Is there anything more banal than a press conference with a football coach? I don’t know why anyone bothers with them. With a few notable exceptions, where the odd coach has been known to lose the plot, in general they tend towards the bland and vanilla. Soft arse questions batted back with inanities and clichés in an attempt to say as little as possible and avoid all temptation to express what’s really on their minds.
As a fan watching on TV or reading a transcript, the worst instances are when your favourite team is going through a rough patch. All you want your coach to do is be honest, act like he or she has noticed there is a problem, take some responsibility for fixing it, and sound like they have some kind of a solution in mind. But instead all you usually get is crap like “we gave it our best today but it wasn’t enough, I’m really proud of the lads, I thought they dug deep and showed great character, now we need to pick ourselves up and go again”.
Roma’s coach, Rudi Garcia, is killing me in this regard at the moment. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s just a by-product of the funk that my favourite club has been in for the past six months, but it’s almost as if this guy is going out of his way to infuriate us fans with his public statements…
As a result of this, I decided to go back over the club’s press releases of the past month or so, and provide for you, and Roma fans the world over, a translation service so that we might begin to decode some of the platitudes.
Thus, it gives me no pleasure whatsoever to present to you, a month in the life of Rudi Garcia (abridged):
“We showed immense character.” 02/03/2015
It takes a lot of chutzpah to spend 90 minutes sticking like glue to a game plan that obviously isn’t working.
“We fear no one. We want three points against Chievo” 07/03/2015
We fear no one! Until such a time as it turns out they are better than us, at which point we’ll pretend we haven’t noticed.
“We’re not looking at the past, only at how to improve going forward.” 07/03/2015
We’re not looking at the recent past when we’ve been terrible, only the more distant past like early in the season when we weren’t quite so terrible. Hence why I haven’t changed the formation or tactics since.
“I want to see the Roma that we saw in Rotterdam, against Hellas and in the last 20 minutes against Juventus,” 11/03/2015
We’re looking at the past. The past is where it’s at my friends! The present is for losers.
“We got the draw without playing well today and in that respect it’s not like the other draws at all.” 08/03/2015
I don’t even…
“…the field wasn’t really suited to a possession game with quick passes.” 08/03/2015
I got the tactics completely and horrifically wrong.
“This is perhaps the first time since I’ve been here that I can’t recognize my team.” 08/03/2015
The guys have started wearing disguises so their cars don’t get egged when they turn up to training.
“…it’s important for us to win football matches. When we get chances, we need to score.” 12/03/2015
The sky is blue. Grass is green. Trees have leaves. I’m about to lose my job if we don’t start winning…
“We deserved to win today.” 12/03/2015
Please don’t fire me…
“I’ve always said that it’s in times like this when the chips are down that you need real men.” 19/03/2015
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – geese make terrible footballers.
“I came to Roma to win trophies.” 21/03/2015
Pretty please don’t fire me…
“There’s no point thinking about the reverse fixture which was six months ago.” 03/04/2015
We’re not looking at the distant past when we got smashed in the reverse fixture…
“We need a repeat of the Cesena game.” 03/04/2015
…instead we are focusing on the more recent past, like when we struggled to beat one of the weakest teams in the league 1-0.
“Perhaps we dropped off a bit too much after taking the lead but it was a natural reaction.” 04/04/2015
We tried to park the bus but our defenders played like turnstiles.
“We defended well and got everyone back in the box to make sure Napoli couldn’t score an equaliser.” 04/04/2015
Shit, shit, shit, shit, HOW ON EARTH DID THEY NOT SCORE AN EQUALISER? Thank God their strikers couldn’t hit the side of a barn…
“We must keep working together and giving our all.” 04/04/2015
The players hate me!
“It’s almost harder to play at the Olimpico than it is away at the moment.” 04/04/2015
The fans REALLY hate me…
“My players have strong characters and lots of pride.” 04/04/2015
My players have no talent. Walter is going to buy me some new ones in the off-season. That’ll fix the problem. Please don’t fire me?
Meanwhile, our President James Pallotta’s public statements (on a matter unrelated to the team’s performance on the pitch) couldn’t be any more different from his manager’s:
“Well, you know I hope you listen very carefully and translate this correctly word for word… it’s just not fair for all of our fans to be tarnished by a few fucking idiots and assholes that hang out in the Curva Sud, and I’m sure that the vast majority of Roma supporters are sick and tired of these fools.” 07/04/2015
No translation required.
A penny for some similarly frank thoughts about the performance of the team…
Categories: Other Football Topics
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.