Idris-Mateusz-Jack, the substance of the rossoblù playoff dreams: the midfield is the secret of Cosenza di Caserta. Waiting for the “most faithful”


By John

There is a Pole, a Swiss (naturalized Kosovar) and an Italian… Well, put like that it might seem like a joke, but there’s little to laugh about. Especially for the opposing teams who face Cosenza these days. Cosenza’s midfield, to be precise. Yes, because the international trio that makes up the central triangle of the rossoblù 4-2-3-1 (two interior players and an attacking midfielder) is to all intents and purposes the secret of the eighth place in the championship. Everyone, absolutely everyone, noticed that the Bruzia team was serious this year, already after the transfer market closed in September. Insiders, coaches and sporting directors – however – focused their attention on the front line: between Tutino, Forte, Canotto, Mazzocchi and Marras, without counting the wildcard Florenzi and the reserve centre-forwards Crespi and Zilli. Lots of stuff. Yes, but… a decoy. Because the real magic of Cosenza di Caserta is released in midfield. Which at the moment is managed by the Polish, the Swiss (naturalized Kosovar) and the Italian: Mateusz Praszelik, Idriz Voca and Giacomo Calò. A complete and reliable melting pot. At the moment, we were saying.

Raciborz’s underdog that pleases

Mateusz Praszelik, quietly, got himself a starting shirt. Caserta did not know the player from Raciborz, a Polish city which has over 60 thousand inhabitants and is 170 kilometers from Krakow. He is 23 years old and has always played football (he has played throughout the Polish Under National Team). Verona believed in him, signing him from Slask Wroclaw for a fee close to 2 million euros. But above all, Cosenza sporting director Roberto Gemmi strongly believed in him and, after the last season which was too fluctuating, wanted him back on the banks of the Crati. “If I’m honest,” Caserta said, “I didn’t know ‘Praza,’ but it’s surprising me. Our sporting director had encouraged it.” ‘Praza’, a more convenient label than a surname with many consonants and few vowels, is the prototype of the modern midfielder, skilled in both phases, predisposed to physical contrast but also to the brilliant delivery (as on the occasion of the assist to Forte which favored the rossoblù’s lead goal against Reggiana). And the feeling is that there is great room for growth.

Swiss? No, international: the rossoblù Perrotta

Talking about a Swiss army knife, in his case, would be too easy. Because Idriz Voca, 26 years old, has already trampled on almost all the turf of the field since he stayed in the City of bruzi. From the low play (very low) of the parenthesis with Bisoli, in which he stood out for his ability to intercept the opponent’s verticalisations, up to the role of attacking midfielder with the right to insert himself which Caserta suited him: «I told him right from the start: maybe I’m wrong, but for me Idriz must play as an attacking midfielder like Perrotta, he has great insertion skills.” If necessary, Voca could act as a midfielder in a four-man midfield, as a midfielder when playing with three, and also as a winger (low or high). What many didn’t know, however, is his ability to frame the goal. Yes, he, who in the first part of his adventure with the rossoblù (also last season, with Dionigi and Viali) crossed the line only to shake the referee’s hand at the end of the match. Today he is everywhere. A mental (and tactical) switch possible thanks to the trust given to him by the new coach: a great goal in a friendly in Frosinone and then three more goals in the championship. To date, we are almost certain that when Caserta chooses the eleven to field, it is done as follows: Voca plus another 10.

Calò’s strong (very strong) brother and the ability to hit the right strings

To avoid any misunderstanding, it is best to say it straight away: no, this Calò is not the twin brother of the midfielder who was in difficulty last season. It’s always him, Giacomo, the little spinner with the keys to the midfield in his jacket pocket who grew up in the Sampdoria youth team and became great elsewhere. Love at first sight with Caserta occurred at the time of Juve Stabia. And to think that when Melito’s coach returned, Jack Calò seemed destined to leave. But his mentor, deep down, knew exactly how it would end: he struck the right chord, gave the necessary trust to “his” director and is now reaping the fruits of his (correct) choice. The five assists provided by the twenty-six year old from Trieste do not say everything about the contribution offered to the rossoblù cause. Beyond the bonuses – good for statistics and fans of Serie B fantasy football – there is much more: the heartbeat of Cosenza is the heartbeat of the whole team. Times, rhythms and frequency are dictated by Giacomo Calò. Because he is still the same as last year, but he has a different, refreshed soul.

When the escort trio would play almost anywhere

It is not certain that the magic of the rossoblù midfield is linked to the three starting performers of the moment. Because anyone who bites the brakes at the rear is a potential untouchable. Starting with Aldo Florenzi, who in the role of midfielder made the fortunes of Cosenza in previous seasons. After putting a complicated injury behind him, the Sardinian talent has already shown the trailers of what he can become for Cosenza. AND Federico Zuccon? Well, sooner or later we will have to talk about him too. Let’s do it now. He won a Serie C championship with Lecco as a protagonist and, in the wake of his first great career joy, he had started his experience in Cosenza very well. He too was held back by the injury, otherwise he wouldn’t have made it out of the starting block. At the end, Mattia Viviani. The ex from Brescia and Benevento was deliberately kept for last. Why? Because he is the player that Caserta probably believes in the most. He strongly wanted him in Cosenza and will give him space.

A Swiss-Kosovar, a Pole and an Italian: there is little to laugh about, also because three others are champing at the bit behind them.