For a couple of weeks I've been wanting to add some more content to the blog, and one idea that I considered was that of player profiles. However, instead of focusing on the more distinguished players in Torino's history such as Mazzola, Meroni and Pulici, I've decided to focus on the lesser known and in some cases lesser talented players who managed to achieve something memorable in a Torino shirt.
So welcome to the first edition of Torino's 'Cult Heroes' and the first entry is perhaps best remembered for a goal that didn't actually count : Rachid Arma.
Arma made his debut for the club against Reggina in October as he came on to replace Rolando Bianchi, and the majority of Arma's twelve appearances came from the substitutes bench. Despite struggling mid-season, Torino somehow managed to regain form at the right time to finish fifth and qualify for the playoffs. After beating Sassuolo in the Semi Final, Torino would play Brescia over two legs, with the winner gaining promotion to Serie A.
It was in the first leg of the final at the Olimpico that Arma thought that he had scored a vital goal, only for it to be harshly disallowed by the referee. After coming on as an 82nd minute substitute with the game scoreless, Arma latched on to a long pass in the 93rd minute and volleyed the ball into the net. However, unfortunately for Torino, the referee disallowed the goal for what I assume was the he slightest tug of the defenders shirt.
Had that goal been given, it would have given Torino a narrow advantage (and the momentum) to take into the 2nd leg and that could have been enough to send Toro back to Serie A at the first attempt. Instead, the 0-0 scoreline meant that it was Brescia who were in the ascendancy, and thanks a 2-1 victory at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti, it was Brescia who won promotion. Ironically, it was in fact Rachid Arma who scored Torino's late consolation goal in that game - his only goal for the club.
That match was Arma's last for the club, and after short spells at fellow Serie B teams Vicenza and Cittadella, Arma returned to Spal at the start of this season and has already scored 13 times. Unfortunately for Torino (and Rachid), that goal did not count, but I think his contribution to that dramatic playoff game makes him eligible to be a Torino 'Cult Hero'.
If you have any suggestions of any players who should appear in future editions of 'Cult Heroes' you can contact me via the comments section or on Twitter.