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Friday May 11 2018
Roma can build on three men

Is it just a one season wonder or can Roma keep in pace with Europe most elite clubs, asks Ramez Nathan, identifying three men who can lead them to the top.

Both Roma and Juventus left the Champions League this year after controversial decisions, yet while the Giallorossi protested Trent Alexander-Arnold's handball, Edin Dzeko's unawarded penalty and Liverpool's offside third goal in the first leg, the fans were gratefully singing "Grazie Roma", proud of what their heroes achieved on the pitch.

One can argue that the Old Lady are normally more ambitious, however there was something charming about La Magica this season. It is what turned Captain Daniele De Rossi's quotes from being glad he will face Shakhtar Donetsk as Roma "would already be beaten before kick-off," against a couple of teams to a leader claiming that “next year we need to try to win the Champions League, because we are not much worse than them Liverpool.”

It is the magic that turned James Pallotta, an American who once invested his money in the NBA and declared he hates football, to dive into a fountain in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo after a historic Romantada over Barcelona.

The team's roster had some epic performances. Alisson Becker was the only keeper to save more than 40 shots in the Champions League, the defence kept five home clean sheets, Cengiz Under scored away in Shakhtar and assisted the goal that took Roma to the semi-finals for the first time in three decades and Edin Dzeko rejected Chelsea to reach this Champions League milestone for the first time in his career.

Nonetheless, three specific men need to stay for the Roman dream to one day turn into reality.

There is a man working on the small details and the fine tuning, he is the one that took over the club six years ago, President Pallotta. The President started a commercial team, a digital team, a TV station, a radio station and he was behind creating studios for the club.

Pallotta's plan is to undergo a cultural change in the club, as he hired a data team of advanced analytics to exploit opponents and more importantly transfer targets.

Along with the data team, Pallotta hired Monchi, a leader in the transfers field, already showing a glimpse of what he can do last summer by signing Cengiz Under and Aleksandar Kolarov.

Excluding transfer fees and taxes, last season Roma’s operating revenue was €171.8m which stands 24th-highest in Europe. If the club was hoping to make that budget form a European monster, their only faith had to be in the former Sevilla genius.

Last but not least is Eusebio Di Francesco, the first former Roma player to Coach La Lupa from the start of the season since Fabio Capello.

Knowing the 48-year-old was coached by Capello himself in the early 2000s and that he was part of the last troops to win Serie A with the club, showcases where he got all the hunger to guide the Giallorossi to this historic campaign.

It's not easy to keep a clean sheet against Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Barcelona at home. It could be considered nonsense to start with three centre-backs for the first time in a return leg against the Blaugrana and no one will ever be able to explain how this guy implemented a warriors' spirit in a team that lost 4-1 in the first leg against arguably the best team in the world and kept fighting back with Liverpool when they were 5-0, 6-2 and 7-3 down, until the very last minute.

A formula needs to be established for these three men to continue at the Capital, as Monchi has to help Di Francesco with new players especially at the back, Pallotta needs to invest more money to help Monchi get the players and the President needs to receive a formal approval for constructing a new stadium, so that Roma turns on the long-term from a selling club to ferrous European side. 

Have your say...
Keeping Alisson is a yes and keeping Manolas is a no.

Despite Roma's GA ranking in Serie A, their defense is not anywhere near good enough. Florenzi is not a RB, honestly, and he's certainly not a RB playing next to Manolas. Roma are very well-coached and have a midfield 3 that do a lot for the defense (Tho Nainggolan is clearly a #10, who on top of that, can only play as a #10, right Martinez?).

Roma need a world-class CB to line up alongside Fazio. Plain and simple.
on the 24th May, 2018 at 1:59pm
Roma need to break ground with their new stadium. IF Serie A is to compete with Europe Roma, Milan, Inter and Napoli need modern 55.000 seater stadiums and Lazio and Fiorentina should aim at 40.000.
on the 12th May, 2018 at 9:39pm
ck on again in the coming seasons!
on the 12th May, 2018 at 8:07pm
Roma won't b a selling club once the stadium is up n running!? It was nice to c them with a sponser on v Liverpool 2 help with revenue but their shirts did also look nice without one! If they can keep most of their main players this time, maybe just selling one big name or Defrel,Gonalons,Jesus,Gerson n the like instead n if Monchi can bring in some more promising youngsters 4 a cut-down price then Roma could progress again next season. Fascinating club n it will b interesting 2 c if they can ki
on the 12th May, 2018 at 8:06pm
mohammad, we are tied for 2nd least goals conceded in Serie A. Our defense is fine. What we need is a winger or midfielder that can put in 10-15 goals in a season. Juan Jesus is a capable backup and Fazio pairs well with Manolas. We need a decent RB. Thankfully Karsdorp will basically be a new signing.
on the 12th May, 2018 at 5:01pm
Agree, keeping also top players is a key to success, Roma has some weakness especially in defense, Juan Jesus should leave, Fazio should be used as a backup, 2 CB is needed.
on the 12th May, 2018 at 7:36am
Yeahhh i dont know about the roma would have made the final part. 
on the 11th May, 2018 at 10:37pm
Roma had no choice but to sell Salah due to FFP. And to be honest, Salah was mediocre at Roma. He could dribble past the whole opposition and somehow manage to kill a bird with his shoot rather than score a goal. Klopp helped him improve. He can now keep his cool in front of the GK and finish the chance.
on the 11th May, 2018 at 6:15pm
Anonymous 11, I hope you are wrong but part of me still agrees with your statements. If Roma wants to build a winner both domestically and at the CL level, they need to keep their best players, plain and simple. I hope Becker and Manolas stay but their stock may be too high not to sell. Becker's wages need to be doubled at the very minimum for him to stay. We need defensive players but I wouldn't mind Roma picking up Coric or Talisca in the midfield (preferably Coric)
on the 11th May, 2018 at 2:15pm
Roma would have not reached the CL final if we had not sold Salah, simply because we would have been excluded from CL, for the FFP.
on the 11th May, 2018 at 12:23pm
Lol! I can just tell that Anonymous11 is a salty MIlan fan..still triggered by that 4-0 whooping.

Alisson and Manolas out! Bahaha!
on the 11th May, 2018 at 8:23am
Be afraid Serie A! Be very afraid.

This club is being as or even more progressive than Juve. We are playing chess while Napoli and the MIlan teams are playing checkers. It’s a process that will bare fruit in the long term. Pallotta has had a learning curve but he’s taking the right steps. The stadium has taken way too long for approval. Now that it’s going to happen, our commercial revenue is gonna sky rocket.
on the 11th May, 2018 at 7:22am
Pallota is the best thing that ever happened to Roma since birth of Totti.
on the 11th May, 2018 at 4:15am
Roma remains a selling club and selling clubs do not win European cups. They would be in the final instead of Liverpool if they had not sold Salah. Let me repeat, with Salah they would be in the final. Now Manolas and Allison appear to be on their way out. No amount of data analytics, shrewd business men, sporting directors and coaches will guarantee you a rotating line of cheap talent to replace existing talent year after year. That seems to be Pallotta's current business model.
on the 11th May, 2018 at 1:42am

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