Tuesday December 18 2012
Osvaldo’s red alert

Pablo Osvaldo is proving himself to be a fine striker, but, as David Swan explains, also a red card collecting liability.

If you were to guess a player based only on their red card history, and were then given a record of five dismissals in 82 League games, your first thought is unlikely to be that of a striker.

But Pablo Osvaldo’s stunning ability to collect red cards means he is the proud owner of that record – an astonishing effort for a striker and one that sees him get sent off an average of once every 17 games, or twice per season.

It is an issue that seems to have escalated this year. Three of that five have come while playing for the Giallorossi, and his record for the club in all competitions is four reds in 38 games, all of which have been in 2012, with his latest coming last week in the Coppa Italia match at home to Atalanta. If you include his sending off for Italy against Denmark in October he has a remarkable total of five red cards for 2012 alone.

The concern is that so many of his dismissals arise through completely brainless acts – his one last Tuesday, for elbowing Carlos Matheu, one of a string of needless offences. Against Denmark it was for handing off Nicolai Stokholm in the face after he had released the ball – possibly harsh, but at international level there is only one outcome from that behaviour if the referee sees it.

In February he was sent off versus Atalanta, again, for having a sly kick out at Luca Cigarini with about seven yards distance between him and the official. Two months later he received a straight red card for dissent in a match with Fiorentina – and not for the first time. He was sent off in 2009 while playing for the Viola after receiving two yellow cards within 30 seconds. The first he took for the team when tactically fouling to stop a counter-attack, but the senseless second arrived after too much chat with referee Paolo Mazzoleni.

Apart from the obvious damage it causes to his team in that particular game, and the subsequent games he misses for his actions, is the potential it has to hold him back at international level.

Antonio Cassano’s absence from the squad means there is a space open to partner Mario Balotelli in attack, and Osvaldo could well be at the head of the queue given his goals record for Italy to date, though with Balotelli still considered something of a liability – his disciplinary record at Man City last season is in the headlines after he took the club to tribunal for the fine they gave him – picking two strikers with a propensity for cards is something Cesare Prandelli has to consider.

Of course if he wants to move to the back of the queue, then carrying the ability to pick up red cards at club level on to the international scene is certainly a good way of going about it.

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Have your say...
Great article. EXACTLY. How does a striker get tossed from that many games??? It's the worst thing a forward can do. I would rather him miss 10 goals that my grandma coulda scored (ala Matri) than to get booted. At least if he misses 10 goals, "he was putting himself in position to score." I love what Osvaldo brings to the table, he's strong, explosive and has little problem getting himself involved in the game. Plus he's Italian. The Azzuri need him. He's gotta control himself better
on the 20th December, 2012 at 8:47am

He is a fine and Great striker, everyone agree with that.. you can see that on the field..

cause you're the only one who said he's below average, i assumed you're just a silly kid who don't know anything about football. Period.
on the 20th December, 2012 at 3:29am
He is a superb forward, but he should consider playing Sunny-should a new Godfather prequel be made. He really does have short fuse on the pitch. And don't forget about him punching Lamela.

Still, I would much rather have him over Balotelli. Osvaldo, at least plays with some passion, determination & hunger. Balotelli is the most lazy & unprofessional player that I have ever seen. I am incredulous that so many people rate him so highly. He set's a terrible example, and is nothing but trouble!
on the 19th December, 2012 at 12:41pm

I don't find your comment about Bonucci fair to be honest. Bonucci is not a serial diver like Cassano and i could mention a few more from quiet a few clubs in Serie A. I will admit though the recent attempt to dive has made him deserving of criticism. However to single him out is just plain wrong when there are so many others who dive regularly and have perfected the art of diving.

Having said that, as far as Osvaldo is concerned i have made my point earlier.
on the 19th December, 2012 at 10:33am
Osvaldo is a hot head but he does deliver. Maybe he is too passionate about the game and less clinical. I don't think he will waste his talent as Zeman will keep his ego under control. Roma need him and Serie A need teams like Roma who entertain and less diving like Bonucci does!
on the 19th December, 2012 at 6:49am
I like Osvaldo, but I don't think he'll perform well in any team outside ASR, it's the best club for him IMO; also Osvaldo should cherish Zeman while the breath of that old man still lasts by eliminating his red card collecting habit or he'll see lack of playing time.
on the 19th December, 2012 at 2:25am
Im just going to mention CASSANO & BALOTELLI!

How old is Cassano & how long did it take him to get his act together.

Mario is young but Osvaldo is by far the more consistent player & at least he isn't suing Roma when he gets fined for his own poor behavior.

Please, Osvaldo may well be a red card collecting player but he delivers goals & if in the 17 games he plays he can score 14 goals i don't see any supporters complain about the 2-3 red cards a season he collects
on the 18th December, 2012 at 9:07pm
"Auguries, brio, and wounds will dry out one day, but Osvaldo will still be remembered as a whirling samurai with a reddish silk kimono and a wrinkled head-dress of the Kyoto style: a striker who fights with single sword-strokes to pierce the breast, and fallen bamboo-blades stained with bloody blossoms."
on the 18th December, 2012 at 8:07pm
@ trigoria

Funny funny, ha, ha

yeah, He's better than Quaglia, Vucinic, Matri, Giovinco combined.
on the 18th December, 2012 at 7:45pm

"Below average?"

Rofl so is every striker juve has in fact Osvaldo is currently superior to them. From now on you shall be referred to as Mr. Hatred... Never any positive feedback from you.
on the 18th December, 2012 at 7:41pm
@Mustafa..Osvaldo is better than all juve strikers
how many goals Quagliarella scored this season?
and he plays for azurri..
on the 18th December, 2012 at 6:28pm
i apologize. my last blog post was incorrect. osvaldo DID play against chievo. my mistake. so maybe osvaldo performance is more then a temperament issue, he isn't preforming up to the expectations or the potential that he should. he was in excellent form around a month ago, scoring goals and aiding the play. during the chievo game osvaldo could of been a ghost.
on the 18th December, 2012 at 5:53pm
Typifies everything about Roma, no class, thuggish and unrefined. He probably learnt how to behave from watching Totti assault Balotelli in the Coppa Italia final. What is even funnier is that he thinks he is Batistuta!! Not even good enough to lace Miro Klose's boots....
on the 18th December, 2012 at 4:41pm
Mustfa.every one of your posts' if its not about juve ur negative... haha. Juve need one more cheater dider drogba the diving specialist... Osvaldo is great but he thinks he's a thug. He has to realize he is a footballer
on the 18th December, 2012 at 3:46pm
He did play against Chievo. In fact, he had our best opportunity of the day only to see his first touch fail him. Agree with everything else you said though. #NIC
Daje Roma!
on the 18th December, 2012 at 3:35pm
if osvaldo can control his temperament, then he will have a very good season. and in turn, roma will have a a good season as well. but maybe sundays game against chievo, if osvaldo could of played, maybe he could of made a difference. maybe a goal or an assist, or involvement in a play or build up to score. we'll never know.
on the 18th December, 2012 at 3:01pm
All braun & no brains
on the 18th December, 2012 at 1:08pm
"a fine striker"


He's below average.
on the 18th December, 2012 at 12:24pm

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