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Friendlies Are Fun When They Aren't Friendlies

Roma 3 - Gent 1

I spent an awful long time trying to come up with a half-cocked assessment of the game. But it didn't really come to me until the weekend when I was watching other games that the overwhelming feel was incredibly simple. The verdict:

That looked an awful lot like a football game in July. Really - that's all.

Now, it's difficult to break down a game like this, the first fixture not yet halfway through training camp against a relative walkover team, but we can take a few positives and negatives from the game - what with me being an eternal optimist who thinks the glass is half-empty and all.

  • Mirko Vucinic might be brilliant, but probably won't be as Spalletti rides him into the ground with a hearty 'yeehaw' and heartier slap in the ass.
  • See also: Goober. (That's 3 year old English for Guberti, for those not in the know.
  • That was a hervé-soft penalty on Francesco. Or maybe just a makeup call for that Byron Moreno-esque yellow.
  • However, typical reaction to Francesco's brace (it was a brace): yeah whatever. Par for the course.
  • Excellent post-game quote with free translation: "If he is able to handle his enthusiasm with more maturity, it can be a great advantage for the team. Sometimes he goes and does things that are not asked of him. If he respects his role he can be the best in the world." - Mister Spalletti on M. Philou

    Translation: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman slot him at center forward."

  • Speaking of going and doing things that are not asked of him...

    ...unleashing 2010: A Space Mullet was wholly unnecessary.

    (Or perhaps it was just an homage to The Boz?)

  • They weren't rubbish coming out of the locker room! Did Spalletti spend June in motivational speaking courses with That Guy With The Huge Face? (Christian name)
  • John Arne Riise, for all his Gunner Glory, is not a central defender. Philippe Mexes, for all his infinite talents as a central defender, did not play central defender, but rather something else entirely.

    This + any team not named Gent = Titanic + Hindenburg

  • Alessio Cerci looks like a kid who needs some regular football. Unless it's too soon to say, which it is.
  • If yeremy menez (sic) doesn't learn to stand upright real quick, he just hit 4th on the wing depth chart. Fifth if Mauro Esposito gets a fucking clue (unlikely).
  • How many fucking times will we dash to Wikipedia to find out the name of the opposition's keeper just to see if Roma could sign him? How many fricken' career days are subpar keepers going to have against Roma this year? Marco Storari, anyone? (Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, Matteo...still bitter.)
  • 'Tis nearly impossible to 'watch' a game while liveblogging, but if the 4-2-4 is the way forward, AS Roma is going to get obliterated on the counter with DDR & Piza as the tandem two in central midfield. A half-decent attacking team will flush through like a good enema on a breezy Sunday.

    Simple solution then: become Barcelona (unlikely).

Good win, will be better on Thursday.

Twitting, tweeting, twoting and twats:


I was quite thrilled to hear that Julio Cruz had signed with Lazio. 'Nuff said, really.


Something worth pondering over you morning caffe: will Matteo Brighi clamor for a new contract next summer after spending this campaign as the second midfielder off the bench?


I'm finding the Steven Defour to the loser of the Xabi Alonso sweepstakes - Real or Liverpool - far more plausible than anything involving Alberto Aquilani.


Injury update with a view to Thursday: Totti, Vucinic, Mexes, Julio Baptista + the usuals (Juan, Aquilani, Doni, Cicinho, Simone).

Nice job, Luciano.


I'm placing the over/under on games played by the uber-technical duo of Vucinic and Menez at +/-50 this year.

Really have to think about that, don't you?


I genuinely love yeremy's skill set, but between Spalletti's medieval training methods, the Jacques Coustea antics and his Frenchness, I wouldn't be crushed should he be The Sacrificial Lamb.


Diego Lugano wants too much money. I say pay him. Philou desperately needs a partner as fucking pazzo as he, while we could start to call a Philou, Daniele, Diego triad in front of the goal The Bermuda Triangle.

In stark contrast to Cruz, I would be desperately disappointed should he go to Lazyo. After Fener-Galatasaray, he'd walk into the derby like a champion.


Apropos of fucking animals, don't forget that Prade had flown to Austria to have discussions regarding Pogatetz and that they'd revisit things once he was healed up from surgery.

When that idea. But expect this rumor to regurgitate soon - and with legs.


Ending this as promised:

Pavel Nedved.