Torino Football Club as a whole will be hoping that there is not an after life, for if the ghosts of Il Grande Torino could see them now, they would be thoroughly ashamed. Stuck in the middle of Serie B threatening neither promotion nor relegation the only thing that this once great club are now consistent at is being inconsistent.
Ever since Superga, Torino have always lived in the shadow of their more illustrious neighbours Juventus but this is not to say that they have still had the opportunity to be a huge force in Italian football. Fate is not always a kind mistress and for numerous reasons Torino have once found themselves unable to get out of Serie B. A 5th place finish saw them just miss out on promotion after a good second half to the campaign.
This year there inconsistency has been obvious for all to see and an embarrassing opening defeat to newly promoted Varese was followed by a 1-2 away defeat to Cittadella and a 1-1 draw at home to Crotone. After a poor start hope seemed to be on the horizon when they secured a vital away win at last seasons promotion hopefuls Sassuolo before beating Novara 1-0 in turn becoming one of only two sides to do this season. The joy of victory did not last long as they were beaten 2-0 away at Pescara the following week before embarking on a bizarre run of games in October that saw them win 2-1 against Portosummaga, lose 1-2 at Atalanta, win 2-1 at home to Vicenza then lose 2-1 away at Livorno before finally being beaten this week 2-1 at home by Frosinone. Frustration for the fans must know no bounds as this Torino side obviously have quality and they certainly have the history and the support, so whats going wrong?
All of Torino’s short comings along with all positives were evident in the game at home against Frosinone. The goals all came early and the first of them highlighted the problems within il Toros defence. A run on the right wing was not tracked despite having three players who at some point should have made a challenge, instead they backed off and when the ball came into the box Gianluca Sansone’s run was not seen by Garofalo or Angelo Ogbonna nor was a tackle made by Danilo D`Ambrosio who preferred to watch as the ball was drilled home.
Moments later and the home side were two goals down, this time Torino were unlucky when a collision on the edge of the box saw the ball run free, however, the defenders were very slow to react and this allowed Francesco Lodi to curl in a delectable side foot shot from 20 yards out, the ball nestled in the top corner giving keeper Rubinho no chance.
On 27 minutes Torino eventually had something to cheer about. A free kick was floated into the box and was well taken down by Francesco Pratali, the defender then showed that he was not feeling any pressure in front of goal by running a couple of yards before unleashing a fearsome right foot shot in off the cross bar.
There was enough time for Torino to get back into this game but they failed to take their chances. Both teams had free kicks come to nothing thanks to the goalkeeping of Rubinho and an unfortunate miss by Christian Obodo.
Torino’s best chance of the second half fell to Rolando Bianchi who found himself one on one with the goalkeeper who nine times out of ten he would have slotted this in but instead dragged it wide of the far post. The teams continued to push and had three or four near misses each but at the final whistle Torino had not done enough and now lie in 13th place.
Torino needs to sharpen up in front of goal that is for sure. They are creating chances but not putting them away, mix this with what can only be seen as lazy defending and it is no wonder that they are having problems. This is not the end of the world however, for Torino still is a great club and has the potential not only to get back in Serie A but also be a stable team in that division. The squad they have now does have potential but it seems they need even more time on the training ground to cut out sloppy play. Who knows, if they could gain promotion with this team then the club could attract better players than any other of its promotion candidates and also attract larger crowds as they certainly have the stadium, but this is all hypothetical.
Torino need to look to the next game against struggling Ascoli, if they can win this then maybe could start a run that with some luck and hard work could see them there or there abouts at the end. If not the something needs to change for they are not doing justice to the memories of their predecessors.