Really, do we even care about the result of today's Primavera game? Against the mighty Avellino? The game ended 6-0 but most of all it was the comeback of Kevin Strootman. 376 days (yes, that's three hundred, seventy six) after his last official game for AS Roma. Kevin played a central role in a 4-3-1-2 formation, in front of the eyes of about 400 spectators. And a certain Luciano Spalletti...
Everybody's bald beauty (Patrick 'X-Men' Stewart is close second) must've loved the sight of an almost healthy Kevin Strootman. Okay, so it was 'only' the Primavera and he 'only' scored a goal thanks to a penalty and he 'only' played 45 minutes... But this is more of a message, a statement. Everything is going as planned. The wait is almost over. And Luciano, boy does he have a new superpower at his disposal very soon. Kevin might need some more time but he's almost there. He can almost smell the grass of the Olimpico. He deserves it more than anyone else due to his dedication and discipline.
Who in Church ever doubted crazy Kev? After all the bad news, his injuries and operations, the first thing we saw in the media was Kevin working in the gymn, to retrieve his fitness. Determined to come back even harder, better, faster, stronger (dixit Daft Punk) than before. Of course he could. Foolish us. If Stroot himself believed in it, why shouldn't we? The reactions after today's game were significant: from Alberto De Rossi to Spalletti cheering at the sidelines, or fellow midfielder Machin's comment after the game, or Radja on Twitter. Everybody loves
And rightfully so. Who doesn't remember his beautiful goal against Napoli in the Coppa? And the chemistry with Pjanic, Daniele and Totti? Kevin coming back means so much more than just another (sexy) body. It gives Spalletti a plethora of choices concerning tactics and formations. Just look at how Radja evolved and was even voted Roma's best player of the month January. Spalletti's influence. He loves dynamic midfielders and demands a lot from them. He'll love the sh*t out of Deep Stroat (still my favorite nickname, because he usually penetrates deep into the midfie.... uhm, never mind).
Now, to temper the enthusiasm in here: don't expect Kevin to return ASAP. He won't feature in the Sampdoria game this weekend, maybe not even this month. The staff shouldn't interfere with Mother Nature here. Let him be for now. One step at a time. Don't accelerate his recovery, don't take risks. He had a tough period, mentally speaking. Another crucial mistake (aka another injury) could mean the end of his career. He worked so hard for it, he alone should decide when the time is right. Want to know my two cents? Roma - Fiorentina looks a fun game to let Kevin have a go.
Anyway, his time will come. Before the Summer arrives we will behold Kevin in the Olimpico, gracefully playing in Spalletti's formation. A through pass to Perotti here, a one-two with Totti there, a cannon ball at the keeper,... I guess we're all kinda excited. But right now it's back to the gymn for Kev. For now.
Like I said, Dutch discipline.