Tullio M. Puglia - Getty Images for Golden Foot
WARNING: this post was written without any underpants as I seem to have lost them since Sunday evening. If any of you find might them (and for the love of God, don’t pay attention to the pink unicorns drawn on it), please send them back to its rightful owner, in this case Zeman. Because Sunday was all about one man. Not Totti, DDR or Burdisso making his comeback. It was the return of Zemanlandia and boy, once again it made a sudden impact on Serie A. I’ve never witnessed Zemanlandia anno 1997-1999 so this was my very first official viewing of the circus. More about Catania later on.
By the time this post goes online, exactly 55 000 people will have sent their (albeit stained) underpants to Zeman’s address. He must love the smell of underwear in the morning… (s-)Tainted love to be more specific.
Over 50 000 fans witnessed the beginning of Zeman 2.0. Against Catania. One has to wonder what the attendance might be at the Derby della Capitale (excluding goats),against Milan (excluding Berlusconi’s misstresses) or Juventus (excluding Conte).
First half was meh, not that good. Catania deserved the lead while most of our players were still thinking this was a preseason match against Pro Vercelli or Juve Stabia. But the second half was the true meaning of Zemanlandia. They came out guns blazing and pushing Catania into their own penalty area. Osvaldo did a ‘Lecce 2.0’ and this time the goal was legit. Then something even more ‘Zemanlandia’: counterattack and 1-2 Catania.
Now, like most of you I’m pretty excited already but Gomez and Bergessio are no Vuci, Cavani, Cassano or Milito. We’ll be even more prone to counterattacks against the big teams so I guess Zeman will opt for the old outscore-your-opponent-tactic. Which is, if I may say, mofo gangsta style. With Zeman as our leader of the pack,our ‘Ice Cube’ or ‘Tupac’. And Taddei as Flavor Flav from Public Enemy. What’s not to be loved?
In the end, Zeman 2.0 did not disappoint. The only downside is we lost two points but I bet those 55K at the Olimpico had a damn good time, as did I. Never slaves to the result indeed…
The Association of Awesome Awards
New season, new blog modifications. As of now, I’ll give some imaginary ‘awards’ to Roma players after each and every Serie A game. You know, because I can. The awards are named after (sometimes former-) Roma players and speak for themselves for obious reasons. Some of them are a real honor while some are… let’s say a regular disgrace and embarassing. So let’s see which Giallorossi are this week’s knights in shining armor or damsels in distress shall we?
The Aldair award: Castan. Piris and Balzac had good debuts but Castan impressed me the most. Very secure on the ball, he didn’t come over nervous to me (unlike a certain blonde Dane but without his Danish Dynamite) while his speed and aerial abilities are also fine. I’m anxious to see Marquinhos and Dodò in action. Let’s hope they are as good as their former Corinthians colleague.
The Loria award: Bradley. He was rather clumsy against Catania and lost the ball a lot like a headless chicken. I was scared everytime he had the ball while he should be the exact opposite: a calm presence at the mid who does the dirty work. He needs some more time under Zeman’s wings but I won’t be surprised if Florenzi or Tachtsidis start next week. Lamela came in close at second place, Marquinho (aka nicknamed Singular) third.
The Delvecchio award: Lopez. He’s gonna love life under Zeman. I could’ve picked Osvaldo and his magnificent goal but Lopez’ one was a beauty too,in his first official game for Roma and at a more heartstopping moment. The ingredients were all there and Lopez made damn fine carrot soup out of it. I predicted only three Serie A goals for him this season, scratch that and make it thirteen.
The Taddei award: aka the ugliest player on the pitch. Unsurprisingly, Lopez’s takes the honors here. Pencil him down for the next 37 too would ya?
The Curci award: Bojan. Painful to watch him start AND end on the bench. Start those silly transfer rumors… now! Malaga and Milan are linked with him. Barca? Not so much…
Rarely been so excited after a mere draw and guess who’s up next? SchmInter. At the San Siro. Whoever predicts a 0-0 deserves to be slapped on the head with a wet Roma jersey (size Adriano 8) and thrown in the Colosseo in front of hundred angry Giallorosso with baseball bats while wearing a shirt saying Stefano Mauri and Mauro Zarate are Serie A legends!
“I've always tried to produce football for the fans, so that they enjoy themselves and want to come to the stadium. I hope people come to the stadium for that reason – to enjoy themselves. I know what the fans are like in Rome, they're among the best in Italy." – Zdenek Zeman