My life has not changed at all. As in the last ten years, it is blessed by the stars and eschewed by the men. Be not afraid if time passes and there is no word from me, be not anxious by the tram-station nor blue when you're playing, because I have taken my destiny in my own hands. I have thought in light-years and I have suffered in seconds.
Ok. I've had the impression that this team was headed for dark times the moment I saw what choices they'd made on the mercato. I mean, Adriano's been made fun of so often that his mother is beginning to think of bringing it to legal terms, but that's not the point. Management philosophy says: FOLLOW THE GLITZ. And so they purchased a forward, and a star. This was, well, how to put this? A fuck-up. It reminds me of that time I sat under a bridge in Newcastle with some friends taking bets on who the seagulls would take a shit on first. The correct mercato moves, as I saw it, were a decent substitute for Riise (the guy has a face a bit like one of those reptiles you see in South America) and a real star in the midfield to take the place of Pizarro, and the foresight proved so accurate that I really wish I had the written document to prove it... oh but wait, I do!
The most urgent requirements are two players for the bench who can substitute, when needed, David Pizarro and John Arne Riise – in other words, a playmaker and left-back. Both these players have had a fantastic year and they’ll be starters again after the summer, but there is no-one to replace them in case of injury or even just fatigue.Roma Club Focus, 09/04/2010.
But management does nothing, because management philosophy says: GOOD FACTORS ARE A CONSTANT. In other words, if something works good, it's going to stay good. This is so dumb I actually feel my IQ jolting just by typing it. We'll discuss the issue of a regista later, but honestly, how the fuck can you expect Riise to keep playing like a locomotive piloted by Steven Seagall as he did the entire last year and never need to sit back, or, MAYBE, get injured?
Then the season starts and, suprise surprise, our reptilian-faced Norwegian bangs his head against a lamp or something and he's down, to the anguish of all the iguanas who support Roma, and who do we substitute him with? Mary Poppins? Jacques Costeau? Anatole France? Oh wait - Marco Cassetti.
Marco Cassetti will remain to me one of those odd, grotesque puzzles which make less and less sense the more you get away from it with age. Some time ago he used to wear his hair and moustache like Adolf Hitler, and people thought my reaction to him was aesthetic. Not at all. It's the way he plays that gets to me. He is not useful in the offence. He is not much good in the defence. He is never seen in the midfield. When everybody else is performing the offside trap, he stands there like a mongoloid, looking around himself with a tragic look of disorientation in his eyes, like a child in one of those Lassie episodes where the kid gets lost by the river and has to hang weeping on to the tree-trunk till the hyperactive collie comes yapping about in the break between yapping to four adolescents taking ecstasy and yapping to a T-Rex that got lost in Greenwood National Park or wherever. I sometimes wonder if Cassetti could walk through the wardrobe of Narnia and enter into the other world and hold a different type of expression on his face for a change. I mean, I've had my issues with Perrotta, but at least that was localised - Perrotta was great at doing everything, but absolutely terrible at shooting. Cassetti is just terrible at everything. It was particularly painful to hear that he was being employed on the left. Why on earth he's still not just in the team but a fucking starter is to me utterly mysterious.
Presumably the reason is that as well as holding to the principles of FOLLOW THE GLITZ and GOOD FACTORS ARE A CONSTANT, management are so full of illuminati that they also follow this little pearl of Tibetan wisdom, OLD IS BETTER THAN NEW. Another retarded assumption. Yay.
Marco Motta did not deserve his spot after his performances started resembling those of a toilet-seat which grew legs and started playing, but I honestly believe that Aleandro Rosi is better than Cassetti, by an arm's length and more. The fact that he's gonna get better with time while Cassetti is going to get worse is another point in his favour. And this reminds me - whatever happened to that young fella, taken from Inter, super-promising young central defender, yes? A certain Andreolli? He was sent away on loan, he had serious injury trouble, which were solved with all due patience, and last year he came back to Roma. AND HE BARELY EVER PLAYED. From what I saw, he really looked intriguing. He was thrown away. I say give him a starter's shirt this year. Yeah, and I'm not even drunk. Give him a starter's shirt over Juan or Mexes or Burdisso (fine start to the season by this last dickhead, by the way). It's a risk, of course it is, but how do you think young players are made? By throwing vitamins against their heads? No, by PATIENCE and by giving them responsibility and by taking risks. You HAVE to, sometimes. This guy wasn't a total stranger, we'd seen him play, he'd shown he had promise. Play him. Yeah, he'll make a few mistakes. He'll allow a few goals. So what. The adult defenders conceded a few stupid goals as well (a certain Juan this Sunday against Sampdoria could have been Ben Stiller, or even Fantozzi). Besides, consider again the youth factor. As time passes, the number of goals he costs you can only go down (if things go according to plan, drastically down). Those of older players will stay the same at best or start going up as they age.
But why put faith in him, right? I mean, remember the tenet, FOLLOW THE GLITZ. And if you've got to buy a new central defender, stick with OLD IS BETTER THAN NEW, so that someone like Burdisso will always be preferable to, say, Cagliari's Davide Astori, who was young, accessible and excellent.
I'm not discussing fantasy football here. I'm speaking seriously. The guy deserved to be used, even in a position as delicate as that of the centre-back. A team that starts the same crap right-back that it did five years ago and throws away the likes of Rosi, Motta, Curci, Antunes and Andreolli in the process is a team where something is seriously wrong. And the 'wrong' starts up there at the level of management.
Coming up tomorrow: The midfield. Exclamation mark!!