Roma 4 - Catania 2
Verdict: Good result, decent performance, terrible hair.
- Honestly, between Totti and Borriello, they deserved to lose this game on account of affronts to good taste. Thank Buddha they had vintage Philou in the back balancing out matters.
I guess the game was controversial. I guess what I see as controversial is the fact that we have to guess the levels of controversy since we still can't get some goddamn form of video replay.
I haven't seen a single angle from which it can be said the play with Riise was in or out. Nothing remotely definitive.
Of course if Catania actually played to the whistle, this is a moot point because it's easily cleared before Borriello nods it into the net. That's a far greater crime, one Roma's been guilty of in the past, than anything for which we don't have definitive evidence. You play to the whistle and then complain*. Basic stuff here.
* - Every single team in Serie A should be forced into seminars on this simple yet overlooked concept. It's near epidemic levels.
Mirko was 'offside', sure, but Totti was in the act of shooting, not passing, and it then deflected off a Catania player. Mirko was neither in the "active play" nor was he played in "by his teammate". It's the dumbest loophole for the most asininely constructed rule in the book, but it's a loophole nonetheless. The goal was idiotically legal.
- The team often reflects its coach, on Thursday, this was abnormally appropriate:
Claudio had a great halftime/second half, Roma had a great second half.
Only real niggling issue: starting Daniele.
He could have his severed head in one hand and he'd still have a boombox blaring John Fogerty's Centerfield atop the shoulder of his stripped-down-to-his-kit-and-ready-to-come-in self.
Me? I'd have sat him. But then I really enjoy the ability to chew solid food, so maybe not.
- The subs, however, turned the team on its head - Greco in particular.
This may or may not be slightly biased (but then why shouldn't it be?), but I see no reason why he shouldn't be starting until he proves he shouldn't. Good things seem to happen when he's on the pitch, if nothing else.
And really, a horseshoe up his ass is as feasible a reason to explain his ascension as any.
- One of these days I'm going to run around the globe holding seminars called This Is Why You're Not A Coach: Why Rodrigo Taddei Plays.
The whole syllabus could be the 10-11 season. Seriously, pay attention to the little things - he's in great form, it just comes with four week blips in between games.
- There was a quote from Ranieri at sometime during the break, and I found it perhaps the most important quote in relation to Roma I've heard this year. A paraphrase was something like "I'm still waiting for Totti, Menez and Mirko to get in form..." - and think about that. All three played in some semblance of form, together, if briefly, in the second half.
Feels like a mantra at this point, offering it up every few weeks this year:
What happens when Mirko gets in form?
And that's where we stand heading into...
Sampdoria v Roma
Catania is TBD. These games are so close together off such a massive break that 90 minutes is too short a sample size. A solid 180 minutes of what will likely be greatly varied difficulty on paper should, however, do the trick.
But seriously, what happens when Mirko gets in form?
Perhaps better rephrased as...
Who will be able to stop them?
Cicinho, Mexes, Juan, Riise
Brighi, Perrotta, Simplicio
Game: Sunday, 1230CET (the dreaded lunchtime game)