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Post by JespSwe on Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:25 pm

lol Roma plays way better with first team injured.
seriously though pellegrini / cristante or both shouldn't play in starting lineup. with them roma was leaking so much goals and get caught easily in counterattack but now they are rock solid in midfield with mancini pretty much doing the job.

Zaniolo is hitting top form also but roma is playing really well as a team.

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Post by McLewis on Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:06 pm

Missed the game today, but did get a look a both goals as well as Smalling's excellent clearance. This was a big win. All I want from this team is for them to keep the momentum up.
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Post by McLewis on Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:19 pm

Corriere dello Sport has reported that Dan Friedkin, the CEO of American consortium The Friedkin Group, continues to push to acquire Roma and wants to finalise his acquisition of the club within a month.

The American is currently locked-in negotiations with current Roma president James Pallotta, who is asking €750 million for the Giallorossi, though, the debts of €272 million must also be kept in mind. Talks between the parties will continue at the Studio Tonucci, Roma’s legal headquarters, and also in the United States. However, because negotiations could be more streamlined there – it’s likely that talks will more than likely take place in America, where the deal could close in a month, versus Italy, where it could take 3-4 months.

RomaPress – Talks between Houston-based consortium The Friedkin Group and Roma president James Pallotta are ongoing with the parties hoping to finalise the operation before the new year. The Giallorossi officially announced last week through a press release that they have entered talks with a potential investor – something they’re obligated to reveal given that they’re a publicly traded entity on the Italian stock exchange.

RomaPress has learned that one of the items in negotiations that Dan Friedkin, the CEO of The Friedkin Group, has continued to insist upon is that Roma’s management team stay intact: both from a business and sporting perspective. After having held extensive talks in recent weeks in the Italian capital, Friendkin has been left impressed by Roma CEO Guido Fienga and is keen on keeping him at the club should an agreement be found. The American would also prefer other members of the Giallorossi hierarchy remain at the club including Mauro Baldissoni, who has been linked to a potential exit, and sporting director Gianluca Petrachi.

So basically that's about all we know about the potential takeover that's apparently happening. Friedkin is CEO Gulf States Toyota Distributors, which owns 100+ Toyota dealerships across the South in the US and is based in Houston. Friedkin himself is a native of San Diego, CA. His net worth is about 4 times that of Pallotta.

It will be interesting to see if he's able to grease the right palms to get the stadium built, something Pallotta was unable to do. Personally, I'll settle for someone just fixing Trigiora so we don't lose half our squad to injury every season.
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Post by Duronto-Roddur on Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:55 am

"This summer, they (AS Roma) went for a more poignant approach by featuring missing children videos alongside their transfer announcements, with several featuring Lee."

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/49892443

Salute.

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Post by McLewis on Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:33 pm

Yeah Paul Roger's and our social media team are fantastic people. Immediately loved this campaign. It's so forward thinking.

I'd love for other clubs to join in.
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Post by McLewis on Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:17 pm

So bumping this thread as we've been a bit busy in the mercato.

- Florenzi is poised to leave for a dry loan with Valencia, as reported by journalists Austini and Biafora. He'll join them for 6 months, returning in the summer. This will likely mean Dzeko will assume the captaincy with Lorenzo Pellegrini as vice-captain.

I have some strong feelings about how he's been treated here by the tifosi ,given he sacrificed a lot for this club, and expressed them out on r/ASRoma. At this point, I just hope he finds happiness and respect wherever he ends up. Will for sure pick up a Valencia shirt with his name and number on the back. Since it's a dry loan, might end up a collector's item.

- Barca appear to have agreed terms with us on Carles Perez. The deal is a loan with obligation to buy set at 13.5m. Bonuses will probably push this up to 15m. The salary will be 2m a year. There is no buy-back clause, but Barca will have right of first refusal on a future sale.  He is expected to be Zaniolo's direct replacement and will battle it out with Under for the spot on the right in the trio behind Dzeko. Perez is already in Rome ahead of a medical and contract signing.

- Gonzalo Villar from Elche has also flown in and will sign a 4.5 year deal with the club paying Elche 5m for him. He's expected to bolster the midfield and fill in for Diawara.
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Post by McLewis on Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:51 pm

I think it's time for a position-by-position dissection of this squad to figure out why things have gone wrong and who's at the center of it.

Goalkeeper

Pau Lopez
Antonio Mirante
Daniel Fuzato

Probably our most solid position at this point? I mean yeah Pau Lopez has had some shaky performances and has made some truly mind-boggling mistakes, but he is not the reason for the current form. Not by a long shot. He's a better match for this team than Robin Olsen while also not being quite as good as Szczesny and definitely not on Alisson's level either. He's a competent shot stopper that is prone to a mistake or 2. With Mirante carrying injuries and Fuzato not in Fonseca's plans at all, Lopez's excellent fitness has been an unsung strength in the squad.

Full-backs

Aleksandar Kolarov
Leonardo Spinazzola
Davide Santon
Bruno Peres
Davide Zappacosta

One of the core positions at the heart of this crisis, as always when it comes to Roma. There are a few different schools of thought as to what role the full-backs are playing in this malaise. For me, I tend to think the loss of Florenzi is at least an indirect cause of the drop in form. He was not the player we needed him to be on the pitch, but he was still club captain and a 8-year veteran on this side. He's the last remaining player for the teams of Zeman and Garcia and as such a huge locker room presence. Many of us never really saw him as an on-the-field leader (that was more Dzeko), but given the listless mentality on display now, I'd posit he was definitely among the leaders off the pitch.

Tactically, the situation remains about as bad as its ever been. Kolarov is a wonderful element to our attack, but he is a clear liability defensively because he puts so much energy into attacking and no longer has the legs to get back on defense. That will be true no matter how many free kicks he scores. Santon suffers from simply being average and not much more than that. He will do well against sides that have no wing presence, but facing down even a competent winger, let alone a classy one, he struggles badly. The bright spots? Spinazzola has played with a real chip on his shoulder and has even provided good attacking presence as well on the left. Bruno Peres has returned to the club and is making a real go at making RB his. He still has good pace and can make a nuisance of himself on the attacking end, but defensively, he's no better than the others. He's had a few decent performances, but nothing to write home about. As always Roma find themselves in need of competent full-backs that can play 2-way football and not just be additional attackers. They have to know how to defend. Perhaps the return of Zappacosta, who I consider to be only marginally better than Florenzi, can help give us options, but when we have a player, especially a full-back coming back from an ACL injury, there's always going to be doubts about just how effective he'll be.

Center Backs

Chris Smalling
Gianluca Mancini
Juan Jesus
Federico Fazio
Mert Cetin
Roger Ibanez

The unit that I suppose we could say is likely part of the epicenter of this team's collapse. Up until 2020, Smalling and Mancini were among the best CB partnerships in the league. They exceeded everyone's expectations. Now? Again there are different schools of thought. One goes that the loss of Diawara in midfield led to a loss of protection in front given he did a good deal of defensive work in addition to his passing contributions. I'll get into more of that in the next section. The other school of thought is that our opponents have simply figured out how to exploit Fonseca's tactics on the 2nd leg of these Serie A fixtures, as tends to happen. Personally, I'm of the former. What's the most shocking to me is that both starters are not defending with detail. A sloppiness has seeped in their game that has led to many of these mistakes, making the issue purely a mental one. The pivot is super important in Fonseca's tactics. If even one part of it fails to perform, our CBs are exposed. That's what's happened here and they are not responding to it from a mentality perspective. They are completely shell-shocked. The signing of Ibanez, who was surplus at Atalanta, gives us depth, but I don't expect to see much of him. Cetin has been used more as a makeshift full-back and should've gone out on loan, but we couldn't find any takers, which is telling.

The Midfield Pivot

Amadou Diawara
Jordan Veretout
Bryan Cristante
Gonzalo Villar

The heart of the Roma version of Fonsecaball has always been the 2-man pivot. He made it clear that he needs 2 midfielders capable of quick passing to start attacks both with running and from deep as well as the ability to get back quickly to cover the backline. In Veretout and Diawara, he found the perfect players for that system. These 2 compliment each other so well in that regard so it's no surprise that when Diawara got injured, Veretout's form dropped off the map. Given that he's the less technically gifted of the 2, Veretout is really only left with the ability to make runs and maybe take shots from deep, but defensively he has left a lot to be desired. What makes Diawara such an integral part of this side is not just his physical ability, but his passing ability. He is perhaps the best passer in this side, even better than Pellegrini in my mind. That's what we're missing the most. With Pellegrini himself suffering out of form, there is no one else to pick up that slack. Cristante coming in should've helped provide at least temporary relief, but he is so far off the boil tactically that he's become an out and out liability. His red card couldn't have come soon enough. He needs time to reboot his thinking tactically. There's a great player somewhere in Cristante. I refuse to believe otherwise. There is hope for this position though. Diawara is still a couple of weeks away from returning and we do have a new addition to the midfield in Gonzalo Villar, who may yet be a useful option as well. Time will tell. What we need right now is Diawara though. We miss him more than any player not named Zaniolo.

The Attacking Trio

Lorenzo Pellegrini
Nicolo Zaniolo
Cengiz Under
Justin Kluivert
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Diego Perotti
Carles Perez
Javier Pastore

Beyond the defensive woes, the most obviously glaring issues Roma have right now is an alarming inability to not only create chances, but finish them. Dzeko's job primarily is to finish chances so I won't talk about that too much here. The responsibility of the central player in this trio (the 10) is purely to create chances. Pellegrini has made this position his very quickly, forcing the likes of Zaniolo into one of the wide positions. He's the undisputed best assister in the team and is among the best in Europe as well. His problem? Inconsistency. Tactically, he gets targeted a lot by the opposition coach as the player to stop in this side. De Zerbi and Mihajlovic did this extremely well and this nullified our attacking threat enough for their sides to exposure our weak underbelly for the kill. When Pellegrini is given space to operate, he can be a devastating player. Deny him that space and chances dry up. Fix this problem and we'll score more goals. On top of this, he only has Pastore to take up that position and he just can't stay fit long enough to add any input or influence.

Out wide, those positions have belonged largely to Kluivert on the left and Under on the right, given Zaniolo is injured. It's not in dispute that when fit, Zaniolo is the best winger we have and that's saying a lot given he's not a natural winger. Without him, we've lost that extra dimension of dynamism and unpredictability. It's clear that neither Kluivert nor Under are capable of consistently providing that element. Under is perhaps better at it, but not at the level needed. On his day, he can be extremely dynamic, but hasn't yet reached those heights under Fonseca. Kluivert is such a frustrating player due to his pace and dribbling ability, but has absolutely no end product behind it. He makes good runs off the ball and his defensively cover is getting better. He's incredibly shot shy for someone with the last name he has. That's perhaps the most perplexing. Beyond them, Mkhitaryan has just not been what has been needed given he can't stay fit nor can he truly impact games, Perotti is easily the best pure dribbler in the squad, yet he can't stay fit for more than a game or 2 so that really stymies his ability to build form. The signing of Perez from Barca should hopefully provide a fresh dimension to our wing play. He has already shown this against Bologna and probably the sole player who can hold his head up a bit. He needs time to understand Fonseca's tactics though so I won't expect much from him this season. From what little I've seen, he's going to be an excellent addition once he's up to speed.

Striker

Edin Dzeko
Nikola Kalinic

With Florenzi gone on loan, Dzeko is now the captain and leader of this squad. It's not a new position for him as he's been the de-facto leader on the pitch for sometime now. For me, he's a great striker. Among the best to ever play here. Like so many strikers, he goes through really rough patches of form. He has proven his ability to be absolutely deadly when in form, but when he's out of form his finishing is awful, as we're seeing now. Compounding that, however, is a significant lack of consistent service. That's a tactical problem that Fonseca will need to solve. The longer he goes without service, the worse Dzeko's form will get. Give him more service and chances to finish, his confidence will return and so will the finishing touch. And given that Kalinic is yet another player who just can't seem to stay fit and when he is fit, he just not able to affect the game in any meaningful way and that's down to just not being fit. It's a very chicken-egg problem.

Coach

Paulo Fonseca

That was perhaps a better 1st half to his 1st season than we had any right to expect from Fonseca. He deploys an attractive style of football with a lot of vertical passing, which leads to a lot of chance creation and goals. That hasn't manifested entirely as we're middling in terms of goals scored, but what has surprised me is the defensive stability. And Fonseca has engineered all of this with a constant spate of injuries, long term and otherwise. I can count on 1 hand how many times he's had a full squad at his disposal. It's got to be frustrating for him to constantly have to chop and change things around to accommodate a new injury. He's proven himself to have excellent tactical nous given he had the foresight to put a CB like Mancini in the DM position for a short while and not have it blow up in his face. I was cautiously optimistic about Fonseca at the beginning, but he's won me over entirely. I want to see what he can do with a fully healthy squad of the players he wants and needs. The very fact that we're just now beginning to see poor form now and haven't been seeing it early on is a testament to how well he's done. There's definitely something about this guy that's a bit special.
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Post by McLewis on Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:53 pm



They want to fire him because:

- He hasn't sold Pastore, Jesus and Perotti.
- Apparently he reacted angrily in the locker room after a bad result.
- The club aren't convinced by the signings of Ibanez, Perez and Villar as well as the return of Peres.

I get the concern over the wage bill. The rest though? Fucking hell.

Make no mistake about it. Firing Petrachi after not even a full season in charge is far worse than anything we've seen on the pitch this year.

It is unreal how impatient this club is.
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Post by Arquitecto on Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:04 pm

Honestly as much as I've liked Pallotta and his regime I fully consider them a failure along with his increasingly shaky and impulsive impetus that has resulted in not a decline, but absolutely no progress in his time as Chairman & Shareholder in Roma. We can name other ways in which he has been questionable if not disgraceful and clearly does not understand how things work in Italia let alone Calcio.

NESV foundation have been a resounding success in LFC but Pallotta's focus is too in and out to be considered a stable boat for Roma and the only things that look up are a few youth starlets in the team along with Fonseca, who too will inevitably be sacked given his misfortune with the squad.

I am skeptical if the new deal for ownership will happen for Roma and hopefully they can fulfil the promise of the new stadium to which has not even begun any ground beyond the (understandably difficult) political situation of the site.

Under him Roma have become a more globally aware club along with their social media team being amongst the best but time is up I say.


Its becoming tedious, how they operate and I wonder how long they will remain in this current flux under what seems an all too corporate feel.

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Post by McLewis on Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:11 pm

So Petrachi has been "suspended". Whatever that means.

Essentially, he's done at Roma. I'm not 100% sure what happened, but it appears he insulted Pallotta in private (through emails it appears).

At this point, I honestly no longer consider sporting director to be a position of any clout at this club. Hasn't been for a very long time honestly. It's purely ceremonial at this point. It truly doesn't matter who steps into that role given Baldini and Pallotta are controlling the role very tightly.

For me, Petrachi could've been the best one to step into the role as I liked his approach with the players, but he's quite a hot head at a club with very sensitive egos in our upper management. That doomed him unfortunately as there is no humility (or just basic ability to not hold grudges) in those levels.

So Morgan De Sanctis is about to step into the role. He's been a great servant to the club, but he's a puppet at this point. Nothing more.

And this was still Year Zero by the way. We never even made it to Year One.
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Post by JespSwe on Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:56 pm

@McLewis wrote:So Petrachi has been "suspended". Whatever that means.

Essentially, he's done at Roma. I'm not 100% sure what happened, but it appears he insulted Pallotta in private (through emails it appears).

At this point, I honestly no longer consider sporting director to be a position of any clout at this club. Hasn't been for a very long time honestly. It's purely ceremonial at this point. It truly doesn't matter who steps into that role given Baldini and Pallotta are controlling the role very tightly.

For me, Petrachi could've been the best one to step into the role as I liked his approach with the players, but he's quite a hot head at a club with very sensitive egos in our upper management. That doomed him unfortunately as there is no humility (or just basic ability to not hold grudges) in those levels.

So Morgan De Sanctis is about to step into the role. He's been a great servant to the club, but he's a puppet at this point. Nothing more.

And this was still Year Zero by the way. We never even made it to Year One.


i read something like this all happened starting with negotiation of AS Roma sale to billionaire Daniel Friedkin. Due to Covid19 events, the initial negotiation in the vicinity of €750m was revised to €575m in which Palotta was pissed off about and came open in media saying to better the offer which apparently Friedkin team didnt like the tone.

So negotiation broke and apparently this caused some sort of rift between Petrachi and Palotta - is what italian media is saying and therefore suspended. Now new reports are saying that Petrachi is going to take the case to the court against Palotta.

meantime, Roma is looking to seek new buyers. Yea potentially like i think now that coronavirus is not going to let any new buyers come with offers Palotta would expect unfortunately. It would be miracle if someone even come close to offer that Friendkin is offering.

intereestingly Friendkin offered Milan 900 million to buy the club in which Elliot rejected before they came out for Roma.

On the same matter, news was coming out that Fiorentina could potentially be put up for sale dunno how much that is true but apparently Comissso is pissed that their efforts to build new stadium has not been approved by municipality and that he was fed up that investments were being turned down.
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Post by JespSwe on Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:00 pm

Though again dunno if there was already a friction between Petrachi and Palotta right during mid season but what i read is that Petrachi was secretly hoping that deal with Friedkin would go through. I might want to look into it it was written in italian football site
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Post by McLewis on Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:17 pm

Its interesting the Friedkin angle given Petrachi likely would've been let go as part of that re-shuffle anyway.
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Post by JespSwe on Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:22 pm

@McLewis wrote:Its interesting the Friedkin angle given Petrachi likely would've been let go as part of that re-shuffle anyway.


that is true ; if we believe whatever is written then its been said that Petrachi was hugely concerned about Roma's dire financial state because of Palotta turning down Friedkin's offer and their strategic views and differences caused rift so bad over the phone is what they say.

but yea could be the case that Friedkin would probably have been interested in bringing own people - who knows even Totti spearheading the project

Friedkin says they are open to sitting back in the table for revised negotiation but anything that was discussed in the vicinity of 750 million that palotta hopes to get from anyone ... its not going to fly...

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Post by McLewis on Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:29 pm

I mean Pallotta's got a right to set the price and stick to it, but he also needs to read the room. He's loathe to sell at a loss of course, but it's pretty much unavoidable. He either needs to accept a bid or shut it down and move us forward. This limbo shit is toxic.
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Post by JespSwe on Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:38 pm

@McLewis wrote:I mean Pallotta's got a right to set the price and stick to it, but he also needs to read the room. He's loathe to sell at a loss of course, but it's pretty much unavoidable. He either needs to accept a bid or shut it down and move us forward. This limbo shit is toxic.


palotta owns the full stake in the club right ? at this climate ye i agree ; dunno how bad roma is financially or if u guys have good ability to survive the scare a bit longer or atleast once 2020 is gone.
i agree man sorry to see u guys feeling some peace with club.

our club is much worse than u guys sporting wise hence facing economic penalty due to it but really fortunate thing for us to happen is that 70% of our players contract will dry in 2021 and lot has left so we have saved a lot in terms of salary + salary caps not exceeding 3 million to newly signed players + all players fortunately agreed on 50% cut in salary until end of the season peacefully so surely we can sleep well for now.
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Post by Arquitecto on Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:46 pm

Palotta as a whole has quite frankly, sucked. Not to my expectations when he came in.


Business wise this is the right move from himself yet as a whole it is going to be caustic to Roma as a whole and its been handled very poorly from both sides and just indecisive.


I hear Friedkin is mounting another more improved bid soon and I hope so as Palotta is a lot of talk by this point and communicates very poorly with the whole Roma foundation.
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Post by JespSwe on Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:53 pm

@Arquitecto wrote:Palotta as a whole has quite frankly, sucked. Not to my expectations when he came in.


Business wise this is the right move from himself yet as a whole it is going to be caustic to Roma as a whole and its been handled very poorly from both sides and just indecisive.


I hear Friedkin is mounting another more improved bid soon and I hope so as Palotta is a lot of talk by this point and communicates very poorly with the whole Roma foundation.


how much did palotta bought the entire club for? ....
cuz feels €575m offer + friedkin injecting more capital is not a bad offer at this climate ...
also curious how much AS Roma had reported their operating income / loss last year and how is it looking forcast wise for this season.
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Post by rincon on Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:04 pm

Roma has been sold to the Friedkin group
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Post by McLewis on Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:25 pm







Reposting from Calcio thread.

I have no real expectations right now. Far too early. Just glad it's done.
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Post by JespSwe on Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:58 pm

looks like it. purchase + re-capitalization ... well atleast its a good thing that Roma can keep hold of star players.
hope smalling re-joins AS Roma on permanent basis too 20mil is not bad
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Post by McLewis on Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:30 am

So with the season over, I have a tiny bit of time to do a post mortem by position to take stock on what worked, who didn't and if we need to upgrade.

Goalkeeper - Pau Lopez, Antonio Mirante and Daniel Fuzato

This was the Pau Lopez show this season, but it was far more a mixed bag than I thought it would be. We paid Betis 30m for him, a steep price for a relatively unknown keeper like him, but he seemed to justify that price-tag largely during the first half of the season, though some cracks began to show in the weeks leading up to the forced stop. After we started back up, his form deserted him almost entirely, conceding some very preventable goals due to questionable positioning and weak shot stopping. True to form, the Romaverse duly turned on him. Me personally, I think he's just in a bad patch of form. There's a good keeper somewhere in there. Just needs to find form again. Selling after just 1 season is not a good footballing or financial decision. Easy to do that with Olsen, but this is very different. A few injuries allowed playing time for Antonio Mirante, who provided a slightly more stable pair of hands at time, but Mirante is 37 and is just stopgap, nothing more. There have been increased calls for us to try out young Brazilian Fuzato as many thing we may strike Alisson sized gold again, but I'm quite skeptical. In Pau I trust. I think we're good here.

Central Defenders - Chris Smalling, Gianluca Mancini, Federico Fazio, Juan Jesus, Roger Ibanez, and Mert Cetin

So we shipped 51 goals this season, good for joint 11th in the league along with Verona and Udinese. It's not a huge change from last season, where we conceded 48 goals and finished 12th in that regard. So despite the stability brought by Chris Smalling after the loss of Manolas, and his partnership with Mancini, we were really no better off defensively. As much as I like Smalling, I'm good with us not paying United the 25m they wanted for him. In order to be ok with that price, I would've expected us to concede far less.  That's not all on Smalling, of course. He led the defense in interceptions, blocks and clearances. A big problem for him and Mancini is that neither are great on the ball. We lacked something here that a player like Fazio brings. He gets a bad rap for being slow as molasses, but he makes up for it with a very good passing range for being the tallest man in the team. Juan Jesus is another one that should be on his way out, but we just can't seem to get rid of. His wages are high so that's part of the reason he's been tough to offload, but there are (surprisingly)some takers. Just need one to seriously bite. We need a ball-playing CB in this squad. Someone like Vertonghen really scratches that itch while likely putting up similar numbers to Smalling. There's also the intrigue prospect of Ibanez, who really impressed with his brave (yet a tad reckless) style of play. I'm not sure if CBs can display flair, but I'd say that's exactly what he displayed in some of his sequences. Partnering him with Mancini in a 4-man backline will be interesting to see as he could be a readymade replacement for Smalling that would cost us nothing. With Mert Cetin moving out on loan though and Fazio's future up in the air, we will need to sign at least 1 CB I suspect.

Fullbacks - Bruno Peres, Aleksander Kolarov, Leonardo Spinazzola, Davide Zappacosta, Alesandro Florenzi and Davide Santon.

So I doubt we'll see Santon in a Roma shirt again. I had hoped we could rehab his career like we've done with other players who are down on their footballing luck. Same with Zappacosta, who is returning to Chelsea. Florenzi just couldn't cut it at RB in the first half and really needed to get out of Rome. I'm a big fan of his because of his heart and how he fights for the shirt, but the ability just isn't there. I expect that he'll either get loaned out again or sold outright. I don't think many of us had a Bruno Peres renaissance on our bingo cards. He has looked reborn in the revamped 3-4-3 formation though he reverted to type against Sevilla. Kolarov has been great for us overall since joining, but defensively, he leaves so much to be desired. He no longer has the legs for playing fullback honestly. At this point, only his set pieces are keeping him in this team. Time is approaching rapidly where not even that will be enough. Spinazzola, to me, is overrated and I haven't been particularly impressed with him this season. I like his energy and I like his ability to get forward and make things happen, but defensively, he is no better than the other full-backs we have. We overpaid. Rick Karsdorp is due to return. Will be interesting to see if he's giving a chance to prove himself, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's moved on as well. I hope we hold onto Riccardo Calafiori though. He could be truly special.

Midfielders - Jordan Veretout, Amadou Diawara, Bryan Cristante, Gonzalo Villar, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nicolo Zaniolo, Javier Pastore and Henrikh Mkhitaryan

We've been known for years for our midfield and though it's nowhere near as strong as it once was, it wasn't our worst position this season. Veretout was undoubtedly the standout in the 2-man pivot with Cristante and Diawara showing, at best, inconsistent form. Cristante is one I could see leaving as it just hasn't worked for him and it likely won't under Fonseca. Villar has shown lots of promise in the cameos he's given so that's heartening that he should be ready for more time next season. Diawara's definitely going to see a lot of time as he's first choice with Veretout. His passing ability has been on display, now he needs marry that with better defensive displays. Pastore has been on a milk carton, but that's no real surprise. I expect him to be moved on, saving us quite a bit in wages. Pellegrini has largely had a very mixed bag of a season. Lots of assists in that first half when on form, but just lost in the 2nd half, especially when Fonseca shifted formations. I think we all held our collective breath when Zaniolo came back and then we exhaled together when he ran at the defense in his now trademark style. ACL injuries claim more than just broken tendons. For him, it didn't claim his ability to flying into challenges unafraid. We still wince when he takes a heavy tackle, but he's such a resilient player. We must build around him. I'm sure Friedkin knows this. And then there's Mkhitaryan. Frankly, I didn't think much of this transfer. Another possible redemption story of an out of favor PL player. Frankly, I don't think we've had a player this in tune with Dzeko since Salah. I don't think we should break the bank for him, but his and Arsenal's situation is vastly different than United and Smalling's so we stand a much better chance of getting him permanently. I'm all for it. He's still got a few years left at this level. He's the best creator we have in the squad with Perotti likely to leave and Pellegrini inconsistent.

Attackers - Edin Dzeko, Diego Perotti, Justin Kluivert, Cengiz Under, Nikola Kalinic and Carles Perez

It's nuts that we're so reliant on Dzeko, but there was once a time when we were super reliant on Totti as well. In that way, he has become talismanic for the club. Many think he's long in the tooth and should move on, but I'm not so sure. I think he still has a place here, we just need viable alternatives to him. Kalinic, as hard as he's tried this season, is not it. I expect him to return to Atleti, who will promptly move him on. With Patrik Schick having no future with us, we're going to need to sign a vice-Dzeko ASAP. This has got to be top priority for us along with a Smalling replacement. Lots of names mooted that I won't go into. The name isn't super important. The qualities are. Out wide, Perotti's time has come to an end. He's a far better player than we often give him credit for. I have always appreciated his willingness to track back as well as run directly at opposing defenders as none of our other wide players seem to like doing either of those things. Cengiz seems to be leaving as well, which is so puzzling as his fall from grace has been a very curious one. We should net a decent plusvalenza for him though. I just hope we sell him abroad. We have to stop strengthening direct rivals. As for Kluivert, I think he stays on. His decision-making can drive one up a wall, but if Fonseca can find a way to fix that, he becomes so much more dangerous. Next season will probably be the pass/fail one for him. Lastly, Carles Perez has been largely impressive. He has lots of pace like Kluivert, but makes far better decisions on the ball. I expect to see more from him for sure. Needs to learn to track back a bit more if we're going to be sticking him out so wide, but that's part and parcel to buying wingers from La Liga, I suppose.

Coach - Paulo Fonseca

Frankly, I've stanned this man from that epic "potatoes" quip. I knew right then and there that he's what we need. That run in the fall/early winter was, to me, magical. He had absolutely bare minimum for a bench, a ton of injuries and fixtures coming in hot and fast. It really put his tactical ability to the test and for me, he passed with flying colors. That type of form was never going to last. We were essentially running through those matches off of pure collective fixture-based adrenaline. It was always going to wear off, which is why we went into the forced stop in poor form. It's great we came out of it in much better form however, even if not at those same energy levels as earlier in the season. There's talk of replacing Fonseca, but he absolutely not the problem right now, just as EDF wasn't the problem before him. Sacking him would be very foolish. I'm not convinced by any of the coaches we've been linked with so far and that includes Pochettino.
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Post by S on Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:37 pm


@Mclewis
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Post by McLewis on Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:50 pm

Didn't think we had much of a chance at him.

Very interesting.
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Post by McLewis on Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:56 am

On the Zaniolo injury:

The rumor is that it's his ACL again, this time the other knee.

Honestly, I'm not particularly surprised. Same thing happened to Strootman as well. Zaniolo has proven himself mentally though. He recovered from it once so it stands to reason he can do so again. That's IF the rumors are true. That said, a 2nd one of this nature is bound to affect him though. No one can blame him if he doesn't recover from it quite as well mentally as he did before, I suppose.

As for me, I've already written off this season given it's a transitional one. I'll still watch the matches of course, but it would take some really good football and results to get me even remotely invested in this season.
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Post by Kick on Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:39 am

@McLewis wrote:On the Zaniolo injury:

The rumor is that it's his ACL again, this time the other knee.

Honestly, I'm not particularly surprised. Same thing happened to Strootman as well. Zaniolo has proven himself mentally though. He recovered from it once so it stands to reason he can do so again. That's IF the rumors are true. That said, a 2nd one of this nature is bound to affect him though. No one can blame him if he doesn't recover from it quite as well mentally as he did before, I suppose.

As for me, I've already written off this season given it's a transitional one. I'll still watch the matches of course, but it would take some really good football and results to get me even remotely invested in this season.


Huge shame on the injury.

I will be watching his recovery and hoping he can come back to his best.

It doesn't bode well for his career, though. Hopefully he can recover and put his injuries behind him.
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