Working it out: planning ahead

"The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success."
- Paramahansa Yogananda

Roma lost on Wednesday, going home from Europe one round and several million Euro earlier than the two years preceding this one. But faced with European withdrawal, one cure is to look at the positives, which there were plenty of.

It could be tempting, for the casual follower, or viewer to say that Marco Motta was, yet again, one of Roma's best performers, which he has been largely since his loan transfer to Roma from Udinese. But I'm picking another way to describe it; the Arsenal game, where Riise was Mr. 99% for 120 minutes plus subsequent penalty kick, was rather the first game since coming to Rome Motta wasn't the best player on his team. Which may be hyperbole, I'm not ruling it out, but let's remember this is meant to cure CL withdrawal syndrome. Not make Juve feel good for passing up on him, and missing out.

Playing as well as he has, Motta has become a priority for the upcoming summer of calciomercato madness. Which is not as easy as going down to the corner store to pick up a bottle of milk; welcome back the oft confusing compropriet√† system, of Mirko Vucinic fame. Motta is currently on loan with AS Roma, and in said loan contract exists a clause for Roma to sign Motta for the already established fee of €7mln. Said contract also holds a clause which grants Udinese the right to sign half of Motta's contract back from Roma for €3,5mln. Confused? If not, you're a DS superstar in the making, if yes, don't feel bad. No one really does, welcome to Italy. This does mean, however, that it's a seller's deal. Assuming Roma takes Motta off Udinese's books, and that they will exercise their right to put half of him back in there, things can only get more expensive for Roma. As Motta has played so far for Roma, his value has but one way to go; up. Straight up. Having started Motta a mere eight games so far this season, Udinese are now happy to sit back and let us play him every week with champions, and watch the pile of money keep on growing. This is a method of businesess Udinese are no strangers to, having let Sampdoria do the grunt work of molding Fabio Quagliarella into a stud (if you squint really, really hard) only to buy half of his contract back.

The best case scenario here is that Udinese handles themselves with the same dignity Lecce handled the Vucinic transfer; by not selling their half to generic northern Italian mega club with stripes on their shirts for that quick cash flow. And if that means Roma will, essentially, be paying more for playing him, so be it. He is way too good to pass up on, no matter what. Motta announcement link

UPDATE: Roma played Sampdoria away at the Marassi this afternoon, which was a good result considering Motta was sent off, way later than he deserved to. From this I can only conclude that Roma has identified the same problem with Motta's rising cost as I did earlier today, and are now bringing the prize down by having him commit stupid and silly fouls everywhere. Kudos, anonymous evil mastermind in AS Roma, kudos. Well played.