Sunday May 19 2019
Roma spineless & soulless

Roma’s Champions League hopes took a huge blow after they failed to beat Sassuolo, but Vilizar Yakimov thinks the club are paying the price for selling so many big personalities...

If we’re being honest, this was never going to be a good season for Roma. Prior to the sales of Radja Nainggolan, Alisson and Kevin Strootman, the Giallorossi looked like a team who, with a few quality signings, could possibly challenge for the Scudetto.

However, the club chose a different path and a case can be made that receiving close to €130m for just three players was a great piece of business. Yet what followed after those sales was a complete farce. The Monchi experiment led to a series of bizarre decisions, which left Roma without proper replacements for any of the aforementioned trio or solutions to other major issues with their squad.

Robin Olsen has been nothing short of a disaster between the sticks and it’s no surprise to see Antonio Mirante taking his spot. Steven N’Zonzi was supposed to bring composure, experience and a winning mentality after his World Cup triumph with France, but strangely the former Sevilla midfielder has often been found guilty of rookie mistakes at key moments of the season. On the other hand, Javier Pastore looks like a shadow of the player who took Serie A by storm at Palermo almost a decade ago, while Davide Santon was never going to solve the Lupi’s full-back problem.

Weighing all this up, can we really say it’s a surprise to see Roma outside of the top four with only one game left? Hardly. In fact, if we take into account all mistakes that the club made during the course of the campaign, some might say the Lupi are overachieving with their current set of players.

The Giallorossi weren’t far off from pulling off the win they needed against Sassuolo as they managed 26 shots at Andrea Consigli’s goal, hitting the woodwork twice. Yet, despite producing one magical save to keep out a Bryan Cristante header in the second half, the Neroverdi No 1 had to make only three other stops during the whole game, which just shows how inefficient Claudio Ranieri’s men were in front of goal.

The game showcased some of the improvements that Ranieri has overseen in the space of only a couple of months as Roma really went for the victory and almost got it. The 67-year-old would have been particularly pleased with the final 15 minutes of the match, when his players raised the tempo, pinned their opponents back in their own half and created plenty of chances. Unlike many of the Lupi’s games under Eusebio Di Francesco, no-one can question the dedication of most players since Ranieri took over.

There is some consolation as Roma have secured a Europa League spot in Serie A, courtesy of Torino’s 4-1 defeat to Empoli. However, it pales in comparison to the significance of Daniele De Rossi’s exit. The midfielder is set to play in a Giallorossi shirt for the last time next week, against Parma at the Olimpico.

Getting rid of De Rossi, after the club sold so many key players last summer and how they parted ways with Francesco Totti the year before, just doesn’t make sense.

Despite his soon-to-be 36 years, Roma need De Rossi because the lack of effort and love for the jersey that some have displayed this season is simply unacceptable. It is understandable that younger players should be blooded but, looking at the current Roma roster, the club should ask themselves - is it really worth keeping N’Zonzi over De Rossi?

The truth is that James Pallotta cannot blame the referees, VAR, the players nor even the coach for the current situation of his team. In fact, management can only be mad at themselves because, just like Ranieri said, Roma are giving up the spine of their team way too easily.

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Have your say...
Just focusing on the roster and team itself, it's quite remarkable that De Rossi will leave. He is still a terrific player, a better player now than N'Zonzi (a good player not having a good season) will ever be. Besides leadership, De Rossi's blood is burning red, and it burns for this club.

Maybe take a minute to dap up Monchi for getting Zaniolo, and forget how undervalued Nainggolan was in the transfer. But N'Zonzi brought in for almost as much as they sold Nainggolan.

Manolas isn't good.
on the 22nd May, 2019 at 5:00am
Roma have sold a lot of players but we should give Pallotta away for free.
on the 21st May, 2019 at 9:17pm
Pallotta did not know what he was getting into with Italian bureaucracy. So the stadium is ambitious but a joke.
I use to be a die hard my whole life and am taking a sabbatical from this colossal disaster. Star after star is sold. I feel sorry for the fans who believe this team has a chance at a scudetto while sending away 2 stars per year.
on the 21st May, 2019 at 1:53pm
Only ever wanted the stadium, so obvious that's where his focus has been for so long. Dismantling team just confirmed it.
on the 21st May, 2019 at 8:50am
Only ever wanted the stadium, so obvious that's where his focus has been for so long. Dismantling team just confirmed it.
on the 21st May, 2019 at 8:49am
It was fair to expect more from nzonzi and pastore this season they really should have filled the void left by radja and strootman although i really don't see the logic in these transfer dealings.

It is roma own transfer policy which has been their undoing consistently selling players for under the market valve and spending money on inadequate replacements. some of the buyout options are laughable manolas could leave for 38 million euros in the summer in a market with 70 million euro cb.
on the 20th May, 2019 at 10:14pm
Such a shame the planned new stadium is so far away =(
on the 20th May, 2019 at 8:02am
Spot on Romanista.

He has to sell the club asasp. He has single handily ripped the backbone of the club out from Totti to DDR.

on the 20th May, 2019 at 6:18am
Glad if we fail to qualify for UCL coz we don't deserve to be there. Should focus on 2019/2020 Coppa Italia & Europa League from now on, forget Scudetto.
on the 20th May, 2019 at 5:28am
Liverpool are owned by Americans too. Nothing to do with culture. FFP doesn't allow rich owners to pump their money and without owning a stadium and there is no way to increase revenue. Italian politicians and UEFA are to blame for this mess.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 11:07pm
Pallotta has had no intention to run a football club. From the very beginning, he has been using the football team as a front for his real business - property development. He wants to bring Americans' obsession for the new stadium to Rome while ignoring the difficulty with the Italian bureaucracy. He doesn't know a thing about football. He can't and won't speak Italian despite his Italian heritage. A complete disaster for Roma.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 10:40pm

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