The start to Roma’s season hasn’t gone as planned, to say the least. First, an administrative error resulted in a 0-0 draw becoming a 3-0 loss; then, two goals from Jordan Veretout were squandered against Juventus due to poor defending. Tomorrow, Roma travel to the Stadio Friuli to take on Udinese, where they hope they can find their first win of the season.
Can they finally get the three points they desperately need, or will Romanisti continue to be subjected to middling performances from Paulo Fonseca’s Roma?
Udinese vs. Roma: October 3rd. 20:45 CET/2:45 EDT. Stadio Friuli, Udine
Keep An Eye On
Ama- Ama-dou, Where Are You?
The #2 rated under-23 Giallorossi talent has had an interesting go of it recently. From the club accidentally registering him as an under-22-year-old (whoops) to Paulo Fonseca essentially shifting him to the bench and giving Lorenzo Pellegrini his role in the side, it’s been a rough week or two for the Guinean midfielder. Rumors even sprouted up that Diawara was looking for a move because of his perceived mistreatment, although those rumors have died away just as quickly given the short amount of time left in the transfer window.
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that for better and for worse, Lorenzo Pellegrini is an essential piece of Roma’s future plans. Despite arguably having similar levels of talent, the same cannot be said for Diawara; he’ll be a nice player to have in the side for a very long time, but if feathers get ruffled, there are certainly many many clubs that would try to gain his services. Given that, it’ll be interesting to see how Fonseca responds to Diawara’s agent and his comments on the field. Off the pitch, though, this is what Fonseca said:
Were you surprised by the comments of Amadou Diawara’s agent? He has asked for more clarity on the player’s situation…
“I have to admit I was, because Diawara has always played and he was one the players that learned the most last season. Diawara is a very important player for the team and for me and he’s working very well.
“There’s no problem with him. If his agent thinks he can get a rise out of me with comments like these, he’s much mistaken.”
We’ll have to see if Fonseca punishes Diawara for his agent’s comments, or if the Portuguese manager will recognize Diawara’s ability and return him to the starting lineup. If Diawara stays out of the starting XI, though, one has to wonder how long he has left in Rome.
Roma’s Blue Swede Returns?
Another interesting development in the Romaverse is the (possibly long-term) return of Robin Olsen, the first goalkeeper the Giallorossi bought to try to replace Alisson Becker. Olsen had a decent season on loan for Cagliari last season, and many thought that once he returned to Rome, he’d be sold off as quickly as possible to recoup some of his transfer fee. Yet Olsen is now back in the matchday squad with the #1 kit. Is this a result of Fonseca’s lack of trust in Pau Lopez, or is it simply temporary until a new permanent home can be found for Olsen?
How Much More Time Does Fonseca Have?
We’ve already discussed the Max Allegri rumors at length on CdT, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Roma’s start to the season hasn’t made Paulo Fonseca’s seat at Trigoria any less hot. Two draws in two matches (with one being turned into a loss) is not the kind of start The Friedkin Group would have dreamed of for their new purchase. Add in the fact that Dan Friedkin hasn’t been afraid to change up the management structure of the Giallorossi recently, and it’s clear that a couple more weeks of poor form might result in that Allegri hiring happening sooner rather than later.
Personally, I’m not sure how I would feel about a Fonseca sacking and an Allegri hiring; a lot of my opinion on the move would be informed by who they bring on as a Director of Sport. Regardless, a big win against Udinese would probably buy Fonseca a good amount of time at Rome. TFG trusted him enough to keep him on once they bought the club, so the logic follows that there’s at least a small chance they seem him playing a large role in the future of the club. Time’s ticking away, though.