Gent-Roma 1-7 (Yes, Seven)

Let's be honest - that wasn't much of a challenge. We could sit here for a while and make pretend that this was a valuable gauge on both the players and the team as a unit, and that we're wiser for it. But let's not. The opposition was of such low quality, and the game was dead and buried at half time when Gent were down to ten, that it's a waste of time for all of us to treat it seriously.

But some things were unqualified positives: Ménez played all game, and he was
très, très bon. This is excellent mostly because it renders him cup-tied for all other teams (throughout the Europa League and until after January in the Champions League). These teams are now much less likely to try to entertain Roma with enticing offers, and the choice to play him is a clear indication by Spalletti and the club that he's in the plans for the season. He was used as a trequartista, and it was obvious that his strengths are more easily expressed from there, rather than a wing. We'll see how that conundrum works out, what with Spalletti's ideas of playing a 4-4-2.

So, now, the only thing that makes sense after this game: a top seven list of all Roma's goals. The goals are ranked according to a completely arbitrary set of values; beauty, audacity, swagger and what else you can think of. I haven't seen the goals split up individually in any video, but here they are altogether:

1) 3-0, DDR.

I know it's early in the season, and that it's questionable whether it has even really begun, but if there are many more awesome goals than this scored, this season will be memorable. My living room sounded like a fifteen year old girl's, when she's on the phone: 'Oh. My. God. Oh my god. Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod!'. The cheekiness, the audacity, the flair. Starting with Ménez's though ball for Totti, which was, well, Tottiesque, continuing with Totti's holding up the ball with the sole of his foot on the ball, teasing the two Gent defenders, before releasing it with his studs for DDR, who - again, Tottiesque - chipped it into goal.

2) 5-0, DDR.

That back-heel from the corner kick was insane. Zlatanesque goal, DDR has obviously spent the summer copying other famous footballers' moves. What to expect next time: either a Messiesque dribble through 16 opponents, Iniestesque everything-at-once, or a Panucciesque header at the back post from a corner.
I'll take anything that gives me an excuse to write -esque again.

3) 1-0, Totti.

Perhaps he wouldn't have been able to do it on Buffon, but you know who thinks like that? Depressed people, that's who. It was a weird, and equally great free kick, let's just enjoy it for that.

4) 6-1, Ménez.
It was all his goal, it was all his invention. He wanted it, so he made sure he got it. Starting in the middle of the pitch, he played a nice one-two and was released to the left of Gent's penalty area, and as he accelerated from there and entered the area, he hit the ball with no more power than was needed, but at just the perfect angle. His technical skills are unquestionable, and I really want him to make it here.
In fact, if this blog had a mission statement, one paragraph would certainly be about the desire to see Ménez more.

5) 2-0, Totti.

I'm a sucker for dummies like the one in this goal. It was Brighi who played the ball diagonally for Totti, who hit it first time, and Ménez never even touched the ball. But as he went for the ball in the middle of its road to Totti, drawing both Gent defenders with him before nonchalantly deciding to let it move along to "Che-ccò", it was as much his creation as it was anyone else's.

6) 7-1, Okaka.

Great athleticism, great header. It feels unfair to him that when he does score a goal at senior football, I place it so far down on the beauty/audacity list, but I don't think I'm ruining his weekend for it.
Besides, it's only so low down because the others were so good, it detracts nothing from his accomplishment. Seriously, just a great play.

7) 4-0, Totti.

Penalty, well executed.