So this was the sight that greeted me on the day I got the job. Grown men crying their tits off for a dude that had been serving them since the latter days of Marcus Aurelius. The Centurion finally had quit his illustrious career on I Lupi, leaving a gaping hole to be filled which in all honesty could not be filled by anyone ever again. Yeah, I was hired by AS Roma to start a new and create them a new identity which did not involve a male model who could score a goal or two.
Six months does not seem to be a long time for the most but if you spend it mostly dwelling in the darkest brothels of Hungary, it will gain some unexpected amount of length for the person in question. So, having been kicked out from Benfica by the same Chinese group of investors who brought me there to make them money and sell players to China, I was kinda left out in the open with my man parts gently hanging in the wind. Not knowing where to go and what to do I decided to go for a school trip across the Europe to see how things were done in the major cities and if there was some stuff to be learned for me.
I did a lot of learning and eventually, that had led me to Budapest basically doing the hanging in the wind- part mostly. While fun, this was also detrimental to my bank account balance, not to mention to my liver. A time for a change was coming, and it was free falling on me.
As I am somewhat burned in the scene, I decided to take a call to the master of dark arts himself, the boy wonder, part-time sniper and the shortest Dutchman to ever walked on this earth, Strikerless Guido. He was the one of the few that stayed in contact with me through these dark times when I didn´t sometimes even knew if I was sucking or being sucked. It was time to beg for his help and he told me that both teams in Rome were looking for a change and that could be the change I was looking for.
So what made me choose AS Roma? I honestly don´t know. I liked the setup they were offering and I have always thought that the Paolo Di Canio – shit is a bit too extreme for me, so I skipped Lazio maybe for that reason. The bottom line was that I was the newly appointed manager of the Wolves and I was expected to deliver big time.
I didn´t know diddly Rogers about AS Roma or Rome for that matter so it was kind of easy for me to show up for the first day at work. All I knew that they had lost their golden god, Francesco Totti for retirement. Except that he was not retired, after all, just looking for a new challenge. Anyone smell Brett Favre here? Whatever the case was, he was gone and it was time for different things for the club. All that the grey heads told me that I was to nurture some young talent through the ranks and build up for the future. Actually, that seems like a sound plan since the Juventus back line is still intact and while that stands, rest of us can´t do fuck all about it.
The squad in itself didn´t look too bad and it was definitely something I could work with for the starters with maybe the lack of striking force in the first squad with only Edin Dzeko as a proven talent in the ranks as a point of weakness. But hey, you can always go strikerless as the dark siren likes to sing so no worries right? Well no, as I still had some tricks up my sleeve and I decided to go with a traditional formation that had been loved and nurtured in the eternal city for so long and which happened to be one of the formations I always liked to work with.
Yeah, the 4-2-3-1 or whatever people want to call it. I had some great success with this in Finland and Sampdoria so when I looked up the squad I thought I go along with this one as a starting point. With this baby, I packed my 4-3-3 jellyfish concept and a test lab version of strikerless tactic I have been testing out with various line-ups in the Budapest beer league for brothel staff. Worked wonders there so you would think it would do well with people actually knowing how to play football.
I was actually a bit surprised with the amount of TI´s I put into this one but if it works, it works right? The ones that know me, know that I don´t usually have a lot of PI´s for my base tactic since I do a lot of managing during the match itself and I edit stuff in the fly during the match. So I think this was a different approach for me but if it works… It was time to go for the pre-season frenzy.
I just spammed games to the schedule to see what I got on the roster. Quite a few games only some of decent opponents but enough to tell me where we stood with the lineup before the season. I actually had some thoughts about strengthening the lineup before the official kickoff but the 30 million I was promised were left untouched before the end of summer transfer window. Why? I didn´t find anything I was willing to spend that much since I felt that the lineup was strong enough for the task board wanted and the players were content with the UCL qualification goal we set. Also, I usually want to spend the first season evaluating the squad and look for stuff that the predecessor has missed out in the lineup. This time there was not too much of that but the sheer amount of loanees was staggering. Jeez, I really should tap into this in the near future. Considering everything, the pre-season was a success if you don´t count for the injury De Rossi suffered which keeps him sidelined for a couple of months at the start of the season not the end of the world but cuts some of the options I would have like to have.
So, here I am behind my desk writing stuff to put on the internet and all of my bald minions are running the living shit out of my players down there on the pitch. There´s a few days until the season starts with Derby della Capitale against Lazio and I can´t think of a better or worse start for my career here. If I survive the start here, I might update this in the future. We shall see.