Saturday December 22 2012
Zeman: 'Why I chose De Rossi'

Zdenek Zeman explained why he started Daniele De Rossi against Milan and Roma’s weakness. “We tried to sit on our lead and we don’t know how to do that.”

The Giallorossi were 4-0 up this evening, but after Marquinhos was sent off they conceded twice in two minutes for a final 4-2 result.

“Milan are always Milan, so they are technically gifted and caused problems, especially when we went down to 10 men,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“I am happy with the performance, especially the first half. In the second we tried to sit on our lead and we don’t know how to do that.”

De Rossi and Miralem Pjanic started together in midfield with Michael Bradley, an unusual trio under Zeman.

“It was a good game in the first half because we pressured them high up the field and were able to go on the counter. In the second half we got pinned back. De Rossi had a decent performance, although after the break he too struggled and was unable to catch his man.

“Pjanic is technically strong and does his job. I choose the line-up that gives me greater certainty to play good football. Bradley and De Rossi are more ‘breakers’ than Alessandro Florenzi, so I wanted to block Milan. In the second half we allowed Milan to play in midfield and it showed.

“If there were only 11 players in the squad, then it’d be easy. Seeing as there are 24, I try to use those who give me more guarantees for what they can do.”

Zeman complained about referees this week, insisting Roma were “an irritant” to the establishment and did not have as much “political weight” as the big clubs.

“Football has always been played between Milan and Turin, so they have a louder voice than the other sides in the Lega and Federation. Every now and then you see the odd irregular goal for some teams and others not. Some had a few advantages.

“It’s only normal that if we win every game then we too will earn respect. Now we do not, so we are not treated with the same attention.”

It was reported this week that Roma are drafting in Antonio Carlos Zago as Zeman’s new assistant, having played in his side in the 1990s.

“If he does come to help me then it’ll be with the Brazilians to help them understand what I want.”

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