You thought we'd be taking the week off for the international break? No way. We'll have several new posts up this week and next, talking about the Euro Qualifiers, some tactical/formation talk, and any other relevant or partially relevant topics that come up. Tonight's is definitely in the "partially relevant" category.
Our Italian correspondent is just me, reading slightly different web-sites. But, he does have something important to report: namely, that Miro Klose is kicking ass and taking names up and down the boot-shaped peninsula. He's already racked up 5 goals while playing in 8 of Lazio's 9 games (he's been held out only of the second leg of their Europa League match vs. Komatal, after he scored to complete their 6-0 win in the first leg). He also has several assists and has been threatening defenses every time Lazio can get him the ball up front.
Miro scored the first goal of the Serie A season, splitting two defenders, touching to himself off the top of his foot, and driving the ball past Abbiati:
And Klose has been Lazio's leading scorer since then, culminating in his match winner vs. Fiorentina this past weekend (starts at about the 3:15 mark):
That header looks as deadly as ever. BTW, a lot of empty seats there in Florence, no?
This isn't some regretful post wishing we'd kept Klose around. With Gomez in the starter's role, Olic the first back-up when he's healthy, and Peterson in the "young guy starting to cut his teeth" role, there was no way Klose would have seen much time on the pitch. But it's nice to see him successfully ply his trade in Italy. Between Serie A, the Europa League, and the Coppa Italia, Miroslav will probably get a chance to play in up to 50 matches this year. I wouldn't be surprised to see him score 25 goals this year. And if he stays healthy he could rack up more, especially if the Italian defenses are as weak as those clips make them look.
Regardless of the circumstances, I generally like to see Bayern alums perform well after they leave. But with Klose, I'm definitely more interested than usual, because (1) he was a class act in Munich, scoring at a nice clip when he was the starter, and never complaining or starting trouble when he wasn't, and (2) if he puts up 20 goals and/or propels Lazio into the top 3 of the Serie A table, it wouldn't be still more evidence for the top-to-bottom superiority of the Bundesliga.
Right now, Lazio is tied for 6th in Italy. They take on in-town rivals AS Roma next game out, then have a fairly easy run of games: Bologna, Catania, and Cagliari. So they could be in the top 5 by Halloween. And if you're like me and your soccer bar sometimes shows Serie A matches on Sunday afternoon, now you have someone to root for.
Of course, he's 33 years old, so there's always a possibility he'll slow down as the year goes along. But by his own account, there's little chance of that:
"Too old does not exist. You can see that in me. There is only good or bad. " -- Miroslav Klose
Thanks for reading.