Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Jeremy has finally spoken.It looked odds on that Jeremy Menez would land the title of 'flop of the season so far' as we head towards the winter break, but the plucky French lad finally answered his ever-growing band of critics at the weekend.A cavalier performance along the flanks for AS Roma at Chievo, culminated in the perfect coupe de grace with a stunning angled volley to give the Romans their fourth consecutive league win.
Take that critics! Menez wallops home against Chievo
In the past, probably sometime before reality television came along, a player was given time, occasionally as much as a season, to prove himself.
It happened to other noteworthy imports from across the Alps such as Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane.Both took at least a campaign to settle into the rigours of Italian football after moves from the relative backwater of France's Ligue 1.No such luck for the former Monaco wingman who was expected to take flight from the moment he took to the pitch on the opening day of the season, with that 12million euro plus price-tag strung around his neck.He had even been handed the No.24 shirt worn by Marco Delvecchio, known by one and all as ‘SuperMarco,’ thanks mainly to his goalscoring exploits in the Rome derbies.The headline writers have had to wait some time to hand the 'Super' title over to the new boy and they finally had their chance on Saturday evening.“SuperMenez fires Roma,” probably wasn’t worth getting up extra early on a holiday weekend to grab La Gazzetta dello Sport before the newsstand called it a day before noon.However, the way the Roma players celebrated with their new-found hero meant the 21-year-old will be saving the press cuttings.His goal was also a timely reminder to the folks back home that young Jerry is not another over-hyped French youngster who would be better off skipping past defences from Lille and Cannes.Roma face Bordeaux on Tuesday in what is essentially a Champions League qualification play-off and, talking of French flops, in the ranks for the visitors will be Yoann Gourcuff who arrived at AC Milan with such fanfare that he was nicknamed 'Zizou II' by the press.
Gourcuff: Insipid in Italy, flashy in France
He turned out to be more like Steve Zissou, sinking without a trace before washing ashore somewhere off the south-west coast of France.
So impressive have the 22-year-old’s performances been this season, both on the domestic front and in Europe, that he is in danger of seeing his career nose-dive again, with reports that Carlo Ancelotti is ready to bring him back from his loan spell in January.No doubt he’ll have a stinker at the Stadio Olimpico to ensure that doesn’t happen, but for young Jeremy, who had been hinting all week that he may jump ship, it looks like he’s here to stay.
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