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.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (Chiara Zucchelli) By 7pm, 2 hours after the court of sporting justice announced their decision, Kevin Strootman had been trending on Twitter for some time. People were talking on social media and on Roman radio stations, and for once (almost) everyone was in agreement: “Leave Kevin alone, there was no simulation”. According to Romanisti, the Dutchman’s collapse to the floor was “possibly excessive, but caused by the fact he felt he might be about to be hit from behind.” One guy on the radio accurately said that, “If he really wanted to simulate, he would have stayed on the ground, stone dead.”
Roma have already confirmed that they will appeal against the 2 match ban imposed on Kevin Strootman, given retroactively for his actions during the derby and which will see him banned for the key games against Milan and Juventus in the likely event that the Giallorossi’s appeal is unsuccessful.
La Repubblica (Matteo Pinci) If you had given him a pen and paper before the game, he might not have been able to write a better story: running towards the Roma supporters, having scored the decisive goal in his first derby since his comeback. And what better occasion than a derby, with a place in the Champions League up for grabs, to go back to being the real Kevin Strootman.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (Chiara Zucchelli) Rehearsals before the African Cup of Nations? It may be too soon to tell, but even so, during yesterday’s friendly at Trigoria against the Primavera, Luciano Spalletti may have given the first indication of his plans when he used a 3-4-3 formation against Alberto De Rossi’s team. Perotti played more on the right hand side of the attack than El Shaarawy – il Faraone was therefore able to play on his preferred wing, and that is probably not just a coincidence. Just as it may not have been a coincidence that Spalletti continued to insist on playing a 3 (and a half) man defence, which could be entrenched as Roma’s Plan A now that Rudiger has returned to full fitness.
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.
It certainly won’t have been missed at Trigoria, given the love and passion for numbers, statistics and algorithms – in the words of Walter Sabatini – that has come about in the last year or so, that some statistics really do point towards progression. Like those, for instance, of Kevin Strootman, who was part of the Holland team that beat Belarus on Friday. Strootman has hardly stopped ever since he started playing again, either for Roma (where he has played 619 minutes in the league – only Szczesny and Bruno Peres have played more, with 630) or for Holland. But with one distinction. Compared to the period before all his injuries, Kevin is a different player now. Maybe less physical, but definitely more complete. In short, a Strootman 2.0. A different type of player compared to before, but nevertheless still an enormously effective and useful one.