Welcome back, Kevin Strootman. AKA Er Lavatrice. The Washing Machine. Which was defunct since the Napoli game back in March 2014. Imagine your very own washing machine being broken for eight consecutive months. That’s quite a big pile of smelly, unclean and stained pants there, especially if you’re a healthy male, single, between 14 and 21 and have your own room with a decent internet connection. Thank God it’s not 2012 and Zeman is at Cagliari now and not Roma. Oh the horror it would bring… It would pale in comparison with the 1-7 humiliation against Bayern three weeks ago, I tell you that.
Sorry, we’re straying off. Kev’s back and Garcia surprisingly gave him a couple of minutes to celebrate his return. His presence both on the bench and field felt heart-warming and made the fans happy, judging from the chants during his warm-up and sub. A smart PR move from Garcia to include him on the team sheet. Strootman has been working hard ever since the fatal injury in March and judging from recent training pictures, he looks fitter then ever. Muscled, bulked up, concentrated, a true professional… A positive vibe surrounds Kevin every time we see him.
Admittedly, the recent performances of Keita and especially Nainggolan this season made us slightly forget about Kevin after a while. Only because he has been absent for so long of course. But things have changed over the years. We don’t field any Greco’s, Simplicio’s or Faty’s anymore. Tough competitions demand a big roster and Roma’s pretty stacked in midfield, with gems like Ucan and Paredes also raring to go. Last season, the Strootman-Daniele-Pjanic trio was a succes and will perhaps soon make its comeback. Strootman’s comeback will give Garcia headaches but at least they’re positive ones, not hangover headaches like ‘what is this broad doing in my bed’, ‘I got me + Wilhelmsson 4 ever tattooed on my bottocks’ or ‘why is there a naked midget in my room asking for pizza and a coke’.
So it seems Roma’s got another problem ahead, but this time it’s more of a luxury one: Will Garcia bench the brave and popular Nainggolan? Or revelation Keita? Must he slowly introduce Kevin in the first team? Is Radja –Daniele-Strootman an option, although there’s zero creativity? Could Capitano Futuro Daniele use some tinkering time on the bench after a rather mediocre season until now? And how will this affect the mentality and growth of Ucan and Paredes? Just like you guys, I am curious to see Rudi’s solution. And please feel free to share your own insight and thougths about this in the comment section.
Another curse has been broken. Garcia’s Roma booked their first win in the month of November (last season three consecutive draws, this season two losses before Torino). But what’s more important: Justice has been served and all of Kevin’s hard work paid off. The first step has been made. Let’s pray Castan follows in Kev’s footsteps very soon.
Until then: grab your dirty socks, pants, shirts and boxers. The Washing Machine has got a lot of work to do.