(More hair, less pirate.)
•Former Toro player and youth product Franco Lerda (whose main assistant's son is baby Inter superstud Mattia Destro) has replaced Colantuono, and is expected to play an attacking, 4-2-3-1 formation; most of the shopping Petrachi is doing is for guys who will fit into that system.
•Sereni passed his medical with Brescia and has signed a two-year contract with an option for a third, while Davide Morello signed a two-year extension with Toro and will presumably take over as #1.
•Toro have bought the other half of D'Ambrosio from Juve Stabia, so he's 100% Toro-owned now.
(That's the face he uses when he wants to trick people into thinking he's really dumb.)
Bianchi turned up at his appeal hearing today, and was cleared because he claims what he said wasn't a curse (I think he claims he was saying "LOOK!" at someone), and the court said you couldn't tell without absolutely certainty from the tape what he said. Hurrah!
There a LOT of talk on fan sites right now about a long-running conspiracy against Toro which, in this case, is expressing itself in efforts to keep them from getting back to Serie A -- it's nice this bit of the conspiracy theories has been taken away, y/y?
(Sereni are dismayed.)
Bianchi has been suspended one match for using "blasphemous words" (aka the rule they only enforce away from Serie A) on the touchline after he got elbowed in the face.
The club are appealing, but since the original decision says his words are very clear on video, getting it overturned seems unlikely.
Toro dominate the first half at home today, but Brescia got back into the match in the second half, forcing Morello into a couple fantastic saves. It was 0-0 going into injury time when Arma took down a lofted ball from Gasbarroni, took a touch, and put it into the back of the net.
... Only to have it called back because he tugged the defender's shirt. Which he did, though it didn't get him any advantage at all. To be honest, the referee did a nice job with a very chippy game and that call was by-the-book right, but it was painfully harsh.
So now they go to Brescia this weekend needing to win outright, since draws are determined not by away goals or PKs, but by where each team finished in the table.
As they do every year, the team (apart from Cairo, who announced yesterday that he wouldn't be going because he didn't want to be a distraction) attended the commemoration of the Superga disaster today. After a ceremony inside the Basilica, Bianchi read the list of names on the monument, and laid a rose at its foot. Video is here, photo galleries are here and here.
Down a man for an hour, they won it 1-0 with virtually the last touch, after Leon won a corner and Loria got his giant noggin on the cross. Also? I'm 99% sure that Colantuono pulled something celebrating -- he was limping heavily when he finally made it back to the bench after a mad sprint out to hug people. &hearts
Playing with a team made up almost entirely of players who arrived during the winter transfer window (of the starters, only Arma, Captain!Loria and Zoboli were at the club before Christmas), Toro were awesome Saturday in a tough, battling sort of way, and it was hella fun to watch. [pictures|highlights]
That said, the main point of this post is just to share this great picture of some boys and their emergency keeper, who started only because Sereni pulled up with a back problem just before kickoff, and turned in a MOTM performance that included saving a PK. (Click to embiggen.)