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Roman Q & A (That's 'Questions & Answers' For The Dim Ones)

I have an important delivery coming Thursday - one which requires a signature and is time sensitive (it's heroin). When I called Brown to ask for a roundabout delivery time so that I could be home, they replied "Thursday". I said "no, roughly what hours?". And Brown again replied "Thursday". @#$%ers.

So here I will sit. Likely all day as Brown steals my precious time. Send (Roma*) questions. I will answer. Not correctly, but I will reply to your question mark with a statement of some sort in a structure which may vaguely represent a sentence on occasion. And I can't promise to take your serious question seriously.

* - Realizing quickly we'll have to nix personal questions because this needn't turn into a dating profile (and no, you cannot request one of those...unless you send pictures first - female only please). Roma/calcio related.

Will get this started before tomorrow is out of hand.


1. Do you think Roma will have to release anyone due to their not making the Champion’s League and who do you think these players might be?
2. Will Marco D’Alessandro be an integral part of the first team next year?
3. Will Menez be a definite starter next year?
4. Will Spaletti leave and who would replace him?

1. No. The three most likely to be headhunted by big clubs are Mirko, Philou and Juan. The former two are tied through the heart to the shirt and Juan just signed a new contract, along with proclaiming his love.

-Rosella & Co. smartly, ahem, included clauses for the CL into a few transfers. The price of guys like Cicinho & Julio Baps suddenly dropped because they won't have to pay an add on fee.
-There are a number of veteran players who will drop off the payroll where a young upstart is needed (Max, Panucci, Montella*, Loria, etc.) and the difference in wages could be key.
- Expect some of those 'loans' (Barusso, Esposito, Faty, etc.) to turn into 'sales'.

* - If I'm correct his mammoth wages decline throughout the years and 2010 is the last and least painful.

2. No, fully expect him to go out on loan - and rightfully so.
3. I don't think he'll start the season in the XI as I think a true striker will be brought in during the summer (regardless of coach) and he's simply no Mirko yet - not to mention he does incredible damage late in games on the counter against tired legs - but he'll eventually work his way there throughout the year. Plus someone's bound to get injured and open a hole.
4. I've thought this was the TGIP farewell tour since last summer. As for coach, right now I'd say Mazzarri is the most likely replacement.

I, however, would get Mourinho.


Gio: who do you think we need to replace and what players do you think should be considered for the replacement role(s)?

Former: Tonetto, Panucci, Loria, Diamoutene, Montella...Doni (for sanity reasons) and a number of players out on loan/co-own (Esposito, Alvarez, Faty, etc).

Latter: I genuinely don't think this can be answered until a coach is brought in and he implements a system or style of play. Do you stick a strong four across the back? Attack with fullbacks? Play with true wingers? Keep it tight in the center and go for lateral forwards and those attacking backs? Too many questions right now.

But in general, getting younger and better in the back should be the first priority (with a central 2b to Juan's 2a).


asem: Do you think that Aquilani is worth all the hassle?

No doubt about it. I think we've established 'Berto isn't the only one to be crippled by the injury crisis lately, so I'm not ready to blame him (just like I won't blame Juan or any of the others yet). And there's little denying is he is supremely gifted and productive when healthy, on top of the fact that you just don't give up elite Roman talent.


lamagica: how/why did you become a roma fan? what is it that drew you to the team? was it a certain player, lineage of roma supporters in the family, lived in rome, you like the colour red, etc.?

I've been asked this so many times and I never know how to answer - simply too many factors without knowing why. Never a single moment, player, season or otherwise. I was nudged that way, yes, but there's always been an inexplicable draw which is reflected in the fandom. Roma supporters are a different breed and I certainly am that breed. A passionate club worth following passionately - one doesn't get that opportunity


Kelsy: do you think Rosella should sell the club if a suitable owner bids? would you be okay seeing the club in foreign hands?

Falling into line with the last question, I don't think Roma can be bought and sold like it's just another business opportunity, just another club - because it's not. Modern football ltd. is becoming a travesty and Roma still has the element of romance about her - I don't want to see that lost for the sake of currency.

Therefore it'd have to be the right bidder for a bevy of reasons, foreign or otherwise.

Jacob (Europa League): IF Spalletti was to leave, which manager should be brought in?

To be honest I think you bring the big guns out for Allegri - not just based on this year, which was feckin' incredible for a roster which should be in Serie B - but I think Cagliari deserves to keep him around at least another year.

Yet I do think Allegri is a very, very real option should Spalletti go, given the friendship between Roma and Cellino.


romabaha: Chris, if you have your way, who would you be in the society:an owner, player (what position), coach, fan or blogger?

Fan, easily. Football is my spectator sport. It provides all the necessary allure from afar, and that's enough by me.


1) in this hard time, could we ask (if it proper) Totti to have a little pay cut wages in his extension contract?
2) If you were the decision maker, will you forgive Pannuci and give him extension for another year?

1) I think Francesco would be the first to offer up some financial breathing room, but I don't believe it to be necessary. It's not like Roma will fold without CL money.
2) I can forgive Panucci and still not give him an extension - a decision which is largely based on his play. We often talk on the dropoff from Mexes & Juan to Mexes/Juan & anyone else. Well, if you don't think Panucci is good enough to be CB3, what's the point of having a player who will do nothing but cause problems when he's sat firmly on the bench for the majority of the season? Not to mention, as Spalletti has harped on, this team thrives so much on mentality, and Panucci is a me first, team second type of guy who can, and does, easily disrupt harmony - a guy who would've been gone in January were anyone to meet his excessive wage demands. At 36, let him be someone else's worry.


Do you want Spal to leave & why?
Do you want roma to be sold & Why?

i. Not necessarily a Spal-question. I want two things to be fixed: injuries and team mentality. If TGIP is the man to get that done, I'd be more than thrilled. If not, time to move on.
ii. Depends on the bidder. Right now? No.


Apuzzo: If you had the chance to pick any player in the world to play for Roma, who would it be?
If Loria came up to you one night in a bar, what would you do/say to him?

i. There's no fun in saying Messi, so I'll say Luis Suarez so that every game is a two man cucchiaio show.
ii. 'Hey, aren't you the guy who invented the wheel?'


can you give us a little potted history of players who have swapped roma for lazio or vice-versa because they liked Rome?

No, sorry. History just ain't my thing (plus that's a little detailed).


do you think the faith of alot of players is tied to spals if he goes? i worry that another wont know as much about the players we have and start a major clear out do you think this could happen?

I don't believe so, no. I think most of the players have a decent idea of what's going on and they know, as well as we do, his flaws. He made a great start to 'the project', but someone else may be needed to take that next leap.

And I doubt it strongly. Rosella & Co. won't exactly be shy about pulling the trigger should things appear to be heading downhill quickly.


-what’s your fondest memory of Roma? (game,player,goal,celebrations,cup…)
-and imagine you would be roma’s transfer guru, considering our current loans/finances/rumours…what would be your ideal (but realistic so no Messi,Iniesta,Ronaldo stuff) XI next season, including trainer?

i. Different memories appeal to different senses, but right now, I can think of no greater moment than the second leg against Arsenal. They were the perfect hero.
ii. I'll have to come back to this once I find a formation to fit DDR, Aquilani, Brighi and...and...and...Pizarro.


kurdt: Which would you prefer? A crazy night with Totti and gangs? or a dinner with Ilary?

Where are these gangs coming from? Like boneheaded macho gangs or super prissy dancing gangs? Do they have a trial program or would I be _____ 4 Lyfe right off the bat? And what are Ilary and I eating? I could do gelato.


Do you think roma with that squad + gubreti and eder and another CB , we can contender for serie a and uefa league next season ?

It'd take more than that for the league, but I like the thought of bringing in younger players who are established in Italy and I think the Europa is a decent enough place to blood them in.


Jaz Hoyt:
1)Do you think we should sell Tonetto, and bring back Antunes and try to play him as a left winger too?
2)Shouldn’t we get like a mid-range powerful unknown striker who would mind the bench sometimes, someone like Igor Budan?

1) Yes, but I'm not sure Antunes is ready just yet. I suspect either a LB will be brought in or one of the extra right backs will be spending time learning the left over the summer in an effort to save money for the central overhaul.
2) If it's going to be a bigger striker, it needs to be one of quality, or else Spalletti - as it looks he might be staying now (horse's mouth and all that) - will want to revert back to the old familiar. It's almost as though his hand needs to be forced.

But yes, bigger striker.


Finnezzia: Are you worried that bringing in more unknown players like Guberti and Eder will damage the quality of the Roma team in PES 2010? I’m worried about my house league.

Isn't Eder supposed to have the skills of Kaka and the hair of Diego? Come on, he'll be legend.

And Guberti is pacy, which is all you really need in video games. (I think - it's been a long, long time.)


Eric: Given that Riise came on pretty big in the second half, what are your thoughts linking Barca to Riise for as little as €5 million? I can’t imagine that Roma is that in need of money.

Barca linked to Riise? Can we roundup everyone who berated his signing in October for a minute here?

I think Barca will be working the "Come play for the Dream Team!" recruitment angle this summer and many of the prices you'll hear quoted in the presses will have the assumption that the player is pushing through the sale.

But I don't think Riise would be let go for less than €8m or so, and even then I think he's here for a bit. While the back needs to be revamped, they'll need some transitional stability.


Can you imagine the day when Totti will retire? And do you believe anyone of our current squad, like a DDR or KA will follow in the footsteps of a Totti,Falcao,Batistuta,Conti,Di Bartolomei…

Totti will never retire. Ever.

As for his heir, it's clearly DDR. Aquilani can, however, ascend to heights near as high.



Chris, my underpants are soiled. Should I:
A) Put on a clean pair
B) Put them in the washing machine and wait for them to dry
C) Pretend like I don’t know were that smell is coming from
D) Go commando
E) Give them a rinse in the Trevi?

F) Play Rorschach with your co-workers.


after names like Ranieri,Ancelotti,Marrazini,Mancini..what do you think of our own youth trainer De Rossi? He did some good things with our primavera,do you see him as a potential candidate for the big job?
-what’s your opinion about all the ‘Italian football is way behind the English/Spanish’ discussion? What can Italy do to keep up with the mighty ManU,Chelsea and Liverpool’s of today?
Posted from Belgium

i. Youth is a very, very different animal and the goals aren't quite the same as the senior side. 'Success' isn't defined the same. So I can't say for sure.
ii. England will fall, someone else will rise and it'll go round and round and round and....

It goes in cycles.


O'Toole, Sneakers:
On RA, lots of people have been discussing retiring the number 10 when Totti retires. Do you think they should retire his number like they did Aldair?

Were it any other number but 10, I'd say yes. But 10 is so significant in calcio and we musn't forget there has been a long lineage of great Roman 10's pre-Totti. So no - an appropriate homage, but not that one.


who is the better keeper,doni or artur?? who appears to be te next best thing in primavera that can make first team?

Still Doni. Far more skilled and Artur isn't perfect in other areas to offset that.

As for the Primavera, it's tough because we don't get to see them often (or ever), so it's all by spoken word, but even with D'Alessandro's pace and skills, Brosco is still the most highly touted. Problem is he's a central defender and will need more seasoning, so it's likely someone will make the senior side before him. Perhaps Crescenzi.


Do you think all XI players are so telepathically bonded that they suffer collapses at the same time? Or do you think it originates from one source (i.e. Spal handing out Xanex at halftime) What possible solution/remedy would you propose to the coaching staff and players?

I can't say for sure but I've had one theory and that's Spalletti imposing too many tactical requests upon the squad in the locker room and thus they're overthinking things coming onto the pitch. It's of course snowballed into something not ingrained in the collective psyche.

Therefore I suggest the Men In Black flashy thingy.


1. Do you think Marco Andreolli is capable of been 2CB if is healthy??

I think that's a position he'd have to earn rather than walk into, so right now no. Another CB will be needed regardless.


Giuseppe Di Cassino:
so far everyone has been speculating us getting serie B all stars, but do you think we will chase after anybody better than that? im not saying huge names, but surely we can get santacroce from napoli?

First off, just because they're in Serie B at a young age doesn't mean they aren't good. Both have dominated this year and are well worth a long look in Serie A. I for one would welcome both (Guberti & Eder*) with open arms - they represent little risk big reward. But this year, just like every year, will produce a mix of buys including some bigger names, more established players. A guy like Rosina is very, very possible.

I do strongly doubt, however, Napoli will be giving up Santacroce - nor should they.

* - Also, a confirmation of Spalletti as manager puts Guberti to Rome into hyperdrive.


(Above for Panucci)


Which was your favourite Roma team?
A) The Scudetto winning team
B) The 11 wins straight team
C) Last Season’s total football team

Can I combine A & C into last year's scudetto winning team?


Dhaw: With Spalletti having a bigger say in the mkt - do we now see someone from Udinese coming in ?

Yeah - Motta.

But really, I'm not sure, after giving up Quags and presumably D'Agostino, anybody else worth note will be coming off the Udinese books. They still have a good project and Sanchez will likely be better than Quags, so there's no reason to shake things up too much for them.


mac: With the players that we currently have and the players that we could have back from being on loan, what formation would you use and who would start?

I genuinely can't answer that right now because there are 5 midfielders worthy of a starting spot. If Aquilani's healthy, he's starting material and it's impossible for me to pick between Perrotta and Brighi, as each bring slightly different qualities to different formations (wing oriented it's Perrotta all day every day; Brighi does a bit more tucked in tighter centrally and the back). I do genuinely like the 4-3-1-2 with 4/5 and Pizarro at treq, but then I gather returning some width to the equation is the way forward.

But the back & forwards are simple: Motta (foregone conclusion), Mexes, Juan, Riise, Doni, Totti, Vucinic.


Do you think spal will deploy the 4-2-3-1 formation next season?
Do you think it is possible (what are the odds) for totti to reach baggio on the goal-scoring charts next season? As he mentioned before that he would try to do

i. Yes. Period.
ii. Totti won the Golden Boot at 26 and he'd need 27, so I'm going to say no realistically. Not that it isn't possible, just that he'd have to stay completely healthy. And Spalletti's staying (or so they say). So...


Will Loria be our second Burrito ?

i. Somebody will take him. There was a reason Roma bought him in the first place, after all.
ii. If there's money to be made on a player with no potential long-term future in the kit, I expect it to be made. He'll be sold.


mac: do you think Aquilani can play Treq in the 4-3-1-2?

I most certainly do. Aquilani just strikes me as the type of player who thinks a great deal on the fly rather than simply reacting, so it may take a short amount of time for his to adjust. But while he's far more subtle than the thunderous-footed Simone, his ghosting off the ball runs, precision passing in tight spaces, vision and eye for goal certainly make him a good candidate to play a bit further up the pitch.


Nobody has spoken of Baptista yet. How do you rate his season? Do you miss having Mancini on the left wing? I never thought for a second that Baptista was Mancini’s replacement, yet he has been deployed in that position and has done fairly well without Mancini’s pace.

Mixed. I don't think he was quite as bad as some would lead you to believe but there was a stretch where he was downright wretched. Still, he scored some big goals, including ones which kept Roma in the CL group stages, won some games single-handedly, and did genuinely improve towards the end of the year - a major factor for any signing. There are certainly positives heading into next year, as I don't think enough can be said for a player who can take the entire team on his back and win games with quality.

And after last year's turd and this year's subsequent turd at Inter, no. Mancini moving on was best for all parties - but bestest for Roma. That said, I don't think Julio is a permanent fixture on the left should the 4-2-3-1 return. More likely it's Vuci/Menez.


I’m far from a xenophobe, but like me don’t you want more Italians in Roma colors?

Hopefully by mid-season both Motta and Cicinho will be 100% fit, who starts?

i. Nothing wrong with national pride. After all, you want your team to breed better players for the nazionale, of course.
ii. Watch this....



Prade's Son:
So if Rosina comes how we gonna play? Brighi back to bench? Where does that leave Aquilani?

He'll play anywhere across the attacking line in the 4-2-3-1 for whoever happens to be injured that day. Should he be healthy himself, of course. Ditto for Brighi & Aquilani in DM/treq spots.


could Chris or anyone else also please tell me what is so great about Pizarro that he is worth keepiing?

In the right formation/system, his passing and vision bring another element to the attacking portion of the side. Not to mention possession is the simplest form of defense. (See: Barca)


What exactly is wrong with the new kits? You never got into that. Granted the Home is more of the same but the Away and 3rd are pretty sharp.

They look retro. I don't like retro.


What is your opinion regarding Trezeguet?

Very, very simple: I don't like him, but I like his goal scoring records quite a bit. Damn near guaranteed for 1 in 2.


Do you really not believe that Roma have any chance at the Scudetto next season? It sounds like no. And why is that? Granted, we don’t have the best chance of any team, but why the hell can’t we win it? Where would we be without wishful thinking?

Depends entirely on injuries. If Spalletti stays, it'll be interesting to see whether we see a repeat - even a small one - of this year. If not, there's no doubt Roma can play some premier football.


We came close with Sztela, but do you see Roma signing an American anytime soon, and if so, who would you like or who do you think could hack it in Italy?

Honestly? There isn't an American good enough for the Primavera's reserves.


How bout addressing some of the other moves around the league… What do you think of the Kaka rumors? Is this a sign that Milan is going to get younger (using the transfer money to replace some of the old guys on the roster)? What about the moves between Genoa and Inter?
How about the newly promoted teams- any of them have a chance of staying up more than a year?

Not sure they're 'rumors' any longer - seems as though he's going. And it's a huge, huge loss for them if they don't replace him with quality. The progress of Pato will help a great deal, but they're getting too old and they're losing a superstar, in his prime, who has perhaps the highest top end in the game. When he's on, he's unstoppable. Bad for Milan, bad for Serie.

Zlatan is as good as gone so Milito will replace him while Motta will wind up picking up some season-ending/career-jeopardizing injury by October. Color me unenthused.

As for the newly promoted teams, the depth right now in Serie A is pretty solid (Napoli at 12th and Sampdoria at 13th?) so I'd have to give the edge to the teams who've been there and know how to stave off the drop. Teams like Siena & Catania will probably show the mettle to will themselves into another year whereas the recent risers will fight amongst one another for safety. I do think, though, that if Livorno come up Tavano & Cellerino could prove enough to keep them afloat.


LT: Taddei or Perrotta, who would you keep?

Simone without a moment's hesitation.


....And Q&A time now closed.