Admit it, in your heart of hearts, you knew that is exactly how this match would play out. Roma, fresh off a "resounding victory" over Cagliari, was practically served three points on a silver platter with last place Parma visiting their turf. If nothing else, Roma could've grabbed an early goal and just sat back for the remainder of the match. It wouldn't have been entertaining by any stretch of the imagination, but it would have been the right move for a team desperately trying to string together a winning streak.
But they couldn't even manage that. No, instead we were treated to a series of errant passes in the final third, pointless possession, and a series of eyes-closed-hopefully-it-will-go-in shots from distance. Roma played too slow, too safe and, well, too poorly.
So, for those of you relatively new to this team, this is how things normally go. To be a Roma fan is to know the angst of screaming at the little 12 inch by 12 inch figurines dancing on your laptop; we don't get the bounces, we settle for horrible shots and we don't win the matches we're meant to; I hate to burst your bubble, but last year was an aberration, but what an aberration it was.
Seriously, think about what transpired last season. A new, relatively unknown coach came aboard, making sweeping claims about casting aside recent history and taking Roma to new heights. He didn't storm into town with revolutionary tactics, nor did he rule the roost with a heavy fist; he was just a mild mannered dude with an uncanny ability to get the best out of his players.
And yet, despite his sometimes inconspicuous nature, Garcia soon made a name for himself, as his new club overcame some pretty steep odds and benefitted from a remarkable confluences of circumstances along the way to their record setting performance last season.
Roma overcame the last minute departures of Erik Lamela and Marquinhos last summer, only to receive equal, and in some instances superior performances from their replacements, Gervinho and Mehdi Benatia. Gervinho shed the ghosts of his inefficient past to become one of the league's most dangerous players; Benatia was, quite simply, a rock. Kevin Strootman fit seamlessly into Roma's midfield, curing all the ills we never knew existed, while Mattia Destro's spring was something for the record books. And yet, it wasn't enough. They suffered through another swoon of draws, dropping crucial points and were simply unable to topple Juventus head-to-head. Roma was, once again, second best. Good, but not great, lucky, but not fated for glory.
And with nearly 12 months in the rearview mirror, you're right to be wistful about Rudi's Roma, because it is really starting to look as if Roma captured lightning in a bottle last season, only to be done in, in true Roma fashion, by the superior lightning thieves up north, Juventus.
And so he we are; Roma failed to wrest three points on her own turf against what is quickly becoming a historically poor Parma side. Garcia had nearly all his charges at his disposal, yet the Giallorossi couldn't bust the Parma defense, the same side that has conceded a league worst 47 goals. Roberto Donadoni simply set back and let Roma run into a brick wall, happy to let Radja Nainggolan and the rest of the wolves chuck up shots willy nilly, with no regard for precision or probability.
It's a sad state of affairs when your club has to rely on an 18-year old 60th minute substitute for inspiration, but those are depths to which we've plumbed.
I have no idea where Roma goes from here, and what's worse, it doesn't appear as though Garcia does either.