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I know that it has taken a while for me to get back, but welcome back to the Roma Review! A very biased article on the Giallorossi. It has been a long week for Roma, who had two away games, one in Serie A and another in the Champions League. Although Roma are usually a strong team at home, on the road is a different story. Their 3-1 loss to Palermo the week before showed their lack of focus, and that Totti is becoming more of a liability than a leader to the team. Plus there are rumors swirling around the capital as we move into the January transfer window.

Roma traveled to Verona in week 15 of Serie A, and they could have used a little love from Juliet. However, it seems that she is dedicated to the flying donkeys. I was a little surprised to see Adriano starting the game with Mirko Vucinic. It seemed that Ranieri wanted to rest Borriello and Totti before the mid-week Champions League match in Romania. Roma started out the dominant team, and seemed comfortable on possession. The horrible conditions of the pitch made passing and controlling the ball a difficult task. Roma had an early chance, but Adriano took a little too long on the ball to make sure he hit it with his left foot. I don’t think that Adriano had a bad game. He is a bit rusty, but he held off defenders, and his plays led to both of Simplicio’s goals in the first half. The first goal came after Adriano tried to head the ball towards Chievo’s penalty area. Luca Rigoni failed to clear it, and Simplicio tapped it past Stefano Sorrentino. The other goal came from a cross that Cassetti put into the box that Simplicio found to make it 2-0. It was Adriano though that passed the ball back to Cassetti, who was making a run down the wing that created that chance. I wish I could say that Roma had a better second half, but it looked like the team just ran out of steam. They gave up possession too many times, and failed to complete passes. Chievo’s striker, Davide Moscardelli took a shot from outside the penalty box, and it looked like Julio Sergio would get to it in time to make the save. Roma’s keeper went to the ground too early and paid for the mistake as Chievo finally got on the board. With plenty of time to equalize Chievo found new life, and pressed Roma’s defense throughout most of the second half. Roma took Adriano off for Borriello to try and extend their lead, but Granoche would make sure to take two points away from Roma as the game ended 2-2. Roma gave up a comfortable lead, and a chance to move into the top five. They are now in 8th place with two matches left before the Winter break.

The mid-week Champions League match took Roma to Romania to play Cluj. There was really nothing for Cluj to play for other than pride, and a remote chance of taking third place. It seems that Roma have no problem taking control of the game early on, as they looked very comfortable with possession and passing. I know that some of us Roma fans were worried to see Lobont in for an injured Julio Sergio. I think that Lobont has proved that he is a worthy goalkeeper though, as he was my pick for the man of the match. Lobont made several great saves in the game to keep Roma in the lead. Roma took an early lead as Borriello showed off why he is Roma’s new hitman, and scored his 8th Champions League goal. Roma were up 1-0 at 21 minutes into the first half. Cluj almost equalized as their Italian striker De Zerbi was unmarked in the box. He fired a shot directly at Lobont who blocked it. In the second half Roma had a hard time extending their lead, and let Cluj make several crosses to Traore. I was really not happy with the way Roma’s defense were playing in the second half, and I could not understand why Ranieri did not substitute Totti who needed to come off. He had a chance on goal, and his shot went wide. It was a poor performance from Totti, who should be benched for Vucinic as a starter. Fresh legs and a focused defense would have given Roma the win. Traore finally scored in the 88th minute to tie the game up. In all fairness it was not Lobont’s fault that he could not keep out Traore’s header, it was Roma’s slack defending. Castellini was another player who should have been substituted as well. Roma only needed a tie to get to the next round, but this was not a convincing performance from the team who made a miraculous come back against Bayern Munich. I have said that I do not believe that Roma are a Champions League Final or Quarter Final Team. I think that Roma could make it to the Quarter Finals, they have the talent, but something is holding them back. Their next league game is against Bari, which is another game they should have no trouble winning. Also, they playing at home, so that gives them another advantage. However, ending in draws against teams that they should have beat, and not being able to extend their lead in Romania makes even a game against Bari nerve wracking for us Roma fans.

I also mentioned some January transfer rumors. Unfortunately, the rumors are not good, as it looks like some players want to leave Roma instead of join them. Mexes has not renewed his contract, and several sources are saying that he could be moving to Chelsea. Mirko Vucinic, who has seen his playing time drop since Borriello joined, has had his name thrown around the EPL as well. Liverpool and Tottenham have been waving a flag in his direction, and I am sure that if he leaves it will be with a guarantee to be on the starting squad. Also, Inter Milan have shown interest in Vucinic, since Etto’o has been their lone striker since Milito’s injury troubles. I am so tired of hearing about Adriano returning to Brazil, and it is mostly because I don’t believe it. I would be shocked as there was a lot of hype around his return to Italy, and the many times he has stated that he intends on staying and getting fit enough for more playing time with Roma. Also, Julio Baptista may be moving back to Spain with Malaga. So far there have not been any rumors of players coming to the capitol, unless Ranieri is keeping an ace up his sleeve. Losing both Mexes and Vucinic would be a major blow to the team, and they would have to make some moves in January or work on re-building in the Summer. For now Roma need to focus on getting wins in their last two matches of the year. A lot of attention will be drawn to the AC Milan game next week, and I will bring a review for that in my next article. Ciao!

One Response so far.

  1. C11 says:

    Totti non si discute, si ama!

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