Magic Beard, Magic Head

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Juventus 1 - Roma 1

I thought it to be plain as day the game called for a draw, and a draw it received. One might even think there's justice in football but for the fact that there were two clear penalties for Roma, not merely one.

But then again, Roma's had six penalties called in Torino in history. Baby steps, I guess.

A good, not great, performance and an acceptable result. I have to admit I expected slightly less with a vintage Ranieri point out o'nothin' anyway. This'll do.

After 5 in 14, they could use a small recharge. Most of 'em. The few who don't come back from internationals injured, anyway.


The Schnoz

Chiellini really is entering Nesta territory, a realm with which even Juan has flirted: he can simply get away with anything. That’s not to say he didn’t have an excellent game, because he did, and it was lovely for those of us who like defense to watch he and Mexes put on a counterpointing show, but he’s not called for clear fouls based on the name on the back of his shirt (unlike a few years ago, when it was the name on the front).

Like, you know, the clear-as-day penalty on Mexes.


Aquilani-Greco

In terms of talent, the two are incomparable. They are apples and, as a wise young man once said, clementines. Alberto is so smooth and so gifted that he can play outside the realm that is normal football and create that otherwise moment of magic with distressing regularity. And he did.

Greco, on the other hand, played within the system. Short passes, strict positioning and technically sound football; a stark contrast to Aquilani’s free-roaming, hit-it-any-which-way passing and near flamboyant technique.

In the video game world, you can’t compare the two. But we don’t operate in the video game world; we operate in the real one – or as real as can be.

End game? Aquilani set up a goal. Greco set up a goal. Both did what their teams required of them, and both put in very good performances. Most important of all, however, both fit their respective schemes.

Of course it was painful to watch a player we all know could be that good, be that good at times. Roma the business simply couldn’t afford not to sell him, but that doesn’t lessen the sting enough. The boy’s exceptional.

But today, they remain inextricably linked, if only because I say so, because Aquilani is everything Greco could never be, but is.

Celebrations

Two great things happened this weekend:

i. Spalletti won a title.
ii. It wasn't with Juve, Milan or Inter.

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Would you look at that magnificent sheen?

"

(Nostalgia week shall end shortly.)

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