One day, someone will pen a grand story about Francesco Totti. Until then, he's doing it himself.
Roma 4 - Fiorentina 2
The talk of the town is Totti, as it often is; his performance a magnificent display of footballing greatness, et cetera, et cetera. However, take a moment to peruse the day's lineup and see if you notice anything.
Arguably his most impressive feat is that he skips nary a beat with one year total of Roma experience from his teammates before the summer. Offer the man a ball and some warm bodies and magic will be made.
Now that the gushing is over, a more important development than "Hey, this Totti guy's alright!" arose from the match: Miralem Pjanic was beyond brilliant, and doing so in a position which offered more to the team on the whole than - wait for it - the child who's been bearing much of Roma's weight this season: Erik Lamela. The connection with Totti was undeniable, but his ability to spoonfeed Mattia Destro and any who were bombing in from the midfield was light years beyond what Erik provides at current; of course, Lamela's a bit more selfish, a bit more direct, and providing goals. None of these things are problems - the problem lies in that which it presents to Zeman.
There needs to be a way to get both on the pitch. And Totti. And keep the midfield not with the same personnel, but as robust as it can be with Tachtsidis sitting deep, because it's clear a little bit of defense goes a long way. And with a proper prima punta on the pitch. And all of a sudden, Zeman's running out of spots
unless he shifts from the 4-3-3. Lovely problems to have, really, but yesterday was as important for the future as it was for the table: if they sell Pjanic, heads must roll.
As for the match? If you haven't seen it, find it and download it. (It ain't hard.) If you have seen it, find it, download it, and watch it again.
True masterpieces are to be enjoyed for the delight in the experience, not mere reveling in remembrance. This was one of those matches.
- There exists no need to praise Marquinhos' performances any longer; the boy simply is.
That said, maybe Vincenzo should've done something about the tactic of feeding Luca Toni through the defense hoping he'd beat someone half his age in a feets race a little sooner than he did.
- Michael Bradley was excellent...
...until he got within 30 yards to goal. Should the rest of Roma be clicking, that's enough.
- Ivan Piris.
- There are two ways of looking at Mattia Destro's performance:
i. The boy missed an awful lot of easy goals, if not sitters.
ii. Twas quite an achievement to get in so many positions which offered the opportunity to score.
Were he 30 or so, former would take priority; at such a young age, it's the latter.
- Much will be discussed upon the return of Lamela, of course, because Pjanic was brilliant in that slot and there's an argument to be made he needs to be on the pitch, but outside of running him out for development purposes alone, Florenzi's not done anything to actually win his position over the last two months. That's not to say he's done quite enough to lose it, but he's a weekly exercise in wondering what the hell happened to his early season form.
- Hate to say it, but Viviano gets a game ball.
So too does the suit from Bologna who can't fill in multiple choice bubbles...
Funny how that happens, no? Offered weeks to simmer in the losses, yet thrust into another match immediately after the victories.
If this was Italy, they'd call it a conspiracy or somethin'.