A banner in the Curva Sud today read “You with grit, us with heart.” It might as well have read “You with grit, us with ?” That would pretty much sum up the whole season for Roma, perhaps all the more disappointing and painful than last season because of the failed attempt to salvage something with a Coppa Italia… at the hands of Lazio. At least last year Roma didn’t even have the chance to win a trophy. There was simply nothing to hope for, so hearts remained broken but not fractured into a million pieces and rubbed into the dirt.
What went wrong? Entire dissertations could be dedicated to this question, but from the final we all just witnessed, we can pretty much summarize the issue with several points:
- Lack of Direction
- Lack of Balance
- Lack of Chemistry
- Questionable Signings
In terms of direction, this can be extended to both on-the-pitch execution, with no one in the center of the field, (a registra to direct the action alla Pirlo) two disappointing managers, and owners who perhaps still haven’t got the hang of creating a team of Champions.
In terms of balance, a lot of this could be solved with an effective registra, because there was simply no connection between defense and offense. Up front, Destro was largely isolated and ineffective, especially when paired with Osvaldo, in the center De Rossi had without a doubt his worst season ever, and at the back Marquinhos’ talent was undermined by bad goalkeeping and bad organization. Burdisso demonstrated that he is largely done performing his best, and despite all of his shouting and punching the ground, the backline with Castan and Marquinhos was left constantly exposed, certainly not helped by Piris or Balzaretti/Dodo’. Where was Torosidis against Lazio? I don’t know, but he is perhaps the most reliable of the bunch.
In terms of chemistry, besides the multiple bust-ups created by Osvaldo, most recently his “go” at Andreazzoli to cap off his angry season, none of the various elements of the team jelled. Perhaps this is a locker room problem rather than a tactical one, or perhaps too many changes over two years has left a squad with little identity. Unfortunately, more big changes during the summer have left me quite pessimistic, that this problem is something that will persist.
Questionable signings? Here goes: Piris, Goicoechea, Marquinho, Tachtsidis, Balzaretti, Dodo’…and they add to the list of others who have seemingly washed-up: Burdisso, Taddei, De Rossi. So there we go, an almost entire line of players undeserving of wearing the Roma shirt.
Where do we go from here? It can only get better, right?
A shout-out to The Last Legion NYC, watching the Coppa Italia in full force at Pizzeria Numero 28, and supporting Roma every minute of every day. Hopefully they, and Roma fans everywhere, will soon have something to cheer for.