Taddei 5', Mancini 55'. not the most thrilling of games really, some good performances, especially in the first half, but nothing to write home about. Mexes and Pizarro probably our best players, Taddei playing in Perrotta's normal role and did alright - Perrotta should be back in January when we return after the Christmas break.
not at our best in the Sud either: the loudspeaker system has been fucked for a few weeks now and we miss it. I know a lot of fans, English fans in particular, dislike the idea of having the megaphones: they find it too staged, too organised (coreographed, in fact...) but they play an important role. The Italian word, lanciacori, literally means chorus (song) launcher: and that's how it usually works. But that doens't mean that if a chant starts up spontaneously in another part of the Curva that the guys with the lanciacori ignore it or sing something else over it, there's still space for sponataneity and innovation. They seemed to be working again at the start of the game, but stopped after about 5 minutes, whether non-functioning or not being used I can't say.
One thing I've noticed recently is that the searching - always thorough when it comes to regular fans - is being stepped up on the ultràs groups. A couple of times in the past few weeks I've seen guys from the Ultras Primavalle and the Ultras Romani being searched on their way in. Today it was lads from the Ultras Romani, who are one of the largest and most important groups in the Curva. They stand immediately to the left of the big screen (as you look out at the pitch) next to the Boys (who are one of the right wing lot), and are particularly active when it comes to flags and striscioni. Ultras Romani striscioni are always written in scarlet, and they tend to have at least two or three per match if not more; a mixture of personal messages and the odd political/ current affairs type message but the vast majority are football-related (it might seem odd even to need to specify that, but in comparison with some groups, it's notable.) A lot of them focus on 'la mentalità ultra' as well as incitement to the team or support for individual players: recent striscioni fromthis group have included Una squadra fantastica, un grande capitano, la Roma che vogliamo è quella di Milano (Roma-Catania, referring to our away win against Milan) Others are insulting: Catanese sei una merda (Roma-Catania, funnily enough); Bergamasco fuggiasco! (Roma-Atalanta) and Fiorentino-Juventino (Roma-Fiorentina... sorry ginkers!) or pass comment on rumours and issues affecting the club: Di Cassano? Se ne fregamo! (Roma-Fiorentina again, referring to rumours of the lardy one's possible return), or Capitano... di loro non ti curar e falli parlare... la Roma e la tua gente sono per te la vera nazionale! (Roma-Inter, on the Totti/ Azzurri "issue")
They also have 4 or 5 superlarge flags which are waved each week from behind their group banner:(pictures from asromaultras.it)
So it was one of these giant banners I saw being inspected this afternoon. One chap had the flag pole, dismantled into 2 sections, and his mate was carrying a bulging rucksack which upon opening revealed the flag, rather crumpled. The carabinieri at the entrance insisted on pulling it all the way out and unfolding it completely to inspect it for, one can only assume, potentially offensive content. I haven't seen anyone bringing in the striscioni but I hope - and imagine - that they too are also now being inspected. This is vital. Since any racist, anti-semitic or otherwsie offensive material which has appeared in our or any other Italian curva in the past has been with the connival of the authorities. And so I'm delighted to see them inspecting flags and banners and fervently hope they are also scrutinising the striscioni in this way too.
Interestingly today in the Tribune Tevere was a striscione (rather more amateur than those produced by any of the big groups) which read "NOI ABBIAMO VISTO AUSCHWITZ VOI APRITE GLI OCCHI." (We've seen Auschwitz, you should open your eyes). Clearly aimed at our fascist and antisemitic minority in the Sud. (see last year's repellent events as mentioned here). Am delighted to see fellow romanisti expressing themselves on this issue, though it would be nice to see it in the Sud as well as the Tribune. More of the same, please.
Anyway despite going one down to Atalanta at home, occasioning much excitement in the Sud, Inter managed to win 2-1 *sigh* and so we continue 7 points behind, and they've equalled our record, the buggers. And now we're off til January 14th 2007. Buon Natale alla squadra e un pronto guarigione a tutti gli infortunati.