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Spalletti & Meatballs

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lucianospalletti.jpgSweet Dreams:

The Don Luciano had a pretty interesting interview yesterday and talked about everything under the sun. He mentioned Christian Chivu and said it was basically all down to scrilla, Roma can't with his compete demands. In fact, even Barca can't compete with his demands. For those defending Chivu - it's your move. The fact that he's demanding too much dough from Barca is ridiculous. It's reported he's asking €4.5m while they just signed Eric Abidal for €2m per. Is Chivu twice the player that Abidal is? No. Would I rather have Abidal than Chivu? Yes. Though he doesn't have the athleticism, he's a more reliable and better pure defender and he's not as liable to disappear when it matters.

Spalletti also touched on some of the offers, like saying he would take Victor Obinna, Julio Cruz or Ludovic Giuly in a Chivu deal. Obinna? Maybe. The other two? Please no. I'm thinking at this point he'd take anybody. Rosella's incompetency has to be weighing on him. He also implied Mauro Esposito will likely make his way to Rome at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. Luciano also stated that Roma has lost Francesco Tavano and Christian Wilhelmsson. I've been pretty reserved on the latter name, I just want to make sure he's 100% gone before I start popping corks and pouring bubbly all over myself.

One of his main goals is to find options for the wing, so I would take that to mean Esposito is not the only name Roma will be adding to the depth chart. Luciano said he wants Roma to invest the Chivu cash in the attacking line and Espo will require next to no cash, so I guess we can deduce he is after one high-class player. Though he also mentioned they still have Mirko Vucinic and Vincenzo Montella as attack-based players who will contribute. I would be 100% alright with not acquiring a big-name winger if Mirko was given a chance to shine in his more natural setting, instead of sticking him out on the wing. If Luciano would switch it up to a 3-2-3-2 every now and then play to Mirko's strengths it could expose his talents and give Spal more tactical options. The guy is a hugely talented youngster who essentially was just bought for €11m. Let him play, I beg you.

Speaking of that 3-2-3-2, if Roma does acquire a RW/RB like Mesto, Cicinho or Faubert, does anyone have a problem with trying out this setup against weaker teams in the beginning of the season (using Cicinho as a guess):

Doni;
Mexes-Juan-Ferrari;
De Rossi-Barusso/Aquilani;
Cici-Perrotta-Mancini;
Totti-Mirko.

Before everybody jumps all over me for the omission of Pizarro, with a 3 man backline he isn't nearly adequate enough defensively and Barusso would be ideal as an enforcer so De Rossi can push up. Also, if Mirko stays up top, Totti can drop back even a little more that usual to take over playmaking duties. The back line has 3 quality defenders but also has two that can push up on the left. The RW has a guy who can drop back in defensive situations to make it essentially a 4-2-2-2 if need be. Totti has someone to beat the offside trap after he gets possession on the counter attack, with two high-quality wingers flying up for support, as well as Perrotta to join The Roman Clusterfuck. I guess the point is the formation has options without having to go to the bench for a substitution and can change tactically in a second with ease, and it gets one of the most talented players on the team into the lineup. I fully trust Spalletti tactically, but I just have some concerns that a team can set itself up to counter Roma's 4-2-3-1 on any given day. There's an old adage in boxing, "Styles make fights." Which means no matter how good you are, someone with the perfect counter style can defeat you on any given day even though they may have a fraction of your talent. It would be nice to see a few different looks to keep teams guessing the night before.

Chivugate:

Barca's got one foot out the door. Inter is lowballing Roma to nobody's surprise. Real look like they're now leading the race. Papers say Chivu should be out by Monday. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd bullshit.

We good?

The Wholly Uninspired News:

I)Roma wants Kappa. Kappa wants Roma. Legea wants Roma. Roma doesn't want Legea. Legea claims signed contract. Roma claims no signed contract. Scandal ensues.

This club can't even get the damn uniforms without fucking it up.

II) Cross Antonio Chimenti off that prospective keeper list, he's headed to Udine to backup Morgan De Sanctis. Is it me or is Pietro Leonardi trying to stockpile Roma targets just to piss of the Giallorossi? Fab Quags and Chimenti, now they're headed after Giandomenico Mesto.

III)
Back when Roma was trying to formulate a Romanian entourage to convince Chivu to stay, they were linked with Stefan Radu, a defender of some sort. Well, looks like he's headed to Genoa so there's still a spot open for token Romanian defender. Razvan Rat anybody?

Wait, hold up a second. Rat is rumored to be drawing heavy interest from Rangers. Seriously, just go away. Rangers is like the genital herpes of the European mercato. They keep flaring up whenever you least expect it and it keeps you from scoring your prime target, but they lack the punch to take you out. They don't have the completely unnerving effect of syphilis (Inter) or gonorrhea (Man U), and you know you can get rid of it if you really try, but it's still a pesky little bugger. They're about a Cicinho rumor away from a moderately disturbing commercial with a bunch of outdoorsy people who are waaaaaaaaaay too happy to have the herp, and a topical cream. (I'm just assuming that's how it's treated. Martha, wanna contact some of those WAGs and get confirmation?)

IV) It looks like Julien Faubert has become the French Franco Semioli. Another club has come a calling, and Bordeaux's prez has said a deal could be knocked out by the end of the weekend. It's not Rangers, but apparently they're refusing to divulge the identity of the club behind Door 72. A "leak" says it's West Ham United. That fits, they have big bucks now and haven't been afraid to throw it around. Expect some more Faubert to Roma rumors soon, because that's how the mercato works. 2 + 2 = π. Or, U + Me = Calculus.

V)
The main story for the day yesterday on il Romanista's web site was an altogether uninspired interview from Ricardo Faty. One in which he waxed lyrical about not a damn thing, including not knowing anything regarding his status, Faubert, Juan or where Chivu's going. Is it August 26th yet?

VI)
There is a reported pricetag of €10m for Cicinho. I don't buy it for a second. The rumored deal was for €5-6m last fall and he was bought from Sao Paolo for €4.5m. He has certainly done nothing to force his price to go up over the last two years, especially this year after the injury, unless of course there's a premium for anybody who has ever put on the Real Madrid kit. I still think he comes.

* - By the way, you have no idea how long I've been waiting to use that headline. Enjoy that.