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Wolf Culture

Month: December 2015

A Look: Sime Vrsaljko

Bruno Peres: The hottest name for a rightback in Serie A, as we head into Winter Mercato 2016. Sure, the Brazilian wingback is absolutely dominant in attack, what could be just what Roma needs for maintaining possession, but Cairo is no fool, and he will be charging an arm and a leg for another one of his prized wingbacks. In the case of and high possibility that a bigger Premier League team pursues Bruno, then Walter Sabatini’s long-term target could be all to distant from the capital city. Enter the alternative, the more defensively-sound alternative: Sime Vrsaljko.

The Croatian rightback is 23 years-old, 6’0″ (1.82m), fast as heck, and a fantastic marker. After coming into the limelight at Dinamo Zagreb, Vrsa made the move to the Griffoni, playing with Genoa for the 2013/14 season.Vrsaljko2 Although there was interest from Milan, he transferred the next season (last season) to Sassuolo. As a professional, this was a fantastic move, as he entered into a sound environment under Eusebio Di Francesco. He would finish the season with 21 appearances and an average of 4.7 clearances per match. Now Its even rumored that Barcelona and Juventus have since scouted him.

Fast forward to this season, and Vrsa is having the best season of his career: 3 assists, 4.7 clearances, 2.3 tackles and 2.8 interceptions on average per match. If Walter wants a more defensive wingback to add stability to the backline, then this is your boy.


Vrsa comes from a storied club with a winning mentality which transcends into his play today. Just a young man, he is showing the greatest stats in his career, and the most sound of any right wingback in Serie A. He could be just what is needed in Rudi Garcia’s backline, and there is no better time to buy him than at this very moment.

Zeman Back in Rome

In today’s charity match with Roma legends hosted by Vincent Candela, ex-coach and beloved figurehead Zdenêk Zeman made an appearance. In an interview with Radio Radio, he stated the following:

I’m always happy to be at the Olimpico. It’s great to see the guys, since I haven’t seen them in some time now.

The Selfie with Totti?

He was my favorite player. We hope that he can manage to help this squad still. It gives me joy that the Curva Sud still thinks of me, unfortunately I couldn’t manage to give them the satisfaction they wanted, but we had fun all the same.

The Scudetto?

The roster of players is important, in the recent past they haven’t expressed their best but we hope they return to how they did in the beginning because they were playing well.

The Hierarchy?

Juventus had a change and they’ve managed the results on the field. The management must make themselves heard and make the players do what they have to do.

below are the infamous stairs of Zeman’s practiceszemanstairs

Curva Sud’s Official Communication 12/29/15

Today the Curva Sud released an official statement/communication through Pagine Romaniste. Tomorrow a charity match focused on promoting the relationship between sport and youth will be hosted by Roma Scudetto winner Vincent Candela, who invited all fans to come out. It will be the Curva’s long awaited return since September. The statement reads:

“Tuesday, December 29 the Curva Sud will return to wave their flags and to speak out in front of those who have worn with honor and pride our colors, to those who have always had respect, who after all this time, has not forgotten and takes AS Roma in the heart! The past is not forgotten! Forwards with the Curva Sud!”

It will be beautiful to see the Curva Sud back, though there has been no word on the Sud’s return to Roma matches this season, nor any communication on behalf of city prefect Gabrielli.



Looking at Sead Kolašinac

It must have been a year ago, I watched Bosnia in a Euro 2016 qualifier. “Bosna” was slacking, enduring a hard time in their ambitions for qualification. Some players looked defeated, and Edin Džeko was going through a hard(er) time.

Yet, not all was gloom for the ex-Yugoslavian nation; they had a handful of young players making their initial appearances for their country, chosen by birth, or by family. A few stood out, like Muhamed Bešić and Milan Durić, and one larger individual was marshaling the back, quite comfortably: Kolašinac.

Jog one year forward, and Roma is linked to him. In fact, it’s rumored that Roma even had a bid denied this summer of 2015, before buying Lucas Digne. Aside from the cool name, I realized I knew very little about this top prospect…I needed to know more about the German-born Bosnain. I asked Bosnian fans on Twitter what Sead could bring to Roma, and this is what I was told:

Nermin @PickoLizak10 says that “He has the ability to be like Maicon. He is younger, a bit more aggressive, strong, not afraid to do the dirty work while flying up and down the pitch… He never backs down against anyone, while he still possesses the ability to make a good cross. Most of all, he already has top experience, playing in the Bundesliga with Schalke, and the Euro 2016 qualifiers.”

@Muris_Jasarevic claims that “In Bosnia, we call him the Bosnian Hulk! I think he would fit right in, as he’s already built chemistry with Edin Džeko and Miralem Pjanić.”

Schalke coach Jens Keller prefers to play Sead out on the left defense, although as  his attributes signify, he can play just about anywhere in the defensive third. 22 years old, 1.83 metres high, and averaging almost two tackles and interceptions per match. His transfer fee is expected to be around 10 million euros, which is a price any and every team should be gambling on right now.

January 16′ Centerforward Options

As we are less than half a month away from the January 2016 transfer market opening, Roma and Walter Sabatini will be evaluating their options. Although there are many players which have been linked, and every tabloid and radio announcer has their own opinion on what Roma needs, here are two forwards which would immediately help cover Edin Džeko and il capitano.:

FIFA Club World Cup 2006. Serie A 2010-11. Italian Supercup 2011. FIFA Confederations Cup 2009. Just some of the honours which have graced Alexandre Pato.

Coming from a poverty stricken family in Sao Paulo, his father worked tirelessly to provide food and shelter for his family. Sacrificing his comfort at the young age of 11,  Pato left home, on his road to professional life. At age 17, he made the move to A.C. Milan, becoming “the next big thing,” alongside his hero, Ronaldo, and fellow countryman Thiago Silva. Oh, don’t forget Ibra… and Seedorf… and Pirlo… the list goes on. Though in 2011, Pato’s body caught up with him, as so often does when young players are overplayed. His performances reflected his condition, accumulating 14 injuries in one season; 11 of them being muscular. Pato returned home to nurse his body back to health; and it worked.

By 2013, he was back home, employed by Corinthians. In Brazil’s 2013 season, he made 17 starts (13 substitutions), and scored nine goals with four assists.In the 2014 season, his health was remarkable: 23 starts, eight goals, and three assists. That is a hell of a recovery.

This past 2015 season he stayed in Sao Paulo, regaining the limelight in world football: 29 starts, ten goals, five assists, and five Man of the Match awards from whoscored.com. I That is 59 games and 26 goals for his hometown club.

Now, it seems Pato is ready to make his return to Europe. In a recent interview, he stated,

“I want to write a new story in Europe, to make a new history. I want to come to win the championship and play again in the Champions League. I have dreams again. I want to create this new story, a good new story.”

Although it is said that the upper echelon of Premier League clubs are interested in him, if the heaviest of heavyweights stay out of the picture, then Roma could surely be able to tempt him back to the peninsula. If the wolf bites for this duck, the “goals for” column will rise.

Another viable, possibly more realistic option is the young centerforward who started his career in Atalanta. After rising to prominence and being signed by Juventus, Manolo Gabbiadini was later sold in a co-ownership to Sampdoria, before being picked up last season by Napoli.

Gabbiadini could be the answer. In just four starts, only one of which was in Serie A, Manolo has scored four times and made two assists. In 22 starts last season between Sampdoria and Napoli, he scored 17 and assisted four. Still just 24, his best years are ahead of the young man, who measures at 1.81 meters. His stats are truly remarkable, and his ability to build-up the play is something Roma will need, as Totti tries to regain fitness, and Dzeko needs rest. If it truly is possible to buy him from the donkeys, and the player wills it, then the opportunity is one which must be grasped. 

Make It A Sweet 16

The whistles from the partially dotted stands reached their loudest as the referee blew the final whistle, and Roma officially advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Champions League. Then… so why the hell did they whistle, and where did it all come from?

With the restrictions from the city still implemented against the striscioni_trig1 (1).jpgCurva Sud, many of the season ticket holders showed up to Trigoria today, waving their flags and banners for the Primavera’s Champions League match. They won, and also advanced. 3-0. The Curva/e were empty, so we can’t blame them for the whistles (which would be aimed towards the restrictions, rather than the team)…

The whistles, as Pallotta pointed out in today’s impromptu interview, came from the same fans that harass the players on and off the field, entertained by the journalists who villainize the players and staff. Now, if you are a paying customer, you are entitled to your opinion, and therefore, reacting however you may legally desire. However, these jeers, constant harassments at the stadium, in town, and on social media, are deconstructive criticism, which can only negatively affect the players and staff. They are people, with a central nervous system like you and me, and deserve to be treated so. Booing after a bad performance is normal, but the continued, 24/7 barrage against the lads is more poisonous than a rattlesnake under a cowboy’s boot.

In the impromptu conversation Jimmy Pallotta had with VoceGiallorosso, he had the following to say:

I think the guys came out in the second half, they showed a lot of emotion, and we’re going into the 16. What I’d really like to say is, I wish, on a daily basis, that some of you would leave these guys alone. They’re a great group of guys, they’re great young men, and it’s just seriously getting tired on a day to day basis the stuff that some continue to make up and keep eating on these guys. And it’s frustrating when you come in here and they keep getting whistled, when they pass it back to the goalie or something like that, because of the stuff that is being written or on the radio all the time. At some point some of you guys have gotta grow up, and start treating them with the respect that they all deserve. Ya know, they’re in the round of 16 right now, they work hard at it, they all give a shit about it, and all of us do too, but at some point you have to stop beating them up.

JimmyRomaBATE 2015-12-09 at 10.01.16 PM.png

When Mr. President is right, he’s right. Regardless of mine/your/position on the restrictions of the Curva Sud, of the staffing decisions, or the run of form, positive and constructive criticism is the only road which will bring improvements. In two months, Roma will square off in the Round of 16; with the right attitude, La Magica should be able to pull off some magica once again. Daje.

Watch the full interview here.

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