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Atalanta: Smells Like Teen Spirit

The children - they're alright.

Paolo Bruno - Getty Images

Roma 2 - 0 Atalanta


I'm rather comfortable right now, sitting in bed, laptop atop, know where this is going. Across the way, perhaps fifteen feet, is the desktop; inside said desktop, lost deep within the soldered labyrinth of ingenuity and sheer luck, lie the two files containing yesterday's game. This would require turning off the tunes, removing my cans -- my headphones too - placing the laptop on the bed, a massive 4 paperclips in weight - so let me tell about that Herculean moment of labor - walking to the desk, climbing into the throne, transferring the files to a stick and reversing the process until I'm once again atop the bed, comfy as can be, headphones taking me to the other side. Considering how comfortable I am right now, that's an immense amount of work and poses an even more immense risk: will I be as comfortable when - if, really; I get lost easily - I return? My other option is to wait a half hour or so for the game to download. And then not watch it because I'll be done this spiel by then.

Sophie don't know nothin' 'bout this choice.

In the end, my desire to remove my arse from this position can parallel the quality of the game: it was good, but not worth getting up.

And had the scoreline of the first twenty-plus minutes matched Atalanta's play, I'd be cowering under the covers right now. Which is a whole slew of other problems for which we accounted once they dubbed a man of initials Z & Z as coach. Oh, and the fact that ZZ ran out an 18 year old centerback for his Serie A debut.

In truth, I rarely watch replays; or I put them on and lose my head doing other, more life productive things. But this time, I did for one reason, and with salacious intent: 'Hos. Yes, I wanted to see some 'Hos in action. More commonly known as: Marquinhos. Obviously he joins the incredibly long list of Youngsters Whose (Positional) Debuts Dazzled But Have The Potential To Be Exposed Now That They've Been Seen Once Around, but only time will tell if he can hop off that list and onto ZOMG, Real Deal, aka Menudo's former members.

The kid was lights out and, frankly, rocketed into the Mattia Destro strata of slapping the world in the face with raw talent rather quickly - because that's how rockets work. (Science.) His acceleration and raw athletic explosion are incredible for a CB, with his ability to read the Serie A game - in his debut in that position, mind - light years beyond what an 18 year old should be able to do after six professional games in Brazil. I certainly did not expect that; one would guess neither did Atalanta. No one's going to make a claim based on ninety minutes, but feel free to sit one of Burdisso or Castan next time around, ZZ - the kid should play. If that performance was legit, he's Roma's #1 CB by November, not 13-14.

I'm in the mood to throw out ridiculous claims this year - won't you join me?


  • Destro's the best buy they've made since Cassano. Said it.

    How is he that talented. Granted, he's raw, but how is he that talented. Seriously. He is simply the complete package of potential as a striker, with pace, acceleration, technique, dribbling, aerial ability, strength, ability to read the game, etc, etc, etc. He can both play off of others and, at that size, create his own. All he needs is to start banging them into the net - if that one off the post goes in, everyone's talking about him and all the babies they're willing to have once he's introduced to a straight edge.

    Is this the part where we start banging the 'Pablo to Atletico Madrid' drum again?
  • Bradley's performance was a measure of good and bad, which ultimately makes it good for someone coming off such a layoff. Does that make sense? It should.

    Dude borrowed Perrotta's 2007 boots*, too. Run Michael, run.

    * - No comment.
  • I'm extracting an excerpt from an email last week: "And what would they do without Florenzi? Florenzi."

    Even if he wasn't lights out, as in other weeks, this question remains rhetorical. The kids, man. The kids.
  • Taxi needs to go back in the garage; he's needed to for a week and a half, really. He's making me long for the days of David Pizarro as Last Midfield Man Standing on a rambunctious opposition's counterattack.
  • Ivan Piris.

    First impressions mean a lot in this genre. The reaction to his presence in the general vicinity of the ball is the same as a Catholic priest in the general vicinity of an altar boy dousing himself in milk chocolate. (I don't know. It's late.)
  • At this point, everyone just quietly acknowledge that Erik Lamela may or may not be figuring some stuff out and just leave it at that. No need jinxing the boy. Shush.
  • The stones of Zeman. The last time this happened on this level - sitting 3 of your 4 best players on papier - a derby was happenin' and half of Rome went silent. And it turned out to be the single greatest master stroke of genius from the Roma technical area in the last n- years. This, for a number of reasons, among them context, is several levels below that derby day, but it makes one thing abundantly clear:

    It is terrifically wonderful to have a coach with melons the size of Zeman in the box. It's even better that he's using them with the other melon, a dollop of intelligence, too. That pairing is an exceedingly rare one.
Oh, and one last thing:

Francesco Fucking Totti.