It has begun, training camp under Zeman. Which makes Sparta look like Disneyland where you get a popsicle every hour and get to watch a Spongebob episode every day at 10AM. I reckon Bojan would still get kid’s price at such theme parks.
But we’re drifting away, back to Brunico: we had our first casualty: Dodò. Which ironically is also a disney figure (it’s all in the link-ups people). His left knee, the same one which obliged him to sit at the sidelines for over six months. Spal would be so proud of Zeman right now. Dodò will be the first of many but let’s try to keep the injuries at a minimum here, we’re only getting started.
Hot mercato names right now include RB Jung, CMs Tachtsidis (special request from Zeman) and Bradley (aka Pax Americana) and CB Uvini. Boy, I bet Juve and Milan are crapping their pants right now ey?
The list of players called up for Brunico was my 182nd WTF-moment of the year. Of course there are the usual suspects like Lobont, Totti, Bojan and Burdisso and some surprises like Heinze who’s still there and 17-year-old CB Romagnoli. But also utterly baffling names like the Brazilian kid Lucca and Lithuanian keeper Svedkakausakaukasomethingsomething. The latter is from Fiorentina’s Primavera and born in 1994. I’d like to ask Sabatini and Baldini: why? Is he even worth mentioning on the list? And what does this mean for Proietti Gaffi? And what happened to Pigliacelli and Frasca?
Obviously, one look at the list created a lot of questions for me but all will be answered in time I guess (in time means: August 31rd, 11.59PM). I’m excited yet confused how Saba, Zeman and Baldini will turn all this sh*t into one slick machine by the start of Serie A.
Roma had their first friendly against the mighty Alto Adige on Sunday. The game ended 9-0 for….drumroll please… ROMA! Yay!
4-3-3: 1 Lobont (45' Svedkauskas); 11 Taddei (69' Perrotta), 29 Burdisso (45' Juan), 46 Romagnoli (45' Heinze), 3 Jose' Angel (45' Rosi); 23 Greco (45' Verre, poi 69' Pizarro), 48 Florenzi (45' Bertolacci, poi 69' Simplicio), 15 Pjanic (45' Marquinho); 17 Lopez (45' Lamela), 9 Osvaldo (45' Borriello), 10 Totti (45' Bojan)
seriously, who cares?
Obviously, Daniele, Borini and Stek were still on holiday but will regroup with the team soon. Among the scorers were Totti, Simplicio, Borriello and Marquinho. Only Pjanic scored twice which means 8 different players got on the score sheet. Typical for a Zeman team.
This was only a warm-up, please keep July 25th in mind. That day, we’ll face our first real test namely Liverpool in the US and A. I expect Zeman to field a fitter, stronger squad by then… Or eleven crippled meat sacks.
Fun Crazy fact of the day
Svedkauskas got a clean sheet on his Roma debut.
· You will have read the room division at Brunico by now. Thank god they didn’t put Osvaldo and Lamela in one room. If I had to choose one, I’d opt for the Taddei-Marquinho combo. Sounds like a night full of vulgar jokes, riding golf cars and watching Willem Dafoe movies while wearing no pants. Juan-Simplicio being the most boring one for obvious reasons: one is recovering from his 913280th injury while the other one tries to order room service every…single…time.
· Number freaks beware! Rosi inherits no 2, Florenzi 48, Lopez 17 (the number of dental operations he has to undergo), Svedkauskas 55 (the number of WTFs I screamed after watching his name) while Pizarro chose 26 (his height in centimeters).
· ATTENZIONE! Next week there will be no Totti Tuesday as I will be in Rome myself. I hope to encounter a Roma player at Fiumicino so I can squeal like a little girl at a Backstreet Boys concert and make him sign my right breast. Instagram will provide the picture afterwards in full glory, no need to thank me.
Thanks for reading and see you in two weeks time!
"You say we are training hard, but for me that is nonsense. To me, they are long strolls in the woods. Preparation is essential, it is the basis on which to build a season. We are here to work in ritiro, to prepare for the season, it’s normal to get tired." – Zdenek Zeman, 2012.