As Gervinho wheeled away in celebration, it brought back memories for everyone in the Stadio Tardini. For some, the Ivorian’s slaloming run and finish evoked memories of George Weah against Hellas Verona many moons ago. For others, it would have fired up those mental archives of Faustino Asprilla, Hernan Crespo and all the greats who have worn the Gialloblu.
Perhaps the most exciting thought, for any of those Parma fans who were now giving a standing ovation, was that now they have new heroes, now they have new memories and what’s more, a very competitive team, as confirmed by the odds on winningsportsbets.co.uk.
Fans of the Ducali will never forget their terrible demise into bankruptcy, extinction and their rise back, but that is now in the past. Now, they don’t have to lean on the memories of Dino Baggio, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianfranco Zola, just to get them through the day. They can now rely on their new players to perform and whilst they are not at the level of the aforementioned stars, they have started the season well.
Gervinho’s goal really felt as though it was symbolic, especially as it came off the back off a win at San Siro which featured another superlative strike. Federico Dimarco’s thunderbolt had downed his parent club Inter in what was seen as a shock result. The Ivorian understood the meaning of his strike, saying to Gazzetta Dello Sport after the game that “Parma fans suffered a lot before returning to Serie A, playing in amateur competitions, but I chose Parma because they made me feel important.”
Fast forward to the visit of Cagliari and Serie A gasped, as another incredible goal helped the home side to a 2-0 win. It is a good start to the season as they have accumulated a draw against Udinese, been defeated by SPAL and Juventus (close on both occasions) and have wins against the Sardinians and the Milanese. The seven points and 10th place (so far), are much more than just credible, especially when one considers where they have come from. The squad has been assembled with few star players and the unity so far this campaign is shining through.
Coach Roberto D’Aversa has, thanks to the backing of Jiang Lizhang, assembled a squad that certainly has the ability to compete in the division. Along with Gervinho, Roberto Inglese was a clever signing up front and is a man who (with two already this campaign) is a proven goalscorer in the division. Dimarco is from Inter’s youth academy and has promise, he had hit Serie A with a bang after being previously on loan at Sion. Luigi Sepe is proving to be another player who is grasping his chance once offered. The 27-year-old goalkeeper is on loan from Napoli and is proving to be very dependable.
Leo Stulac is a clever acquisition from Venezia and the 23-year-old Slovenian is showing he that he has a lot of technical ability. Add to this the experience of Bruno Alves, Riccardo Gagliolo and Simone Iacoponi at the back and you can see why the team looks to have the right mix.
There will be tough times ahead for Parma that is true. Napoli are next up, and Lazio, Genoa, Torino and Atalanta will prove tough opponents, but they should not be scared. The approach that D’Aversa has deployed is to not be frightened of the opponent and always going on the offensive. Of course, this didn’t ultimately work against Juventus. It was brave, but it was a foregone conclusion.
Against SPAL, they were simply out-played by a team doing exactly what they do so well, pressure early and keeping on the front foot. Against some of the more labouring teams (Inter being an example) they can have success, as they have the ability to execute a game plan well.
The fact Parma have a plan and can deploy their troops to the maximum use, is a positive. Far too many in Serie A are still finding their feet but the Gialloblu are not. Will they have a season that sees them maintain themselves in 10th or above? Unlikely, but can they stay up? Absolutely. For Parma what constitutes success? Staying up and a season gathering more memories, as created by Dimarco and Gervinho, isn’t that success in and of itself?