Monday August 27 2012
Panucci: Enrique's Roma would've lost

Former Roma defender Christian Panucci believes the point I Lupi took against Catania is one they wouldn't have got under Luis Enrique.

Zdenek Zeman's second reign as Roma Coach got off to a shaky start last night, with the Giallorossi requiring a late equaliser from youngster Nico Lopez to scrape a 2-2 draw with the unfancied Sicilians at the Stadio Olimpico.

Nonetheless Panucci, who spent eight years with the club as a player, was impressed by what he saw.

“The squad demonstrated will and character,” the former fullback opined in conversation with Sky Sport Italia.

“The work of Zeman will become apparent in time, right now the players legs are heavy because of preparatory work.”

Zeman is famous for the gruelling physical work he puts his sides through in pre-season, taking Roma to Austria this summer.

“The goal from Nico Lopez allowed Roma to take a point which last year with Luis Enrique never would have come”, Panucci added, before commenting on new South American defenders Ivan Piris and Castan.

“To play at Roma you need personality and they both seem to possess a lot of it. Piris I thought was a bit tired, he's definitely faster than what we saw last night. Castan is a great central defender, perhaps a bit cumbersome coming forward, but he began very well.

“It is impossible to judge after a single game, we will have to watch the coming matches to understand the real value of these players.”

The 39-year-old also had his say on striker Pablo Osvaldo’s stunning overhead kick.

“He executed a perfect movement, bicycle kicking the ball on the centimeter given him by Daniele De Rossi. I only have praise for him.”

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