It’s been a while since any sort of update has happened on here, and for that I apologise profusely. In the mean time Lazio have been busy appointing a new Coach after Edy Reja parted ways with the Rome club. The new man, Vladimir Petkovic, is a relatively unknown Bosnian who comes over after a number of successes in Switzerland and a not so successful season in Turkey.
You can read a piece written for Football-Italia on the new technician.
“I don’t know how long I can go on for” were the words uttered by Edy Reja just under a year ago upon receiving a hail of abuse from the fans following a 1-1 draw against Cesena, and it wasn’t to be the first or last time that the Lazio boss would threaten to quit the Rome club.
The last week has been beyond farcical in Rome with the coach tendering a resignation before having it thrown back in his face. All is not well at the club and while the relationship between Edy Reja and Claudio Lotito has been super-glued back together, a departure now feels inevitable.
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Today marks the 35th anniversary of Luciano Re Cecconi.
“Every Lazio mediano, sooner or later, has to be compared to him [Re Cecconi]. He was the most generous, the most loved and, sadly, the most unlucky.” (Cristian Ledesma, Lazio vice-captain)
Re Cecconi won the title with Lazio in the 1973-74 season. His death was an awful accident that perhaps portrays the general mood of day-to-day Italian life. It should never have ended like this though, you can read more about the event in a piece I wrote for Equaliser Blog in May.
Lazio fans have been served the full range of emotions in the season just passed. An emphatic start was followed by a somewhat inevitable period of tailing off, eventually ending in a fifth placed finish. It was a campaign where incredibly fortunate late goals in favour of the Romans (against Udinese and Sampdoria) were countered by devastating winners against the run of play (Juventus). Despite missing out on fourth place – and thus the Champions League play off – the season provided many positives and building on this will be paramount to a successful 2011-12 season.
Some players can go an entire season unnoticed, but they put their fair share of effort and work rate in. The results are positive and they develop both on and off the field. These silent partners in football’s team game will rarely win a game for your side, but they will certainly never lose a game for your team.
It can be difficult to understand the importance and qualities required of a good full back. There have been a number of more than capable left backs in Serie A this season; Balzaretti, Armero and Nagatomo have shone in the, traditionally, more attack minded of the full back positions. Yet the people’s choice for left back of the season has been Lazio’s Stefan Radu.
On Sunday 31st August 2008 Lazio took to the field at the Stadio Sant Elia in Cagliari, five of the Aquile starting line up had arrived in the Summer to provide a much needed reinforcement to the side that finished a disappointing 12th the previous season. The most intriguing of the new faces was that of 21 year old Mauro Zarate.
Zarate €20million arrival from Qatari club Al-Sadd could be described as shady at best. The Argentine divided opinion some fans called him a “potential phenomenon” while others were foretelling of a colossal flop. Lazio president, Claudio Lotito, refused to sit on the fence and piled pressure on his new acquisition by boldly proclaiming “Zarate is better than Messi”
“He instantly showed what he has, in a debut which finished 4-1 to Lazio at the Sant’Elia – blazing dribbling, a powerful shot, ice cold. That, ice cold, temperament which allowed him to score the equalising penalty. The real feat came later, lobbing with his left – the boy is ambidextrous – a desperately onrushing Marchetti, with the slimmest margins of success.”
Giulio Cardone, La Repubblica
On his debut, Zarate’s sprightly young running put in a wonderful performance, but, questions were asked of him from the beginning though as Cardone goes on “Has a star been born? It’s too soon to say, he is far too in love with the ball”. Zarate went on to score 13 goals and provide 8 assists in 36 games during his first season, and at Christmas he was named one of the wonders of the Serie A season so far by Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Sadly for Lazio fans, Maurito has failed to live up to the early promise. The goals dried up, having scored just 9 goals since the end of his first season Zarate is becoming increasingly unsettled in the Lazio side. Perhaps he is struggling to bear the hefty cross that comes with a huge price tag, or maybe he’s just an unhappy soul.
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Apologies for the lack of posts in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been a bit busy and concentrating on a few other things. There will hopefully be a few posts in the next week or two. In the mean time I’d like to invite you to read a couple of pieces I’ve written for Football Italia.
My debut for the wonderful Italian football site is The two tides that could, where I compare Napoli and Lazio to the little engine that could in Watty Piper’s children’s story.
A second offering for your eyes to consider is a resumé of Adriano’s stuttering time at Roma and his impending demise. It looks like Rome may be without an emperor once more. You can read the piece titled The Emperor’s demise here.
I hope you enjoy those.