For every successful striker at Roma, there have been two failures. For example: Not so long ago we had fan favorites Vucinic and Toni. Great strikers, but they were the only steady buoys in the huge pile of trash AS Roma swam through. Baptista, Okaka, Carew, Adriano, Esposito, Bojan, Tallo, Virga, Corvia, Tavano, Cerci, Lopez, Nonda... There were some guys who were ‘meh’ or ‘okay’, like Borino, Osvaldo and Destro. Players who had their moments sure, but that really dangerous striker, someone who put fear in the eyes of all those veteran Serie A defenders? Nope.
Before Toni and Vucinic, you had Cassano, Batistuta, Montella and Delvecchio. Now that was a luxury! Btw I’m not including Totti in these lists because he was sent by God himself to do his thing in this world. He was an angel among humans of flesh and blood. In short: he’s hors catégorie, beyond comparison. Plus, he’ll be mainly referred to as an attacking midfielder, the trequartista, his original position.
If we wind back the clock even further, there were Balbo, Pruzzo, Völler, Volk and Amadei. It’s been a long time since Roma had a real capocannoniere in its team though. Totti won it in 2006-2007 but like I said, he’s no real striker from birth. He was Godsend and just helped Roma out up front and coincidentally scored a shitload of goals in the process, such was the brilliance of this man. Pruzzo probably was the last legendary striker in yellow and red: He won the capocannoniere in Serie A three times in the eighties. In total he scored more than 130 goals for Roma.
After that the Olimpico saw a lot of men with flashy skills and technique (Cassano, Mancini, Vucinic), killer instinct (Montella, Osvaldo, Delvecchio) and pure physical presence (Baptista, Toni). But not really a goal machine and myth like Pruzzo. And how magical his Roman legacy might be, Gabigol only had one successful season at Roma: his 20 goals in 28 games during the Scudetto season. After that it took a hit. Shame. Montella was the last old school striker who enjoyed a long successful spell at Roma.
Some talents never broke through and didn’t cut it, I’m thinking of Borini, Bojan, Destro and Okaka. Some players were downright hilarious to watch, *cough Adriano cough*. But luckily there was always Totti to save the day. Not this time.
The reason I’m writing this down, is due to one man and one man only. Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian Bomber. A man who’s slowly carving his name in the rock of great Roman attackers. His start at Roma was far below his standards. His second season, well, enough has been said about it. 39 goals in total, top scorer in the Europa League and capocannoniere in Serie A, Higuain, Mertens, Belotti and Icardi were all behind him.
People who thought that Edin couldn’t repeat the trick this season, are now eating their words. Many people, including me, were afraid he would have a bit of a slump after 2016-2017 and he would not even reach 20 goals this time around. One look at his numbers so far and all doubts are gone. 7 goals in 7 Serie A games, 3 goals in 3 CL games. A great ratio and I feel like he’s just getting started.
His first goal against Chelsea yesterday was a beauty but Edin can also score tap-ins and headers and he’s dangerous from pretty much everywhere in or around the box. He’s not lightning fast but can hold up the ball and his technical abilities are very underrated. He’s a one man army these days. And if he doesn’t score, then he creates danger by simply being on the field and luring defenders away from Perotti, Radja or El Shaarawy.
Edin still has a long road ahead to catch up the likes of Volk, Montella, Delvecchio or Balbo, but he’s on fire right now, who knows where he could end in the all-time rankings of AS Roma? Völler, Mancini and Vucinic are already in his sights and he needed a lot less games to equal their record. It’s a shame Edin’s 31 already, imagine if we bought him when he was 26 or so.
Yet Dzeko’s enjoying life in Rome at the moment and looks fitter and more confident than ever. He’s like a fine wine that ages well. Can he make the mark of 100 goals in a Roma jersey? Maybe, but then he needs to stay for at least two more seasons after this one. Something I don’t disapprove and a lot of tifosi with me I suppose. There are no more doubters, only believers. Dzeko answers with his feet and that’s (pardon the pun) quite the feat.
Although it’s Autumn, the Garden of Edin is blossoming like never before.