5 - Antonio Cassano
He has probably entered our Top 5 already last season, however we simply cannot help to ignore the talent from Barivecchia (Bari Old Town) from time to time. Rumoured to leave FC Parma during the Summer due to the usual behavioural issues (he had a row with club's sport director Pietro Leonardi), he luckily (for the 'Biancocrociati' and all the football lovers) stayed at his place in Parma and is now helping the Emilia's side to secure the first points of the season thanks to his goals and performances. On Sunday, at the lunchtime game, his two goals helped FC Parma to turn the game on its head (from 1-0 to 1-3 in Verona at Chievo) and give them the first win of the season. The 1-2 goal was an absolute pearl you can just watch over and over again.
4 - Artur Ionita
We included him in the 'mysterious signings' made by Hellas Verona during the Summer, however now everyone is turning his attention to this 24-year-old central midfielder from Moldavia who was plying trade in Switzerland up to last year before the competent sport director of Hellas, Sean Sogliano (a former footballer himself) picked him to build a new Hellas for coach Mandorlini. 'I have patience' he told to La Gazzetta dello Sport 'I have been waiting for my moment' and the moment came as, not only Artur is the first ever Moldavian in Serie A, but he is also the first, ca va sans dire, to net a goal in the Italian top-flight. And what a goal, as it helped Hellas clinching a 0-1 away win at FC Torino. He speaks 6 languages and has promised to gift his father with the game jersey 'he's always been motivating me to reach any goal I was giving myself.'
3 - ACERBI'S RETURN TO FOOTBALL
Francesco Acerbi is not new to Serie A football having plied trade at Chievo, AC Milan and Sassuolo in the past seasons. However, due to cancer diagnosed twice, he had to quit the game a couple of times before making a comeback. As it happened 10 months ago, when again he was told he had to go under a new therapy. The 26-year-old central defender rolled with the punches and left the pitch before the season 2013-14 was over only to make his return on Sunday in the goalless draw against Sampdoria. Steel will.
2 - ALESSANDRO FLORENZI'S GRANNY
After scoring a goal we have seen many ways of celebrating: those putting a finger in their mouth to celebrate their new-born, those rising their jersey to show a message for someone, those pointing the finger at someone in the stands, those looking at the sky for god or a passed away relative. However, what Alessandro Florenzi did on Sunday after scoring the goal that fixed Roma-Cagliari on 2-0 win for the 'Giallorossi' has no precedents. The Roma full-back made a run backwards and, after ducking few teammates trying to block him, he jumped off the Olimpico fences into the VIP area placed behind the teams dugout. He climbed a few steps to reach...his grandmother! The lady hugged his grandson and broke in tears soon after among the Olimpico's standing ovation for the memorable gesture. Cuore di Nonna.
1 - POSITIVE DEBUT FOR THE ITALIAN CLUBS IN EUROPE
It was the first week of European fixtures for the Italian clubs busy both with the Champions League (Juventus and AS Roma) and the Europa League (Inter, Fiorentina, Torino and Napoli). Our of the 6 games, Italy can boast a comforting tally of 5 wins and one (goalless) draw (FC Torino away to Club Brugge). Of course, it is just the first game and as we say in Italy 'the first robin flying in the sky, it doesn't imply Spring is here', however it is a good start helping the UEFA ranking which has been sinking through the years.
5 - FEW GOALS ON A SUNDAY
With 5 goals scored on Saturday evening (Milan-Juve 0-1 and the enthusing 2-2 between Cesena and Empoli) to be added with the flamboyant ChievoVerona - FC Parma 2-3 of Sunday's lunchtime game, one would have expected plenty of goals also during the afternoon. Instead, the 3pm and 6pm (Italian time) programs gave only 5 goals out of 5 games (Genoa-Lazio 1-0, Roma-Cagliari 2-0, Sassuolo-Sampdoria 0-0, Atalanta-Fiorentina 0-1 and Udinese-Napoli 1-0).
4 - ARE SSC NAPOLI SINKING?
Another Serie A game and another loss for Benitez&Co. The comeback win against Sparta Preague on Thursday was the only happy moment of the season so far as the 'Partenopei' collect the second loss in three games and proved unable to turn the game on its head against Udinese. The atmosphere within the Napoli locker room seems to be incadescent. Rumours report Edo De Laurentiis (president's son) breaking a glass with his fist while players being totally at odds with Rafa Benitez line-up and formation choices. The Spanish gaffer will not have much time to think about it as the next game is already on Wednesday as Palermo will visit the San Paolo before the 'Azzurri' will travel to Sassuolo. A couple of games strung in few days that might decide Rafa's future at the helm of Napoli. Will he be the first coach to be given the sack?
3 - REFEREE VALERI PERFORMANCE IN PALERMO-INTER
Vibrant game at 'La Favorita' on Sunday night as the newly promoted Palermo took on the 'Nerazzurri' in the shadow of the Mount Pellegrino. After the lead, Inter pulled level with Mateo Kovacic. Unfortunately, from that moment on, the real protagonist of the game was referee Paolo Valeri from the Rome section of the AIA (the refs association). A couple of offside goals denied to Inter (only the call on Vidic goal seems good though) and a Vidic's handball completely overlooked in the second half. Each side has enough reason to complain about the international.
2 - NEMANJA VIDIC'S BLUNDER
During the week he criticized the Italian football mentality while praising the one learnt in the UK. Quite honestly, he admitted that he was not going to change that rather he would adapt himself to. Inter fans really hope he will adapt to a more concrete way of defending since his embarassing blunder against Palermo helped the 'Rosanero' to open the score and then hold Inter in a 1-1 draw until the final whistle. Facts before words.
1 - NOTORIUS ULTRAS CHIEF, 'GENNY 'A CAROGNA', FINALLY ARRESTED
It should be included in the Top 5, however, considering it took four months for the law enforcement authorities to arrest Gennaro De Tommaso AKA 'Genny 'a Carogna' (Genny The Swine) there's very little to praise. The arrest follows the events developed at Stadio Olimpico before the Coppa Italia final (Napoli-Fiorentina) when the Napoli ultras chief became the absolute protagonist of the evening following the killing of a Napoli fan in Rome before the kick-off. He's been charged with resistance to the law enforcement and for being in connection with the incidents occurred inside and outside the stadium. Meglio tardi, che mai (better late than never, sigh!)