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The Great Roma Questionnaire Extraordinaire Revisited, Part II

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Here it is, I know you've all been dying to see how this plays out. Can Jonas maintain his lead? Will Chris save any face. Does Dhaw give any non-sarcastic answers?

Tullio M. Puglia

On Monday, Jonas jumped out to a commanding lead in our season preview look-back, but, as we continue to move through the Great Roma Questionnaire Extraordinaire, the questions get tougher and the stakes get higher, so let's see if our young Belgian can maintain his hindsight momentum.

Here we go...

The Great Roma Questionnaire Extraordinaire Redux, Part II:

13. Best Serie A Transfer?

Worst Guess: Chris a/k/a Marten, whereabouts unknown

Can I go with Boateng? I know it's outgoing but he seriously crippled their attack with his wannabe post-2010 Sneijder routines from distance. Addition via subtraction. Incredibly wise piece of business by Milan, and you don't get to say that too often these days. Also, M. Satta dated Bobo before Boateng. She must be a neuroanatomical trainwreck

This was a tough one because most of our picks had solid to stellar seasons, but it came down to a duel between Chris and Jonas, the latter of whom completely obfuscated the question, so Chris takes the dishonor. Even the addition by subtraction of KP Boateng couldn't help the mess in Milan.

Best Guess: Bren

Mehdi Benatia, seriously. I expect him to emerge as the league's best center back. I'll say Gomez as a close second, because he slots into Luca Toni's token handsome guy who can score a lot role. Rossi looks good in the early goings, too, but he's a stiff breeze away from coaching in New Jersey. Benatia, simply because, though what he does won't appear in stat sheets, his role is massive and he does it better than nearly anyone in the league. There were a lot of good moves this year, I must say. Ljajic could explode and make Big Walt look like a genius, and I think people may have forgotten how good Tevez was. But Benatia it is, followed closely by Mr. Glamor Shot, Mario Gomez

I don't want to toot my own horn, but beep, beep. Benatia was, without a doubt, the best centerback in the league, completely transforming Roma's defense, leading to the outrageous transfer rumors we're currently seeing. For all those reasons and more, it's hard to argue anyone other than Benatia was the best transfer in Serie A this season.

14. Relegation Clubs

Worst Guess: Bren

Hmm, I think Hellas might make it a year. I'll go Sassuolo, Torino and....Lazio.

I'll eat the crow on this one. As great as it would be to see Lazio get the drop, I was far off on my remaining choices. Sassuolo just barely made it, but they had some impressive performances this season. As for my Torino pick, well, that was just dumb. Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile made mincemeat of Serie A defenses this year and, were it not for Cerci's missed PK, the Toros would be running in Europe next season.

Best Guess: Sam

Sassuolo, Chievo and Livorno. Down with ye!

While none of us actually got more than one correct, Sam's choices were furthest to the bottom of the table, so he takes the cake.

15. Best Roma Transfer?

Worst Guess: Bren

Well, I already said Benatia was the best in the league, so I'll make an honorary selection and say Adem Ljajic. Even though he only played roughly 40 minutes, fuckin hell, they were lovely. It's going to be a joy to watch him and Totti run circles around people.

This is in large part due to everyone else naming Kevin Strootman, so I'm the loser by default. Adem Ljajic certainly shined when given the chance, but, for a variety of reasons, he couldn't find a consistent place in the rotation. His talent is unquestioned, but perhaps he's not the best fit for this current Roma, though I certainly hope that's not the case.

Best Guess: Dhaw

Tallo to Ajaccio. (Kevin - because of what he does to Daniele)

While virtually the entire crew went with Strootman, Dhaw was the only one to offer even the slightest explanation. This is just like elementary math, folks. You gotta show your work to get full credit...carry those ones!

16. Roma flop of the season. (New transfer or otherwise.)

Worst Guess: Bren/Sam

Morgan... its just not an upgrade.

Sam and I both went with MDS as the default choice, not because of any glaring flaws in his game, but simply because he wasn't the most exciting signing. While the extent to which we can credit him with his number of clean sheets is debatable, that was still good ole Morgan back there, not some Tupac-esque hologram.

Best Guess: Chris

The massive onus being placed upon Destro's lumberjack beard and fact that he's coming off an injury seems he's the easy target here, but I trust he's too...what's the polite euphemism for stupid?...to actually notice. How about the entire leftback position not including Totti, LWB. (No one actually expects anything from Gervinho, ergho.)

Thankfully, Mattia Destro proved remarkably and insanely effective once he returned, but Chris was spot on about Roma's sinkhole at leftback. Dodo had his moments and Alessio Romagnoli did well enough in his cameos, but Roma's eternal search for a fullback continues unfettered.

17. When will Simone Perrotta return from his vacation?

Worst Guess: Dhaw

He didn't leave us. (Florenzi's miss against Verona is the proof, he is lurking around)..

If only because of his veiled shot at Alessandro Florenzi, who may very well be the new Perrotta.

Best Guess: Sam

When you stop touching yourself at night!

Simone is like Santa Claus. He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.

18. Will Rudi still be the coach in the summer of 2014?

Worst Guess: Chris

Dear god. Allegri's contract is running out and Cesare Prandelli will be available. This feels like dating someone just because you can't be alone and are waiting until something better comes along or your first choice becomes single. Ummm...yes, but the rumors of Sabatini secretly meeting with Allegri's men will erupt starting in February. By which time Max will surely be unemployed.

You have to imagine that, at some point, Prandelli might get a real crack at the job, and Carletto is always a rumor away, but looking back on it (no offense, Chris), the suggestion that Allegri could replace Rudi is laughable...thank god.

Best Guess: Bren & Sam

Bren: Yes, I have a good feeling Rudi will take Roma by storm. I also think the lack of a better (immediate) alternative is a factor, so even if he sputters to a fifth or sixth place finish, I think he'll be back unless Luciano or Carletto are willing to work pro bono for a year.

Sam: Yes. I am a fan of Rudi and his football. This club needs a young, brash and turtleneck attired man to get his best team on the field and then keep him there for a season or 3.

We share the honors for two subtle reasons. As it turns out, I was correct, Rudi did take Roma by storm--you'll recall the little matter of 10 straight wins to start the season--while Sam actually explained why it would be good for the club to, you know, have the same manager for a while, though Garcia sorely disappointed us all with his utter lack of mock necks.

19. Who will play more league minutes this season: Ho or Hos (PSGhos)?

Worst Guess: Bren & Chris

Probably Marquinho The Singular, he'll be the utility man this year, playing everywhere and anywhere, while Plural will struggle to get consistent minutes in PSG, making his move even more frustrating.

Damn, this has been a real kick to the balls for me, but Hos saw 1650 minutes of league action, while Singular played only 1396 minutes. At least it was close, though.

Best Guess: Dhaw

Hos. (I expect Singular to be out in January)

Right and right. Check and mate, Dhaw nailed it on both counts.

20. Yes.

Worst Guess: Dhaw

He said maybe, which was just a bit too non-committal. I think Chris was up to some mind games on this one, but I can't be certain, which may have been the point.

Best Guess: Jonas

A typical English word, consisting of three letters. Mosty used to verify a fact or a person's opinion. As in: ‘Yes, Okaka is the next Drogba', ‘Yes, Riise's left foot has killed many men' or ‘Yes, I still dream of Adrian Pit'

Not only did Jonas give us the textbook definition, but he found the time to slam Okaka. Win, win, win.

21. How many league starts will Captain America get?

Worst Guess: N/A

This was tough because everyone took the smart-ass angle. I know, shocking, right?

Best Guess: Bren

I was also going to say 12, but I'll be different and say 9. There are just too many variables to prognosticate. Chief among them, how will Rudi handle the Coppa, injuries etc. etc., I think he'll be a mainstay in the rotation, however.

Bradley made five starts before being sold to Toronto, making my nine the closest guess. I was his biggest supporter among our crew, so it's only fitting.

22. Will Morgan be considered a good purchase or a bust at the end of the year?

Worst Guess: N/A

We were, much like you, I would assume, pretty ambivalent about this signing. Sure, Roma could have done better, but MDS is nothing if not the Ringo Starr of Italian keepers. He's just there to keep the beat, you just hope he doesn't accidentally knock over the bass drum before the finale.

Best Guess: Jonas

Not good, just... decent. There are better keepers, there are worse. It's the defence in front of him that counts and that looks solid with Benatia and Maicon. I don't ask for Buffonlike saves, just someone we can count on, knows Serie A in and out and who oozes confidence between the sticks. Morgan's the perfect piece, came in cheap and is a good short-term solution for the Americans. Besides, when was the last time Roma had a renowned word class keeper? Stek? Ok next question please.

Jonas' response capture the tenor of this signing the best, so tack another BG onto his tally.

23. The Florenzi at wing experiment? How will it go?

Worst Guess: Marten

This isn't exactly quantifiable outside of the basics, but I think he'll be completely overshadowed by Ljajic and the midfield looks set in stone. Yet another candidate for, yeah, fullback in the winter months, incredibly. (He's been a rightback before.) It's awfully difficult to think Rudi will run out Totti, Ljajic, Florenzi up high every week; especially when Destro returns. Might hurt his World Cup chances.

We were all pretty upbeat about this prospect, but Chris' overestimation of Ljajic's role, sadly, wins him this prize, but he was absolutely correct on his final points, though Gervinho threw a spanner into all our predictions.

Best Guess: Vahakn

I think he's slowly getting the hang of playing as an inside forward. At least I hope so. He needs to play but I don't see anywhere else to put him. Love his diagonal runs.

Hard to argue with this one, Florenzi does need to play; he offers so, so much to the side, so it's tough to keep him off the pitch for too long, but those diagonal runs...they're quite lovely.

24. Roma's record against Juventus, Inter, Fiorentina, Milan, and Napoli.

Before we render an opinion, the facts (league only):

  • Juve: Two losses
  • Inter: One win, One draw
  • Fiorentina: Two wins
  • Milan: One win, one draw
  • Napoli: One win, one loss

Worst Guess: Dhaw

Winning against Juventus - home and away.. Losing to Milan - home and away. Winning one and Losing one with Inter.

I suppose we should admire his optimism, but Juve didn't suffer for points against anyone.

Best Guess: Bren

Swept, Split, Sweep, Split, and two draws, respectively.

I got two of the four completely correct, Roma were downed twice by Juve, but managed a clean sweep of Vincenzo and The Viola.

25. Roma's player of the year?

Worst Guess: Jonas

Gervinho. You spelled ‘haircut' wrong.

Sometimes he's just too clever for his own good. Although Gervinho wasn't the picture of efficiency, he was Roma's surprise of the season, so we're deducting two points for smarminess.

Best Guess: Chris

Miralem. He was under POTY Enrique and he shall be again, which should frighten everyone for the summer of ‘14. And Bren just called us all hipsters.

I believe I implied that choosing anyone other than Francesco Totti was a bit too affected, but using WhoScored as the guideline, Miralem Pjanic was Roma's second highest rated player, finishing the season with a 7.48 average match rating. And since none of us were smart enough to pick Benatia, Chris comes out on top. Bonus points for the Enrique reference, he dug deep on that one.

Final Scoreboard

Bren: 7 Best Guesses (BGs), 7 Worst Guesses (WGs). This is why I never win at roulette, I ain't W, I'm not The Decider.

Sam: 5 BG, 6 WGs. Sam rallied to go 3-1 in the second half, just narrowly avoiding imaginary relegation.

Jonas: 7 BGs, 3 WGs. You just can't stop this kid, he's hitting .700

Dhaw: 5.5 BGs, 5 WGs. A razor thin margin, but everyone's favorite market master escapes with a winning record.

Vahakn: 4 BGs, 2WGs. Once again, I have no idea where he is, but he's a hell of a writer (and not a bad guesser), so hopefully he'll return to the fold next season.

The Artist Formerly Known as Marten: 2 BGs, 6 WGs. I don't even know what to say, it's a dark day for the churches founder.

So there you have it--based purely on this subjective exercise and my biased interpretations thereof--if you want to know what will happen to Roma at any point in the future, Jonas is your man. When the Belgian bets, he's correct 70% of the time.

Now it's time for your confessions, where did you err the most? Did you think Ljajic would score 15 goals? Did you expect Morgan De Sanctis to be replaced? Were you over or under the 2.5 sexual references per Totti Tuesday set by bookies from Vegas to Monaco?