Like all football fans, I love a good striker. It’s not fair, of course. They get all the cheers and fan adulation when they score, without the proper appreciation for the team effort that goes into creating goals – but that’s human nature for you.
When it comes to Roma, I also have an irrational guilty pleasure when it comes to good Italian strikers. When I think of the Roma hit men that stand out in my mind as the ones I have loved the most, I think of Marco Delvecchio, Vincenzo Montella, Luca Toni (albeit briefly), and even you could argue Totti under Spalletti. My idea of the perfect Roma striker is one who also plays regularly for the Italian National Team so I can love him in equal measures in more than one sphere.
Mattia Destro was shaping up as the man who could become the player of my dreams. But just as I was getting used to the idea that my new man crush has a name that means ‘right wing’ in Italian, he’s been flogged off to one of my least favourite teams – Milan.
It was nice knowing you Mattia, have a nice life and all, but from this day forth you’re dead to me. Not least of all for making me go to the Milan website to pinch that pic.
The unfortunate reality is it wasn’t exactly a surprise. In fact, the only surprise is how gutted I am not. Truth is we have all had plenty of time to get used to the idea. It looked very much like he was going to be sold last summer, and he simply hasn’t been getting the game time he needs under Rudi Garcia. Used only sparingly as a late, late, very late sub and very occasional starter, often in less important games, it’s no surprise that he hasn’t been able to get into the sort of rhythm you need as a striker – it’s such a ‘confidence position’.
The other reason I shouldn’t be down is, of course, we do have another Italian striker who has been capped by gli Azzurri, although sadly he doesn’t cut it. His name is Marco Borriello and how he is still on the roster nobody will ever know. Repeated long running sagas of trying to get rid of him and his ridiculous wage bill just go on and on ad nauseum, one after the other, which leads me to the inevitable obvious question that I can’t believe nobody else appears to be asking right now – can’t someone just plant drugs in his locker or something?
And while we are on the subject of outrageously stupid questions, why couldn’t Sabatini have worked out some kind of swapsie with Milan that saw our man replaced with everyone’s favourite pink cockatoo??
But alas, if there’s one thing that’s for absolute certain, Destro’s genuine replacement will not be eligible to play for Italy. If the rumours are to be believed, whoever we end up with will come in on loan from Eastern Europe somewhere.
Is it wrong that this saddens me? Should it be wrong to want the Azzurri number 9 to play for my team? Am I some kind of racist xenophobe?
I can’t be. Some of my best friends are from Eastern Europe!!
No, what is truly wrong with me, what really marks me out as having some kind of screw missing, and what sets me apart from about 99.9% of other Romanisti is the truth about who I secretly dream will come in as the new Destro. You know what’s coming!
Will somebody for the love of GOD MAKE THIS HAPPEN SO I CAN DIE HAPPY????
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.