My my, what a week it has been. Lady Drama turned its ugly face in Roma’s direction once more as Kevin Strootman is again sidelined for a long period due to knee problems. A second huge blow in not even a year for the Dutchman. One has to wonder if Kevin will ever manage to get back to his best form after this undoubtedly sad news. Both physically and mentally, the man has a mountian to climb but we will support Kevin along the road. Or, you know, Man. United and Van Gaal come knocking on Sabatini’s door, slapping a blank cheque-book in his face, then Fiorentina was probably the last game of Kevin in giallo e rosso…
Also Iturbe faces a long spell on the sidelines, just when things started clicking for Manuel in Rome. Great timing, vintage AS Roma. But that is arguably not the most important thing that happened to our club last week. Seydou Keita welcomes a namesake, Gervinho a countryman of the same age. Walter Sabatini brought in striker Doumbia from CSKA Moscow (sob sob, Champions League games). Who was born on December 31 1987. Seriously, that’s f*ckin special and a true sign from the Gods. Your birthday on the last day of the year. Do you know other people who are born on that day? I certainly don’t. Anyway, I’m digressing…
As I posted earlier in the comment section, Doumbia’s numbers are mighty impressive, even if the mentioned teams on his CV are not the calibre of Premier League giants or the top of Spain, Germany and even Italy. 50 goals in approx. 64 games in Switserland, 61 goals in almost 100 games in Russia. Two titles, two cups and two times topscorer with CSKA in such a difficult, cold and harsh league, especially for a warm-blooded African. Doumbia’s a beast and he has sproven he can take a hit or two.
Now Seydou chose for a warmer and sunnier place. I can safely say one of the hottest environments in Europe. Rome, the city that can easily make or break a footballer in two seconds. Expectations are high, he seems to fit Rudi’s demands. I’m eager to find out how this move will work out. The price tag (around 14 million) was not cheap but so was Mattia’s back in the day. And Mattia came with less recommendations and from a smaller club than CSKA, namely low-flying Siena where he ‘only’ managed 12 goals in 30 games. Ahem.
Damn, did I just do that?. Yep, I just mentioned Destro’s name, now I can’t go back anymore. Because for every incoming transfer, Roma has to let go of someone. It’s basic economics really: in & out, sell and buy, reach a break-even point. Mattia was a piece of Roma’s puzzle since July 2012 (sob, sob, Zeman) and will always have a special meaning to me. I was in Rome when his transfer was imminent. On a sunny morning, I read about it in the Gazzetta dello Sport, sipping from a warm cappucino not far from the Piazza di Monte Citorio (google it). Ah, good times I tell ya (sob, sob).
An important piece in our puzzle or not, he’ll be sorely missed. By some fans. You see, not everyone was a big fan because Mattia was a contested player. Too slow, too lazy, too many missed chances, frustrating to watch… But boy he could dance around them corner flags. When he was on fire, he was one of Italy’s greatest attacking prodigies since Del Piero, Vieri, Inzaghi,
Mauro Esposito etc. Now 23, going on 24, Mattia still has a lot to prove. Unfortunately not in Roma’s jersey but in a Milanese outfit. Ironically,not the Inter one where he enjoyed a great deal of his youth career, but the rivals of AC. The Rossoneri can certainly use him in such a dreadful season as theirs. And he can chat with some other Roman outcasts like Cerci, Menez and Mexes. Such fun. Now they only need Spalletti to make it work…
Back to AS Roma. As in most porn videos about threesomes, it’s all about the two D’s: in this case Destro and Doumbia. Has Roma made a good decision? Will Walter’s plan backfire? Was it all worth it? We, the fans, can only stand behind Doumbia, make him feel at home and hope his goal ratio stays the same until 2019. The signs are good, Gervinho and Keita will act as guides. Then maybe, just maybe Seydou will redeem his price tag and score 14 goals between February and May.
On the other hand, it always hurts to lose a young promising Italian player. Borini, Aquilani and Cassano spring to my mind. Yet sometimes harsh decisions must be made in order to steady the ship. Maybe we don’t see the bigger picture here, maybe Mattia simply was fed up with the team, coach and city, who knows. It all went by so fast.
Grazie per tutti, Mattia. The corner flags of San Siro are your responsibility now.