Wednesday February 3 2021
Dzeko never was a Roma captain

Edin Dzeko has been stripped of the captaincy, with both the striker and coach Paulo Fonseca’s Roma futures in doubt, so Susy Campanale looks at the long-term.

Few clubs in the world, let alone Italy, are more prone to self-destruction than Roma. This latest row between coach and star player isn’t remotely new, as they went through the Francesco Totti-Luciano Spalletti years, but this one feels different, because I sincerely doubt either of them will be at the Olimpico for long.

Totti was an icon, whereas Dzeko is a forward who seemingly every year is on the verge of leaving for Chelsea, Inter or Juventus. Spalletti was on his second spell at the club, whereas Fonseca had at best mediocre results in his debut season and hasn’t really connected with the supporters at all. Even without knowing what exactly the argument was about, it’s hard to particularly care one way or the other.

Dzeko played it smart, though. When frozen out from training with his teammates, he still insisted on attending every game in the stands, cheering on the Giallorossi and celebrating every goal. He knew the optics and that it would show the ultras he was the one who really cared about Roma, not this newcomer tactician.

The solution has been a stopgap, because with the January transfer window closed and Inter too broke to afford the taxes on Dzeko’s salary, they have no other choice but to grit their teeth and get through the next six months, trying to keep the seething mutual resentment under wraps. In July, we’ll have yet more reports of Dzeko ready to leave, while it’ll be an achievement if Fonseca lasts the full season.

If anything, the upshot of all this has been a decision that should’ve been made in the first place: making Lorenzo Pellegrini the captain of Roma. For decades that honour was given only to the local representatives, your Giuseppe Giannini, Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi. In recent years, those homegrown talents, the men who love Roma more than just as a job, have been systematically purged from the squad for reasons unknown. If the Friedkins really are determined to restore the club’s bond with the fans and even bring back the old badge, then making Pellegrini the captain is a big step in the right direction.

Let’s be honest, Dzeko was only given the armband because there was nobody else left and it was a way of appeasing him after the transfer to a bigger club again failed to materialise. He shouldn’t have worn it in the first place and this move simply restores normality. If there’s one thing that the fans can all agree on, it’s that they’d rather keep Pellegrini than either Dzeko or Fonseca going forward. That is probably something the Bosnian and Portuguese bickering couple can also acknowledge, because the next six months are just treading water.

Have your say...
But I am OK with Dzeko losing his captaincy.

For the past 3 years Roma tried to push him out (Chelsea, Inter, Juve) so he feels underappreciated. He doesn't believe in their doomed project anymore (I told you he is smart!) and is not prepared to bleed/ sacrifice for this club anymore...

The only person who'd be foolish enough to do that would be someone who loves Roma NO MATTER WHAT.

A proud Roman. Passionate Romanista. Lorenzo Pellegrini.

& unlike Alessandro, Lorenzo has much more swag.
on the 6th February, 2021 at 3:46am
An example:
I still remember how CR7 mocked Florenzi for his height...
Well, Ron would never trash talk to Edin. Dzeko has a natural "alpha-male" aura because of his experiences/ achievements in SPORT (Trophies, awards) & LIFE (He's a National Superhero married to a 180cm Supermodel Goddess.)

Dzeko can back up his behavior: He's a "dog" who "can" and "did" "bite". Unlike Florenzi who sadly only "barks" while everyone sees through his bluff.

I ADORE Alessandro! But Edin is a better captain.
on the 6th February, 2021 at 3:39am
With his credentials, Edin should have inherited the captaincy already from Totti!
Let's also not forget Dzeko is PHYSICALLY IMPOSING and a RESPECTED SUPERSTAR.

Team's captain has a specific role. Just like you wouldn't place a goalkeeper in attack, so too must you wisely choose your captain: He will talk to the ref & argue with the other team's captain.

--Dzeko lived his childhood in a WAR-TORN BOSNIA, for God's sake!!!
on the 6th February, 2021 at 3:16am
When Florenzi left, Dzeko was in his 5th year at the club with 222 appearances (& 106 goals).
Pellegrini was in his 3rd year with 104 appearances (& 9 goals).

- Dzeko already captains HIS COUNTRY!!!!!

- Dzeko speaks Bosnian/ Serbian / Croatian, Czech, German, English, Italian.

- Dzeko is older & much, MUCH MORE EXPERIENCED.
He has 682 appearances for 6 clubs & 112 for his Nation, compared to Pellegrini's 184 for 2 clubs & 15 for Italy.

...But he's not Italian or Roman, right? LOOL
on the 6th February, 2021 at 3:14am
Imagine you move to France because a French company begged you to take a job there. You are great at your work and in five years living abroad you also learn the language fluently.

There's a promotion up for grabs...
But the company decides to give it to the "new guy", someone who only started working there two years ago, not because he's more capable than you, ...but because he is LOCAL/ FRENCH.

If you still believe Lorenzo should've gotten the captaincy, you are a STUPID RACIST.
on the 6th February, 2021 at 3:08am
Give Roma a bit more time, they just entered a new direction, Fonseca is doing fine.

If he gets 4th or 5th place than hire a new coach, if someone good is available.

Allegri I like, I read somewhere Sarri I hope not.

I would love to see Spalleti again. Loved his strikerless formation with Totti in 2007.
on the 6th February, 2021 at 2:04am
@Anonymous1, I admire your positive optimistic belief that Roma will retain their third place at the end of the season...

@Anonymous2, you are SPOT ON.
Nothing has changed with this new ownership. --Very soon having a player on a 5-7 mil salary at Roma will be a Science Fiction.
...Good luck convincing great players to come or even stay with that approach!
Roma is degrading right in front of our eyes... :(

You finally learned to spell "Roma" correctly. I'm so proud of you! :)
on the 5th February, 2021 at 6:13pm
Agree with the conclusion of the article. It's been clear for some time that Roma and Dzeko should part ways. Roma need the resale value (he's not getting any younger), Dzeko wants out, and he doesn't have ideal qualities for the squad.

Re: Fonseca - top 4 finish would be job well done. Results vs big clubs may come, but if Allegri is available they have to get him because he's an upgrade.

Lots of room for growth in the Roma squad now. Pellegrini has been a beast. Exciting time to watch Roma
on the 4th February, 2021 at 7:46pm
Lets be honest, Roma is club who is in hunt for money, not fame and sport results. Roma is club of the owners who came into Roma to earn money, not to be world champs. Dzeko is Last Mohican in Roma, they sold all others, so he should be a captain!
on the 4th February, 2021 at 5:58pm
roma systematically sell their players every season if they simply kept they youth academy players they could of had florenzi, romagnoli, politano, luca pellegrini and a young scamacca in their team so potentially you could have a captain which was florenzi or romagnoli for the next couple of years a captain in scamacca in for later part of the 20s and early 30s.

just give it to lorenzo pellegrini he could be captain for the next 5 or 6 years.
on the 4th February, 2021 at 5:19pm
I'm just here for Susy! I'm glad she's still around and writing. It's been a minute! Maybe she can put together a blogpost about Milan as well?

Hope you're well, Susy! Cheers from Rossoneri faithful!
on the 4th February, 2021 at 4:51pm
I agree with a few things in this article- 1.fonseca is not well liked by the fans and 2. the poor treatment of our home grown talent (e.g, totti, de rossi, florenzi). Third place is def not mediocre; however, our current defense record is disgusting. This is unacceptable. I look forward to having Allergi potentially joining the team in the summer.
on the 4th February, 2021 at 3:42pm
no dzeko - no Problem.
every 6 months dzeko wants to get away, in the meantime he plays most of the games in a bad mood. he doesn't sprint, he doesn't press - mayoral is not a very good striker, but he does the basics and the team as whole is much better...
on the 4th February, 2021 at 2:11pm
@ Gi-Al-lorossi

I think Anonymous is referring to then (Suzy's quote) and now (3rd place).
on the 4th February, 2021 at 11:27am
Allegri would probably be an improvement over Fonseca, but it's hard to be harsh on the latter after he took over a club that had constantly sold its best players year after year.

Given they are third now and in the EL knockouts, I'd say it'd be very unfair to sack him.

Dzeko has been a fine signing for them, better than I thought he'd be, but he's hardly the future of the club.

He'll more than likely be gone in 6 months regardless.

Keep him happy till then and aim for top 4 and EL success
on the 4th February, 2021 at 10:33am
@ Anonymous

In 19-20, Fonseca's debut season, we finished 5th, not 3rd - 8 points behind Lazio in 4th. So yeah - absolutely mediocre.
on the 4th February, 2021 at 9:38am
Why is Fonseca likely to be gone in 6 months? They sit 3rd in the league and are only 6 points off top spot ahead of Napoli, Atalanta and Lazio who all have better teams on paper. They play an attractive style and as others have said have many flourishing youngsters who are only going to get better. Dzeko is old and would need to be replaced soon anyway so let him go and bring in a younger, quality replacement
on the 4th February, 2021 at 9:26am
Roma, Roma, Roma, la terza squadra della capitale...I thought Groundhog day was Feb 2nd, but here we are on Feb 3rd with yet another blog about the capitals least successful side. A team that hates their manager, star striker and really themselves, especially after being humiliated in the derby. It is ok, they are getting a new stadium soon ????
on the 3rd February, 2021 at 9:41pm
"Fonseca had at best mediocre results in his debut season and hasn’t really connected with the supporters at all."?
Really? 3rd place in Serie A is mediocre? And particularly during an ongoing financial crisis at the club which pre-dated him? And during the COVID pandemic he hasn't connected with the fans? Susy, you really need to do your homework before putting out such junk. I completely agree with the previous commenters.
on the 3rd February, 2021 at 7:02pm
Dzeko's time is indeed over. However, for Fonseca, a Champions League qualification, which still looks good on the books, will almost certainly guarantee another year of him and potentially another year of improvement. I credit the man for unlocking the talent of several of our young and promising players, Ibanez, Karsdrop, Villar, Pellegrini, Mancini, Majoral, Spinazzola and last but not least Calafiori. Roma is improving. In any other season than last's, 70 points would've brough CL football.
on the 3rd February, 2021 at 5:26pm

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