Preach!

Welcome back, Mister. Goodbye, Mister.



Oh how I've waited. Oh how I've missed him. Him; the righteous Lucianone. And then, a depressing realization; oh how sad it is that a coach briefly channelling Howard Beale shouting 'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!', pulling no punches as he laments the behavior (il hompartamento!) of the club is the most genuine pleasure I have taken from anything related to Roma in many months. Finding myself cheering him on in his press conference, mixing heavy body blows with lightning 1-2's, felt oddly enthusing, the ultimate culmination of the management as the enemy creed.

It had been a strange and unusual day even before that. All the major groups of Curva Sud had arranged an alternative five a side football (calcetto) tournament directly outside of the curva, pitting the groups against each other in a friendly manifestation of their disenchantment over how the tides turn regarding most about everything with the club, but with one shadow looming over everything; Rosella Sensi's. Her leadership is the pivotal issue, and the sole ultrà group that was loyal to (read: dependant on) her and the management was from yesterday forbidden entrance by the rest of the curva, the group now seemingly disbanded. In their place in the curva was instead a huge banner reading 'VATTENE!' (go away).

With little more than five minutes left of the game, that would end in a dull 0-0, the groups outside entered the curva and shared their discontent with Rosella, the management, the players, and Rosella again.

Immediately after the final whistle Spalletti was interviewed by tv channels and their less than probing questions, and expressed a view that seemed loyal to the president, describing some of the whistling and banners as ungrateful. That tone changed in the post game press conference.




I'd like to set the time of Luciano's snapping sometime during the question asked to him around the 1:30 mark in the video above. Before that he was his usual self of late; puppy eyed, disinterested, bored, sad. As the reporter goes on with his question, sadly inaudible to me, Spalletti comes alive, his eyes becomes animated again, his entire posture changes. It improves. This is Lucianone, and he's mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore. This is Lucianone who no longer feels like shouldering the blame management is all too willing to let him carry, this is Lucianone with nothing to lose.

"The ritiro? I'm against it, because I have always liked giving responsibility to players. But the club does what it wants."

The tone showed with brutal efficiency that the relationship between Spalletti and Rosella Sensi are just as bad as was speculated in after Firenze. When he speaks of her he invokes a dry dottoressa, or even Roma, avoiding using her name, and when he has something good to say he refers to the Sensi family. Read as: Franco was a great man, a great president, his daughter shares only the family name.

"If Roma doesn't understand that you can't save your ass each night by making private phone calls to friends, you never grow up."

The friends he speaks of are of course friends in the media, who have let themselves be persuaded to perhaps not run a critical article in the paper, or air too many grievances on the radio.
But it's starting to turn now; management megaphone Marione has started criticizing Rosella, Il Corriere dello Sport has caught up with the times and offers critical voices, Il Messaggero has been doing it even longer.

It's clear that whatever turnaround in behavior this club had made during the years 2006-2008 was largely due to Spalletti's influence. When Rosella has lost grip she reverts back to what she know, which in a non-comedic ironic twist reveals that which she doesn't know: overruling the coach and forcing the players into permanent stay at Trigoria, only to change her mind two days later. To, essentially, buy off ultras, and media personalities in exchange for exposure and exclusivity.

"They told me that they would call a press conference to publically deny that there was no discussions at all with Soros, then the day after they release a communiqué saying the exact opposite. The latest negotiations? I know nothing. Perhaps it would have been right to say something to the players. To come here and talk."

Ah yes, that utopia in letting the management answer to their issues, and let Spalletti coach and answer questions about the team. The tactics. The players. The results. Instead, we have a club where Rosella sends Spalletti out to absorb hits and answer questions he can't possibly answer, on everything from a sale of the club to Italpetroli's reasoning, to medical questions, while Rosella takes it upon herself to take charge of the football department and decide how the team should prepare for games.

"Future victories? I can't guarantee any, at most I can guarantee maximum effort as always. If money's the problem, as suggested even in the communiqué from the dottoressa, I can give mine up."

The club has as of now yet to respond in any form to Spalletti's airing of dirty laundry. And while that sort of unresponsiveness is laughable in and of itself, it won't change anything in the end. Spalletti will quit, if not fired, and he will go elsewhere. Where he can do the job he was hired to do, not five additional full time roles. And we'll be in the hands of Rosella, and lament the loss of Spalletti.

He did the right thing. For the first time in ages, someone in the club did the right thing.