232: 2031/32 Season Underway

14 September 2031
Vercelli, Italy

Pro Vercelli have stormed out of the blocks, recording wins in their first two matches back in the top flight. While they have looked impressive, it is worth noting that they have yet to face any serious opposition. This leaves the big question of whether they actually belong in this division largely unanswered.

Mr BadDragon has been quick to downplay the hype generated by this early run of results. Is this the first sign that this job may be too big for him? He has always succeeded when his side was favored to do well and there are some who think he may struggle here.

~Charlie Angel, Korean FM Sports News

Opening day in a new season. A season with much meaning to the club. 96 years after the club was relegated in 1935, we are back in Serie A. The next task is to keep ourselves here so we can add to the seven titles.

TIM Cup 3rd Qualifying Round v Latina

It’s here at last. First game in the new season. It is nice to get underway in the cup as a starting point, but this season the league is our main focus.

As predicted “Curlz” has been selected to partner “Stan”, with “Macho” playing in behind. We have an all new midfield lineup as well.

Early chances to Stan and Longo are not taken as we look nervous. Macho finds the net only for it to be called back for off side. We have had the better of the first half with nothing to show for it. The riot act is read to the lads and I send them back out.

It took a fantastic strike from right back “Pizzo” to break the deadlock. We are underway!

I will take the win, although we were not good enough. We are creating chances but not converting them.

Against better teams we may only get one or two chances each game and will be made to suffer if we can’t take them.

Serie A – Match 1/38 v Catania

First game of the league campaign sees us face a fellow debutante in Catania. There was a bit of mud slung last season when the going got tight and we could see some fireworks as a result.

One change to the starting lineup due to “Longo” missing the opener due to a suspension picked up last season. “Stefotto” takes his place in the midfield.

A special moment for “Curlz” as he scores our first goal in Serie A. We take the lead in the 35th minute. This was the only action in the half of note, although we have been edging the stats.

“Macho” went close from a free kick just on half time. We are deservedly ahead at the break although the two yellow cards are a concern.

From the restart, “Stan” gets through on goal and scores his first goal for Pro Vercelli. There was a slight hint of offside but the flag stayed down.

Before we had time to consolidate our position, a horrendous mistake by “Micci” gifts Catania a goal. From an innocuous play he inexplicably passes the ball to the Catania striker. Absolutely no excuse for this and he wishes the ground would swallow him up.

Our two goal cushion was restored when “Curlz” bagged his second goal of the game. He was setup by a delightful back-heal by “Macho”.

We recover the ball from the kick-off and “Stan” bags a double with a nicely taken effort. The game appears safe so I make two changes to take off both players who were carrying yellow cards.

The final score was 4-1 in a match which we totally dominated. It is still early doors yet so I won’t get cocky, however I am happy to get all three points.

“Curlz” got man of the match, however “Macho” deserves a mention for the quality of ball he provided.

Once again, Pro Vercelli sit atop the Serie A!

Serie A – Match 2/38 v Udinese

Next up we face Udinese in what should be a much tougher challenge. I have to giggle about the “confounded the critics” part and am under no illusions that this will be an easy match.

“Longo” is back from suspension and replaces “Stefotto” in the midfield. No other changes have been made.

My concerns are well founded as we go behind early. From a corner, Reyanoso rises highest and powers home the header to give the home side the lead.

Worse was to come 90 seconds later as “Bong” deflected the ball into his own net and we concede another goal.

The game settles down with chances at both ends. From our first corner, “Goldfish” deflects the ball goal-wards with their keeper totally out of position. Game on!

Unfortunately we fall asleep and are busted down the flank. Ag is on hand to make it 3-1 and we have it all to do again.

Unbelieveable! This game doesn’t let up. “Curlz” is setup by “Goldfish” and fires home our second goal. That’s five goals in 24 minutes of heart pounding action.

It just keeps steaming on! “Macho” levels things up and that’s six goals in 26 minutes! When will it end?  Unfortunately “Pizzo” was forced off injured just before the break, although it didn’t look too bad.

Half-time comes and we get to breathe a sigh of relief. This has been some game so far – all action with four goals in seven minutes.

The second half was just as frenetic without the end product. Both sides had chances, however it was the substitute “Roto” who seized a rebound off the keeper to score the seventh goal of the game with his first meaningful involvement and give Pro Vercelli a narrow advantage.

We did enough to get the win, and make a real impact in the quest to avoid relegation. Getting the points early is always good and at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter if you win well or win ugly.

To come back after being 2-0 down inside four minutes was very special, and to actually bag all three points was a bonus.

Injury Update

Only a gashed leg for “Pizzo”, which is offset by the international break so we may get him back for the Sampdoria match.

Deadline Day Action

“Pita” was without a club and is part of my Greek U21 squad. I needed more cover at the back so the stars aligned and in he comes.

“Liqueur” is at best a below average Serie B level player. He was never going to feature in my plans this season, and I am running down his contract. Better that someone else pays his wages!

Match Results

Only three matches in this episode. I’m sure you’ll agree that the Udinese match almost counts as a double!

League Table

Somehow we sit on top of the table. That being said we are still a very small fish in a rather large ocean and I expect normal service to resume shortly.

Next Episode

Join me as I make my International debut managing the Greek Under 21 squad as we try to qualify for the Euros.

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