Ask yourself, what’s the one thing you want most in the world? Like, REALLY want the most? A PlayStation 5? A cure for corona? ABBA to make a comeback? A date with Borat? Your own private beach in the Bahamas? World peace? Not have to wait 10 frikkin’ years for the next James Bond movie (yes, I’m a big fan)?
No. This week, I finally knew what to pick. I’d love AS Roma to NOT part ways with its goalkeeper coach Marco Savorani. You know, the guy who made Alisson a stud and brought the best out of Woj Schneznyeysomething and Mirante. A true legend in my eyes. There are reports 55-year-old Savorani could leave Roma at the end of this season as his contract expires in June and, get this, the overall quality of the goalkeeping at Roma hasn't been the same over the past two years. Wait, where is my pitchfork?
Let’s start at the beginning: Savorani has been at Roma since 2014 when he started as goalkeeper coach for the Primavera team alongside Alberto De Rossi. After some more than decent results and winning the 2015-2016 championship, he got promoted to the first team in 2016.
Savorani has worked under four different trainers since 2016 (Ranieri, Spalletti, Di Francesco, and Fonseca) and during all this time he worked miracles with Roma’s goalkeepers. To say that Roma delivered the best goalkeeping in the league between 2016 and 2018 under Savorani wouldn't be an exaggeration.
In Savorani’s first season, Woj was our undisputed number one, playing all 38 Serie A games en route to a second-place finish behind an unstoppable Juve with a massive 87 points. However, Woj's loan was set to expire and it was Juventus, not Roma, that eventually bought him for a mere €12 million (excluding bonuses). Little did we know there was an even better goalkeeper sitting on our bench. The very next season Alisson shot to fame, took Serie A and Europe by storm, and was hailed as Roma’s best keeper in ages by fans.
Roma reached the Champions League semis, Alisson performed miracles left and right but unfortunately for his coach Savorani, the Brazilian would leave as quickly as he rose to fame, sold to Liverpool in the summer of 2018. Money wins again. And Savorani lost his best keeper for the second consecutive season. Painful. Sad.
But hey, don’t worry, Monchi quickly found a replacement...Robin Olsen. By now, I think Olsen’s career at Roma speaks for itself (hint: he’s not at Roma anymore). Very few highs and a lot of lows. Fuzato was another fresh face, of whom fans are secretly hoping he will turn into Alisson 2.0. We’re still waiting. And then there was good old Mirante...
36-year-old Mirante was meant to be Olsen’s deputy but when Ranieri took over from EDF, he quickly changed the hierarchy: Mirante would end the season as Roma’s number one between the sticks, being quite a reliable keeper as well. I mean Mirante’s no Alisson or Buffon, but he’s a more than a decent keeper, consistent, and with a lot of Serie A experience under his belt. Surprisingly, he did a damn good job and even became a fan favorite. Savorani could finally redeem himself after the Olsen disaster.
Surely, Roma would keep the chemistry going with Mirante as their number one and address other positions in dire need of reinforcement? Of course not! Enter Pau Lopez.
Just like Robin Olsen, I think Paw Paw ‘Catalina Wine Mixer’ Lopez’ career in Rome speaks for itself: 42 not too convincing appearances in 2019-20 and struggling under the weight of a €23.5 million price tag, one-third of Alisson's eventual price. Pau never really justified that amount and looks uncertain in most games. This season Mirante returned as the starter in Serie A while Pau Lopez had to ‘enjoy’ himself in the Europa League or when Mirante was injured. Quite the statement from Fonseca.
So let’s recap a bit: Savorani worked wonders with Woj and Alisson but both left for greener pastures. Marco twice got a poisoned chalice with Olsen and Lopez but redeemed himself with the renaissance of Mirante. Really, how much can you ask from one guy?
And now, Roma’s management reconsiders Savorani’s future because the past two seasons our goalkeepers’ performances have dropped? Well, for starters stop giving away our best keepers for God’s sake! And think twice before bringing in a substitute. Olsen never played outside Scandinavia apart from 11 games with Greek ‘powerhouse’ PAOK while Pau Lopez was way too expensive and a 100% gamble after only one decent season at Real Betis, the Udinese of Spain.
Well, I say to hell with world peace, ABBA, or the PlayStation 5. Nothing would make me happier than seeing Savorani extend his contract at Roma and prove his doubters wrong once again. Give him Silvestri, Cragno, Musso, Gollini, or Dragowski, he’ll get the job done.
Save Savorani. We’ll worry about world peace later.