234: Pro Vercelli continue to impress

5 October 2031
Vercelli, Italy

Pro Vercelli have surprised many pundits with their performances this season. Mr BadDragon has welded this once proud club into a force to be reckoned with. They certainly not a team which is easy to beat, and have the potential to threaten even the best teams.

~Ruthy Ruth, Belarus FM Sport 1

Injury Update

This is a blow. I suddenly realized that we have only four keepers at the club. I am out looking at a free transfer or two as we speak.

“Pita” will probably miss the Sampdoria game on the back of this illness.

Serie A – Match 3/38 v Sampdoria

Defending champions Sampdoria are a team in a different class. For some reason the bookies think we have a chance of an upset which is flattering.

I have opted for the same side, with “Pizzo” having recovered from the gashed leg sustained in our last match. of the Sampdoria side, “Marino” was part of my Anderlecht side.

The opening 20 minutes were one way traffic and it was no surprise that Sampdoria got a chance. We were down to 10 men at the time as the ball was deflected in at the near post from a corner.

Sampdoria continued to threaten and it looked like a second goal was imminent. When it came it was almost against the run of play with “Macho” and “Curlz” combining to put “Stan” through on goal. His finish was exquisite and we were back in the match.

That goal seemed to settle the nerves and we were growing into the match. “”Macho” went close while “Longo” rattled the woodwork. Sampdoria also looked dangerous, and we were slightly lucky to be level at the break.

We had a couple of great chances after the resumption which drew some good saves. “Zo” was brought on for “Macho” who was looking fatigued. He made an immediate impact, bring a top drawer save from the Sampdoria keeper on 80 mins. It all came to naught and the match finished 1-1.

We were not disgraced and are still unbeaten in the league.

New Signing

“Evelyn is the current Bulgarian No 1 keeper who was somehow released by Porto. I picked him up on a free, and will gladly give him a home! This is unfortunate for “Micci” but that unfortunately is football.

Serie A – Match 4/38 v Sassuolo

Sassuolo has not made a great start to the season, losing to Atalanta and drawing with Cagliari. This should be a good match.

It may seem hasty but “Evelyn” is going to be starting this match. “Pita” is also making his debut for the team. We come up against ex Liverpool keeper “Sim”.

The game starts of with a series of end to end phases. Both sides have chances but it took until the 44th minute for something to happen. Unfortunately that something was a fine strike from distance which evaded “Evelyn”.

It has been a really close game and the two sides are only separated by that Spano strike. We need to change things up in the second half.

“Stan” is struggling today and I bring “Roto” on to replace him. Alas that didn’t help and we conceded a second goal on 70 minutes. “Armadillo” and “Vargs” come on for “Macho” and “Toso” as I chase the game. “Curlz” and “Roto”  went close, drawing fines saves to no avail.

In the end we go down to a disappointing defeat. The problem I identified in preseason has come back to haunt us. We created six clear cut chances and finished none.

As you can see from the numbers we dominated this game in most areas apart form the goals column. I am not sure what needs to be done to fix this, but I don’t want to change too much too fast.

Serie A – Match 5/38 v Pisa

Our next match is against Pisa who come to Stadia Silvio Piola sitting in fifth spot in the table. The media have us a slight favourites for the game. I believe the best way to stay clear of relegation is to not lose too many back to back matches.

I foolishly left “Pita” in the reserves midweek so “Tito” returns at the back. “Zo” gets a run as I try to add a little more creativity in the midfield. The rest pick themselves.

“Evelyn” was called into action in the first few minutes and mad e brilliant early save. “Zo” justified his inclusion as he delivered a sublime pass to unlock the Pisa defense and “Curlz” took the chance with glee.

Pisa came right back and Mensah rattled the woodwork from range. Pisa have had by far the better of the chances, and we are only in this thanks to some fantastic keeping by “Evelyn”. Not that we haven’t had our chances, just Pisa have looked way more threatening.

 

Pisa come right back at us in the second half and we are struggling to contain them. “Evelyn” has made a series of fantastic saves, while at the other end we have not taken our chances. “Zo” is replaced by “Longo” and “Bong” by “Pita” as I seek to hold onto the lead. “Curlz” is replaced by “Vargs” with two minutes to play and we hang onto the narrowest of victories. What a game!

Pisa were the better side for large portions of the game, however we got the goal and clung onto a very narrow lead to take all three points.

“Evelyn” kept his first clean sheet for the club, and picked up the player of the match award for his efforts with a monstrous 7.8 rating.

New Signing

“Saj” has made six appearances for the Pakistani national side. My scouts seem to think he is competent at this level with room to grow. I liked that he was available on a free!

Serie A – Match 6/38 v Verona

Next up we face Verona who we have had some recent history against. We faced them three times last season and won all three encounters. They made it out of Serie B via the play-offs.

Only two changes from the side which started against Pisa. “Bong” struggled last match so “Pita” replaces him, while “Longo” comes in for “Goldfish” who gets a game off.

Verona comes out of the blocks quickly and we fail to survive the early pressure. “Evelyn” saves the shot from Nardi only for the rebound to drop for Abdellaoui to tap home.

We begin to grow into the game however we can not secure the equalizing goal and go into the break trailing by the lone goal. I read the boys the riot act because they have not been good enough today.

We start the second spell much better and manager to take the game to Verona. “Roto” comes on for “Stan” who has not been playing well, while “Vags” replaces “Macho” who is looking fatigued. We finally got on the board in the 71st minute when “Zo” fired home a great free kick. Both sides had further chances, and “Evelyn” kept us in the match with more fine saves.

The second half was much better, and the 1-1 scoreline was a good result for us. “Evelyn” bagged player of the match for us again and he is proving to be a fantastic signing.

Serie A – Match 7/38 v Inter

This match will be a tough test for us. Inter is the first big name team we face this season. Luckily they have been struggling and only lead the league!

One change to the starting lineup with the out of from “Stan” giving way to “Roto”. “Longo” retains the midfield spot in place of “Goldfish”.

We start well and create a couple of great chances that we fail to convert. The best of those fell to “Macho” who should have done better. “Macho” creates the next chance and “Roto” is clinical thundering the ball into the Inter net for the early lead.

Inter are stung into action and “Evelyn” is called on to make a great save. The game is end to end with some good chances for each side, none of which are taken. Half-time comes with us holding a narrow lead in a very tight match. I expect Inter to come out strong in the second spell.

Goal Pro Vercelli! From the kick-off it took 36 seconds for “Macho” to find the net. A fantastic pass from “Curlz” sets up a cool finish to double our lead.

Unfortunately “Pita” gives away a penalty on 52 minutes, but that man “Evelyn” pulls off the save! I elect to go slightly more defensive, bringing “Goldfish” on for “Zo” and playing a defensive midfielder with “Macho” dropping deeper. Riso then changes the match with a scything tackle on “Longo” earning him an early shower. That seemed to spark Inter into action and Genovese scored a murderous header to get them back into the match.

It only takes a minute for us to concede a second. Celik scores a close range header and maybe my decision to hold on has been shown up as suspect. That concluded the action for the game, with the 10 men of Inter being good enough for a point.

To be fair Inter were the stronger side, and a point against the leaders represent a very good result. I would have taken it at the start for sure.

“Macho” picked up the Player of the Match award, which was thoroughly deserved, and “Evelyn” had another good game.

Results Summary

Six points from the fifteen on offer, with three draws. Not a bad series of results all things considered.

League Table

We have slipped down to sixth position, only three points off the lead. I’m please with how things are shaping up this season.

Next Episode

A double header home and away against Croatia for a win and in for the Under 21’s championship.

 

 

 

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MrBadDragon

I am BadDragon and BadDragon is me!

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