With Juve, Roma faced the toughest team of the league while being at it lowest point in the league since August. Roma haven’t won this fixture at the Olimpico since 2004 (the famous 4-0 riot), losing six and drawing two. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Vucinic/Zebina/Capello and Emerson are all nodding.
Castan and Destro were injured and our main man up front had his very own crisis after Sampdoria. The signs were there. And yet, these are the kind of games which make our beloved Associazione Sportiva Roma outgrow themselves (see Inter, Milan, Fiorentina or
Slovan Bratislava), give them just that little edge more, to rise to the occasion and overcome any woes and any adversary on this planet. Saturday…. well, Saturday was that kind of game. The return of pink fluffy unicorns and manlove.
By now we all know Andreazzoli changes formations like he changes underwear. This time he used a 3-4-2-1 (Does that one even exist? I thought it was only possible in FIFA games). Totally different as opposed to Zeman who kept the faith in his favorite 4-3-3, even if World War III with zombies breaks out or Luciano Moggi becomes Miss Italia 2013. Andreazzoli doesn’t. He does research on the next opponent and adopts his formation to the game at hand aka we could see a different Roma and different formation every week from now on. Being too conservative and narrow-minded was one of the critiques about Zeman, just like his more assertive, cagey coaching style on the sidelines.
Someone at Roma must read my blog because after praying for Torosidis in my previous Totti Tuesday, he actually got to start this match and played a stellar game as well. Maybe next time I’ll ask for Messi, Falcao, Kompany, Courtois (being chauvinistic here), Bale, a house in Beverly Hills and a date with Penny from The Big Bang Theory to explain her MY meaning of a ‘Big Bang’. Ow and bring back Pit and Okaka just for shits and giggles.
One thing that struck me is that Andreazzoli talks a lot during the game and even though the team still looks lost at moments, they do seem to like his methods. Talent is one thing, passion and grinta is something else. Sometimes, one can only win if his heart and mind are set on the same goal. Which takes me to the next item: the return of the manlove after Totti’s goal. A lot of manlove and a pile of wet, sweating, stinking, smelling but oh so happy men above Totti. Lucky basterds, if only I could be able to smell and taste the sweat of Il Bimbo d’Oro (no homo).
Now, dear friends, please hold your horses. European places are still far away, this was only our first win in Serie A in 2013 and the real Juve didn’t really stood up either on Saturday (probably because of fatigue and their CL midweek game in Celtic). But I can’t deny this win tastes very sweet and if there ever was a perfect timing for a final push in the standings, it is now.
All this being said, the Juventus win would have tasted a lot sweeter if Zeman was still at the helm. Shame but life goes on, even for Il Boemo. Secretly, I think Francesco dedicates this win to Zdenek. There are few people in this world who get such a satisfaction out of beating Juventus like he does. This one’s for you too Zdenek. Enjoy. And don’t worry, old dog Mick Jagger didn’t get any satisfaction either.
Always admirable awards
The Elton John’s rocket man award: Totti. What. A. Missile. 113km/h (source: football-italia and romaforever). NASA must be so proud right now. They also measured that Totti’s ball is now somewhere around Uranus. Let’s hope the ball doesn’t reach ur ‘black hole’ ey? (pun intended)
The I told you so award: Torosidis. Play him, enjoy him, then play and enjoy him even more. Maybe his crosses need a bit more polishing but the guy knows how to run, defend, understand tactics and play his heart out for the team and shirt. Therefore, he fits Roma perfectly. Told you so.
The Buffon award: Lichtsteiner. Or ‘LickDickSteiner’ as I’ve read in the comments. He’s no fan favorite that’s for sure. Nice save on Marquinho’s shot at the end but don’t be too proud of this one Stephan... Clear penalty for Roma not called. Then again: the ref ended the game while Juve was about take a corner in the closing minutes with Buffon as an extra body in the box. Then again again: if that corner went through, was cleared and it resulted in a counter for Roma, it would have been 2-0 in an empty Juve goal since Buffon ain’t no Usain Bolt. Nitpicking but still…
The Katy Perry award: AS Roma. Aka AS Hot ‘n cold. Why? Well my dear man just take a look at them lyrics:
I should know
That you're no good for me
Cause you're hot, then you're cold
You're yes, then you're no
You're in, and you're out
You're up, and you're down
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up
Someone call the doctor
Got a case of a love bi-polar
Stuck on a roller coaster
Can't get off this ride
Apart from all my ex’s and love interests, it fits Roma perfectly.
Attention! Atalanta ahead
Or dare I look even further? After Atalanta: Genoa, @Udine, Parma, @Palermo and then the derby. FYI, after the derby we have the sorry threesome of Torino, Pescara and Siena aka the ugly babies in class, the nerds of the prom, the Jar Jar Binks of Star Wars, The Die Another Day of James Bond films, the Fifty Shades of Grey of literature (hold your horses female Giallorossi), anyway you get the point.
If this win is an indicator for a new, revamped Roma, the derby in April could be a decisive match for the CL places. But like I said earlier, savour the win, use it to improve the morale for the next couple of games. This one shows the team has quality, they just need a great motivator for the job. Trust in Zeman was damaged, in Andreazzoli the boys have found a breath of fresh air. One step at a time for now as our next test lies in Bergamo.
De Rossi and Totti are suspended while Destro and Castan are still weeks away from recovery. This could actually be a good thing for Pjanic as he and Totti in the same formation does limit their talents a bit (especially the case for Pjanic as he’s 14 years younger). Without Totti, Miralem can play higher with Lamela and Osvaldo up front. Tachtsidis, Florenzi, Bradley… there are enough replacements for Daniele. Now, with both capitani out, who should we appoint for Atalanta? My bet? ‘Hos. Because you can always count on ‘Hos to deliver (again, pun intended).
Who knows, maybe Andreazzoli will suddenly change to a 4-2-3-1, 4-3-2-1, 5-3-2 or simply go on strike because there’s still no new Pope at the Vatican. Pretty much like Roma nowadays: expect anything, anytime, anywhere, in all kinds of forms and shapes. Or shades. Fifty Shades of Roma. Which one will show up against Atalanta?
"Andreazzoli gives me more opportunities to play and I am happy, albeit aware I must always push to do better. He has changed the shape of the side, the way we play, but above all I think he changes our mentality. He asks us to be gritty and determined on the field, to always play with our heads and the right preparation. We had the right mentality against Juve, as we were all out there together with our hearts." – Marquinho, 2013.