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Achieving Sexy Football


Chievo 2 - Roma 2

Two of my sporting pet peeves were achieved against Chievo, which is impressive due to its rarity:

i. Throwing away games to lesser teams. I can’t decide if it’s 2006 all over again or just September.
ii. This is a big one, mostly because it shows a distinct lack of depth in thought from people who are paid to think. Deeply.

“Both sides had the same pitch.” - Paraphrasing Chievo’s Flying Donkey

Well it sure as shit was, Shirley, but guess what? That doesn’t really matter now, does it? What matters is the fact that it impacts both teams equally, which it quite clearly didn’t and doesn’t. The more technical team always suffers more, entirely negating the ground game, making the pitch even, yet slanted.

So stop. Just stop it. The gods smiled on you big time today, now don’t throw it in their faces. You stole one via circumstances, now be gracious and slink out the back door before they send an invoice.

All of which is part of the bigger problem: I’ve always been under the impression that Serie A should postpone more games than it does. Remember when they actually tried to play that Sampdoria game a few years back? What was that? Palermo last year? This isn’t judging who the better team is on the day; it’s judging who’s going to win a coin flip.

Of course the problem is that Chievo’s game in the bowels of Bologna was cancelled last weekend due to snow, meaning this would’ve been a second cancellation in a row, which, of course, would’ve made life difficult as a makeup was blockaded by all their upcoming midweek European games. Oh, and the Coppa Italia, which they’ll be crushed out of by Palermo by, oh, Wednesday.

Maybe, just maybe, without that earlier cancellation, this one’s bumped off to January and we weren’t subjected to two hours of mindless non-football. So by my count, that’s four points stolen by Bologna this year.

So fuck off, you future Serie B superstars.

  • Claudio had a very good vantage point and said it was impossible to attack the south end*, noting that all four goals were played on the end of the pitch which housed the overwhelming majority of the attacking action in both halves.

    In hindsight, this would seem to make sense and makes me think this tips this one into the ‘outlier’ category. They have a history of taking the foot off in the second half, sure, but that wasn’t necessarily the problem here: when they wanted to attack, they couldn’t.

    * - The difference in the two ends of the pitch is plain as day in the highlights. Hell, they showed one attacking clip total from the south end of the pitch. Pretty funny, again, in hindsight. Something like half-court basketball.

  • Who let Doni play?
  • This game’s rather impossible to pass judgement on account of not being there, but the middle of the pitch was clearly just diabolical, as though it’s suffered through an interplanetary war, while the wings weren't nearly as bad, though still not good. I’m not sure why the team’s best crosser, Cicinho, wasn’t put on the pitch with explicit instructions to whip it in good, whip it in often.

    Outside of the fact that Adriano has the ups of Holland these days.

    Taddei was a start, but not quite enough. (Not, of course, to say Cicinho was the answer.)

  • I’m happy Adriano put in a good turn. I am.

    But the fact that a man is being paid five million euros (gross, which is gross) a year couldn’t get in something resembling athletic shape by December is an embarrassment. He’s banking entirely on skills, and while that may be enough for a quicksand game in Verona, it’s not going be even remotely enough for a real game. Like Bari, or some such.

    Honestly, do a situp. Run some sprints. Do some tire work - maybe even some tireless work. Do anything which makes a) a decent first step, or b) lateral movement even remotely possible. He makes Luca Toni seem like Usain Bolt’s speed coach.

    And make no mistake – if that pitch wasn’t such a disaster, Adriano wasn’t whiffing a cameo til garbage time. Claudio ran him firmly under the bus so as not to risk the ankles of Francesco, Marco or Jeremy. This was no reward, no pat on the back, no "it's going to be alright, son"; Fatty was the sacrificial lamb, which he then ate off the postgame spread.

  • Fairly sure this is the second time in a few weeks in which I’m saying this, but alas:
    i. That was an idiotic move by [insert Roma player here].
    ii. That was equally idiotic by the referee to send him off.

    How do you justify sending anyone off in that game? Wasn’t it abundantly clear for 90 minutes no one had any idea how to judge the pace, depth or movement on the ball, particularly through the center of the pitch? There were horrible tackles happening left and right (starting with Greco, who’s finally dwindling down to 1-2 a game as he gets accustomed to the pace of things which are not Trigoria training cones).

    Yellow, sure, but judging intent was impossible, mostly because judging anything was impossible on the day.

    (I'm not saying that's not a red another day, just that it's impossible for me to see how it could be determined anything was worthy of a red. The whole day was a sloppy mess.)

  • Rizzoli also missed two handballs in the box, one on each side, so that’s a feather in his cap.
  • And Mirko's never, ever getting a call from Rizzoli - not that he got one today - so best to just sit him whenever these two waltz again.
  • All that said…

    JSB needs to stop goal one – it knuckled, but it could’ve been easily saved, I think, unless it darted to the right – shipping two in the second half needs to stop, and Fabio Simplicio has sealed a spot in the starting XI, if he already hadn’t.

You know what annoys me most about all this, though? The fact that I can go in expecting a draw, have the result end up a draw, yet I’m still spouting steam from my ears like an overworked tea kettle on Hades’ hot plate.