With Roma's next match still two days away, we take a look at some Roma related headlines, ranging from Rudi's fiftieth birthday celebration, to Mattia Destro's possible Azzurri call-up and, of course, Francesco Totti's recovery from a bruised behind.
While the time frame for his return hasn't changed, it appears as though Francesco Totti's hurt hindquarters is coming along nicely and whatever bruising he sustained on his gluteal region has subsided nicely. Roma's latest test without Totti went swimmingly, of course, but how much longer would you feel comfortable with #10?....Thought so.
Totti won't make the trip to Bologna, but he should be fit and available for Inter.
While Totti's ass may be back in action for Inter, there may not be many people around to actually see it.
Due to another incident of 'territorial discrimination' the most ardent of Roma supporters will once again be banished from the Olimpico. However, unlike last week, the Olimpico will be devoid of both Curvas and the Distini Sud next week against Inter, following yet another round of round of anti-Neapolitan chants.
The cries from the crowd, again revolving around Vesuvius' impact on the early inhabitants of Napoli, not only cost Roma precious matchday revenue, thousands of empty seats, and an emotional lift, but they've been hit with an €80,000 fine, or roughly what Gervinho spends on headbands in any given fiscal year.
You know two groups of people hate each other when they use 2,000 year old Volcanic references to taunt one another.
Ah, Italy. One foot in the twenty first century, the other in the first.
Serie A executive Maurizio Beretta speaks to the problem of discriminatory chants, be they racist or territorial:
This problem is not the norm. However, we are in UEFA and they have a penalty system. The system has many limitations though, but that’s what we have at the moment....We are punishing the minority of uncivilized people the hard way, but we can’t continue to punish the majority of respectable fans as well. I’m sure they share our fight against racism, which I repeat, we will not back down from. But the current system is proving to be something of a boomerang. It’s now become a weapon of blackmail against the clubs.
The disparity between that vocal minority and the remainder of the civilized fans is always a tenuous dynamic, and one which I'm sure, or at least hope, is present in any design of the new stadium. While the reasons are varied and touch upon economics, history, and demographics, this sort of problem seems to persist in Italy more than other domestic leagues, and when we talk about Italy and/or Roma hosting international competitions, this is surely a concern.
Hey, speaking of...
While the Olimpico may only have one resident in 2020 (we hope), that won't prevent it from celebrating it's 60th anniversary by playing host to Euro 2020, reportedly beating out Milan's San Siro as the lead dog in FIGC's pitch to the powers that be. The Olimpico played host to the 2009 Champions League Finale between Barcelona and Manchester United, so it's no stranger to the eyes of the footballing world.
This an extremely terse link, I'll give you that, but it doesn't take a philosopher to describe the impact an unrestrained Walter Sabatini has had on Roma this year. He is, hands down, one of the best executives in the league, if not the sport as a whole. And while resurrecting a suddenly down trodden Milan side would be quite the resume buffer, Sabatini's job in Roma is not yet done.
But, I'm sure you'll join me in hoping he's in it for the long haul.
You'll have to rely on horrible internet translators for this one, but none other than the Snarling Dog, World Cup Champion Gennaro Gattuso, has pipped both Ciro Immobile and Mattia Destro for call-ups to La Nazionale. With Giuseppe Rossi's injury woes returning, Italy has a sudden need for attacking depth. Both Destro and Immobile are having fine seasons and, at this point, might present better options for Cesare Prandelli than Stephan El Shaarawy, Pablo Osvaldo or Alberto Gilardino.
It would certainly be a boon for both players careers, potentially launching them to stardom, which is good for Roma on many fronts.
Fifty is obviously a huge milestone in any man's life, but I would imagine Garcia would consider this one of his better years on Earth, professional speaking, at least. Rather than focusing on hitting the big Five-Oh, Garcia gave a few thoughts on the Champions League:
For me the Champions League remains a terrain to explore.I would have liked to play it with Lille who became champion of France, but we had to 'streamline. Participating in a competition like the Champions League is a good thing. If you have the means, it is better...Today PSG and Monaco can attract big players and this is a good thing for the Ligue 1. In Rome, we hope to achieve in the future.
Given his background leading ambitious, albeit spendthrift clubs, Rudi Garcia certainly knows how to make the most of his assets, but, if all goes according to plan, he won't have to live paycheck-to-paycheck much longer.
Well, that's it for this midweek round up, next on the docket, a Saturday trip to Bologna.