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Totti Tuesday: ‘Ballet, Burger King & Queen’

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Allow me to paraphrase Eminem: “Guess who’s back, back again? Shady’s back, tell a friend. Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back….” Repeat to infinity and beyond.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Another line of the song is this one:

Now this looks like a job for me so everybody just follow me
cuz we need a little controversy,
cuz it feels so empty without me

You are currently reading the 62nd Totti Tuesday, can’t wait to write No. ‘69’ and include a lot of sexist jokes in it, seriously,like… A LOT. It sure feels good to be back alongside fellow-madmen aka Giallorossi. After all, what’s a Church without its beloved priest with dirty mouth, dirty mind and even dirtier hands right? Consider this a small teaser for the upcoming season where I will try to go all-in, play my cards right and raise the stakes even more to achieve a royal straight flush (fold is for pussies). Yea, I love Texas hold’em. Which provides a good link-up to my next subject: AS Roma’s current US road trip.

The past

I will not even try to summarize the last five weeks (damn, time flies during silly season). Ok maybe I will. Do you have a day or two? Foreheads, grandpa Morgan, ‘Hos on the run, the Osvaldo obstacle, f&$#@! Tallo everywhere and Borriello still giving me wet dreams like a 14-year-old after a 1D-concert in which Harry Styles strips down and rubs his sweaty underwear all over her face. Yep, those kind of wet dreams. The man who wants Borriello out of Rome is as straight as Boy George in a ballet tutu ordering a Pink Lady cocktail during a twelve hour Glee marathon.

All the transfer jibber jabber has been deeply analyzed in Chiesa. I think it’s fair to say the loss of ‘Hos was the only real downside of this mercato. No one likes to lose his ‘Hos. But you simply can’t say no to that offer. PSG singlehandedly doubled Roma’s Summer budget and nearly financed all of Strootman, Maicon, De Sanctis and Benatia. Right now, Roma simply isn’t in a position to tell PSG, Bayern or Barca to f*ck off and keep hold of its best talents without CL or a prize in the last five seasons (last one: Coppa Italia in 2008). It quite simply was a great deal, financially speaking, and who wants to bet on Marcos returning anno 2022? He’s always welcome. Thank God we still have one ‘Ho’ left in the team. And I’m not talking about Taddei.
Speaking of Benatia, he will hopefully make us forget about ‘Hos fast and I can see a mighty combo of Benatia-Castan in the not so distant future. Both very physical (190cm and 185cm), not lightning fast but with decent technique. Burdisso has to stay because El Bandido scoring has always been one of my top three moments in Serie A, that and Loria doing stepovers and Simplicio trying to play wide. Jedvaj and Romagnoli need to fight out who is gonna be Burdisso’s puppy and who’s going out on loan. I bet Vaj is staying since he costed us more money than Alessio.

Saba made some smart deals here and there like Morgan, Strootman and Maicon. Maicon kinda smells like an Adriano deal (big name, Brazilian, Serie A veteran, former Inter, in search of confidence and looking to redeem himself…) but form is temporary, class is eternal. We all know Maicon was the world’s best RB together with Alves not that long ago. When given faith and time (and no Burger Kings or Roman nightclubs), we will enjoy this move. And I want to see him score a screamer against Inter just to see the look on Moratti’s face.
Osvaldo: I’ll just swallow my words right now and wait until this conundrum is finally over. Fulham, Atletico, Valencia, Inter, Napoli, Roma, it all sounds too crazy. Then again, nothing is called crazy during a Roman silly season, just business. My two cents? He’ll quit football in 2014 to replace Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean 5.

Perhaps the most important thing after all this time: Roma once again have a stellar decent Italian keeper. Somewhere in Italy, Pietro Pipolo is crying… Don't worry, he can use Carlo Zotti's handkerchief.

The present

Roma’s squad is rather big at the moment so just like Crescenzi’s hair and Daniele’s beard, it needs some serious trimming. Usual suspects are Tallo, JSB, Sveddy, Verre, Caprari, Crescenzi himself, Lucca (seriously, why is he still in Rome?) and Marquinho. The physical condition during friendlies looked ok, Garcia has been working on movement and his midfield already looks better than Zeman’s or Andreazzoli’s. Patience is a virtue, let’s stay down-to-earth but there’s nothing wrong with some early euphoria and *gasp*… hope.

The future

Noticed something? Not quite the change some of you were expecting after all these weeks no? Probably because there still is lots of time before Serie A kicks off. At the moment, I’m brainstorming about new additions, awards and puns so I know as much as you do. Totti Tuesday might undergo a facelift in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned, ladies and gents.
It’s still a long way before the Livorno game. Who are, quite frankly, just behind Lazio this season in my to hate list. Why? I’ll refresh your memory. You’re welcome. That same 09-10 season, they also drew Livorno 3-3 at Tuscany. One has to wonder how close a fourth Scudetto had to be if one of those two games went our way, maybe even for one single damn minute. Sampdoria at home is on everyone’s minds but Livorno was the original voodoo doll of Ranieri’s side. They are mainly the reason why I still play darts, with dozens of pictures of Lucarelli, Tavano and Galante pinned on my wall.
In my life, I’ve already travelled to Naples and Rome but I’ll never ever visit Tuscany, even if Kate Upton invites me over for a pillow fight or Berlu wants me as a waiter for his next Bunga Bunga party in one of his mansions

Right, the bigger picture. Still uncloudy. Rudi’s train is undeniably on the right track but we need to lose some annoying wagons and adjust the brakes. Pallotta on the other hand, dreams the American Dream. Champions League is not the destination, it’s just the beginning of our journey. I reckon James has been listening a lot to Queen lately. Indeed, Totti, De Rossi and co can go far. Strootman is a sublime and much needed addition in midfield while the defence seems more solid than ever. Totti seems as fit as last year, Balzaretti finally remembered how to cross and Garcia has said all the right things during press conferences. Then again, with our rather easy schedule in September, Roma could be facing relegation, Olimpico up in flames and hostile takeovers at Trigoria come October. Ah, la mia Roma, how I missed thee.

One thing is certain though: Right until the very first whistle of Livorno-Roma, Totti Tuesday will unleash the giggly, smirking adolescent in you each and every week. Guess what? Shady’s back. Tell a friend.

“I am the youngest player here, but there’s no age difference on the field. Garcia handles interpersonal relationships well, he talks to us all and makes sure we all feel important. I hope that I have the right opportunities here at Roma.” – Tin Jedvaj, 2013.