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James Pallotta: We Are On The Same Level As Juventus

With Monday's six pointer against Juventus looming, revenge is on the minds of many, but not Roma chief James Pallotta. Uncle Jimmy offered some insight into Monday's match and beyond, let's dissect it bit-by-bit.

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We're nearly three years into the James Pallotta regime, so by this point you've either grown accustomed to his pragmatic bluster or become increasingly annoyed by his hubris. During his brief time at the helm, Pallotta has no doubt grown to loathe Juventus as much as you or I, a hatred made worse by last season's would-be title torn asunder by the Old Lady's own record breaking season, but Uncle Jimmy isn't letting that vitriol go to his head prior to Monday's match at the Olimpico.

Pallotta dropped some science on us during his most recent press conference, so let's take a look at what the man upstairs thinks about the 169th matchup between these two clubs.

I don't see this as an opportunity for revenge..There were mistakes that can happen. I was at the game in Turin and we could easily have won.

Pallotta is, of course, referring to the shoddily officiated match from October, wherein two of three goals were scored from the penalty spot. The first, you might recall, was quite controversial. Following an Andrea Pirlo free kick that appeared to carom of Maicon's hands, referee Gianluca Rocchi initially saw nothing untoward about the passage of play...that was, until, he was besieged by a horde of complaining Old Lady's and ultimately awarding Juve with a PK. Rocchi then gifted Roma a classic make-up call, awarding the Giallorossi a somewhat soft-penalty when Francesco Totti was taken down by Stephan Lichsteiner.

Following that mishegoss, Roma managed to take the lead when Juan Iturbe narrowly beat Gigi Buffon, only to be screwed once more by Rocchi, who awarded Juve another penalty at the 46:27 mark, despite the fact that the first half was only to receive one minute of stoppage time, allowing Carlos Tevez to level the match at two.

Referee discrestions aside, Roma were ultimately done in by a wonder goal from, of all people, Leonardo Bonnuci. So perhaps Pallotta was right and Roma could have easily won, or at least drawn that match, but the controversy in the first half did nothing to quell the myth that Juventus are as adept at cheating as they are at football.

Pallotta then shifted the discussion to Roma's walking dead.

What's frustrating is the number of injuries we've sustained, especially very serious ones like Kevin Strootman and Leandro Castan. If Juventus had been without players like Andrea Pirlo or Paul Pogba for most of the season, they'd be in the same situation as Roma

While it still irks me a bit to see the higher ups leaning on injuries as an excuse, one glance at the roster proves Uncle Jimmy's point. In league play alone, Roma have utilized 28 players, ranging from 38-year-old Totti to 18-year-old sensation Daniele Verde, while only 23 men have suited up for Juve in league play, so perhaps he has a point, and Juve haven't lost anyone as integral as Castan or Strootman this season.

We are on the same level as Juventus and I'm not looking to just defend second place. I think that if we play the way we know how it'll be a very open match...We have to follow on from the victory over Feyenoord. Our project is long-term over 10-20 years, so we want to fight for the Scudetto and Champions League.

I both love and hate this particular quote. The fact of the matter is Roma are not on the same level as Juventus--one needn't look any further than the results on the pitch for proof--but the gap between the two sides has definitely shrunk during Pallotta's tenure, which leads into his second point; time.

We've talked a lot about Roma in the here and now, particularly in terms of who is or isn't right for Roma at the moment, but potentially upsetting the order of Italian football isn't a simple pyramid scheme, it's a long con. Perhaps the longest of cons. Attempting to rewrite history, both their own and the league, takes time on the order of decades. Roma are up against the proverbial it: a century's worth of history, a multi-million dollar financial gap and, since its Juve we're talking about, the referees.

Pallotta may not want revenge, but for a fan base bereft of patience, satiating that vendetta might actually buy him all the time in the world, decades even.