There are infinite previews outlining THE RACE FOR SECOND PLACE. But a story that eclipses Milan’s accidental rise on the table and Roma’s astounding ability to barely maintain second place is the Strootman Ban/Not Ban. So much whining from Roma fans, you’d have thought someone had died. No one talking about the poor conduct and poor sportsmanship. Certainly no Roma fans acknowledging precedence for other players in the past who served bans for either instigating or simulation, let alone both. And the FIGC clearly overturned the ban because the whining was simply unbearable. But from Strootman’s ridiculous and very unsporting behavior to the fans lacking a conscience of any kind, Roma are coming into this game with bad form.
|I hope his shirt is okay.|
Roma’s form on the pitch is okay. I mean it’s not like they’re going to win the Scudetto or anything, but they are the always the bridesmaid, never the bride team anyway. In addition to winning their Derby last week, despite Lazio’s Lulic making horrific racist remarks and everything else that happened, they are W-D-W-L-W in their last five league games. And despite a 0-0 draw on Thursday to Romanian side Astra Giurgiu, they topped their group in the group stages of the Europa League. In fact, they’ll find out their fate in the Round of 32 on Monday ahead of our game.
In their Derby match vs. Lazio on Sunday, Spaletti lined up Szczesny; Fazio, Manolas, De Rossi, Emerson, Rüdiger, Nainggolan, Strootman, Perotti, Peres, and Dzeko. He will be without Salah, Paredes, and Florenzi. But of course, he will have Strootman. Which is good, because every forever bridesmaid team needs a poor sport whiner with appalling acting skills in their squad. No one ever remembers that Strootman’s little child water stunt and diving competition was part of his goal celebration. Because when you have such bad form, no one cares if you did something right.
|His return would be news worth talking about|
I’m sure Montella isn’t thinking about how unprofessional Strootman behaved last week. Partially because his recent record is better, Milan have gone W-W-D-W-W in their last five matches. Also because he’s got a few injury concerns. The good news is that Mati Fernandez trained with the team and should be available, and Bonaventura is cleared to train with the team and should be available, too. That is actually great news. Longterm injuries include Montolivo, Calabria, and the injured/wantaway Bacca. Also missing will be Kucka after his three minute yellow card performance last week. Because he is a man, and real men take their suspensions like a man. They don’t run to appeal them or complain that the ban was due to the upcoming schedule and meant to show preferences to non-whining teams. No, Kucka will sit this one out, and we know he’ll be ready to destroy again vs. Atalanta on Saturday.
Montella’s heart strings will be pulled, I’m sure, due to his own history at Roma. But he is coaching the club of his dreams, and will be focused on the three points. Not me. I will be focused on how a grown man, getting paid very well, can act so unprofessionally, then cry about it and get the governing agency to overturn his consequences. It is completely disgusting, and I can’t believe my kids live in a world where this actually happens. I mean Roma fans and their pathetic crying have managed to eclipse the worst form of all from Sunday, Lulic’s racist comments about Rüdiger and his initial lack of apology. But the FIGC has opened a formal investigation of his comments and he will receive up to a ten match ban. Yet no one is whining about that. Because whining is bad form.
|What Strootman looked like after having his shirt pulled, also how my respect for him plummeted after all of this|
It’s good that Strootman practiced his simulation, I guess, because now he will have to simulate being a decent human being. He’d best hope that no one touches his shirt. And for heaven’s sake, don’t give him a water bottle. The game should be pretty good, despite that Roma were “stunned” that a Roma player might actually be held accountable for his actions. Both teams are tied at 32 points, with Roma well ahead of Milan on goal differential. Maybe that’s because our players don’t pour water on their opponents as part of their goal celebrations and then get away with it. But if that’s the case, I’ll take a loss in this game. Because losing fairly is much better than winning with bad form.
This post inspired by the music of Journey’s “Who’s Crying Now”
Roma vs. Milan
Monday, December 12 • 21:00 CET (3pm EST)
This match will be shown LIVE on RAI and BeIN Sports in the U.S.