Archive for the 'Siena' category

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.

Fortuna sorride su Inter. Ancora.

January 21, 2008 5:27 am

(Luck smiles on Inter. Again.)

First off, let me say that I’m conscious of the fact that I bitch about Inter a lot, but contrary to what my actions may suggest, I don’t want to make this a “look at what ArgentInter did this week” blog, and I don’t enjoy writing about them… especially when they’re pulling wins out of their collective ass, as was the case this week. Unfortunately, as it turns out, it just seems like they’re always doing something morbidly newsworthy, whether it’s fielding a team of players from everywhere but Italy, or rolling through Italy’s best at the feet of Zaltan The Great (a.k.a. Calcio’s JarJar), or sneaking by more win-worthy squads on the wings of luck. One way or another, they’re attention getters.

This week, it was so bad that their own coach admits that they got off easy, something I haven’t seen him do for a while… if ever. Anyway, you can judge for yourself. Maybe you’ll do a better job than me of spotting the “penalty” at the end:

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The good news is, if Inter are going to play like that, hilarity is sure to ensue when they face Juventus on 1/23 and 1/30 (Coppa Italia), and Udinese on 1/27. Three consecutive tough matches might be a bit much for Lady Luck to handle, yes?

Ah… Udinese. Some uncharacteristically poor finishing up front cost them (and handed Milan) three points this week, so hopefully they’ll be raring to go come InterTime, although Udinese will have to contend with Catania this week (Coppa Italia again) as well. (What a brilliant backheel by Kaka on that assist!)

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Edit: Siena upset Palermo this weekend, 3-2. (Back in October, I said that Siena could be friggin’ nasty, and it looks like it’s still true. Here’s to hoping they don’t get relegated.)

The following video has highlights from two matches: Palermo-Siena and Reggina-Cagliari

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Regarding Reggina-Cagliari, you know things are bad when you make Reggina look awesome. Where the hell was Foggia? I’d hate to write a team off halfway through the season, but folks… let’s just say I think one of our relegation spots is definitely spoken for.

Gilardino ha bisogno di un lavoro.

January 14, 2008 3:24 am

(Gilardino needs a job.)

If you’re a Napoli fan, allow me to express my condolences.

If you’re a Napoli fan and you’re a resident of la citta di Napoli, I don’t even know what to say, quite honestly. How about… “at least you’re not Gilardino,” would that work?

On the other hand, if you are Alberto Gilardino, why are you reading this? You should be updating your resume, packing your bags or turning in your red and black shirts, because FatRon and The Duck just took your job. For real.

If anyone’s wondering “what the hell’s he talking about,” you must not have heard about Napoli’s loss at Milan.

Note that I just said “Napoli’s loss at Milan.” That should indicate that Milan are finally back to their winning ways at San Siro. In addition, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it also indicates the beginning of a late Milan surge, similar to the one we saw late in the season last year. Mark my words; Milan are going to shoot right up the table, and this Brazilian trident of Kaka supporting FatRon and The Duck will be largely responsible. One can only hope that they’ll take some points from Inter along the way. Unfortunately, the next derby isn’t until week 36.

Speaking of Inter (aren’t we always?), they were fortunate to get past Siena this week. Actually, you may recall that there were a few matches earlier in the season where Inter barely escaped with points… before they started kicking Serie A’s collective a$$ convincingly. If we’re back to LuckyInter, I might just start to not censor my curses.

Anyway, here are the highlights from the Milan match, in case you’re curious about this Duck character:

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…And here’s Inter squeaking by Siena. I won’t hold it against you if you don’t want to watch:

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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.–