Totti Tuesday: The difference

Paolo Bruno

Mission: accomplished. After Napoli and Juve’s Sunday wins, Roma had to keep up the pressure on both of them with a win against Samp. 3-0 seems a comfortable win at first but don’t let the score fool you, it was far from it.

I tried to understand the enthusiasm and praise on CDT after Sampdoria, I really did but… I just couldn’t. This is my personal approach so I accept disagreements in the comment section but please, do so in a dignified way. Maybe I’m spoiled too much by Garcia and co but the first half was a disgrace to Roman football, a hideous display from both teams. Then suddenly, out of nowhere and with the best possible timing, Destro scored a header (not with his beard but his actual head). I don’t even dare to imagine how the game would have ended if it stayed 0-0 at HT, with the squad’s morale on a low after Lazio and the Coppa elimination. The 1-0 gave us a boost of confidence and Roma quickly scored two more goals to paralyze Sampdoria. After Mattia’s beautiful second goal, the players considered the last 30 minutes as a good training exercise.

Garcia even experimented a bit with Daniele as CB, Romagnoli as LB and some kind of strange 3-7-0 (Daniele, Castan and Romagnoli as the 3 CBs). Nothing to complain about really, the win was in the bag and Morgan Batman once again had a quiet afternoon at the Olimpico. In Serie A, Roma only conceded twice at their on turf until now: Fiorentina and… Sassuolo. Yeah, sounds like my Roma.

FIFA 14

The defence was never the problem. Apart from Juve and Napoli away, Roma usually has a fair grip on the opponent’s attack and De Sanctis now already has more clean sheets than Doni, JSB, Stekelenburg, Artur, Curci and Lobont combined… Ok a bit exaggerated maybe because I was too lazy to check the figures but I honestly think I’m not far off. Anyone who cares to look it up for me?

No, the real problem in recent times was the faltering offense. If I was Garcia, I would have subbed out Gervinho and Destro even before HT because I was simply too fed up with both of them after Lazio and Napoli. Then, destiny laughs and twerks my face like Miley Cyrus and life shows exactly why I’m not a professional football trainer and Rudi is. Destro scores twice, becoming Roma’s sole top scorer this season with six, and Gervinho even gave an assist. All that before the hour mark. Well done. I was wrong, too eager for a win, too anxious, emotionally unstable and impatient. Especially with Napoli at -1 and Juve at +12. It is quite simply the difference between a fan and a trainer. The reason why we are behind a computer and Rudi on the holy grass of the Stadio Olimpico. Experience, belief, eye for details. If I, and probably a lot here at Chiesa as well, were trainer on Sunday evening, this match would have probably ended in a draw or loss with five straight red cards (including one for the trainer) and scenes of a bar fight between the Avengers and the Expendables. Little note to myself: Keep your professional football hopes, dreams and tactics for FIFA 14 Career Mode and let the big boys do their thing.

Wonderkids

But, and this is the small obliged negative part of my TT I’m sorry, this was mostly a win on character and luck, not quality. If they start the same way in Bologna next week, things will take a turn for the worst. They got out of this game undamaged but the room for improvement is bigger than Sabatini’s office. And that’s quite big, with all those posters of 17-year-old South-American wonderkids.

We can use all the points we can gather in February because as Dhaw has already stated before: March promises to be a tough ride. And probably the crucial point of the season when all thing fall into place: A thrilling Scudetto race until the very end, the glorious gladiator tune of the Champions League, or sad slow whistle of its little brother, the Europa League. Keep an eye on Juve’s schedule as well, March ain’t no cakewalk for them either. Roma needs to release its inner Tom Cruise/James Bond/Austin Powers (insert professional spy here) to succeed in the upcoming fifteen missions. And more importantly, they need to listen to Rudi’s voice and not my FIFA 14 ramblings.

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