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Wednesday March 14 2018
Roma more than a supermarket

How did Eusebio Di Francesco turn the supermarket into one of the top eight teams in Europe? Ramez Nathan answers.

Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo, famously known as Monchi, arrived in Rome last May after enjoying 16 years as the director of football at Sevilla, carrying silverware to the club's cabinet like never before.

Upon his arrival to the Giallorossi, he announced in his first statement that the team's all-time legend Francesco Totti will retire, a month later Coach Luciano Spalletti followed the Captain out of the club after leading them to a milestone of 87 points.

And during the summer transfer window, the Wolves were stripped of vital players in every position as Wojciech Szczesny joined rivals Juventus, Antonio Rüdiger and Leandro Paredes followed Italian tacticians to England and Russia, while the most lethal member of the squad Mohamed Salah had unfinished business in the Premier League.

A new Coach along with eight players arrived at the club, which pushed the followers of Italian football to make a mockery out of Monchi's summer comments that Roma wasn't a supermarket and even the most optimistic Roma fans would label the situation as a transitional period, especially with the lack of experience under Di Francesco's managerial belt.

However, the Italian boss hasn’t been the slightest whiff of a manager struggling to adjust his side. He maintained the third spot in Serie A and most importantly headed La Magica to their first Champions League quarter-finals in 10 years, clarifying he is not just an intermediate option until Monchi rebuilds the Colosseum.

Apart from Aleksandar Kolarov proving he is the bargain of the season in Italian football, none of the new faces have put on displays that would make the Lupi fans forget about the bags of talent that left the club, yet the philosophy implemented by Di Francesco brought the results they have been longing for.

Faith in Alisson Becker helped the Brazilian reach sensational form, pulling 27 more saves than any keeper remaining in the Champions League, but more importantly the defensive unity assembled by Di Francesco has kept Roma's clean sheet in all four home games in the competition.

The team that used to be identified by their beautiful football and massive defensive errors have turned the tables to become honest representatives of pure Calcio, as with the Shakhtar game they didn’t concede a single shot on target. Thanks also to the outstanding individual qualities upfront, Roma are bagging the results they dreamed of.

Cengiz Under, Stephan El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti have all had astonishing runs in different times of the season, but the maturity of Eden Dzeko under his new manager has been the most crucial.

Although he rebelled at the start of the campaign, stating he misses his partnership with Salah, he eventually submitted to Di Francesco, who turned him from a goal scoring machine in to a decisive overall force for Roma upfront.

Dzeko hasn't reached half his goal scoring records from last year, but he has managed a much higher rate of key passes to his teammates and the ones he fired past ‘keepers have broken Napoli's winning streak in Serie A and forced Chelsea and Shakhtar to bow down to the Emperors in the Champions League.

Doesn't Di Francesco deserve more praise for beauty he wrought from what was expected to be a mess?

Have your say...
Roma managers were so stupid not paying Arsenal for W. Szczesny. But that's luck for the lad as Juventus is overall much better team.
on the 15th March, 2018 at 3:38pm
Even after selling their big name players, Roma have done really well winning a group that had both Chelsea and Atletico Madrid in it and now making the QF after beating a pretty solid Shakhtar outfit. It'd be nice to see 2 Italian teams in the SF for the first time in 15 years.
on the 15th March, 2018 at 12:27pm
Roma sell their best every single season...

ANYWAY, quarter finals is going to be a nightmare...every single team can demolish us. I can only see Sevilla as potential, but even they can I think
on the 15th March, 2018 at 10:50am
Once Roma get their new stadium in 2028 they won't have to sell their best players anymore.
on the 14th March, 2018 at 10:32pm
Hope they soon break ground and start building their new stadium. They need it.
on the 14th March, 2018 at 10:19pm
Players and their agents aren't stupid, they know the EPL is where the money is. Salah was bad business for Roma though. They should have slapped at least a 100 mil price tag on that guy and If they don't want to pay then bench the players azz as a sub. Also, no retirees or unwanted players from the EPL. A youth product should fill the position instead. Monchi the monkey should do better business.
on the 14th March, 2018 at 9:27pm
Well done Roma. Di Francesco is overachieving! My only concern is just how ambitious Roma are? If they have to sell until the new Stadio is built, then fair enough but if they then continue to sell their best then it'll be hard 4 them 2 b successfull rebuilding every yr! At least with Schick they have a quality back up 2 Dzeko now. Under, Pellegrini, Alisson n Kolarov have lessened the pain of the departures somewhat. Plse try n hold on to em tho. Why don't Roma have a sponser 2 help revenue?
on the 14th March, 2018 at 9:12pm
FORZA ROMA
on the 14th March, 2018 at 8:12pm
Well done Roma. I hope they draw Liverpool and kick them out.

This however doesn't mean that their transfer market wasn't abysmal. The owners need to close down the supermarket or at least raise their prices.
on the 14th March, 2018 at 6:59pm
First, as a Juve fan, i am still happy for roma, they deserve this and they are follwing the Juve model by building their own stadium and trying to globalise their brand. HOwever, Until Roma can start to make more money they will always be supermarket. THey dont even have a sponser for gods sake. Hopefully for them they will continue to make the CL and go far in it. Imagine if Roma actuallky kept their players from 2-3 years ago they would be one of the best teams in the world.
on the 14th March, 2018 at 6:34pm
It's pretty funny that only 3 comments so far don't mention Juve under an article dedicated to Roma's victory.
on the 14th March, 2018 at 4:01pm
More than a supermarket, its a Costco
on the 14th March, 2018 at 3:20pm
i hope we draw juve. we could maybe beat them or this would guarantee an Italian club in semis
on the 14th March, 2018 at 2:46pm
every € teams like Roma and hopefully Inter or Milan soon (Napoli is a disgrace and doesn't deserve to even be considered for CL success) can take from CL is a € that doesn't go in Juventus's coffer. Juventus took home around 100 million € from each of last 3 seasons in CL because they didn't have to split it with anybody else, other Italian teams being there in CL QF's and hopefully later as well soon is the only thing that's going to make the league more balanced
on the 14th March, 2018 at 2:37pm
wow an Italian team other than Juventus that can beat teams like Shakhtar, so refreshing. What Serie A needs is exactly this, more Italian teams reaching later stages in CL and even EL, that'll make the league more ballanced. Napoli maybe winning the Scudetto once every 20+ years at the expense of everything else will do the league little good because even if they do somehow pull it off Juventus will just win it again next season and long term Napoli lost a lot of money and EU experience...
on the 14th March, 2018 at 2:24pm
In terms of transfer business the since 2015 it really has been comical for roma but unfortunately for monchi this has to be the worst to spend 117 million euros on new players the vast majority of whom not getting game time well that is embarrassing. what is worse is selling salah for 42 million euros in a market were kyle walker went for 50 million euros that seems to be a bargain. Still in time i would think some of the younger acquisitions will pay off
on the 14th March, 2018 at 12:50pm
What an amazing night, the stadio was rocking, amazing atmosphere. Very proud of my team last night. We gave everything and got through. To reach the QF is a huge achievement regardless of what happens next. We limited Shaktar to very little and we where unlucky to not score a 2nd goal. We did Italian football proud last night unlike Napoli in both competitions. Thank god we didn't sell Dzeko. FORZA ROMA. I think we will draw Liverpool in QF.
on the 14th March, 2018 at 12:13pm
Perfect quarter final scenario:

Guardiola v Real Madrid

Klopp v Bayern Munich

Conte v Juventus

Di Francesco v Montella
on the 14th March, 2018 at 11:53am

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