Roman Ruminations

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Post by McLewis Mon May 05, 2014 1:50 am

So with the Serie A title race mathematically put to bed finally, I felt that this was the right time to celebrate the renaissance that Roma has had this season, something that no one (us Romanisti principally) expected.

I think you all know how Roma's season went last time around. You've read the blogs and the articles ad nauseum about how Zemanlandia took hold and had us scoring more goals than any other side in Europe (At one point anyway) while simultaneously shipping just under 2 goals a game to end at a tally of 56 shipped. As a Romanista who had never experienced Zeman's football before at this level and more importantly, as a lover of the tactics of the game, this was a very difficult season for me to watch. The abandonment of the defense to the mindless attacking was maddening. I was probably in the minority when I supported Andreazzoli coming in and at least establishing some semblance of stability with the rearguard. When we finally stopped conceding, for me it confirmed that it wasn't the players who were to blame, but the system. Enter Rudi Garcia.

When Rudi came to Roma speaking of how he wants to play attractive, expansive football, but still maintain a solid defense, I thought he was just paying lip service. I mean he was effectively Roma's 5th choice for a coach after Allegri, Mazzari, Blanc and Bielsa all came and went through the rumor mills. Oh how little I knew of the man, just as I'm sure other Romanisti can attest. Rudi didn't just fix this defense with a couple of excellent signings (looking at you Benatigol and Dougie Fresh), he performed intricate, life-saving surgery on it. He made players like Balzaretti and Castan face up to what happened in the Coppa final, one of the worst moments in recent Roma history. It was he who convinced De Rossi, a player who has publicly admitted to having to google him, to stay when he was probably the closest he's ever been to leaving Roma. And it was most certainly he who revitalized an old protege who had become the butt of jokes (still is whenever he misses tbf) all over the world in Gervinho. We all collectively shrugged our shoulders dismissively at Rudi's credentials, which included Lille's first ever Ligue 1 title. He's proven to be a master at taming the famously fiery Roman media that has chewed up purported Iron Men (had to be said, LE) and spit them out at the first sign of trouble. He has completely won the hearts and minds of the notoriously fickle Roma fans by simply winning the trust of his players very early on with his positive, creative thinking such as making all players go white water rafting during our retreat to Riscone di Brunico last season. That's the type of team-building and trust-structuring that was needed from players who looked like strangers last season. That's the Rudi Garcia who has led this team all season, constantly pushing them, even as we capitulated the ever-slim title hopes to a desperate Catania side fighting relegation.

That's the Roma we've come to know and love this season though and that's the Roma I had always hoped to see. This has always been a romantic club, concerned more with how we play the game than the results that we get from it. Like many other clubs who are on the cusp of being top tier, but just aren't there....I had grown accustomed the mental fragility of the defense and goalkeepers, the petulance of such a legendary players like Totti and De Rossi, the misfirings of our rotating wheelhouse of strikers up front and of course the panicking escapades of our upper hierarchy, constantly reactive and never proactive. This has changed this season with the rise of Jim Palotta as President, Walter Sabatini as Sporting Director and of course our guitar-playing Frenchman himself. Together they have put Roma on the offensive, both on and off the pitch. Many of you already know what's coming so no need to get into that. What's important here is that this signifies a pivotal shift in how Roma are approaching the game. This season was merely the beginning. It's hard to keep our feet on the ground after the football we've seen, but we still must remember even now: This is a project. This isn't the finished article.

Everytime we suffered like we did today, I remember Mark Pannes' (former CEO) wise words - "We are signing the world's best stars, they're just younger." We saw this manifest itself in the meteoric rises of some of the best young talent in Europe in the form of Miralem Pjanic, Mattia Destro, Kevin Strootman, Alessandro Florenzi, Dodo, Alessio Romagnoli and Adem Ljajic. They've all proven that they can play some serious ball in one of the toughest leagues around. I have no doubt they'll do it on the big stage next season as well in the Champions League. That's where it truly matters. That's where they leave behind the moniker of niche, hipster topics and truly become world class starlets. Pjanic has already tasted what that feels like. Now it's time for the others to step into that light. I have every confidence this can and will happen with them with Rudi at the helm and a solid core of veterans supporting and teaching them.

The Roma side you saw this season likely played the best football you may likely ever see from this club, better than the sides who actually did win silverware. The stats and point totals will attest to that. It's a proud, but ultimately bittersweet feeling considering that it ultimately came away empty-handed. That basically confirms just how strong Juventus have become and just how much more Roma have to grow as a team. Despite the promise many of these players have, they have very little experience in consistently winning tangible titles. This, not their ability on the pitch, separates them from the Juve players, who have long been accustomed to what it is to win silverware consistently. That winning mentality that champion teams have. It is simply not Roma's time.....yet. Don't be fooled by our loss today. The hunger is still there. It never left.

I've never been more proud and honored to be Romanista than I have been this season, considering what we've been through for so many years. Beyond all else, I feel vindicated and I feel hopeful, for the first real time in nearly a decade.

No one man deserves all the credit, but there is one man who absolutely should be singled out and I believe he'll get that recognition as Serie A Coach of the Year should Conte surprisingly fail win it.

It's a long read, lads. I don't blame you if you don't read it all. I hardly ever post like this anymore, but this felt like it was needed. Forza Roma!


Last edited by McLewis on Mon May 05, 2014 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Lupi Mon May 05, 2014 3:12 am

Even though i never figured what happened last year but i have this lingering feeling that Zeman was scapegoat.He wasn't baldini's choice and recently i read something that Garcia was told that AVB rejected Roma because he didn't want to manage Totti. Its safe to assume that AVB was Baldini's first choice and Garcia was Sabatini's option. That however doesn't take anything away Garcia and this season even though on table we are second but we came along way from completing for EL spot to being as second. I just hope he stays and help us to restore the image of the league along with other two teams in CL.
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Post by Forza Mon May 05, 2014 3:31 am

I think Roma had a lot of great things come together extremely well for them:
1. Sold players who were not essential to the team for huge money (Lamela, Marquinho)
2. Were bankrolled by management who were willing to invest in future stars
3. Bought intelligently (Strootman, Benatia, Gervinho, Nainggollan, etc.)
4. Got an up and coming coach who knows how to win and play attractive football with BALANCE instead of all-out attack
5. Totti and DDR were brought into line with the rest of the team instead of acting like prima donnas
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Post by Khaled Mon May 05, 2014 3:43 am

Great season, really enjoyed lots of Roma's games this season. Going to be a great addition to the UCL next season. Hope they go far...

note: give us Benatia Sad
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Post by farfan Mon May 05, 2014 11:42 am

benatia is not going anywhere bro .
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Post by Art Morte Mon May 05, 2014 12:40 pm

Would be great to have Liverpool and AS Roma in the same CL group next season Cool

A very impressive 12 months from Roma on and off the pitch. The slump of the Milan clubs has left nicely space for the refreshing Roma and Napoli.
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Post by Dante Mon May 05, 2014 1:27 pm

Great post McLewis.

It's indeed the best Roma i've ever seen and Garcia has more than demonstrated his worth . A tremendous season by Roma , it's a real shame they didn't win Serie A in the end , but Juventus put everything they had at it , especially after their exit from the CL. Still , a bittersweet end it may be , but the future looks brighter than ever for Roma.

I am also very happy to see Roma in the CL again. I think next season it will be a great season for Roma , both in Italy and in the CL . Exciting times to be a Romanista , for sure .
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Post by Rossonero23 Tue May 06, 2014 1:09 am

nobody cares about roma.

i hope they don't embarrass italy in the cl. which is inevitable.
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Post by Lupi Tue May 06, 2014 1:46 am

Laughing you seem to care enough to say that
Rossonero23 wrote:
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Post by McLewis Tue May 06, 2014 2:05 am

Rossonero23 wrote:nobody cares about roma.

i hope they don't embarrass italy in the cl. which is inevitable.

Cool Story, Bro Thumbs up

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Post by Robespierre Tue May 06, 2014 2:36 am

Lupi wrote:Even though i never figured what happened last year but i have this lingering feeling that Zeman was scapegoat.He wasn't baldini's choice and recently i read something that Garcia was told that AVB rejected Roma because he didn't want to manage Totti. Its safe to assume that AVB was Baldini's first choice and Garcia was Sabatini's option. That however doesn't take anything away Garcia and this season even though on table we are second but we came along way from completing for EL spot to being as second. I just hope he stays and help us to restore the image of the league along with other two teams in CL.

AVB refused Roma when you took Zeman  . Roman rumours said me this.
It was not for Totti but because he wanted exorbitant demands.

Now, after EPL failures, probably he will be sorry for this. He's always said to not appreciate much  Serie A but well , I suppose the  Russian League is something of worse Laughing


About Roma, Rudi Garcia was the manager of the year in Serie A for me.
Credit to Juve and Conte for this record league of course, but Juve's scudetto was i in the logic of things.
Roma passed from being the squad more vulnerable in Serie A to be the most solid team. Considerable job by  Garcia over the results :. and If I think the first choiches for Roma were Mazzarri and Allegri..

It won't so easy to confirm because Roma is an inconsistent and tremendously humoral environment.
if we watch the last years it has always alternated a great year worthy of Scudetto to another mediocre year ... anyway  Garcia looks like a solid manager and so he can be the right man to provide stability.

Roma began to league in the spotlight and the fans still complained for final lost against Lazio ( some said Pjanic go home .... ) ... now Roma regained his fans ( this is the main merit this year of Garcia.  it seemed almost impossibile after  that moodiness born after Lazio final .. just to understand how the derby is felt in Roma ...the subscription campaign was a failure) and same fans expect much , a confirmation of this season

last summer Napoli of Benitez was rated as the main antagonist for Juventus but it was Roma, we will see this summer how Roma will build the roster for double job Scudetto-Champions.
Garcia has asked to have a team equipped to face this. surely the Naingolaan's signing made to January with money of Bradley was a good start to reach this purpose.
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Post by Lupi Tue May 06, 2014 4:12 am

There is a lot of passion surround this club, That can be help and hindrance at the same time. There are still some Romanisti who want pjanic out after a rather average game, being Roman is always an advantage in the club and no one denying that. Seeing foreign players leaving the club after having a successful campaign makes me sick in the stomach and more is some make sure that they let you that they support other teams. That doesn't make me to question their ability as a player, their loyalty maybe.In the business football royalty seems to vanish in the exchange for paycheck but not every 16 years old roman kid turn to be Totti. Garcia started by calling critiques as Lazio fans, even though most weren't actual critiques and it was more an outburst. It is still a case of financial planning like before, the Americans went with the right business strategies till now, they made the base of the foundation now its time to build on that.
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Post by McLewis Tue May 06, 2014 11:22 am

Agree with Lupi. Roma's passion has been its greatest strength and equally its greatest weakness. That's why this club is the ultimate club for football romantics. There is something inherently dramatic, ironic and often ultimately tragic about how Roma goes about its seasons, this season being a prime example. It's captivating stuff, truly and it's why I remain a fan even when the results aren't always there. Win or lose, this remains one of the most entertaining clubs in world football. There's never a lack of storylines here.

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