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Totti Today #84 : The Test of Time

The more things change, they more they stay the same. Originally a French saying, now translated in English but uncanny accurate for a certain Italian football club. Ladies and gents, AS Roma is now officially back.

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

The more things change, they more they stay the same. After the dismissal of Rudi and the return of Luciano, Roma went on a hot streak. 8 wins on the trot, 9 wins in 10 games in Serie A. They outplayed both big teams (Fiorentina, Lazio) and small teams (Carpi, Frosinone). They also survived the tricky matches (Udinese, Sampdoria, Sassuolo). So not Roma-ish. For a moment there, we thought our beloved Giallorossi would become a juggernaut like Juve in the past few seasons. Wins, wins and even more wins, against all types of teams, with a bit of luck or just too strong.

‘Thank God’ the real Roma has revealed itself in recent weeks. A draw at home against a team from the lower half of the table + blowing up a 0-2 lead and even trailing 3-2 against another inferior side… Yes, those are the signs of Romanitis. The derby trashing was probably the top of the pinnacle of Spalletti’s Roman return. The peak was reached. But we all know, the higher you climb, the harder you fall.

After all those wins since January, those 2 consecutive draws feel like a huge disappointment. And they are. They’re basically 4 points thrown out of the window. The difference with Napoli at this stage? 5 points. It gets even more painful when you look at the results from the first half of the season. 2-2 in Bologna and 0-2 loss at home against Atalanta. Clearly two boogie teams from 2015-2016. Ironically, Roma also lost 4 points in total against Hellas Verona (two 1-1 draws), the obvious misfits of Serie A right now. Painful but it sounds so… well, Roman. The recent Atalanta result proves it once more. Also the Roman Curse is back with all 3 Atalanta goals coming from a player with a Roman history: Youth product D'Alessandro and Marco '25 000' Borriello.

From 0-2 up to 3-2 down, but ultimately Roma snatched a point thanks to The Man Sent By God Himself To Learn His People How To Play Football, the myth, the legend, Francesco Totti. He scored the equalizer in the 86th minute. Let’s break it down in segments, shall we? Roma fans went from euphoria/joy (0-2 and a nice Digne goal) to despair/rage (3 consecutive Atalanta goals) to relief/happiness because they avoided a defeat in the end. Plus some obligatory Edin Dzeko misses. C’mon, no single human being can handle all those emotions in the space of 2 hours. Yet Roma fans did just that. Again.

But that same relief was mostly because it was Totti who scored and silenced his critics, and not the fact that they earned a draw. It is and stays a horrible result in the end, especially because Inter won its match and Napoli lost (mmm, probably because they played against each other last weekend, Captain Obvious). And guess what, it’s not over yet. Next up is another doable but tricky fixture, Torino at home. After that is the überimportant Napoli match in the Olimpico.

You read that right, 2 home games in a row. Just when the real ugly Roma stood up. A chance for them to get their sh*t together or are we in for some more frustrations along the road? Who will tell? The more things change, the more they stay the same. A new trainer, new players in the starting 11, the omission of Totti,… You can never erase Roma’s roots and the main reason why we all fell in love with Roma in the first place: She’s unpredictable, inconsistent, so frustratingly satisfying in a weird kind of way. We all crave for more drama. We need it, we want it.

Whether you like it or not, they’re back in business and the rollercoaster is in full throttle. Which means we can expect literally everything against Torino on Wednesday.

Congratulations AS Roma, you have passed the test of time.