I almost lost mine out of frustration on Sunday but all it needed was a rewatch of the two Diamanti screamers at the end, both hit the post, to keep calm and hug my Hello Kitty pillow like a Twilight fan hugs a poster of team Edward.
(Shitting) ‘Bologna bricks’
… Especially at the end. With a 3-3 scoreline, you know Zemanlandia delivered. Even more so if you know the defence didn’t. Burdisso and Castan had a hard time (reading to much Playboy?) while Balzaretti was dissapointing yet again. The divine bun limped off early in the second half so maybe the time is right for some much needed revival on the left. I can’t imagine Torosidis, Taddei, Marquinho or even Crescenzi when he’s back, being much worse than Federico at this point. I delibaretely didn’t include Dodo because obviously he’s better suited for LW. Where he can really spread his ‘wings’, how small they might be. Ironic isn’t it? That one of the management most praised transfers last summer is now fast becoming a liability. Is his wife still working in Paris this summer?
Agliardi was no 7817213 in line of average Italian keepers releasing their inner Buffon after a nice save on an Osvaldo header and overall he was pretty solid in goal. Goicoechea once again made an uneasy impact on me. He was mainly at fault for Bologna’s third goal. Either he had to grasp the ball or punch it miles away outside the Stadio Dall’Ara. See, I kinda like Mauro, I really do (call me a romantic or sadist, I double dare you). The thing is, when he comes off his line, his IQ lowers itself with 1000 points. He has absolutely no idea what to do and those brainfart moments (even if they last for one millisecond) can change a game completely. It’s like everytime the ghost of Doni inherits Mauro’s body. Everytime I see Goicoe rush of his line, it reminds me of a movie quote of Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder: “never go full retard man”.
Stek is the more commanding figure of the two between the posts ,no doubt about that. But the goalkeeping at Roma situation does feel strange. It reminds me a bit of the duel Tachtsidis-DDR for the regista spot. There must be a simple solution to it all, Zdenek just has to find it. But fact is, it’s almost February and time is running out. Roma’s underperforming in second halves is worrying me to say the least.
Overall, the game was fairly entertaining and it could have ended both 4-3 or 3-4. The typical Zeman-countergoal after 85’ was near (Diamanti) but a defeat would have been too harsh for this side, which showed determination and created a good amount of chances. I was frustrated though by the amount of times the game was paused due to fouls by both Bologna and us, it killed the flow of the game. Especially Pjanic’ foul and yellow card (he is suspended for Cagliari) was dumb.
Another interersting titbit that strook me was that the ref blew the whistle both at HT and 90’ mark just when Roma was on the attack and near Bologna’s box. It’s a big IF but imagine if one or both attacks weren’t halted by ref Giannoccaro, could they have led to something? We’ll never know but the dubious refereeing did result in heavily protest by some Roma players, mostly Totti. God I love that man (no homo). The losses of Lazio and Fiorentina and Inter’s draw makes it all a little more sour but hey, what did you expect from this Roma side? They rarely like to keep things simple.
The Florenzi of September 2012 award: Florenzi of January 2013. It doesn’t get much easier than this. The boy sure likes scoring against the Bolognese.
The lucky charm award: Torosidis. Not even one minute after he came on the pitch, his Greek partner in crime Tachtsidis scored his first goal for Roma. Play Torosidis a full 90’ and Tachtsidis might become our very own Messi. To be continued.
• News of Destro being out for two months. Followed by an Osvaldo goal this Sunday. Suddenly I don’t feel so worried about our attack anymore. Ozzy creates far less chances but damn, the man knows how to score. His goal against Bologna was his 11th this season in fifteen games, equaling his total tally of last season for which he needed 29 games. Now that he’s given carte blanche up front, expect that number to increase significantly in the next few weeks. Now if only Lamela gets his sh*it together and timewarps back to 2012.
• It’s nice to see Bradley expelling is inner American and adopting the Italian lifestyle. During the game, I saw him do the typical Italian hand gesture (0.32 in the link) at the ref. Somewhere, DiBenedetto and Pallotta are crying.
• Nico Lopezc close to Siena, loan until June. Ok now you can call me worried. Before Destro’s injury, I would have said ok. But now? It leaves us very dire up front with only Totti, Osvaldo and a Lamela looking for his best form. Seeing we always play 4-3-3, the bench seems deprived of any attacking talent. Against Bologna (and probably Cagliari too) there were/are zero attackers on the bench. If there ever was time for a breakthrough for Lopez, it was now. But he’ll play even more at Siena I presume. So yeah, good move, awful timing.
• Pop Quiz: Apart from Bologna, when was the last time Roma had two Greek on the field at the same time? Answer: Somewhere around 150 BC. Battle of Corinth, Roman Greece… jeezs learn your history young man.
Back to the future
Now, where does this obscure draw leave us? Roma’s point total in January: two. Yes, they had a good run in the Coppa with wins against the Viola and Inter but they’re not in the final just yet. And like I said, if the Coppa scenario backfires (reaching the final: automatic EL-qualification) and Roma crumble in Inter in April, Roma end once again empty-handed and with no European ambitions whatsoever. The second transitional year in a row and probably not what the suits and most tifosi had in mind after some good transfers and Zemanlandia II. Zeman himself knows things are getting out of hand and they need to react quickly. His next game might be his last. And that next hurdle is
Cagliari Daniele Conti FC. Don’t bet on an easy 3-0 win this time.
* I know some of you might be interested in my point of view on this whole small crisis situation (keepers, Zeman, defence, regista) seeing I don’t comment often. To be fair to you guys: I don’t have the slightest idea. I have a feeling this problem is turning out to be bigger than I expected. Partially Zeman, partially players. There has to be a link, chemistry between the two but sometimes, I think only Totti is happy with the appointment of Zdenek. Burdisso, Pjanic, DDR, Destro, Balzaretti, Stek… These are guys that are able to push a team towards a European spot but none of them have shone under Zeman yet. If I were Zeman, I’d reinvent myself, take another approach on the 4-3-3, maybe a more reserved 4-2-3-1 or hell, even a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2. Just get more men in midfield. And yes, maybe go a little ‘full retard’. It won’t hurt our chances. Maybe it’s time to adapt the formation to the players at out disposal and not vice versa. For the greater good. For Roma. See you next week!
“Despite my difficulties, I don’t regret coming here. I still see myself at Roma next season. This experience is positive for me, the squad is beautiful and the fans are treating me well. Pjanic is extraordinary and he’ll be one of the strongest midfielders in the world in a couple of years.” – Mattia Destro, 2013.