Kid Erik: The Early Years

Tullio M. Puglia

This was passed along from someone...somewhere. That is how things are done, generally. (Twas Twitter.) It's a clip with some footage I saw some years back, long before Erik Lamela was even a whisper on Roma's radar, and long before one could dream to dream of Erik Lamela joining Roma. This was back in the days when Barcelona was still banging down his door in the hopes that the next Messi would follow the old Messi to Spain and become the other Messi. That didn't happen. Old Papa Sabatini happened. Yay.

Anyway, they took some of the footage and updated it for the show now that he's relevant on the global scene and one of the best players in the world under 21. (No biggie, that.)

This isn't some expose on Erik - really, I just got back from running and I can't feel my legs and I think I might be delirious so I'm talking - but it is worth noting this: we have every reason to believe Erik got Zeman fired. The most marked drop off between pre-Christmas 2012 and the first month of 2013 was the play of Lamela. There was a line at the time that there needed to be a milk carton for the milk carton which had Erik's face on the side of it, and it worked. That alone could've cost ZZ his gig. Not that Erik was at fault - come on, he's like 14 and 3 weeks - but rather the absence of his goals exposed a critically flawed side; one he was holding together with his production in the fall and early winter. Take off the band-aid and the wound suddenly shows.

It's to be expected, of course - the incosistency. He's so young, yet so gifted, and he seems more likely to stay in Rome than, say, Miralem Pjanic. And if his early hair is any indication, his life decisions are showing incredible progress as well. Plus I really enjoyed his father in No Country For Old Men.

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