I don't want to write this. Do you want to read this? No. You've read it all before. Roma came up against [insert team name here]'s team bus. Despite [insert number over 40] shots, they lost/drew (circle one) because they couldn't score and got hit against the run of play on the counter. [Insert mediocre Italian goalkeeper here] played the match of his life, and [insert journeyman striker here] scored their lone chance. The fans booed. I booed. You booed. Somebody cried. Someone messed their pants, though it might be totally unrelated. And Roma can't beat poor clubs with a solid defensive structure which can operate in numbers. Boo hoo. Wah wah.
The reality is the same questions which have plagued the club all year, answered often, much to our chagrin, were posed again: Is this team very good? Nope. Do they have any quality in depth? Nope. Is it constructed well? Nope. The players placed in the hands of both Aurelio Andreazzoli and Zdenek Zeman are clearly lacking in something, and this yet another day when we're left to question why Zeman was sacked or even appointed in the first place - and this has nothing to do with Aurelio. They may strike gold once or twice, but this is not a very good football club. Talented? Sure. But Adriano is talented too, and look at him. Both of him. Talent means nothin'. Why didn't they see this coming? Inconsistency is the hallmark of an unrefined giftedness.
Of course it's not just this year. This has been the same story for the last umpteen years; small-ish relegation fighter parks its team picnic in the box and Roma's left firing balls into the box like ten Federico Balzarettis on loop, all of which will inevitably fail. Boo hoo.
The club doesn't need an overhaul, just for a number of players to be sold or put on loan and have some quality players brought in. This could even work under Aurelio, though he got the tactics wrong today and that Michael Bradley substitution is a real head-scratcher, but this club is stretched far too thin when having to rotate. Do you want to add another six or more matches to the schedule for little money? Is that really as much of a boon to Roma as it appears on paper? Is today's squad one you want to see put on the pitch for six Sunday matches? Lots of square pegs in round holes because they have to? And it might not matter considering Udinese appears to be self-immolating in all the right ways.
I'm not so sure Europe is something Roma should want. This club can be stretched way thin because the ability is coming, all too often, in flashes representative of talent, not in the quality which obtains results.
And for fuck's sake, would someone steal back Daniele Prade already.
- Anyone who watched Dodo and July could tell he needed to go on loan. For 1-3 years. Why this hasn't happened is beyond comprehension. But more, what the hell happened to the Marquinho-Aurelio lovefest? Lover's spat?
- Michael Bradley for a striker - the better of the two throughout the match - late when playing against someone's team picture at home during a scoreless match. Obviously it balanced the side, but...that's not a scenario calling for balance.
You deserve to lose with a move like that. Worst substitution of the year, which is rare for Aurelio - it's something with which he's largely been excellent.
- Bogdan Lobont still played with no mask and a broken nose. The man's untouchable.
- This is the other side of Pablo Osvaldo. When he doesn't score it's as though Roma plays with ten because he can do absolutely nothing else but kinda-sorta press high (he works hard, don't get me wrong) and freely donate possession, thus his performances attract a degree of contempt. Again: the cost of his goals.
- I can't handle the thought of Mattia Destro's everything and Adrian Stoian's mustache on the same club. It's one or the other or I fucking cut someone.
- Nobody played particularly well, the midfield especially. Miralem shouldn't be sat in the middle of a two-man midfield, that's for sure. In fact, outside of roughly twelve minutes in December, the midfield has been poor the entire year. It is, right now, this team's Achilles heel. Whichever coach is chosen needs to be one which can bolster and exploit the strengths of DDR, Florenzi and Pjanic, if he wants to hang on another year. (Increasingly unlikely.) The midfield needs to be upgraded. Somehow.
- You'll notice Daniele plays better on the days he has Florenzi aside him. This ain't coincidence. The two should be manning the midfield, and if there's another with them, great; if it's two around him, great. Just make sure they're of the requisite quality or fit the mold of the player desired. Selling him is neither the answer nor should it be a realistic option. The reason he plays so well for the Azzurri is because he's allowed the opportunity.
- Ivan Piris is not a wide midfielder, nor is he a centerback. He's a rightback. Which is precisely where Aurelio doesn't want to play him. Which probably means he's gone. (He's certainly gone if Mazzarri's 3-4-3ish is brought in.)
- This has been said oh-so-many times, but Walter Sabatini should not be constructing a squad, simply scoping out the talent. (Poor choice of words. Whatever.)
I love some of the talent he's brought in, but I would be perfectly happy to see him go in the summer. Roma is very quickly becoming Udinese 2.0: can outplay anyone with some extraordinary talent scouting and a talismanic, nigh superhuman, captain, but not consistently. Talent like Erik Lamela in Europe is wonderful, but it means nothing if he's doing it for the likes of Manchester United.
- In case it actually needs to be said....Palermo, Pescara, Chievo. Aurelio's chances are next to nil.
- And lastly...
Francesco Totti doesn't deserve to go out with what these owners have been giving him.
Step it up already.