News & Notes: Would You Make Europe One Of These Years Please I'm Bored.

Tullio M. Puglia

Don't read this. Seriously - don't.

So basically, we're at the annual end of the year for Roma over the last three years: no set coach, no set philosophy, no chance to truly speculate on new players, and waiting for the weekends as there's a 50/50 chance of making Europe remaining. At least she's consistent. But this makes the spring one of the most frustratingly impotent times of year, because there's nothing left to play for, really - Europa League...meh - and the squad needs a leader before forming an identity.

Of course we have to actually think about these things because there's nothing else going on. No midweek matches is lame. So make Europe one of these years, mmkay?

This year's rumors are particularly lacking because Milan may or may not fire Max Allegri, and I'd lean heavily towards the latter at the moment (you want this), and the other top choice, Walter Mazzarri, may or may not renew his contract. Oh, and there's the sneaking suspicion Roberto Mancini's agent has been in touch - don't forget about that. (You can't forget about it, but you can attempt to repress it.)


We used to complain about Rosella & Co. never having money, but things were a lot more interesting when we could at least dream to co-ownership of Fabio Quagliarella's left testicle. Maybe Biggie was right.

There are some rumors, however, so get interested. (No. Don't. Really - there's nothing to see here.)

* - It should be noted that Marquinhos is out against Siena, too. But it seems as though he's starting to feel the weight of his first full professional season and tiring. Who knows - this could be a blessing...I say as Roma ships six.

Stefano Pioli

Yes, he's on the list of names. Yes, he's sort of a middle-of-the-pack selection as far as coaches go, especially considering he's just re-upped his deal. Obviously, Bologna locked in the demand for ample compensation should he want to take another gig. That compensation is being speculated upon as this: the full rights to Gianluca Curci and one of Panadiotis Tachtsidis, Nico Lopez or Vasilis Torosidis. (Of course that's what Roma will want to offer. Bologna will want James P. to make it rain nothing but currency.)

None of this is likely to be true. When things are due to be legitimately slow, the newspapers have to fill space with something. But what is interesting is one name on that list: Torosidis. Curci, as we know, is past his Roma days, while the other two are very young and likely co-ownership chips, both needing to play elsewhere next season. Those are automatic options. But whether or not the rumor is true, it would seem the opinions on Torosidis aren't quite as high as some seem to think - or at least they're cooling rapidly. He has the attributes to please the fans - huge engine, lots of pace, the odd spectacular goal - but he's been exposed and torn to shreds the last weeks. Not exactly a surprise, either. Thus his stay in Rome may be very temporary, though he does offer tremendous versatility. Another name to watch as we await the Annual AS Roma Summer Exodus.

Zampa (The Crazy One) (The Sicilian One)

The man has his faults. Well, the man's faulty. But often enough you can trust his word because he has no filter and the conversation he says he just had is probably the conversation he just had. His mouth works faster than his brain. You can trust those people. You should stay away from them, but you can at least listen to them.

Zampa says Sabatini told him, in conversation, he'd be back to discuss some players at the end of the season, nabbing some old proteges. Because Simon Kjaer worked out so damn well. Three names immediately come to mind:

Josip Ilicic. There were rumors at one point Roma had already inked him. I like him. He's not the type of player I'd like to see Roma going after, which is mildly surprising as I love tall midfielders with an eye for the progressive (Pastore at Palermo was dreamy), but he's nice enough. (Basically, anyone also linked to Liverpool is on a no-no list.)

Ezequiel Munoz. Roma needs some defensive depth, so sure, why not.

Abel Hernandez. His name was linked to Roma almost daily at one point, but those rumors have sort of cooled over the last year-plus. Considering the mess with Osvaldo and his frequent flier miles, this might be revisited.

What is interesting is both Abel and Ilicic have had their character questioned by Zampa, which is often the case with clubs which appear to be too good to go down - star players, or all players, lacking mentally, not technically. (Parma a few years ago is a perfect example.) That's an immediate red flag. Though so was Osvaldo, so what the hell does it matter.

All three could be purchased independent of a coach, most likely. Food for thought.

Maarten

Fulham still wants him. We still want Fulham to want him. We want him to want Fulham. Then everyone will be happy and Roma can sign Kenneth Vermeer just to piss him off.

This should be considered written in pencil. Lightly.

Barcelona

Stay away from Marquinhos. Stay.

At roughly the third goal Marquinhos' agent put a down payment on his own island. They sort of need a world class defender to replace Puyol and sooner rather than later, considering the magnitude of the punch they took, and as far as phenom central defenders go, Marquinhos is right at the top of the list. Expect a summer of Roma attempting to rebuff a Catalan onslaught.

But they can have him for Iniesta. Sweet lord is he silky.

Fourth Derby

It's like Fourth Meal, but with only a 50% chance of hating yourself after, as opposed to 100%. In this case, the "derby" is the battle between Roma & Lazio for Marcos Rojo of Sporting Lisbon. Hybrid LB/CB.

I can't recall the last time I said this about a YouTuber of a defender: Roma could use what he's got.

God I miss Max Tonetto.

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