Priorities are important for any kind of success because it can show what has more relevance at short, medium and long term. So when Roma pulled off the Classic Roman Capitulation a couple of weeks ago, losing against Lazio in Coppa Italia, against Napoli in Serie A and Lyon in the Europa League, it became the time to establish some priorities in the season.
Roma was never going to win the minor treble and I think we can all agree on that one; the squad is just too thin, Spalletti has never been a fan of rotation and the squad is perhaps lacking a bit of a winning mentality, but this last part is just speculation. So the time has come for the club to answer the following question: Which competition is the most important for Roma right now? Let's take a look.
Winning the Scudetto has been in the minds and hearts of every single Roma fan after so many second places and so many times being the bridesmaid instead of the bride. It's only natural to crave for excellence and to be the best when you always to happen to be so close yet so far. And it doesn't make things better to watch J winning it every single time with petulant ease, referee polemics aside.
If we speak just on football aspects, Roma has the talent and the squad to challenge ol' J for the S word, but the team's habit for weird self-destructions in "easy" matches (the now classic Roma Happens) and lack of proper rotation has made the battle for the Serie A an uphill quest from this point on: Roma is a great team, don't kid yourself, but Juventus has a superior squad and it's less irregular than his rivals from the capital, as we speak.
If you ask this writer, Serie A should be the least of Roma's priorities because the team has enough talent on its bench (Rui, SES, God, Paredes, Grenier and now a somewhat useful Juan Jesus) to win several matches and while at full speed it may not be enough to defeat Juventus, a half-gas Roma, albeit one with some rotation thrown in there, can secure a second place (AGAIN) and bring Champions League football (and more money) to the capital.
The defeat against the goats on the first leg of the semifinals was a sour taste on everybody's mouth and it showed the worst of this side: too relaxed, too weak on the ball and losing focus on key moments. It was a showing of the worst attributes this club has and the proof that Roma is still a bit too far to challenge for titles on a consistent basis if this sort of careless performances keep happening (more on this in the upcoming section).
Having said that, while Roma is capable of disastrous matches, it's also a team capable of playing like the best in Europe on their day. A 2-0 deficit is a tough ordeal, but things can change a lot in a month and a team with the likes of Radja, The Bosnian Bomber, Salah, Strootman, Emerson, Peres, God, SES and a couple more can crush Lazio 3-0. In fact, this team has defeated these goats recently by similar scores and with solid defending by Manolas, Rüdiger and The Caveman Fazio, it can happen again.
From a pragmatic point of view, the Coppa is the shortest path for Roma to win a title and it's still is, but it requires the team to have a perfect day against Lazio. These players and this manager have it in them for this task; the problem is that one mistake can damn us all (enters Thomas Vermaelen).
Just like in the Coppa Italia against Lazio, Roma capitulated in the worst possible manner against a spirited Lyon side after turning it around; losing 4-2 with a badass celebration from Lacazette (wouldn't mind having him at Roma, to be honest).
Also in a similar fashion to the Coppa scenario, Roma has the firepower, the tactics and the players to pull off a comeback against the Frenchmen, but it requires the same level of focus and hard work that sometimes seems to evade the club in crucial times; regardless of the players and managers, Roma Happens. Well, in a match of this nature, if the team wants to show they are a serious candidate for the title, then a massive comeback is a must. Nobody wanted to be here, but now it's time to pull off this together.
Europa League is the best option for Roma to win a title, because the Italian team can face Juventus and Napoli in the hypothetical Coppa final while on this tournament, only Manchester United, a wildly inconsistent team on their own, and Lyon, Roma's current opposition, posed as a real threat for their title aspirations. The rest of the teams while no pushovers (Ajax, Celta, Anderlecht and such), are a level under Roma in terms of quality and talents. BUT you can never be sure with Roma; that's a life lesson.
And besides, if these players need a motivation, they just need to look at the bench and see the forty year-old God who deserves to hang his boots with a trophy or two more on his cabinet. Francesco Totti has given his all for Roma during more than two decades; he deserves these players give their all for just a couple of more months.