Big things have happened since the last edition. Strama was fired, Mazzarri hired, and they completely cancelled the Coppa Italia final and nullified the competition for the season. What a week. Anywhom, it's become rather obvious Aurelio Andreazzoli is not getting the job unless he has to get the job because they need a coach and he's already on the payroll and @#$% you, Pablo Osvaldo. Despite whoring themselves out to anyone and everyone, the options which seem both realistic and desirable are low/non-existent. Basically this is the calcio equivalent to dating for normal people.
But there is one: Max Allegri. There is no hiding the fact that he's at or near the top of Roma's list. Why? Because someone has to be and he has a pulse, that's why. Adriano Galliani, meanwhile, has announced a decision will be made on the Milan Mister Thursday. Tremble slowly. It would seem we should go Max-heavy.
The Future Ex-Roma Manager Power Poll: 5th Edition
1. Max Allegri
Before reading this, read this from Blogistuta. In fact, if you'd like to skip the rest of this smattering of pixels entirely, that's perfectly fine. Because I'm lazy, I'm going to cut and paste a comment from the - ta da - comment's section here and see if we can gather a snowball.
Nailed it. Allegri is a sure thing. He will get one the results of which the quality of the team constructed is capable. They will neither "punch above their weight" nor fail miserably. The problem then becomes he is reliant upon others, and the whole system needs to function as a well-oiled machine in step with one another. That's not the Roma I know.
Do you trust the current group to get him the quality needed? Or another batch of talented youngsters whose quality is the 4th, 5th, or 6th Roma will finish under Allegri?
And frankly, he's boring as all hell. Watching Boateng turn into/become exposed as Sneijder's Ego 2.0 has done nothing to win him my favor. It's one thing to allow quality at the top of the formation dictate progress, which his tactics are designed upon, but another to allow it to dictate regression.
The current crop, despite the previous two coaching selections, seems focused upon ambition. Allegri doesn't seem to fit that philosophy.
When Luis Enrique first rampaged into Rome on his Schwinn, a palpable potential of looming greatness swathed across the sky. Then reality hit and Luis forgot to wear his helmet. Very good coach, very good tactics, wrong league, wrong pieces with which to achieve it. Can we all agree? The man very well look back on his career as Pep 2.0, but not with those players in Serie A. Not nevah. (?)
Allegri, on the other hand...well this man is a safer choice whilst walking into a bespoke room - the ceiling will be custom made for the tenants. In some respects, he plays a football which is more reminiscent of small club concepts with big club players, which can be very (very, very) effective. He did win a title, after all. The midfield is solid rather than fluid, and there is an emphasis on releasing the front players to play more individually than one would normally hope from a once Spalletti, Enrique, Zeman-led club. And that's where it gets tricky: It's the type of tactic one would assume of a club like Chievo but with infinitely superior players, hence their ability to play a more dominant brand of a similar base concept at times. Milan's possession is a result of individual ability more than tactic, though winning the ball back quickly with bosses in the middle is certainly a design. The main problem arises at the top, where Allegri's tactics are almost passive, restricted to the capacity of the men deployed. Buy Zlatan, win a title. Lose Zlatan, use El Shaarawy in an attempt to stay afloat. El Shaarawy suffers, results suffer. Buy Balotelli, he hits form, results peak again. Notice a pattern? The men up front need perform and be in form. Watching Destro and Lamela drift in and out of consciousness - tis a youth thing - should be a frightening proposition. This is a side which, for two years, has been constructed around a team-centric base philosophy. Allegri's tactics seem far more reliant upon individual brilliance to turn one point into three.
And that's where it gets difficult. Allegri is not a great defensive mind. He'll never be considered calcio's Kasparov, a tactician adept at gnawing at an opponent's soul, taking not only life but will to live, and all from a cozy seat by the chalkboard. He is nothing but a good, solid manager. Which is where the entertainment value takes a hit. There will be, with this side, a lot of performances like Chievo, Fiorentina, and The Coppa Final That Never Happened. It will be mind-numbing. No, just numbing. There will be your average excitement, but dear me after years of a midfield so glorious - Enrique's might not have been effective but it was pretty to watch until it became repetitive in the fortieth second - this would be an exercise in head-snapping to remain conscious. You're watching neither Tarkovsky nor Tati. No riotous humor, no metaphysical construct. Welcome to the curve. Somewhere between genius and commoner, he personifies the above-average. And maybe that's what they need in the short term. This club can certainly put to rest any scudetto dreams under his tutelage unless they drastically upgrade the quality of player being brought in. His limits are the same as the players with which he'll be provided. This means Walter Sabatini's selection of players assumes a greater importance. This means Roma becomes a system which needs to operate in unison. If you'll allow me to repeat myself, "That's not the Roma I know."
There has to be someone out there better than that. Just has to be. Well, there does exist one, and Roma's already approached him, but that appears to be dwindling by the week.
Allegri is, for all intents and purposes, a good selection. Beyond the coaching, he seems like a genuinely good guy and likable enough personality off the pitch. On the pitch, he won't fail, but he won't let one dance sweetly in a dream of the romantic, either. He's safe, he's boring, and he's going to settle in nicely at the meaty part of the curve. Lots of people would take meaty right now. That's not me, certainly not my personality; I'd much rather be sorry than safe (hello....Roma), and that's where it seemed this ownership was heading. Honestly for a moment? It's a fucking sport. If you're performing brain surgery, maybe limit risk. Maybe. Maybe you hire Allegri instead of Bielsa, who just decided to lick your frontal lobe "just to see what happens". Kicking a ball about a pitch? Come on. There is safe, and they should make a safe choice, but there is such a thing as limiting ceiling via safety, too. Goldilocks and the Three Bears, please - there is a happy medium to be found somewhere. If a supremely safe choice can bring the club a title, take the club to a truly meaningful next step, go for it. That's not the case here. So will the whole philosophy shift? Or would Max already be a dead man walking? Do they believe he can shift to a philosophy more rooted in the ideal? Or has the desire to woo the neutral and build a brand centered upon a platform of the pretty-pretty football take a backseat to the realization one can play as aesthetic as one wants but if one isn't exposed to anyone then no one will care? Two.
Naming Max signals an abrupt change in course, an admission of fault, and that's not a terrible thing considering how spectacularly things have gone on the pitch in Rome these two years. The Europa League they'd wedge into nicely into him wouldn't be a terrible thing. It's better than what currently is, but they're better than that. At least one would think so until you glance around at the realistic options.
Desperation indeed marks the death of standards.
Oh, and if they are indeed offering Max a two-year deal as rumored, Cesare Prandelli won't know what hit him in 2014 until he dusts off the cigarette ashes to see all those motherfluffin' zeroes.
It's still Cesare. It's always been Cesare.
2. Unnamed 3. Roberto Mancini 4. Strama/Project Wait For Cesare 5. Blanc. 6. Bielsa 7. Who the fuck even cares anymore.