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Totti Today #70: Florenzi and Sadiq save Rudi

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What a strange game this turned out to be. There I sat in front of my computer, on one side hoping for a win to keep up our CL ambitions, on the other side hoping for a draw (a loss would be too drastic) so Rudi’s era in Rome was officially over… So much drama in my head, and the game even had to start.

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Vintage

Roma’s first half was mostly vintage Rudi Garcia. Not the one of 2013-2014 but from the last couple of months. An uninspired display, rarely threatening or shots on goal, hoping a free-kick just ouside the box could seal the deal AKA the Pjanic Special. Even an own goal or penalty would do. How the mighty have fallen. And I emphasise: this was at home against an underperforming Genoa.

Instead of bossing this game as we should have come to expect from Roma, they mostly turned in crosses and hoped for a miracle. I even saw Radja playing rightback for a moment. At least Salah entertained us with some good runs and counters in the first half. Manolas and Rudiger were once again a secure and sturdy duo at the back for the entire game. Woj was basically unemployed all of the time.

Statement

During the first half I saw some bad and disappointing performaces, mainly from Florenzi (some horrid passing) and Gervinho (invisible). Two symbols from Rudi Garcia’s great start in 2013-2014 and now nowhere to be seen. It was another sign that Garcia’s time was up. Until minute 43. A goal which came after an undeniably lucky deflection. Florenzi was alone in front of goal and couldn’t possibly miss it. The Roman went crazy and decided to celebrate with…., yes, Rudi Garcia. Together with the other players on the field. A statement to the world to say the least.

Then came THE moment of the game: The crowd in the Olimpico exploded after Alessandro’s goal but only seconds later they jeered at the players’ choice to run to Rudi. It was mind-baffling, only in Rome you can see such things. Nevertheless, everyone’s favorite Rudi Garcia Special (1-1) was still a possibility.

Gift

I nearly fell asleep in the second half, only a surprising Falque for Pjanic sub made me wakey wakey. After 70 minutes (!) the Giallorossi finally managed a second shot on goal, Dzeko missed a great chance to score, run at Garcia and get a lot of sh*t from the crowd. How sad. To make it worse, the Bosnian got red after dissent. Dzeko’s confidence is now really sub-zero. And so the new coach (hey, let’s keep on praying) has to do without Dzeko, Radja and Pjanic for the next match. What. A. Gift. Only goes to show things are never easy in the Eternal City.

A second surprising sub was Sadiq for Salah, to fill in the striker position after Dzeko left the field. And that shows how poor Genoa and also Roma were today. If 2 subs and a red card were the only notable things I could write about. Then came Sadiq’s time to shine, with his first goal in Serie A in the closing minutes. Talk about timing. The new Okaka is born! In all seriousness: Normally I’d say a win is a win is a win is a win. Shut up, take it and go on. But this is perhaps one of the strangest wins I experienced since supporting Roma.

Scenario

Rudi’s resignation. We’re still up in the air about it. How on earth does the Frenchie keep doing it? Saving his job time after time. The umpteenth lacklustre performance after all these months but the situation hasn’t changed a bit. We can’t fire Rudi in behalf of Pallotta or Baldissoni because they can’t see/don’t want to see this Roma side is actually very very poor. Today they won because Genoa was even poorer, not because we were better.

Rarely have I felt so bad after a win. This is not the way forward. Swap Genoa for Sassuolo, Torino, Fiorentina or even Empoli and it would have ended differently. Our first win in eight games should taste sweet. But not this time. Prepare for the same press talk by Rudi and the players. Without any real surprises the Frenchman stays in charge until at least January 6th, when Roma travel to Chievo. And probably after that too.

Although Roma won, this was not the scenario we all had hoped for. We are left disillusioned. Go on, watch some Star Wars, entertain yourself. Because Roma sure as hell won’t.