Friday October 18 2013
Roma's Eighth Wonder

Nobody can realistically suggest Roma aren’t Scudetto contenders after eight opening wins, argues Susy Campanale, especially against these teams.

Rudi Garcia, Daniele De Rossi and the rest can continue to throw cold water over those mentioning the dreaded ‘S’ word, but it is now beyond dispute the Giallorossi are Scudetto contenders, maybe even favourites. It’s not just the fact they have started the season with eight consecutive victories – something only title-winning Juventus achieved in 1930-31, 1985-86 and 2005-06 – but how they earned those wins and against who.

This Roma side has already faced huge tests of its capabilities. When Jonathan Biabiany gave Parma a half-time lead at the Tardini – the only time the Lupi have trailed all season – they fought back for a 3-1 success. The Derby della Capitale was psychologically delicate, hanging in the balance and the kind of test that in the past would’ve damaged self-confidence, but they pushed Lazio aside. There were head-to-head showdowns at the top of the table with Inter and Napoli, but the Giallorossi kept clean sheets with stoic defending and took their chances with clinical precision.

Friday night’s victory felt particularly special and a sign that Roma really can do it this season. Francesco Totti went off in the opening half-hour, but for once the team did not crumble when its captain and leading light was off the field. Other players with completely different characteristics stepped up and took control of the situation. Miralem Pjanic grabbed the reins going forward, leaving De Rossi to lead the troops from the back. That is perhaps the greatest sign of all that things are changing in the Capital.

Looking back over Roma’s eight Serie A wins, they have been surprisingly different. This team can maintain possession and swarm all over opponents, or it can sit back and play the counter-attack depending on the situation. The crucial element is the entire team knows which approach to take at what time. They read the game like few others and that is something that has been sorely lacking at Milan or Fiorentina. You see no dips in concentration at key moments, nor failing to change gear when the opposition is struggling.

Can they keep this up for an entire campaign? It’ll be tough, but for a team with quality players eager to prove themselves under a new Coach after a tough couple of years and with no European commitments to hold them back... sound familiar, Juventus fans?

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Have your say...
#Italian in Canada and a bunch of others in here who complains about Romas capability as of right now. We have made 22 goals and concieved 1. If any of you think theres a better team in Serie A right now, then how come we´re on top and not Juve (for instance.Have we played against other teams that are so much worse than the teams Juve, Inter and other teams have played against? No, excactly!Roma´s made a great metamorphosis with the help of Garcia. Just acknowledge it as a fact.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 3:23pm

Not sure it you understood the meaning of post? Had nothing to do with Milan?
Far as Roma, I'm really happy for their success as it's way due. It might last who knows.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 3:22pm
It will be a tight race when Roma comes into Naples and Napoli are going to give them a good beating. It's gonna be sweet revenge. Forza Napoli.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 3:20pm
I agree with Anonymous. Roma usually get better as the season progresses. They had a horrible start last year.....
on the 19th October, 2013 at 3:03pm
being considered as title contender is already a compliment for Roma and romanista.

Our target remains, that is reaching europe competition next year.

I have watched the 8 Roma matches full live or recorded and I am pretty sure others who did the same will admit we deserve the top spot.

Roma played as a compact team, collective defense and attack, can play with ball possession and counter-attack.

The style of football from Garcia is most important factor for this great achievement so far, so I am not afraid if rotation or changes of players happen due to suspension and injury.
The same result will come. Draw or lose may happen in the future (I hope not), but this competitive Roma will always be hard to beat.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 2:49pm
@Italian in Canada, please watch Inter-Roma and other 6 Roma match this season. Maybe you'll get your head clearer afterward.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 2:39pm
me so happy for Roma.
me so delighted with Roma.
me so enthusiastic about Roma.
me so want to dance coz Roma will win Scudetto & tim cup.
hurray, hurray its a holiday:))
on the 19th October, 2013 at 2:03pm
The Italian in Canada's response is pathetic. Saying you watched Roma for the first time yesterday and making the conclusion that they play unattractive football is stupid. You sound like an EPL fanboy. Why don't you watch Roma's previous matches before coming to a conclusion, hell why don't you look back at last season and I guarantee you will see differently. Maybe your just ignorant.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 2:00pm
A lot of jelousy in this blog comments. Seriously, 8 wins in a row is no fluke. Getting 1 goal in the process is not an accident. Roma plays well, they can pressure, counter-attack and absorb like nobody thus far and are rightly in the first place. What happens at the end of a season is yet to be determined, but so far they are looking like true contenders.

And really, to those who say that Roma tend to start well and then go down. When exactly has that happened? Roma start horrible every year.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 1:41pm
So Romanista can feel jealousy around them now eh? Pretty sure you guys don't need a Juventino for an advice but I'll say it anyway. Remember the days when you guys always blame a certain team / person when things didnt go your way? Ah, those weren't jealousy, those were provincial club fans acting like provincial club fans.

The season has just started and Roma have won nothing yet, so speak your 'jealousy' speech for yourselves.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 1:27pm
These comments are comical. I see a lot of fear from many of you.
Penalty yesterday was clear.
Hamsik was invisible because our midfield shut him down.
Pandev had a chance to change the game....he blew it and Morgan made a great save.
DeRossi saved a goal off a goal line and 2 other crucial tackles in the box.
Totti was gone for 60 minutes and we still won.

Scudetto is never decided in October for a team in the South.

Scudetto is decided in August for teams from the north, and that is a FACT.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 1:04pm
While reading through some of your posts I can definitely sense some jealousy. Does anyone remember Inter 5-6 yrs ago? They made it through the season with one or two losses without to many ties. You guys need to give them a brake. They are playing great! And for all you Juve and Milan fans..... Get over it. They're overrated anyway. We'll see at the end of the season who reigns supreme. Till then.....FORZA ROMA!!!!!
on the 19th October, 2013 at 12:48pm
Stop that "I don't fear top spot as I know juve will win" crap, because YOU DO NOT KNOW things in the future. Unless you claim yourself to be a seer? a BOSS SEER in that sense..., which mean a bigger unknown person?

The other possibility to know Juve will win this early in season, off course, if you are a certain Luciano Moggi, who ensuring shining path for Juve's victory even before the season was started, only then YOU KNOW beforehand that Juve will win.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 12:39pm
Yesterday was the first time this season I've watched Roma, and they were awful. The game was the worst I've seen so far this season. They're not playing good football, they're playing tedious, diving-for-penalties football. And they were lucky yesterday to win with no goals from open play. Their open play shots were pathetic. The fact this team is leading Serie A this season, is a black mark for Serie A this season.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 11:43am
Its our time, we have a great squad and strength in depth. We will I am sure further strengthen in January also we don't have European football which takes a lot out of teams. Also we have a top manager. We are a different team to last year, last season we had good individuals but not a great team, now we have a great team with good individuals. We play as a team and fight together. The scudetto is going to Rome. Forza Roma. Lazio fans had a lot to say last season, funny they have all gone now.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 11:37am
It shows how key a manager is. Rudi Garcia has taken some players who used to be fairly average like De Sanctis, Castan, Dodò, (Borriello and Gervinho and made then gel with young players like Pjanic, Strootman and Florenzi. He's rejuvenated maicon's career, got de Rossi playing for Roma and is still milking totti. Roma may or may not keep this run going but credit to Garcia. If only milan had got him!
on the 19th October, 2013 at 11:31am
We shd give credits where it is due! The Romans are the best team in Europe presently!
on the 19th October, 2013 at 11:28am
In 11/12 Juve only got 3 penalties for their favor, so scarce that even Pirlo forgot how to put them in, TWICE, when he had the chance, the last PK was the indecisive third goal for Juve by Barzagli, against Atalanta on the 38th giornata.

No, it's not familiar.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 11:05am
I've said it before, but the most important part of this Roma team is the perfect balance that Pjanic, De Rossi and Strootman provide in midfield. If Roma can keep all 3 of them and then carry on building a team around them they will be a force. A quality striker is all they're really missing
on the 19th October, 2013 at 11:03am
No it doesn't sound familiar Suzy. Juve are juve. We are the Bugatti veyron of serie a. Roma are the Alfa Romeo, starts off ok, but then falls apart. As de Rossi said, Roma once won 11 consecutive games, then finished 5th.

Teams like Roma and Napoli, lazio, fiorentina, they start off ok, but by Christmas they fall back to where they belong and step aside for juventus. I don't fear top spot as I know juve will win. I do however look forward to seeing which two teams join us in the cl next year
on the 19th October, 2013 at 11:01am

They're already beat them. Hopefully will keep coming. Scudetto? Way too early to talk about it, but still this new roma gave me hope...
on the 19th October, 2013 at 11:01am
Roma did play well however Napoli were overall poor. Hamsik was not at his best and if Insigne has scored his wonderful chance in the first half the game would have changed. Don't forget that Roma scored from 2 set pieces, the second being a lucky penalty.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 9:34am
Roma were fortunate last night. They sat too deep, & gave the ball away too much. Still, it is the mark of a great side to win whilst playing not so well & suffering injury blows & fielding a not fully fit Strootman. De Rossi was immense & credit to Borriello.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 9:06am
If football was a math, then Roma can conquer Juve as well. Besides not playing in Europe, i've seen the fact that Roma also have depth in their squad. Just look at their second choice player, i'm sure they're strong and capable players.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 8:41am
Good luck to them. If Totti keeps refereeing games and they keep getting dodgy penalties they might qualify for the champions league...sound familiar, Milan fans?
on the 19th October, 2013 at 8:00am
Give them another couple of months and they will start falling apart,they don't have enough players to go till the end the season keeping the current pace. Look at Napoli,they are already going down...
on the 19th October, 2013 at 3:49am
Any news about Milan progress Susy? Would you think Juve and the rest of them wont fight for the scudetto?

Again how is your favorite team going right now LOL
on the 19th October, 2013 at 3:30am
Roma are playing well, best start ive seen them ever have.....
But they havent played juve yet. Its a shame juve and roma dont meet soon but that would be a good test for them.
Not forgetting juve have had a tougher start also with champions league commitments and are right there at the top.

Roma beat juve then they can talk, until then enjoy what is happening as im sure juve will burst the red bubble.
on the 19th October, 2013 at 12:34am

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