LECCE, ITALY - JANUARY 29: Massimiliano Benassi of Lecce in action during the Serie A match between US Lecce and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Via del Mare on January 29, 2012 in Lecce, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
From CL contenders to a mediocre midtable team AND back to CL contenders in one week: Associazione Sportiva Roma. Let me explain.
First, I’d like to apologize because I was on holiday this weekend. I couldn’t watch the game live so details are at minimum. I think since I started this blog on Tuesday, I haven’t had the chance to watch one single Roma game live for the past few weeks, must be a pink fluffy unicorn curse.
When I saw the scoreline Saturday evening, I honestly didn’t give a f*ck if I watched it or not because it would be another 90 minutes thrown away. Angry and frustrated, especially when I saw that Udine and Lazio won. But my Roma love returned nonetheless, they’re like that not-so-hot-but-still-quite-special-girlfriend you have. A Victoria’s Secret she is not, but you’d still be a damn proud guy when walking next to her because ‘baby makes her blue jeans talk’. Even though she trips over and lands flat on her face once in a while… What do you do? You just pick her up, walk on and act like nothing happened.
Something happened in Lecce alright. Roma got beaten, hard. And not by Ibrahimovic, Cavani, Buffon or Maicon. No. By Muriel, Di Michele and Benassi (not Benny although some Roma players looked like they could use some ‘satisfaction’ by sending over female workers to Trigoria). Being Roma, you don’t trail 4-0 at Lecce, ever. Both Roma goals from Apple and Justin Bieber 2.0 were nice but the team reacted waaaay to late while the defense was waaaay to distracted. Maybe Benassi did send some of his hooters to Trigoria after all?
Remember last week (hey time flies when you’re a Romanisti right?) when I said if we lost at Lecce, all would be lost? Yep, that’s right. All is lost, and f*cked up. Because in a way, the team on Saturday was the future: 9 out of 11 players were brought in the summer. Only Rosi and DDR were Sensi-style. The rest were from team US of A. Which right now would be an abreviation of Use Sh*tloads of Alcohol.
Let me put it otherwise: the team on Saturday was a (nonetheless still early) view on the American project. No Totti, no Cassetti, no Perrotta, no promising Italian coach who was a fairly decent striker in his days at Roma… Just a young squad which would cement their way to Scudetto and CL glory, in the post-Totti era. But it failed. And that’s a major concern. The stage was set, the Novara win created a jolly atmosphere, CL was in sight, our opponents were losing points left and right and Roma faced another relegation candidate. Maybe we started the party a little early. Maybe we celebrated in advance without the utmost respect for Lecce. And this is what the players deserved. They got their ass kicked in humility by a team with less money, less prestige, less fans but the same giallorosso colors.
This is not a ‘Damn, I hope they get bitchslapped and put their feet back on the ground again’-loss, which is usually followed by a win. Like they did against Napoli after the Udine and Fiorentina losses. Or against Inter after the Juve (Coppa) and Cagliari losses. No, this is a ‘Holy cow Batman, what the hell just happened’-loss. Which is usually followed by more drama. I honestly don’t know what to expect for Udine. Yes it’s at home but does it matter? It’s Di Natale against Kjaer and Heinze for Christ’s sake. And the game is already on Wednesday aka tomorrow. We just can’t get a break can we?
For your information: the midweek game, as exciting it may be, doesn’t change a thing to my schedule. I keep posting on Tuesdays because my mind currently can’t cope with writing 2 Roma posts in the space of 3 days, it’s practically non-human (we all agree Chris is an alien right?). Seriously, I think even Stephen Hawking’s brain would explode if you ask him to figure out and address Roma’s problem(s).
Fun fact of the day: I still haven’t found a dictionary that gives ‘AS Roma’ as the definition for the word rollercoaster. Blasphemy! Onwards to my notes of last week ladies.
• Did you know? We lost. At Lecce. They had Benassi in goal, we Stekelenburg. They had Oddo, we Kjaer. They had Blasi, we De Rossi. They had Muriel, we Bojan. Nuff’ said. Maybe some day, one day we’ll watch those highlights while laughing and sipping from a Roma jug filled with Totti’s sweat, wearing a Roma shirt with the Scudetto 201?-201? emblem on it. But today is not that day.
• Even though all is lost, I still believe in top 3 (didn’t see that one coming ay?). As long as it’s mathematically possible, I believe. If you don’t, then you’d better support Barcelona, they win 99% of the competitions they enter anyway, be it with great football or cheap penalties. Yes, Udine or Napoli deserve it more but c’mon, so did Jim Carrey deserve to win an Oscar for his roles in Dumb & Dumber and Ace Ventura.
There’s obviously room for heavy binge drinking criticism because that’s why this blog is for and we should all at least be open minded to read others’ opinions. The chances however that DiBenedetto and co read this blog are slim. All we can do is hope pray for a positive reaction of the team against Udinese. And pray for the goats around Rome as well, they have a tough life because ‘certain hard things don’t go their way ’. The fact that I’m writing this while in bed makes me nauseous.
• I miss Borini’s hand gesture. And I miss Abel Xavier’s haircut too but who the hell cares right?
• Lamela’s free kick was a thing of beauty, and it was taken with his left foot. Somewhere, Marquinho is crying.
• LE still hasn’t used the same formation twice in a row which is quite absurd, we’re April by now (correct me if I’m wrong though). Speaking of LE, I support Roma, the team as a whole. Not its trainer. After every win, we enlarge his credentials. After every harsh loss, we enlarge his flaws. It’s part of our human nature and I must confess I did/do it too. Seeing I’m now part of the bloggers on this site, I’d like to keep my more emotional thoughts to myself, stay as neutral as possible, just ‘go with the flow’ and let the emotions ride on the comments below (my first rhyme on this blog, *happy face*). What we do know is that Saba, Baldini and co are not blind. They have seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Lecce and LE will be questioned, not only in the media but also in the ‘company’ AS Roma itself. There’s only one remedy: wins. Starting tomorrow. But with Taddei at LB or RB against Asamoah, Armero and Di Natale. Never a dull day at the office.
• No Totti, no party. Or how consistent an inconsistent club can be.
• Rumours about Kuyt and Suarez: as long as it’s not butterfingers Doni, I’m fine with all the rest of Liverpool’s roster.
• Fixtures of week 32: Roma host Udinese (who have only won once away since 3 December), Lazio visit Juve while an out of form Napoli host Atalanta.
Plus, Roma have a second home game in a row this weekend against an also out of form Fiorentina. Guess what? By Totti Tuesday next week, the fight for CL qualification could be back on and harder than ever. From mediocre team back to CL contenders. One word: Roma…
To end, and I know most of you have probably already searched it on Youtube you dirty ol’ men, Benassi’s contribution for today: satisfaction. I’m not posting it on Chiesa di Totti itself because it’s a) longer than 1 minute (SB Nation rule) and b) not for the faint of heart so hide the kids, Saba-style.
That’s it for this week guys. Ciao!
“When the day arrives that Totti has to retire, it will be hard for Roma and the whole environment there because he is a club emblem.” - Vincenzo Montella, 2012