Alright, I'm kinda here, kinda not. Apparently some stuff went down while I was elsewhere, and far too much to wrap my head around in detail, so we're going with the Cliffs Notes version for now. For anyone who doesn't know the deal with Cliffs Notes it's one of those abridged texts with summaries and analysis so that you don't have to read crappy books in HS/college. And if you don't know what Cliffs Notes are and you had access to them, I'm not sure I want to talk to you anyway, overachiever (For the record, I read two books in high school: Catcher in the Rye and Fathers & Sons. The rest were all done by Cliffs and/or Spark Notes. Needless to say my parents probably wouldn't be thrilled with this after putting up 5 figures per year on what could've been free, but whatever. I turned out somewhat educated).
Guess what? Nothing happened. Vitorino Antunes was the last buy of the silly season, and will have to do until January unless something strange happens. There was a minor scandal with Erjon Bogdani, who reportedly nixed a deal sending him to Rome to join up the cast of characters in Tuscany bleeding goals like a hemophiliac in a slasher film. Good call on that. Enjoy being relegated and then waiting for August 31st to roll around again before being moved to another relegation contender, you fuckhead. Not that I wanted him or anything. Just kinda like, "Hey! You weren't supposed to dump me. I'm supposed to dump you. I so dumped you last week and if anybody asks that's what I'm telling them. And if I hear you say otherwise I'm telling the whole school you still have Care Bear bedsheets."
* - Not that there's anything wrong with Care Bear sheets.
Champions League Draw:
Ugh. This may have been a bit selfish, but for personal reasons the last team I wanted to see in the draw was Manchester United. In what has been an obvious conspiracy by the cosmos to just fuck with my life in every way, shape and form over the last week, Roma has drawn - who else - ManYoo. Well guess what: I'm pretending it's not happening. Just like I pretend The Disaster at Old Trafford never happened, which is for the benefit of my health and that of those around me. At half-time I went for a run to destressify and vent a little. About 20 minutes later I was punching stuff that is definitely on the "Don't Punch This Shit" list. Afterwards I boycotted all football news for a week or two and I may have been sent to a treatment clinic in the Azores or something, I'm not really sure. Back to this year, I might acknowledge the game beforehand, but I'm probably going to quarantine myself to avoid the internet because we all know every single major media outlet will bring up last spring's horrid game. This year is much different and the squad is much improved, but I prefer not to revisit bad places.
As for the rest of the draw, I like it. It's quite obvious Roma should advance, and will be greatly aided by the loss of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo's impending trial for hiring underaged male prostitutes to his mansion somewhere outside of Manchester. Atta boy. His former club Sporting isn't going to lay over, and they have their wonderyoungadult in Joao Moutinho, but Roma should dominate thoroughly. Same can be said for Dynamo Kiev, the lesser of the Ukrainian evils (1a. Chernobyl 1b. Sheva 2. Shakhtar Donetsk). Neither is going to be the passed out freshman at the frat party with "I like little boys" written all over his face in permanent marker, but they'll be the sophomore marketing major standing in the corner whose idea of game is getting really drunk and saying "You're pretty, can I kiss you?" all night. We'll call this The Joe Namath (insert drum roll......now).
Anywho, Roma should take at least (I strongly emphasize at least) 8 points in the four games against Kievski and Sporting. ManYoo will be a different story, but I do think they can at least win one game, because this year's squad is a far cry from last year's (for both teams) and Roma also doesn't have Chivu acting like a sieve in front of goal - sorry, I had to. Prediction: Tie for 1st place with ManYoo and winning on goal differential after a hat trick by Lulu Gulu against Dynamo in Ukraine. How's that for a prediction?
Roma 3 - Siena 0:
I rolled in and turned the game at the 90:31 second mark and one of the first things I heard was this: "The story of the game tonight has obviously been Alberto Aquilani." I haven't watched the game yet, in fact I'm trying to download it as we speak, so I won't comment on anything yet. I've only seen the goals. However, I will say this: if anyone brings up the argument that David Pizarro should be starting over King Alberto I'm just ignoring you. I'm done. 3 games, 3 majority consensus Man of the Matches, 3 wins and 2 goals. You can argue specific details all you want, but at the end of the day it's all about results. DP might get Roma good results. King Alberto has already done that - and then some.
I'll watch the game as soon as humanly possible and I'll get back to you as to why I think Roma is The Greatest Team in the History of the Universe.
News, Updates & Stuff:
I) I started drinking heavily this weekend when it was announced Danny Szetela had signed with perennial powerhouse Racing Santander instead of Roma, as I was just too distraught to face reality outside of the bottom of a bottle of Johnny Walker. Christ almighty, who's going to anchor the midfield for the next 10-12 years?!?!
* - I still can't decide which was the better non-signing, Chippen or Szetela. I'm just thankful both are plying their trade elsewhere.
II) Apparently there is a quota on how many Brazilians can play on the defensive back line because Juan got in as a sub yesterday whereas Cicinho did not. Just like the quota Charlie Sheen has on one-eyed Mexican hookers that may have AIDS and/or gingivitis - just one a week.
III) Now that the Azzurri are actually back on the map playing meaningful games and getting blown out by mediocre at best countries, I'll be resuming my tag team partnership with Aaron over at the World Cup Blog site (I feel like there's a good WWF tag team reference here but I was obviously misdirected as a child, or just doing much much better things than watching grown men in tights fake hit each other - you pick). At some point this week I will do a nice fat writeup of the impending game against the Ray Ray Dum Dum-less Les Bleus squad at the San Siro (is it me, or is every single important game going to be played at the Stadio San Giueseppe Moratti Siro Berlusconi Intersucks Meazza this season? First the Super Coppa now a rematch of the Berlin final? Come on, spread the love.), as well as the game against Ukraine next week.
So Daniele De Rossi, Alberto Aquilani, Simone Perrotta, and The Ageless Wonder, aka Christian Panucci, have all made the squad. Great moment for Panucci and his overlaps, and he really deserves it - even if it was due to a wrecking ball being plunged through the Azzurri depth chart. Whether or not he'll play is another question.
IV) That Totti guy has kinda sorta maybe cracked the door open for another appearance in the Azzurri kit....
This is why I never wrote up anything about his "retirement." I don't believe for a second he's truly done. International football is like boxing in that athletes keep retiring and unretiring over and over again, some who are obviously lacking wise counsel (I'm looking at you, Evander).
V) Edgar "Burritos" Alvarez was loaned to Livorno at the end of the deadline so he could help out their glaring defensive woes. I mean watch from the pine while they get relegated to Serie B with a goal differential of -179 million.
I like Edgar, and apparently most of the team did as well, but it was the right move for all parties involved. He was "surplus to requirements." Just like Ryan Seacrest, Amy Winehouse and everybody from Grey's Anatomy (I have never been more annoyed by a collective group of people than I am by the actors in that soap opera).
VI) I'm going out on a limb and say that Matteo Brighi can sleep a little more peacefully at night because I think he could be staying with the team now, and he can ignore those Napoli, Udinese, Livorno, Reggina, etc etc etc rumors. Just a hunch.
VII) No, I'm not revealing my Super Secret Mystery Player X, but I will give two hints:
i) He can still be signed before the January window.
ii) If he is signed I will happily let Alessandro Rosina move elsewhere next summer.
That should flick on a few light bulbs.
VIII) With the international break the boys get a nice little break until the Reggina game two weeks from now. It's also looking very very possible Roma could take 9 points from these first 3 games, which would be fantastic with Inter dropping a couple points outside the penalty box and Juve needing a last minute effort from ADP to beat Serie B-bound Cagliari (if they stay up Marco Giampaolo should be fast-tracked for sainthood, nothing less than a miracle). However, this is what the next 3 weeks post-Reggina look like:
Sept 19 Dynamo Kiev
Sept 23 Juve
Sept 26 @ Fiorentina
Sept 30 Inter
Oct 2 @ ManYoo
Gross. Luckily only two are away from home, and the Viola will be the easiest of the league foes to go up against. The worst is Inter and ManYoo in 3 days, it really doesn't get much more difficult than that. I plan on being heavily sedated during those two weeks while seeking out Craig Bellamy at a karaoke bar in Spain with my Titliest irons.
IX) This won't be the only time this happens this season, but let's enjoy it anyway: Roma's in first place.
Tied with Juve, but I'm sure everyone would concede Roma the nod seeing as how they have yet to give up a goal and Juve struggled to beat Cagliari. So we're going with: Roma is in true first place.
* - I'd just like to thank everybody for their kind words and wishes last week, it really meant a lot. It just went another step in showing that Roma has the greatest fans in the world. Couldn't ask for better readers.
I'll be in and out until later in the week. Right now I'm going to sleep for 20-22 hours and try not to have another dream where I accidently kill Keira Knightley (seriously, I apologize wholeheartedly even though it was just a dream, it's just not right).