One league match remaining, one cup final remaining, and then it's bunga bunga time. Or maybe it's always bunga bunga time. I don't know. What I know and you know and they know is the for any reasonable candidate, the season ends on Sunday and from there, it's time to go a-huntin'. Can they name the coach in the week before the Coppa final without causing too much disruption? I don't think so. Of course that doesn't mean they won't. Sadly for Roma, this feels a lot like the time at the end of the night at the bar when someone's looking to go home with someone else and they just pick whatever the hell is left, usually the chick who can benchpress your entire family with her Adam's apple. I don't know what that's called. Clearly I'm out of touch. Though that's a touch I'm glad I never touched. That doesn't make sense.
I have no idea what the hell's going on here. Neither does Roma. So it's all okay.
Just smile and nod, Roma. Smile and nod.
Future Ex-Roma Manager Power Poll: 4th Edition
1. Walter Mazzarri
Walter was first last time 'round. He's first this time 'round, but it might have escalated to Walter & The Field at this point. (Also the name of my upcoming novel about a man who makes tender love to a meadow. A whole meadow.)
Rumors say he's leapfrogged Allegri as the first choice. The noise out of Napoli seems to indicate they're preparing for his departure as though it's damn near guaranteed. But is he going to leave a club which finished second for one which is currently in seventh and is looking at Europe only through the back door of the guest house? Why would he leave Napoli for Roma, even if they do sell Cavani?
God, try to convince yourself of that now.
One gets the feeling Walter is waiting to make a decision until after the season in large part to perhaps spend the time really looking at what he'd get with Roma during the match on the final day and in the days leading up to it. (These days.) He's been handed some high quality established players at Napoli. Roma? His time to judge, and the rumors of more money being flung toward South America for unproven commodities might not help. (Rafael, Lanzini, et cetera.)
As someone mentioned, Mazzarri simply choosing Roma might be the greatest show of confidence in this regime yet. But he'll have to, first.
If he announces after the Roma match he is leaving Napoli, one can make the assumption he is Roma's next coach.
2. The Unknown
You know the drill. Right now, the options behind Walter seem so undesirable or so unfeasible it has to be him or someone else...one would think.
3. Roberto Mancini.
Oh my god.
4. Laurent Blanc
Mr. White had a rather interesting interview in L'Equipe last week, part of which involved discussing the Roma job. Basically he hinted that - it was more of an outright statement, really - that the issue was years and he wanted to be part of something where he was the focus, not a stopgap. Certainly gave credence to those rumors which stated the issues in January were over an 18 months contract.
Perhaps they simply weren't ready to make the commitment in January? Who knows. There's every reason to believe he should be near the top of their wishlist, but every reason to believe he isn't. Yet what other choices do they have? Now one has to wonder whether or not he wants Roma. They might've burned a bridge they now need.
5. Rafa Benitez
Like...he's not a bad coach. Just like you know a Hyundai isn't a bad car*.
That doesn't mean you want to drive one.
And frankly, he may not be the right fit for Serie A. It's a different game, this one, and the best coaches aren't always the best coaches.
Again, this hasn't stopped Roma before.
* - Never driven a Hyundai. This could be entirely untrue. Work with me here.
6. Cesare + One.
At this point, this option is a delicate dance between, "Can they afford to?" and "Christ, what else is better?"
7. Roberto Donadoni
This smacks of an "appoint someone decent because you can't not have a coach" move.
Hey, fuck you. If Spalletti can play without a striker, this club can play without a coach.
8. Stefano Pioli
Silver lining is he might be available for free soon.
(This was written pre-Parma derby. Nothing changes with derbies.)
9. Max Allegri.
He's here, but he's not here. Silvio Berlusconi is cursing into his bunga bunga parties that he can't appoint Clarence Seedorf, Billy Costacurta, Babs, the guy who cleans the toilets at the San Siro, or anyone else with "Milan Family" DNA, because Max is making himself impossible to fire at the moment, and the players at Milan aren't helping Silvio either. Then again, he spent the entire fall making himself impossible to employ, yet he hung on then despite all odds and good sense. So who the hell knows, really.
10. Antonio Conte's Rug.
I'm not ruling it out is all I'm saying.
Obviously this means he's getting the gig.
At this point...
They've definitely put in a call. You know they have.