seasonNine.episodeTwo | Andata
Something weird has happened. Since selling a few of my best players, most of whom were unhappy as they wanted to leave, we’ve become a different team. We’re playing with class and swagger. Switching between our 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 has put us in a great position to secure our second title, and we’re only at the halfway point.
We started the season with another Supercoppa Final win. This time against Juventus. The victory was all the sweeter as it was our first match against Scuffet, the Judas keeper who left us in the summer. 1-0 to me.
Our first Serie A match was like another pre-season game. Playing with Bronic and Konte on the flanks, at 17 and 18 years old respectively, they both showed their maturity. I have high hopes for them, provided they don’t look to leave us at the first opportunity. Torino and Sassoulo were little trouble for us. Manchester United, as they always do, beat us in our first Champions League group game.
The United result didn’t damage morale, however, as we went on to hammer Roma in what seems like a bi-annual occasion. Disappointingly, after beating Bari so comfortably, we struggled against Udinese and then Stuttgart in the Champions League. Normal service was resumed against Sampdoria in another game where we score four goals.
Napoli gave us our sternest of tests this season in the league and we were lucky to come away with this points given that we were probably second best throughout. A much-needed victory over Galatasaray kept us in third place in the group. We’re going to need to beat them again to have any chance of qualifying.
Milan rolled over for a belly tickle, before we were then equally embarrassed by Atalanta. We just decided we didn’t want to turn up that day. Oh, and we had two players sent off in the process. We later scored another four goals, this time against Scuffet and Juventus. I’m beginning to enjoy this feeling. It’s not personal, promise!
Four goals again against Galatasaray, but with Stuttgart beating United, we’re still third. However, you can see that we managed to beat United at home, for the first time ever, securing a Champions League first round entry.
The wins keep piling up and as do the goals, Bronic and Konte are turning out to be something special already, with 16 goals and 18 assists between them, I think they’re ready for prolonged first team games. I best tie them down to new deals!
We finished up rather disappointingly. After hammering Chievo and Empoli, we were then brought back down to earth by Inter, in a match the reminded us that all was not over… Yet…
Inter absolutely hammered us. We scored early, but then it just fell to pieces. We’re just six points ahead of Juventus now. A lead that doesn’t look as good as it did before the match, but one cannot complain.
Last season we drew Man United in the first knockout round of the Champions League. This season it’s Barcelona.
THE PLAYER STATS
There have been three players who stand out for me this half, and their stats show why they are so key to the system, despite their young age.
Robert bronic, at just 18 years of age, has 9 goals and 13 assists already from the right wing. He is going to be a very special player. Strikers Mario Bazan and Piercarlo Cristini have 31 goals and 18 assists between them.
Because of their form, I will be looking to introduce a new system at Parma. One which can somehow incorporate two wingers, and attacking midfielder and two strikers. It’ll be some task, but we need our best players on the pitch.
It’s going to be a difficult second half. We need to try keep the distance between ourselves and Juventus. I’d bloody love to win the league again, considering how far we fell behind last season. I’d also quite like to get by Barcelona in the Champions League, but we cannot get everything that we wish for.
Until next time, arrivederci.