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Totti Today #1: The return of the priest

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I lied. I lied to my readership, didn’t post since the end of May (bar a small titbit about Belgium at the World Cup) and yet, I don’t feel bad about it. Let me explain per favore

Pier Marco Tacca

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday

‘Start your voting’. Sounds familiar? It should because I asked the CDT-readers on May 20 to vote the new name of Totti Tuesday. Daniele Day Rossi came out as the winner but in the end, I exchanged it to Totti Today, your third choice out of four possibilities. I cheated with votes, I feel like a Russian president (just kidding). Why I did it? Simple. Because Francesco is still here but in the twilight of his career. Daniele’s still got about four, five good years ahead of him so why put our God, our Savior aside when we're at the brink of another exciting and undoubtedly special season with AS Roma? Back in the Champions League for the first time since 2011?

Choice no.1, Daniele Day Rossi, will see it’s fair share of limelight in the near future, I promise. Totti Today also gives me, the writer, a lot more flexibility. Meaning I can post whatever and whenever I want, Tuesdays or not. Might come in handy since Roma will be playing a tonload of games starting from September aka the famous European midweek games. Any help would be welcome for Bren… Ah hell, who am I kidding? In Church, we are all Bren.

So with that sorted out, what has changed since May? Not much. For one, I’m graduated in Journalism so you can call me ‘Mister JonAS’ from now on (just kidding, part 2). My school warned me that finding a job is quite hard, especially in this sector. Little did they know I’ve been following Roma for over twelve years now, I’ve seen my share of drama, I’ll survive. Searching for a job, the meaning of life, the love of my life and Roman related transfer news are the things I fill my days with. You can soon count in ‘searching for strong alcholic beverages’ as well because Roma’s first friendly of this summer is a fact. And José Angel was involved. Now where did I put those 100 litre barrels of absynthe?

MaiCole

A lot more has changed in Romalalaland though. I think no one expected such a lively mercato from the start. Sabatini went for both experience (Cole, Keita, Urby) and young prodigies (Ucan, Iturbe). Best of this? All three of Cole, Keita and Urby were free, two of them focus on one of Roma’s previous weak points, leftback. Keita can give Daniele a breather while Iturbe and Ucan are promising additions and guarantee the future of this Roma the next couple of seasons (unless teams come with € 40-50m bids, in that case it’s a win-win for Roma anyway). Ironically, Roma may now have arguably the best right- and leftback in the world in Maicon and Cole …. if this was 2010.

Benatia has been the only negative coming out of Rome recently, but he’s still with us and if he’s sold, it’s for big bucks. Who knows, some trainings with his new teammates and a couple of friendlies could make him change his mind. Benatia has to realize Roma has given him the chance to shine on the big stage, the Champions League. Leaving us now would harm his reputation. The boy needs to know his place, 2013-2014 was his only good season at a big club, a Thiago Silva or Hummels he is not. Yet. Stay and enjoy Rome and the Champions League Mehdi, decide your future afterwards.

Marketing with Marco

The Brazilian exodus. What happened to the love for Samba? Out Dodo, Toloi, Taddei, Bastos and Marquinho. Luckily, the two best Brazilians (unconditional love for Taddei aside) remain, namely Maicon and Castan. With Paredes and Iturbe incoming, the shift to Argentina seems complete. Although 9m for Dodo is highway robbery and one of Walter’s best deals in the last couple of years for sure. Other notable ‘newcomers’ on the training grounds: the previously mentioned José Angel, Svedkauskas, Sanabria and Borriello, the latter back from a nice, small trip to London (expect the birth rate in the English capital to explode by the end of 2014).

Ah, the return of Marco ‘Mr 20.000’ (Does that number stand for girls or goals? I always forget) Borriello. His presence is being discussed for the umpteenth season now. Let him stay? Or try to get rid of his high wages? And then suddenly, out of nowhere, he scores in a friendly and you think: 'Mmm, why not let him stay?' As a vice-Destro, as a smaller Luca Toni to unlock defenses after the 75’ mark. Or you know, because he’s a sexy beast and we can’t be blind for all the female Giallorossi out here. Tactical marketing, people.

The return

Vlaar, Ferreira-Carrasco (A second Belgian in Rome? Hear, hear!), Shaqiri, Basa, the cases of Benatia and Ljajic…Roma’s mercato is far from over. In fact, it’s not even halfway. So sit back and enjoy Saba’s night moves. Luckily, we have tickets for the front row. I have a feeling more nice things are bound to happen. Remember not that long ago, we fans were content with a package of Guberti, Loria, Antunes and Castellini. Yep, Walter does that to you.

The American Tour should bring a lot more answers to our questions about the team and it includes a couple of interesting friendlies too. No Alto Adige or Frosinone this time but powerhouse like Real, ManU and Liverpool. They wanted to hang out with the big boys, now is their time to shine and show the world why exactly Roma ended second in Serie A with a superb total of 85 points.

Guess what? Roma’s officially back. And so priest JonAS returns to Church once more. Spread the word.