ROME, ITALY - APRIL 11: Luis Enrique the coach of AS Roma looks on during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on April 11, 2012 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
And let's try this again, shall we?
Nothing's changed since the last time. Except for any semblance of momentum, Maarten Stekelenburg's availability (Erik Llamela too) (Bojan too too) (Totti maybe too too too), and the crushing psychological blow of losing 4-0 to anyone, much less Juventus.
So just those minor details.
Ever the contrarian, and I would love to know why that word has a red squiggly line indicating a typo underneath it, I've never really followed convention when it comes to allies and arch enemies of our fair Roma. In fact, it could be said I've always marched to the beat of my own drummer, though I'd argue it shares a more familial symmetry with a seizing DJ's head beat slapping off a still-spinning turntable in metronomic rhythm. Thus I once quite enjoyed Fiorentina and its football.
And then Adrian Mutu happened.
And a lot of other players happened.
But it was mostly Mutu.
I don't care if LE strings together a defense consisting of Snoopy, Snoop Dogg and That Fat Guy From The Television. (You know the one.) I would like - mememememe - a resounding demolition job which sends the purpled ones just a little bit closer to both their mommies and selling Stevan Jovetic to Vidal Sassoon FC at a bottomline-crippling discount. I want blood, I want guts, and I want Gloria Ajax 2.0.1. Quite frankly, it would tickle me silly to see Pablo Osvaldo substituted for a real life pirate, either the shiver-me-timbers brand of yore or the excuse-me-did-you-get-that-weapon-from-Halo-3 subtype floating off the coast of Africa these days. Osvaldo can play too, but he must be wielding some sort of weapon which wasn't found 'neath the seat in his psychedelic panel truck emitting a suspicious odor of incense and Cheetos. Just...just...
Just crush them. Above all, mentally and emotionally.
Tactics? Personnel? Pfft. Those are mere luxuries for days when a personal vendetta isn't on order.
Taddei, Kjaer, Heinze, Taddei
Greco, DDR, Marquinho
Previously, like the attention-challenged chap I am, I thought Amauri to be a large hurdle in Roma's ability to successfully manage this game, particularly with the non-ideal duo of Kjaer and DDR back in central defense. Turns out he was suspended. Now he's not, what with suspensions being observed over the weekend. Normally I would claim prescience, but that also means I could've saved a life, so let's just call it a coincidence and move on.
Worth noting, however, Amauri is on the other side. And while he may not be the Amauri of the pinkish days, if his hair is as nappy, there are very few better aerial targets in the league, and that is not, will not be, this defense's forte. (Not that username Gabby57 is going to win any high jump medals.) This has been a problem with Daniele in defense - see: Caracciolo, Andrea - and rightly so, since, ya know, he's not a defender, central or otherwise. This bears watching, and Fiorentina's tactics - you know, relegation fodder tactics - should be representative of such, with lots of balls being whipped at Amauri's face for ninety minutes or so. (Hey, it pays the bills.)
This, after the shambolic show that was Sunday, is unlikely to be a concern, as Daniele is likely to scurry back to his natural role. Although Amauri is still a major concern, the defense is still, as you might've noticed, AS Roma's defense, regardless of its personnel.
And now the rest is to be a mashing of whatever leaks need patching after the weekend - such as Taddei being back on the pitch and Fernando Gago in timeout - as well as waiting to see if Francesco is fit or not, as he's in doubt. Which is kind of ironic in hindsight.
Play the hand while you've got it, would be the moral.