Il Messaggero (Alessandro Angeloni, Stefano Carina, Massimo Caputi and Ugo Trani) People have said that, as a person, he’s a different class and someone who is culturally above average. After spending about an hour with him at Trigoria, we can confirm that’s true: Edin Dzeko is a different class, and culturally above average. A man of substance, not just playing the act. He’s philosophical. He’s simple, sincere, serene. Cheerful. He also smiles when he talks about his mistakes and the insults directed at him. He’s slightly surprised when he sits down to see multiple cameras and four open notebooks in front of him. “How many of you are there?” he exclaims, as if to ask why there is so much attention being given to him. “This isn’t an interview, it’s a forum,” Edin jokes. It soon becomes a – very simple – conversation, which Dzeko uses to tell his story. “If you have any problems, just speak in English,” we suggest to him. But he chooses not to: he always speaks in Italian, however he can, even when he inevitably finds a hole in his vocabulary and struggles to find the right words. Edin stops, thinks, finds the right word (and if he doesn’t find it, he invents one) and carries on, just like he does after he misses a chance in front of goal. Mistakes, (pot)holes, we’re used to everything in Rome. “Rome is a wonderful city, especially for someone who has lived in places like Manchester and Wolfsburg. Of course, it can be difficult to drive around – the streets are like Sarajevo’s after the bombing. You can see that it’s a city in difficulty, in crisis. It needs investment, the streets can’t be left abandoned like this.”
AS Roma Match Program (Tiziano Riccardi) A lot has changed in 400 days. Everything has changed in 400 days. Exactly 400 days ago – no more, no less – it was 16th December, 2015, and Roma were playing Spezia at the Stadio Olimpico in a Coppa Italia Round of 16 game. The game had to be decided on the night, and the winner would reach the quarter finals to play Lega Pro side Alessandria. Spezia were a mid-table Serie B side, so on paper it shouldn’t have been a tough ask. Garcia’s Roma weren’t in the best form, but it was a game they expected to win.
laroma24.it (Gabriele Conflitti) Jurisprudence. The science of law, invented – coincidentally – by the Romans. 2,000 years later, it is now being practiced against them with arguably deliberate precision. The Giudice Sportivo has once again decided to use its powers to use Roma as a guinea pig, experimenting on them using methods that have never been practiced before. Strootman’s suspension is just the latest example of a series of unfortunate coincidences – the Giallorossi have had to pay a heavy price for the existence of previously unused laws and regulations over the years.
Corriere della Sera (Luca Valdiserri) You can never be perfect, but learning from experience is the best (perhaps the only) way to improve. Under Rudi Garcia and Luciano Spalletti – while both had excellent points-per-game averages – Roma have never been able to get over the obstacle of failing against the ‘small’ teams.
Roma closed out the season with a comfortable win away at Milan, and had there been a few games more it’s possible that they would have edged out Napoli in the race for second. In the end it was a creditable third place finish, and the dour play in the latter stages of the Rudi Garcia era has been long forgotten after Luciano Spalletti took over for his second spell in charge of the club. There have been failings at all levels during the course of the season – from owners, directors and players, not to mention Franco Gabrielli and Roma’s relationship with the former prefect of Rome – but the club’s recovery in the second half of the season to secure Champions League football again mean it should be seen as a positive campaign overall. Continue reading
The difficulty with the January transfer window is that no one ever comes out of it completely satisfied. Roma’s activity in particular was hamstrung by the managerial changes midway through the month as Luciano Spalletti replaced Rudi Garcia, and Walter Sabatini set about both trying to identify and bring in (available) players that would suit Spalletti and move on other players who had fallen from favour or simply needed to be got rid of. Continue reading