Following a month in which they were beset by injuries, November brought a bit of reprieve for Roma, as one-by-one they started to recover some of their walking wounded, welcoming back the likes of Lorenzo Pellegrini and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. On the balance of things, it was a pretty successful month (three wins in the league), but Roma's transgressions (losses to Parma and Borussia MGB) were pretty glaring.
But this was still a month in which Roma temporarily held third place, so in that sense, November had all the usual swings and roundabouts we associate with this club.
With that in mind, let's run back the eleventh month of the year!
Story of the Month: Friedkin Takeover Rumors
There were certainly more immediate and concrete developments in the Romaverse this month, but none are likely to have the same lasting impact as the well-founded rumors that Roma may change hands at some point in 2020. Initially viewed as merely a cry for investors, Roma's attempt to lure more interested parties soon morphed into a full-on takeover, with American Toyota tycoon Dan Friedkin reportedly keen on taking a majority share of the club as soon as January.
There are dozens of questions we'll ask if and when this comes to fruition, most of which revolve around how much money he'll put on the pitch and to what extent he can bring the Stadio della Roma to life, but no matter what he does or does not bring to Roma, the club being sold twice in an eight year span is remarkable and certainly worthy of being our story of the month.
Women's Recap: Upsets on the Pitch & Awards Off It
Roma entered the month of November riding a four-match winning streak, one that saw them score an upset over Fiorentina while outscoring opponents 12-1 over that span. However, as soon as the calendar flipped over to November, Roma's fortunes changed dramatically, as the Giallorosse dropped two of three matches during the month. While a loss to Juventus was probably expected, Roma's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Florentia was an upset in every sense of the word and scuppered their chances of going second on the table.
It wasn't all bad news in November, of course. Late in the month, Giada Greggi was named the top U-21 talent in the country by Tuttosport, an honor she will formally receive later this month in Torino. This was followed up several days later by the news that Manuela Giugliano was named female player of the year for 2018-2019, though that was technically December, so we'll cover that later.
It was a month in which Roma could have laid claim to second place, but they're still in the hunt.
High Point of the Month: Roma's Victory Over Napoli
Coming into the season, Roma weren’t expected to be in the same conversation as Napoli. However, as this match approached it became even more vital to Roma’s candidacy to finish top four. The Giallorossi needed a result against direct competition after drawing Lazio and Cagliari and losing to Atalanta earlier in the season. And get a result is just what Roma did in the one, as the Giallorossi topped the Partenopei at the Olimpico.
The 2-1 victory was Roma’s third straight in league action. The Giallorossi were led by Nicoló Zaniolo, who was in sizzling form in the month of October. Credit to the Giallorossi back line which held Napoli to just a late goal, despite Gianluca Mancini playing midfield and Mert Cetin making his debut at CB. Since this loss Napoli has continued to struggle — making Roma’s top 4 chances look even better.
Low Point of the Month: The Defeat to Borussia MGB
There’s never been a greater kick in the stomach than losing a football game in the dying moments of injury time. You’d think Roma were prepared for it, given that ‘Gladbach had nicked a similar late, late goal (albeit in contentious circumstances) away to Roma in the reverse fixture. But that didn’t stop it from happening again in Germany.
This loss was everything Roma did not need in November: it stopped the Giallorossi from qualifying from the group stage and putting their Europa League concerns to bed for the winter, it robbed Roma of their place at the top of their group, and the crappy feeling from the Germany defeat followed Roma into their weekend fixture on the same week. Roma then lost away to Parma days later. Deflating Thursday evening losses can do that kind of damage to your league form.
Goal of the Month: Gianluca Mancini vs. Brescia
Skor Akhir Pertandingan AS Roma Vs Brescia 3-0 Dalam Laga Liga Italia Serie A 24 November 2019 Chris Smalling menjadi bintang kemenangan Roma dengan sumbangan satu gol dan dua assist untuk gol yang dicetak Gianluca Mancini dan Edin Dzeko. Kunjungi https://t.co/6NcboO5Gd5 pic.twitter.com/DFwFJIqNno— GrupTemanAsia (@GrupTemanAsia) November 24, 2019
When teams shut up shop against you, you’re going to need all eleven players to chip in on the offensive end to keep going. That’s exactly what happened at home to Brescia, on a day where Chris Smalling near-singlehandedly stepped up as Roma’s greatest attacking threat in this 3-0 victory.
The second goal is assisted by Smalling to none other than his defensive partner Gianluca Mancini. Smalling calls for Kluivert to deliver a cross on the far side over to Smalling, who jumps on cue to knock down the ball for Mancini. From then on, credit to Mancini for the instinctive finish to put this ball fast and high into the roof of Brescia’s net. Both centre halves celebrated this goal together as their understanding at the heart of Roma’s defence (and attack) reaches new heights.
Hero of the Month: Lorenzo Pellegrini
It's amazing what a fractured foot can do to make people realize how important you are. With Roma's creator-in-chief sidelined for nearly two months, Roma's attack was missing its main man behind the wheel. Call it coincidence if you must, but without Pellegrini in tow, Roma were held to one goal or less in four of their six matches in his absence.
Pellegrini made up for that lost time rather quickly, though. Since returning on November 24th against Brescia, Pellegrini has chipped in four assists in four matches. There's a reason we were so excited when he returned from his time away at Sassuolo—this kid is the real deal and looks a safe bet to be the next Roma torch bearer.
Out of Context CdT Tweet of the Month
Antonio Conte career highlights:— Chiesa di Totti (@chiesaditotti) November 22, 2019
Scudetto winner (player and manager)
Premiership winner (manager)
Sex advice columnist (self-published)
He truly is a renaissance man.
The women's slip up against Florentia and the men's defeat to Parma notwithstanding, November was a pretty encouraging month all around as both senior sides found better health and shored up some areas of concern.
With both squads in the thick of Champions League hunts, it will be critical to end the calendar year on a high note. So let's hope for a perfect December.
Until then, Forza Roma!
What as your story of the month?
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Friedkin takeover rumors
Greggi named best U-21
Smalling & Mancini's continued excellence