Shall we revisit those theories? I think we shall.
i. Can't play without De Rossi. Check.
ii. Nearly every coach to face Enrique a second time has, to be polite, done rather well. Check.
iii. This one's new: Can't play away from home. Check.
But before getting into the nitty gritty, this one's just for me:
If you're going to spend the 4th (Or 5th? Am I dreaming of someone - maybe PSG - nicking that 4th spot on deadline day?) most in Europe over a given summer transfer window, Marco Cassetti should never, ever get anywhere near your centerback pairing. Ever.
The nitty gritty:
You already know what it is. Everyone knows what it is. Your sister's friend's mother's cousin's milkman knows what it is. And everyone always knows it going in, before it actually happens. Watch the opposition sit back, defend moderately well in numbers and the counter opens up the back like the next edition of the Halloween franchise. For a country of tacticians born suckling at the teat of the defensive solidity, this is the calcio equivalent Sophia Loren in the buff circa 1957.
The system might consistently work. Someday. It will not consistently work with these pieces at hand - specifically when the men who need to cover the most ground at the greatest pace are a combined 473 years old and one has actually been pronounced deceased due to sheer volume of injuries. The whole defense is a shambles. Rodrigo Taddei - yes, Sexyface - was the team's best defender in the first half and has arguably been the team's best defender this year. That's not a recipe for much success.
* - I argue that Gabriel Heinze looking good in this defense is akin to dubbing Simone Loria the most handsome member of a leper colony.
Everything requires time, yes, but it bears watching just how much Luis Enrique is willing to stick to his guns over this Swiss cheese system. If they're gunning for 2012-13, that's fine - don't pretend otherwise and be honest about it. If they're gunning for the Champions League, however, then he'd better look to find an alternative method quite snappishly. The system has too many inherent weaknesses and it's just too easy.
For fun, a frightening consideration:
Where would this team be without Borini? The kid's a one-man show.
- I blame the DDR mishap and subsequent sucktide on Sabatini. Why? Because if he'd watch tape from the last few years, he'd know Daniele De Rossi is going to do some stupid shit that'll land him in the stands from time to time.
Have an appropriate Plan B in house.
- I've never seen these players taken off the ball so easily as I did today, particularly Pjanic, who casually mailed in 90 minutes of football. It's almost as though one of these teams has been deeply embroiled in a match-fixing scandal over the past months, or something.
- Marquinho's really good at shooting nowhere near the goal frame.
- Red card evidence is proving difficult to find. However, what we have learned over the last couple years of Serie A refereeing is to shut one's yap and...well, don't kick the opposition on purpose, no matter how innocuous.
And if you are going to kick someone on purpose, take a cue from the captain and get your suspension's worth.
- Everything else gets said on a weekly basis: defense needs an overhaul; Borini's an absolute stud; I've begun to hallucinate pictures of Erik Lamela on my milk carton; etc, etc, etc.
Now, onto the immediate future and undoubtedly the most pressing issue of the next week:
With Gago and Osvaldo now out of the derby via suspension, Roma will need to find someone else born in Argentina via emergency loan.