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Mido Monday

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Due to the Roma - Juventus Coppa game (and not Juventus - Roma, thank you Napoli), my weekly TT is exceptionally put forward to Monday. And named after the greatest Egyptian football player ever to wear the Roma shirt!!!!! Well, basically because he was the only Egyptian to do so.

Paolo Bruno

To be fair, it’s kind of an insult to include such a mediocre player in my title when Roma itself are doing so well nowadays. Zero goals in a handful of matches and a bad temper to top it off. Roma have gone a long way indeed. No more Mido’s, Wilhelmsson’s, Kharja’s, Loria’s, Barusso’s or Castellini’s shine on the front paper of Il Romanista as new arrivals. Bright future prospects (Paredes, Abner, possibly Sanabria) and immediate/efficient upgrades (MDS, Nainggolan, Benatia) are the real deal this season.

Honestly, I don’t want to sound like a broken record but hey, when it’s good news, why the hell not? Clean sheet, a lot of chances, domination, goals, a Totti appearance, a Gervinho howler, my boy Radja even got an assist… It doesn’t stop here as Brazilian LW/LB Michel Bastos, like Gervinho a former Rudi pupil during his Lille days, is joining Roma. Walter prestito con diritto di riscatto Sabatini beat Napoli for his signature. Like I said, the Loria’s and Mido’s of this world are long gone. Focused reinforcement is the way to go. Watch the team, look for weak points or positions plagued by injury, talk with the trainer, improve them without giving too heavy contracts. It seemed impossible for so many years now but finally, the management is fullfilling its potential. And I have a feeling the best is yet to come, CL (money) is on its way.

I want a special mention and a round of applause for the defensive compartment. Ten goals conceded in twenty games, another clean sheet and the third in a row after Sampdoria and Genoa. If we exclude the Juve and Milan games, then Roma has conceded a mere five goals in eighteen games. Five. No steel condom on earth is so impenetrable and able to provide such security than Roma’s defence. Yes, Livorno barely poses an attacking threat and can’t be compared to Napoli, Juve or even Parma, Sampdoria. Just like against Catania, Morgan Batman didn’t even get a grade in most newspapers and sites because he simply had nothing to do those two matches. But that’s also the merit of the defence and not Livorno or Catania’s bad form. Staying concentrated for 90min is not easy when there’s a feeling of carelessness lurking around. It’s ‘only’ Livorno right? At home? And we’re up 2-0 before half-time? One chance and goal was enough to haunt the Olimpico and relive memories of 2007-2008 (twice 1-1) or 2009-2010 (0-1 at home and 3-3 away). In both cases, Roma narrowly ended second behind Inter mainly thanks to the Tuscan side. Not this time. A dry 5-0 over both legs shows Roma has left its past behind, curses and clusterfucks included.

At long last, the minnows are sitting ducks for the Giallorossi, enough with the worst case scenario’s and nail-biting. Sit back, enjoy the ride and don’t predict whether we’ll win or not but by how many goals we’ll win. Huge difference. And like I said in one of my previous posts, that is exactly the difference between a Europa League or a Champions League place.

For the completeness: In both seasons I mentioned earlier (‘09-‘10,’07-‘08), Roma ended with a grand point total of 80 and 82 points respectively. A record they’re about to break this season if they keep this up. Franco Sensi would have been proud of our boys. And maybe even the American ownership.