In a week where Lazio, Napoli, Juve, Milan and Inter all played midweek games in Europe (and achieved some pretty good results too), we Giallorossi had to survive, search Youtube videos Champions League anno 2009, dust off that old Panini sticker book of 2001 and drag ourselves through the week for… Atalanta. Yaaaay. Not exactly the Megan Fox of Serie A but anything will suffice these days. I need my weekly portion of Roma, be it at Atalanta, Pro Vercelli, Gallipoli or Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica Civitavecchia 1920 (that’s Serie D FYI).
But back to Atalanta. Roma being on a high after the Juve win while Atalanta is experiencing a very average season: 8-5-12 and their last home win was back in 2012, December 8 against Parma. True they got docked two points but these are teams a club with European ambition like Roma needs to take six points from in one season. Ironically and traditionally, Roma experiences more difficulty when playing those teams compared to say an Inter or Juve. Atalanta lost star player Schelotto to Inter while German Denis seems to have forgotten how to score against us. Neither their defense, mid or attack scares me. It’s Roma that frightens me. Coming off a huge win and keeping last week’s Katy Perry song in mind, this was a tricky trip. Very tricky. But not quite as tricky as your girlfriend who answers “Never mind” to the question “You seem troubled, is something wrong?”. Seriously guys, don’t fall for it, it’s a trap. Dating tip number one.
Visiting the cold and snowy Bergamo up north is never a pleasure while Totti and De Rossi were suspended and Castan/Destro are still injured. Four starters not so long ago and quite a bit of backbone Roma was missing. One thing that bothered me after seeing the official lineup was the inclusion of only 1 (one, uno, ein, een, un, один, ) Italian namely Balzaretti. I’m omitting Osvaldo here because well, he’s not really Italian. 100% badass yes, 100% Italian no. I know Destro/Totti/De Rossi would have played if fully fit or not suspended and Florenzi has surprisingly featured a lot for us but still, the Italian department of this team is quite meager.
The game itself: there were talks of postponing it because of heavy snowfall but both teams decided to play. By the end of the first half, the pitch was completely covered in snow and that hurt the overall quality of the game (if there was any to be honest). Roma wasn’t particularly breathtaking. In fact, Atalanta was worse which made us look rather good . This was a kind of game where one thing and one thing only counts: three points. The weather circumstances, injuries, gap with the others above Roma…Now is not the time for tiki taka but results. And Andreazzoli has brought them. Our second win in a row, first away win in Serie A since Siena in December 2 under Zeman (remember him?). The second half was quite boring, nothing really exciting happened apart from the 2-3 which kinda fell out of heaven. Lots of ping-pong and losing ball possession on both sides. One good chance for Roma (header Pjanic), that’s it. Thanks to the scoreline it stayed thrilling until the very end where Lamela had to score the 2-4 after a counter, (three Giallorossi against two Atalanta defenders).
My moment of the game was right after (if I’m not mistaken) Torosidis’ goal: the camera zoomed in on Andreazzoli and he blew a kiss at the sidelines. Dating tip number two: if a girl does that, squeal like a pig because you’re gonna get laid tonight son. It shows that Andreazzoli has a great relationship with his players, almost like a father figure. While Zeman would be like the creepy, grumpy, smoking father-in-law. And Aurelio’s learning too. His sub Osvaldo-Tachtsidis was a nice touch. Out with an injured player on an island, enforce midfield, play it safe and secure the points. Boom, bang, job done. Straight out of the notebook.
All in all, the win was deserved and I’m quite happy with the team’s performance. Mostly because we won (duh). I’m far more satisfied we go back to Rome with three points in the bag than the actual quality of our play right now. They could prove vital in the standings come May. With Genoa coming to the Olimpico next week, Roma have a good opportunity to start a winning streak. The will, as shown by the team on Sunday, is already there. Results as well and people are talking about a small Renaissance at Roma these days. Still too early to say but the mentality of the team is clearly better than in January. Just look at the relief and release of emotions of Andreazzoli after the final whistle. They showed the Juve win was no hiccup. I had my doubts about Aurelio’s 3-4-2-1 at first but they are getting there. The battle for Europe is back on. Just don’t expect a Ranieri 2009-2010 turnaround this time though. That run was a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The Juninho award: Pjanic. Beautiful free kick. But that’s also roughly 20% thanks to the weather conditions and bad visibility on the pitch. Consigli was pinned to the ground, stranded and had no clue what to do really. Still, a nicely taken free kick. Maybe it’s time Totti should hand over those duties to Pjanic and penalties to Osvaldo (just kiddin’).
The U.G.L.Y. award: Lamela. Very poor game from the 20-year-old. Nothing worked, be it passes, shots or dribbles. I was surprised Andreazzoli didn’t sub him. 2013 ain’t Lamela’s year but we’re only two months into 2013, Erik needs to get his head out of his ass quickly (but without the kaka poo poo). We need him.
The Lady Luck award: Torosidis. If Lady Luck actually existed, she would have banged Torosidis (twice) on Sunday. The Greek was meant to pass with his head from a sharp angle but it inexplicably fell over Consigli’s head into goal. I didn’t even notice he scored on my stream before the camera zoomed in on his celebration at the corner flag. That goal alone was worth his 500 000 euros. Honorable mention: Michael ‘Xavi’ Bradley with the assist.
The Spiderman award: Consigli. Seriously, the dude wears a kit with spiders printed on it, totally badass.
The Riise award: Everyone who weared short sleeves out there. You guys are heroes. Dating tip number three: girls dig short sleeves on a date. Wear short sleeves. Bitches love short sleeves.
• Guess who’s happy again? After ZZ (Zdenek Zeman) and under AA (Aurelio Andreazzoli), Stek goes all FF: Forget Fulham. Who wants to play for that silly team anyway, they didn’t even reach Europa League this season, losers. No wait…
This is certainly a good thing as Stek is by far the most talented of our keepers. He’s a bigger presence between the sticks (both physical and mental for the oppostion) than Lobont or Goicoechea. Andreazzoli’s change to a three-men-defence and crowded midfield helps too as Zeman’s kamikaze 4-3-3 with high-playing fullbacks and midfield in disarray hurts our defense more than the opponent’s one.
• In other news, Roma’s getting Arab monaaaaay. I’ve read some comments about this topic and when I saw the name Falcao, I knew I had to react in my TT. Keep it real people. The cash injection is a good thing but we’re not becoming PSG or City just yet. Most of the Arab money will go into the new stadium while the transfer funds will stay the same in Summer aka around 40m euros + possible sales of players like
Totti Taddei, Angel or Borriello.
Sheikh Adnan Adel Aref al Qaddumi al Shtewi (let’s just call him Sugar Daddy ok?) already said some nice words about the club and seems to be a lucky charm. He was in the stands for the Juve game which gave us a nice 1-0 win unlike a certain DiBenedetto. Everytime he came to the Olimpico last season we lost points, yeah thanks a lot Thomas.
So basically, AS Roma is becoming a co-ownership of Americans and Arabs. This is some real Nobel Peace Prize sh*t people! And of course, how could I forget this obligatory song. Dating tip number four: if this song starts playing at your local club, don’t dance like a mental retard or any random member of Jersey Shore.
• The Harlem Shake. The new hype after Gangnam ‘riding an invisible horse’ Style, specially in America. I would love to see a version of Roma at Trigoria. Let me explain the ideology behind it: it starts with one person doing a silly dance while the others (try to) keep a straight face and the song reaches its climax. After the climax, everyone goes out of their minds and is dressed like in a concert of Lady Gaga. Needless to say, Osvaldo would be the ideal person to initiate the Harlem Shake because he’s the most hipster of the squad. Then imagine a background of Daniele as Batman, Bradley as Humpty Dumpty, Burdisso as Spiderman, Stek in lederhosen, Taddei as Shrek, Tachtsidis as the Hulk and Piris as an Oompa Loompa. Get it done Steven Spielberg! Or Michael Bay but then it needs to have a lot of explosions and with the new Arab owner in town, people could draw the wrong conclusions…
* Apparently, doubts are being raised about the credibility of the Arab money by Unicredit. To be continued.
Going gay for Genoa
As I previously mentioned, next up is another mid table team: Genoa FC. The team of former Giallorossi Bovo, Bertolacci and sex symbol supreme….. (drum roll)…… Borriello. Always be yourself when you’re on a date… unless you can be Marco Borriello. Then, always be Marco Borriello. Fifth and final dating tip. Thanks for reading, until next week!
“Roma are a symbol for Italy, I really like the team and am passionate about football and the Giallorossi. My passion for Roma certainly pushed me towards making this step.” – Sugar Daddy, 2013