Rob’s been moved to Thursday so now you get your Totti update a day earlier than previously. Roma are entering the middle third of season 2 and momentum is building in the capital…(Catch part 4 here if you missed it)
Well part one was busy busy, we have made a positive start to our second season and apart from our slip up in the Coppa Italia to Chievo we are going well in the Serie A and the CL.
Some news fresh out of Amsterdam starts our second part of the season.
Dennis returning to where it all began, he left Ajax in 93 to go to Inter before signing for Arsenal in 95. By 98 he is obviously homesick, I love the fact that in 1998 £7.5 million was a national record, everything was simpler back then.
Champions league group action at the beginning of November, with Barca in our group we need to win all our other games to make sure we are one of the two best second placed teams. My words of wisdom fall on deaf ears.
Want away TSL scores a much needed equaliser but really not the result we want, especially since they scored with their only bloody shot on target! I don’t feel confident about getting anything off Barca so getting out of the group just got a whole lot harder.
We win our next game away to Perugia 2:0 and head into the international break on a high.
That’s not the result they were looking for but in some ways I don’t want Italy to qualify. I would really like the national job so I need Daddy Maldini to get sacked. It’s also double bad news for Roma fans.
This however, I care about even less than when Antonio Carlos had a cold. (see season 2 part 1).
I’ve tried to trick Balbo into signing a higher paid contract that expires this season but he saw right through it. As it is he will be hanging around on £34,000 till June 2001 at this rate. Please somebody buy him, he is still getting called up by Argentina after all.
Back to the league after the international break and we batter Fiorentina but only manage a draw.
We are 2:1 up at half time but they equalise in the 61st minute and we can’t get back ahead.
Tommy is finally off.
A tidy profit on a player who I bought for about 200 K and only played sporadically. A day after TSL leaves and four days after Di Biagio goes down this happens.
If only TSL had stayed he would have had the chance to prove himself. As it is I now have a mini crisis in centre midfield. I’m lacking depth and experience at the position. The only positive is a while back when I first found Pirlo was on the game I changed his position in the editor from Forward Left to Centre Mid. I think Pirlo is also a -1 potential player so I know if I play him a bit he should keep improving.
Thanks Diego, that could have been a whole lot more tricky.
We are still ticking along nicely in the league and for good measure Pirlo gets on the score sheet. We host Bromby mid week in the CL. It is a must win game, I really hope they understand that this time.
They do, I don’t know why I was worried. We are second with 10 points, maybe we can beat Barca at the Stadio Olimpico, we are playing really well at the moment. Our good form continues as we beat Genoa 3:0 away in our final game in November. The manager of the month awards are handed out and Lippi gets it for the second time. I mutter darkly under my breath.
The 6th December is derby day, we are in the home team dressing room and on a good run of form, what could go wrong?
Nothing! That is unusual for this game. It’s a great result, Telli and Totti are turning into a deadly duo the board will be ecstatic.
Come on… bragging rights in the local derby and all we get is ‘a good result’ where is their passion? Next up is our final CL group game against Barca, in second place with 10 points I feel like we really need something from the game to get through and i have almost accepted that this is probably the end of our European adventure for the year.
Oh well, that’s disappointing especially when you look at the stats.
It was very close and you could argue that we outplayed them so how did we lose 0:3? We will need to see how the other results went.
Woo hoo, we have snuck in, Lady Luck was on our side, it’s knock out football now and anything can happen.
Very pleased, we are getting there, they might even smile soon, soulless robots.
Ahh, not the easiest draw, off to face Fergie in his prime.
Here is the whole draw:
Post CL qualification we are off to Turin for a big game 2nd vs 1st at the Stadio Delle Alpi.
What a result, a come from behind victory. I really can’t believe how good our league form is. I think Micky Landreau is making himself irreplaceable and he is only 19. I could get 15 more years out of him which isn’t bad for £5 million. I do question the logic of Lippi buying Raul when he has Del Piero, they play in exactly the same position, he’ll probably go after Henry next. I check the stats out for the game and decide that i might actually have robbed Juve blind in this one.
I decide to strengthen the midfield with this guy, his stats are beastly I only hope he can live up to them but for £220k it is a gamble worth taking.
A future Black Stars captain I hope. Our final game before the christmas break sees us waltz past Atalanta 3:0. I think we have earned our Turkey dinner looking at our results so far this season. Napoli send us an early christmas gift.
The league at Christmas and we can finally defend like Italians, even though we don’t have a single Italian defender in the usual starting eleven.
Bet Lazio wish they hadn’t called that impromptu Christmas break kick about.
At last, justice. I almost buckled and started playing Telli as a sweeper during December but I’m glad I’ve won it the right way and not the Capello way.
We pick up where we left off before the break, although a 6 week injury to Bisgaard is not helpful, however it will give young Matteo Pelatti a chance to show us why he is rated as an U21 star.
Our 17th game of the season sees us beat Piacenza in the Stadio Olimpico 2:0. At the halfway stage we 11 points clear of Juve and Fiorentina who are 2nd and 3rd respectively on 36 pts. Game 18 and another clean sheet and another win 1:0 at home to Lecce.
One of the longest injuries I have seen. Poor Albert, but anything that weakens Juve is good for me.
No way, my three way rotating strike force was working really well. I was never the biggest fan of Inzaghi as a player in real life but as a name in a flashing box on this match engine I imagine him to be a digital lightning bolt exploding onto the scene to score a……..cheeky rebound probably. He will be missed.
Because Inzaghi is injured I strengthen my squad with…
A defender, Pistone was highly rated when Newcastle signed him and the infamous ‘Euro Scout’ recommended I bring him back to Italy. He will add versatility as a Defender L/R, he can take over from Cafu as he gets older and he was once touted as the next Maldini. Since Maldini refused to sign for me in the summer I buy what I hope (in this game) will become the next best thing.
Next up is Capello’s Milan, I bring my Manager of the Month trophy to gloat and wonder who will be playing sweeper today but he surprises me with a classic attacking 4-4-2 this could mean trouble. No it is fine we take a 2:0 lead a minute after half time.
What happened? A very disappointing result we only manage a draw, Landreau scores an own goal and Dario Smoje equalises. Smoje is a Croatian who in my opinion turns into a top notch player on this game. I’m might try and sign him in the close season as his contract is expiring. I can’t help but feel Karma has come back to bite me in the ass, I’ve been a bit mean to Capello in this blog for no good reason really.
Anyway onwards and upwards we host Sampdoria in the next game so I hope to return to winning ways however Fabio Rustico (sounds like a biscuit) has other ideas and after Santos gets sent off in the 17th minute I am happy with the 0:0 draw.
Just before the transfer window closed I tried to pull off three big money moves just because they were all available and I have £30 million burning a hole in my pocket.
It didn’t work, not even one of them wanted to join, miserable (insert expletives)
As we move into February and towards the end of this chapter I notice something funny. Serie C side Chievo Verona, the team that knock me out in the third round of the Coppa Italia have made it to the semi finals, not only that but they managed to do what I couldn’t fours days earlier and they beat Sampdoria 2:1 away in the first leg.
And they did it with 10 men. Go on Chievo
Up next for us is an away trip to Florence which doesn’t work out well for us. We are clearly the better team but despite 10 of our 16 shots being on target we only score one and they, quite unjustly I might say score two.
As the stats show it was a little bit of daylight robbery and we leave frustrated and upset. Our unbeaten league run is over, you can’t win them all.
Last year Valentine’s day didn’t work out too well for us and today we travel to Naples for a potentially tough match where I have had to make a few changes due to injuries and suspensions. Petruzzi is back at centre back and Pistone gets a first start.
I don’t know why I was worried, Pistone scores on his debut but the Petruzzi injury, it’s because he is so weak, means I now only have 2 fit centre backs. Maybe this why we started season one with 10 players who could play there. To top it all off Totti is suspended for two matches for reaching 21 disciplinary points.
More importantly though the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi finals at the end of the week see Chievo win 1:0 against Sampdoria to book there place in the final with Juve. This is quite the side story. They don’t even have a manager because they are in Serie C so the game just says manager unknown, whoever he is he is amazing.
We beat Verona 1:0 at the Stadio Olimpico but another suspension looms Pirri Pirri’s fiery nature lands him in hot water as he hits 22 disciplinary points and a two game ban. We seem to be a lot more ill disciplined this year and I can only assume the Dirty Dane MB has been doing some after hours training with the team.
Our final game in February and the end of this part of the blog see us travel to Sant’Elia the home of Cagliari.
Good to see Kanoute get a goal his stats are amazing so I hope he can live up to them, he hasn’t really had much of a run in the team yet but he is young and his time will come.
I leave you with a third of the season left to play. We are sitting pretty in the league although Juve made up some ground after our loss to Fiorentina. We would have to capitulate heavily (is that tautology) to lose it now. I imagine it is something Harry Redknapp would say or has said so I’m going to stick with it. We are straight back into Champions League games when I return with the first leg of our Quarter Final tie against Man Utd. Here is the league table to finish.