Totti Tuesday: Poker

Marco Luzzani

WWWWWWWWWWDDDD. No, that’s not my cat taking over my keyboard or me getting a brain seizure after seeing all of Dodò, Bradley and Marquinho starting a Serie A match. It’s Roma who completed their quartet of draws.

Hey, psssst. Do you want to earn money in a fast and easy way, besides the prostitution business? Bank one hundred thousand dollars on a 1-1 draw against Fiorentina next week. You won’t regret it. Well, maybe you will but then again, it probably means Roma’s back to winnings ways so it’s a win-win situation nonetheless right?

You can’t blame the Giallorossi for being unpredictable, unlike some of the seasons before. Four of a kind is a good hand in Texas Hold’em, only inferior to a straight or royal flush. But Serie A is no poker game, althought the stakes are equally as high and there's a lot of money involved. There are no kings or queens, no aces or hearts, no bluff. And as such, four draws on the trot still means a mere four points out of a possible twelve, nothing more nothing less. No beauty prize, no consistency reward. Unbeaten yes, but vastly losing territory at the top.

Torino, Sassuolo, Cagliari, Atalanta. Hardly world-beaters and yet they somehow all managed to damage Roma’s reputation as juggernaut. Yes, with a very questionable referee decision here and there but why would suddenly all eyes turn on the ref now and not in the first ten games? 80% is the merit of the earlier named clubs who intercepted Roma quite well at home or the Olimpico. If those type of teams can give us a hard time, Fiorentina and Milan will surely take their chances as well. There are not a lot of things wrong with this team, otherwise one of those four draws would have ended in a defeat (Cagliari? Atalanta?). Our luck hasn’t run out just yet while four goals condeded in fourteen games is statistically speaking still massive Chinese Wall-like. The team keeps the never-give-up-mentality as shown by Deep Sthroat’s (still prefer that nickname to Dutch Jesus) equalizer in the end and that can (sort of) be interpreted as half a win. Question is: How long before the fans really start to raise their concerned and irritated voices?

I blame a bit on Rudi as well for not starting Pjanic or Ljajic and ignoring Destro while he keeps getting called up. Even if he’s not 100% or even 80% fit, he has a bigger nose for goals than say Marquinho or Florenzi while Gervinho feels more comfortable on the wing than the spearhead of an attack. Surely Mattia can survive the odd 15 minutes on the field in his current condition? They boy’s a grown man of 22 years for God’s sake, not a six-thousand-year-old Lord the Rings ent. Let’s not forget the little Batman howler as well. Seems Morgan has been quite busy waking over the city at night and looked rather distracted on Sunday. Is the Joker card of Texas Hold’em keeping him awake?

Maybe it’s time to shift the attention away from the S-word for a while now. Avert the eyes a bit below, towards the fourth/fifth/sixth spot. See, feeling a lot better now aren't you? But clearly, we all know what’s ahead of us: Six more draws and we enter, hold on to your Spongebob themed pillows, loss territory. Or will Roma turn out to be unpredictable in their predictability? We’ll see next week when Monty returns to the Olimpico. On December 8, my birthday FYI. No win? No problem. It’s my party and I cry if I want to.

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