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Totti Today: Stuck in a S(w)amp

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2018, please be gently to us...

AS Roma v UC Sampdoria - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

It had to happen sooner or later. Spalletti had to face it. Garcia. Enrique. Zeman. Even Capello. Hell, if Ancelotti or Guardiola were head coach right now, they too wouldn’t be safe. It’s crisis time in Rome after the double Sampdoria confrontation. Or should we say, Swampdoria. Because Roma’s head is just above the mud, barely breathing, on the border of suffocating, crying for help. Who’s gonna save the Giallorossi?

Before the Sampdoria setback, Roma were in a mini-crisis but still with the holy ‘game in hand’. Five games without a win? Meh, ok, can happen. Elimination from the Coppa? Meh, it’s a nice trophy and all but Champions League has the priority for the fans and management. Lazio was still behind us in the standings and Inter in third spot was in our sights. Roma was a bit sick yes, but it would surely get better in time and be ready to battle Inter, Lazio and even Juve and Napoli until the very end.

Then that 1/6 happened last week. And suddenly the house of cards tumbled down faster than Kevin Spacey’s career. The latest transfer woes didn’t help the club either. It seems we’re at a crossroads. Eusebio is safe, for now. Why push the knife even deeper in the wound in the midst of Serie A action? The coach is to blame, just like the players, staff, suits, everyone involving Roma. We simply can’t fire everybody. But some sort of shock therapy needs to happen. Shake things up.

Last Summer there was so much excitement around the city and expectations were high. Spalletti left but a promising Italian trainer took over. Transfer wizard Monchi entered the fray, after a hugely successful spell at Sevilla. Salah and Rudiger were sold, but Pellegrini returned home. Defrel, Moreno and Gonalons were (at the time) good and precise additions for the team. And then there was Schick, the prodigy for who Roma smashed a club record. Enough ingredients to at least make Juve’s life worse and challenge both the Bianconeri and Napoli.

Radja, Dzeko, Strootman, SES, Perotti... Where has all the geniality, grinta and killer instinct gone? For God’s sake, even Florenzi experienced his very own downfall last weekend when he missed a crucial penalty. No one’s immune for this crisis.

I don’t like that word btw. Crisis. It is used far too much and too soon in the football world. Look at Real, Dortmund or Arsenal. They’re not doing that better than Roma right now. But why do we use the word crisis? Mainly because Roma’s first part of the season looked so promising. Dzeko was once again banging in goals, the CL campaign reads like a fairytale and guys like Alisson and Kolarov were nice surprises. EDF looked like a badass in press conferences and people were enthusiastic.

Roma were quickly suddenly bombarded to Scudetto contenders, even tough they weren’t. They jusr found this groove and it was fun while it lasted...

The difference with the Roma of December and January is enormous. Heaven and hell. Literally. This is not something extraordinary, stuff like this just happens from time to time. Unfortunately Roma has had its fair share of doom and gloom and bad luck since its last Scudetto. This is just the next page in the great Roman book of fuck-ups. This club has always been some sort of weird Jekyll & Hyde persiflage.

At least Rudi Garcia’s honeymoon period last a bit longer than Eusebio’s one. Back in 2016 Spalletti turned things around and Roma were transformed. This time we’ll need to rely on the same trainer and players (there doesn’t seem to be much action this month, it’s already the 30th of January with zero incoming transfers) to drag Roma out of the swamp.

So thanks for the wake-up call, Swampdoria. Let’s hope this double confrontation means a new beginning for the club. If not, well... Just like in a swamp you never see where the real bottom lies. Roma might soon find out.