Monday, January 22, 2007

The last temptation of Totti

There were a few talking points arising out of this weekend's Serie A treats but none more so than Francesco Totti's expulsion from the Livorno v Roma game. Having helped his team fight back from a dodgy penalty behind he then laid his hands on Fabio Galante and saw red. It wasn't much of a push, especially compared to what followed when he clobbered his own personal trainer! He does get singled out for "the treatment" from defenders but still this will have confirmed his hot-head reputation in many people's eyes.

Elsewhere, Inter outclassed Fiorentina in the Meazza. The Viola went in with a far-too-defensive mindset and even when they went ahead it was only a matter of time before the Nerazzurri overwhelmed them. I think it is always a managerial admission of failure when you have to make a substitution before half time. Off came Liverani and on came Pazzini in a clear indication that the initial line-up had been too cagey. A dubious goal that barely crossed the line gave Inter the comfort they craved but it was a disappointing Florentine display.

Finally, Lazio and Milan dished up a drab affair in the Stadio Olimpico. The Biancocelesti were too well organised for the Rossoneri to break down and they rarely looked dangerous. Kaka was very subdued indeed. There might be a lesson - and encouragement - there for Milan's upcoming Champions League opponents.

12 comments:

patcook said...

I always try to force my self to like Totti. He obviously has always had enough skill and flair to make fans swoon but every time he goes off the handle I just end up distancing my self from him. He'll probably end up leading Roma during an incredible purple patch at the end of the season to win everyone back again and then try his hardest to get rid of us again

martinobhoy said...

Good to hear about Milan's struggles with the game at Celtic Park only a month away. Milan will still be hot favourites no matter what so we may have to rely on nullifying their main threats and hope for a bit of Nakamura magic.

ginkers said...

Pat

I have had a bit of up and down relationship with Totti too. But I thought he had put that side of his character away and was just letting us see the good stuff in recent times.

Martino

Milan had looked like they were coming back to form but I think if Celtic can be as organised as Lazio they can certainly get a result in Glasgow. Whether it will be enough to get them through, I don't know as they seem to like to lose 3-0 away from home.

Spangly Princess said...

he's reallt been so much better, our France', really ever seince the spitting at euro 2004, I was amazed and rather dispirited by this. And it's the shove on his mate which I find more unacceptable than the first offence, really. Bah. plus the 11 points Inter now have... well, I never *expected* to win anything this season, I only ever hoped.

ginkers said...

Spangly, it was a real shame to see it on Sunday. It just looked so much like how he used to be. Maybe we have to accept him as he is but, just the same, it further handed the title to Inter.

TrentToffee said...

Let's face it, it's easy to dislike Totti. He's a player who has far too much influence within his club (Francesco, you're NOT the club owner/chairman/manager/spokes-person), and a primadonna within the National team (Francesco, when your country sends for you, either answer the call or retire. Saying you'd like a year off then you might play again when it suits you won't do ! It's **very** unfair to let others to help Italy qualify for Euro 2008 and then breeze into the squad for the tournament itself).

Venezian said...

Sorry, but I feel someone has to come to Totti's defence - and it looks like that will have to be me!

I think the whole thing was blown out of proportion to be honest, and if it hadn't been Totti, it wouldn't have even been a talking point. As to the sending off itself, I don't think his reaction to being elbowed was that bad, and not really deserving of a red card. As for the push on Scala - it was just a disagreement in a very Italian way - Totti raised his arms to push the man away, but he certainly didn't mean to push him over. It was more a "get away from me" gesture that ended up looking worse because Scala fell over.

The man is no saint, but then do you really want all your footballers to be saints? Maybe it's that temperamental side to him that also gives him his drive which makes him Italy's best individual player. And he has calmed down significantly since Euro 2004, and I think (hope) this will be nothing more than a small blip on his record. Plus, off the field he has done a lot which is to be admired (and I'm not talking about Ilary) - Unicef ambassador, staying loyal to Roma when he could easily have taken a bigger paycheck elsewhere, giving part of his wages away to support the youth players when the club had trouble paying them...

(Sorry for the long post, but I have already had an argument about this on a football forum where some numbskull was calling Totti scum because of this!!!)

Spangly Princess said...

trenttoffee: sorry you're wrong about th=e influence. I defy you to find me a single Roma fan who things he has too much influence in the club. He *is* Roma. He's what Tony Adams used to be only more so. and, er, better. He's Roma through and through, he comes in the curva with us when he's out injured, he IS our spokesman, our bandiera, our hero. And yeah there's the unicef stuff, the loyalty, the ability to take the piss out of himself. As for thte national team stuff: if Donadoni has no problem then who is anyone else to criticise?

ginkers said...

Venezian

I was waiting for you to leap into the debate! It's not so much the pushing and shoving as picking up a suspension that bugs me. He is so central to Roma that his absence hurts them enormously. But to call him scum is going too far.

Trent/Spangly

I think you have both summed up the two views of Totti. You either love the importance he has for his club or find it infuriating. I bounce between the two but in a day of too few 'bandiere' who are loyal to a club you have got to admire him. And he is certainly NEVER boring.

The whole Nazionale thing, I feel, is by and large whipped up by the media when it's a quiet day in the newsroom.

TrentToffee said...

Spangly : Point taken, wrist slapped. We have to agree to disagree :o) Also, Rather than Tony Adams, Duncan Ferguson would have been a better example. Now there's a man who knew how to shove :oD

ginkers said...

The Totti incident did spark a whole series on Italian TV about the great shoves of all time. They screened Di Canio's famous push on a referee. "The referee dived..." said one of the pundits.

Spangly Princess said...

yahaha I apologise for my previous comment's semi-literacy. I was all over-emotional!

Of course it's not a good thing for a club to depend wholly on one player. But it's not just Totti, former local heroes like Bruno Conti are still very important to the club, no one player is ever going to be bigger than the team.

and yeah, Ginkers, Alcock went down like Cristiano Ronaldo at his finest.