I was supposed to make my 2013 debut on Tuesday last week but I prolonged it. Mainly because of Roma’s Copa duties/busy schedule and(mostly) the fact that talking about Roma anno 2013 is like talking about my ex dating Justin Bieber, having a nipple piercing while watching a Twilight movie, putting up a cd from the Spice Girls and wearing Crocs, it’s plain wrong wrong wrong and not done. 2012 was a pure transitional year (LE, Bojan, Angel, no Europe, losses to midtable teams…) but 2013 hasn’t particularly started brightly as well. Losses to Napoli (Cavani show) and Catania (Destro playing with Perrotta’s finishing boots) were thank God followed by a Coppa win in a hugely entertaining match in Fiorentina, where Dodo and Cuadrado were filming the next Rocky movie and somehow, Willem Dafoe got a red card. Strange match indeed.
Zeman ‘spiced up this life’ by choosing a 3-4-3 in the Coppa. Did I just look up that music video on Youtube? Yes I did. Which means things are getting serious and sh*t is about to go down. Zdenek confessed during a post-game interview that he hates a three-men-defence and he only used it out of necessity. Daniele on the other hand admits he likes the 3-4-3 system a lot. Shame because it kinda brought back memories of the 3-5-2 roughly ten years ago. Then again, Goicoechea kept a clean sheet only 17 days into 2013 which makes this year take a dump on 2001, 1983 and 1942 (look up the dates if you don’t understand the pun but shame on you as a Giallorosso if you do). This is the year of real miracles boys.
Thanks to the Coppa win, we face Inter three times in the space of ten days (!). I swear by the end of January, I’ll have created an enormous distaste for everything blue and black (excluding Jack Black) and I get a brain hemorrhage after hearing the words ‘Inter’ or ‘Rocchi’. Second semifinal is being postponed to April 17 as you have already read on Chiesa so scratch this part… Well maybe except Rocchi and the brain hemorrhage part.
To be honest, I love home games against Inter. Specially after that magical 2-1 win against Mourinho with Toni’s goal and the double supremacy of Roma and Inter post-Calciopoli. The Scudetti were all Inter while Roma won a Coppa here and there and even a Supercoppa in 2007, thanks to a converted penalty of DDR.
* Little note: I keep telling myself it’s all in the hair. I knew the very moment DDR went for the Lumberjack-look, he would never be the same again. Ditch the beard Daniele and shave the head, time to timewarp back to 2006-2008.
Right, the game itself. There isn’t so much to talk about really. Roma came out guns blazing, missing chances but eventually went up 1-0 thanks to an albeit soft penalty. Then they let Inter come back to 1-1 (Roma’s tenth conceded goal this season in period 30’-45’ if I’m not mistaken). Second half was meager, players were gassed, bla bla bla yada yada yada. A broken record, that’s what it is. And sadly, there’s little they can do about it but work on both fitness level and team chemistry and hope we can string together a win or three just like in November – December sooner or later. Putting all Europa League-eggs in one basket (Coppa) is risky but still the shortest way nonetheless. CL – 10 points, EL via Serie A -3 points. Moreover, Milan (yes that same horrendous Milan from September) jumps over Roma in the table. February can’t come soon enough. No wait, Valentine’s Day. Uuuuggh. March can’t come soon enough.
Always admirable awards
The dying swan award: Bradley and his penalty. Baldie should consider theatre one day. As let’s say, Humpty Dumpty?
The Xavier award: Palacio and his ridiculous haircut. It was the battle of the bun (Balzaretti) against the ponytail. Sadly, the ponytail won. If you don’t remember Xavier, here he is. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.
- Napoli got their two points back after launching an appeal. Two points don’t seem a lot but Roma can get all the help they need in order to end in top 3. It was already a mission impossible before this news, now even Tom Cruise would have to clean his underpants when looking at the mountain Roma has to climb. Still, it ain’t over till it’s over, famous movie quote no2 of this post.
- Carlos Zago, Roma defender from 1998 until 2002, joins the coaching staff. Zago’s Brazilian and he will help his fellow countrymen feel more at ease, you know because there are only 38 911 702 frikkin’ Brazilians on our team… Could this mean Marquinhos will get even BETTER? Saba better have a fat contract ready for the kid.
- Barcelona are prepared to offer € 8m for Marquinhos. Excuse me while I look for my ass after laughing it off.
- Bellomo (Bari) is as good as gone to Roma in summer, there is already an agreement which sees the 21-year-old AM stay at Bari for now and move to the capital in June. The price of half his contract is €2m. Bellomo is supposed to be the next big think in Bari, people are drawing comparisons with Antonio ‘Peter Pan’ Cassano, of all men. Bellomo, born and bred in Bari, already scored six goals in twenty games. This could be a huge coup by Sabatini but where would he fit in Zeman’s 4-3-3 (presuming he is still here by summer)? I reckon he can occupy one of the forward spots or play in midfield, ala Pjanic. Anyway, he’s young, he’s Italian, he is likened to Cassano and Milan/Inter both wanted him too. That’s four plusses in my book.
Osvaldo, Pjanic, Dodo and Taddei will all skip the midweek Inter game due to suspensions, Pjanic and Osvaldo will be sorely missed. The first game is at home so it is vital that Roma at least wins this tie to keep the chances of reaching the final as high as possible. Keeping a clean sheet would be nice as well but asking for a clean sheet from Zeman’s team is asking a prostitute to do your laundry, cook you a meal and marry her.
Keep in mind Serie A and Coppa Italia are two totally different things. Reaching this final would mean so much and it all reads like a fairytale. Zeman has a chance to actually win a goddamn prize, with his favorite club and player (Totti duh). Who doesn’t want to see Zdenek and Totti embracing eachother with the Coppa Italia in their hands while Taddei does what he does best: ruining team pictures?
Reaching the final means automatic EL qualification (and I guess a lot of people will be happy just by being in the final, rightfully so) but winning is nothing short but the icing on the cake. It’s more than Roma alone. This is about pride, prizes and prejudice towards Zeman. His sides always brought attacking football, flair and entertainment on the pitch but always ended empty handed. It has to stop and time is not on Zeman’s side (specially if he keeps smoking two packs a day, a banana looks more white than Zeman’s teeth). And who is better suited to end that curse than his very own pupil, Francesco himself.
The dream lives on. The fairytale is being written and the next chapter reads ‘Inter’ (yaaawn, once again). The wolf pack and Zdenek are hungry and after 72 hours they already get a rematch for the 1-1. Let’s do this.
“It’s a serious problem of course between him and the Coach. We are dealing with the situation with Roma in a very transparent and correct way. He’s not made any final decision about leaving or whether he will stay there. It could be by the end of January and otherwise we will pick it up later on.“ Stekelenburg’s agent Rob Jansen, 2013.