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Friday March 26 2021
Striker struggles set Roma back

The Giallorossi's forwards have stopped firing at the worst possible time, and Owen Diana believes that the capital club cannot aspire too much until the issue is resolved.

The goals have gone from the red half of Rome. After a free-scoring first half of the season from their forwards fired La Lupa into the Champions League places, a worrying collective drought in front of goal is threatening to torpedo a once-promising campaign.

Since the start of February, the statistics are not pretty for the club's key attackers, but their goals are crucial if the Giallorossi want to play and not only watch Champions League football on TV next season. Vital quartet Edin Dzeko, Borja Mayoral, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pedro have combined for just one goal in the last eight Serie A games, and that dry spell has coincided with the Giallorossi's tumble down the table and in the Betway odds.

Roma were sitting pretty in the third spot after a comfortable 3-1 triumph over Hellas Verona on the final day of January, but they have since slid down the standings after taking just 10 points from the last 24 on offer. That slump has allowed Juventus, Atalanta and Napoli to pass them, and there is now a five-point gap between La Lupa and Gian Piero Gasperini's side in fourth.

Each member of the foursome mentioned above warrants their share of flak for the negative run of results, but Dzeko is deserving of the harshest treatment. The Bosnian bomber's ongoing feud with Fonseca has created an unwanted distraction for the club, who will likely seek the sale of their former captain in the summer.

Getting an ageing Dzeko's massive wages (third highest net salary in Serie A at €7.5 million a year) off the books would be a boon for the Eternal City slickers. Replacing him with a younger attacker seems sensible, and Fiorentina hitman Dusan Vlahovic has been heavily linked in the last few weeks. However, the Giallorossi face stiff competition from Milan for the Serbian starlet's signature.

The precocious Viola predator still has plenty of room to grow at 21. Still, his devastating displays during Cesare Prandelli's brief second stint in Tuscany suggest that he could come in and immediately provide stiff competition for Mayoral.

Despite his recent Serie A struggles, the Spanish striker has proven an intelligent investment, and it would be no surprise to see La Lupa execute the €15 million buy option they have on the player this summer.

If Roma make both of those moves, they would have a fledgling forward line that could develop into one of the most dangerous divisions.

Betting on potential makes sense for the Friedkins, especially considering the turmoil surrounding other club areas.

Fonseca's future is up in the air at the moment, and the Portuguese tactician is likely to depart if Champions League football cannot be secured.

Such a failure would negatively impact an already delicate financial situation that forced the Friedkins to scrap the long-discussed project for a new stadium in favour of heavier spending on transfers.

There would be even more money available if a ticket to Europe's premier club competition can be procured.

Atalanta's advantage is not irretrievable, while an enticing Europa League quarterfinal is on the docket with Ajax. There is still time to save a flagging season, but that will not be possible without the strikers' support.

@forkicksblog

Have your say...
I wonder what happened to cause the breakdown between Dzeko and Fonseca. Last year, Dzeko was legitimately in the conversation of being the best number 9 in the world after Lewandowski.
on the 5th April, 2021 at 3:15pm
Completely agree ROMAntic, the ONLY team this year to have lost points in the courthouse is Roma. Its an absolute travesty.
on the 30th March, 2021 at 6:33pm
In the last post I'm talking about: Juve-Napoli being postponed... AGAIN... just days before it should have been played.

Did Napoli get favoured by postponement? ABSOLUTELY.
Juve would've tired them midweek, maybe Mertens would got a red card & be unavailable against Roma. They'd have to spread their play & players around TWO matches, not having a whole week to prepare for the Roma game.

Honestly, would it have made a difference? Doubtedly.
But the explanation Roma received was disrespectful.
on the 28th March, 2021 at 12:14am
PS:
I couldn't care less for that Roma's taken point. (They lost 3 against Parma, 2 against 10-man Benevento...)
Or that the club getting off the hook is Lazio.

But give me RESPECT. Show me equal treatment.

It's about principles!
Surely when a club asks Federation to present proof that a request for game postponement, one that will greatly affect your team, was presented in the correct timely manner, one cannot simply reply: "Trust us. Everything is in order."

GIVE ME WRITTEN PROOF, ******!
on the 27th March, 2021 at 6:37pm
4.
Juventus tried to cheat and give Suarez an Italian citizenship.
CITIZENSHIP!!!
Did they do it out of kindness & love?
--NO! Objective was to improve their team & get advantage in Serie A.
That is INTENT. THAT is malice!
Suarez didn't play a single game for Juve, but only because they were caught beforehand! Where are penalties for this conduct??

Meanwhile, Napoli are allowed to postpone their games without any merit...


Seriously, I am this close to becoming Batman & hunting corrupt people!
on the 27th March, 2021 at 6:34pm
3.
SO, HOW IN HELL WAS TORINO-LAZIO GAME NOT REGISTERED AS A 3-0 LOSS??!!
THIS DESERVES ALL CAPITAL LETTERS & EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!

LAZIO DOCTORS & LOTITO RECEIVING BANS ACKNOWLEDGES THEY ACTED WRONG!
LAZIO INTENTIONALLY FIELDED INELIGIBLE PLAYERS!!! THE FACT THEY AVOIDED MEDIA SHOWS HOW THEY WERE AWARE OF THEIR WRONGDOINGS & HOW THEY PLANNED TO PASS THE BLAME ON THE LABORATORY WHO TESTSED THEIR PLAYERS.


Compare THAT to Roma's "crime"! LOL
Even my imaginary 2-year-old son knows this is wrong!
on the 27th March, 2021 at 6:32pm
2.
We know about COVID-19, how it stopped life, affected economy & killed thousands...
So when Lazio decided to field players in Serie A that were regarded virus-positive in CL, alarms went off.
Did Lazio inform the federation about the odd contradiction, asking how to proceed??
--NO! They even covered up why their players were not allowed to play in CL!!!

That is INTENT! THAT is malice!
The players that should not have played against Torino had a huge effect in game; Ciro even scored a goal!
on the 27th March, 2021 at 6:28pm
1.
Because of ONE incompetent man, who put Diawarra on list "B" instead of paper "A", Roma's game with Verona was categorized as a 3-0 loss; Even when Diawarra's participation in that match ultimately did not give Romans any advantage as they still had FOUR slots, on paper "A", free!
It's obvious what occurred wasn't made out of malice, but out of clumsiness. (The guy responsible lost his job at Roma ...& oddly now works for Verona.)
--Yet the 3-0 penalty still stands, even after Roma's appeal.
on the 27th March, 2021 at 6:26pm

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