If you’re, like me, a devout Christian (well, more or less), you’ve probably heard of the Deadly Sins or Cardinal Sins. There are seven in total. They’re not exactly something to be proud of. They can even cause some serious damage (Brad Pitt in Se7en, anyone?).
But hell, we as Roma fans have been suffering ever since 1927, so why not take a closer look at our club’s very own Deadly Sins? Hold on to your Bible, Koran or Kama Sutra because here they come…
Immediately a nice one that suits Roma. Lust. Longing. Desire. An unbearable feeling of wanting to hang out with the big boys. Longing for trophies, prizes, fame. An almost sexual (for me at least) desire for that tenth Coppa or fourth Scudetto. Roma wants to be a top club in Europe. They so desperately want to be one. But it makes them blind and their lust for success actually stabs them in the back. It just isn’t the right time and right place.
Big words during press conferences about titles and beating Juve. How long has it been since our last prize? More than 10 years. And 2019 hasn’t even begun or we’re looking at another trophy-less year. The desire, the lust almost becomes worrisome. Disturbing. The fans are getting impatient. The players are frustrated. The board is nervous. How long has it been since the takeover, 7-8 years? This American ownership is so focused on a prize that it does inexplicable things.
Over consumption. Insatiable. Mainly due to the lust of number one. Roma tends to overpay for someone. Panic buys, wrong scouting, bad in negotiations… There are plenty of examples: Doumbia, Schick, Peres, Nzonzi, Iturbe, Pastore, Defrel, Karsdorp, Gerson, etc.
Roma has broken the bank a couple of times lately, rarely with success. Yet they had to do it. They felt an urging need to act swiftly, act quick on the market. It made them do foolish things. Made them throw money out of the window like a berserk. What a shameful waste.
A logical third step, after Lust and Gluttony. You long for something, so sometimes you do stupid things in order to get it. Between 2001 and 2008 Roma had some great and exciting periods. There was obviously the Scudetto under Capello, and the two Coppe Italia and Supercoppa under Spalletti. The shift to 4-2-3-1 and later 4-6-0, Totti’s best years, the magical Champions League nights against Valencia (0-3) or Bayern (3-2), but fast forward ten years after Roma’s last Coppa and suddenly we’re back to square one.
Not so long ago we had a Champions League semifinal yes, it will always be fondly remembered by the fans. And finishing in front of Chelsea and Atletico in a group. But what has it all done to our Roma? The greed. Perhaps it did more damage than good. The need for more success and more prestige on the international stage. It doesn’t stop. The club has changed. The fans have changed. We’re simply not happy with a European ticket anymore. No, we want the CL every season and preferably the quarters at the minimum. And preferably a fight for the Scudetto until the very end. And oh why not, a Coppa so we can celebrate the treble!
Aren’t we all too exacting? Roma’s one point behind a CL spot and still we’re demanding heads, a ritiro, a change of sporting director and stuff. Why can’t we just be happy we’re not eight or tenth like in 2005? That we’re still in the running for top 4 and have amazing talents like Zaniolo, Pellegrini or Ünder at our disposal? Or Roman born and bred guys like Dani and Florenzi. Maybe Roma reached its ceiling and we need to address the current situation in a calm manner. Far from all the greediness.
Laziness. Slowness. Complacency. Sluggish. You know this is the case when you see some of the player's behavior on the pitch.. Cristante, Schick, Dzeko, Kolarov, Fazio, Manolas and I’m omitting a lot of others. This one has a lot to do with the (finally, here we are) mental state of the team. And boy, I know some psychiatrists who would love to take a shot at the brain of Roma players and staff. Especially after the Fiorentina loss.
Why are some players under performing? Why do Kolarov, Fazio or Cristante suddenly look like Serie B material? Where’s the Pastore of 2010? Where are Dzeko’s goals? I bet there’s some serious patching up to do for EDF and Monchi. Roma needs a new wind, a change in mentality. Best part of it all? This is a tough one to heal and could take ages.
Annoyance. Outrage. Hot temper. Yeah, sounds like my Roma. Rome’s a hot city and I’m not talking about the weather or the seductive spring fashion. There are the various VAR incidents, Dzeko spitting, EDF punching a whole in the dug-out, … And jeez, I’m forgetting the fan aggression at Trigoria or in bus stations. No eggs in Rome are safe after a loss.
Roma has a hot-headed fan base which is quickly annoyed when things don’t go their way. I think if there ever was a measuring device for frustration, it would break through the roof in and around Trigoria. Of course this goes hand in hand with the greed and lust for championships and trophies and ironically those seem unreachable at the moment. People badly want Roma to be perfect, to be a winner, the Barcelona of Italy. However the ugly truth is we’re a bunch of frustrated fans waking up every weekend hoping for a win only to watch our favorite club throw away 0-3 leads or lose 7-1.
And why exactly are we so annoyed? So full of wrath? Because we’re jealous. Well, the club AS Roma is jealous. In the last ten years every big club in Italy bar Roma has won something worth mentioning. Napoli and Lazio: the Coppa Italia. Milan: Serie A. Juve and Inter: both. Some smaller clubs have also achieved great things, things Roma can only dream of. Montpelier and Monaco won a title in France. Leicester won a title. Wolfsburg won a title. Sevilla shone on the European stage. They’re not ‘bigger’ than Roma, yet they got their names written in football history.
Roma desperately want to be in the limelight too, just like Napoli or Juve. They want a piece of that yummy pie, by any means necessary. To be honest, Roma fans are fed up talking about the Scudetto in 2001. Yawn. We’ve done it for thousands of days now, it becomes boring. Bragging about something that happened 18 years ago? Please. Roma needs a new highlight.
Jealousy hardly turns into something good. In fact it turns into hate. There was the grudge against Inter Milan during calciopoli or the lost Coppa final against Lazio. Or between 2013 and 2015 when Roma looked like Juve’s only rival for the Scudetto, only to see the Bianconeri finish 15+ points ahead of the rest. To watch Chiellini or Radu lift a tropy while De Rossi and Totti left the stage in tears… It hurt Roma fans so much the scars will never heal.
Of course, all these previous sins exist because we all love Roma so damn much it’s a burden. After a win we’re flying higher than Icarus, thinking we are the best of the world. After a loss we want to put our heads deep in the sand and break something (objects or humans) in our vicinity. God we’re such an emotional bunch of children.
AS Roma thinks it’s superior to the likes of Spezia, Plzen, Cluj, Fiorentina, Slovan Bratislava, Middlesbrough, Torino, SPAL and co., but each of those sides has kicked our asses and left us in shambles. Time and time again. We’ll never learn. Still, life goes on. A couple of days later and we’re already looking ahead to the next game which can go either way with Roma. It can make our lives miserable or let us jump for joy.
Remember how proud we all were that night against Barcelona? The celebrations between players, staff? Pallotta jumping into a fountain? That’s pure. That’s gold. And while pride may lay the foundations for those six other sins, it’s something that connects us all. From Monchi to Eusebio to Florenzi to me, Bren, all of you.
We are all Roma. Together, we are the Seven Deadly Sins.