Archive for the 'Roma' category

Quotazioni

February 12, 2008 1:05 am

(Quotes)

Some of the quotes that have been in the news this week have been just too interesting to not post, so here goes:

Antonio Cassano

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.

Francesco Totti

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.

Fabio Quagliarella

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.

Alberto Paloschi

[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.

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…and the reaction in the stands. :D

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Giù e Su

February 7, 2008 1:42 am

(Down and Up)

Aaaaaand we’re back.

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:

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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.

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.

C’è qualche verità?

January 8, 2008 2:15 am

(Is there any truth?)

Sifting through the garbage pile that is the calciomercato hyperbole-fest is like watching a mediocre movie with a predictable ending. You sit there, somewhat interested in what’s going on, but with an underlying feeling of dissatisfaction… because you just know what’s going to happen in the end. But still, you finish watching the movie because on the outside shot that you’re wrong this time, you don’t want to miss it.

In the case of transfer rumors, you just know that most of the time, what you read or hear is more or less fabricated by some caffeine-fueled sports journalist who wants to be the first to report about (insert rumor here), even though he knows he’s broadcasting conjecture as fact. But still, you read all that you can, on the outside shot that there’s a grain of truth somewhere in the pile.

Today is no exception; rumor pile sits before us, and we’re sifting through it looking for fact, but not expecting to find any. Perhaps it’s futile then, that I’ve pulled what I felt was notable from what’s out there – fully aware that most of it is (probably) complete trash. Nonetheless, we’ll take a very cautious look:

  • Roma’s backup ‘keeper, Curci, wants to play more. (That much is probably true. Also true is the fact that Roma fans want to see him play more. Just ask the gang over at the Roma Offside Blog.) Unfortunately however, Roma’s primary ‘keeper, Doni, sees the bench very rarely. Perhaps as a result, Curci may be entertaining the idea of a move. Corriere dello Sport is mentioning Parma and Sampdoria in connection with the ‘keeper, although they don’t specify why they’re mentioning those two clubs, specifically. Update: Curci getting antsy makes sense, as Doni is supposedly extending his contract.
  • Goal.com is reporting that Zambrotta may be headed back to Juve. While this would be sensational news if it were to pan out, this is not the first time we’ve heard the “Zambrotta wants to return to Italy” routine. Update: This rumor’s been shot down already. That was fast.
  • I’ve said before that Fiorentina are hurting for players, and I was hoping that Maniche would be the answer. Well, the Viola-Maniche connection is becoming less and less of a likelihood by the day, it seems. Not only were the Viola allegedly *just* going after a different midfielder (who’s apparently taken himself off the radar already) but it’s being said (true or not) that Maniche is only interested in Inter, and that Figo is actively lobbying to get his countryman on board.
  • More Roma – It appears that very recent rumors about a Manchester City / Roma deal don’t hold water. It was said that Roma would give stepover-stepover-stepover-stepover-stepover Mancini to City in exchange for Italian (yes!) striker Rolando Bianchi. Unfortunately, Bianchi’s agent is now saying it’s not true. That would be in line with what Spalletti is saying about “not expecting reinforcements.”
  • OK. This one’s not a transfer rumor, but it made me laugh. – Would you want to see a 40 year-old Panucci playing? As much as I like the guy for his service on Roma and the nazionale… 40!?!?!??!?!?! Dude, this isn’t bowling.
  • This one’s not a transfer rumor either. – Blatter’s making sense again! It seems that I’m not the only one who thinks that it’s a bit odd that England has a thing for non-English coaches.

By the way, in case anyone’s wondering when this whole mercato mess ends, it’s over on January 31. (Coincidentally, I’m going away on the 31st, so serieAmerica will be inactive from the January 31 until February 5 or thereabouts.)

NataleMercato

December 27, 2007 2:36 am

As we all stumble out of our respective Christmas hangovers, so goes the calciomercato.

In other words, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it’s friggin’ slow in the calcio world. Still, slow is not dead, so there are a few items to discuss. Here goes:

Maniche = Available – Portugal and Atletico Madrid midfielder Maniche is apparently ready to leave his club – sooner rather than later, from the sound of it. (His agent has made it pretty clear that they’re entertaining offers now.) Goal.com is reporting that Inter, Juve, Fiorentina and Milan are all interested parties at this point. For those of you unfamiliar with Maniche, he’s only played 24 matches with Atletico, although he has been a frequent call-up for his country. So… no, he’s not the most consistent guy out there, but I still tend to think he may yet have something to offer the right side. If his asking price isn’t too ridiculous, Fiorentina in particular might want to take a look, given their depth issues this season.

Lazio Go Shopping – Everybody knows Lazio’s in trouble, and Coach Delio Rossi is quick to point out why: They need to buy reinforcements. While I’m not disagreeing, I was hoping that there would be a clear resolution to their Rocchi situation before I’d start reading about Lazio transfer rumors. More specifically, I was hoping they’d sort out their best friggin’ player’s contract before hitting the mall. Nonetheless, it’s Lazio, and Lazio makes no sense, so a-shopping they go. Word has it they’re looking at some dude with a name more suited to pro wrestling than calcio, as well as Sampdoria defender Lucchini, and Romanian ‘keeper Lobont, while Stendardo looks to be on his way out following a near kung-fu fight with Rossi.

Spalletti Wants “Substance” & Totti Wants “Change” – With comments that should earn him the nickname “Captain Vague” (or “Captain Obvious,” perhaps) Roma Coach Luciano Spalletti has thrown some vanilla comments out there, as usual:

On a pitch of 110 metres, technique is often not enough. You need running, strength and grit, as we’re not on a 5-a-side football pitch. The squad has been completed, and completed well, but it has not been improved enough, and at times when we miss some players, their absence is felt a lot.

Now… whether he’s making a case for A) more effort from his Giallorossi, or B) a little transfer action, is anyone’s guess, but I’d like to think it’s the latter. Roma can’t let Lazio have all the fun, right? In all seriousness, Roma may not have the depth issues of a Lazio or a Fiorentina, but they don’t exactly have Hernan Crespo coming off of the bench (like you-know-who) either. And yes, while everybody knows I’d love to see Mr. Christmas alongside Il Capitano, I realize that if it ever happens, it won’t be until the end of the season… so what to do now, during the January transfer window? I don’t know, but I heard that there’s some tall dude languishing in the frozen tundra of… well… the Ukraine, and he’s looking for a ticket back to Italy.

OK. So, I mentioned Totti earlier. About that: It seems that Er Pupone has been doing some thinking this holiday season. As a result, he’s calling for several changes. First off, he thinks there should be more than three substitutions per match. Second, he wants to do away with evening matches in the winter. Third, he wants random drug testing.

Regarding the random drug testing, I think it sounds fine. Random is probably better than scheduled anyway, so long as they’re still testing everybody, right? As for the evening matches in the winter, um… OK? I honestly don’t know. I’ve never been in Italy during winter, so I really don’t know what these guys are up against, but I have noticed that those neck-warmer thingies have gotten increasingly popular as of late. Maybe there’s something to it.

Now… regarding increasing the number of substitutions during a match, isn’t the international standard three? If nobody else is increasing theirs, why should Italy be any different? I’d hate to see Italian players get soft because they’re out there changing lines like a hockey team, while the rest of Europe is slogging it out for 90 minutes. Come on, Francesco. You already got out of Azzurri duty. Now you want Roma to sub you out more often too?

Kaka + Dida = Homies – Or at least… they must be. I mean, why the hell else would Kaka defend a mistake-prone diver? It must be a Brazilian thing. Speaking of Brazilian things, La Gazzetta dello Sport published a photo of Adriano and Ronaldo (and some fat rapper-looking dude) looking all buddy-buddy at some Brazilian concert, along with an article stating that Brazilian side Flamengo wants FatRon. I wasn’t a fan of FatRon coming to Milan to begin with, so I’m all for it. (By the way, that photo was apparently somewhat controversial.) Stay in Sunny Brazil, Ronnie. Get your pal Adriano to stay too, while you’re at it, mmmkay?

ESPN: Roma e Juve hanno una probabilità.

December 13, 2007 11:26 pm

(ESPN: Roma and Juve have a chance.)

If ESPN is to be commended for one thing in relation to their calcio coverage, it has to be positive thinking.

They’re reporting that Juve and Roma have a “chance to close the gap” with Inter this weekend. While I would absolutely love to share their optimism, a quick look at their analysis has me thinking that their gap closing conclusion may be based upon a foundation of quicksand.

First of all, they point out, either explicitly or in passing, just about every factor that goes against Roma and Juve’s chance at closing the gap with Inter. For instance:

  • Juve have won only once away from Turin this season, and they visit Olimpico this weekend.
  • At Olimpico, Juve face Lazio, who, free from Champions League duty, will be focused solely on Italian matches.
  • Juve will be without Camoranesi until January.
  • Roma, who have had less rest due to Champions League duty, play Torino, who will be raring to go after taking a 4-0 pounding from Inter last weekend.
  • Matrix is fit enough to start again, as evidenced against PSV.
  • Barring an upset that would have me shedding tears of joy, Inter are sure to snag three points from Cagliari, who sit at the very bottom of the table.

So… yeah, ESPN, what were you saying about closing gaps again? The only news I’ve seen that could hinder Inter’s dominance in the near term centers around their list of injured players; ESPN is reporting that Viera, Figo, Dacourt, Jiminez and Stankovic are all injured. Oh – I almost forgot – The Great Zaltan is suspended, apparently. Yeah. Too bad he’ll probably be backed up by friggin’ Hernan Crespo. Oh. What a relief for Cagliari. It’s only Crespo. From Cagliari’s point of view, this has to be like Ken subbing in for Ryu in Street Fighter II.

Now that I’ve gotten all of the doom and gloom out of the way, here’s something… else. (What? I’ve already likened him to a Street Fighter II character. Is this that much worse? OK. Yeah. It is. The Great Zaltan can take it though, I’m sure.)

One more (unrelated) thing before I go… All Lucarelli needs is a buyer, and he’s back. I know, I know. We all pretty much knew it was going to happen, but it’s good to hear straight talk right from the player. I can’t wait to see where this guy ends up.