One more remains before Disappointment Imminent, more commonly known as any fixture against Livorno. That match is today against Ternana, which sort of lingers on the tongue and then inevitable things happen. Nanana. Anyway, this should be more than the fitness runout as the North American tour largely was. There will be a debut - shush - while a number of spots may be up for grabs, not least because the mercato has ramped up with all sorts of bids being flung Roma's way. Pablo Osvaldo could start or he could be a Tottenham player. Ditto for Erik Lamela and Miralem Pjanic. Someone sell them Pablo then stuff Franco Baldini in a closet somewhere so he can no longer pillage his former pupils.
The match should steer away from a noncompetitive territory as Ternana's a decent Serie B club (10th last year), but it should be won handily. This is the portion where you root for them to lose so they have a prayer against Livorno in a week's time, because that's how Roma works. Don't ask for logic - just accept it.
Balzaretti, Benatia, Borriello, Bradley, Burdisso, Castan, Dodò, De Rossi, De Sanctis, Florenzi, Gervinho, Jedvaj, Lamela, Maicon, Marquinho, Osvaldo, Pjanic, Romagnoli, Skorupski, Strootman, Taddei, Tallo, Torosidis, Totti.
Good Balza v Bad Balza
For some reason, the Federico Balzaretti Roma thought it had purchased showed up for the first few weeks of preseason. Then the Federico Balzaretti Roma actually got last year made his unwelcome return. It doesn't quite matter if Ternana is in Serie B, Serie D-minus or Serie SuperChampionsLeagueoftheGalaxy. The Balzaretti we saw last season couldn't hit a teammate with a cross with several miles of open green in front of him and defenders being held back by riot popo. They desperately need July Balza to return for like, umm, three years. Minimum.
Marco Borriello v Pablo Osvaldo v Southampton v Tottenham v What The Hell Is Going On
Both Roma and Pablo have reportedly said yes to Tottenham. Okay. Ridding Roma of Borriello's contract is probably still somewhere on the agenda. Both will likely play, with Borriello the rumored starter, and neither may feature for Roma past September 2nd. No one has any idea what's going on. Not that Ternana should change anything. It's just nice to know some things never change.
Rudi Doesn't Love Leandro
The central defender rumors won't go away and every day someone somewhere says Leandro Castan simply hasn't convinced Rudi. This is where you hope a 17yo Croatian ax murderer/wonderchild earns a start and becomes the Eastern European Hos.
So a curious little news nugget popped up today. It might be true or it might not. If true, it likely has implications for Roma's future: Tottenham is ready to quadruple Lamela's contract. 4x. Four. That's a lot. This means to approach the Lamela situation strictly from a financial position, Roma is going to have to offer Erik a substantially better contract to keep his agent - if not Erik himself - happy. (There is a grand difference between moving for a slight bump and setting yourself up for life with a 5-6y contract. One injury...) They're probably going to have to give him a new contract, frankly, and while they may not have to offer Spurs numbers, it will be a significant raise. Of course he deserves it, but now you're not just looking at netting the 35m (euros?) from his sale plus whatever savings on his current contract. Now you're looking at the savings on the contract renewal he needs. That could easily push the savings to 50m. (Go ahead and factor in the same for Marquinhos.)
Roma's not turning that down. Not this Roma. So, there's a plausible chance you'll be watching Erik's last match.
It's about time for him to start, yes?
They've lost it.