What was that. Honestly, one has to feel a little bad for Toronto FC. Not because of the scoreline, but because of the random midweek friendly against a European club looking to use you as target practice. Which they did. Particularly the magical Bosnian wizard, who displayed his extraordinary class and dropped this bombshell on those unknowing: he's good. Damn good. Ooh. The match was done before it began, if Dodo, Nico & Morginho tried to even things out, and we learned little but this club does not have enough depth to eat a lot of injuries and once again, not being in Europe may be for the best. This is indeed a project on a number of levels.
Otherwise, things, largely knowledge, acquired in Canada. Legally.
Like him. Like him a lot.
This is a born fan favorite. He's young, he's immensely talented, and his idea of going in for a tackle in a preseason friendly is to take out the opponent's mother, sister, and any immediate family in the vicinity along with the ball and his general lower half. Instant likability. It also helps that he's incredibly versatile and ambles forward as though having the ball at his feet is the most natural thing in the world. Granted, defending against an MLS side at half-throttle in August is a long way from Serie A, but the boy has immense promise - and he's eighteen months younger than Marquinhos.
Saba's night moves. What can you say? The man knows how to pick up children.
Coco. Coco. Wherefore art thou Coco?
This is the elephant in the room and has been since, oh, Zeman left. Erik Lamela is having an incredibly poor...2013. He scored five goals after ZZ was booted back to wherever he gets his cigs. Parma, Udinese, Sampdoria, Siena, Torino. Woof. If you aren't yet afraid, you should be, as no one would question Erik's talent, but plenty of mortals have exploded to the heights of the gods only to find themselves relegated to humanity when Zeman departs. And it's not the lack of goals, but the lack of impact. He just vanishes. Completely. He needs space to work - you'll notice his instinct is to drop back to get the ball, but that's the role of His Tottiness so long as he breathes - yet does little once he finds it. Tis only preseason, but he's been exceptionally poor - if he's been there at all. Erik doesn't move forward enough or move enough at all - he wants the ball at his feet, not uncommon nor unwise of someone with his supernatural technical skills - to be a center forward. So waiting for Totti to sail off? Well, maybe...
Suddenly Gervinho's theme music turns into the score of Jaws while you're boating in a dingy off Edgartown.
Dodo is not a good footballer. He is a talented footballer. When it comes to executing the demands of the sport, he's terrible. No. He's Jonathan Ross 'tewwuble'. He doesn't belong anywhere near the leftback position of Roma at current, but either further up the pitch where he can dump passes to the opposition at his fucking delight or on loan at the Sambenedettese's Reserves' Reserves. The amount of faith shown in him as a leftback one year on is alarming.
Morgan De Sanctis. Look, you wanted an Italian goalkeeper? Well you didn't get one - you got a keeper with an Italian passport. There's a difference. This is Morgan De Sanctis. He's a ginger Doni. Enjoy.
For someone who didn't quite have a step to begin with, Nico's somehow lost two. It's painful. And a clear indication Saba might not be done shuffling around the defense in the month of August.
Differentiate between that performance and Pablo's. Go ahead. Largely invisible, one excellent goal. The difference, I gather, would be miles logged.
There is a sort of irrational love for Borriello around these parts, all of which is rooted in a hint of rationality. Sans apology, we're fans. Big fans. He's a technically gifted, strong, hard-working, team-centric consummate professional who has a hint of ridiculousness about him. He's old school. He's Fabio Simplicio without the looks and impending sainthood, as decreed by us. The problem, and it's not a small one, is to be successful, the entire offense almost needs flow exclusively through him in the box or he needs be a body in a scrum (stop it). He is not fast, he's not overly technical with the ball at his feet, and he's not got the sort of unplayable nature and instinct of a Bobo Vieri. He's a throwback in these increasingly modernizing and progressive times; exponentially anachronistic by the year. And let's be honest: fans love a throwback. Bradley's close, Riise was one, and the less said about Simone Perrotta the better for my still bleeding heart. Borriello was born in the wrong time, is all.
Oh, and there is that ridiculousness factor. He's ridiculous. He's all the right kinds of ridiculousness. Absurd hair? Check. Absurd clothing, including this new fashion inclusion of the drop-crotch v-neck? Check. He also happens to be, or so the ladies tell me, a bit of a handsome feller, which provides us all with the Holy Grail: Marco Borriello's social life.
Honestly. And this is the new one, the reason for his choosing of the number 88 because it symbolizes the birthday of someone close to him. By January, he might just run through the entire runway of models from Versace Spring 2014. Just because he can.
If it weren't for his boffo contract - kisses, Silvio - and Mattia's injury, the whole striker mess would likely be a non-issue. They'd be moving the terrible infant (Pablo to everyone else) to whichever team outside Italy would pay for him and roll the dice with someone who can rotate in for the boy who needs to be stamped at the top of the formation for some months without being so good he demands the playing time. He's the perfect piece for a club which is looking up at the CL and can't afford players in the first or second tiers while still holding one of the most gifted young strikers in the land who needs his pitch time. The Gilardino swap is a smart one, and a lateral move in all ways but financial. That financial aspect is, however, a rather important one. Time will tell, but as rumors of a big splash for a Diego Costa or an Abel Hernandez circle, everyone should want Marco back in Rome for one more year. There are worse bodies to have.
Friendlies Are Boring
They're awful, especially when it's the C+ team. It's like going to a bar with two female friends and getting stuck talking to the less desirable one while the pretty one just started seeing some guy, likely Marco Borriello, and it may or may not be serious. So we spent far too much time discussing recipes named after Roma players while the match was taking place. Some of the highlights.
Bradley's Bran Muffis
Gervinho's Open Faced Sandwich
Daniele De Delicious
Francesco Totti's Frittottis.
Pablo Osvaldo's Sympathy for the Deviled Eggs
Gervinho's Forehead Fillet O'Flounder
CdT cookbook will be in stores by the holidays.
Is it September yet?