Just before the derby, Francesco, the man whom I dedicate my weekly post to and shares the same name as my cat (no joke although she’s a female), put pen to paper and accepted a contract until 2016. FYI, he’ll be 40 by then. It seems age can be beaten. And Lazio as well.
The derby came round really fast didn’t it? It felt only yesterday since… Well, THAT particular game. Derbies usually are being played twice a year but this is already the third Roma-Lazio in the space of five months.
I reckon most of us didn’t even dare to dream of this scenario in Summer. Four wins on the trot, three clean sheets, one mere goal conceded, 1st place with a +9 goal difference (one more than the Partenopei), a coach who says and does all the right things… On top of my head, I can’t recall such a brilliant start from Roma in my eleven years as tifoso. We are witnessing something truly special here and the fairytale is far from over. True, we still have to face all of Juve, Napoli and Inter but with this confidence and groove around Roma, are you banking on a loss or draw? Hell no. I feel like a broken record but I want to stress the confidence, the shrewdness this squad oozes. And the occasional lucky bit (or licky butt, obvious pun intended) during a game. In Rudi I believe. He truly is one of us now. Grazie mister, keep up the good work.
Small intermezzo: If anyone missed Bradley during Lazio, please raise your hands. Ok, let’s proceed.
Of course, I now HAVE to play the devil’s advocate here, I must. You can crucify me, mix my balls in a spaghetti bolognese or humantorch me at the Piazza del Popolo later on.
The longer this streak goes on, the closer the first draw/loss gets. Face it. Roma is not going to win 38 games this season, heck they might barely reach 20. Against which squad is anyone’s guess (Inter in two weeks seems a serious party pooper). And call me a sadist but I’ll be curious how the team and especially Rudi will handle those situations When all is not sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. How will they respond? In a proper fashionable Borriello on the catwalk-way without bloodshed? Or will it end like a drunk Adriano dribble on a frozen field against Thiago Silva?
Assigning an Awkward Award
The Tears for Fears award: Balzaretti. Apart from the tears-factor, they do have something else in common. They are both very decent in their department but sadly no worldbeaters. They will never be
One Direction Queen or Antunes Roberto Carlos but they get the job done.
Maybe even more than May 26, Roma-Samp still haunts my dreams. A possible Coppa and derby win still mean nothing compared to the S-word in 2010. Pazzini. Mexes. Ranieri. Ibra. Mourinho. The year could have ended as the biggest fairytale in Roma’s history, maybe even Serie A as a whole. From a stuttering start under Spalletti to our very own Roman Renaissance under Ranieri. Some things are bound to wander in one’s head until infinity and cannot be erased like a midway scene of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Jim Carrey.
And just like Lazio, the spots are on the same man once again. Can he repeat this trick? Bank on Rudi and his team these days, they are a safe bet.
Ps: This was my 69nd Totti Tuesday since I became an editor at Offside/Church. Thought this might make one you guys giggle and squirm like a teenage girl after a first date at the cinema. I apologize for the small contribution this week since I had a busy schedule. However, fear not my brothren because Roma has a midweek game coming up in 20-28 hours, depending on the timezone you live in of course. All timezones lead to Rome.
“Criticism is part of the sport and my strength is that I keep working the way I always have done. I know the club has faith in me and my teammates care for me. I can assure you that when I play badly, I feel absolutely terrible. I try to take responsibility and keep working.” - Federico Balzaretti, 2013