News Bits: Down Goes Maarten. Up Comes Maarten.

BOLOGNA, ITALY - DECEMBER 21: Maarten stekelenburg goalkeeper of AS Roma looks on during the Serie A match between Bologna FC and AS Roma at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on December 21, 2011 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images)


Do you remember a brighter time? A day when Gianluca Curci appeared to have all the physical tools to fulfill his lofty potential as Gianluigi Buffon's heir to the Azzurri sticks, but would clearly never get there, no matter much tint we added to the glasses? Well, it appeared, very briefly, as though he might finally get his chance in the Kappa again, rather than sitting on the horror of the Napoli 4-4.

The giant Dutchman missed training yesterday due to the flu, leaving open the door, but made it back for Friday's fun in the sun. Short of partaking in a real life recreation of a Michael Crichton novel, he'll be playing on Sunday.

But this does allow us an excuse to take a moment to pause and reflect on Curci's wedding get-up.


And we're back.

Projected XI


Rosi, Kjaer, DDR, Taddei

Pjanic, Gago, Marquinho

Totti, Osvaldo, Borini

The major concern is not so much Daniele at CB, but rather Gago at defensive mid. It's one thing to sit him there against Novara, Lecce and a stale Udinese; asking him to plug the hole against Juventus is another matter entirely.


  • Under-reported bit regarding the match this weekend: loser has to take Marco Borriello.
  • At this stage in the campaign, transfer rumors appear to be recycled and few new names have been popping up that I've seen - this goes doubly during a macabre week for calcio in which all games were cancelled and thus, filler is required. Recycled from last year:

    Benedikt Howedes, once a potential replacement for Mexes, is again on the list, this time as a potential name to help everone forget most of Simon Kjaer, ed. 2011-12 ever existed. So from replacing Mexes to replacing Mexes' replacement. Or sliding in alongside him. A lots going to happen with the defense this summer, and it'd be best approached like most Hollywood summer blockbusters: don't watch, wait for the dust to settle and assess the carnage in the aftermath. This can also be applied for every single moment Fabio Simplicio is on the pitch.

    Roberto Pereyra and Alexandre Lacazette are "new", the latter being linked a few years back when he was freshly minted from the Lyon academy.
  • Everybody wants Fabio Borini. Expect this to be a running theme for the coming seasons.
  • Roma's the fourth most valuable club on the peninsula, seventeenth in the world, according to Forbes. Imagine where they'd be without the rights to Kevin Koffi's contract.
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