Saturday June 1 2019
El Shaarawy: 'Negative Roma season'

Stephan El Shaarawy concedes it was a “negative season” for Roma with a lot of upheaval, but he became a more consistent performer.

The Giallorossi finished in sixth place, failing to qualify for the Champions League under caretaker manager Claudio Ranieri.

“I think that I’ve improved a lot since I first joined Roma three years ago, becoming more mature as a player and above all in terms of my mentality,” he told Roma TV.

“I’ve found greater consistency, which is what I was really lacking. On a personal level, it was a pretty positive season for me, doing fairly well both in my finishing and work off the ball, while I felt more like a protagonist within the squad.

“I had two Coaches who asked for a lot of work on the wings and I think I gave them what they wanted. I had more sharpness in front of goal and in helping the defence.

“It was a truly complicated season, also negative in a way, because so many things were changing in the Coach, the club and everything around us. We had some good performances early on, even if we didn’t convert enough of our chances and dropped points against the smaller sides. That proved to be the difference.

“We could’ve done more. These weren’t the expectations we had going into the season and potentially this squad could’ve been in the top spots. We could’ve done better in Serie A, but also the Coppa Italia and Champions League.

“It was a negative campaign in terms of results, but we need to draw a line under it and try to do better next time. Roma have been in the Champions League regularly and our objective is to always be in the most important competitions.”

El Shaarawy was asked which game he’d like to go back in time and have another go at.

“To be honest, against Porto. I’d have wanted to give my contribution and try to win, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way.”

Roma will be different next season, as Daniele De Rossi was not offered a new contract.

“I’ve always said, he is a real captain, a real leader, someone who has always given heart and soul for this club and city. He trained like crazy even in the last couple of weeks. He set the example of what it is to represent Roma and I think everyone will miss him.”

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