentina.

So what’s left to play for? After all, the Viola have at least challenged for European spots since Delio Rossi, and now the anonymity of 10th place looks like their destiny. Sure, there’s some exciting young talent in the squad—Chiesa, Giovanni Simeone, and Nikola Milenković are cementing themselves as surefire starters, while Gil Dias, Simone Lo Faso, Rafik Zekhnini, and Bartłomiej Drągowski are all dripping with potential—but Stefano Pioli isn’t really in a position to get the best out of them, or even get them on the pitch. All we can do as fans is look backwards towards past glories—next year will be the 40th anniversary of the second scudetto—or future glories—Chiesa is going to lead a Gigliati resurgence and totally won’t be sold, guys!

So, as the lads play out the string, we have to find meaning somewhere, and that’s a chore. We have to work really hard to see that Davide Astori masterclass of dribbling in which he casually juggles the ball past an onrushing striker and coolly lays it off to Jordan Veretout, or to notice all the veins standing out in Cholito’s forehead as he hurls himself after a loose ball that he’s never going to reach, or to giggle at Stefano Pioli and his evil twin on the bench. We must create our own meaning in this stupid season, and that sucks. We watch soccer to avoid doing the difficult work of creating meaning in our regular lives, and now we have to double down. Of all the disappointments in this disappointing year, this is probably the worst.

But hey, at least we’re not Conan. We know what isn’t best.

Poll

What is the meaning of this Viola life?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Despair.
    (4 votes)
  • 19%
    4-2 over Juventus, SUCKAS
    (7 votes)
  • 52%
    We await the second coming of Gabriel Omar Batistuta. We do not know when he will come. But we know he will return to us.
    (19 votes)
  • 5%
    Ham. HHHHHAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMM.
    (2 votes)
  • 11%
    A well-thought-out and sustainable plan for the club that ensures growth and long-term competitiveness and oh god I can’t even say that in a stupid internet poll and believe it.
    (4 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now

Latest news

The Viola managed a frustrating draw at Atalanta, which is actually not a bad result for a scrabbling mid-table team. Ugh. Anyways, here is all our coverage.

In better news, the Viola beat Chievo Verona 1-0 for their first win at the Franchi since 2017. Good result for a scrabbling mid-table team. Ugh. Anyways, here is all our coverage.

Never one to shy away from bombast, Gheorghe Hagi compared Pantaleo Corvino to Nicolae Ceaușescu for not giving Ianis Hagi more playing time. That’s, um, maybe just a bit over the top.

In dire need of creative players on the wing and through the center, the latest Viola transfer rumor revolves around 31-year-old AC Milan leftback Luca Antonelli. Yay?

Must read

Nikola Milenković is only 20, but he could become one of the most important players in the team. Here is why.

He steadied himself against Chievo, but Marco Sportiello may not be safe as the number one with Bartłomiej Drągowski waiting in the wings, writes Kyle Zwiazek.

Everybody loves catching up with the Viola loanees, so here are updates on the lads in Serie A, Serie B, and foreign leagues.

The only place we’ve seen Simone Lo Faso so far is on the side of a milk carton, and that needs to change.

Comment of the week

Johnny Bee has had it up to here with this team only getting 3 points per win, and gosh darn it, I don’t blame him. Take a bow, Johnny Bee.

That’s it for this week, folks.