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Totti Tuesday: ‘Tom Cruise, the Trevi Fountain and crutches’

TURIN, ITALY - APRIL 22:  Red card for Maarten Stekelenburg of AS Roma during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and AS Roma at Juventus Arena on April 22, 2012 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - APRIL 22: Red card for Maarten Stekelenburg of AS Roma during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and AS Roma at Juventus Arena on April 22, 2012 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Winning in Juve. Unbeatable in Serie A for 32 games. A mission so impossible, only Tom Cruise could handle it. But then again, Tom Cruise’s acting talents are as inconsistent as Roma’s results in 2011-2012. It’s all in the link-ups people.

The ball was in Roma’s camp Sunday: with a win we could jump to fourth, 2 meager points behind the blue goatloving neighbours. It was fair to say the starting lineup baffled me. Heinze, Taddei and Totti on the bench, Perrotta starting (his last game as a starter was 4 December), Pjanic at trequartista, Borini starting although not fully fit, Angel AND Rosi on full back… and the icing on the cake: DDR at CB once again where’s he a mere shadow of his CM/CB3 role. I could understand LE wanting to rest/rotate the squad because we have a very busy schedule coming on but when I think of it, LE has been rotating ever since August so no surprises there. It was clear to me that LE didn’t have a lot of faith in a win or even a draw even before the kickoff.
And he’s partially right. The double Fiorentina-Napoli at home IS important. But I didn’t like his (and the team’s) attitude on Sunday. We could have at least given Juve a run for their money, we could have been the very first team to beat them in Serie A. Instead, we were the laughing stock, as if the trashing Lecce wasn’t enough. When your best moment of the match is a penalty saved by a Roman (!) keeper , which still went in btw but those are details, then things aren’t ok. I guess the last time Roma’s keeper saved a penalty, Totti was still a toddler.
Roma also conceded four away goals for the fourth time since Febuary (Cagliari, Atalanta, Lecce and Juve). Very non-Barca if you aks me.

But let me play the devil’s advocate for a moment (LE being the devil of course, which won’t be hard to imagine for most of you right now). Would everyone who thought we could win in Juve please raise their hands? (only sober people please, if you’re drunk like me, it doesn’t count)…. Exactly. Maybe we could have gone for a draw with our best possible formation and a lot of energy waisted.
But don’t let LE fool you, we all know these games aren’t CL deciders in the end. A win in Juve or Milan is nice to brag about and all but Roma-Fiorentina, Roma-Napoli and Chievo-Roma are the ones that matter the most since our Scudetto dreams were already gone in September. A 6/6 by Sunday and things might look different, for the umpteenth time this season. And for that to happen, we need a fully fit Totti and preferably Heinze and Taddei too.

Let’s face it, the fact that we can still speak about CL/EL qualification is mostly because of the increased Serie A competitiveness instead of Roma’s strenght. Ranieri’s Roma 2009-2010 edition would have been Campioni by now under these circumstances.

At this rate though, I’m sure the Mayans were right about their December 2012 prophecy and the world WILL suddenly explode. Why? Because even God himself can’t take this Roman madness any longer, even he has his limits. As does my liver of all the alcohol intoxication. And my weekly visits to the psychiatrist. Not much time for grieving though, more drama on its way this Wednesday. Last six games: WLWLWL. Why play Fiorentina anyway? A win it will be and you can take that to the bank. If not, I will run naked around the Trevi Fountain screaming ‘let them goats come to me’.

Fun fact of the day: Roma scored in 28 of its 33 games so far, just like Juve and Milan. No other team does better. Hey, at least it’s some form of consistency right? Too bad it also counts for our defensive brainfarts and LE’s inability to read the Italian game.

Fun fact of the day 2: Roma sucked so hard in Turin, the Juventus Stadium looked like a red light district.

Notes of last week

• Totti, bearing no major injuries (jup I just jinxed the whole sh*t), would like to play on until he’s 40, hence coming into Maldini territories. Paolo ended when he was 41. Just for information: Del Piero is 37 but he will probably leave Juve at the end of the season. BTW nice way of dealing with icons Juve!
I’m a little sceptic about it though. At his position, playing till you’re 40 is not impossible but we’re talking about playing in Serie A here, not in some lower Serie D or Lega Pro division. Defenders and trainers in Serie A have been aware of the threat ‘Totti’ for more than 15 years now and he is fouled a lot during games. At 38-40, he won’t recover that quick anymore, receiving knocks left and right. I think he should retire somewhere in 2-3 years when he’s 38, which gives him some more time for another trophy in his cabinet. Only one Scudetto is just to few for a guy with his football skills (who gives a damn about Coppe Italia anyway?). Thank God he won a World Cup, eat that Ronaldo and Messi.
Of course, all this jibber jabber won’t matter as when Il Capitano retires, it’s gonna be an enormously sad day nonetheless, be it at 38 or 70 with crutches and a drip.
For your information: the oldest player ever in Serie A is Marco Ballotta, 44-year old GK from Lazio (who looked like he was 65 to be honest). The oldest field player is Costacurta at 41 years and 25 days. The youngest ever was Roma’s ex-captain and striker Amadeo Amadei at 15 years and 280 days. Somewhere, Sabatini’s dreaming of breaking this record with some random South-American prodigy.

• Borini says his idol is Del Piero. His management called me to clear things out. The boy had been drinking and he actually meant Totti. Hey at least he got the o and i right.

• Carlo Mazzone: “Osvaldo better than Vuci”. He clearly hasn’t been drinking. Well done Carlo.

Luis Enrique, because holding up a ball with the head while wearing glasses is serious gangsta style.

• Roma looking to extend Kjaer’s loan for one more year. That’s probably the best deal we can sort out with Wolfsburg. They don’t want him back while he probably wants to stay in Italy. Due to injuries and back luck, he only managed 17 Serie A games so far (not every one as a starter too) while playing next to DDR, Heinze, Juan, Cassetti, Burdisso and the holy ghost of Simone Loria. He deserves another shot in my opionion, he has slowly improved since Palermo-Roma and you won’t find another CB his age with his experience in Italy. A good preseason in summer, stability and fit Burdisso/worthy CB addition next to him will do. Speaking of Scarface, he’s recovering rather fast nowadays and has been training at Trigoria. He won’t make the end of this season but he will definitely be back this summer, shouting ‘say hello to my little friend’ to any random member of the team. In times like these, I wish Giuly was still with us…

• During one of last week’s trainings, LE used this formation: Cicinho, De Rossi, Perrotta, Josè Angel; Simplicio, Gago, Greco; Bojan, Borini, Piscitella. Anyone up for a bet how many goals that team would concede in one single Serie A season under LE?
I reckon somewhere around 50 000 (25 000 of which from the man Borriello himself of course).

See you next week, ciao! Ow, and keep those alcoholic beverages close, just in case.

“I cannot imagine a different team, also I do not know how I’d be able to tell my children.” – Francesco Totti, 2012