Those of you who have been reading the Italy Offside blog longer than 8 months now, know that February 13, 2008, was a sad date for Serie A fans worldwide. On that day, one of the greatest and most entertaining bloggers I’ve ever had the pleasure to read stepped down from her post, leaving hundreds and hundreds of readers (I’m exaggerating… thousands!) in sorrow & despair. I am talking of course about Martha.
With her wit, humor and intelligence, Martha could take any Serie A story and put a funny spin on it. I mean she could really keep us entertained for hours on Alberto Gilardino celebrations… or Christian Vieri transfers… or Luis Figo rumours… or Christian Vieri muggings… or Azzurri match reports… or what Christian Vieri had for breakfast…
Yes, Martha likes Bobo. Some might even say she’s so infatuated with him that were she living in Bergamo at this moment (then again, maybe she is), things could rapidly take the turn of an ugly lawsuit for stalking and all the restraining orders that would go with it. But I digress.
Martha wasn’t just fun & Bobo though (and Mutu… and Figo…). Martha was also information. I mean day in & day out, she would litterally plow through the hundreds of Channel 4, Gazzetta, Repubblica articles online every day, to bring us the latest juicy gossip from Serie A & keep us up date on all things Calcio back in the Old Boot. During the sad moments she also knew it was time to be serious, reminding us that life is short and on occasion, soccer can really be ugly unfortunately.
Thanks to the news & entertainment value she brought to the Italy Offside, the blog won the Editor’s Choice award for “Best Serie A Blog” at the 2007 Soccerlens Blog Awards. A more-than-deserved recognition for all the hard work she put into her articles.
Thus, as an homage to our dear friend Martha, I’ve decided that I would start a regular “Odds ‘n Ends” (as she often called her miscellaneous news pieces) feature here on mCalcio. While I can only aspire to be as witty & clever as her, I thought that if I don’t keep you entertained, at least I will keep you informed. :]
And if she’s reading this (somewhere in the universe, in a room full of Mutu dolls, Vieri bumper stickers, and Figo posters), I just want her to know: we miss you.
Serie A Odds ‘n Ends (16/10/08)
- Someone sure is happy in the Azzurri ranks this week. I mean, the whole team & Marcello are happy cuz they won, but Alberto Aquilani is litterally overjoyed (I apologize in advance for forcing the horrible Google Translate nightmare upon you; it’s either that or the article in Italian), jumping around & giggling like a boy on Christmas day (on a sidenote, doesn’t that picture freak the sh** out of you?). Voted man of the match in Wednesday’s fixture against Montenegro, the Roma midfielder says “he will remember this night forever; a dream come true for any football player: getting a start, wearing nº10, scoring the first goal for the Azzurri. And the team victory of course“. What would probably make him even happier is to score another two goals this week-end against Inter. Of course, that would make the entire Azzurri colony in the Nerazzurri roster pretty sad. Oh wait…
- Speaking of Roma-Inter, there’s some great anticipation for the Serie A week-end’s big clash. And good news too, especially for Roma fans & neutral spectators: Francesco Totti is back!! Or at least he will be: according to Gazzetta, the Roma captain’s knee injury has been subsdiding, and Francesco has been playing in training matches this week (even scoring goals, just to prove he ain’t lost his touch). His presence for Sunday is looking more and more certain, which has gotten everyone over at the Roma Offside pretty excited.
- Still on Roma-Inter, given that Mexès and Panucci are suspended for being bad boys, Spalletti is really hoping to get Brazilian defender Juan back in time for this one (you know, given that Roma conceded 8 goals in 6 Serie A matches so far… he might be able to help). Especially since Spalletti has to find a way to stop Mario Balotelli (who was absolutely on fire Wednesday). On Inter’s side, Mourinho has got defensive problems of his own (Rivas, Materazzi, Samuel, and Burdisso are all in doubt for Sunday), especially since his last fit decent defender (Cordoba) picked up a knock on international duty. Oh well. At least there’s one more victory for José somewhere.
- And just to keep this one Inter-related, this one had me in shock this morning: Massimo Moratti is looking to leave San Siro as Inter’s home stadium in 2012. For real. The location of the new stadium is still kept in tight lock, but it looks like it’s going to be modelled after Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena. Wonder if they’re planning to grab Luca Toni in the process (not that he’d be of any use to them these days).
- Onto other news, remember Luciano Moggi? That bald conniving, referee-befriending cell phone lover that gave everyone at Juve a bad rep (and who keeps popping up in the news every now and then, crying about how he was mistreated for Calciopoli)? Says he won us the World Cup. The nerve.
- Ronaldinho, I’m sure everyone will agree, has yet to leave a big impact on Serie A. He did score that nice goal in the derby, but then what? Well, while he jogs the remaining fatty layers off his waist, Ronnie’s having fun in the Italian version of America’s Funniest Home Videos (aka Paperissima). It’s a hoot. And I mean, who could resist the lovely lady he’s in bed with…
- Finally, might not be as big as Roma-Inter, but that Napoli-Juventus fixture on Saturday has got a good number of people excited as well. According to Gazzetta, the biggest doubts for the home side concern Lavezzi’s partner. No, not talking about WAGs here (Martha was great for that too by the way), but who will be the other striker to team up with El Pocho Saturday: Denis or Zalayeta? If it were me, I’d try not to pick the dude who used to play for the other team. Just a thought.
- Closing down, some Juventus thoughts (I’m Bianconero after all). The board, the manager, and the players have been meeting this week to discuss the Old Lady’s current problems (you know, not scoring goals, conceding too many?). Channel 4 says it’s “Make-or-break month” for Ranieri, even though president Cobolli Gigli has reiterated time & time again the Juve manager’s job is not in danger. Me, I’d just be happy if we can be done already with all these injury problems (Camoranesi’s out till November, Buffon till December, Zanetti’s been struggling for months… don’t even get me started on Andrade). God knows Doc Agricola has better things to do in the infirmary, like put the moves on that new sexy intern nurse for example.
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