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Totti Tuesday: ‘Red Bull, crucifixion & Muhammad Ali’

Aaah, the Derby della Capitale. The fight between blue and red. The goats and the wolfs. The rich and the poor. Not for the faint of heart. And with Zeman ‘everyday I’m YOLO’ and lost child Daniele on board even more so.

Giuseppe Bellini

Sunday’s result proved it. In it’s typical but oh so frustrating Roma-style. Early Lamela goal, very good start and then, floodgates opened again and the P(j)anic button was pushed so hard as it were done by the entire cast of The Expendables on steriods and Red Bull.

Roma’s very own Expandables (Totti and Daniele) had quite an offday. Totti had an assist but was rather invisible for ¾ of the game and got subbed for Pjanic while Daniele ‘hey I can have Roma’s weekly WTF-moment of the week too you know’ De Rossi got red. Somewhere, Osvaldo is crying. After all, he was the chosen one to get sent off you know. My money was onTachtsidis too but he dissapointed with ‘only’ yellow. Either way, both Taxi and Daniele are suspended for the next game. If Pjanic still starts on the bench then something is seriously wrong between him and Zeman. I seriously doubt it though. Marquinho’s sub was pretty good and it is also a candidate for the spot at LCM.

Liberating Lazio

Why? Why can’t they keep it up until the 90th minute? Or at least 75th. This is getting dangerous you know. Every team we now face won’t feel the least scared or intimidated when they condede (even twice) against this Roma. Just wait until the 30’-45’ mark and strike back in fashion. DDR’s red didn’t help while Osvaldo missing chances is a weekly habbit but it hurts more during games like this than say against Palermo.

Lamela scored in six consecutive games, surpassing Totti's previous record of five, while this is Lazio’s third consecutive derby win. To be honest, they have looked far better/less nervous/more clinical in front of goal during the previous derbies. Times will change and we’ll have our own run very soon but right now, Lazio’s got the braggin’ rights again. Until spring or Coppa Italia that is. Roma still lie in seventh but are a boulevard behind the neighbors, Monty’s Fiorentina and the top 3. With Torino and Pescara coming up, a double is needed, nay it is even obliged. Because under Roma there is another boulevard of teams stacked together. One bad result against Torino and we may find ourselves at the lower half of the table... Ow right pardon me, never slaves to the result nor the table.

Pjanic took over the title ‘Mr Bullshit goal’ of Quagliarella with a lovely free kick/lob over Marchetti. It was more brainfart Marchetti than Pjanic magic but it was nice nonetheless. Pjanic’ celebration said it all: give me minutes goddamnit! As hard as it may be, Daniele being suspended might not be that bad after all. He’s in a serious identity crisis right now. Zeman put him back in his favourite role instead of Tachtisids and he betrayed Zeman’s faith just like Judas betrayed Jezus. And this was not Daniele’s first red after harsh contact with another played. Now watch him being crucified at Campo Testaccio while Totti, Sabatini, Baldini and DiBendetto are singing ‘always look on the Mc bri(de)ght side of life’.

Ps: Roma had six (!) debutants playing the Roman derby from the start, another one got subbed in. Doesn’t mean we lost it but still… I reckon some Loria Perrotta, Stekelenburg or Taddei would have helped Sunday.

Assigning Awards

The Doni award: Goicoechea. Lazio’s first goal. Who wants to bet on Doni secretly putting butter on Mauro’s gloves during halftime? (tip to Mauro: no you should not be proud of yourself after receiving this award)

The Muhammad Ali award: Daniele. Nothing beats a good old fashioned fist-in-the-face… in boxing. Footballo? Not so much…

The Rosi award: Piris. Bad game from rightback Piris, who is more and more becoming the next Rosi on the teamsheet: blowing hot and cold, is fast and pretty talented but doesn’t know what to do with it, you love him one day, you condemn him the other. They share three letters in their names too, that’s gotta mean something. FYI, in French, the sentence ‘c’est pire’ means ‘it’s worse/it hurts more’. Good Lord…

Coppa craziness

All is not lost (or maybe it is, I’m just trying to keep you guys from bombing Trigoria or putting a dead horse head in the beds of Daniele or Goicoechea) and while seventh or even sixth don’t guarantee a ticket to the EL, the Coppa will. Might not be a bad idea for Zeman to turn his attention towards it. After all, this current Roma is more of a knockout team than a competition team (too inconsistent but still able to beat the best teams when they are on fire). If both Coppa Italia finalists already qualified for Europe via the competition, let’s say Inter and Juve or Napoli and Fiorentina, than sixth in Serie A will receive the EL-place of the Coppa. Problem solved right?

Ps: I deliberately didn’t talk about the Champions League because this Roma would get manhandled all the way at this point, even by teams like Shaktar, Malaga or Dortmund.

As always, thanks for reading and until next week!

“Roma fans have always been close to Roma and suffered defeats, but remained attached to the club. Of course nobody is going to be happy with losing the derby, but it’s not as if they are going to become supporters of Lazio or any other club. I hope their bad mood will only last a week.” – Zdenek Zeman, 2012.