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Totti Tuesday: ‘Backflips, Playboy Mansion and Mick Jagger’

GDANSK, POLAND - JUNE 10:  Daniele De Rossi of Italy passes the ball during the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match between Spain and Italy at The Municipal Stadium on June 10, 2012 in Gdansk, Poland.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
GDANSK, POLAND - JUNE 10: Daniele De Rossi of Italy passes the ball during the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match between Spain and Italy at The Municipal Stadium on June 10, 2012 in Gdansk, Poland. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Headline from E' stata senza dubbio la settimana di Zdenek Zeman.

Indeed, last week was all about the return of Zeman, Zemanlandia, cigarettes, 4-3-3, kamikaze football, even more cigarettes, bringing up memories of 1997-1999, prevention of lung cancer and so on and so forth. One particular quote of Zdenek made me smile, feel all fuzzy inside but also a little bit nervous: "If Roma score ninety (that’s 90 in case you missed the exact number) goals next season, it doesn’t really matter how much we condede". Right? Right. Just what the doctor ordered after 2011-2012 where our defensive department was easily the worst of the bunch. Pardon me if I don’t do backflips. Even though aeroplanino Montella is not our head coach, all I can say is: fasten your seatbelts. There will be defensive fragilties, we will heavily insult players while being intoxicated, there will be bumps (mountains) along the road and Roma will concede nasty counterattacks… but it will be ever so graceful and beautiful to watch. After all, the best defense is offense right?

Zdenek Zeman zends zhivers down my zpine

You can find Zeman interviews all over the internet nowadays, like in here. Three points I want to discuss from that titbit:

1) Basically he is saying: forget LE (mind you, that’s not going to be hard for the most of us, does anyone on this blog actually miss him?), possession doesn’t win you games, outscoring the opponent does. I like that attitude. Zeman thinks vertically, there’s only one way: to the goal. Let’s hope they learn to finishes the chances too. Just like possession stats, you don’t win matches with a higher number of shots at goal than the opponent. They need to go in. With Totti, Osvaldo, Bojan, Lamela and Borini, Zeman has an exciting mix of speed, technique and aerial threat at his disposal. Feel free to add names like Insigne, Destro and Borriello too. Yet, somewhere Ahmed Hossam 'Mido' is crying.

2) He’ll give extra attention to his Roman connection: DDR-Totti. DDR is not a regista ala Pirlo, nor a centre back. He is a defensive midfielder. In Zeman’s 4-3-3, that means he cleans shit up. In other words: he acts as a third CB. As someone mentioned on the blog, for the love of God please let our players play in the positions they feel best. No more experiments this time so great news. Daniele is a wall in that department, always has, always will. Zeman will bring out the best of Daniele and it’s known that midfielders under Zeman score a lot. Anyone wanna bet on Daniele scoring double digits next season?
Secondly, Totti. Needless to say, both have a great understanding (and still a better love story than Twilight). Playing under Zeman only benefits Totti (and therefore the entire team), wherever he plays on the pitch. Both are thirteen years older since Zeman left in 1999 so it’s a little different now. Zeman will put Totti a lot closer to goal than LE did. The moment I read that, one name immediately popped up: Lamela. Create danger, split passes, runs into the box, free kicks, shots. Under Zeman, the kid’s gonna light Serie A up like a Kamehameha from Dragonball Z …. And then probably extinguish it by spitting, you know. Fire insurances and stuff.

3) The medical staff better get their act together. Sparta will be the Playboy Mansion compared to Trigoria. Zeman is told to be old-fashioned and will bring back double training sessions. Good because under LE, a lot of players seemed to be out of breath after seventy minutes. We’ll definitely need that extra fitness bonus because movement/running is a key part in Il Boemo’s kamikaze football.

Serie A is still miles away but I’m loving those new signs. To throw in one more name: Marquinho. Be it left back or midfielder, he’s gonna love life in Zemanlandia. Euro 2012? Pfff puhlease. Serie A can’t start soon enough for me. We’re gonna party like it’s 1999 (pun intended).

Fun fact of the day

If both Zeman and Sabatini stop smoking now, we can buy Messi in 2014 with their savings.


• New kit: this week was not only about the return of Zeman but also the return of the collar which brings back memories of the late 1970s and early 1980s. I love the orange band on the socks even more though. I wasn’t an admirer of the black socks. Reminded me of Manchester United, the ‘superior’ Premier League and Britain in general (bad weather and not-so-hot-women-compared-to-Italian, believe me I saw it with my own eyes in Napoli). The only good thing to come out of the isle is Little Britain.

• Italia @ Euro 2012: I gave extra attention to Daniele, especially now Prandelli uses him as a CB (say whaaaaat?) in a 3-5-2 (say double whaaaaat?)... Surprisingly, he did good. In fact, Italy in general did a good job. Torres made DDR sweat at the end though so I hope Prandelli acknowledges that you don’t play DDR against a world class striker. Luckily, both Ireland and Croatie don’t have a Torres, Rooney or Ibra in their ranks so Daniele can stay at CB until Barzagli is fit. Also: Kjaer – Stekelenburg 1-0. Who would have thought?

Thanks for reading, until next week!

"I have a statue of Mick Jagger in my house. I’d love to have a rock band!" – Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, 2012