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The Season Review: Parma’s 2010-11 Season (Remix)

May 27, 2011

1. SEASON SUMMARY

Load words: relegation > mediocrity > envy > despair > reaction > resignation > hope> misfortune > indifference> expectation> relief> tested>

Initiate Season Profile for FC Parma? Yes

The coach swap that doomed any progress Parma may have had. Guidolin’s departure to Udinese was inevitable to the misfortune of the Gialloblu. Pasquale Marino, formerly of Udinese replaced him to the sound of indifference and perhaps resignation. Unfortunately, that was the only time resignation was involved with the Parma hotseat. A quick comparison of coaches if you will: Guidolin works wonders with circumstances of no expectation and looks to play in a distinguished manner while taking into great account the qualities of his opposition. Marino hasn’t been tested to a great degree and while he brought Catania (prior to the days of the Argentina D-team) to Serie A, he is not in the same grade as Guidolin. The tumultuous end of Marino’s tenure with the Zebrette had already given the Ducali faithful warning signs.

With last season’s remarkable 8th place finish, expectations were naturally going to be a little higher than previous after all before the 2009-10 season Parma were expected to be scrapping for safety as opposed to briefly challenging for a European place. Building upon this was always going to be a tall order; even if Guidolin had stayed (an argument is that this expected increase in expectation may have led him to view the Zebrette as an ideal mission to embark upon). Matchday 1 saw Parma victorious 2-0 at home to Brescia. Hardly groundbreaking and what would follow would be a succession of 9 games without a victory (amassing 5 draws) until the 10th November where at the Ennio Tardini, Parma managed to scrape a 1-0 victory against Sampdoria. This would be the start of the best run of consecutive victories under Marino, all of 2 games as they travelled to Bari and won 1-0. Their calibre of teams beaten would improve. The home victory over Udinese in early December gave Parma fans a hint of hope but that was all it was.

The winter break saw Chairman Ghirardi have an opportunity to start afresh and rumours were it was in his mind but they returned from the break with Marino still in the hotseat. 1st game back, cue another hint of hope in the form of a 4-1 victory away to Juventus. Not to undermine this achievement but Juventus this season simply have failed to live up to the expectations associated with their name and history. The hope again didn’t last. Defeats, the rare victory and a series of 4 draws in 5 followed as Marino’s stock seemed teetering on the edge of dismissal. Marino was given a stay of execution thanks to an away victory against a Sampdoria team hurtling towards the abyss of Serie B. The next game saw Parma host Bari, a side who looked doomed and had looked so for some time.
When Parisi netted for the away team in the 64th minute, the Ennio Tardini was stunned. While admittedly they were missing some first team players, such a defeat would be inexcusable in such circumstances. Amauri notched a deserved equaliser in the 79th minute from the penalty spot and this begun Parma laying siege to the net defended by Gillet and co. One thing Marino had not planned for was a 92nd minute Bari counter-attack and Alvarez to put the ball beyond goalkeeper Antonio Mirante and give Bari the 3 points. It happened and what many a Duchy man had hoped for finally happened. 2 points above the drop zone and with seven games remaining to save themselves from the drop to Serie B, Marino was removed from his position. Nevio Scala, as happens whenever the Ducali are in need of saving, was mentioned but it appeared from the off that Franco Colomba would be the new manager and sure enough barely 48 hours had passed before the official announcement of Colomba’s arrival on a 14-month contract. Not that contracts really matter with coaches these days. Colomba was met by a mix of scepticism (he hadn’t coached since the farcical situation he found himself a part of in Bologna) and intrigue as surely with the talent at his disposal he could do better than his predecessor. His first match was a trip to Rome and they came away losing 2-0 to a Lazio side fighting for a Champions League place. What would follow this no Parma fan could realistically have predicted. Bearing in mind the most victories that had been put together to date in the season had been two and they were against Sampdoria and Bari, a home win over Inter started a climb up the table and away from the waiting arms of Serie B. A victory away to Guidolin’s Udinese was a sweet moment, completing a double over their former coach. Then a 3-1 win at home to Palermo pushed Parma ever closer to safety. Admittedly the winning run would end at four as they drew the next game in Bologna but safety was effectively sealed and this was definitively the case come the penultimate game of the season and a victory over Juventus, completing a double over the beleaguered giants of yesteryears.

2. SQUAD

Input: the influence of Juventus (media appraisal thereof)> select all > randomise >remix:

To put things in perspective, former Juventus players have contributed 57% of Parma’s goals this season with Sebastian Giovinco, Antonio Candreva , Raffaele Palladino, Antonio Mirante and Amauri all serving as important components of the Parma squad. The latter’s arrival in January was unexpected and resembled a risk as Amauri’s never lived up to expectations since his spell at Palermo and he had descended into becoming the butt of many a Juventini’s jokes. 7 goals in 11 games for Parma have silenced such barbs. “Amauri is a stratospheric player, extraordinary,” President Tommaso Ghirardi stated after the 1-0 win over Juventus. His and Giovinco’s whereabouts next season remain to be seen as their parent club is in a state of flux at present. The later according to Ghirardi will remain at Ennio Tardini for next season. The expected acquisitions of Fabio Borini and Graziano Pelle mean that Amauri is more likely to feature elsewhere next season.

Abort. Save remix? Yes.

WARNING: VIRUS ALERT> *) Pato and Berlusconi lovefest, agent Leonardo to be recalled @** Wembley is a cold place >> Smiling happy Catalans holding hands “% conspiracy? Well, of course xxt! &z you want conspiracy? $$$@> Gustavo chat show imminent ^^ ^^If first you don’t succeed claim the moral high ground**!!

Virus detected. Move to vault? Yes. Virus moved to vault.

Proceed with Season Review for Parma? Yes.

3. ADDITIONAL MATERIAL

An image: Hernan Crespo in Parma colours. The long hair is only a memory and he’s approaching the end of his career but he’ll always be a class act. You could argue that without him, Marino could’ve been removed from the job a lot sooner. Whether that was a good or bad thing is debatable.

A game/ performance/ result: Juventus 1-4 Parma. It seems a little bizarre to choose a game where Marino was at the helm but this game resembled what the team could do but struggled to maintain under Marino. Colomba has been able to motivate the team to produce such displays on a more consistent basis and his tactics have seen Giovinco show consistency, an element that has been lacking in the Atomic Ant’s play. In the home of his parent club, Giovinco would show his ability but at the time this seemed more of a personal “look what I can do, estranged parent” sort of way as opposed to a product of work on the training pitch. That’s perhaps an adequate illustration of the difference between Parma under Marino and Parma under Colomba.

An emotion: Relief. There was a time when relegation looked a distinct possibility if not ominous. Thankfully for the Ducali, Sampdoria had set designs on implosion, Brescia were never really strong enough in the first place and Bari had suffered horrendously with the often-debilitating second season syndrome.

A conclusion: An away trip to Cagliari, a team who’ve acclimatised to distinct mid-table despite casual flirtations with a European qualification place. A formality fixture in essence though not a usual happy place for the travelling side, a 1-1 draw was played out.

Mix all segments? Yes. System re-mixing now… please wait.

The Parma 2010-11 Season remix is now complete. Save? Yes. Print? Yes. Abort.

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