Roma Coach Luciano Spalletti explains he “chose Alisson because Wojciech Szczesny hadn’t trained much”.
The tactician caused a minor stir when he opted to start with the Brazilian goalkeeper in Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Porto, given that the Pole had been the starter last season.
“Is it a definitive choice?” Spalletti considered ahead of the Udinese game.
“No, I chose Alisson because Szczesny hadn’t trained much. Szczesny is one of those who deserved to play in a game like the Porto one because of what he did last season.
“He and [Stephan] El Shaarawy earned it, but I have to make my evaluations and I start from who I think is the strongest at that moment in time, without being influenced by sentiment.
“‘The goalkeeper has to be one, he has the starting shirt’ - why is that accepted? We’re in a new world, things have changed. I make my decisions, even if they’re wrong, and they’re based on the players.
“Before Szczesny became the starter it was [Morgan] De Sanctis, then the Pole took over. I wasn’t the Coach, but I followed Roma and I saw De Sanctis play a lot of times.
“That’s what I remember, now you’ll tell me I’m wrong… [Szczesny started the first two games of last season] Fine, I’m wrong!”
Spalletti was then asked whether or not his side can challenge Juventus for the Scudetto this season.
“Lads, we’ve said this too many times. I know you [the media] always like to hear the same things.
“Yesterday Peres said that he wants to win. Fine, then you need to start pedalling, because to win we need to pedal hard.
“We want to win all the time, we don’t want to pick and choose when or what we win, but to win everything.
“But then there are the games against Napoli, Juventus, Milan, Inter, Fiorentina then there’s us. Don’t think that those who were behind last season will stay behind.
“Don’t think that Inter and Milan are worse than Roma, because they aren’t. We’re strong, and we have to be great right away.”
Finally, the Coach discussed the challenge Udinese will pose to his side tomorrow.
“They are good,” Spalletti warned.
“They have a club who make situations clear to everyone. They sign these small phenomena who can play in a lot of roles.
“In that sense, there’s nothing specific to target about them, they have strength, technique and pace. It’ll be tough, but they have no more [Antonio] Di Natale, so they’ve lost a lot there. “I know [Beppe] Iachini well so they’ll definitely be a strong and well-organised team.
“Don’t be fooled by the result against Spezia [a 3-2 defeat in the Coppa Italia], I spoke with people at Spezia and they told me that everything went in their favour and against Udinese.
“Of course in football it’s the results that make the difference.”