Transfer Features, Transfer News

Juventus Winter Mercato meanderings…

December 30, 2015 - 5:34 pm

With the Winter mercato window soon to be opened, it seems a good opportunity to pre-empt the tabloid silliness and focus on the reality of our most likely dealings on the recruitment and sales front.

Firstly, I must mention, that we have no form for major transfers in this period. Perhaps a low key tweak here or there, yet nothing certain to move the Moon in such a way that huge waves are conjured. This is true at a senior level, though the same cannot be said of the youth sector, where there are often prominent additions to the squad in January. Alongside purchases of promising Serie B players who remain on loan until the Summer when decisions can be made of where best to then place them.

Our season has been one of transition and will continue to prove so. The departures of world class talent such as Tevez, Pirlo and Vidal was bound to cause bother. Which I feel we prepared for well enough with our Summer purchases. However, what we could not have foreseen was the horror-show of injuries suffered to key players all over the squad. Which I feel was more responsible for the alarming form of early season, than the change in personnel. Khedira, Asamoah, Mandzukic, Morata, Marchisio, Sturaro, Hernanes, Lemina, Barzagli and Pereyra have all suffered stop start seasons due to physical ailments, some of whom remain still now on the comeback trail.

Allegri has weathered the storm. We have climbed the table to a decent position, finding ourselves well in the running for a scudetto challenge. Trounced our way into the quarter finals of the coppa italia, and were unfortunate to have finished second in a tough champions group yet still qualified.

In recent weeks, form has begun to recover. Results have dramatically improved and a semblance of identity, confidence and dare I say winning mentality has emerged from the darkness. So is there any obvious need for reinforcements?


Dybala has progressed beautifully of late and is clearly developing a sound kinship with Mandzukic, who since recovering from his own injury niggles, is starting to show his beastly best. They are our first choice front pairing. Behind which in the pecking order, Zaza has impressed when given the chance, making the most of his opportunities, whilst Morata has yet to regain his sharpness. The Spaniard has been in and out of the side, seemed lively in the thrashing of Torino in the coppa, other than which a lost soul. I hope its merely physical matters causing the lethargy, yet must mention that the spectre of Real Madrid taking up their transfer option may well be playing its way into his head. What his agent is hearing from Spain and whispering into Alvaro’s ears, we are not yet privy to. It could be a factor. Still, the club have shown their clear investment in rewarding his efforts thus far – of mainly last season – with a pay rise and contractual extension. The rest is up to Morata.

Zaza is a more interesting case. I believe he can improve upon his very physical, fine shooting approach already established. To do so, he needs games. Which – barring an injury nightmare I have no eagerness to embrace in my wake –  he is only going to find sporadically at Juve. Three starts in the league, one in the coppa, barely featured in the champions league. All of which is unsurprising given the competition he faces for a starting berth, yet its equally easy to understand why the player may wish to move to more fertile ground. As part of Conte’s Azzurri squad and a player who has confidence in his abilities and is desperate for a chance to prove himself at the top level, it makes sense that Simone wants to play more. Which simply is not going to happen at Juve, unless Mandzukic is put down by injury.

Rumours of transfer requests are most likely echoes of his agent angling for a move which will line his own pockets with gold. Yet a move may well be on the cards for the 24 year old striker. Palace and West Ham of the premiership seem interested, as do Monaco…And it just so happens that we may well be interested in one of their players, Moutinho.

The figures bandied about seem staggering. Why would a club pay 27m for a player we signed barely 6 months ago for 18m, who has barely featured? It is fair to say that decent strikers always run at a premium cost, especially if purchased midway through the season when the selling club must find a replacement, in most cases.

I would like to see him stay put. Believe that Conte will continue to include him in the azzurri set-up as he values the player’s aggressive approach to the game and his determination. If he does depart, there will be no tears, just intrigue, in who will appear in his stead. For I know of only two attackers whom we have been monitoring. Which are…

Lavezzi, of PSG. Still a regular feature of the Argentinian national side, the 30 year old has experience of Serie A from his time with our fine pals in Naples and could come on the cheap given his contract is expiring in the Summer. Having made only 5 starts for PSG this term, they would probably we willing to let him move on, in the best interests of the player and their bank balance. A tricky, gritty dribbler and creative force who is happy wide left up top, a position we do not presently have covered. Also comfortable across the front line. We could certainly use his experience and flair, yet I believe we have been making chances all season, its the finishing which has stunted our growth, at least up until November.

And then there is the wild card option…the player whose name unfortunately translates into italian to Blood Clot. There is always more amusement than despair to peek at the italian media and find a headline of ‘Juve chases the blood clot!’.

18 year old Cameroon born, naturalised Swiss striker Breel Embolo burst onto the scene last season, alerting many top sides to his natural power and eye for goal through plundering 17 goals and 13 assists from 42 appearances. He has continued to impress this term, currently with 9 goals and 8 assists from 29 games to his name.

I’d prefer the latter. For his age, resale value and explosive talent. Although Lavezzi would be a solid move. It would just leave us a little short in terms of a big man up front if Mandzukic was lost to adversity.

With the 3-5-2 working dam well of late, the Dybala/Mandzukic tandem becoming synchronised and fearsome and Morata waiting in the wings, what chances of playing would any striker who we brought in find at Juve? The same as Zaza has found I presume. They simply provide us with a different option. Lavezzi more dynamic on the wings, Embolo more monstrous through the middle channels, yet he can perform out wide and offers plenty of assists from the flank.

There is another player whose name and talent must come into this discussion. Domenico Berardi. For we are set to sign him in the Summer for 25m. He is not enjoying the best of seasons, yet his Sassuolo side are in good form, and will be extremely reluctant to lose him in January. Also…if we are stacked with quality in his position come the Summer, will he not be advised to head to a club where he will definitely find at least a serious chance of a starting role? I have often thought that we signed Zaza in order to ensure we could collect Berardi next year. Although, my instincts whisper in the ears of my mind that Berardi will replace Madrid bound Morata. Probably next June.

Other than those outlined, there is a very slim chance we will take Lapadula from Pescara to plug the Zaza gap…Unlikely. For whilst we may sign the peruvian italian goal machine, it will be in order to use him in other deals next Summer, from what I have read.


Marchisio’s return to both the first eleven and match sharpness has made a huge difference to our fortunes. Khedira remains gathering his focus and huge, yet to be answered questions abound, regarding his ability to simply remain fit and available for more than a week or two on the trot. Sturaro, Hernanes and Asamoah should be right for the new year. Lemina has apparently been given the all clear to rejoin first team training and…Pogba is fine and dandy.

There is also the welcome return to the ranks of Pereyra. Who impressed me greatly in the second half of last season. His ability to work between the lines is classy and was improving month on month. Also he works damn hard. And has decent pace. He will prove akin to a new signing, and also add competition and options for the 1 in a 4-3-1-2 formation. I have high hopes for the Argie.

Hernanes was indeed rather woeful prior to his injury, yet so were too many other players for me to write his season off as a failure. He has great technique in his boots and valuable experience in his head, and I continue to believe he can play a useful role in our season.

Considering how many players we have in the roster who seem set to remain at the club, its strange to see so much focus on creative midfielders in the press. With constant reference to Banega, Gundogan and Moutinho. Only the latter seems viable, yet we would then have three players for an attacking midfield role (deep a la Pirlo or higher up the field) which suits a formation markedly different to the 3-5-2 which has served us so well these last two months.

Yet Moutinho could well slot into a CM role loosely resembling what Pirlo gave us, for his reading of the game and distribution of the ball is top drawer. And I would rather we were spoiled for riches than grasping at crumbs.

Perhaps Cuadrado is worth a mention. Solely because back in October, many thought we would be pushing to secure his full registration, even as soon as January.

I am not a fan. He flatters to deceive. Offers too little end product for the reported purchase price of 22m. Nothing defensively. And there is something about him which doesn’t fit with my idea of lo stile Juve. Likely grinta. Keep him on loan, yet it would be no loss to see him head back to Hiddink.

It appears that we are close to agreeing on the fine print of a move for Rolando Mandragora. The 18 year old midfielder presently on loan from Genoa at Pescara. A regular in Di Biagio’s U21 Italy side since August of 2015, Rolando has impressed in his deep lying CM role for the Serie B high fliers. The fee is rumoured to be 5-7m. With the player set to remain at Pescara until June when he will join us for the pre-season ritiro and be judged accordingly.

Given how the squad is brimming with muscle, bustle and tenacity, and have yet to replace Pirlo, in terms of a truly creative force placed centrally, it comes as no surprise to see continued focus in the papers of our interest in Soriano (Sampdoria) and especially Gundogan. I am a fan of both these players, yet see no chance of grabbing either in January. They are far too valuable to their respective clubs and aspirations for the season to allow them to leave at this juncture.


Lichsteiner’s return to the fold after recovering from heart surgery had nearly as much impact upon our fortunes as the re-emergence of  Il Principino. His zeal is phenomenal and he does more good than harm in the final third when bombing up the flank. His only natural reserve, Caceres, I feel is likely to be moved on. His antics off the field, combined with a contract which ends in the Summer and constant injury niggles may well lead Beppe to offload him whilst we can still gain a few million gold nuggets. I have always enjoyed his efforts, yet never quite found him the finished product. If he does leave, we MUST purchase another RB, for Cuadrado is a wretched RWB, which leaves…??? Options there are few and far between, at least in the Winter window. Sime Vrsaljko seems our main aim for that position, and I doubt Sassuolo will allow him to leave in January, given their league position and the fact that we are to take Berardi in the Summer for 25m. Yet who knows! They cannot be a Serie A nursery for Beppe to raid when he sees fit. If they have any serious ambition of improving year upon year.

Other than Sime…there is Silvan Widmer of Udinese, who may be worth a peek, yet I feel we are more focused on the Croatian. Sousa seems interested in the Udinese lad, but given my suspicions that Caceres may be moved on, it would be no shock to find us plundering a few million for either Widmer or Vrsalijko.

We look a little thin at CB, in terms of squad depth, with only Rugani the obvious back-up to any of the Bonucci/Chiellini/ Barzagli fortress.

Much has been written of Rugani. And rightly so. For after a wonderful campaign for Empoli he has found himself barely featuring for Juve. Dependable when called upon, yet in absence of an injury to the aforementioned three players, where will his opportunities to impress appear from? The club seems to see him as a future stalwart, and wish him to stay, or at worst move out on loan, yet with no other CBs at the club, other than Caceres, who may well leave and has been more unavailable than available for many moons, I conclude that Daniele will remain at the club. Which may preclude his involvement in the EUROs next Summer, but I have no crystal ball. For maybe he will earn a start or three more, and progress to own a spot in the starting XI.

Out on the other flank, we are very well positioned. Evra is in fine form, with Sandro excelling in every game he plays. No movement there.


Buffon has been sterling. No major errors, increasingly a spectator as the side becomes more capable and confident, with Neto in the shadows, ready to step into the breach and offer solid back-up. It may well prove a shame for our interest in the astonishing Allisson to have been usurped by Roma, yet we have Audero and Leali. The latter of which, continues to suggest staggering potential.


Perhaps Caceres will leave, in which case, we will probably strike for a new RB. Other than which, the only other major move which could transpire is that of Simone Zaza and who we would recruit in his wake. As for the little ones in the primavera and extended youth sector, I will wait until cheques have been signed for there is likely to be a fair amount of news on that score, which deserves its own piece.

With the returning players we have a very strong squad with the potential to grow and develop further. Enough to win the league and the coppa italia. Enough to mount a serious challenge against Munich in February. I see no reason for major renovation and conclude that any major moves will happen, as always, in the Summer.

Whilst its exciting to ponder Gundogan especially yet also Vrsaljko and even Embrolo, I cannot see any of these moves happening in January. Yet this is not due to a lack of zeal from Beppe and his prized hatchetman Paratici, on the contrary, it is because their major work – for the senior squad – was performed last June-August, and we are a team through to the knockout stage of the Champions league, fresh from winning 7 in a row in the league and have powered our way into the coppa quarter finals.

There are many more reasons to be cheerful than bitter or concerned. I continue to trust in Allegri and the team behind him wearing both suits and shorts.

forza juve

Something else I feel the need to share…in a world gone berserk, I have a more fiercely burning need to seek comrades…to collide and connect…to form a global militia of decency, to know each other, to plant the seeds of revolution.

And this…

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  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino December 30, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Just read on football-italia about Berardi and the Tottenham rumours, but the shocking thing for me was mentioned as some small detail.

    Berardi grew up as a merda fan. He is a merda fan. It is a detail, but man this is weird.

    To GP: i will read the whole article tomorrow, I promise! Just hijacking this article to ventilate my surprise.

    • Avatar
      fiQ December 31, 2015 at 12:59 am

      Yes he was. But we do have players from their academy or from the team itself that have won our hearts.
      Cannavaro (until he left us for Madrid), Davids, and Pirlo (youth product) from recent memory. I don’t really count players like Lucio and Hernanes. Well Hernanes cause it’s only a year.

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino December 31, 2015 at 7:13 am

        Yes, I know. I dont really count pirlo either, he played less than Hernanes at Inter.

        It just shocked me that Berardi was a fan of theirs too, i didnt know that

        • Avatar
          Moderator December 31, 2015 at 7:26 am

          Mediaset said he doesn’t want to join Juve because he doesn;t think he’ll get playing time.

          An Inter director confirmed that he’s Juve bound anyway – ausilio said they wanted Berardi but his future is already set meaning he’s joining Juve. He’ll come over, not sure for how long though

          • thegutterpoet
            thegutterpoet December 31, 2015 at 10:23 am

            I’ve had that same inkling, vis-a-vis Berardi’s eagerness to move only to where he will play often, at least be given the chance to earn a starting berth. You could say Zaza thought the same, yet he has been facing superior competition in the Big Croat. I feel Simone will stay put.

            As for Berardi…I close to assume we will sign him, even if its just for a half season to play him enough to be able to sell him on for more than the 25m we pay for his services. Yet, would it truly be a huge loss if Spurs offered 30m and we waived our option? Maybe we can use that option to negotiate for Eriksen? I would be happy with that, if our quarter of strikers remains the same. There is much to be said of continuity, and Zaza will get his chances in due course. I am a big fan of the Dane. And at 23 years old he has plenty of room for improving the one thing he needs to improve, namely work rate. If we do not pick him up next Summer, he will move to another elite club…so in conclusion, if Berardi is not keen, we should place our option on the table with the rancid in money matters Mr Levy, and get the price of Eriksen down. I suspect he would be keen on the move…that is…unless Real do not swoop in with bigger numbers.

            In some ways, he seems often a right footed, lackadaisical Ozil.


            One of those very rare and precious players who may seem to drift in and out of games, are never going to apply themselves to a hard pressing style, yet when he is involved, he is rarely far removed from world class.

          • Avatar
            BelgianJuventino December 31, 2015 at 1:42 pm

            Yes I read it, its a tricky situation. I hope he comes and gets a spot, i am damn sure he will be worth it!

    • Avatar
      #adp1974 January 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Bonucci grew up an Inter fan too …. Now he bleeds black and white.

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino January 2, 2016 at 9:10 pm

        I knew that, I wasnt aware about it from Berardi, was odd to read

  • Avatar
    Papilaya(John)™★★★ December 30, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    I feel we dont need much reinforcements, but then again, i havent been following much of the action on the pitch haha.

    But in regards of your last paragraph, feel free to contact me via email at:

    Ive tried avoiding the news and all of its fear spewing propaganda, yet i still am at unease with myself and feel ill despite disregarding all of which makes my heart suffocate.

    You can also find me on instagram haha at: “jdavid_008”. Im not much for social media so theres not many ways to contact me haha

  • Avatar
    fiQ December 31, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Great article Gutter!

    On Morata, may I propose a theory. After years of dating, my lady became a Juve fan recently and she sees things in lenses we normally don’t. We sometimes forget these footballers are very human, and Alvaro is pretty young. He broke up with his long time girlfriend before the UCL final, and his dip in form coincides with the time his ex-lady found a new guy. I agree with her hypothesis, although we cannot say for certain the correlation is a result of causation.

    With regards to Zaza, or rather the Azzuri as a whole, who else can fill the prima punta role? We are in a striker rut over there. Unless Balotelli gets his head together and rediscovers his form, we are left with…. Immobile? Pelle? Destro?? I know Rossi is nowhere near that role at this point. Conte should attempt to be less stubborn in his policies and maybe we need not worry as much.

    I’m one of those who still hope for the best from Hernanes. He was a monster at Lazio, the only credible threat from a usually toothless team against Juve in recent years. I still feel like his heart is with the biancocelesti unfortunately.

    We’ve all seen Isla’s incredible failure to impress here, but I do think it’s possible for us to recall the loan if we face with an unpluggable crisis.


    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet December 31, 2015 at 9:58 am

      I’m inclined to believe that the fracture has hurt the young Morata heart and it makes more welcome sense to assume he is ailing in what matters most, his feelings, rather than his head has been turned by agents and rumblings from Madrid. The Latin blood is passionate, and eager – especially for those with the softest of hearts – to give nothing but total romeo-esque devotion. Its the sicilian in me, I am certain, which has caused my life to be very much focused on true romance and poetic expression of feelings. In young Morata’s case – great find by the way – I now understand. And wish him well, though no doubt he will need time for his feelings to settle, to allow hope for a happier existence to ease in from the horizon. Poor chap! Yet there are two positives to this story…

      1. It suggests that Alvaro loves with all his heart, in a way which many are fearful of and many more are incapable of. Its an endearing trait for me.

      2. His lack of explosive form, even fine form, will surely make Madrid think twice or thrice about purchasing him next year (and he may feel he owes us something if he fails to perform).

      I have the mind of a warlock, the spirit of a wolf, yet the heart of a damn fox cub…and its the latter which is always my compass and my essence. This story makes me more fond of Morata! He has often come across as a decent lad, especially so in a match I saw last season in which he was maybe headbutted or smashed in some way, and rather than make a meal of it, he looked hurt, his lips changed, but he got up and got on with the game…lo stile juve.

      Its always been a great thing of Juve for us to have this lo stile juve routine. For we do not employ scum. And if people comport themselves in the wrong way, they are out. Camoranesi was something of an exception. As was Ibra, yet the Swede’s character had not really risen fully to the surface by that stage of his glittering since career. Other than which, all the players I have seen come through the club have seemed decent human beings, which counts for more than glory in my reckoning.

      Onto gli azzurri…

      Do we really need a prima punta? I do not think we do, but Conte’s system most definitely does. He tries to find players to suit his system rather than adjusts a system to suit the best players available for selection. It is one of his most obvious failings as a manager. He is not at all malleable.

      I look at Candreva, Berardi, Insigne and Vazquez and wonder why Conte cannot make a front line of that crowd. Essentially though, I would stick Zaza into that mix. Not Pelle…the Saints forward is too one dimensional for beating world class sides, too predictable, too slow and he lacks the monstrous determination and intelligence of a similar – in some ways- prima punta named Mandzukic.

      There is as you suggest a dire dearth of centre forwards available of the italian stock or oriundi. Credit to Juve for having the best present option, in Zaza. Yet he plays second fiddle to a Croatian, for obvious reasons. Giovinco’s stats in the MLS are staggering, yet the quality of opponents he is playing against is often woeful. the MLS is a graveyard for european stars, where they head when either failing in Europe or eager to get paid big money, play to decent crowds and ‘help the game move forward in the US’. Balotelli is finished. Destro is…interesting, yet needs to work damn hard to seriously suggest he could lead the line. So I seem to have gone in a circle, for Conte is choosing the players I would choose, just playing them in the wrong system.

      I have little hope for our chances in the EUROS. Still we should make it through to the knockout phase, as Belgium have a team of individuals, and we are stronger than the Irish and Sweden.

      Isla eh? I’d forgotten about him. Seems to be doing okay in France. Though I doubt we have the option to call him home. He is there to be sold and not be near our squad. Unless they also have the option of recalling Lemina…yet why would they want to, for they want the $$$$!

      Great points, mate. Wishing you a splendid buon anno!

      Cheers, Daniel

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino December 31, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Nice read yet again 🙂 personally i would like a RB the most, especially with Caceres leaving either now or in January.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet December 31, 2015 at 10:41 am

      I think we are set to stick with the Evra/Cuadrado or Sandro/Lichstiener routine, Belgian. Which is OK in the 3-5-2 as Barzagli is accustomed to playing RB when Cuadrado is in attendance. Still…who knows what Beppe and Paratici have up their sleeve eh!. Wishing you a wicked transition from 2015 to 2016! Buon Anno. TGP

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino December 31, 2015 at 1:44 pm

        A happy new year to you too GP! I also think that is the most likely thing to happen, but i still hope for new blood in the RB position. If not now, then at least in the summer.

        And to comment to your last paragraph in the article, You can email me too. I have fb and twitter as well but dont use it so very much, especially not twitter.
        My email is

        I’m always up for some juve banter 🙂

  • Avatar
    Travelsito December 31, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Moutinho would be the best fit for Juve right now.

  • Avatar
    EricJuve December 31, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Juve should sell Zaza and Berardi. I don’t see them being in Allegri’s plan. We should be looking to invest in our Defensive department in the next 2 seasons.

    If Allegri leaves, we should consider Sousa as replacement.

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino December 31, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      Sell Allegri and keep Berardi you mean 😛

      In all seriousness, when Allegri leaves I would like a top notch coach. Who knows, the likes of Guardiola or something at Juve again. Not Conte, he reached the limits when he left. Maybe a return of Lippi but I doubt that is likely to happen. Ancelotti would also be nice. Sousa, Montella, Spalletti, those would also be nice and totally realistic

      • Avatar
        thedissolutefox January 1, 2016 at 2:04 am

        I don’t seen any reason for Allegri to leave any time soon. He has a contract until 2017 and if we win the league I am sure he will remain. I’m a great believer in continuity as it can take time to transition to a new chap’s ideas and methods and systems.

        • Avatar
          BelgianJuventino January 1, 2016 at 11:24 am

          I just dont expect him to stay longer than that. He is also rumoured to be learning english in order for a PL move. Only rumours ofc but could be true

      • Avatar
        EricJuve January 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm

        The only two reasons Allegri would leave will be a Premier League club approaching him or us failing to qualify for the Champions League.

        Ancelotti will only coach Roma or Milan in Italy. Lippi could be possible, but it will depend on what Marotta and Agnelli can offer him. He will most likely be interested in Roma, Lazio or even Milan. With the latter most likely giving him a technical role than a coaching role.

        Sousa or even a return of Ranieri will be excellent.

  • Avatar
    thedissolutefox January 1, 2016 at 2:17 am

    What I failed to mention in the original report…I cannot see Dortmund or Seville allowing key creative forces in their squads to leave in January, yet its worth noting that Banega – whose name I have always liked – has a contract expiring in June. I weighed this up in my reckoning and decided the money they would likely get for him in January is of less value than the points he can help the side win until June. Ever has had a stop start season due to injuries and been sorely missed; as soon as he has found a semblance of fitness he has been at the heart of the majority of attacking potency of his side. So perhaps more a chance we will sign him on a free in January, if at all…for our sights seem more set on Gundogan.

    Also…who would make way? We would need to move on Hernanes, which will be hard at this stage of the season, other than perhaps on loan to Lazio. Different players of course, as is Pereyra again, as is Gundogan – to a lesser degree.

    I best climb aboard my two wheeled devil steed and aim for the ocean where I will float for a while to welcome the new year.


  • Avatar
    Sul_Campo January 1, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    tgp/tdf – Salutations!!

    Great to “rediscover” you and your good work in this forum.

    Over these past couple of years I have enjoyed and learned much from your social and calcio commentary on your tdf-site and look forward to celebrating the Bianconeri here with you and fellow Juventini.

    • Avatar
      thedissolutefox January 2, 2016 at 12:53 am

      Thanks for heading here, comrade, and for the encouragement! I’m aiming for a more serious focus on my words this year, rather than the shotgun approach of recent times, where I flit between the global horror show, personal trials and tribulations, and calcio without any set direction, often without much separation! It’s time to grow…yet no doubt any plans I make will soon enough be derailed. Wishing you a jolly start to 2016. Cheers, TGP

  • Avatar
    Nuncio#7 January 2, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Greeting TPG. It has been quite a long time since we have discussed and debated on our beloved Old Lady. Happy New Years!

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet January 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Indeed, comrade! Long time no see…How the devil have you been? And wicked to find you in these parts. Wishing you a jolly start to 2016 in turn and hope to collide and collude in the near future. Cheers, TGP.

      • Avatar
        Nuncio#7 January 2, 2016 at 3:23 pm

        I think busy is the word. I started a new job last April and graduated from WSU in August. I have been working overtime for the past 2 months, so I have not been able to watch every game this season. A few medical set backs over the summer, but having some extended weekends over the holidays has been great to spend as much time with family.

        I hope you have been well. Your eloquence and insight into our Jedi Younglings has been sorely missed.

        • thegutterpoet
          thegutterpoet January 6, 2016 at 10:16 am

          Hope the new job is bringing you nourishment and a welcome challenge, old chum and congratulations on your graduation. And thank you…for the encouraging words vis-a-vis my reportage. I hope to find more of your own input over the coming months.
          in boca al lupo, amico!