Cooler Than a Polar Bear's Toe Nail


I'm probably a bit late on this, but it's a perpetuating story so at least it's still relevant. After Julio Sergio's injury midway through the Panathinaikos, Doni came on, the Greeks scored three goals and all hell broke loose. Doni suddenly became the scape goat for all that ails Roma: losing the first game in 21; Totti's injuries; Lazio escaping the relegation zone. Totti and Ranieri defended him on Friday, which spoke to their characters. But it weren't Don Quixotic fallouts, it was real and they were both, above all, correct. Doni did look shaky in Athens, but committed no major mistake that warrants the kind of comments thrown about since then.

But that shakiness was gone on Sunday, and Doni seemed collected. He wasn't tested often, but when he was he performed as well as anyone could hope. Maxi Lopez broke through--in offside--and was alone with Doni, who stretched the length of his body out to roughly that of four times his normal length. And more spectacularly, in the first half he pulled his usual number of dribbling the onrushing attacker, looking cooler than Paul Newman doing it. I'm a big fan of people who jump back into the fray after previous experiences which didn't pan out, so to see Doni back in full 2007 flow dribbling players outside of his own penalty area was one of my absolute highlights of the game.