What a weekend it has been my friends. Lazio lost, Antunes scored somewhere in Spain, Osvaldo scored a world class goal against Manchester City, Stekelenburg got a clean sheet in Fulham, Tallo started against Monaco, I saw Taddei and Pizarro together again on a football field, Inter and Napoli lost points albeit playing home games against inferior teams… So many things baffled me this weekend. And perhaps THE moment of them all was Montella’s face right after the final whistle on Sunday. When the Curva Sud exploded thanks to a massive win against a top three competitor. The look of a man who still has unfinished business in Rome. Who hasn’t given up on the Giallorossi colors yet. Who wants the Curva crows to sheer for and not against him.Who was inexplicably shown the door for a Spaniard (Chi?), now long gone after a grey and uninspiring season.
Mister Garcia has done/is doing something extraordinary in his first season at Rome, he deserves our respect for working in such a heated and unstabile environment and I hope he stays with us for quite some time. But some things can’t be ignored or overlooked: This was not the last time we saw Montella in a suit at the Olimpico sidelines (and not only as a Fiorentina coach).
Back to the real deal happy meal: Roma. And its very own comeback kid Mattia Destro. Entered the pitch at the 57’ minute mark, scored a goal in minute 67, got yellow for a little striptease (at least he didn’t masturbate or harrass the corner flag) and got replaced in the 89’ minute by Bradley to ensure the three points stayed in Rome. Talking about efficiency. You can’t deny Destro offers something more to this team. He’s no Borriello, no Osvaldo, no Gervinho, no Ljajic, no Toni, no Tallo (thank God)… He’s quite undescribable really. A huge boost for Garcia and a team which was losing its attacking threat in the league, a mere four goals (including one own goal) in the last five games. It gives Rudi an almost impossible task to form an attacking line-up next week: Gervinho and Florenzi on the wings with Totti or Borriello in the middle? Play Totti in a fake winger role and use Destro as spearhead? Bench Florenzi or push him back to midfield and play Ljajic? Start Borriello or use him in the dying minutes as enforcer? The possibilities are endless. I bet none of Juve, Napoli and Inter are happy to see Mattia score. Many more are soon to come.
The end of the match was traditionally nail-biting (a narrow lead, Roma giving away too much space and opportunities to the Viola, nervousness in the defence), especially with Sassuolo in the players’ backheads. Roma won this fixture for the second time in a row after last season’s 4-2 win under Zeman, one of his best games in his second Roman tenure. This time however, Roma find themselves not in the middle of an EL-battle but in the upper echelons, firmly in second place and chasing Juve like a mad hellhound. After a 4/12 and with Napoli-Inter coming up, Benitez and co seem to be struggling while Roma remain the only unbeaten team in Italy. It’s incredible how one single win can give so much relief to a club.
WARNING! Obligatoire pessimistic piece coming up: Next week we travel to Milan, Pjanic is suspended while Balotelli is on fire. Poo poo season or not, Milan stays Milan, an Italian household name. They might have a player called Kaka but that doesn’t mean they’re full of sh*t. Roma at its best can dig out a win in San Siro, maybe even repeat their 0-3 trick against Inter earlier in the season. And this time, we have Destro back. I suddenly realize I haven’t mention a word about the comeback of his Holiness, Totti, who was called up for the first time since Napoli. Shame on me but I bet Francesco will forgive me this slip-up after seeing Destro score on Sunday.
M&M. Mattia and Montella. Two men, one fate. One day Vincenzo will train, give advice to and mould Mattia even more into the striker the whole of Serie A will and shall fear. No doubt about it, Destro is the comeback kid of the present. But Monty will be the future one.