Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCan the team from the eternal city join the revolution - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Can the team from the eternal city join the revolution - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Can the team from the eternal city join the revolution

“I didn’t come to Roma for the money. I am here because the club have faith in me. However, if the players don’t follow my lead, I might have to re-consider my future.”  This was the quote from under-fire Giallorossi boss Luis Enrique after their frustrating defeat to Fiorentina on Sunday. The embattled Spaniard has boldly and courageously attempted to transform a Roma side that has been tepid at best since Luciano Spalletti left in 2009 into an idealistic Barcelona playing style. Several pundits said that this attempt to change a philosophy would result in abject failure, and that the tactical rigidity of football on the peninsula would stifle the collective creativity that Enrique is trying to impose. Though current form may suggest otherwise, Enrique’s attempt does in fact coincide with the revolution that Serie A is witnessing.

This revolution, spearheaded by ‘Generals’ Conte, Mazzarri and Guidolin of Juventus, Napoli and Udinese respectively has taken the country by storm. Its movement aims at modernizing the league with a fast paced, high tempo brand of football that has been characteristic of top European clubs since the turn of the century. Roma’s transfers over the summer have lamented this shift to a Barcelona styled approach. The club sought after players with superb ball control, a wide range of passing and most of all composure on the ball. Players such as Fernando Gago, Erik Lamela, Bojan Krkic and Miralem Pjanic were recruited to maintain possession and dictate the play in midfield. Their play is complemented by the leadership skills and combative nature of ‘el Capitan Futuro’ Danielle De Rossi.

Another requirement of the Total Football philosophy is that the full backs be quick, well versed in ball retention and capable of providing ‘lung bursting’ surges down the touchline. The purchase of Jose Angel on the left signals this intent. However, the right back slot has been disregarded with the aging Cassetti and defensively inept wingman Rodrigo Taddei filling in. This has certainly created an imbalance that is all too characteristic of the Roman’s this season. Thus far the two centre back slots have been inconsistently occupied by the tumultuous now ‘crocked’ Nico Burdisso, the ponderous Gabriel Heinze, the regressive Juan and the heavily tattooed tactically inept Dane Simon Kjaer. In order to orchestrate the philosophy the centre backs need to retain possession, be comfortable on the ball and most important of all be decent passers. Burdisso, Heinze and Kjaer have all failed at this.

Up front the temperamental/bullish/over-priced Argentine/Italian Pablo Osvaldo has been charged with scoring the goals. We have certainly seen glimpses of shear quality from the big man, most notably against Novara and Lecce. But the acid test is if he can consistently supplement the team dynamic and beat opposing goalkeepers. Not the faces of fellow teammates!!

In goal the acquisition of Maarten Stekelenburg adds stability to the goalkeeping department. A department that has been inconsistently graced by the likes of Bodgan Lobont and Brazilian duo Julio Sergio and Doni. If given time to get things right on the training field, especially in the frontline and time to acquire the right players in defence former Barcelona B coach Luis Enrique can lead Roma to success.

The club from the eternal city and their new owner Thomas Di Bernedetto has indeed undertaken a project of gargantuan proportion. But like any great Victorian structure it must possess a solid foundation, have a clear blueprint and be given authorization by the chief, in this case Francesco Totti. With these ingredients Roma has the potential to join the revolution and achieve greatness. After all Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Kevon Aaron Campbell @kevmaster77

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