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Totti Tuesday: ‘Star Wars, GameBoy & Cupid’

Aah Roma. And silly season. June. Trainer and transfer rumors. Sit back. Relax. Enjoy the ride amici. Or not. Scratch your eyeballs out, annoy your girlfriend during her period, watch Adriano dribble on YouTube, look up old DDR highlights in the CL or dive into a big pit of needles (courtesy of Saw II, I think the makers must be Giallorossi) thanks to the incompetence of Roma’s management.

Roberto Serra

The new trainer would be unveiled before the Coppa Italia final… Which was played on May 26 2013. Right now it’s June 9 2013. Maybe it has something to do with the Mayans but for God’s sake, if our management can’t even read and analyse calendars, how on earth are they gonna manage a club like Roma? Draw a list of competent people, rank them from good to bad, start with your plan A and work your way down the list until you find a possible suitor for the job. Simple as that.

FYI, this post was written within the time frame Thursday-Monday so scusami if any of the following news is dated by today. Roma works in mysterious ways.

Total trainer turmoil at Trigoria

We all know when Baldini resigned, Sabatini’s seat got a lot more powerful. Whatever Walter wants, he f#@!’in gets. Like a spoiled kid in a candy store or a half naked Ryan Gosling in a brothel. Walter said: no Italian trainer, 90% a foreign one. Should be no surprise to no-one. Apart from caretaker Andreazzoli, the management has always chosen non-Italian coaches: Luis Enrique and Zeman. Not necessarily a bad thing though I do think an Italian is an advantage (experience in Serie A, the Italian way of life, communication with the press). After both Allegri and Mazzarri declined Roma’s offers while Andreazzoli was crying in a corner, the choice for a foreign trainer is probably the best thing. Hands up if you want to see Donadoni or Pioli on Roma bench next season… Yeah thought so. And Prandelli or Spalletti were never happening. Not now. A quick personal overview of the candidates last week. Now worries, I’ll keep the girl comparisons behind me.

Garcia: The journalist. Strong reports say Rudi is Sabatini’s‘chosen one’. Like Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat. Or Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars. Or Lindsay Lohan in every drugstore in America. Won the French Ligue 1 and Coupe with Lille in 2011, that’s quite a feat. And he looks like a young Zeman and he likes the 4-3-3 as well, albeit a more safer aproach I recon. His father was a footballer too while Rudi worked as a journalist before he became a coach. That might come in handy during conferences etc. He loves young players (platonically of course) and can lift a team higher with lower resources, just like Lille for the past five seasons (including prizes, Cl qualification, smart transfers, fight against the rich and powerful PSG).
Not a bad choice. He’s a better option than LE or Andreazzoli no doubt. Only downside is he’s not quite the established name in the football world I had hoped for. He can easily give us a top 5 finish but he can also get canned by January if he doesn’t get the support and patience of management and us, the fans. Zeman is (was?) 1000x more popular than Rudi and look how he was treated four months ago.

Bielsa: El Loco. A nickname even Zeman was jealous about. So you know Marcelo is the real deal. His Chile side at the WC 2010 (and Bilbao in ‘11-‘12 to some extend) was entertaining, thanks to the weird 3-3-1-3 formation. Marcelo fanatically analyses football videos. In short, the man bleeds football. Passionate but also a dictator during trainings. Some might support this move (the adventurous types), others have seen enough of kamikaze football and halftime heart attacks. Consider me part of the first group. Because I got a cheap cardiologist.

Mancini: The Laziale. No matter what, he will always be reminded of his Lazio past, both as a player and coach. He is the trainer with the most honors and prestige on this list, rich sugar daddies or not. Getting a tonload of talented players is one, but managing them, controlling the ego’s and making a title-winning team out of eleven divas is another thing. Roberto gets the job done wherever he goes. That’s a fact, not an opinion. But do we really want to put anymore gasoline on the giant camp fire after the Coppa derby and its aftereffects? It’s a risky move, not because of Roberto’s track record but because of his blue past. Shame but in a turbulent environment like Roma, you don’t want nervous and displeased tifosi when it’s not even July yet.

Blanc: The professor. Laurent Blanc. Or Lorenzo Bianco. To be honest, a favorite of mine. The way he transformed France after Domenech’s kindergarten anno 2010 was fascinating . Just like Garcia, he also made an underdog (Bordeaux in 2009) champion in Ligue 1 and won a cup in the same season (Coupe de la Ligue, not the same as the more prestigious Coupe de France). Only difference is Laurent had a small stint in Italy with Inter while his trophy cabinet as player (with clubs and his national team) is pretty stacked. He also has the charisma to keep all players on a short leash. He has dropped down the list since last weekend, probably because Baldini was a fan of Laurent, and he dismissed the rumors of him joining Roma. IMO, a missed opportunity from the management. Maybe they see something in Garcia that Laurent doesn’t have.

Martino: The new kid on the block. Well not exactly ‘kid’, seeing he’s 50. His name popped up not so long ago in the long list of candidates. He’s well-known in South-America. Managed Paraguay at the WC 2010, reaching the quarters only to be narrowly knocked out by future world champions Spain. Not a big fan of this move because he has zero European experience whatsoever. I’d rather AA sticks with us for one more year.

Mr X: Bob Bradley? Serse Cosmi? Zeman’s third tenure at Roma? The lovechild of Luis Enrique and Luigi Del Neri? Chris’ twisted twin sister? It will be a gamble nonetheless and the last thing Roma needs after two gambles in 2011 and 2012 is another hit or miss. Go for safe or go home.

Bitchslap of the week

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis. 40m for ‘Hos and Lamela? While contacting Unicredit behind Sabatini’s back? And saying he’s ‘not convinced by both players’ after his offer was denied? Give him two bitchslaps while we’re at it. Funny thing: Unicredit didn’t want to release ‘Hos and Lamela but offered Osvaldo instead. That’s like saying: ‘Hey bud, you can’t have this shiny, brand new Playstation 4 but take this old GameBoy Color with greasy buttons.’


• Bye bye Baldini. It sounds like some sort of weird 90s rock band but it’s true: Franco leaves Roma for the second time, after 2005. Abandoning a sinking ship like a traitor or staying classy while accepting the blame for two concecutive years of failure? You can interpret it in your own way I guess but I never doubted Franco’s work rate. It’s just that… we all expected so much more of the tridente USA-Sabatini-Baldini. Now watch him make an EPL winner out of Tottenham.

• I almost forgot Stek's sale as it happened under the radar, even though he played quite a bit the last two seasons. It was all about Baldini, Saba and our new coach. Like Dhaw once said, he'll be remembered for being one of the biggest (both literally and figuratively) talented players who didn't succeed at Roma. I remember most of the tifosi were so excited about his transfer, including me. Roma finally had a quality and big name keeper after all the Curci's, Doni’s,Zotti's, Arturs, Lobonts, Goicoechea's, Pellizolli's...
Ciao Stek, don't let the door hit you your way out. You know, because you're one big muthafucka. Now watch him become a top 3 keeper in EPL

• This one’s for the attentive public who have read my previous comments: Roberta Mastromichele from KICKTV, mamma mia… Roberta, even though I have just met you on Youtube (how romantic) a couple of weeks ago, I feel there is a special bond between us. You are the sour cream on my caviar, the magnificent Ilary Blasi of my Totti, the weekly error of my Loria, the sneaky infiltration move of my Perrotta, the slippery hands of my Goicoechea, the classy sideburn of my Florenzi or the star tattoo of my Mexes. What more can a man say when words are not enough to describe his love… Bella Roberta, vuoi sposarmi? Totti approves this message (see photo above).
Now if somebody would be so kind and please tweet this to her (I don’t have a Twitter account). Much appreciated, you modern Cupid.

Gently getting into gear for Garcia

Prepare for another week of transfer carousels. However, with an imminement announcement of the new coach (hello Garcia), things are slowly kicking into gear. Not quite top gear like a Maserati driven by Jeremy Clarkson on coke, more a tiny Peugeot 104 driven by a one-legged drunken Hobbit. The arrivals of Benatia and Nainggolan would be a good start: talented, young, proven in Serie A. Then again, so was Montella… Auwch.

“I am even more determined to stay at Roma. I feel at home here, have formed a great rapport with the people and love the food here too. There is no third way in Rome, as you’re either Giallorosso or Laziale. People really are crazy about football here. I met a fan who had a tattoo of my autograph on his arm. That was too much!” – Erik Lamela, 2013