Saturday February 9 2013
Can Lazio cope without Klose?

As Louis Saha is brought in at Lazio following a Miroslav Klose injury, Alex Mott asks if this is the turning point of the Biancocelesti’s season.

News surfaced on Monday that was the stuff of nightmares for all Lazio fans. After being replaced at half-time against Genoa last weekend, the Biancocelesti announced that Miroslav Klose had suffered knee ligament damage.

The German striker has been his usual, goalscoring self this season, bagging 10 in 20 League appearances – guiding the capital club to third place in Serie A and a potential spot in the Champions League next season. His lay-off though, which will see the 34-year-old on the sidelines for up to two months, could seriously derail the club’s European and Scudetto ambitions.

Klose is set to miss key games against Napoli, Milan, Fiorentina and even the Rome derby on April 7. It’s not just his finishing ability that will be sorely lacking, but the leadership and presence that he brings to all of Lazio’s matches.

As President Claudio Lotito put in to reporters: “We have to be in a position to remain competitive at the end of the season, then we’ll see what happens. Klose could be back before two months – who knows?”

It wasn’t the most convincing of statements from the Aquile owner, and it indicates a real worry inside the club as they go into a vital part of the campaign without, arguably, their most influential player.

To try and smooth the loss of the Polish-born forward, the Stadio Olimpico side have brought in free agent Louis Saha until the end of the season, with the option of a 12-month extension.

That sounds like wishful thinking for a player whose last goal came almost exactly a year ago in Tottenham’s 5-2 loss to Arsenal. His brief spell at Sunderland wasn’t a success either as 11 Premier League appearances failed to bring any strikes. Not since his time at Fulham between 2000 and 2004 could you label the Frenchman a proper, clinical goalscorer. And unfortunately for Lazio, that’s exactly what they need at the moment.

Coach Vladimir Petkovic, however, has insisted that the former Manchester United man is not a like-for-like swap. “Saha is not just a replacement for Klose,” he claimed at the player’s presentation Press conference. “When the German returns, we will have more options available to us. His arrival makes us even more competitive.”

Whatever the Coach or the President say though, it’s going to be an anxious time on the blue side of the Eternal City for the next couple of months. Their top scorer is out for the long-haul, a new goal-shy striker has been brought in and there are even worries about the fitness of playmaker and creative hub Hernanes.

The Brazilian was knocked unconscious in the Coppa Italia semi-final against Juventus in January, and, despite being given the all-clear to play this weekend at home to Napoli, there are fears that he may be rushed back too soon. Add to that the news that Cristian Brocchi has a broken metatarsal and things really do go from bad to worse for the club.

It has been a remarkable first half to the campaign for Lazio – third in Serie A, a place in the Coppa Italia Final and a spot in the latter stages of the Europa League. But could the wealth of injuries, especially to key players, sabotage their season?

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Have your say...
The short and damning answer is no. at the weekend, Floccari had a wonderful opportunity to take the 3 points right in the last few minutes. a beautiful cross onto his head and all he needed to do was direct it on target when free, alone and unmarked. Floccari fluffed his lines on a cross that Klose would have buried.
on the 10th February, 2013 at 11:32pm
And if I must add Lisandro Lopez for 13 millions would have been worth every penny. Although his wages would have probably been a problem but if we're looking to compete in the CL we might need to increase our cap to 3 millions!
on the 10th February, 2013 at 10:10pm
Regardless of how good Floccari is doing we should have gotten a new striker and sold Kozak & Zarate.

Zarate wants to leave and we will never get 20 millions for him so take the 8 millions and invest it in a player who could be worth 20 one day.

And Kozak will never be a top player, it would be better to get a young talent who would fit better in the team so we have a replacement for Klose when he retires in a year or 2!

Saha is not the answer but better than nothing for now!
on the 10th February, 2013 at 10:06pm
Sergio Floccari has scored 5 goals in 6 games, so even writing this blog to start with is stupid.

Yes Klose will be missed, no it doesnt mean the end of Lazios season.

We will still finish top 3 (im very confident of that), Floccari is doing the business (a better goalscoring record than Klose at this point) and providing Hernanes, Mauri, Dias, Biava and Marchetti stay fit, we will be fine.
on the 10th February, 2013 at 8:30pm
I hav 2 giv it 2 lazio, they have the best attack in seria a. They r even better than our very own montilivio, who is the best centre foward in the league. However floccari shud da won da ballon da or man. Lazio vs Milan champo final!!! Eropè Forrzza ITAlIA teams!
on the 10th February, 2013 at 4:43am
Lazio traditionally start the season strong and loose it once it matters most (see last 2 seasons), hence they are not a topteam. A topteam can start slowly but gets that winning streak when it matters.

Without Klose the end of season syndrom seems to happen again for Lazio, though even if it does, it doesnt take away the remarkable work Petkovic has done. He might even be the coach to let them break the trend this time around and finish top3, but with Klose the chance would be much bigger.
on the 9th February, 2013 at 8:36pm
You can't write an article discussing the Lazio attack without mentioning Sergio Floccari.

He's unheralded despite being a veteran of the Serie A scoring charts and, since he's been getting a proper run after a virtuoso game against Maribor in the EL, he's been scoring plenty.

Considering we play with one striker, we shouldn't completely collapse. No doubt we'll miss the Panzer though.
on the 9th February, 2013 at 11:22am

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