While the rest of the Serie A weekend hasn't unfolded quite liked we hoped (thanks, Chievo), given Roma's form over the past two months, we have very little about which to complain. But we just wouldn't be Roma fans if we couldn't grouse about something--anything, really. Of course, the future of Francesco Totti is nothing to be trifled with, but it is the dark cloud hanging over an otherwise sunny City of Seven Hills. With that in mind, let's take a quick look at where things stand between Totti and his beloved club.
We won't really rehash the whole drama, but in sum, Totti's reunion with Luciano Spalletti hasn't been as joyous as anyone imagined. Totti's cameo on Friday aside, he's been an afterthought in Roma's recent run of form. While on the one hand we should be happy that the club has proved and is proving they can survive without Totti, as we saw against Fiorentina, he can still play. All of which is to say, this is an extremely tense situation.
In order to diffuse this, club President James Pallotta held a one on one meeting with Roma's captain emeritus late last week, and how did Pallotta deign to solve this problem? By doing nothing:
He is the one who has to think about it...I spent a lot of time with him this week. Francesco has to think about what he wants to do...There is so much conjecture on his future, but only he can make that decision
Taking a page out of Seinfeld's book, Pallotta decided the best path towards success is to do nothing. And I'm here to tell you, he's absolutely correct. We can wring our hands all we want about tactics and squad rotations, but at the end of the day, only Totti can decide if he wants to play another season. Is his body up for the task? Can his ego handle a subservient role? Is one more shot at glory worth possibly tarnishing his legacy?
We won't know and we can't know, and that's precisely why Pallotta's path is correct. The cynics among us will claim that this is all just a passive aggressive smoke screen aimed at showing Totti the door, but it's hard for me to imagine Pallotta being that short sighted. Totti's position and place in Roma lore is like no other athlete in history, so he absolutely, positively must be allowed to end his career in the manner in which he seems fit.
Given what he's meant to this club and this city, not too mention all that he forsaked in the process, he deserves that at least, so let's hope that Pallotta's ploy is an earnest one.