PESCARA, ITALY - MAY 01: Zdenek Zeman head coach of Pescara during the Serie B match between Pescara Calcio and Vicenza Calcio at Adriatico Stadium on May 1, 2012 in Pescara, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Zdenek Zeman held his first pre-season conference and here are the talking points from today.
This man doesn't know how to mince his words.
We're here to work and to get ready for the coming season. That obviously means sweating it out. If we'd been here on holiday, it would have been different. Some people cope with the workload better than others, but what matters is that we do our best to lay the groundwork for the football season that lies ahead.
The transfer market has barely opened. Some of our players may move elsewhere but for the time being they are all Roma players and they are here to work with us. Since they are all good players, those who want to move on will have no problem finding a team. I have eight defenders and that's more than enough but as we're in the transfer window we'll see if we can improve. Juan and Heinze? I repeat, as things stand they are Roma players.
I feel like a coach. I've been doing this job for a long time and I'm always willing to work with the team and improve it for club. That's my job and naturally the coach sometimes has to take responsibility for things. Of course I'm ready to do that.
It's hard to to compare things to last year as I wasn't here. There may have been mental or physical lulls but I can't judge other people's work. Our habits have changed now: some are suffering more because of it, some less. You get that every season. We'll be fit before we get into the competitive action. No, I haven't been impressed by anyone in particular yet. All we're doing is going for long walks in the woods. It's not true that we're working extremely hard - I think that's a load of rubbish. With what we're doing so far there's no scope for anyone to stand out. Florenzi? He did very well at Crotone. Bertolacci? He did very well at Lecce. They are two to keep an eye on. We'll look at them on the pitch and see if they can show us what they're capable of.
I can sense the fans' enthusiasm but I'd be happier if they were the same at the end of the season. For sure there will be joy and pain along the way, but I hope more joy. The line-up for tomorrow's match? I can't tell you because I don't know.
TOTTI AND PICKING THE TEAM
Totti? We worked together 13 years ago – that's a long time. I can see he's grown up a lot. I see Totti is still the same footballer. Physically he's not the same of course, but that's normal. As for where he'll play I still have to think about that based on the way we're going to play as a team; it's not only about his position. I'll use him wherever I think he's most useful to the team.
That's an expression used to describe a player who costs a lot. I don't think it's about the cost. A top player is someone who can make a difference on the pitch. You don't necessarily get that just because someone costs 20 million more than someone else.
OSVALDO AND TACHSIDIS
Osvaldo had a problem with his back yesterday but he's looked better than when he was at Lecce. He was always one of the best in the tests. I've seen a lot of Tachsidis because I played against him in Serie B and he's a player I was impressed by.
The beauty of football is that it's never the same: everyone sees it differently. But as I said, I believe that your pre-season preparations lay the foundation for the work you do during the season and that it's very important. Those of you who know a bit about football know that the match is 90 minutes but actual playing time is 50 minutes. A very good player might be on the ball for three minutes. What does he do the rest of the time? Football is about movement, moving to get somewhere before the others, catching up with a player. That means running and stamina, before you even get to technique.
We haven't spoken to the players yet about football as such. I want to see how they get on without being guided. I want to watch them doing things by themselves, aware of the fact that they aren't fully fit yet.
Personally I want to compete with all the other teams and try to get a result in every match - whether the opposition is called Inter, Milan or Juve, or even smaller teams like Pescara. I want the team to be competitive but I want to see us get to the point where we always go for it against other teams. At the start of the season all the teams have zero points, zero goals scored and zero goals conceded. Pecking order? You earn your place based on what you produce on the pitch. If certain players do better than others then I don't care what their names are. All I'm interested in is what's good for the team and for Roma.
I've already given my thoughts on Juve. If I read certain books and if I look at the facts I think 28 Scudetto titles are too many as it is