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An EDF About Face: When Eating Crow Tastes Delicious

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I was wrong about EDF and I’m happy to admit it.

AS Roma v SS Lazio - Serie A Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images

Just last week, I thought we had EDF dead to rights for effectively killing Roma’s season and it was only September. As much as I believed that he wasn’t the only culprit, I thought he had to go in order to save the season. He was the obvious scapegoat. I let it be known right here on CdT.

However, now just over a week later, I sit here happily eating crow and admitting that I rushed to judgement. Based on what Roma has done in the three games since my piece was published, suggests that EDF has figured it out. In those three, Roma thrashed Frosinone 4-0, won the derby 3-1, and pummeled Plzen 5-0. The +11 goal differential speaks for itself.

Whatever work was done during the lock down at Trigoria has seemed to work miracles in many regards. For one, the players look more fired up and motivated after many looked lackluster during the early season swoon. He’s got the players playing for him again, and Roma is reaping the benefits.

My biggest criticism of EDF was that the team looked disjointed; similar to what happened at times last season. The pieces weren’t fitting together. It was as if he was trying to put square pegs into round holes. That has changed quickly, as EDF has moved away from his beloved 4-3-3 and moved to a 4-2-3-1, which better fits Roma’s personnel.

No longer is EDF trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Instead, the Roma tactician has begun aligning each piece of the jigsaw puzzle into the proper places. Each piece has fit perfectly. Tactically, EDF has looked like a mastermind in the three games since the switch, as it has brought out the best of his individual players’ characteristics.

There has been no bigger beneficiary to the tactical switch than Lorenzo Pellegrini. The young Roman arrived with high hopes last season and produced mixed results. However, Pellegrini looked like he had taken two steps back in his development to open the season. This was a cause of great concern to me, as it seemed many of the youngsters weren’t developing under EDF’s tutelage. Now, the derby hero has had two man of the match level performances, while playing in the trequartista role in place of the injured Javier Pastore.

Additionally, Roma is able to play its two most experienced midfielders, Daniele De Rossi and Steven N’Zonzi at the same time without forcing N’Zonzi into an unnatural mezz’ala role. This has in turn benefited Roma’s defensive record. Those are just a few examples of how EDF has begun plugging the right players into the right roles.

Along, the lines of youth development. It was concerning to me that Ivan Marcano was starting out of position at left back rather than giving Luca Pellegrini a shot. Now with Roma producing such convincing wins, some of the uber-talented youngsters like Luca Pellegrini and Nicolò Zaniolo have been allowed to see game action. This game action will be invaluable down the line.

Now that EDF has seemingly addressed my concerns in the past week or so, Romanisti everywhere will hope that the trend continues. As I tweeted immediately after watching Tuesday’s win, I am more than happy to continuing eating crow to see Roma succeed. In fact, I’d much rather that than to say “I told you so” and watch Roma fail.