Even though the mercato ends at the stroke of midnight on August 31st, it doesn't take Tesla to realize that it would be preferable to have the roster largely finished before the team begins camp. Well, the team begins their assault on Serie A at Trigoria in one week and it's less than two weeks before the first litmus test of the season, the friendly against Borussia Dortmund at the Westfallenstadion (and they're already getting a head start). It doesn't always work out ideally, last year's two "major purchases," Mirko Vucinic and David Pizarro, both came well into August - even the rumors had been around. It doesn't mean this week is a make-it or break-it type deal, but I'm sure Luciano would prefer to have his players get as much preseason tutelage in his system as humanly possible. Of course, maybe this is just wishful thinking from me because I'm sick of hearing about Christian Chivu's selfishness, Francesco Modesto's Roma desires but no deal and the fact that Sampdoria can't afford Vincenzo Montella's contract. So, for my sake as well as the team's, let's hope there is significant action in the mercato this week. As far as this week goes, I doubt much of anything at all will happen because that's how this mercato has gone. Every time a deal is "imminent" a scathing denial is released by Roma or others. That same one you gave to your college roommate one morning after he saw you the night before with that girl he'd had a crush on since orientation day freshman year. You know, the denial that could've convinced a hung jury at The Hague until she came rolling out of your room with your shirt on. Oops. (For the record, I never really liked him)
As far as what Roma has left to do, it's pretty simple. They need a backup left back, which Modesto should provide if Roma and Reggina can come to an agreement on price. Doubtful. Either way, they'd better get their ass in gear soon because Pietro Leonardi is still stalking him like broke papparazzi. Spalletti wants to use one of the kids as the 4th central defender, which should work fine unless one of the top 3 goes down. Maybe Gianluca Freddi or Fabrizio Grillo are ready? Then there's the wing. Spal wants at least one more winger, and I would not be surprised to see a striker/winger brought in on the cheap as well - to provide cover in case of injuries (esp with Mauro Esposito) and the eventual sale of Montella. Victor Obinna could obviously work here but he is questionable for a variety of factors including EU eligibility. I still believe there's one high-quality guy in there, and the recent rumors involving Alessandro Rosina give creed to this theory, but who knows. Maybe I'm just a little too optimistic. But, in my defense, I did grow up in Boston during the Jose Offerman era. You could give me shit on a plate and I'd think it was filet mignon. (I'm assuming at some point science will catch up with the times and a psychological disorder will be borne from that era, maybe Dan Duquetteitis? Characterized by lower than normal expectations, frequent blackouts, cold night sweats, anger management issues and genital herpes - or maybe that last one was just me)
Other Mildly Enthusing Stuff:
I) Remember when Christian Wilhelmsson said he would NOT consider any other teams until all negotiations with Roma were completely exhausted and there was no hope for a deal? Bhooya! I know there have been many other reports regarding other clubs, but this is the first direct quote from Chippen referencing another club that I know of.
You may (or may not) be wondering why I haven't sent out a post filled with fireworks and champagne regarding Chippen's departure. Well, I'm not saying a damn word until Roma's foremost achiever of crappy wing play signs a contract elsewhere, confirmed by Nantes. And I've had a celebratory post ready since the week the season ended. Be forewarned.
* - My most sincere apologies to any one who caught on to what happened in that first paragraph, but I couldn't restrain myself. Help me.
II) Now that training camp is approaching, I thought I'd hand over this nice little photo album of what the facility looks like. Especially for the ladies, who now actually have a concrete mental image of the setting for their locker room fantasies. Enjoy that mental image of Donieber's backside. I know I will.
III) On a slightly related and much more disturbing note, I posted a video a few weeks ago when Totti officially won the ESM Golden Boot. Well, now every time I hear that damn song "You're Beautiful" I start thinking about Totti. I'm not sure whether to be creeped out by myself or just smile and move on. Either way, it makes me strangely uncomfortable in many many ways (even though he is a very handsome man). Just thought you should know the sacrifices I make for you.
* - This post has taken a slightly homoerotic turn. So, to steer this in a more heterosexual direction, here's a gratuitous pic of a Russian model (and you wonder why I love the Former Soviet Bloc). Mostly to make me feel better about myself. Moving on.
IV) More of my Swedish hopes have been dashed, this time by Johan Elmander, who had this to say:
"Some time in the future I would like to try playing in Spain or England. But now, it has to be a step forwards. It must be a club which is better than Toulouse."
Earlier in the article, it was mentioned these clubs have had interest: Tottenham, Lyon, PSG, Juventus and Roma.
I'm all for thinking your club's the best, but either his agent hasn't exactly keeping him informed or he just has no clue whatsoever. Either way, cross him off the wishlists. I need to find a Swede for Roma. I would start up the Kim Kallstrom to Roma rumors but he's just not fast enough at all for Spalletti's attacking desires. Ola Toivonen, anyone? Wait - future hair tournament top 5 seed? Get it done, Spalletti. Get it done.
V) Here's the low-down on the Ludovic Giuly situation from Linda, who's got all things Barca (and La Liga) on lock:
"The reason Giuly’s ‘turned down’ all those clubs isn’t that he really wants to stay. He’s trying to force a free transfer, since Barca told him he was surplus to requirements a while ago and have been flogging him at 5 million euros, but if he goes for free he’d get a higher salary. That’s the dispute."
Hopefully Spalletti smells Chivu-like agent intervention all over that and wants absolutely nothing to do with him. Come on, you have a contract - honor it like a man. I knew I didn't like him for a reason. Anyway, I'm not sure I could handle watching he and David Pizarro together on the same pitch without a continuous loop of the 'Oompa Loompa' song playing in my head, eventually driving me to an asylum. (I'm not kidding, just picture those two at Willy Wonka's factory bobbing up and down singing that little ditty. Am I right or am I right?)
That whole forcing a free transfer frightens me though, because that has Rosella written all over it. Be strong, Barca. Be strong.
VI) It seems Roma has some interest ManU's American phenom, Giuseppe Rossi. On the pitch, I imagine he would fit well into the Spalletti system. However, I'm wary of of a deal because I don't trust anything coming out of New Jersey - and he won't come cheap with Parma and Milan after him also. No thanks, he should be at Parma anyway.
VII) It was inevitable. Roma is back after Ciprian Marica, and apparently they're thinking of him as a winger. He certainly isn't the ideal winger like an Arjen Robben, but he should be more adaptable to the position than Mirko Vucinic. Maybe his price has dropped and Roma really feels like he's going to be a stellar player? I'm all for it, provided his agent isn't one or both of the Becali brothers, which is very possible. That token Romanian slot is still open, because Adrian Pit (Pronounced 'Piz') will be headed out on loan next year.
It's simple: No Becali? Yes. Becali? No. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him at Trigoria this summer.
* - The GHD is coming up right after this.