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A Season Encapsulated

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Paolo Bruno

Are you new here? No. Well, it does remain a plausibility, I suppose. If so, what the hell is wrong with you? No one is following this club anew in 2013. No one of sane mind, at least. Do you enjoy pain? Do you enjoy the incessant falling short at unrealistic expectations? Do you enjoy underaged Brazilian boys? Don't answer that. Do you enjoy all of these things on a drastically escalated scale? All of the above means you're probably not a new Roma fan, and perhaps you've even been to church once or twice before. Which means you've seen and heard it all already. Which also means this could, though it won't, suffice as a season review. Then at least a season encapsulated.

The story is today the same one which became apparent in October and has remained since: this team is not good. It is talented, yes, but it is not good. It doesn't deserve Europe, frankly, and my only disappointment in not nabbing that Europa League spot is that I'd like to actually wake up on a Thursday in the fall occasionally. Otherwise, they got what they is. Lazio was, yes, the better club. That doesn't mean they were good, just that they were better. And here we are.

The story so often remains the same.

The only difference, mind, arrives in that Aurelio Andreazzoli saved his one great big bomb for the biggest match of the year. The man managed to spend the ninety minutes oblivious to the fact that nothing was working. Nothing. The midfield was okay defensively, but unless Michael Bradley has a leash, then he needs a babysitter, which places shackles on his partner. Marquinho was perhaps Roma's best attacking threat, which says absolutely nothing of his play. Erik Lamela...well, we'll get to Erik another day. The strikers had zero service, so it could've been Mattia Destro, Pablo Osvaldo, or the Ghost of Christmas Past atop the formation. Wouldn't matter. The substitutions were curious. The third was one of the most interesting I've ever seen. A thunderous change so bombastic it's almost as though it never happened at all.

It was poor. It was all poor. They are poor. This is not, simply put, a very good football club right now, top to bottom, across the board. Talent, not quality. Potential, not realization. Again. And again. And again. Someone reinstall that revolving door at Trigoria again - it's summertime.

Two last briefs for business:

One rule for the summer: Suggest selling Daniele De Rossi and I will hunt down your first born and next three generations. That's not a threat, but a promise. (Kisses.)

The silver lining:

Every single summer I quietly pray that It won't happen. I never say anything, but the back of my mind is a black cyclone of the unthinkable. I fret. I worry, because nothing will ever be the same. I like change. Not this. This is death. I fear that one day It will happen. That one day I'll wake up to a cacophony of articles, analysis, tears, and utter bedlam. That no matter what is said throughout the season, It does remain, more with each passing trek around the sun, a distinct possibility. On Sunday morning It, possibly more than ever with victory ushering in the cinematic swansong, was feasible. This could have been the Hollywood ending.

A stay has been granted; Francesco's not going out like this. At least one more.