After Juventus, the champions of Italy and finalist of the Champions League 2014-2015, Roma meets Frosinone Calcio: A club situated about 70 kilometres south of Rome. Founded in 1912, the Canaries spend most of their time in the basement of Italian football (Serie C, Serie D,…). Their record: only 6 seasons in Serie B and 2015-2015 is their first season in top flight. The contrast between them and Juve (31 Scudetti, yup, Wikipedia is always right) simply couldn’t be any bigger. But get this: it’s Frosinone that worries me the most…
Because yes, my dear readers, AS Roma works in mysterious ways. They could easily beat Juventus at home and then fall apart against a team of amateurs in the space of one week. It happened before, it will happen again. American ownership or not, it’s the same old song. Emotional, long-standing issues. I for once got used to it, some younger fans might have a hard time understanding it. There’s no explanation, no medicine, no difficult formula to unravel. No doctor in the world can cure her. Roma just happens. She’s the most awkward patient of our time. And ironically, that’s why we all love her. Inconsistency is king. She’s unpredictable, unstable, tricky and incalculable all at the same time.
When I list some of the minnows Roma faced in recent times, I’m certain some of you will shudder: Sassuolo (two draws at the Olimpico in the past two seasons), Catania (4-1 loss in 2014), Lecce (4-2 loss in 2012), Livorno (3-3 in 2010, Lucarelli’s hattrick which will cost us the Scudetto), Siena (a long list of nervous draws and losses AKA Spalletti’s famous Tuscan spell), Messina (4-3 loss in 2004), Ascoli (2-2 and 1-1 in 2006-2007),… Then there are Como, Brescia, plus CFR Cluj and Slovan Bratislava on the European stage… Of course Roma also managed to beat most of those teams, but my point stands nonetheless: 3 points are never in the bag until the final whistle is blown.
As if the signs weren’t bad enough, there are some familiar Roman faces representing Frosinone: Daniele Verde and Aleandro Rosi . The first one on loan, the second was Roma’s very own ‘Italian Cafu’ in 2006. Rosi made about 74 appearances in Serie A for the Giallorossi. Defender Modibo Diakite has a Lazio past and will be eager to impress as well. On top of that, here’s a fun fact: Trainer Roberto Stellone was born in Rome and started his career at his hometown club Lodigiani Calcio. Yup, the same club where a certain Francesco Totti also grew up, playing football before his AS Roma adventure began.
However, we can’t act blind and deny this fact: Roma has a tonload more quality than Frosinone or Carpi right now. These kind of games usually decide the standings in May. One can say Roma has to seal the maximum against those two minnows (12 points in total, which is a lot if you know Roma amassed 70 points last season) but knowing my club, it’s not going to be an easy task. Fear paralyzes, but at least the players should show some respect and not take things for granted. They’ll need to perform at a high level and give 110% if they want to go back to Rome with a win.
That and the fact that I don’t want to rewrite this text in 2017 but with Frosinone added to that ominous list I mentioned…