Roma 1 - Pescara 1: You Expected Otherwise?

Paolo Bruno

Florenzi knows.

The main goals of this new Roma are to win football matches and ruthlessly shred as much money from my wallet as human possible to continue the cycle. This means branding. This means exposure. And this means new fans. If you are new to Roma and expected, after such a swashbuckling display at the San Siro midweek, more of the same, allow me to edify you: This is your Roma. Savage the best teams in the world one week, lose to the worst the next. This is how they roll. To put it simply, they play to the level of their opponent until it's already too late.

The script has been used and reused so many times it's worn, covered in coffee, page 42 is missing, and someone doodled a dog on the cover back in 2007. Though it's difficult enough to get inside the head of one man, much less eleven, they walked onto the pitch without the sense of urgency demanded of any Serie A match. They were then hit with an early goal and from there, the far inferior team on paper performed Occupy Your Own Box and shut down Roma's attack with defense in numbers. The second half subs from Aurelio are a perfect indication of a man fallen victim to circumstance: Pescara was so entrenched, there was little choice but to fire on striker after striker because it's not as though they had a prayer in stretching the defense - they were home. At that point, it was simply an attempt to find an inch of space where none existed. The inevitable dropped points followed.

This recap has been written and rewritten several times over the course of several seasons. Pescara is the same as Livorno is the same as Reggina is the same as...et cetera. Roma didn't take the opposition seriously enough, they paid for it, and by then, it was too late. Every coach has fallen victim. Every rotated shift of personnel. Even new ownership hasn't changed a damn thing. This is the Roma we know.

If you can fix it, there's a good chance you're already coaching a club far superior to Roma. Otherwise, they need to continue rolling the dice over the course of the next decade until they find someone to stop the bleeding.

Notes

  • Nico Lopez wasn't great when he came on, but he made a far greater impact in his limited minutes thanPablo Osvaldo all day. Ditto for Destro. And it's the same thing as it's always been with Osvaldo: no movement. Running that-a-way? Goes a long way.

    He's never been Perrotta reincarnated, but he has the look of a man going through the motions. Curious it's the same criticism constantly levied toward Maarten Stekelenburg, the other man once so desperate to leave.

    Move. Just...move. London's a start.
  • Fair's fair: Pablo's long been criticized for his poor decision-making. Just seconds before his goal - nothing special but solid positioning - Mattia Destro netted a suspension against Siena for dissent, having thought he earned a penalty and holding an immense desire to vent his feelings to the referee, undoubtedly concerned. Earn your cards, earn your suspensions. Similar to the last of his yellow card suspensions - removing his shirt after his first goal, missing the derby - this one was entirely avoidable and for something silly. Too much similarity with Osvaldo for comfort at the moment. The lone hope is he's still very young and his iTunes playlist indicates the might all be a phase.
  • If we're looking at silver linings, perhaps missing Siena was the goal considering it's the easiest, on paper, of the matches remaining, but it damn sure wasn't on purpose.

    Also, he has a normal haircut post injury, and suddenly he's banging in goals. Coincidence? Nope.
  • Another silver lining: Roma property did score both goals...

    Gianluca Caprari never struck me as a can't-miss prospect (frankly, Andrea Bertolacci still remains, for me, the biggest hope from the farm), but it's always nice to have options should they pan out.
  • Vasilis Torosidis looked better on the left than he has in the last month on the right. Worth a consideration for the match against Siena.
  • This was a difficult match for Aurelio in terms of making subs, but either Perrotta - ability to create and manipulate space, especially in the box - as well as Tachtsidis - excellent in the aerial game - probably deserved a look. Pescara's first half goal forced Roma into a less than ideal gameplan, thumping in crosses, using too many set pieces, et cetera.
  • Ivan Piris is officially Erik Lamela's binky. The rapport they built early in the season showed up in a flash once again and Erik was able to more effectively play off Ivan than at any point in recent months. Perhaps that was the secret - Erik needed his other half, knowing where to run off the ball because he had an idea as to where it was going. Hopefully Aurelio noticed - the fullbacks probably shouldn't shift for the match against Siena.
  • It's been said before, but this does not appear to be a club with the depth necessary to compete in Europe and strive for a Champions League spot simultaneously, and it's not a matter of just a few pieces. There is a dearth of quality and especially, a dearth of quality in depth. Each time one of these matches transpires - gaining in frequency at the moment - there exists this question as to whether or not making the Europa League is really in the best interest of the club.

    But who wants to sign for a squad which for all intents and purposes has been out of Europe for three years?
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