I’ll cut right to the chase here: I’m not on vacation. The truth is, grad school is kicking my arse all over the place this semester, which is why I haven’t posted in *gasp!* eight days. To everyone checking in regularly since my last post, I apologize for the lack of stuff to read/click/watch.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like my work load is going to let up until the end of the semester, so it’s possible that I won’t post again until the beginning of May… unless of course something unbelievable happens between now and then, like Roma beating Inter or something equally freak-out worthy. If that happens, check in here, because you can bet your squad’s colors I’ll have some choice words.
Of course, Euro 2008 is this summer, so I will be back in time for the ramp-up to that (worst case scenario) and of course, I’ll still be checking in at the serieAmerica forum. Oh… and as usual, I’ll also be reading Chris’ Roma blog, so you might just see me commenting along with the rest of the Giallorossi faithful over there. Those guys are pazzo.
Some of the quotes that have been in the news this week have been just too interesting to not post, so here goes:
I didn’t really want to move to Genoa [Sampdoria] because I had been told that it was a dead city. Instead however I discovered that the locals are very friendly and there are lots of nice women around. This latter factor is fundamental for me.
Are we allowed women in the build-up before matches? Well you simply have to organise it. You take a room upstairs and then quickly you meet up with them.
For me the Scudetto in three-to-four years is possible. I said to the President I will reduce my salary and with some effort we can achieve some fine satisfactions.
The way I see it, there is a psychological factor because right now everyone is afraid to make a mistake against Inter and referees get nervous. I don’t want to attack Inter, because Inter as a club have nothing to do with it I think, the players are good and they win on the pitch. But I still think there is something behind it. They get small helps.
Unfortunately, that has always happened, like with Juve a while ago, now with Inter. I don’t think Inter are doing what Juve used to do though. When the scandal broke and we read the phone conversations, we realised what had been going on.
I don’t think Inter have done the same, they win on the pitch, then the referees can make mistakes because it’s hard not to make any errors for the full 90 minutes. But when the mistakes always favor the same team, you start to think.
We [Udine] are a strong side and we can do even better because at the moment we have ups and downs. Are we good enough to get fourth place? We showed that we are by the way we played in the first half of the season. We just need to believe in our own abilities.
We had a good first half [against Juve], but then Juve had two shots and scored two goals. We hit the post and had other chances, but that’s the way that the top sides are and we got punished. When you take a lead you must be able to keep it. My main complaint is that I am suspended now due to a booking that I didn’t deserve. Giorgio Chiellini elbowed me and I went down, but not because I wanted to get him sent off – it was because my jaw hurt.
Napoli are my heart’s team, but I have never had an offer from them. There was some contact with Milan, but nothing concrete, especially since I came to Udine. Inter? Anyone would do well playing alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic because he is an extraordinary player and I know that the Nerazzurri have kept an eye on me. I like the Italian giants and Spain is attractive, but when I heard that Manchester United were in the frame, I was very flattered. Nonetheless, I want to reiterate that Udine is a great place and I am happy here. I am in no hurry to leave. I have five years on my contract and I won’t be talking about anything until the summer.
[On his first, first-squad goal for Milan] When I scored I blacked out, I only saw the arms of the fans going up behind the goal and I didn’t know what to do anymore. It was a good goal, Inzaghi told me he tried to stop Loria with his body to allow me to score. Sincerely I did not expect to come on the pitch so quickly, I thought I would play in the last five minutes, it’s a great feeling and I still can’t believe it happened.
Since my last post, it looks like quite a bit has happened – at both ends of the spectrum. First, there was the low point of Roma slipping back a bit (ow!), and now we’ve reached the high point of a convincing Azzurri win in yesterday’s Zurich friendly. Let’s take a look at both, starting with this Roma ridiculousness.
So… what the hell happened to Roma?
Friggin’ Siena happened, that’s what. See… some of us knew it was going to be a touch match. Hell; I’ve been saying that Siena are nasty since October. That said, in all fairness, I did not think that Roma would loseWeight Exercise. I was banking on the Giallorossi winning by a single goal, but the result was far from it.
At this point, it should be clear that Roma need to sign somebody who can finish. In a perfect world, I’d take Luca Toni or Quagliarella with a side of Di Natale, and watch ‘em run Inter down, but we’ll have to wait for the summer to see any signings at all, let alone the insane pipe-dream ones I just mentioned. In the meantime, Roma have terrible Reggina to contend with, and the Giallorossi should be raring to go. Actually, coming off of a loss like the one against Siena, I wish the next round were against Inter, as motivation is half the match. Look for Roma to bounce back, destroying Reggina by a healthy margin.
Speaking of motivation, that’s something I usually talk about in relation to the Azzurri. Where they found motivation to perform like they did at yesterday’s friggin’ friendly, I don’t know. I’m guessing it has something to do with the ragazzi pulling out all the stops in an effort to get a Euro 2008 call up. Then again, maybe The Don gave a fire-lighting pre-match speech. (That would be something, right?) Who knows? Either way, they ran through Portugal (yes, Portugal… seriously good Portugal featuring C. Ronaldo) like a hot knife through butter. Check this out, and tell me it doesn’t make you smile:
In Portugal’s defense, they had some decent chances, and their one goal was very nice. Outside of that however, they were under consistent attack by the whole Azzurri team picture. Oh… and speaking of attack, in case you’re wondering why The Don left out Del Piero in favor of Palladino (despite Del Piero’s nine Serie A goals versus Palladino’s one), you need only know two things to understand: 1) Del Piero won’t play anywhere but up front without throwing a hissy-fit, as I’ve mentioned many times, while 2) Palladino is willing to play where he’s needed. READ: on the friggin’ wing.
Yeah… wings. Quagliarella. Palladino. Hell yes. Suddenly, it appears as though the Azzurri have real options out wide (besides Camoranesi), and enough can’t be said about the way these two guys hassled Portugal. Outstanding.
Also a monster for the Azzurri was Pirlo. What a presence on the ball! Meanwhile, Toni was his usual sacrificial self, and although his goal was somewhat of a poach… someone should tell Portugal that if you’re going to mark Luca Toni like that, you might as well not mark him at all. And Di Natale… the guy was everywhere. I don’t care how old he is, Roma need to sign this guy. Now.
If you’re interested in reading more about the match, Marco has a thorough write-up.