Napoli, Siena, Milan, Roma, e un Pagliaccio Francese

October 8, 2007 2:37 am

A tough road lies ahead for Napoli.

First, let me say that I don’t think Napoli are a bad team. Thus far, they’ve exceeded any expectations that could be placed upon a club that was just promoted to Serie A (excluding Juventus, of course; we’d expect a lot of them regardless). Nonetheless, the 2-1 loss to Inter, I fear, is just the first in a string of difficulties that the club will have to face in upcoming weeks, as they’ll have to play Roma, Juventus, and Fiorentina consecutively.

Prior to this week, I wouldn’t have put a surprise win over one of these teams past Napoli; they’ve already taken out Sampdoria and Udinese quite convincingly, but I fear that facing all of the most formidable sides in calcio (minus Milan – and yes, I’m still calling them formidable – see below) one after another will take the wind right out of poor Napoli’s sails, leaving them with low morale when they face lesser teams.

Write off Siena as an easy win, and pay out the anus.

Speaking of lesser teams, before this week, Siena hadn’t won this season… but I just knew that such a record wasn’t indicative of what this team can do. They have some good talent (Locatelli, Maccarone, and Grimi, to name a few), and although they finished just a couple steps above the relegated squads last season, they (and I don’t know if anybody else realizes this) only lost once by more than two goals. Indeed, they gave several of the big guns a really hard time.

Look, I’m not saying that Siena are going to start blowing the boots off of Inter or the like. I’m just saying that this week’s 3-0 win over Empoli is evidence of the fact that this team should not be taken lightly.

Milan and Roma are playing like… well… Milan and Roma again.

Finally! I was starting to get nervous there, but that’s probably understandable, considering the fact that the Rossoneri, defending Champions of Europe, had only won one Serie A match out of six.

Can you guess who else must’ve been a bit uneasy going into this week? How ‘bout Alberto Gilardino? Before Sunday’s showdown, a portion of the Milan faithful wanted to see the striker traded off, as he hadn’t scored since April. Well, Gila certainly shut the doubters up, didn’t he? Likewise, I’m sure that some of the people who doubted the entire Milan organization have been silenced. Five goals at Olimpico is nothing to scoff at, especially considering it was against a squad that tied Spanish powerhouse Real freakin’ Madrid just days ago in the same building. Hell – three goals would’ve been impressive. Throw Gila’s two-goal surprise on top of that, and you have a resounding message that the whole peninsula will hear.

I was also a bit concerned about Roma, albeit to a lesser degree. After drawing twice, losing to Inter (thanks in part to Giuly’s attempt at playing ‘keeper – more on that ridiculousness below) and then losing to Manchester United in a heart breaker, this week’s match against Parma was a must-win in terms of getting the Giallorossi back on track.

Enter Il Capitano, and it’s suddenly Parma 0-3 Roma.

Looking back, it seems almost silly to have had any doubts. After all, Roma have special memories of the Stadio Tardini.

Look! It’s Giuly the goalkeeper! (Wait… what?)

Those crazy, crazy Romans. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Apparently, at the end of a practice session going into week seven, members of the Giallorossi were taking free kicks with Ludovic Giuly in goal.

Yes, that Giuly.

I can only speculate as to why the hell they put the French midfielder in goal, but regardless of the reason, I think it’s hilarious. Anyway, getting back to why, I think that they were busting his chops a bit following his disastrous mid-match decision to fill in for the ‘keeper against Inter. He was handed a red card in that match, and as a result, he wasn’t allowed to play in Parma anyway. So, they probably decided to let him take it easy, and at the same time get a good laugh.

After all, who doesn’t like a good laugh at the expense of a Frenchman?

(Thanks to Lorenzo, who posted something about the Frenchman’s stint in goal on another calcio blog.)


–Look for a post on the Azzurri over the next few days. Our ragazzi have a Euro qualifier and a friendly coming up.–

2 Responses to “Napoli, Siena, Milan, Roma, e un Pagliaccio Francese”

[...] others have pointed out, and as I’ve been hinting at (or saying outright) in posts here and there for a while now, Milan’s inconsistency thus far this season has been on par with [...]

serieAmerica » Fortuna sorride su Inter. Ancora. sent a pingback on January 21, 2008

[...] it appears as though Palermo had a touch as well, as Siena very nearly caused a big upset. (Back in October, I said that Siena could be friggin’ nasty, and it looks like it’s still true. [...]