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Your Annual Early Season Reminder: Roma's Still Roma

Paolo Bruno - Getty Images

Roma 2 - Bologna 3

A very simple question, one posed in the GameThread comments:

"What the hell happened?"

An even simpler answer:

Roma happened.

Not Zeman. Not Nico. Not Ivan Piris. Not Maarten. Not voodoo and black magic. Not the power of Alberto Gilardino's thinning hair.

Roma happened.

Anyone's who's been a fan of this club for more than twelve minutes, you may stop reading here and go about the rest of your day. Thank you for your time.

Fresh victims, right this way...

If you fancy deconstructing the club spanning [insert n number of years here], go right ahead. I gather it's nothing which hasn't stormed over the brain before, as none of this is new; neither the defensive lapses - Roma's had, what, one year in six in which the coach's inherent tactics don't demand a heart pump nearby? - nor the mental capitulations. And if you've got an answer, then quit your job, book a one-way ticket to Rome and ask for an official security badge from the club, because they're going to give you Messi money and Jonathan Lucca's personal entourage to put this plan in action.

At this point, this is their identity; this is as much a part of the crest as a wolf drawn by a four year-old with cookie crumbs on the page. This happens every year, several times, with alarming consistency over even more alarming personnel turnover, as though second half capitulations are woven into the fabric of the shirt. This is just the first incident of 2012-13.

Until they figure out a way to deal with it, with it. This is the anguish of hope mixed with despair; this is Roma.

However, something even more familiar to be discussed:

Had Agliardi not channeled his Mediocre Italian Goalkeeper Playing Against Roma identity, Totti scores two headers and Roma's being talked about as heading toward a two-horse title race with Juve. There is no explanation in this world as to how average professionals turn in to Lev Yashin on PEDs out of nowhere when the other kit has a touch of the red and gold in it.

So maybe it is voodoo and black magic.


  • Ivan Piris is making Jose Angel look like Philipp Lahm x Maicon on Lev Yashin's PEDs. Rodrigo Taddei will be ready to slide right into that spot, while Sebastian Jung's pricetag just went a little bit higher.
  • No one needs to discuss the wisdom of this at length - it's just what is: Zeman wanted Mauro Goicoechea. Zeman is not going to be on a nine year contract, leading one to believe he actually wants to see Goicoechea implement his vision while he's around. All it was going to take was one subpar showing from Maarten to hit the bench, because ZZ's just looking for an excuse to finally have eleven outfield players on the pitch. (Go to YouTube. Type in Mauro's name. Watch. Drool. Pause. Get a napkin. Drool again.)

    This is probably going to do it.
  • There is no better way to put this:

    Every one was brilliant in the first half; everyone was absolute tripe in the second. It's not true, not true at all, but it's just so much easier this way, ain't it?
  • From the "other" preview

    Johnny Depp 2.0

    He is going to score a lot of goals under Zeman. A lot. Half of them are going to be complete bullshit, complete luck-pulled-out-of-his-underpants; the other half will be unfrickenbelievablyspectacular, and grown men will be throwing their underwear at the television screen. There is no middle ground here.

    Feel free to extend that to the club as a whole. (Mattia Destro's second half performance also puts Ozzy at fault a slight bit.
  • The double sub on the right, removing Lamela and Pjanic, was critical, as it took away a bit of the defensive aspect - bear with me hear, as I know those two names and "defense" don't make much sense - but they were slowing up play on the right and making things a touch less chaotic, which isn't quite Zeman-material but more balanced. Expect to see that substitution week. Just don't expect any different. (It's Zeman, after all.)
  • The Finish Touch. Roma lacks it. Not Zeman's Roma - Roma Roma. Several times in the past I've made the dolphin/shark comparison when blood is in the water, taking the form of the streamlined, majestic creature rather than the vicious sharks they need to be. Here is one of those times, Nov. 2008:

    ...I think I once likened the lads to dolphins, not sharks, under those circumstances. Not 100% sure what dolphins do when blood is in the water, but I'd rather they mercilessly pummel some balls into the back of the net as opposed to jump up and down, look all cute and get caught in tuna traps.

    Roma: still caught in a tuna trap. Four years later.

  • Confession: we have this "back room" where discussions happen; all of it should be published but none of it can be without losing any shred of respect accrued and several court battles. So one of us - one who should know better after this long... - starts dropping the hammer on Agliardi's non-skills. Another lays the line, "Is it too early to say Diamanti who and Gila who?" Finally, sixty seconds before Gila scores his first, yours truly decides it's time for, "...Gila who?"

    So, you know....

    We're all very, very sorry.

And in closing...

She's still Roma - no amount of personnel or philosophical turnover can change that. So what the hell else did you expect?