Archive for the 'Catania' category

Totti: “L’Inter sarà solo seconda”

January 22, 2008 11:33 pm

(Totti: “Inter will only be second.”)

It’s a good thing I’m a Roma fan, otherwise I’d call Il Capitano overconfident for making a claim like this.  Since I am a Roma fan, however, I’ll call him ballsy and quietly hope that Inter don’t use his words as motivation.  Here’s my best translation of Er Pupone’s words, taken from here:

Interviewer: “You win playing beautiful football, but Inter runs…”

Totti: “I believe that for the Scudetto, there’s now an Inter-Roma dual, with all respect to the others…”

Interviewer: “Totti, but who will win the tri-color?”

Totti: “Of course, Roma. Inter will only be second.” 

Il Capitano also answered a bizarre question about the Pope, of whom he apparently has a very high opinion, as well as one about fan violence, which he (of course) condemned.  The latter question was a follow-on to incidents taking place at Sunday’s Roma-Catania match in which three Catania supporters were stabbed. (None of the wounds were serious, thankfully.  Actually, if I had to guess, I’d wager to say that they were stabs to the ass.  Yes, I’m serious.  Maybe somebody in the know can back me up on that.)

Alright.  That’s all for today.  (Life outside serieAmerica calls.) Remember though, tomorrow Coppa Italia continues, and of course, if you’re on this side of the pond you may find yourself scrambling for an alternate means of viewing the matches.  That said, ESPN360 claims to cover Coppa Italia, although I haven’t tried to use it yet.  If anybody tries it, post a comment!

Del Piero mi dà mal di testa.

January 19, 2008 6:02 am

(Del Piero gives me a headache.)

Would somebody please tell Alex Del Piero that silence is golden… please? First he makes presumptuous demands of the nazionale, then he’s calling out his goals Babe Ruth-style, and now… now he’s pointing the finger (while saying he’s not pointing the finger, of course) and making some stupidly obvious statements.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this doesn’t sound like a very leader-like way to talk, does it?

Maybe some players have given more than others.

What? Sorry, but I don’t think any professional should ever say anything of the sort, no matter how true.

And how about this? Can you say Captain Obvious?

Inter are stronger than the other sides in Italy. They have a deep squad and they have consolidated the players that they have.

I guess that explains how Inter got to the top of the table, right? They’re stronger? Also, having Hernan freakin’ Crespo as a backup is a slight bonus, right?

Perhaps Alex is preparing the Juve faithful for a crash-out against Inter in the Coppa Italia, now that both sides are through. Who knows. If Juve are going to give Inter a hard time, I’d rather see them do it during the Scudetto hunt.

Oh yeah… about that whole Scudetto hunt thing – The most interesting matches this weekend are Inter – Parma (on the outside chance that Lucarelli comes in at some point, though it’s highly improbable Update: Parma’s coach isn’t ruling the big man out! LINK), Roma – Catania (because Roma have a pretty thin back line at the moment, though the last time Catania visited Stadio Olimpico, the Giallorossi put on a show), and Milan – Udinese (because of the versatile “Di Natagliarella” attack facing off against the Ka-Pa-Ro samba trident).

Regarding that last one, as much as I’d love to see Milan crank it up a notch and climb into a Champions League spot eventually, I am not crazy (in case you haven’t guessed) about their current Brazilian obsession. In contrast, I really like both Quagliarella and Di Natale, and I’d like to see them open it up against someone… anyone (except Roma).

About Milan’s strikers: You might remember that two posts ago, I said that Gila needed to look for another job. Well, although Gila’s agent denies it, it’s probably true. Gazzetta dello Sport say that Gila wants to either play or bounce, and Corriere dello Sport are saying that a Milan-Fiorentina (Gila-Frye) swap is in the works, although I’ve heard something else debunking that one.

Serie A ha rinviato!

November 24, 2007 9:15 pm

(Serie A has returned!)

Aaaaannnd we’re back to our scheduled programming. So, what’s going on, you ask? Well, here’s my best attempt at a round-up:

First off, two matches were played already:

Genoa 0-1 Roma

  • There are actually two things to talk about here. First off, Cristian Panucci (a.k.a. The Old Man) – the guy responsible for the Azzurri’s game-winner in Scotland – saved the day here as well, this time with a header in the 89th minute. Whatever you’re doing, Old Man, can you please get your teammates to start? Thanks.
  • Speaking of which (and this brings me to our second talking point), Roma need to start taking vitamins or something. As Chris at Offside pointed out before the match, to say that Roma has caught the injury bug would be a gross understatement. Injury bear is more like it.

Inter 2-1 Atalanta

  • Everyone, your attention please! ArgentInter fielded an Italian today, when Materazzi came on for Dacourt in the 88th minute. [crowd]Oooooohhhhh! Aaaaaaaaaahhhh![/crowd] Thank you. That is all.
  • Actually, that’s not all. I have to point out that Inter got lucky… again. With all of the non-Italians on the team, I’m starting to wonder whether or not there’s a lucky Irishman in the mix somewhere. They are that lucky. If one of them starts riverdancing, or if someone mentions a pot o’ gold or charms of any kind, (is that how they pay for The Great Zaltan and the Argentinian Superstars?) we’ll know something is afoot. Seriously, Atalanta should have at least drawn level. Actually, if you read between Mancini’s words, you can tell that he soiled his pants during the match.

Elsewhere in the Lega Calcio:

  • FatRon is set to return against Cagliari… maybe. Ugh. In the same match, Pasquale Foggia of Cagliari may play the role of trequartista. If there’s any action from the home team, expect Foggia to be involved. Unfortunately, Gattuso will probably scare the poor kid off of the pitch.
  • I fully expect Fiorentina to leapfrog Roma and slip into second place, as they face Reggina tomorrow. If not, the Viola could go on an untimely slide, as they were upset by Udinese back in Week 12.
  • I think Juventus will have a hard time with Palermo, but will come away with the win in the end. Juve will be without Lanky Chiellini, but they’ll be looking to pick up the pace after drawing in their last two matches.
  • Catania are visiting Napoli this week, and although they’re a solid side (relatively speaking), they’re 0-5-1 on the road. That said, I am expecting a win for Napoli.

It sure is nice to have calcio back, isn’t it? I know it was only a couple weeks, but it feels like we were caught in an international wormhole or something. (Speaking of international stuff, the draws for World Cup 2010 qualifying groups are set to take place tomorrow; it’s going to be a busy day.)

Parliamo della difesa.

November 7, 2007 10:32 pm

(Let’s talk about defense.)

In today’s Champions League tie between Roma and Sporting, the Roman defense let two into the net, and the team was fortunate to escape with a draw. (Thanks, Pizarro!) This lapse of strength in back is unfortunately only the most recent instance in a season replete with such defensive displays by the Giallorossi. You would think that with a defense that stops balls like a pasta strainer stops water, Roma would be at the bottom of the Serie A table. That is, you might think that until you notice that their all-or-nothing attack has managed to score more goals than well… anybody else’s. That combo is good enough for third place, apparently.

Let’s check out the Serie A table going into Week 12, sorted by Goals Allowed:

Serie A Standings by Goals Allowed Before Week 12

(Remember, that doesn’t account for goals allowed or scored during Champions League or UEFA Cup matches.)

Obviously, the take home message for Roma here is: Stop letting in so many damn goals! In response to their pasta strainer performance, Luciano Spalletti says that his ragazzi sometimes “do get a bit soft on the ball and loseWeight Exercise possession in a foolish fashion.” (Gosh, you think? Admitting that there’s a problem is the first step toward recovery, Luciano.) He also stated that he hopes “that it is not a part of the character of the squad.” Eleven weeks have passed. I’d hate to say it, but it looks like it’s a pretty substantial part of the squad’s character. Sorry.

The weirdness doesn’t end with Roma, although their stats do present the most striking disparity. Take a look at Milan and Catania; they’re hovering mid-pack at 9th and 10th place, respectively, but they also have two of the four best defenses in the league! With the back of the house doing its job, all that Milan and Catania need to challenge the front-runners is a spark up front. Speaking of which, it looked as though Milan had found just that in a rejuvenated Gilardino, but the Torino match didn’t exactly inspire confidence. Thankfully, they look to be back on track with the win over Shakhtar, (even though it was a last-gasp effort), but Gila’s silence and eventual substitution during that match was admittedly concerning. If they can start scoring at home, their season will open up. Catania, on the other hand, need to start scoring, period, although I’m sure Roma would love to have their defense at this point.

This season is getting stranger by the week. (Call me crazy, but I kinda like it.) Now if only somebody would take down ArgentInter!

Cassano! Che successo a Catania?

October 29, 2007 7:30 pm

(Cassano! What happened in Catania?)

At Stadio Massimino this weekend, during Sampdoria’s loss to Catania, Antonio Cassano stormed off of the pitch and swore at a teammate. At that moment, calcio fans everywhere rolled their eyes, as we’ve seen this kind of behavior from Cassano before.

Following the match, Cassano and Coach Mazzarri supplied identical excuses for the incident. Both claim that Antonio became upset at the fact that he was injured for the “umpteenth” time. Mazzarri went further, explaining that the heated exchange between Cassano and Montella was “a misunderstanding and nothing more,” while Cassano said that he was simply “disappointed and miserable,” and that he doesn’t understand “all of this clamour for my decision to reach directly the tunnel of the dressing room.”

Well, Antonio, perhaps I can help you “understand all of this clamour.” See… you have a long history of acting like a jackass (both on the field and off), and despite the fans’ desire to forget about your antics, you decided to pull one out of the archives and put it on display for all to see. Contrary to what you may think, no amount of skill or athleticism is an excuse for selfishness and/or lack of self-control. Players have been injured before, Antonio, and how many storm off the field in a tantrum befitting a 10 year-old?

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