Aurelio Andreazzoli begins the post-Zdenek Zeman era by returning Daniele De Rossi and Maarten Stekelenburg to the Roma starting XI against Sampdoria, but fans are protesting.
A group of around 50 ultras arrived at the Trigoria training camp today with banners criticising the club for sacking Zeman, including the phrases ‘Yankee go home’ and ‘Get the Laziali out of Trigoria.’
“It is an emotional occasion and I have been handed a great club,” said Andreazzoli in his debut Press conference.
“There’s no time to think about the emotions of the event. We are facing a great deal of work, but we know what it is we want to do and how to do it.
“Since last Sunday we have laid the foundations. I won’t ask for time and patience, because I know there isn’t any left. We have faith, though. The team must first of all be regenerated, rediscover its confidence and enthusiasm that evaporated over time.”
Andreazzoli arrived as Luciano Spalletti’s assistant manager and remained working as part of the staff with every Coach since then.
“I worked as a head Coach for 20 years, then was an assistant manager for 10. I’d love to be the Roma Coach for three years and win the Scudetto, but I am a club man and if I’m asked to step aside, I will do so.
“In these eight years I saw Roma soar and plummet. Seeing as I know the reasons we fell, I aim to work on those. Ambition and desire to win are not just slogans. If we don’t suffer the way the Roma fans suffer, then we’ll never get anywhere.
“The players must be put in a condition to give their best. I don’t feel Zeman’s legacy, but we must make the most of what he left here. The most important thing he left was helping the players understand the need to work hard.
“As for tactics, the players’ characteristics dictate the system. If I had only one system, then it would be a sort of cage.”
Panagiotis Tachtsidis is suspended, with Mattia Destro and Federico Balzaretti injured, but Andreazzoli confirmed he’s returning De Rossi and Stekelenburg to the line-up.
“De Rossi will be a leader and, if he deserves it, he will play every single game from here to the end of the season. Otherwise, he will be treated the same as everyone else. Stekelenburg will return to the goal if he plays well, otherwise it will be someone else’s chance.”
Zeman famously complained there were “no rules” within the club, so Andreazzoli has pledged to come down hard.
“We have few rules, but they are iron-clad. For example, time-keeping and good behaviour. Francesco Totti and De Rossi are icons of the locker room. If you raise them up, those below will climb up to be with them. If you knock them down, the others are compressed.”