It's been a confusing couple of weeks. Befuddled, we looked at what was in front of us, compared it to the box it came in. And understood even less. We were prepared for a paradigm shift including lots and lots of goals, in both directions. Instead what we've seen so far, game after game, have been the wet dreams for every Italian coach over the age of 65: as few goals as possible, minimal risk of it changing. Things slowed down so much you need momentous will power (and copious amounts of coffee) to stay focused while watching. That wasn't what we had come to expect; it felt weird.

When I read this blog post, I realized what it is we're witnessing and why it's so confusing. 

Much in the same way the vista in that photo holds centuries of different stylistic ideas and movements, this Roma harbors a plethora of contrasting styles asked politely to please sit down in the boat and go together. Perrottaof the Jackson Pollock school of football that was Spalletti's Romashares a midfield with Pjanic, originally schooled in the Balkans but most recently educated on the other side of the Alps. Heinze may have actually been raised in a pride of lions. DDR does the whole Busquets routine of dropping in between the defenders (which he's actually been doing for years, but don't tell anyone lest we mess up their Barcelona-references) mixed with pure raw energy and fantastic facial hair. Totti remains Totti, looking just as dated as Michelangelo's work in Rome does. That is, it clearly looks like something from a different time yet is so beautiful that we should be appreciated it all the more, not less.

Then there's Osvaldo, running around covered in Gabriel Batistuta-veneer threatening us all to take him seriously. 

All of this is being fitted into an overarching philosophy that tries to reign in all of the aforementioned styles and hard-fought experiences, or at the very least have them filtered through a Spanish-Dutch prism. We're seeing layers on layers on layers, and it's all being thrown together over the course of months. Rome at least had centuries to settle, and even then it's more charming than harmonious and stylistically clean.