Archive for the 'injuries' category

Di Natale, GrassoRon, e un ragazzo dalla California

November 30, 2007 7:50 am

(Di Natale, FatRon, and a boy from California)

 

Boy… Di Natale’s gonna be expensive!

Regular serieAmerica visitors may remember my two posts (#1 & #2) about a Roma – Di Natale connection. Well, there’s more to report on that front. Apparently, Udinese’s sporting director, Pietro Leonardi, says that Di Natale isn’t for sale at the moment.

There are two feasible interpretations of his comments, but no matter how you slice it, Mr. Leonardi is a smart cookie: If his statement about Udinese not being willing to give up one of their “best talents” is genuine, then he obviously realizes Di Natale’s value and is wise in his desire to keep him. If it’s just talk (and I think it is), my guess is that Leonardi is attempting to dangle a carrot just out of Roma’s reach, in order to better justify an astronomical asking price for Di Natale, once negotiations actually begin.

FatRon is hurt… again.

Well, it’s the eve of Milan-Juventus (easily the most talked about match this week… to the point where it’s almost annoying), and FatRon is hurt. Again. That’s OK. FatRon would’ve been laid out by Chiellini anyway, I think. Unfortunately, Ron’s absence leaves Gilardino to get knocked around… and frustrated, I’ll bet.

On a related note, the Corriere dello Sport had an interesting headline today:

Milan, goodbye Ronaldo, hello Amauri – The Rossoneri are ready to give up on El Fenomeno and already have their hands on the Palermo hitman

Amauri, huh? That won’t be cheap. (Although the connection has been reported elsewhere, so who knows.) What’s up with the Brazilian obsession, Milan?

And introducing… The California Kid

Now this one, I can’t believe.

Apparently, an 18 year-old high schooler from California has been offered a contract with Cagliari. Yes, that Cagliari.

What does Cagliari want with a high school kid from California? Your guess is probably better than mine; I’m certainly scratching my head over it. I can’t even get over the fact that they were scouting in North Carolina. Did they make a wrong turn or something?

Anyway, this kid (David Bingham) is passing up a full ride at UC Berkley (That’s no joke, David!) for the opportunity to (possibly) have Kaka / Totti / Zalayeta / Quaglia / Gila / Rocchi / Mutu / etc. fire missiles at him. I’m not going to criticize his decision, as passing up one sweet deal for another is never easy. Remember the name Bingham; we’ll have to watch this California Kid.

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.)

L’Uomo che Parla al Suo Gamba

November 23, 2007 9:38 am

(The Man who Speaks to His Leg)

  • He’s Inter’s only Italian starter, and may be Serie A’s most infamous defender.
  • He leveled the score with a righteous header in the World Cup final.
  • He was the recipient of the most famous headbutt in sporting history.
  • He talks to his leg.

Wait… what?

Everyone knows that Marco Materazzi has a touch of the pazzo, but did anyone know (until now) that he speaks to his leg? Well… in all fairness, he may not speak to his leg anymore, but he did while recovering from his thigh injury, apparently.

Leg-talking or not, many will be happy to see Matrix back in action when Inter face Atalanta (with no Atalanta fans in attendance) this weekend. Even more will be happy that The Don now has another rock-solid defender at his disposal (assuming he’s the same ol’ Matrix).

Welcome back, Marco!

Poor Montella! Poor Sampdoria!

I can’t think of anything worse that could possibly happen to Samdoria. With Cassano typically either hurt or acting like a complete jacka*s (or both), I saw Vincenzo Montella as the blucerchiati’s only hope. Now, due to an injury picked up last week, he’s headed for a surgery that will sideline him for two months.

Sorry Montella. Hopefully, you’ll be back on track in January.

Totti In… No… Totti Out

I haven’t been posting much about Totti’s injury, mainly because it’s been misinformation since day one. Whether it’s mind games from Spalletti or honest confusion, I don’t know.

First, we were told that Il Capitano’s injury was minor. Then, for weeks, we were told that he’d return against the next opponent, only to be let down as each match approached.

Anyway, he’s out again for the Genoa match, and I’m not even going to mention his name again until he puts on the maglia Giallorossi and steps onto the pitch ready to play.

So there.

Everyone Loves Pirlo

Maybe it’s because Andrea isn’t a vocal guy, and others feel the need to make sure his presence is known. Maybe it’s because he is the second coming of the Codino (well… sort of). Whatever the reason, the big guns of calcio have been keen on pointing out the greatness of Andrea Pirlo as of late.

Most recently, Gianni Rivera has made a case for Pirlo, and not long ago, the normally reclusive Roberto Baggio (only like… the greatest Italian footballer ever) has given Pirlo his endorsement.

I’ll say one thing, if there’s a dead-ball specialist in Serie A, it’s Pirlo for damn sure:

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Italia ha sbarcato!

November 16, 2007 7:49 am

(Italy has landed!)

This morning, on the eve of their Euro 2008 qualifier with Scotland, the Azzurri have touched down in Glasgow.

Chris at the Offside blog has put together a craftily-worded and thorough match preview, (his ‘guess’ at Scotland’s tactics is just priceless… and probably right on-target too) so there isn’t much sense in writing another preview up when he’s already done it so well.

That said, I did catch a bit of news that’s worth posting, so here’s a quick rundown:

  • First off, Oddo was hurt in training, so we probably won’t see him on the pitch. Luckily, he leaves his post in capable hands, with Zambro, Grosso, Canna and Barzagli / Panucci holding the fort down.
  • Second, Scotland’s manager, Alex McLeish has made a comment that I hope isn’t indicative of his team’s strategy. (His words, plus those of Kenny Miller, do not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about this match.)

This will most likely be the last post on serieAmerica before the match, so I leave you with the Inno di Mameli, and these words:

Forza Azzurri!

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Euro 2008: Camoranesi è guarito, ma…

November 10, 2007 7:30 pm

(Euro 2008: Camoranesi is healed, but…)

Just yesterday, I posted that Italy/Juve midfielder Mauro Camoranesi was hurt, and would subsequently miss the qualifier against Scotland on November 17th.

Well, Mauro wasn’t having any of that ‘hurt’ business, apparently. I don’t know how he did it (vitamins? acupuncture? visit w/ monks? Wheaties? zuppa di pollo?), but the man who was the center of that bizarre post-WC final pow-wow/haircut has apparently made the recovery to end all recoveries, and will be at The Don’s disposal this Saturday.

Hopefully, The Don will do the right thing and bring Mauro north.

In other news, Gilardino, who has recently played the role of brace-maker during Milan’s away matches, is nursing an ankle injury. I couldn’t find anything on the seriousness of the injury, but since Channel 4 made Camo’s bruise sound life-and-death, I’m not sure what to think about Gila’s deal.

Regardless, if The Don goes with a single-striker formation against Scotland it will probably feature Toni (not Gilardino) up front anyway. If The Don’s old-schoolness prevails, however, and he sends in a 4-4-2 or some other blast from the past, it would be nice to have Gila paired with Toni up front. (Of course, it is The Don we’re talking about, so if we see the ol’4-4-2, old-school rules dictate pairing a tall guy with a little guy, and both Toni and Gila are tall… so that’ll never happen under The Don’s watch. Grrrrrrrr.)

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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