Alas! It has happened. The honeymoon stage of this year’s Serie A campaign is officially over. I have been in denial for 2 weeks, but the disappointment of yesterday’s match versus Cagliari has left Roma one point behind Juventus in second place in the standings for the Serie A. The giallorossi did everything right, except score…arguably the most important thing to do in football.
Roma’s historical unbeaten run came to an end 3 match days ago against Torino. During the match days since, Roma began to resemble the Roma of old: an inconsistent team that once knocked down, won’t get back up (Chumbawumba, story of my life).
Yes, during their record setting run, Roma netted a lethal 24 goals while only conceding 1. Yes they convincingly mowed down the likes of Intermilan and Napoli in the process. Yes, they fought tooth and nail through injuries and suspensions from the likes of Michael Bradley (ankle), Federico Balzaretti (suspension), Mattia Destro (knee issues stemming from last season), Douglas Maicon (hamstring, suspension), Gervinho (left quadracepts) and most notably il capitano, Francesco Totti (hamstring), to name a few. Since the loss of their creative captain to injury during the Napoli game, Roma has maintained a record of 3-3-0, netting 4 goals in 6 matches while conceding 2 goals.
One might say, ‘why are you complaining? Your team has not lost, is 2nd in the standings and still playing phenomenal football and have already set records this season, where’s the ish?’ The truth is, I am not complaining, I’m just coming off of a high that has not been felt since Luciano Spalleti’s reign as manager and having withdrawals from that explosive offense and stingy defense we saw at the beginning of the season.
So yeah, the lovey dovey malarkey during this 2013-2014 campaign is officially over. What you can take away though, is that this team is still fighting through the drama, despite the setbacks like inner ownership feuding over the cough*cough*sketchy potential sale of the American ownership, by Unicredit, to the richest man in China (an issue that is still being investigated) on top of those injuries and suspensions previously listed. They have shown qualities like ambition, resilience, leadership, youth, experience, …the list goes on and the season is not even half over. No, this relationship is not over. In fact it is alive and well. With class players like Gervinho and Mattia Destro already back from injury, the goal well will be sure to fill up again, especially with the energetic Alessandro Florenzi, sly Miralem Pjanić and fierce Daniele De Rossi patrolling the pitch. New young guns like Adem Ljajić, Kevin Strootman, and Mehdi Benatia all look nothing short of promising as well. The season is far from over, and as a die-hard Roma supporter, it’s my duty to remain humbled that anything can happen, but I’m confident that La Roma will work out its issues even retain its run of form from earlier this season and regain the top position from Juventus, because “Nessuno ha piú fame di noi.”