It comes to something when you spend the majority of the second half watching people jump from a plane. Rather than the football in front of you.
But in many ways that is symptomatic of Pro Vercelli’s season. They are in freefall. Slowly descending before our eyes.
As Gideon, Wim and I sat in the sun watching another collapse – to some degree or another – it was clear that either the pace of the season, or the approach to game management was once again catching up with the side.
Pro Vercelli are still, in many ways, playing like a club frustrated that they are not a division higher. As teams such as Virtus Entella, or even today’s opponents – Siena – have accepted their lot. Pro approach games as though they only need turn up. To put in a strong first half performance and the points are in the bag.
Unfortunately the bag has more holes than the “onion bag” hanging behind the goal. Where 45 minutes of assured football secured the lead. Another second half – much like the games against Entella and arch rivals Novara (MERDA!), saw the game and the league title slip away.
Things took a sour note at the end of the game. Loose translations accepted, the Ultras in the Curva Ovest appear to have suggested that someone in the club had placed a considerable amount of money on a 1-1 draw.
Conspiracy theorists always point to the “obvious”. In truth, what is plain as the nose on the end of your face is that Pro Vercelli are banjaxed. They simply can’t play 90 minutes of football.
Crowd confrontation and gesticulation can’t hide the fact that the players simply don’t have the puff to get through a full game.
Which doesn’t detract from another day of being around people who love this club. Of meeting the coolest man on Instagram. Or appearing on the TV once more (as long as you have elevensports hooked up via an app or browser).
There is talk – there is always talk in Vercelli – of the current president, Massimo Secondo selling up. The push me/pull you circus as to whether someone in the region can find the money to buy the club rolls on.
No one wants him to walk away. Well, not anyone of sound mind. I may need to disclaim at this point that his son, Michele, is always helpful in securing our “international” tickets. But even with that aside, it’s hard to see who will find the money to pay the debts. To keep the club afloat and buy new players in the way Secondo has done in the club’s recent history.
They need a striker. A creative midfielder. A new CD other than the one with ABBA and AC/DC and a license to sell beer, long before they need a new owner.
The team also needs to put in a full 90 minutes. Two or three goals a game would be a bonus.
Then we can leave the ground happy. Not gawping at the head coach pointing to someone in the Ovest, and hoping this isn’t the beginning of the end of something far worse, than spending another season in the third tier of Italian football.
Forsa Pro, as they say around these parts.