I'm here, I think. I may disappear against early next week, but at the moment I don't really know, it's nice that way. Not that I'm a planner to begin with. So here's an abridged version of all the news of the nothingness that transpired over the past week.
Vincent Candela Hangs Up His Boots:
'I'm not playing anywhere this season. My time is past,' the full back told French sports daily L'Equipe.
'It is time to call it quits. Football has changed. It's more physical, less tactical, less technical.'
Grazie Vincent. Roma would be lucky to see a LB like you ever again.
The BIG Game: (Insert way overdramatic music with far too much timpani....now)
The Azzurri are playing that country full of whiners and babies, who have collectively confused "cheating" with "winning". Full preview here at the World Cup Blog site. I'm contemplating the liveblog, but that's much better when I have two computers at my disposal (if I'm streaming) - and I won't. As far as I can tell, the only PPV I'm seeing is England-Israel, which is obviously a much much better game than a rematch of Berlin. Duh. Coz, you know, the Premiership and English football are like the bloody best in the world because they're just so bloody awesome.
So if you come across any good sites or whatnot showing the game it'd be much appreciated by many a fan.
* - And if you're going to kill me on The Don Doni's tactics, save your breath. I'm just going on recent experience, and that's what it appears he favors. Whether or not it will work is completely irrelevant to him. Seriously, we need to start up www.firedonadoni.com. Who's with me?
Oh, and how would I be a proper Roma/Azzurri fan if I failed to include this (wait the little bit it takes to load, trust me)...
Aquilani Commits His Future To Rome....Again:
"Alberto will play for Roma for a long time and, despite the flattering interest of a number of other prestigious clubs, he is ready to commit his future to the club," his agent said.
"Of course, Barcelona, Valencia, Chelsea and Arsenal all want him, but Aquilani has never had any doubts about where he wanted to play since he was a little boy. Roma has always been in his heart and he has no intention of playing elsewhere. He is becoming a leader and is the future of the club alongside Daniele De Rossi."
King Alberto. The future of Roma is in the hands of Alberto and Daniele De Rossi, and there's not a damn thing anybody can do about it.
News & Notes:
I) Super Super Marco Delvecchio has been attracting interest from Super Belgians, Anderlecht. I know he's not on the squad, but he does have his sleeping bag on the couch at Trigoria and is mooching of the fine cuisine being cooked up for the fellas; therefore, we're covering his every move. So Marco's like a rich man's stoner buddy who's unemployed and spends his days trying to work up that big "shipment" coming in from Miami and keeps promising you you'll never have to work again. Except he leaves the toothpaste stuck to the sink, clogs the toilet regularly, eats your mom's m&m cookies, sleeps during the day, practices with his band late at night - which is giving Amy Winehouse a serious run for Worst Music of the New Millenium (Can you tell I don't like her? No? Not yet?) - and then "accidentally" sleeps with your girlfriend while you're in Uganda on a peace mission.
Actually Marco's not like that at all, I just got a little carried away. So yeah, Anderlecht, good move. Moving on...
II) Amantino's agent and the brass will be meeting in October to work on his extension. His agent has said it's "only Roma" and that he will not move. Hip hip hooray.
III) Big congrats to Mauro Esposito, who had a son named Daniel yesterday.
At least he can still score off the field. Imagine if this was 2004. (I apologize, but I had to)
IV) Too early to start the Jeremy Mathieu watch? Yay? Nay?
V) In case you're too lazy to scroll all the way down the main Roma page and you missed this pic, it's a must see.
* - Apologies to anyone who has yet to surgically detach themselves from Chivu's nut hammock and cannot see the humor in this.
VI) I think it's safe to say at this point that the consensus grade for the mercato was an A-. Good call, I was teetering on A-/B+ but went conservative for a few reasons:
i) Quite a few co-ownerships/loans, so it's not as though all of these are 100% Roma property. Kind of incomplete at the moment.
ii) A few of the acquisitions were coming off injury plagued years (Barusso, Esposito, Cicinho), which might have helped their respective prices a little, but that's never ideal. And one is already injured again, which is a red flag.
iii) There was no big big purchase that you just know will make the difference.
iv) Mostly the departures, and especially the loans. There were probably a few better options for Aleandro Rosi and Stefano Okaka Chuka, notably teams in Serie A rather that the red-headed mentally challenged stepchild, Serie B. Not to mention keeping Adrian Pit (Pronounced 'Piz') over Edgar "Burritos" Alvarez when reportedly asked that he not be moved. As well as not loaning out Gianluca Curci and leaving the striker position thin up top when there were countless options willing to play in Rome for next to nothing. Including myself (seriously, I'm tall, I can jump and I'd wave the flag like an epileptic at a rave in the stands every weekend - somebody send that to Rosella, that's all they need right now).
* - I'm kind of holding judgement on the 3rd striker thing because I know next to nothing about Claudio Della Penna, and it seems like there's a bit of faith in the kid. Maybe the scouts and The Grand Imperial Poobah know something we don't.
VII) Since yesterday's pic of Rosella was not-so-bad(ish), I figured we'd even things out a little. And damn, the woman has a lot of gum.....