It was a season to forget for Roma fans. For several years the club had been Inter’s main competitor in Serie A. But last season was different. A string of injuries combined with a lack of consistency resulted in a miserable league record. There were some unsettling rumours floating about too. While in the end the club was not sold and coach Luciano Spalletti did not bolt to Juventus, the uncertainty hanging over the futures of both helped little to steady the ship. Roma finished sixth in Serie A missing out on a coveted place in the Champions League, the stage of some of their greatest performances in recent years – think 2-1 Real Madrid, not 1-7 Man U.
While these negative factors may resurface again, especially the whispers concerning the club’s ownership, Spalletti and his men no doubt head into this season hoping to prove that last year was just an aberration. This summer has seen Juventus beef up their squad and Inter hold onto their integral players. Roma meanwhile have quietly built a team that is once again capable of competing with the best.
Let’s take a closer look at their preferred line-up:
Goalkeeper: Doni. Not the best keeper to ever come out of Brazil, but he has played for the national team as recently as April.
Defenders: Juan and Motta boast 74 Brazilian caps between them, albeit most of them Juan‘s. Riise proved one of the best attacking left-backs in the world whilst at Liverpool and Mexes, another accomplished defender from the Auxerre production line, fills the fourth spot. Overall, it’s not the scariest defense in Europe, but it’s undoubtedly serviceable.
Midfielders: Roma’s strongest line on the field with World Cup winner Perrotta, national team star Aquilani and arguably Italy ‘s current best player DeRossi.
Strikers: Vucinic, a reported target of United, partners the experienced Brazilian goal-grabber Baptista, with Totti, still a world class talent when in the mood, hovering just behind.
Substitutes: Calling on the likes of Cicinho, Brighi, and Menez is a plus. More importantly is the sight of the now committed Spalletti directing play from dugout.
Prognosis: Look out Inter. Roma is capable of playing a dynamic and exciting style of football – think less Serie A, more La Liga. Spalletti’s squad certainly should contend for Europe’s top honor. Right???!!!
We at Footy Factor would like to thank Jerry Russo in NYC for submitting this article for publication.
Tags: Aquilani, Auxerre, Baptista, Brighi, Champions League, Cicinho, DeRossi, Doni, Inter, Juan, Juventus, La Liga, Liverpool, Luciano Spalletti, Man U, Menez, Mexes, Motta, Perrotta, Real Madrid, Riise, Roma, Serie A, Spalletti, Totti, Vucinic, World Cup
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