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Totti Today #91 : Walter’s Way

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After three consecutive top 3 finishes in Serie A and only one trainer shift since 2013, one might expect Roma to be a steady and peaceful environment by now. Alas, nothing is further from the truth.

Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Perhaps on the contrary, AS Roma faces one of its most heated and intense Summers in a long time. For example: Right now our defence consists of Florenzi, Manolas, Rüdiger and Gyomber. One isn’t a natural rightback, one is still 6 months out  and another one is called Gummybear. Yeah, it’s pretty pathetic. Zukanovic and Torosidis? Not sure they’ll stay and they’re hardly starters for a team like Roma. Digne? Nope, still in negotiations with PSG. Maicon’s contract expired. Castan has played six or so official games since 2014 and is far from his best form. Rui? Depends on Digne’s situation. Emerson? Still not 100% ours.

It really becomes hilarious when you look at the current goalkeeper situation: Only one is certain to be in Rome next season: Alisson Becker. A 23-year-old Brazilian keeper with no European experience whatsoever. He’s handsome though, I’ll give him that. Woj has gone back to Arsenal while Morgan and Bogdan did not receive contract extensions uptil now. Hell, for all I know Florenzi might act as second goalkeeper in 2016-2017.

If you think the midfield looks better, well, sorry to disappoint you but we recently sold our best midfielder to rival Juventus while fresh face and teenager Gerson is still a gamble at this level. It doesn’t end here: Keita (still good for about 20 matches per season) left and Radja, arguably our second best midfielder, is being courted by rich clubs like Chelsea while I pray each day that nothing happens to Kevin during ritiro and that he stays healthy during the upcoming season. De Rossi’s not getting any younger as well, one month shy of his 33th birthday.

Thank God we just secured SES, thus keeping the chemistry in Roma’s frontline intact, together with Perotti and Salah. Last but not least, Francesco Totti is getting ready for his final season in the Eternal City, mainly as a super sub. But how many people still believe in Dzeko, Falque, Adem or Iturbe? Three guys (albeit with massive potential) and a 40-year-old won’t cut it. And so, also this department needs to be looked at.

By now you’re probably sweating like a pig.  So who is gonna be the man to take his responsability and make all those changes? Arrange all the deals? Pick the players and hand out the contracts? Interfere with ongoing negotiations or pry away talents from other clubs? Who will harshly increase the sales of Marlboro and the shares of the aforementioned company with 300%? Ladies and gents, mr Walter Sabatini.

Ironically, even he isn’t that untouchable anymore, there were even talks of him leaving. But now he’s heading for a very, very busy Summer. The preparations will start early since there are CL qualifiers to  be played in August for the first time since long. And we all know how important that competition is for a club like Roma.

Walter will need to find all the right pieces and quick. 80 or preferably 90% of the squad has to be present by the end of July in order to start the campaign 2016-2017 in a succesful way. It’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it. Of course Walter has a special way of doing business. He has admirers and haters everywhere, especially in Church there is a bit disunity.

Yet, whatever you may feel or think about the man, he’s the one make the decisions and receiving criticism every day. To be fair, I wouldn’t want to trade jobs with him in a thousand years. Therefore Walter Sabatini deserves at least some recognition for his work.

Good luck Walter. You’ll need it.