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Saturday September 28 2013
Roma right to dream

Roma’s perfect start to the season has many pondering whether they are contenders for the Scudetto. Frank Tigani believes they are.

It was a real low point for Roma. After finishing sixth in the League last season, success in the Coppa Italia Final represented their last chance to qualify for Europe. But they lost and by doing so gave up their chance. But, much worse than missing out on Europe was that the defeat came at the hands of their local rivals Lazio.

The reaction was typical. Fans rioted, the famous mural of Francesco Totti in the city centre was smeared with the words ‘Rome is dead,’ Lazio fans staged a mock funeral for their cousins and had an actual priest perform the ceremony. It was all very dramatic, but, seldom is Rome boring.

Fast forward four months or thereabouts and how things have changed. Roma are leading the Serie A table. They have not dropped a single point. They have won all five of their matches so far – something they had never achieved in their history. Only one team has scored more goals than them and no one team has conceded fewer – Roma have leaked just one goal so far. They have even exacted revenge on Lazio, defeating them 2-0 last Sunday.

It’s been the perfect start to life under new boss Rudi Garcia, who deserves much of the credit. Upon being appointed in June, the Frenchman explained his coaching philosophy as being “without doubt offensive, but I am well aware that in order to win a game you also need an excellent defensive base”. Unlike many a Coach, Garcia has actually lived up to his words. His side have displayed a real desire to attack while remaining watertight at the back.  

But Garcia is not getting carried away with his team’s historic run of results. “Are we in the history books? It’s important to make history at the end of the season, not so much now”. He is right, of course. Yet, if his side are planning to make history come May, there is certainly no better way to start than by going out and winning every match. The question is – can Roma actually challenge for the title?

From this early vantage, it is hard to argue that they cannot. Roma are playing at a level they have not exhibited in a long time and virtually every player is performing. Club captain Francesco Totti is enjoying a real purple patch. Daniele De Rossi, after a couple of indifferent seasons, is back to his best. New signings Kevin Strootman, Adem Ljajic, Mehdi Benatia and even Gervinho have all hit the ground running since their summer arrivals. Alessandro Florenzi is also once again showing why he is considered one of Italy’s brightest prospects, while Miralem Pjanic is revelling in his role as the side’s midfield playmaker.

There is also real sense of a collective spirit within the side that no doubt is contributing to their success. Speaking after his side’s midweek win away to Sampdoria, Strootman admitted: “I was so impressed by the way we celebrated, all together including the kit staff.” Garcia has been left similarly impressed: “The credit goes to my players, because this is a fantastic squad, everyone works hard for each other and is eager to do well”.

Since taking over the club in 2011, the American consortium that now own Roma have continually expressed their desire “to make Roma into a championship-calibre team and be one of the great teams in the world.” No doubt, there is still a long way go before such dreams become reality. Yet, for the first time under the American ownership it seems the club are finally on the right track and success in Serie A might not be too far away.  

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Have your say...
Corrections:

Roma's 1st goal : Perfect October

Roma's 2nd goal : Perfect Winter
on the 2nd October, 2013 at 1:06am
Roma's Immediate Goal : Perfect 7
Roma's Shot-term Goal : Perfect 10
Roma's medium-term Goal : Perfect 24
Roma's Long-term Goal : Scudetto

As you said Roma has the right to DREAM
on the 2nd October, 2013 at 12:32am
The Scudetto is a straight fight between Juventus and Napoli. Roma, Inter and Fiorentina will all gradually fade away, as they will take points off each other and will drop too many points through draws with the lesser teams. Juventus and Napoli will win too many games to be challenged. As a Juventino, I believe we will win the Scudetto, because of our experience and our will-to-win that Conte constantly drills into the players. Napoli are strong, but not strong enough to take our crown.
on the 30th September, 2013 at 7:06am
I totally agree with MagicaRoma, to be realistic, Roma side shall ensure the grasp of 4th or 5th place while seeking higher position. To tell the truth, if defending force and attacking force can be reinforced after Christ, like a international level forward with steady goal rate of 0.5 per game, maybe we can dream higher. Yet the probability is less due to financial constraints and USA management style.
So just pray good credit achieved can help lure overseas money.
on the 29th September, 2013 at 6:11am
Campioni 2013/14 forza Roma lets give it a good go ragazzzi anything is possible I hope we do it and I think there is new optimism and hope with new players and coach so let's see but I do have a good feeling this scudetto race I can see us doing it. Ciao Tifosi
on the 28th September, 2013 at 10:55pm
They have just as much right as anyone anything can happen the season is long if they can keep defensive solidity all season long its possible. I don't believe in a two horse race in serie a this season. Many teams doing very well and the main contenders to me don't look very convincing but yes its still to early to tell. Happy to see that Inter isn't being mentioned for anything on this site
on the 28th September, 2013 at 10:17pm
Juve & Napoli are the real contenders for the scudetto.
Having said that, this Roma squad with this level of play & enthusiasm can give anyone a run for their money. As a Romanista this season We are gonna have fun.
on the 28th September, 2013 at 6:27pm
No need to talk about title race. I like the way Garcia has tlaked about this in media. "We must only think about the next match". If Roma can do that then it's possible to win or at least grab places 1-3. I f we start to think we have won the scudetto after 5 matches we will never reach it. Just stay humble and try to win as many matches you can.
on the 28th September, 2013 at 5:55pm
If we don't have lot of injuries then I think roma can do wonders. But we do need a quality striker in January.
on the 28th September, 2013 at 4:32pm
a dream is all it will ever be .
on the 28th September, 2013 at 4:29pm
Livorno, Verona, Parma, Lazio and Sampdoria. 5 straight wins can never be questioned but we cant consider Roma yet.
Livorno and Verona will likely face relegation scraps, Parma away is always tough so that's a good result, as was the derby win although Lazio were Europa League lagged.

Samp have started the season absolutely terribly and also look like they could be fighting for life in May.

After tomorrow its Inter, Napoli and Udinese all away. These games will tell us what Roma are in 13/14.
on the 28th September, 2013 at 3:31pm
have to believe, and there is nothing wrong with believing. plus, dreaming is for free too. so after an amazing, historic start like this, nothing wrong with some much needed excitement with roma especially after the last few seasons. NO one knows what will truly happen till the LAST sunday. but i will certainly say, if this continues, then its only right to think a top 3 finish is possible. we'll just have to see. ...but i do believe! and it's ok to dream!
on the 28th September, 2013 at 3:01pm
It's really hard to say so early into the season if Roma is capable of challenging for the Scudetto. I agree with MagicaRoma and think this squad's realistic place is the 4th or the 5th.
We can talk about progress if Garcia can build a side which can achive consistent results against smaller clubs. In the last 2 seasons the droped many points aginst weaker sides like Catania, Chievo, Bologna and so on. And they haven't faced any of the big sides so far either.
on the 28th September, 2013 at 2:34pm
They are not contender, they'll slip down to the Europa League places as usual.
on the 28th September, 2013 at 1:06pm
As much as I like to dream, realistically a top 3 finish is there to grab for this squad.
Yess we have yet to play one of the strong teams and with such a big and strong squad we must not fear any suspensions/injuries kick in.

Hopefully this is finally the start of a great area with a coach who has clear ideas and is a great motivator and speaker, but let's keep this in mind: "a 1st place finish is the very realistic goal".
on the 28th September, 2013 at 12:52pm
As much as I like to dream, realistically even a top 3 finish is a bit too high for this squad.
We have yet to play one of the strong teams and with a small squad one must fear once suspensions/injuries kick in.

Hopefully this is finally the start of a great area with a coach who has clear ideas and is a great motivator and speaker, but let's not fool ourselves: a 4th or 5th places finish is the most realistic goal.
on the 28th September, 2013 at 11:43am

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