Rain, Rain, Go Away! Roma-Chievo Draw Amid Downpour

VERONA, ITALY - MAY 01: Daniele De Rossi of AS Roma during the Serie A match between AC Chievo Verona and AS Roma at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on May 1, 2012 in Verona, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

This review is going up right away because if I wait, I might not remember it, the match was that uneventful.

Not exactly the result anyone was looking for, right? While blaming the weather conditions is a lame excuse, the saturated pitch definitely dictated the tempo of play, resulting in a sloppy match, literally and figuratively.

Rain or not, this is surely not good news for Luis Enrique or Franco Baldini. The draw leaves Roma at 52 points with three matches remaining, sitting at seventh place and facing a 2012-2013 season without any form of European competition.

If this is the death knell of the Enrique experiment, one thing continues to puzzle fans and pundits alike...

Much hype was given to summer signing of Bojan from FC Barcelona; an extremely gifted attacking player born and bred in La Masia was supposed to give credence to and ease Enrique's transition of the Barca style to Roma. However, what we've seen, especially in recent weeks, is an inexplicable substitution pattern for Enrique's countrymen. In games begging for his pace, agility, and attacking prowess, he has been left on the bench until the 70th minute or later. In matches like today, when he was one of the few legitimate threats, he is subbed out minutes into the second half.

If Roma are to reap any benefit from this deal, which could approach 40M Euros, this kid needs to play and play consistently. And this isn't merely a financial plea, Bojan can clearly play; even during troughs of inconsistency, he remains a threat based solely on his athleticism and ability to run into space. Meanwhile, Enrique has chosen to stick with Borini, who has been out of form since returning from a spell or recent minor injuries.

But, as anyone who watched todays match can attest, there wasn't much to glean from this match; it was a quagmire if there ever was one. There were, however, a few positive aspects: Gianluca Curci made a few key saves. Simon Kjaer, yes that Simon Kjaer, even made a few crucial defensive plays down the stretch (before being taken out for Perrotta) and what can you say about Daniele DeRossi that hasn't already been said? He plays anywhere and does so many things for this club that I don't even think there is a positional description for him, but whatever it is, he's the world's best.

The remaining three weeks of this season are going to reveal a great deal about the next decade or so of this club. Baldini has sworn up and down that this is a long-term project, so does he have the temerity to stay true to this project, and by extension Enrique? Will Enrique grow tired of the constant questioning and fan protest and seek safer harbors?

It's safe to say this is not how the new owners nor Baldini envisioned the first year of their grand project unfolding, but if they indeed intend to change the culture of Roma and build a consistent winner, they need to decide if the Enrique philosophy is still the best route.

Another year of uncertainty and proclamations won't do, they need to either commit to Enrique and "the project" long term or quickly find a new steward. With the loads of young talent on this team, stability and uniformity of philosophy must be achieved and sustained if Roma hope to achieve any measure of consistent, long-term success.

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