Despite the scores of Romans out on international duty, some semi-firm stadium updates and some fortunate medical diagnoses, the only bit of news that matters this week is the Derby del Sole. So, while we bide our time before Sunday's six pointer, let's have a look at what was percolating this Thursday.
Rodrigo Taddei Turns 34
Let's start this roundup off with this magnificent bastard's birthday. His best days may be long gone, but Rodrigo Taddei's career for Roma has been a resounding success. Whether he was a week-in-week-out starter, a specialist or in his new found role as Roma's utility man, Taddei has always risen to the task in front of him. So, if you bump into him tomorrow, wish him a belated 34th!
As we discussed yesterday, Kevin Strootman suffered a knee injury in Holland's friendly against France. While we shouldn't necessarily count our chickens before they hatch here, given the absence of Daniele De Rossi, any shred of good news for Roma's midfield will go miles as they head into Sunday's showdown in Naples.
This piece, in Italian, takes it a step further and proclaims that both Strootman and Miralem Pjanic will indeed be fit and ready for the Derby del Sole. They go on to discuss a possible switch to a 4-2-3-1 for Sunday's match, with Mattia Destro featuring up top supported by Alessandro Florenzi, Gervinho and Miralem Pjanic.
Without Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti, this may be a necessary evil against Rafa Benitez and Napoli. Of course, one could also argue Garcia's 4-3-3 has become predictable. Either way, a victory on Sunday should pretty much put the race for second place to bed.
With a deadline set for the end of the month--well, a guidepost for further information--Roma mayor Ignazio Marino gives us an incredibly important update. There is no update.
There is, however, this...
This is either a piece of shrewd public relations from the Roman higher office, or simply inept and uncoordinated journalism, but despite the lack of a blueprint or a simple sketch, they've apparently settled on a name for Roma's new grounds. They don't exactly specify whether it will be known as The Colosseum or The New Colosseum, but either option is bound to ruffle some feathers among history buffs.
While it could certainly be worse, piggybacking on one of the Seven Wonders of The World seems a bit lazy. Though I suppose its better than The KFC Colosseum or Apple Arena.
We'll close out this mini-recap with some former Romans...
While there are no concrete, or even cardboard, references to a Jeremy Menez-Roma reunion, it does appear that Menez may be headed back to Serie A. After a relatively unsuccessful stint in his homeland, Roma's former would be wunderkind is reportedly being chased by Juventus and Inter Milan.
It's safe to say, his was one of the more disappointing Roma careers in recent memory. So, should he become a Juve player, you can obviously expect 10 goals and 10 assists every year. You know its coming.
Personally I think that my situation was taken to an extreme level. Prior to leaving for the Christmas holidays they would all praise me for the great game against AC Milan, while just over a month after the same player was not suitable for the Italian league and had be put aside. I was not the strongest goalkeeper in Italy after the game against the Rossoneri but neither the worst one after the defeat against Cagliari and I was hoping to be treated in a different way...However in my experience at Roma I was able to experience the love of an entire city for this team and I have grown up thanks to what I learned in Italy
Although we're barely a year into our Post-Goicoechea lives, its pretty safe to say, there won't be many Roman careers stranger than his. He was as divisive as he was dashing, but he wasn't without his merits and he's right, it was wrong to proclaim him a revolutionary after defeating Milan, just as it was wrong to treat him like a pariah after the Cagliari defeat.
Goicoechea has since been banished to the Romanian league, but at only 25-years-old, there may be hope yet.