Time For Roma To Unite Behind Luis Enrique

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Time For Roma To Unite Behind Luis Enrique Empty Time For Roma To Unite Behind Luis Enrique

Post by Camurrìa.Sto.Stronzo Thu 15 Sep - 16:38:10

When new owner Thomas Di Benedetto announced his grand plans for a new Roma it was greeted with excitement tempered by cautious optimism.

When new coach Luis Enrique joined the giallorossi it was seen as the beginning of a brave new world, not only for Roma but for Italian football. Tiki-taka football comes to Serie A!

When new players like Bojan, Lamela, Stekelenburg, Gago, Pjanic, Jose Angel etc arrived the mighty foundations of the Eternal City would be shaken to their core and Milan, Inter,Napoli beware…..a new empire is being built in Rome.

A month into the new season and it’s fair to say that things have not gone as well as hoped.

Time for new players, and there are a lot of them, to settle in was expected, a few early disjointed performances can also be excused as Enrique sets about building his super team.

Even an early exit from the much maligned Europa League can be shrugged off. It would have been a distraction anyway. Roma tifosi have other matters to attend to on Thursday nights instead of watching 2nd tier European football.

To date Roma have played only one solitary Serie A game, a 2-1 home defeat against Cagliari. Surely then, there’s no need to panic. The season has barely started and nothing is won or lost in the first month of the season. Apart from the Europa League obviously!!

Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions, the press and the supporters of Roma have not yet fully bought into the new Barca-Roma project. Supporters, fuelled by constant press speculation, are already questioning the wisdom of Di Benedetto in bringing the novice former Barca-B coach Enrique to the Olimpico.

Will his style of football work in Serie A? Does he have the right players to achieve it? Can he do it without the full backing of the Roma establishment i.e. Francesco Totti? Does he have enough knowledge and understanding about Italian football culture to succeed?

On and on it goes. Every day Enrique is either being vilified or publicly backed by managers and players alike.

Club officials have re-iterated their support of the Spaniard on at least three occasions and we are only in mid-September. Unless the supporters and media give Enrique the time and breathing space to put his vision into practice then it can only end in failure.

Several managers have already been linked with taking over at the Olimpico. This of course is total nonsense. Di Benedetto has spent a fortune in transfer fees and loan deals to give his new coach all of the necessary tools to return Roma to the top of the Serie A tree and also become a major force in European football.

If he sacks Enrique at such an early stage then he will be admitting that he has also failed. As history shows us, businessmen are not keen on admitting their failures and I can’t see Di Benedetto being any different.

For better or for worse Barca-Roma, at least for the foreseeable future, is the way forward for the three time Scudetto winners.

Poor pre-season and Europa League performances have dramatically increased the pressure on the rookie boss but he is determined to change not only the style of football at Roma but also the whole ethos of the club. This will take time, maybe a couple of seasons.

Of course, it’s highly unlikely that the Romans will wait that long but apart from the odd Coppa Italia wins in the last decade the trophy cabinet has plenty of room for more.

They must see progress and see it quickly. What team Enrique will ultimately assemble from his raft of new signings remains to be seen but clearly they must do significantly better in the coming weeks than they have so far. However, you feel that a couple of wins in those coming weeks will settle everyone down and normality, or at least a Roman version of it, can be restored.

No-one is talking about Roma winning the Scudetto this year but there is genuine hope of a shot at Champions league qualification. That has to be the minimum target for Roma and with the talent now at his disposal the time has come for Enrique to bring the Spanish flair to the Italian game.

However, like all managers he needs to be judged on results over a sustained period and not after one month. All the negative publicity and bitching surrounding Enrique, Totti and his team is counter-productive and needs to cease.

The goodwill maybe running out quickly for Enrique but he can soon get it back if he gets his team playing with the passion and flair that was so sadly lacking on Sunday but he knows he has in abundance within the squad.

Emperor Trajan, who ruled Ancient Rome for 19 years, was from the shores of Spain and, unlike many other rulers of that period, survived with his reputation intact. Enrique’s reputation is already taking a battering and he will need to show the steel and will of his fellow countryman if he is hoping to last anywhere near as long in the capital.

He’ll also need the backing and support of the Roma faithful. If he gets that then he has a good chance of succeeding and perhaps one day write his own name into the history of Rome.

Forza Enrique. Forza Roma.
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