A Season's End Roman Three

Gabriele Maltinti

The end of the season has arrived and as is always the case, lists are popping up left, right, and wherever Marquinho hits it. Nice. Lovely. You fill those column inches. This year, you could say a club which aspired to Champions League football - rightly or wrongly - and finished only in a spot in the Cup of Your @#$%ing Dreams, would be no candidate for any inclusions. Yet there were. More than one would expect, really.

On the Serie A lists there was often a name. A Roma name. From time to time, he was at the very top of that list. In fact, he seemed damn near a universal selection. So I wanted to try a little experiment: I had the other guys email a list of their top three players of the year for Roma so that choices wouldn't be influenced. Very specifically, I wanted to see where this name fell.

This is what happened:

dhaw:

1. Marquinhos

2. Florenzi

3. Totti

bren:

1. Totti

2. Lamela

3. Marquinhos

jonas:

1. Totti

2. Marquinhos

3. Florenzi

chris:

1. Totti

2. Marquinhos

3. Florenzi

(I did predictions beforehand as well. Hit Bren's perfectly, got Dhaw's selections correct but order wrong, and completely screwed the pooch on Jonas. Belgians, man. They'll mess you up every time.)

The name on all of those lists, of course, was Erik Lamela. There's no criticism for placing him on any of those lists - he's young, he scored 15 goals, and often did so decisively. His goals carried Zeman's side in the latter stages of 2012, and in a lot of respects, served to paper over the trenches in this side. When he began to fizzle in January, team results paralleled and an unavoidable link was exposed. So perhaps one could argue that he is indeed so important that he should be atop the list. But his propensity to go missing, to offer nothing but a vacant space on the team sheet - and he's 21, mind, so absolutely no one is complaining; he's still a phenomenon - stands out as equal to his brilliance.

Or perhaps not. Everyone assigns value differently, and there's nothing wrong with shiny things.

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