Last January, before the winter mercato window closed, I wrote about the Missing Zebras, the players on the Bianconeri squad but somehow… not… on the squad… exactly. Let’s check in and see what’s become of Juve’s LOST BOYS (senior citizens, babies, invalids, and outcasts) since then.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 38
The outcast who was so outcasty that he was relegated to “non-person” and didn’t even make the team photo last year.
Finally, finally, Amauri and his idiot agent took the hint and went away. The suits managed to milk € 500,000 out of la Viola for him too. I know, I know, Juve spent a gazillion to buy him and it might have been nice to get some of it back, but that money is gone. Given what he’s worth, I think la Viola got hoodwinked.
Where is he now? Who cares?
Amauri is gone, gone Amauri, — that is all
Ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know.
– John Keats (sort of)
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 10
Alessandro Del Piero: captain, World Champion, Legend, Dirtbunny’s Boyfriend
In the end, Conte wised up and gave Alex some playing time, and he scored some important goals and reminded everyone who needed reminding EXCEPT AGNELLI just how valuable he is.
He’s gone now, and looking for a new club. I hope he finds somewhere that isn’t totally beneath him. Seriously. I’d much rather seeing him playing for love as a gigantic beloved fish in a Lega Pro pond than for money as a not-highly-regarded-enough supersub in one of the major leagues somewhere.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 33
Frederick Sørensen, code name Iceman: Blond, Giant, Dane,
Teenage Menace to Strikers who like to come in from the wings. Also, hello Bobo.
For better or worse, Iceman ended up seeing a lot more of Bobo Aquafresca. The suits sold half of him to Bologna where, according to ESPN Soccernet, he started one match, subbed in one match, made one shot, made one shot on goal, received one yellow card, and scored one goal.
He may be gigantic, but he’s still a baby, and I’m not opposed in principle to sending out babies on co-ownership deals to get them some seasoning and playing time.
This one in particular made sense because he wasn’t getting any time with Barza, Bonucci, Chiello, and some fully-functioning right back options on the squad ahead of him. However, two appearances isn’t exactly the kind of seasoning and playing time I had in mind. God knows what goes on in training, but based on what I saw before he went to Bologna, this is someone Juve does not want to lose unless they can get a buttload of money for him.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 30
Marco Storari, World’s Best #2 Keeper: Monster, Nice Guy, Squad Favorite, World Champion Grower of Hair
Fortunately for us all, he’s ours until 2014. He hasn’t left and he’s not looking to leave, and I’m pretty sure we all agree that we don’t want him to leave.
Once the later rounds of the Coppa Italia got underway, Storari got some more playing time, which was excellent. During league matches, he was a major personality on the bench, hanging with the other Lost Boys and being one of the most enthusiastic fanboyz on the side.
When Quags finally got a goal against Novara in the andata round, I think Storari might have been even a little more excited about it than Quags himself, not to mention the latter’s goal against Catania, after which Storari stampeded off the bench to join the celebration in the corner and ended up injuring Pepe and Quags in the process. You can’t buy that kind of passion. (You can, however, learn how to channel it into a more constructive form.)
I don’t know this for a fact, but Storari is reputed to be the ‘Team Bus Barber’, so I give him the credit: Estigarribia got a much-needed makeover.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 18
Fabio Quagliarella: Recovering Invalid, Forgiven Skeeve, Master of Goals that Shouldn’t Go In
Quags didn’t play much early on because he was still recovering from injury, but he became a regular during the ritorno round and scored four goals. As I hoped in January, he sees too much action to be counted as a Lost Boy any longer. Bonnet to you for your promotion, baby.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 34
Luca Marrone: Promising Youngster, Azzurrini, Victim of Italian Anti-Baby Policy
OK. Well then. I like Luca. I like that he’s home-grown. I think he’s a pretty decent player. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get more time on the pitch. But I can’t think of who I would sacrifice to make that happen. He stays on the bench. *pats him*
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 11
Paolo De Ceglie: Cutie, Terrible Actor,
Underperforming Left Back, Left-Back of the Future
Paolino is another player who improved markedly during the ritorno. He seems to have recovered finally from his collision with Daniele Bonera and he has shown his versatility by playing as a left back in a four-man defense and on the left wing in front of a three-man defense. He’s a Lost Boy no longer.
Plus, I love the paint job he put on his Jeep. Hmm. “Jeep.” One of this year’s sponsors. *ponders*
Plus, I love him.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 27
Milos Krasic: Slow Learner, Thumbsucker, Disappointment
Um, still here? I don’t think he appeared at all in the ritorno, and for good reason. I was all excited to see him get offloaded this summer, but so far that hasn’t happened. SELL HIM! SELL HIM NOW!
But wait! I spoke too soon. Krasic has just been sold to Fenerbahce. Well thank goodness for that. You can tell from the hair that something is wrong. Anyone who neglects basic grooming to this point is seriously depressed, and that’s something I know a little about. Let’s just say he’s a good player but a bad fit, and he’ll be happier somewhere else. And so will I.
TANGENT: Has Pepe ever looked better than he does here?
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 17
Elerjo? Ejlero? Eljero? Elia: Mouthy, Arrogant, Dutch, Alleged Phenom
Hmph. He turned me off during the 2011 summer mercato when he said that Juventus wasn’t big enough for him and he never did a goddamn thing on the pitch that would have let me forgive him. He’s been sold to Werder Bremen. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out, pal.
TANGENT: It seems like I never learned how to spell his first name properly. Oh well. No sense bothering to learn it now.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 5
Michele Pazienza: Forgotten Midfielder, Not as Tiny as He Looks
As I pointed out in January, some Lost Boys are so lost that they only appear in training photos or in match photos of other people. I like Pazienza a lot. I like his passion and he’s cute. Like Luca Marrone, however, I wouldn’t play him regularly in front of anyone who plays now. There’s really no good space for him.
He spent the ritorno on loan at Udinese and he did okay there, but they didn’t keep him. He’s training with the Zebes, but is reportedly looking for a new home, which is probably a good idea. Sorry, sweetie.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 20
Luca Toni: World Champion, Lummox, Green-Eyed Gorilla of Love
Oh well. His Tonigol days are long over, so he has moved on to the UAE to cash in on whatever may be left for him. Who can blame him?
Oh dear. Still going down awfully easily for a big guy. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 2
Marco Motta: Official Hairdo Beta Tester, Such a Crappy Right Back that Even Delneri Played an 18-year old Center Back in His Place.
In January, I said, “Oh Marcolino. It was so much fun in the beginning, but in the end, we just aren’t right for each other. I’ll always love you, but I want to pack up your stuff and move out.” I stand by that statement. He spent the ritorno on loan at Catania, where he specialized in assault and attempted assault. *sigh* Catania sent him back, and now he’s on loan to Bologna.
Wait. Bologna? Well that’s just great. He’ll probably make a rash challenge on the Iceman during training and give him a career-ending injury or something.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 6
Fabio Grosso: Tanmeister, World Champion (really!), Vampire.
Free agent/Retired. At last.
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy # 9
Vincenzo Iaquinta: Scowler, World Champion, D&G Underwear Model, Unwelcome Visitor to Dirtbunny’s Sex Dreams
Oh Vince. You’re killing me. What exactly is it going to take to keep you healthy and fit for at least a month at a time? I gave you a rehab loan to Cesena last year and all you did was sit around and be injured some more.
I love you, I really do. You can come over any time you want. But. I simply cannot keep a slot on the squadra for you any more. I’m sorry, but it’s over. We’ll have to go find you a new home (but please not Fulham. You’re better than that.).
★ ★ ★
Lost Boy (sorta) # 13
Alex Manninger! Demented, Rosy-Cheeked Keeper; Our Number Three; Way Better than Chimenti
Finally, I didn’t think in January that a number-three keeper really counted as a Lost Boy because no one ever expects to see one play anyway, but now I think Alex Manninger deserves a nice little mention, don’t you?
His contract is up and he’s moved on to make room for any one of a half-dozen baby keepers who could be a number three. Before Marco Storari, he was a faithful and competent number two. When Storari came and he was effectively demoted, he took it with grace.
He’s done us yeoman’s service and was one of the non-quitters during the horrible seasons of 2009-10 and 2010-11 that we don’t like to think about.
Sorry, but I already mentioned the Dark Times so I might as well go all in. Look at these losers. Can you believe it was only one short season ago? There are only three left, and we really only miss ADP out of those who are gone.
I love this photo for two reasons: (1) Why is Amauri reaching over to Gryga and not putting his arm around Chiello? Weirdo. (2) Manninger looks like he’s just seen boobies for the first time. There’s something endearingly not-quite-right about him.
He can really get unbalanced. Not in a Lichtsteiner “Look out! He’s Gonna Kill Somebody” way. More in a “Don’t Have a Stroke, Dude” way. Still, passion is good. Bored, disengaged keepers are boring.
Ahhhh, back to normal. Perhaps it’s safe to have have him over for dinner after all.
Thanks, my friend, and vaya con Díos.
This post was powered by beagle snores and leftover Chinese take-out.