Novara: Target Practice Upcoming

NOVARA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 05: Daniele De Rossi (2nd R) of AS Roma competes with Riccardo Meggiorini of Novara Calcio during the Serie A match between Novara Calcio and AS Roma at Silvio Piola Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Novara, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Roma v Novara

The defense looks something which will inevitably require a peace treaty. The midfield a smattering of decent parts with the keystone misplaced, the crumbling of the integral structure probable, much less possible. The attack is, as ever, a wait-and-see proposition to be influenced by the opposition's defensive structure.

What lies beneath the surface of this team is akin to the public persona of the fabulously wealthy - without the wealthy. The broad strokes may appear a passable portrait, but a light mist would wash away the colors to reveal dim, unattractive chaos. Looking even beyond the reliance upon Daniele, home cookin' and a coach unwise to Enrique's maniacal methodologies, the three matches they've won in the last eight came against clubs a combined 3-10-11 over the same span. Each of those games ended 1-0. Nine points, three goals. It's supposed to be the other way around - at least in my head.

They need something. They need anything.

They need Novara.

And they need Novara at home. And they need to be playing a club in the relegation zone in Italy in April, which means I needn't lazily meander to the official page in order to find out whether they have change headmasters recently or not*. (It helps knowing that they have, of course, but do work with me.) And Daniele De Rossi may not be in midfield, but he'll be somewhere in the middle of the Olimpico, and that's quite delectable by me.

* - We're ignoring whether or not that managerial change involves reappointing the same one they had the first time 'round. Details.

This is a 'gimme'. This is fish in a barrel. This is going to a knife fight with Doc Holliday by your side. This is that baseball term regarding busting out of a slump you can feel free to look up on Urban Dictionary. This is what they need so desperately.

But more so, they need to bury this chance. Forget for a week - or yet another week - the defense, and unleash the hounds. Play an old-school 2-3-5 and set 'Quinho to autopilot. Play Kjaer at prima punta again, but from the opening whistle. Play 'first to ten wins'. Play a defensive line ten yards outside the Novara box. Hell, play the continent's first defense-less system. Play to score quickly, score often, and score one more than the other guy.

Just make sure to leave the floodgates open on the way back through.

XI


Stekelenburg

Rosi, Kjaer, DDR, Taddei

Pjanic, Gago, Marquinho

Totti, Psaiko.dino, Lamela

So I've become a fan of Cro in recent months. German rapper, wears a panda mask, lives in his mother's basement, probably "poppy" enough I shouldn't be pulling the trigger on my server-based megaphone, but whatever. He commonly collaborates with a relatively unknown DJ named Psaiko.dino. Tours with him, even. I hadn't seen a photo of Psaiko...until yesterday.

They say everyone has a twin and we've found Pablo's. Psaiko.dani is just too appropriate, isn't it?

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