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Totti Tuesday: The Doll

A draw! A draw! My kingdom for a draw!

Paolo Bruno

Didn’t you know? Wins are sooo October 2013. Draws are the real deal since November. And apparently Avramov is the Serbian Buffon, who saw that coming?

Obviously, there are a lot of downsides after Cagliari. The first time Roma failed to score this season. Another chance thrown away to profit from other results in the peninsula (Inter, Fiorentina, Napoli, Verona, Lazio). Third draw on the trot against a clearly inferior side and without a win in whole month of November. Ljajic who had another poor game. Dubious refereeiing. But more importantly: The drop to second place. Roma is not ‘hot’ anymore in Europe. Gone are the comparisons with Bayern and Barca (please, as if…). Expectations and pressure paralyzed them, badly. Ironically, the latter also has a positive side-effect. Now the pressure is back on Juve to maintain top spot. And not Roma, who were (totally unexpected) 1st ever since the start of September, no one could have foreseen it. Well, maybe those three stoned guys at the far left corner of Stazione Termini.

Although Juve are clearly a side who are able to cope with the pressure, a lot of eyes are now on the Bianconeri and not on Roma’s weekly performances, trainings and tactics. Everyone wants to beat the leader, especially smaller teams want to brag with the scalp. And one meager point means nothing with 25 games still ahead of us. To be honest, I even prefer this situation until May comes around and then bite Juve back in the ass in the 37th game (Roma-Juventus). In short: Less pressure and still freakishly close to first place.

Other positives from Cagliari: Maicon on RB got good grades, the unbeaten status remains, another clean sheet for Batman, the return of the African Connection Benatia and Gervinho, Daniele Conti only played like a mere mortal... See? Pink fluffy rainbows are peeping behind those dark clouds. I admit three draws is too much and more frustrating than one win and two losses (same point total). A draw is like having sex with a toy doll: You never get feedback. Was it good? Was it bad? You are rewarded for your work but there’s still that bitter feeling inside of you. It could have been worse. It could have been better as well. Again, the oblivious question: Where do we go from here? Keep the starters happy? Change the formula a bit? Introduce new players or rush back injured ones? Kick Garcia out of Rome? Give Dodo the captain's armband? Roma can’t afford to lose all the hype and enthusiasm they gathered in the city in the space of three months.

I predict calmness in Church amid (rightfully so, mind you) angry or disappointed fans. Cagliari at home is a three-point-match, especially when you are unbeaten after the greatest ever start in Serie A and in the race of 1st place. But Old Roma seems to be a stubborn and persistent entity. Let’s hope Rud has the answers, starting with Atalanta. Atalanta, the first game of December, thank God. November has been a true pain in the ass. But December ain’t gonna be a cupcakewalk in the park either with the hostile and cold environment of Bergamo (ten points out of their last four home games) and the fixtures against Fiorentina and Milan ahead of us. Although Milan are fast becoming the laughing stock of Italy right now. Allegri and co should accompany Monthy Python during their reunion in July. The knights who say Ni(ang)!

If indeed Old Roma is finally back, you can rest on your laurels. They always show up in big matches, against big opponents. With perhaps the biggest, fattest and most undisputed pillar of Old Roma: No Totti, Party.