This is, without a doubt, a strange time to be a Roma fan. Never was this clearer than in the moments following Alessandro Florenzi's first half goal yesterday. What should have been a moment of celebration (it was their first goal in well over 300 minutes) quickly descended into a virtual civil war in the Olimpico, as boos cascaded down from the stands as Florenzi ran to embrace the embattled Rudi Garcia, with loyalties being questioned on both sides of the debate.
Roma's 2-0 victory over 17th place Genoa yesterday halted a seven match winless streak, one in which Garcia seemed bereft of everything but excuses, offer rational after rational for his clubs putrid play. While yesterday's victory was seemingly enough to forestall the immediate calls for his head, a vociferous, if not sizeable, portion of the fanbase remains hungry for blood.
Walter Sabatini, who isn't above reproach in all of this, issued a bizarre and cryptic statement following the match, insisting that Roma will "look for no further bloodshed today, and especially not from the coach." In hindsight, that appeared more cryptic yesterday, but the point remains: in a state of absolute chaos, Roma's leadership chose to speak in analogies rather than simple sense.
But I digress. We're more than 24 hours removed from perhaps the oddest day in the history of this club, and the waters are no more lucid. While Garcia holds the confidence of Sabatini and Roma GM Mauro Balidossi (how many goddamn executives does this team have again?), the man whose opinion truly matters reportedly remains unconvinced by Garcia.
The Gazzetta dello Sport speculated today that club President James Pallotta wasn't as easily swayed as Walter Sabatini, still holding a healthy amount of skepticism after yesterday's far from resounding victory.
No direct quotes from Pallotta were included in the story, so take it as you will, but for those of us who've had our fill of Garcia, this is your dream scenario: hoping that Pallotta channels his inner George Steinbrenner and circumvents his trusted advisors.
There's no way to really tell how much credence these reports have, but it is awfully hard to believe that, given everything that's transpired over the past year, Garcia's job depended solely on defeating a pathetic Genoa side, especially when Roma's goals were practically gifted to them—well executed, yes, but resultant from Genoa mishaps rather than Roman ingenuity
Odds are Garcia's clemency is legit, but watch him throw up a few 1-1 clunkers in January and it's 2013 all over again.
For my own part, my stance is clear, so I will try my best to remain neutral and focus on the table from here on out....try.