I've lost all faith in logic - at least whatever was there to begin with. Two games after The Injury II, Roma is suffering from an acute and severe bout of efficiency.
Shots on goal: 14
Scoring %: 50*
*(I used my trusted abacus on this one. Fret not, 'tis correct.)
How might one go about splainin' that? One of the greatest players in the history of ever goes under the knife and then Roma decides to put on their golden finishing booties? Even pint-sized Brazilian defenders are scoring goals. Where was this when Totti was serenely feeding giallorosso caviar on a silver spoon to undeserving recipients on a week to week basis? ('Cept you, Mirko.) This typifies Roma; breathtakingly tantalizing, incessantly frustrating. How we love thee.
Three points, two games to go. Do we dare get excited? Perhaps. Hope springs eternal. But so don't taxes and that creepy old man outside my apartment who keeps asking me if I work out. I feel like the best advice is to treat the remainder of the season like surgery: You can go into the procedure hoping you come out as the footballing version of that kid** from Rookie of the Year, but your safest bet is to suck it up, wait for it to be over and savor*** the thought of random females signing your cast.
Oh, Roma won 3-0, in case you're phoning in your fan card.
** - Everybody has a moment when they realize they're getting older. Mine occurred when someone had to inform me Kevin from American Pie also played Henry Rowengartner in ROTY. And he now looks like this. I feel like I should be back to eating mushed peas or something. Seasons of life pass mighty quickly. (I think I just infuriated the 40+ demographic. Moving on.)
*** - I'm going to use the British "ou", starting whenever I remember to do it, until June 29th. You know, give the Brits in the house something to look forward to for the summer. (Now deleting British demographic. I'm on a roll.)
Doniéber Alexander Marangon
I'm not one who pays much attention to interviews, and especially not those with players speaking in a second language. So maybe I shouldn't judge, but I get the odd feeling he's the dumbest guy on the team, and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's his boneheaded decision making. Or perhaps it's because when I look at him I see a metrosexual caveman.
Funny thing. Saturday there was a new rumor hitting the press which said The Grand Imperial Poobah is/was showing some interest in Carlos Kameni of Espanyol and a vice-Doni in Yohann Pele, of some French club (this space is reserved for when I actually look it up.....Le Mans). Given Gianluca Curci's almost certainly inevitable departure next year - be it on loan, co-ownership or, gulp, full sale (coughmarcoameliacough) - going into the market looking for a backup netminder would make sense. However, while Pele might be untested enough at the higher levels to be a backup, Kameni is not. He's a full stop No. 1 - and a very good one at that. (Albeit one with questionable taste in pool buddies, but who really cares.) Only 24, he's already taken home the title of Africa's best keeper. Mighty good start.
Fast-forward to Sunday and Doni was flashing reflexes that had the ghost of Lev Yashin raising an eyebrow. Typical Doni. One week the goat, next week the hero.
If there's any truth to the fact that Spalletti is interested in a legit number one with a live, working coconut between his ears, one game isn't going to change matters. You don't have to be a Roma fan for more than a month to see his often condemning limitations; and for all the steps in class this year - including that brilliant two month run, the one which coincided with Mancini's scintillating run, making me think it was either a Brazilian thing or they were playing hide Amantino's Amantino at Trigoria - he's still got a long way to go before he hits world class. Too many mistakes. Too many simple mistakes, actually. (Including his positioning against Livorno, a frequent participant in my nightmares nowadays.)
I can be swayed - all too easily sometimes - as vested emotions can be damning. Not here. I'm still 100% in the send Doni elsewhere faction, even if he played like Dino Zoff's step-nephew on Sunday. Mistakes and lapses in concentration from strikers are one matter. The last line of defense is entirely another. Give me a solid, smart, reader of the game with half the reflexes of Doni any day.
And though many people seem to think the transfer of Mancini will bring in some cash (not if the Webster ruling has anything to do with it), one must wonder if Doni is a guy whose transfer fee is being looked to as a bonus on the kitty. Milan did want him at one point. Which I suppose begs the question...how much is he worth? I haven't the faintest. Depends on the week, I gather.
That said.....Forza Doni.
My heart went all aflutter with this little nugget. It's the flagrant cruelty known as "unrequited love", sometimes called "transfer rumors that I made up in my head".
So Porky Pig, more commonly known as Tommaso Ghirardi, has declared his love for all things bacon fat Matteo Brighi, Antunes & Gianluca Curci. In fairness, I'd be fine with all three leaving, each with a provision:
1. Matteo Brighi fetches a fair price, at least on co-ownership - though he's getting to the age where co-ownership says "you're wanted, but not that much". I like his play and his gum chewing habits, but he isn't exactly an integral part of the squad - not to mention the likes of Ahmed Barusso and Daniele Galloppa chomping at the bit to get back to Rome.
2. Antunes goes out on loan.
3. Gianluca is not fucking sold in full. You hear me, Rosella & Co? Kid's still only 22. And he's Roman, for Pietro's sake.
Matteo Brighi is the only one who should really be in red & yellow Kappa next year, as Antunes could really use some experience - unless he's gone from Second Division in Portugal good to Serie A good after spending a year at Trigoria, something I doubt very highly - and Curci needs to be peppered with shots in front of a bad defense for a year and he desperately needs get away from the tutelage of Doni. Only thing that would change my mind is if he goes to Swissaustria, Gigi & Amelia succumb to injury and he plays out of his cranium, leading the Azzurri to the title and besting Buffon's one goal from open play stat in Germany. (Damn you, Zaccardo.)
Bad news? Parma has a really good chance of getting relegated. Catania is getting mighty close to the drop zone - anyone else think they might run out their Primavera on Thursday with a very, very meaningful game on Sunday? Win is in the bag, ladies and gents - with remaining games against Juve and Roma, but Parma still has to travel to Firenze and host the Internazionale FC +1. (They wanted a new nickname, they got it.) Either Catania or Parma managing one point might be enough for safety. Cruel scheduling.
What it means is there's a decent chance anyone heading to Parma will be doing so in Serie B. Would Brighi want that? Doubtful. He could start for plenty of Serie A teams. iTunes could use anything, really, and Curci just needs a bad defense in front of him
And of course..........
Daniele Dessena! Could they swing the swap (plus Roman scrilla) of the century? They're linked with every CM from here to Zimbabwe and he is gold, baby...gold! It has to have entered Spalletti's mind. Hell, I'd settle for co-ownership of Dessena for a swap of Brighi, Antunes and Curci on loan - and let him stay at Parma for the year. It's happening, just because I say it is.
Clearly I need to drop my hopes, but dreams help us survive, right? (Or help us do some bullshit equally as trivial.)
I) Game's Thursday, not Wednesday. Don't forget, or else you'll do something stupid like cancel an appointment for Wednesday and make it for Thursday, thinking you've put yourself in the clear. (Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm a dumbass.)
II) Liverpool + Amantino = sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Or at least Rafa is still fantasizing about him.
III) Somebody put an exquisite coaching clinic for defenders on DailyMotion. Good times.
* - Italy Euro/WCB site is now running daily. Come hang out, Marco and I are getting lonely and have resorted reenacting Cassano-Mancini man hugs + don't touch me there.
IV) I love it when sites decide to throw a random smattering of names into a sentence and call it a transfer rumor:
La Roma insegue Pazzini e Di Natale.
I giallorossi puntano anche su Pokrivac (Monaco), Pranjic (Heerenveen) e Jo (Cska Mosca).
We'll talk later on these. Maybe. (Pazzini definitely, he's going to be gold.)
For now, a little present from me to you. Enjoy your day.