To Vincenzo, A Mea Culpa

BOLOGNA ITALY - FEBRUARY 23: Roma coach Vincenzo Montella looks on during the Serie A match between Bologna FC and AS Roma at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on February 23 2011 in Bologna Italy. (Photo by Roberto Serra/Getty Images)

Truth told, I began a Catania preview well after one was posted, completely loopy on an unnamed children's cereal, or sumfin'. Anywho, it seems rather appropriate today to publish, considering one tenderly juicy nugget of news:

Catania: Past, Future, Presence


Ooh. Subplots.

Most of the time, the end of the season is marked by two scenarios: BIG OBJECTIVES and jack shit. In short, you're either playin' for somethin', or you're playin' for nothin'. Rarely does the gauge fall somewhere in the middle.

But here we stand where they stand, two gents on the sidelines: one the current Roma coach, rumored to be the future former Roma coach (rather inevitable when you think about it); the other the former Roma coach, rumored to perhaps be the future Roma coach (also seemingly inevitable, but less ruled by logic and the laws of 1st grade science).

The whispers grow louder - yes - and even the suits seem less than convinced of Luis Enrique's conviction, which has led to a smorgasbord of rumors of his imminent departure, with That Guy In The Trench rumored as his early replacement. Also rumored: the guy who flies. The first meeting between Montella and Enrique was of interest because USA (United Suits of ASRoma) shoved Vincenzo aside, and at the time it seemed the right move. His qualifications for the job centered around riding to games on a school bus while cutting the halftime orange slices and a few months of steering what appeared to be a sinking ship. He just didn't appear ready. It appears those who didn't think he was - aye - were wrong.


Over the course of the last year, L'Aeroplanino has become one Italy's shining young coaches, while Enrique has failed to adapt. The difference between their respective table placements is five, but Montella doing so with vastly inferior pieces, if equally Argentine. (You know where Saba's "gauge" is headed, dontcha - and don't think he's going to do anything but spend the summer convincing any and all that's the reason for Catania's success and a method which should be copied.) At the beginning of the season, Catania's salary came in at one-quarter that of Roma. It's impressive. Roma's been unimpressive. Nuff said.

Europa League is still a plausible part of Roma's future. But its past may be as well.

Watch the game, watch the style, watch the tactical nous, because as much as this is an important game for European placement, it's an audition of sorts, a showpiece, as well - if only for Vincenzo to show them just how badly he thinks they screwed up.

And maybe, just maybe, to show them what 2012-13 AS Roma will look like.

The news follows today that there might be a shifting of the guards on the horizon, with Luis' departure near a formality in some circles - surely not, however, in this'un - it's said that Vincenzo Montella is now locked in on a two year deal to be AS Roma's next head coach. When he was AS Roma's last head coach, technically.

This would be an impressive step of the new regime for one reason: the ability to say "We @#$%ed up, but we'll make it right." No egos, no side-stepping the real issues, no holier than thou bent on all things calcio, but rather, the admission of a wrong and correcting it with one fell swoop.

And swooping in on someone with a proven track record in Serie A to boot.

Time will tell, but it would appear that not long after the Cesena victory, Luis Enrique, now 172 years old mentally and emotionally, showing that winning naff all with Roma takes the same emotional toll as conquering the world with Barca, will join Pep Guardiola on a year-long siesta around the Mediterranean on Marcello Lippi's yacht.

Cataaania

They approached the match with vim, vigor and all sorts of v-words which can be found in the opening scene of V for Vendetta, you virulent vagabonds. (Best thing you lot've been called, eh?) Though the balance of the result - aptly, in this sense - will mean little, they did hoist their pantaloons and go to war for their wounded leader, Lu'Rique.

Or maybe it was just another home game.

The ninety minutes have been consumed by the thirty-seven days.

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