Was it arrogance? Self-satisfaction? Lady Luck cheating on us with the kid around the block? The revenge of the Easter Bunny? Who knows. But after Palermo, AA’s sixth game in charge, we now know one thing for certain: honeymoon’s over for him and Roma. It’s time for some relationship therapy, for the sake of the children (‘Hos, Florenzi, Romagnoli, Lamela, Destro etc).
Player Protection in Palermo
The Giallorossi probably played their worst game under Andreazzoli and this at the worst possible moment, right before the derby and smack in the middle of European hunt. Then again, timing never was Roma’s strongest point. F*cking shit up and baffling me week in, week out is.
The formation pregame: not important. What struck me was the bench, which was quite frankly almost as strong as our first team: Pjanic, Balza, Torosidis, Osvaldo, Bradley, Destro… Piris as part of a three-men-defence still keeps sending shivers down my spine (first Palermo goal proves me right) while Perrotta and Florenzi both started in an advanced role despite a lot of other options on the bench like Pjanic. Roma started without a striker and on top of that, Lamela played wide in midfield, on Torosidis’ place. Some really underrate the importance of a guy like Torosidis on the team. He runs, he crosses, he covers for Piris and so much more. Lamela can’t take his role. Lamela obviously is the more technical wizard but 11 wizards don’t guarantee a win. You also need waterboys like Perrotta, Torosidis and Bradley to cover the holes on the field and annoy the opponent.
Maybe AA already had his mind set on next weekend, you know, when we face L-word. No, not those lesbian series although they would be a welcome change nowadays (hey, we DO need more women in the stadium right?). If that was the case, then this was a dreadful tactic display from Aurelio. The L-word is special but right now, we should treat every game like it’s a Coppa final. Dare I say this game was lost even before the actual kick-off?
Roma failed to score for the first time since Catania, January 13. Against the bottom team of the league.That alone was something which concerned me. Losing against the worst side in Serie A is something a fan does not skip easily. Roma simply was the lesser side on Saturday. They sorely missed a killer in the box, Osvaldo created some minor attacking threat in the second half but it’s clear Spalletti’s days are long gone. Either Osvaldo or Destro have to be there, a tridente of Totti-Perrotta-Florenzi is insufficient. Especially if Lamela is once again, playing outside his comfort zone and Marquinho on the left is turning into Balzaretti 2.0. I miss good ‘ol Riise.
Surprisingly, in a postgame interview, Andreazzoli has come out and said 3rd spot was never a goal for this team. Even though 90% of his players didn’t agree in past interviews. Look, I appreciate Aurelio’s protectiveness for his players but it’s time for both him and the team to really set a clear objective and concentrate on the frikkin’ job to succeed. Even if that objective is Serie A survivial, I don’t care. Get your heads in one direction, don’t set your bars ridiculously high and don’t give contradictory interviews. Or you know, maybe we are all too harsh and the kids were just too distract because of all the Easter candy.
So where does it take us? Champions League is now at minus ten points. Third goes to a resurgent Milan side who don’t have any European or Coppa games to focus on so they’ll probably cling on to that last CL ticket. The first Europa League place is three points away and curiously, we face the team at fifth next weekend. Reaching CL is (was) nothing short of a miracle but teams who lose at Palermo rarely make it into the Prom Queen of football competitions. Thank God for that because we would only get our asses whipped like sour cream or a horny blond mistress of Berlusconi on a hot summer night.
Ow and Roma’s the only team in the world that desperately misses a 18-year-old key player in defence. Go figure that one out.
The Da Vinci Code award: Lobont. No one can decipher his situation, not even Stephen Hawking or Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. Bogdan’s the person whom I empathize the most in this world. After watching both Stek and Mauro displays this season, why hasn’t he played a single minute yet? Mindbreaking stuff.
The Miracle on Bologna Street award: Curci. After the resurrection of Jebus, Curci followed in the Holy Man’s footsteps and gave us a second miracle in the space of two days. For stopping a penalty in the match Udinese-Bologna. High and low and ever since 1965, I have been asking for a Roman keeper who can actually stop a f-§$@%-ing penalty. Now Gianluca, who mind you is still on loan, finally delivers the goods. Give that man a big fat contract until 2020... Only to condemn him and his paycheck in October 2013. Roman way of life.
• Totti recently celebrated twenty years in Serie A, his debut came on March 28 against Brescia. Boy and I thought time flies with my Totti Tuesday. Buffon had some nice words too: “Francesco Totti, you seem to go back in time instead of ageing.” Seems like somebody stole Marty McFly’s DeLorean. Can Francesco please bring back a young Batigol, Tommasi and Panucci while he’s at it? Imagine a young Panucci being coached by the current Panucci… Panuccinception! And probably the beginning of World War III.
• Osvaldo misses the derby due to suspension (Piris as well). Best damn thing of my weekend, apart from the 82.210 chocolate eggs and Jennifer Lawrence dressed in a tempting bunny outfit that I found in my garden (I have a very big one). Bring on the Destro-yer!
Can I say it? Can I? Lazio. There. I said it. The biggest game of the season became even bigger. This time, no need for witty remarks or dwelling on the past. Just 90 minutes of sheer emotion and a battle so furious even the cast of Expendables (1 & 2) goes crying in a corner, joined by Svedkauskas asking for a pacifier and a handful of playing minutes.
Reminder: the derby’s on Monday and not in the weekend so my next Totti Tuesday will feel fresh and brand new compared to a Saturday game. So expect a lot of cursing, shouting and insulting in that one (duh). I wish Zeman was still here to hold my pillow. Thanks for reading, ciao!
“Totti has the technique of a South American and deserved to win a few more trophies with his Roma team. In fact, he also deserved to win the Ballon d’Or. He is an extraordinary player and would’ve done great things with my Roma side in 1982-83.” – Roberto Falcao, 2013.