Roma started off the week on a sour note, with the announcement that Daniele De Rossi, thanks to the all seeing eye of television, is suspended for the next three weeks due to his clandestine clocking of Mauro Icardi. Losing DDR is seldom a good thing, especially not when you've got a six pointer against Napoli on deck.
So, let's take a quick look at what was buzzing in the Roma hive on the first Monday of March.
No surprise on this one. As surreptitous as it may have been, Daniele De Rossi's jab to the jaw of Mauro Icardi still earned Danielino a three game suspension. Despite it escaping the keen eyes of Mauro Bergonzi in real time, league officials took a look at the replay--which, suspension notwithstanding, was awesome--and summarily slapped Danielino with three match spell in the stands.
Now, the tail end of that banishment, home against Udinese and away to Chievo, are manageable, but Sunday's away fixture in Napoli? Oof, that one could hurt, particularly with fatigue and the accumulation of cards being an issue for so many other of Roma's key players.
But, part of what makes De Rossi De Rossi is that intensity, and sometimes, in the most heated of matches, his unbridled enthusiasm gets the best of him.
Beyond the TV cameras, De Rossi's antics did not escape the gaze of...
The code of ethics is our regulation. From the first day of the season, if I have seen something that I deem inappropriate, I will not call up that player. With De Rossi, I saw it on television and decided. The lad has accepted the decision. I don’t want any crazy things happening in Brazil, so this is a warning.
I told the players I watch the games and I do not have to wait for the sporting judge, if I notice a gesture that I think is not in line, the player who committed it is out of the national team...I called up De Rossi when he was not employed in Roma, but I do not want reckless gestures at the World Cup
Prandelli's words hint at both De Rossi's value to the national side and his place within it. As important as he might be to Prandelli's paradigm--earning caps during the down days of 2012-2013--he is not above reproach. Italy has always had some hot heads, so we'll see how hard and firm Prandelli holds the line if this happens a year from now. Though, given what he's said about his admiration for the Azzurri, its hard to imagine De Rossi jeoparidizing a shot at Brazil next summer.
Speaking of Romans in Brazil...
Don't go busting out your Azzurri #10's yet, Francesco Totti has pretty much put the nail in the coffin about a possible return to La Nazionale, but he does pip his Roman teammates for this summer
I don’t think I’ll go to the World Cup, by choice and because I believe that Prandelli has already picked the squad. I do not judge anyone, I respect them all. De Rossi, and perhaps Florenzi will go, we’ll see
Of course, for those dreamers among you, there are miles of space to explore in the phrase "we'll see." And, by Chiesa edict, any mention of Totti and a return to the Azzurri obligates me to mention the discussion we had on this very topic last year.
2.5 - @OfficialASRoma have scored 2.5 goals per game with Franceso Totti playing in this Serie A, and only 1.1 without him. Influence.— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) March 3, 2014
Opta tells us all what we've grown to know, No Totti, No Party. But the Totti and Non-Totti scoring disparity is pretty bleak, huh? Suffice it to say, Roma needs him back sooner rather than later.
I know time is short, but I have a dream and I want to realise it. I want to win the Champions League
With a Scudetto, Coppa Italia and, of course, The World Cup under his belt, not to mention being Serie A's modern scoring leader, there is still one glaring omission on Totti's resume, a Champions League title.
Now that qualification is looking more plausible with each passing week, the only question remains, how will Roma arm Totti for a run at Europe's greatest honor? At 38-years-old next season, Totti cannot be the lone plough horse, he needs help and, as we saw above, Roma's offense suffers greatly in his absence.
This one is in ye old Italiano, but it's nothing we haven't discussed for months now, the presumed poaching of Miralem Pjanic at the well moneyed and well oiled hands of PSG. The fires were further stoked by the sight of Pjanic and Mehdi Benatia taking in a PSG match recently. But, who knows, perhaps they're just big Ibra fans.
Pjanic, of course, is under contract through 2015, so they don't necessarily have to sell him this summer, but with each passing month, the question looms large: extend or sell?
Well, that's it for Monday's mayhem, I hope your week is off to a better start than De Rossi's. But, then again, he's a professional athlete...so, probably not, huh?