Non-Existent Nines: Nottingham Forest's Andrea 'Two Goal' Silenzi

Andrea Silenzi was the first Italian export to the Premier League, and by God was he bad. Failing to live up to Gary Lineker's expectations and spawning comedy t-shirts were about the greatest achievements of Stan Collymore's replacement.
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Andrea Silenzi was the first Italian export to the Premier League, and by God was he bad. Failing to live up to Gary Lineker's expectations and spawning comedy t-shirts were about the greatest achievements of Stan Collymore's replacement.

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Summer 1995, and all is well in Nottingham. Local boy Kenneth Clarke is Chancellor of the Exchequer. Local girl Su Pollard is starring in BBC One's Oh, Doctor Beeching! and Nottingham Forest have just finished third in the Premier League. The future is as bright and shiny as Steve Stone's head.

However, as always when it comes to the Tricky Trees, disaster is lurking just around the corner. Our talisman, Stan Collymore, has left. But fear not - we have an exciting replacement lined up: Serie A's Andrea Silenzi. Or, as he would come to be known in my house, You Cannot Be Serie A's Andrea Silenzi.

Silenzi was the first Italian to play in the Premiership, and Gary Lineker tipped him to be the signing of the season. This might well be the most regretful comment Lineker has ever made - and bear in mind this is the man who recently said, on live television, 'the result was Navas in doubt.'

Fans started wearing t-shirts proclaiming ‘I’ve Seen Silenzi Score!’

Costing nearly £2 million, Silenzi was tall but poor in the air, didn't have good feet for a big man, and was slow, a fact made humiliatingly obvious when we stuck him on the wing to get him out of the way. He made only seven starts, scoring just two goals - one in the FA Cup against Oxford, the other in the League Cup against Bradford.   This might well be the most embarrassing thing ever to happen to Bradford - and bear in mind this is the city which recently voted in George Galloway as its MP.

Fans started wearing t-shirts proclaiming 'I've Seen Silenzi Score!' And it was finally curtains for him when Dave Bassett tore up his contract after he refused to return from a loan spell at Venezia. Makes you wonder what the Venezians saw in him. They must have been blind.

Curtains. Venezians. Venetian blinds. That's how you do puns, Lineker.

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