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Totti Today #37: Drawings of a child

Hey, don’t look surprised, you knew it all along. Ever since the final whistle of Juve-Lazio, it was written in the stars the Giallorossi would lose points at home to Atalanta. The eleventh 1-1 of the season and clearly one of the most frustrating ones too. Ladies and gents: AS Roma. Or better yet: AS Predictable.

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

First, my condolences to Bren, who has the hard and impossible task of putting up a review of these kind of games. Week in and week out. Each and every time, every draw we have witnessed so far. Bren was present in Church, writing an elaborate essay about his and our Italian problem child. His love for Roma truly knows no boundaries, respect is what he deserves. So thank you Bren, and thank God the verb to give up is not in your dictionary. My thoughts go to you, your family and your entourage. May God give you strength to stay strong, even after seven more 1-1 draws in 2014-2015 (if there’s one team that can manage that, it’s Roma).

Now, in all seriousness, what the hell happened against Atalanta? Easy: Roma took the lead but failed to hang on to it, losing two more points in the process. In a childish way. It was an ideal opportunity to jump over Lazio in the standings and back to that precious second spot where Roma belongs. After Sunday the situation looks, errrr, rather unfavorable for us. And I’m putting it mildly. Lazio now host Chievo and Parma while Roma travel to Inter and Sassuolo. My left testicle if one of those two fixtures doesn’t end in a draw (I still got the right one to perform miracles).

Speaking of miracles: the deadline of the winter mercato is 2,5 months behind us and neither Ibarbo nor Doumbia have scored for Roma to this date. Spolli is injured and has yet to play a single minute. Iturbe has one Serie A goal in 20 games. Skorupksi is still banging his head against every Trigoria door since his horror show against Fiorentina in the EL. In the meantime, Salih Ucan is Turkey’s biggest mystery since the so-called discovery of Noah’s Ark (read this) while Ashley Cole has gone AWOL. Well done Sabatini, bloody well done chap.

Of course, you need to take that with a grain of salt, but it does describe Roma’s flaws: too little, too few. We’re lacking quality in all departments, from the defensive one to the attacking one. Quantity is not the problem here, the quality at hand is. Who’s fault is it really? Firstly, Walter has to assemble a team and pick the players. Secondly, Pallotta has to make sure there’s enough cash for those deals. Thirdly, Rudi has to make a schedule, choose a tactic and assign the right players for the right job. Finally, the players have to prove themselves on the field.

Apparently all are to blame and need to look in the mirror. Everyone’s acting childish and no one really wants to take his responsibility. They just hope the storm passes by and soothen the fans via the media. Always talking about the ‘next game’, the list of injuries, the bad luck, refereeing,... But by doing so, they annoy the tifosi even more. It’s counterproductive.

And so the ‘fire Rudi’-bandwagon is getting more and more crowded. Rightfully so. It’s so tempting for me to jump on it and grab my burning pitchfork as well. This has to end sometime. Since November we have gone through a lot of stages. In the beginning there was the Scudetto talk. Then we would obviously end second, miles away from Juve who were clearly too strong for us. Then it was a derby between Roma and Lazio for second place. And now suddenly, even third place is at risk because of Napoli’s win in Zemanlandia. From bad to worse. Everything the Frenchman has (re)build, all the work he has put in this Roma since 2013, is destined to crumble eventually. What a shame.

Unless they make me eat my words of course. Unless Rudi proves me otherwise and finds a way to get things back on track. Out of nowhere. But honestly, we’ve been hoping for it to happen for weeks, even months now. And we’re still in the same shitty situation as before. No, it has gotten even worse. I guess we just have to sit this one out until the very end, how ugly it may be.

Silver lining: our next stop is the black and blue side of Milano. Roma-Inter probably was the last memorable game we saw from Rudi’s Roma (4-2 win, remember the amazing Holebas screamer). Inter-Roma could once again be a breaking point. Or you know, another 1-1 in the making.

Let’s hope the team’s as fed up with these draws as we are. After all, a child has to grow up sometime, right?