Novara: Would You Like Another Five-Star Headline?

ROME, ITALY - APRIL 01: Marco Antonio Marquinho of AS Roma celebrates after scoring the goal during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Novara Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on April 1, 2012 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Roma 5 - Novara 2

Trite idiom alert:

Novara: Just what the doctor ordered.

Do you suppose they'll adopt that as their new club motto?

Those who've watched Roma for longer than the last five minutes will know that when presented with fish in a barrel, the giallorossi won't necessarily come home with dinner. Oftentimes, they just come home smelling like low tide. Expected execution? Please.

A delightful treat, then - Cesena redux, if you will.

The attack largely excellent and the space in and around the center of Novara's defense and midfield, particularly inbetween, was something of a playground. So outrageously fairy tale that Fabio Simplicio even chipped the keeper, being hauled off immediately in order to celebrate with a heaping portion of sundae with Gummi Bears on its summit. The children particularly enjoyed their time in the sandbox, both Erik Lamela and Bojan having their fun when being allowed to run free. Even Marquinho ventured from just outside the fence to enjoy the most unlikely of goals*, if Massimo Paci the adult pushing the child in the swing. And overlooking it all was Mr. Confidence Player - self-confessed - Pablo Osvaldo, whose early goal enabled him to grope his melons firmly before setting out on a path of destruction, ultimately landing him on some type of list.

* - I don't recall seeing a single shot from outside the box, though it's surely possible. The one shot imprinted on the mind is that which came directly before Simplicio's cucchiaio.

Rare do they take their golden opportunities by the scruff and have their way. It wasn't pretty, as Novara is surely a lame duck for B and they certainly did their part, but they found a way to reign bountiful. That's all that was asked.

Score and score more than the other guy who's worser than you. Pretty simple game, this football.

The Kjaer Konundrum

Do you suppose the football personnel staff is sitting around a conference oak in the midst of a raucous game of "You call." and "No, YOU call." mobile phone hot potato as they decide which which has to take the fall for being the one to buy-out Simon Kjaer? Rochambeau would do nicely as an utterly scientific means of decision-making.

Yadda yadda yadda. He's a very gifted defender who is prone to massive cock-ups with a burgeoning Menez-esque reputation that could destroy his future in calcio, forcing him to be sold to his hometown club (Wiki says AC Horsens). Despite his beaucoup follies, he is too gifted to dismiss the physical, natural talents or the simple fact that defense is a learned art and he's only 22.

Another game, another near complete derailment from Simon - minutes 42 & 43 were particularly dicey. And yet, they almost have to buy him out at this point.


  • A quietly solid game from Jose Angel. A bit too much of the highest of highs and lowest of lows early on this campaign; however, now that he's settling in the middle of not attempting to do too much but also not cocking up quite so badly, he's performing quite nicely.

    Many others should be taking notes.
  • Daniele is absolved of blame for all lost aerial battles in central defense against strikers over 190.

    Or any misstep at all since he's Daniele @#$%ing De Rossi.
  • At home against the three clubs seemingly destined for relegation*: 3-0-0, 12, 4, +8.

    Expect the expected? Never...

    * - In my dreams, a certain purple team is destined as well. Forza Lecce, etc, etc.
  • Match highlight.
  • Words I never dared dream I would utter:

    This team could use Marco Cassetti at centerback right about now. Hell, Christian Panucci - maybe even 2012 Christian Panucci - would be Beckenbauer 2.0, No comment on Simone Loria.
  • And finally...

    The team won without Pjanic in midfield. Again.

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