Having assessed my squad I decided I needed some wingers to fit into my system. With no money, and we are projected to be over £4m in debt by the end of the season, I decided it’d need to be loans so I’ve utilised our affiliation with Lazio to bring in youngsters Mamadou Tounkara and Daniel Bezziccheri till the end of the season.
Unfortunately neither deal was in done in time for my first game away to Piacenza. With the team unfamiliar with my new tactics I would have been happy with anything from the match and a solid 0-0 draw was satisfactory. What wasn’t satisfactory was a bad injury to my best player Paolo Grillo. He’s damaged his Achilles tendon and is out for 5-6 months. Not a good start. Worse was to follow when his replacement, Ivan Castiglia, rolled his ankle and is out for 6 weeks. Despite having 13 attempts to their 5 I was still happy to take a valuable away point all things considered.
Things didn’t really improve in my 2nd match as I was unceremoniously dumped out of the Serie C Cup, losing 2-1 away to Mantova. The board admitted they didn’t care so but it was still a poor performance with the only highlight being a debut goal for Tounkara.
Back in the league I had my home debut against Renate and Tounkara got his 2nd in two games as we ran out 2-1 winners to move into the top 10. Pleasingly Francesco Vassallo got the winner after I had to field questions about his poor recent performances in the pre-match press conference. Get it right up ye tabloids.
A 2-1 away win in our next match against Giana Erminio was overshadowed by a stupid red card for Andrea Doninelli. The midfielder picked up two yellow cards and I’m looking a bit light in central midfield. Tounkara was on the scoresheet for the 3rd successive match and he’s looking like an inspired signing.
In the midweek before a huge game against 2nd place Livorno, one of the clubs ‘fierce rivals’, I lost defensive midfielder Riccardo Secondo for 6 weeks after he got an abdominal strain lifting weights. This is the reason I never lift weights. Added to Doninelli’s suspension and the injuries to Grillo and Castiglia it was going to be a make shift midfield. Roared on by a partisan home crowd at the Artemio Franchi we took a first half lead with Alessandro Marotta’s second goal in as many matches but in a game of few chances Livorno scored an 83rd minute equaliser to take a share of the spoils. Frankly I was just happy to get away with no fresh injury concerns.
Not the sensational start Ronnie had but solid enough. Still unbeaten in the league with 2 wins and 2 draws and we’ve moved up to 5th. With Alessandria 13 points clear at the top it doesn’t really matter where we finish in the top 10 but I assume with so many teams qualifying for the playoffs the higher the better? We’ll find out soon enough as there are only 13 league games left.
Additionally, our full name is Robur Siena. Our nickname is Robur. No thought whatsoever went in to that. At least there is presumably a reason behind The Herbs.
Grimsby are 15th in League 2.