Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? and The Offside As a Microcosm (Boooo Roma chris!!!)By: Greg | October 23rd, 2007
Aside from giving us all a fantastic place to come and chat about football, The Offside also provides us with a nice battleground from which we can draw comparisons to real life. Today’s Champions League clash between Sporting and Roma (boooo) pits our green and white precision Portuguese pistol against the colossal Calcio cannon of Roma (boooo). It’s chris’s massive, well supported (in numbers) blog against our little corner of the Earth with my eleven faithful readers. Today, my friends, we travel to Roma (boooo) to bring flash, flair, and youth in hopes that we can trip up the Roman AT-AT using rebellious skill and the Force as provided by Joao Skywalker Moutinho and Miguel Han VeloSolo. And…
Oh jeez, enough of the abuse of shitty metaphors and Star Wars references. Why can’t matches ever just stand on their own? Why do we need a David and Golliath? Why can’t we just have a well played game between two good teams? I’d love to see an honest promo or teaser for a game that doesn’t stretch some aspect of past events which some asshole humping a Smith-Corona came up with while burning the midnight oil at the local two dollar lap dance watering hole.
I happen to particularly love the new crap that the media are spewing about the upcoming World Series. The Red Sox (boooo) have a fan base that’s been called Red Sox Nation (which has incidentally grown by leaps and bounds since 2004 in large part due to bandwagoning, glory hunting sycophants) for only God Shammgod knows how long. Now that the Sox (boooo) are playing the Rockies (or, now, wait for it… the “Rox!”) the fans out in Colorado (which were nonexistent 5 weeks ago) have turned to calling themselves Rox Republic. I wish I could move away from this type of media stupidity and corny sensationalism but I don’t feel like living in Guam. However, I digress to the sound of harps playing me back into your regularly scheduled blog…
Sporting boss Paulo Bento seems to be saying that losing this match wouldn’t be the end of the world while Roma boss Luciano Spalletti is treating the game as if it were a one loss elimination game calling it “a decisive match for both.” This is probably more posturing by both managers than anything else. Bento has a team full of youth that could potentially be feeling overwhelmed at the gravity of the fixture while Spalletti’s more likely than not trying to keep his team focused and playing up to their full potential. I think Sporting will field a 1-4-1-3-2 (I’ll include the keeper here so he doesn’t feel any type of separation anxiety). Here’s what I envision:
Yannick Djalo – Liedson
João Moutinho – Romagnoli – Vukčević
Abel – Polga – Tonel – Ronny
Miguel Veloso is the key spark plug here for me. If he is able to control the pace and distribute the ball while thwarting the Roma attack, saving the world from global warming and curing cancer, Sporting should be able to win. Bullshit aside, Veloso is going to have his hands full. He’s performed well in the holding midfielder spot for the national team the last two times (ahem the ONLY two times he’s gone out) and we will be looking for him to have his international success translate here. If he can use his uncanny field vision and ability to distribute well in support of both the midfield and the defense, Sporting have a… ermmm… Sporting chance of taking something out of this match. Realistically, Sporting will be lucky to take points here and will be happier than Ray J upon first gazing at Kim Kardashian’s naked backside if they are able to squeak out all 3 points. All things held equal, I see a 2-0 Roma win. All things held “my mother in law is a psychotic Sporting fan who’s learning to use the internet and may actually begin to read her son in law’s drivel,” Sporting will win 7-0. See you tomorrow. Kisses ALL AROUND!!! Viva o Sporting.