Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Jay Scardina On December - 29 - 2010

Roma Review: Jeremy Menez

Welcome back to Roma Review. I decided while we are tearing open gifts and look forward to the new year, time was right to recognize a player who has had a fantastic year in 2010.

Jeremy Menez started the year a little rough, but has ended it as a key playmaker at the capital.  Without Menez the Giallorossi would not be in fifth place, looking to reclaim a Champions League position.

The Frenchman has not scored buckets of goals for his coliseum owners but there is little doubt scoring chances would be in a shortage without his assisting performance in matches.

Enjoy this little overview of his career while you’re sipping your favorite holiday beverage.

Jeremy Menez was born in Longjumeau, France on May 7, 1987. His interest in football can be credited to his father and older brother who both played, although not professionally. He began playing for a local club CA Vitry in 1994 and after playing with them for a year he joined CFF Paris. He played with them for 5 years, and developed his technical skills. The coaches saw early on that he could be a technical playmaker, and he started playing as a winger. During 2000-2001 he played with CSF Bretigny after which he joined the youth academy for Sochaux. Menez also attended the academy’s high school, where he was known to be a good student on and off the field. While in school he showed interest in becoming an accountant, should the whole football thing not work out. In March 2004 at the age of 16 he signed his first professional contract with Sochaux for 3 years. He became the youngest professional football player in the history of Ligue 1. He made his professional debut on August 7, 2021 against AC Ajaccio. He was a regular player on the team, and rotated starting and bench positions. In October of the same year he became the youngest player in Ligue 1 history to score a hat trick. Menez started to receive interest in his abilities from English Premiere League teams like Arsenal and Manchester United. He even visited Old Trafford and met with Sir Alex Ferguson. However, he decided to stay in France. There was some controversy, and supposedly Sir Alex offered his family some financial favors. However, none of this has ever been proven. While with Sochaux he also played in the UEFA Cup that year, but the team never made it past the Round of 32. The following season he played in 32 league games, but the team fell to 15th place, and Menez started to look toward a transfer. Ligue 1 teams like Paris Saint-Germain, Bordeaux, and Monaco all considered him. In the end he went Monaco where he struggled to find playing time. He suffered his first major injury in February of 2008 where he missed 3 months, and returned to play as a substitute in the final two matches of the season.

In August of 2008 Menez signed with AS Roma. He was meant as a replacement for wingers Amantino Mancini and Ludovic Giuly. He played with the number 24 but switched to 94 the following season. No one is sure as to why he switched to the number 94. Menez struggled for consistent playing time under Spalletti. However, in 2009 Spalletti left Roma and Ranieri took over as coach. Although Menez was not a consistent starter he was getting playing time as a substitute. During a January 2010 match against Cagliari he gave a very poor performance. Criticism from the team and fans alike soon followed. There were rumors that he was not happy in the capitol and that he wanted to transfer. However, the criticism he received seemed to revive him, and he decided to stay with Roma. Menez returned to starting line up 4 games later, where he assisted with a game winning goal against Catania. Coaches, players, and Menez himself have stated that he suffered from a lack of confidence and focus. He has stated that the game against Cagliari was the lowest point of his career. Roma ended the season in second place, but his confidence boost seemed to mirror the attitude of the team. He has, in my opinion, become the most improved player on the team. He has become more confident with his technique, and can out run defenders at an unbeatable pace. Although he has not scored many goals this season, he has been the reason the team had goal scoring chances. He put Roma ahead in Switzerland while playing Basel in a Champions League match in November. His pace and work effort helped Roma overcome Bayern Munich, who were up by 2 goals in the first half. Roma ended the match 3-2, and are now in the round of 16 in the Champions League. His ability to get past the defenders and pass the ball across the goal helped them defeat AC Milan in the final match before the Winter break. He has also become a more disciplined player. He had ten bookings in 18 starts last season, but has only been booked twice this season.

Although he has only been called up to the French National team twice, he has played for all of their youth teams. He was on the team that won the UEFA Under 17 Football Championship in 2004, which they won in France. At the young age of 23 Menez seems to improve with every game, and he still has many years of playing ahead of him. He seems to have formed a a great playing relationship with his team mates over the past year as well. He and Borriello have become the terrible two that the other teams in Serie A look to stop, just ask the defenders of AC Milan. He has received more playing time as well. The only other forwards who have had more playing time are Totti and Borriello. I foresee him playing more the the French national team next year, and I bet he will be on the team for Euro 2012. He is definitely a player to watch this season. I am sure that the offers will come in from other clubs, but for now he remains a Giallorossi.

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