Like most Hoddles, today’s will be mostly unrelated to yesterday’s game and will begin with me introducing the players at the top: forward Rosella Ayane, defender Shelina Zadorsky, and midfielder Josie Green.
Unlike most Hoddles, though, I want to be very clear about one thing: Feel free to discuss yesterday’s match as much as you’d like, but we have all seen the discourse on Tanguy Ndombele around these parts for years. I kindly ask that you engage in conversations responsibly, and remember this site’s rules on that front.
Ramble of the Day
As I’ve shared before, I love a creative player reveal during the transfer window. Today I present the first entry of the year in this category, Toronto FC’s pictures announcing the signing of Lorenzo Insigne from Toronto. (He will move at the end of the Serie A season.)
✍️ @Lor_Insigne | #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/iAo60wldTq— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) January 8, 2022
The one normal thing here is seeing Insigne sign some papers, a classic way to announce the deal. Everything else is pretty unique, though. I have no idea who picked this place, who styled this place, or where this place is but the messaging is clear here. Insigne is a fancy Italian signing, and the interior decoration is meant to reflect that. (The video announcement featuring Fabrizio Romano is also sending that message.)
As for the decor itself, it’s a fascinating choice. I’m indecisive on how I feel about it — I get the point and it certainly pops, but I’m unsure if I care for the vision. I think the gold and light blue color scheme takes it away from being inherently basic, which is a positive. I also think, deep down, I find the entire staging effort to be very basic. I’m now just stuck between deciding whether or not picking a “classic Italian” setting is fine, even if it is basic. I will say Insigne’s look — the standard look of a rich 30-something who is at least somewhat interested in fashion — contrasts with the setting in a way that I like. I doubt anyone was going to wear a costume and I don’t think Insigne dressed with the location in mind, but the visual contrast makes the imagery more interesting to me.
I guess this is all a long way of saying that the whole thing is interesting, but fine. I do, though, appreciate the creativity.
tl;dr: Toronto FC either arranged for or showed up to a classic Italian-themed photoshoot to announce the signing of Lorenzo Insigne.
Stay informed, read this: William Grimes’ obituary of Oscar winner Sidney Poitier, a pioneer for Black actors in Hollywood who died last week aged 94 for The New York Times
Links of the Day
Nine Senegal players tested positive for COVID-19.
Transfers: Aston Villa signed Philippe Countinho on loan from Barcelona; Newcastle signed Kieran Trippier from Atléti; Roma signed Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal
A longer read: Caitlin Murray argues FIFA’s plan of a biennial World Cup would disadvantage the women’s game for ESPN