Far be it from me to compare myself to any Roma player, or professional athlete for that matter, but my own stance on the Luciano Spalletti to Eusebio Di Francesco transition seems to have mirrored Daniele De Rossi’s. The one giant and obvious difference is that DeRossi has access to the inner-workings of the club, whereas I spout off from behind a keyboard an ocean away. And today that marked difference paid dividends, as De Rossi shed some light on Spalletti’s spectacular and controversial final season at the helm.
In some ways his exit was as ugly as his return was triumphant, casting a pall on a record breaking season and tarnishing the final season of Francesco Totti in one fell swoop, points to which De Rossi spoke earlier today:
Spalletti made a mess last season. As you know, there was a particular atmosphere with Francesco [Totti] and we all suffered a bit. Still, I also want to point out the goodness of his work.
I was right to say that replacing Spalletti would be difficult...However, I didn’t say it was impossible. This has been shown by our journey [under Di Francesco], and our the results are there for all to see,
It seems to me that Di Francesco’s first six months have been our best, first six months ever. Even Spalletti didn’t do so well on his return.
Pretty solid points from De Rossi all around. Lost amid all the cantankerous rhetoric in the Spalletti vs EDF debate was the fact that the Bald One not only rescued Roma from the Garcia Stain, but ushered in a record-breaking season during 2016-2017, one that, unfortunately, pushed Totti to the sideline and may have contributed to his “retirement” (remember, CdT policy dictates that must always be in quotes), creating the mess to which De Rossi referred.
Nevertheless, as De Rossi correctly pointed out, that shouldn’t color Spalletti’s return as wholly negative; he brought back belief and a bag full of results, turning Edin Dzeko into a Capocannoniere and Juan Jesus into a viable component of a title-contending side, while his comments on EDF carry equal weight; he may not have brought with him the same romanticism as his predecessor, but the results thus far have been no less impressive.
I suppose there isn’t much point in hashing over De Rossi’s words, but they are proof positive of how beautifully unchained this club is, and how, in the middle of his final season, Francesco Totti, an icon and the man without whom the club surely would have perished, was marginalized in the worst way possible yet the club achieved its highest ever point total, and how De Rossi, a man whose inability to restrain his emotions has put the club’s spot at the top of the table in peril, is seemingly the only one with enough insight and perspective to make sense of this mess.
This fucking club, I’ll tell ya’....I wouldn’t have it any other way.