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Rome Was All Good Just a Week Ago

We dust off a Jay Z classic as Paulo Fonseca discovers why Roma has fired over 70 coaches in just over 90 years.

AS Roma v Bologna FC - Serie A Photo by Silvia Lore/Getty Images

It’s funny what seven days can change. The Italian media now speculating over a ritiro being called, after Roma let 16 goals past Pau Lopez in the last 8 games. Fonseca’s Roma are only one point better off than EDF’s men were at this same time 12 months ago, with a worse goal difference, goals scored and just as many goals conceded. We’ve seen this picture many times before.

Just last week, we could have said Paulo Fonseca is the best coach Roma are going to get for a long time. And the evidence points to that still being true.

He’s restored the midfield, raised the amount of possession seen in the opponent’s penalty area (205 passes completed from within 20 yards to the opponent’s goal this season so far - only Lazio have done better) and, even if Roma are still the worst of the big Serie A teams (except Milan at Atalanta) at beating the opponent’s pressing, Fonseca has restored Roma’s press-resistance to highest levels it has ever enjoyed over the last decade (Roma complete an average of 12.13 passes for every opponent defensive action this season - that’s good by Roma standards).

In short: the quality of football has been restored without the results to show for it. We could throw PPDAs and xGs at you all day, but we already covered the three problems Fonseca has to solve in 2020. For now, we’ll Eusebio Di Francesco, Davide Santon and Monchi remix Jay Z’s classic A Week Ago off the 90’s Hard Knock Life, as a cautionary tale of the blame game yet to roll around the capital for another era.

ACF Fiorentina v UC Sampdoria - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

‘Player swap plus cash, transfer masterpiece
We used to hustle the mercato good for all to see
Problems? I called on Jim, he called Monchi
They wasn’t quite partners, you’ve heard of Baldini

Met Ranieri in locked doors, off my keys
Yeah they spoke, MUCH MORE than cordially
Referees showed red quickly, team balance left swiftly
CL round of sixteen, and Coppa both fled quickly

Monch’ was quick enough to send Alisson over to Mersey City
Signed Olsen... and that’s when our relationship strained
Spent the rest on Pastore’s joints till he ran out of change
And when he sold Big Kev and Nzonzi came? I quickly accepted

But winter’s reached us all, Jim’s talking reckless
I could sense deceit in his tone
I said “damn Monch, what? De Rossi’s contract’s on hold?”
He said “DiFra... we’re working on a raise for Santon”
I just sat
Spat no more speech in the phone
That FFP’s up there bleaching your dome
You’re reaching

AS Roma v SS Lazio - Serie A Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

”Jim said the sales don’t stop, I got to keep keep on”
From there I sensed the beef was on
I ran to Trigoria to add some more features on my phone
To see if I had tre-quartistas on my phone
No midfield play, cos wingers is two-faced
And they’re sure to cut inside to catch some xG space
It’s on!’

AS Roma v SS Lazio - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

‘Like I put the toast to Inter’s head and made them sell
We both moved to right back, blind as hell
I did a little better, tackled more clientele
Told you win your goddamn headers, now you crying for bail

I was 17 when I was holding onto around a mill
I could foul out, blow trials and come around on appeal
Had Interisti thinking I’m the next Maldini for real
I had so much hustle, plus I was down to ill

Now that Smalling’s nickname, straight onto Paulo’s field
Down and dirty, down to defend, pushing thirty
The reason I’m on ‘Luca’s shoulder? Spinazzola’s knee cracked
Ronaldo’s up and down our flank
Like: “Where the f*ck is that Flo at?”

Granada v Valencia - Copa del Rey: Quarter Final Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

You came from teeth broke to letting the dough stack
You tell them Mestalla heads I said you’re never going back
I’m from Monchi, and Monchi don’t erase so fast
You know the consequences of your acts
You can’t be serious!’

Granada CF v Sevilla FC - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

‘The Corriere dello Sport said you scouting some names
All this after Friedkin’s a week in the game
I’m mad at myself cos the head scout said Erving was lame
I could have signed Hakim but wouldn’t speak a thing

Petrachi, this was the oath: to the top or broke
Even Franco’s fingers
Anything that got between us
We were supposed to cop the wingers
What happened to that?
Instead Malcom copped out to a misdeameanour
F*ck it

The same thing make you laugh, make you cry
The same game that make you maths could make you die
It’s a dice game and sometimes you crap
Who’d have thought Europe gets dropped one time, and rat

Gianluca Petrachi, director of football of Torino FC, looks... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

And you know that’s bad, when Francesco is mad
And Baldissoni gotta grow up like “THIS is my dad?”
The whistling from the Curva is a lifetime scar
The new stadium will always be in jail, Friedkin
Just minus the bars’

‘It was cool when you had hella cash to blow
With an over-age squad where you could keep the folks
I don’t see how this side of you could be provoked
It was all good just a week ago.