C'avete rotto er cazzo

Fiorentina 4-1 Roma
Game info | Play by play | Highlights

Starting lineup:
Motta Cassetti Panucci Riise
DDR Panucci
Taddei Brighi Baptista

The numbers don't lie. At least these don't; 4-1 in Firenze marks the third time in four games that Roma concedes four goals. Viola had 8 shots, 6 on goal, 4 in goal. There are no excuses, no real mitigating factors; just the embarrassing fact that bad calls from the referee cost Fiorentina at least one, maybe even two, penalties that were due.

The first thing that I want to, need to!, bring up is that lineup. How weird is it, really? This really goes beyond the mind boggling decision to field a decent wingback as a central defender in his first game back after a four month injury. I don't think it's fair to blame him personally: he was very bad, and prime culprit on most of Viola's goals, but he is what he is: an offensive wingback who if need be can play right midfield. Not central defense. That's what Diamoutene does, that's what Brosco does. It's just not what Cassetti does, or indeed did on Saturday.

But even beyond that, the nominated lineup took up positions so unfamiliar to some of the players that it beggars belief. At least when you think back on Spalletti as a coach who in Roma has shown to have his finger on the pulse as regards players' roles and positions. In all my humbleness I wonder why a rhomb featuring the exact same players, with Totti partnering Baptista in attack was ignored over a system where two players were in completely unfamiliar roles which exposed more or less all of their flaws as professional footballers - Brighi as the very offensive midfielder with the last touch on many attacks, which he, a mediano, naturally squandered, and Baptista as (sigh) Roma's left wing. It was like the sea gull in The Little Mermaid, inventing new uses for objects. Baptista is a wing, a fork is a dinglehopper...sure, why not?

Rosella Sensi published after the game an open letter, in which she is furious. At everyone and everything, making empty threaths to keep the team in ritiro at Trigoria until the end of the season, but also making excuses that "you can't win the championship with so many injuries and suspensions". First I would like to ask who actually believed this team could have won this championship even without injuries and suspensions (twelve red cards this season), and then I would say that yes, those two factors have hurt us no doubt. But there are things that smell about this entire team; under the two previous seasons at times one caught the whiff of a bad smell of mental issues. The symptoms were caving under pressure, but could be waved away like forgetting to wear deodorant an afternoon; not now. Now it reeks, of a putrid smell that burns ones nostrils, and clearly indicates a problem casting a very large shadow over the entire ball club. Two examples:

  • Roma's twelve red cards - while Rosella indirectly questions these by pointing out that Roma has commited the least amount of fouls in the league, I find in those two statistics the very problem of our discipline, or lack thereof: most of them aren't savage challenges, rough play gone overboard. It's bickering. Petty, useless bickering. Today it was Pizarro, two weeks ago it was Mexès, next week it will be someone else.
  • During the first fifteen minutes of the second half, Roma has given up the incredible amount of twenty goals. I don't know what is happening in that dressing room, but whatever it is, it's making Roma come out sluggish, unfocused and uninterested. And it costs a lot of goals, that in turn costs a lot of points.
Then there's the question of what kind of management communicates with its team during messages on the website? How does that establish any sort of credibility, especially when what was sorely lacking in the tirade was self-examination, a realization that it all reflects back on her and her closest associates in the club. Spalletti, for all his mistakes, at the very least has the decency to accept responsibility and considers it fair and correct that his job is in danger. Rosella? No.

This season is over, and it has been for two weeks. Time to sit Totti for the rest of the season, let the man heal up to 60% at least. There's no use in him being out there, completely out of everyone of his teammates's league, getting more banged up every minute he's out there...for what? It's time to blow this team up and start anew. Blow it up from the top. Perché oggi c'avete proprio rotto er cazzo.