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Totti Tuesday: Timing

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All’s not lost after the third 0-0 of the campaign. Only 90%.

Paolo Bruno

Astonishing achievements

The closed Curva’s had an effect on the game, you can’t deny. The game could have easily been played in Chievo or Sampdoria instead, the outcome would probably stay the same. But it’s wrong to blame it all on the ban. Inter had a good spell, Roma had a good spell, Inter had opportunities, just like Roma. Inter had good players (Handanovic), Roma too (Radja). Roma had great haircuts (Radja again), Inter too (Palacio)… One can talk about and discuss this draw for weeks, it doesn’t matter anymore. Kinda like Bologna really: In the end you win some, you lose/draw some. Bologna could have ended with a stalemate while Pjanic could have scored the 1-0. Both could have ended in draws, defeats or wins. I once stated on TT that I hate draws though. They don’t help anyone further at all, no one leaves empty-handed but no one leaves with a big smile too. It doesn’t help if they’re goalless draws too. Ironically and luckily, not that many people paid to see such a bad game ey?

Curiously, my weekend was two-faced. After Saturday evening, I felt disappointed. After Sunday’s results, the disappointment melted away. Napoli failed to win an easy game, Fiorentina lost at home. Therefore, European qualification almost seems a done deal while also top 3 seems a sure bet because next week is Juve-Fiorentina. The site Romaforever provided two interesting facts about the current Roma: After 25 games they have as many points as Capello’s 2001 Scudetto-winning side while Roma have the most clean sheets (17) until now in Europe’s top competitions. To put the cherry on the top: Roma’s one loss in its opening 25 games is their best since 2001-2002 (courtesy of football-italia). Three great achievements by Garcia’s men but they remain for the statistic-loving nerds on this site nonetheless. A consistent campaign and a formidable defence are not enough to trouble a truly devastating Juventus side, machine, juggernaut, tank, mastodont, lovechild of Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal. After this weekend, the Scudetto whispers quiet down and perhaps it’s the best thing for now. Concentrate on that CL, the rest is a bonus. Until of course, Roma is six points or less behind Juve. Then the circus commences again. Just a little fact to think about though: Juventus dropped four points in its last eighteen (!) games in Serie. I think that describes the situation perfectly.

Fragile frontline

In times where Tallo (Ajaccio, twice) and Okaka (Sampdoria) both scored on the same day, you know sh*t has hit the fan. And here we are, looking at our very own Mattia Destro in Giallorosso who has ten times the class of the former two combined but failed to score and was left frustrated. By now, we all should know Mattia’s not your classic 20-goals-a-season-striker. He’ll get his fair share of goals and maybe come close to the bar of 20 goals if he gets a lot of playing time and chances but he’s no 2005-2006 Toni. He alternates flashes of brilliance with unthinkable misses, a player like him can’t carry an entire frontline on his own. We’ll just have to live with it. Lately, Roma’s offense seems to be stutterting a bit (Lazio, Napoli, one goal in Bologna) and all of Ljajic, Gervinho and Florenzi are searching for their best form. Plus the three-match-ban of Daniele before such a crucial point of the season... March is NOT the month to do so, as I explained last week. Then again, AS Roma was never any good at timing, was it?

Whatever people may say, CL or no CL, Scudetto or no Scudetto, Roma is still going strong and sitting firmly in second place. With Romagnoli as a LB and Bastos as supersub, figure that out. The return of Il Capitano comes closer, just like Dodo and Maicon’s. Napoli are throwing away points against easy opposition, just like Fiorentina. Maybe Roma is good at timing after all and Sunday is the perfect moment to face the Partenopei so the Giallorossi can have their revenge for the Coppa elimination. Unfortunately not with a frontline of Tallo-Okaka-Gervinho.