The main news of yesterday in Serie A was Juventus winning their ninth-straight Scudetto, but although that will undoubtedly be remembered for far longer than Roma’s 2-1 victory over Fiorentina, it also oddly doesn’t feel like news. Juventus winning Serie A has gotten so rote that I honestly forgot they could clinch the title by beating Sampdoria; all we can hope for is somebody, anybody to make sure they don’t go for ten in a row.
In more interesting news, the Giallorossi found a way to defeat a club that showed defensive prowess and had not lost a match in their past six. Let’s take a look at who in the Romaverse shone, and who in the Romaverse stunk.
Jordan Veretout (Obviously)
There wasn’t much of a point in putting out a Man of the Match poll last night; anyone with a functioning set of eyes (or ears, I guess, if you listen to Roma on the radio) could tell you that Jordan Veretout was the difference-maker for the Giallorossi. The Frenchman’s two converted penalties against Pietro Terracciano gave Roma the lead twice, once right before half-time, again in the twilight minutes of the match. Considering how much difficulty the Giallorossi often had in creating chances against a strong Fiorentina defense, it’s not far-fetched to say that without Veretout, Roma doesn’t win this match.
Veretout also showed off his ability outside of converting penalties at the Olimpico last night. He consistently found attacking players like Edin Džeko in dangerous areas, and his forward momentum combined neatly with Amadou Diawara’s calm control of the more defensive midfielder duties. It’s really interesting that Veretout hasn’t found his way into the French national team’s set-up just yet, but if he can continue to impress for Roma, don’t be surprised if he gets a call from Didier Deschamps.
Amadou Diawara hasn’t had the best luck with injuries so far with the Giallorossi, but when he’s gotten on the field, he’s showcased his talent and potential nearly every time he’s played. Last night’s match was no different; WhoScored gave him a 7.4 rating, second only to his French partner in midfield. The Guinean’s seven tackles, two dribbles, and 85% pass completion rate is what you need to balance out a more attacking-minded midfielder like Veretout; he might not show up as frequently on the highlight reels, but his excellence is crucial to the continued success of the Giallorossi this season.
Džeko’s Body Language
Edin Džeko is an excellent player, and more that that, he’s one of my favorite players to play for Roma since he arrived. He will continue to climb his way up the club’s all-time goalscoring table, and it’s more likely than not that he’ll finish his career in Rome as the Giallorossi’s third best scorer of all time. Yet there’s been an elephant in the room surrounding the Bosnian Diamond for the past season, and it has reared its head even more in the past few weeks: Džeko is not exactly captain material, armband notwithstanding.
When he’s not scoring, Džeko often looks disinterested on the field, barking at younger players if they don’t defer to him and simply not acting as a strong leader for the Giallorossi. This is not to take away from his ability as a player at all; it’s just that some players are not meant to be captains, and Džeko probably isn’t meant to be one. For my money, I’d rather have Aleksandar Kolarov, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Gianluca Mancini, or even Nicolò Zaniolo take the armband starting next season. If Alessandro Florenzi returns to the club, even he might be a decent choice for the captaincy. I just don’t think giving Džeko the armband does much to raise the spirits of the squad, and that was on display again last night.
Be sure to let us know what you think about last night’s match against Fiorentina in the comments! Who shone, who stunk? As we’re nearing the restart of silly season, who do you think the Giallorossi should bring in to supplement the work of our saints? Who do you think might be a good replacement at captain for Džeko, or should he keep the armband?