Pagine Romaniste (Alessio Nardo) Is a revolution needed or not? At Roma, it’s usually the first option. Whether it’s a question of strategy or of player trading, fans are now all too aware of these phrases. They are part of a vocabulary in modern football that fans like less and less, as they are forced to live in a state of perennial anxiety. Of fear, almost. Because there is always the chance, lurking just around the corner, that the team will lose a key player. Particularly in defence. There was a time when fans would be able to become closely attached to a good player, as there was a high chance that they would see him wearing a Giallorossi shirt for a long time. Think of players like Aldair, Candela, Cafu, Zago, Mexes, Panucci. All very talented defenders, who enjoyed successful spells at Trigoria for long periods of time. They left an indelible mark behind.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (Andrea Pugliese, Luca Taidelli) Inter are aiming to ‘Romanise’ themselves. After appointing the ex-Giallorossi Sabatini and Spalletti, the Nerazzurri hierarchy are now looking at some of Roma’s top players. In truth, their interest predates their appointment of the Certaldo-born coach. Because Nainggolan, Rudiger and Strootman (not to mention the youngster Marchizza and director Massara) are players who any club would be interested in. For now, Ausilio and Sabatini are simply observing as they make their plans for next season. The two clubs have a shared problem of having to balance their books by the end of June to keep in line with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. After that, Inter will be able to let themselves loose thanks to the resources made available to them by Suning. Rudiger has already been highly praised by Sabatini (“a magnificent player”), who brought him to the capital 2 years ago. There won’t be a problem in reaching an agreement with the player, but they need €30 million in order for Roma to balance their accounts. However things seem to be progressing, as they are for Nice’s left back Dalbert.
Roma should have been able to celebrate their win against Sassuolo. The second half was evidence of great team spirit and a resourcefulness and a desire to win that Roma often lack in games that aren’t against one of the very top sides. But in the 84th minute, Alessandro Florenzi landed awkwardly, painfully, as he challenged for the ball, and immediately it was apparent that the injury was serious. Roma’s players had their heads in their hands as they saw what had happened. The next morning, Florenzi and Roma’s worst fears were confirmed: he had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and would require surgery before spending at least 4 months on the sidelines. The injury was all the more gut-wrenching for Roma as, literally 5 minutes before Florenzi’s injury, Antonio Rudiger completed his comeback from his own cruciate ligament injury by coming on as a substitute for his first appearance of the season. It is the latest in a long line of cruciate ligament injuries that has hit both Roma’s first team and the Primavera side.
While Roma wait for their midfield regista (Borja Valero), their defensive reinforcement has now arrived. Smiling, slightly delayed in his arrival, Thomas Vermaelen arrived at Fiumicino airport on Sunday lunchtime where around 100 fans were waiting for him. He is Roma’s most important transfer signing of the summer window. Not just for his name, quality and previous clubs. But for the added value that he will give to Spalletti’s chessboard who, not by chance when the deal was in the pipeline, described the player as “a work of art”.
Up until the 50th minute, everything was going smoothly. Roma were in control of the game, and should already have been more than a goal to the good by the time that Diego Perotti expertly lashed past Emiliano Viviano five minutes into the second half. There were periods before half time (mostly in the first 20 or so minutes) that had seen Roma play some really good football, knocking it around quickly trying to stretch Sampdoria’s deep defence out of position.