Monday January 18 2021
Derby debacle could be terrible turning point for Roma

The Giallorossi went off the rails at this stage last season, and Owen Diana fears that something similar could happen this year.

History could be set to be repeat itself for La Lupa. A second straight strong start to the season under Paulo Fonseca could prove to be another false dawn after a damaging 3-0 derby defeat.

Friday’s meek surrender to archival Lazio is a major cause for concern, especially as it fits into a preoccupying pattern of poor performances against the Peninsula’s premier sides.

Roma’s abysmal record against the big boys over the last 18 months is impossible to ignore. Their only triumph over a top four team in 2019-20 came against a heavily rotated Juventus that had already secured the Scudetto.

This term, they have collected only three points from meetings with Juventus, the Milan clubs, Napoli, Atalanta and Lazio.

Rather than showing signs of progress against the elite, it appears the Giallorossi have regressed.

They have suffered shellackings in Naples, Bergamo and the Eternal City, and their latest lifeless display could send them tumbling down the table as Juve, Atalanta and Lazio are within touching distance from Fonseca’s side in the table.

Even if that worst-case scenario came to pass, there would still be an entire ‘ritorno’ to turn things around.

Yet, a disastrous run of results around this time last year saw the Giallorossi lose touch with the top four, and the way both players and coach cowered in the face of adversity at the Olimpico suggests that the painful lessons of that fallow period have not been heeded.

More spirit must be shown moving forward, and that starts in the dugout. The difference in demeanor between Fonseca and Simone Inzaghi was striking, with the latter constantly cajoling his charges from the edge of his technical area while the Portuguese stayed stoic.

Even after taking a 2-0 lead, the Biancocelesti boss could be seen berating referee Daniele Orsato for a garden variety foul on Felipe Caicedo.

That sharp contrast in comportment is damning for Roma’s head honcho, as is his tardy tactical response to Lazio’s utter domination. The hosts were in complete control of proceedings throughout the second stanza, but Fonseca waited until the 70th minute to switch from a back three to a more adventurous two center-back setup.

The Mozambique-born mister has masterminded some spellbinding attacking showings during his tenure, but Roma’s reputation as one of Serie A’s great entertainers will be all for naught if they cannot secure a top four spot.

Even after a solid run of results in the lead up to Friday’s fiasco (10 points from a previous 12 on offer), La Lupa could be cut adrift in the Champions League chase if they don’t recover quickly.

Upcoming home contests against Spezia and Hellas Verona provide an opportunity to get back on track, and victory in both of those games is imperative.

Yet, a tricky trip to Turin on February 6 to face Juventus could further underline La Lupa’s inferiority complex against Italy’s best. Ultimately, that weakness against the cream of the crop could prove Fonseca’s undoing.


Have your say...
--So I also played with an idea of: "What if Lazio & Roma MERGED?" LOL

In my concepts, that team has Red & Sky Blue jerseys with Yellow & White trims.
Their symbol features a griffin-like creature: wolf with eagle head, claws & wings...

...And yesterday I found that such a club REALLY EXISTS!!!
It's called Lupa Roma F.C. & their crest features wolf & eagle. HAHAHA

What's next? A team with black-red-blue stripes called AC INTER MILAN?
on the 21st January, 2021 at 3:40am
As an artist I always try different "high concept" ideas in my work & enjoy playing with Serie A/ Roma themes:
Like, drawing a feral DDR with two wolves, all three covered in blood.., standing above a just hunted, fallen zebra... while Daniele also chews on a caught eagle's broken wing. :)
(It sounds gruesome but I swear it's drawn tastefully in a Disney/ Art Adams way.)

Anyway, it's cool how artistically you can interpret Lazio's colors as "Heaven" & Roma's as "Hell". (Or Angels VS Demons.)
on the 21st January, 2021 at 3:37am
Yay, I got my own impersonator --How cool is that!
My fanboy probably appreciates that I never use anonymous nicks to comment here on FI, even when trolling trolls. (Which sadly also alienates me from other club's "cool" fans...)

Oh, Roma... SPAL?? Really?
The mental freefall has begun...
Reset is needed. But for that you need something "new". 2-3 new players in January, please.
Then replace Fonseca in July.

(I predicted Roma would finish above Lazio this year. I am still convinced of that.)
on the 21st January, 2021 at 12:26am
I really don't know where to place Roma. At the end of last season they didn't play particularly well but they were just grinding out positive results. This season you wouldn't be surprised if they won 2-0 or lost 4-0 regardless of the opponents.
on the 20th January, 2021 at 12:43pm
The sooner we realise that most of our players are talentless, overrated mercenaries like that pug-nosed Dzeko the better. Not one of the team out there on Friday would make it in the Lazio starting XI. I'm off to support my cugini, AS Abruzzo FC
on the 18th January, 2021 at 11:55pm

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