(And no, it's not exclusive to that garish kit.)
Beating Samp, Losing To Doria Since 2010
The idea was to gauge Roma over the course of 180 tightly knotted minutes. Much like Roma itself, Plan B is really Plan A and Plan F is never really that far around the corner.
This feels like 'one of those lines', but they are 'lines' and cliches and stereotypes for a reason: the only thing predictable about Roma is its unpredictability.
Now without thinking more than a solitary second, tell me who on Roma is least likely to unearth from his top hat an unthinkable moment of harikari.
It's Juan, isn't it?
There are games from which little can be extracted; games which are merely situation or circumstantial in nature; games that we'd like to throw away and can't, yet still do; and there are games which are chauffeured straight to the waste removal plant, bypassing the trash entirely.
Juan is an elite footballer, an elite athlete, an elite professional, and better at his job than the grand majority of the global population. He's better than this; he's just having a really, really bad week.
Laugh, cry, throw it away and move on. Anyone else and maybe you keep a sliver - not with Juan.
Welcome to a moment of 'I swear I meant to do it, ma, I swear!'
But mostly I didn't because I couldn't give Maxi Lopez an ounce of credit, for no other reason than I'm convinced without football talent, he'd be squatting in squalor with a heroin kick and several STDs, one of which is entirely unique to his good and diseased self.
The moment was this: I was moderately, if but for a fleeting second, impressed on his goal during midweek, for had he simply run straight in the play after JSB made his move, he was going down, down, down, and so too was Julio Sergio - into the locker room with a red card in tote. Watch the replay again, and there's no doubt without the side step, that's a second double whammy, but the first.
It's a difficult ask of JSB, as 95% of the keepers in the world will go shin-hunting on both plays, but hey, difficult is what good keepers are supposed to do.
Hopefully Julio just needed to get it out of his system, and maybe Roma should consider snapping up Maxi, too - he and Marco would make a dream pairing...for [insert makers of popular stiddie drug here].
- In the second game back after the break last January, a Brazilian keeper was sent off after being hung out to dry.
At least they're keeping it consistent.
- I was mildly surprised Menez wasn't removed at the half. The trio, while nice on paper with the occasional flash of brilliance, never quite clicked together, and Jeremy wasn't exactly in vintage form. Or in much of any for - lots of Kaka-esque 'where'd he go?'.
With extra workrate needed and Jeremy as industrial as a dot.com, the Doni sub was sort of a no-brainer.
- You also may consider the performance of the trio by noting that Gianluca Curci didn't have an otherworldy day.
Above average Roman keeper against the parent club while the horses in front of him play up to mere mediocrity? This was just begging for a move-over-Yashin type of game. Twasn't.
- Thought Guberti cleaning up Juan's scraps certainly made up for it on the result end of business.
Why can't Roma get guys like him?
(Joking. This squad's designed for a 4-3-1-2/diamond.)
- I'd trade Riise's left peg for Reto Ziegler's quite easily, and I'd even throw in Adriano's third chin.
- There was something about Totti. I don't know, and I don't particularly care at this point; haven't all season. The media runs with anything mildly controversial regarding Totti these days - and if you noticed, he was joking right up to the point he was about to enter the pitch (camera panned to it a couple times).
Ranieri's treating 2010-11 Totti like 2010-11 Totti, not 00-01 Totti or 02-09 Totti and that is, whether it's liked or not, the right thing to do, just as it was when he benched the Roman gods during the derby in the spring. The man has boulders in his pants, and that's necessary right now; with Borriello, Menez, Vucinic and Totti - ignoring the Wild Card, Adriano - someone has to sit every single game. And putting Totti on when they need a goal, be it the 5th or 90th minute, is also the right thing to do. It's not like he was being thrown on to give someone else a standing ovation in the 3rd minute of stoppages during a 12-0 victory.
As for the timing, it was a few minutes late, but the cameras also showed Totti taking his sweet time getting ready to come on. He's lost some mobility, sure, but that was somewhat surprising.
- That said, there should've been more injury time - significantly more - particularly considering Palombo's antics, which were entirely depressing.
Is there anyone left?
- Less depressed, however, because Mirko now has three in roughly 1.1 games.
What's the rule for 'form' - how many games? And are the football gods simply trying to balance out the cosmos by afflicting Juan with something formerly Simone Loria?
Eventually, however, the laws will win out, the universe will right itself, Mirko will maintain form and Juan will go back to being the cool, calm and reliable stalwart that we all know he is.
Until then, AS Roma 2010-11: The Dog & Pony Show.
Mostly, however, I think a postgame message can accurately sum up the feelings:
...depressed, simply because the list of Teams In Serie A I Don't Hate is rapidly dwindling by the moment. With Sampdoria losing its top spot today, it may be down to Lecce and Udinese, with Palermo sans fans on the bubble at this point - and Cagliari again whenever Donadoni gets canned like street trash.
I really hate Sampdoria right about now.
Wherefore art thou Julio Baptista?