It’s been nearly a month and the powers that be still haven’t figured out how to parse out the final table for Serie A. Knowing the league office, whatever the decision is will be late and wrong (and probably racist as well just because that’s the norm). We’ve tackled this topic in very serious fashion previously, but we’re going to approach it from a more whimsical vantage point this time around thanks to our friends at the Short Fuse. To whit, what if the league went pure 5-a-side?
This sounds dumb but makes a little bit of sense, which is more sense than is being made in most people’s everyday lives right now, so hear me out. In a number of areas before the full quarantine went into effect, there were government recommendations to keep all non-necessary meetings to 10 people or fewer. As Italy’s coronavirus rates seem to be trending downward, we could see a similar rule take effect there and elsewhere as the authorities slowly reintroduce people to each other in an effort to curb infection and resocialize everyone who’s gone feral. And hey, look at that: 10 people on the small pitch at a time, just as will maybe be advised.
Also, think of how much fun this would be to watch. With 20 minute matches on a small field, the onus would be on keeping the ball and attacking. The game would be less about fitness and strategy and more about who’s got the most sauce. With non-stop action and lots of shooting, it’d also be a great way to grow Serie A’s visibility in countries like the US, where the natives frequently dismiss soccer for the slow pace and lack of goals (yes, the natives are dumb). Nobody loses, really.
With this very good justification in place, let’s get to it. Each team would field a goalkeeper, a defender, two midfielders, and a forward. Because Viola Nation knows everything better than everyone, we’ve picked the best representatives for every team in Serie A. While figuring out the format might be tricky, letting all the teams play each other in 20-minute matches over the course of 2 weeks would be a good start. And, because this is a very just exercise, let’s say that the table as it stood when the season was canceled—excuse me, “postponed”—is moot.
None of these teams would be boring to watch, and making the SPALs and Hellas Veronas of the world enjoyable for the neutrals isn’t nothing. If you allow one sub per match, too, you’d get to add even more fun guys (leaving out dudes like Rafael Leão, Luis Muriel, Sergej Milinković-Savić, and Riccardo Sottil was really hard). At the end of the day, this is supposed to be fun, and this is about as perfectly distilled a fun as you can find.
Now pay me, Serie A, for saving your season.