As I'm sure y'all know by now, the game against Cagliari was postponed and a make up date has yet to be set. I suspect it may be awhile as December is jam packed at the moment, with the final legs of the Champions League group stages present as well as the return of the Coppa (first leg against Torino is 12th-15th, still TBD). Only date available mid-week appears to be between the 16th and 22nd games against Torino and Samp, after which we'll see the winter break. Who knows.
In regards to the reasoning behind the cancellations and violence, I don't have much to say. Despite my passion for Roma and all that it represents, I don't get into the political and off-field ramifications. It's just not for me. This is a time for much more reflection off the pitch than on in Italy. On the pitch and with the players is where I stay. I'll leave that to others more qualified (probably this one, for starters). So, we're moving on to the good (short) stuff then a couple days off for me before we go into full-on Azzurri mode (I'll stop by to visit occasionally but unable to post).
* - I also understand Roma will be greatly overshadowed by what happened in Rome last night. Again, for those more qualified.
The much longed-for international break has come, which means Serie A's resident M.A.S.H. unit can get themselves healthy over the next couple weeks. From all accounts, nearly everyone should/will be back, and if they aren't back for the game in Genoa, then they will be just over the hill, ready to ride to the rescue. This means yes, you will get a little bit more King Alberto action, and most likely - though a little less assuredly - see the return of Il Capitano. The team's good without them, but they're what you call difference-makers, and we'll see how many goals this team concedes with a healthy KA patrolling the midfield with DDR . (Hint: It's going to be much less than we've become accustomed to.)
For the helluvit, your starting XI in Genoa on the 24th:
Cassetti, Mexes, Juan, Tonetto;
Taddei, Perrotta, Mancini;
Alright, starting Taddei may be a bit over-exuberant considering Spal's kid gloves with players coming off even a stubbed toe, but you get the picture. It's good to have the boys back.
Serie A's Help Comes To The Rescue
During the games which were actually played yesterday, Roma got a little bit of help from both Udinese and Parma. The latter taking a point off of the reigning Serie B champs, and the former handing Fiorentina their first loss of the season (the Viola are wonderful and all, but that's going to get much more frequent). Here's how the top of the table shakes out now:
1. Inter 25pts 11GP (+15)
2. Viola 23pts 12GP (+10)
3. Juve 22pts 12GP (+11)
4. Roma 22pts 11GP (+9)
5. Udinese 22pts 12GP) (+1)
You know, this Udinese team is really just kinda hanging in there without anybody paying attention. They're like the freshman kid that wasn't invited to the party but is so inconspicuous that nobody notices and ends up doing keg stands with 3 senior chicks from Kappa Kappa Gamma at the end of the night, waking up the next morning in the sorority house. (Never happened. Swear.) Alright, maybe they'll end up going home with the cute chick from their Comparative Poli class who isn't so cute after they see her sober the next morning. (UEFA Cup, baby)
That Fat Brazilian. No, The Other One.
In case you missed it, Il Romanista had a lovely picture of Adriano on its cover the other day. Only he didn't have Pirelli plastered all over his chest, and he wasn't wearing the Argentinian national shit (I meant shirt, I think). The logo read "WIND" and the shirts colors were a certain red & yellow, which are the colors of a club which shall go unnamed from here to eternity when the name "Adriano Leite Ribeiro" pops up.
Yup, talented. Yup, he's probably at his "buy low" point. Not that it'll make a difference with Moratti & the "his tender(er) parts have been graced by the blue and black stripes therefore his price increases 7000%" tax. Yup, he's Brazilian. But no no no. No. Anybody remember a certain Antonio Cassano? Adriano is just slightly less insane, slightly more depressed. Which makes him more likely to call out sick, but less likely to run out onto the pitch and drop a deuce at midfield. (You know, I'm slowly beginning to understand how people talk themselves into certain transfers.)
And not to go into any armchair psychology here, but his major issues are the death of his father, which I feel sorry for - honestly, who died 5 years ago, and the breakup with his girlfriend awhile back. Listen, I wish the guy the best and all, but I don't think anything short of plucking Carl fucking Jung out of his grave is going to cure that guy anytime soon. Where's an Oedipus complex when you need it?
Anyway, in short: NO.
I Want To Play For Roma, And I'm Going To Tell The National Press About It
Oh boy, I've been waiting for my Swedish fix at Roma for what seems like eternity now. (Christian Wilhelmsson you say? Never heard of him.) Only the reported target (at least he was last summer) is Mathias Svensson, a striker for Elfsborg, who had a massive 6 goals in the Swedish Allsvenskan this season and is a young(ish) 33 years old. Which is like winning a night out on the town with a "mystery celebrity" and having a drunk Roseanne Barr show up on your doorstep. (Or a sober Spike Lee, pick 'em.)
If you're going to try and pluck a geriatric, unproductive flag-waver out of the Allsvenskan, why not throw Marco Delvecchio a bone/contract? (I think that's Nostalgia's theme music I'm hearing...)
* - Mathias would also like you to use Elfsborg's 6-1 defeat to Fiorentina as his highlight resume. I see decision making is also high up on his list of attributes.
The Don Dadadoni has picked his squad and it includes a few Giallorossi: Daniele De DDR, Old Man River and Gilu Curci. Nice to have options, but Curci can bring a good book (somebody get him a charter membership to Oprah's book club), OMR hasn't played in like 6 months (or maybe a couple weeks, it just seems like eternity), and DDR is, well, unappreciated.
Simone Perrotta also, because we all know how much TDD loves his central midfielders.
All of them will be able to empathize with Philippe Mexes, who wasn't even called up. Why, you ask? Because he kills babies. Or so Rayray Dumdum would have you believe, because there's really little reason otherwise. There's nothing to say anymore. The guy clearly doesn't watch Serie A and has the intellectual capabilities of Screech's left testicle (avoid the mental picture..............told you).
I'm sure a few will get friendly call ups and Mirko will score like 17 goals for Montenegro, but those will come later and are really insignificant. (Which is code for "they're outside the range of my daily sites and therefore I am too lazy to go look them up".)
Alessio Cerci Goal Watch
Mr. Cerci would like you to know one thing: He fuckin' owns Serie B. 'Nother game, 'nother goal. This one the decider in a 2-1 Pisa victory of the weekend. I don't know how much there is to say anymore. The kid's clearly ready for some Serie A action, whether or not he belongs with the big club is yet to be seen. I'm still saying not yet, but it's getting harder and harder every week to type it. The goal, courtesy of Marco420:
* - Cerci has also been called up to score an assload of goals for the Azzurrini.
I'll be the first to admit I'm not good with history of any kind. Not my thing. This includes sports of all varieties, even my beloved Boston teams. So I'm probably the last person to properly bid farewell to Nils Liedholm, a coach at Roma for 12 years in three separate stints during the 70's, 80's and 90's. Some of the older folk may more accurately remember him as the third member in the legendary Swedish strike partnership of Gre-No-Li at Milan. What I do know is this: Nils Liedholm was a legend, and will forever remain in Roma lore as the coach who brought the second scudetto to the yellow & red side of Rome. For that, all will be grateful.
Undoubtedly a somber week for calcio, and both Nils and Gabriele Sandri will remain in our prayers. R.I.P.