TURIN, ITALY - APRIL 22: Marco Borriello of Juventus FC during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and AS Roma at Juventus Arena on April 22, 2012 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Juventus is a better team.
Antonio Conte is a better coach.
Roma was outclassed across the board from the opening whistle and the game was finished by the seventh minute. That said, when considering the formation, when considering the upcoming schedule of 3 crucial games in 7 days, and when considering the opponent, there is reason to at least postulate that Luis quietly punted this game. Not in the typical Italian sense which ends in endless trials and someone from Lazio getting arrested, but rather, made a choice to field his weaker lineup here, given that even at full tilt, beating Juve away has been an exercise in the impossible this year and Roma has three games in seven days upcoming, including the first being against a crucial opponent.
And on the other hand, there's every reason to think that exceedingly unlikely and just see it for what it was: demolition by a superior team.
However, some good news: loser won the right to put Marco Borriello in the shop window during the summer. Rejoice.
- Silver lining #1: Did you ever think you'd see Gianluca Curci play to par with Gigi Buffon? It helps that Gigi had naff all to do for ninety minutes, but the point remains.
(Quietly, Curci was excellent.)
- Back in the Spalletti days, Roma featured an inherently weak, progressive tactical system. Rodrigo Taddei was a part of that system, and he helped provide balance in the event of the overlapping fullbacks and, particularly, the defensively weaker wing partner on the other side (see: Mirko, That Guy In Jail For Rape). Balance - it's crucial. But that was balance in the attacking portion of the formation.
Now Roma needs his balance in the defensive portion of the formation, the location a whole slew of problems in itself, but he's necessary. He's not going to be lights out every night, but there's really no excuse for thinking Jose Angel and Aleandro Rosi are going to do anything but get steamrolled by the league leaders. Or Lega Pro. It's not asking much.
- Silver lining #2: Nope - was just the one.
- The Daniele De Rossi in defense experiment must cease. Less commentary on his play - though he's clearly not a CB - and more elementary considerations:
DDR at DM + Gabby Heinze at CB > DDR at CB + Fernando Gago at DM
(I can make sense of that even without an iPad.)
- A lot of this goes on Walter Sabatini & Co. Everyone could see Roma had defensive issues well before January, yet nothing was done. The problem compounded by the fact that this is an incredibly weak Serie A right now and they could snatch third with a defense which aspires to mediocrity.
- Not playing Totti once the game was clearly out of hand was the right call. He's too crucial to the side and risking him for 30 minutes of exhibition football is utterly idiotic.
Leaving him out of the lineup entirely is another discussion.
- It ain't quite gospel, but the RomaNews postgame ratings are always a fun read. This edition looks like late 90's Yugoslavia.
- There can be arguments made that Luis Enrique should stay on as the coach after the summer - if only because he undoubtedly will - but he is proving time and time again he is simply not a coach of the required caliber to lead Roma to the goals it has set - at least not anytime soon without continued failure from everyone surrounding Roma. Were two of Lazio, Udinese, Napoli or Inter to even remotely play to their expected standards this season, Trigoria would be home to permaprotests and LE under protection by one of the ultra's uncle's milkman's barber's cousins. His ambitions are lofty, aesthetic and his unfailing commitment to his own vision to be respected in a manner, if stubbornness is creeping over the horizon, but that means nothing when Roma fails to show up for the opening whistle twice in three weeks, and fails so miserably at the most basic defensive tasks. This team just isn't good, so outside of that, he needs money to succeed, which isn't special in any way. A lot of coaches have succeeded with a lot less, and more notably, in Rome of recent. (Or Sicily, if you'd care to let the eyes wander.)
Comparisons crossing eras are unwise, but this was a team which outplayed nearly everyone on a couch-cushion budget for years and nearly won the scudetto when starting out in 20th place.
They were supposed to lose, yet another problem in itself, but they weren't supposed to have lost by the seventh minute. And the defense isn't supposed to look like a crack den in Harlem. And the guy from Haarlem isn't supposed to be put in endless situations where he might get hooked because he's aired out like afternoon laundry every single game. And the team is supposed to show up for more than their paychecks on a weekly basis. And...and...
This just isn't okay anymore.