But we get a breather. Roma’s back to the background for the next thirteen days, whether you like it or not (of course you don’t). The little Mount Olympus Roma had to climb in September and the beginning of October is behind us. Seven games in about 22 days, facing the champions of Russia, England and Italy while the German ones will visit us very soon. But first it’s time for another good old fashioned international break and a review of part 1 of the season. Roma are now well under way in both Serie A and Champions League so what can we expect from them in the next couple of weeks and months? Merely looking at the facts and numbers, one simply cannot be disappointed with the start of 2014-2015.
Let’s break this into two parts: Serie A and Champions League. First up is the long awaited European campaign.
Three weeks ago I did a preview about the Champions League. We had a huge task in front of us judging from the draw. Now, two games later, we can say Roma did good, if not great. They won the easiest match (at home against CSKA) with a 5-1 thrashing and held on to a draw in Manchester, in a city which usually brings up bad memories for Roma fans. On top of that, Totti scored a beauty and his first ever goal on English soil. 4 out of 6, firmly in second place. So far, so good but let’s not get completely carried away. We enjoyed the ride until now and there’ll certainly be even more to come from Roma but money time is upon us. We need to try and stay in front of City after the double Bayern confrontation and then the Giallorossi might actually have a decent chance of progressing. Since we’re no Dhawstradamusses: as always, sit back, have fun, let the team do the talking. Totti and co gave us an amazing Champions League comeback for the whole of Europe to see. To be continued…
Right, the infamous Serie A. The Giallorossi won their first give games of the season, just like 2013-2014. Mostly against lesser opposition so it’s not that big of a deal but we all saw what a good start can do with confidence and ultimately the final standings in May. Apart from Juve, Roma has an advantage over the other big teams like Inter, Napoli, Fiorentina and Milan (I didn’t miss out on any, did I? Nope, I clearly didn’t.) so no real complaints there. I must say the Champions League games didn’t really affected the team’s results, albeit missing a lot of (key) players. They cruised past Cagliari after the CSKA game while they put on a good and heroic display in Juventus after the City clash. Hey, speaking of Juventus… Ahem.
Roma’s most recent game was perhaps the most heated affair of them all. A lot has already been said and written about the clash but that unfortunately doesn’t change its result. Roma proved it’s not that far behind Juve and gave them a run for their money. Keep those heads held high and look forward. Stay classy. There’s still plenty of time to catch and surpass them in the standings. A loss in March or April would feel like a much bigger blow and have a greater affect on the table than October. Also, who knew Rudi could not only play the guitar but also violin that good? I heard that’s quite difficult to master. He even had to go to the stands because it was simply that good and the officials couldn’t stand it. Call it jealousy. Call it corruption. Call it the Italian style. We’ll just have to live with it.
When Roma faces Juve, you know it’s gonna be a tense atmosphere and every decision by the referee is closely monitored. And yes there were a lot of bad calls involving both sides. For example the Totti penalty was too harsh in my opinion (they both held on to one another while Totti wasn’t exactly close to the cross-pass). Both Juve’s penalties were dubious and caused controversy, even neutral fans agree. But hey, an Old Lady needs help against a pack of wolves, no? Oh well, it’s better to laugh about it than cry I guess. History repeated itself, the players, fans, newspapers jumped on the bandwagon and the whole country is recovering from the fuzz. It lived up to the hype: drama, red cards, penalties, fights, accusations, insults, a last-minute goal and a referee who got a brain seizure during the match. Anyway, see you back in March, Juve. You may have won the battle but certainly not the war. And Rocchi, for the sake of your health, stay out of Rome for a while.
Chievo, Sampdoria, Cesena with a big fat slice of Bayern in between. Of which three at home. That’s the imminent future. A good opportunity to keep the momentum going in both competitions. November looks promising and exciting with two trips to Napoli and Bayern. No rest for the wicked. Count in the comebacks of Daniele, Astori, Castan, Morgan and Strootman and although Roma ended on a sour note in Turin, the future looks bittersweet.