Friday April 25 2014
Roma reward for Rudi?

Richard Thomas says Roma have all the ingredients to build on their success, but they must find the right balance between immediate and long-term planning.

Roma’s Rudi Garcia is probably about as close to being a shoe-in for Serie A Coach of the Season as he can possibly be without having already won the award.

Since his arrival at Stadio Olimipico last summer, it is no exaggeration to say the Frenchman has completely galvanised the club. Had it not been for the winning machine that is Antonio Conte’s Juventus, the 50-year-old would surely now be entering the home stretch of a previously unthinkable and glorious Scudetto victory that would have immediately placed him in Giallorosso folklore.

As it is, he will in all likelihood have to settle for second this time around. While this does not take any gloss off a season that will have been an unqualified success regardless of what happens over the coming weeks, Garcia again showed in his media briefings this week just what an ambitious, positive and forward thinking tactician he is by immediately turning his attention to future challenges.

“I want to stay at Roma but I want a competitive team,” he said. “I want a team capable of competing in the Champions League and at the same time challenging for the Scudetto.” Where other Coaches might have chosen to bask in the glory of a successful campaign and gone through the motions until the summer, here was Garcia not resting on his laurels and making a real statement of intent. He will not settle for second best, a mindset that he clearly wants to see reverberated around the club from top to bottom.

It is just as well then that Roma President James Pallotta has a track record in delivering success to teams previously straddled by mediocrity. In 2002, the American bought shares in his beloved NBA franchise the Boston Celtics and was part of a revival in fortunes that saw the team go on to become champions in 2008, a feat they almost repeated two years later. While his role at the Celtics is by no means as influential or demanding as his position at Roma, the fact he has played his part in a sporting organisation rising from also-rans to winners must be a source of great encouragement to Garcia.

Pallotta also seems genuine in his intentions to make Roma: “one of the top three clubs in the world. That’s the goal and I’m not afraid to say it.” Plans for a new state of the art 52,000-seater stadium have been unveiled, while the 56-year-old has also been working hard behind the scenes to secure new investment and sponsorship. This includes the Giallorossi signing a lucrative new 10-year kit deal with market leader Nike, as well as new partnerships with the likes of Disney and Volkswagen and the team completing money-spinning pre-season tours across the pond.

With seemingly strong and driven individuals therefore occupying the positions that matter at Roma, the scene seems set for an exciting and prosperous long term future for the Giallorossi. What Pallotta must now do is find the right balance between realising his vision for the club over the next five to 10 years, and providing Garcia with the necessary funding he will need to remain competitive on the pitch in the meantime.

This is not to suggest that Roma should recklessly lavish money on expensive transfer targets this summer. What it is saying is that Garcia is right when he admits that, with the Champions League to account for next season, his small squad will struggle with the demands of playing twice a week if it is not significantly strengthened.

If last summer’s underwhelming sell-to-buy transfer policy can now be excused somewhat by the fact that the club were not in Europe, had a new and unproven Coach and that the President was still getting accustomed to his role in Rome, Pallotta must surely be more proactive this time around.

The drastic overachievements of Garcia and his team this term have ensured that Roma’s on-field staff have more than fulfilled their side of the bargain. Now it is up to the off-field contingent to deliver on theirs if the club are to make the most of their upturn in fortunes. With both Milan clubs, Napoli, Fiorentina and arch-rivals Lazio all playing catch-up, this summer represents a golden opportunity for Pallotta to hammer home the Giallorossi’s newly-found advantage on the Italian football scene. It must be taken.

Have your say...
Nice one Neal! Thanks for the info! I didn't realize that Antei was on Roma's books. It seem's strange that they are looking at Santon when they already have Balzaretti, an ever improving Dodo & Antei.
on the 29th April, 2014 at 5:39pm
@Daniel Giambrone

Roma have quite a few talents coming through the ranks. Federico Ricci has been one of the few Primavera players to train with the first team all season. Federico Viviani has been fantastic with Latina in Serie B and may just be ready to reboot his Roma career after a false start under Luis Enrique. Luca Antei has been one of Serie A's best defenders with Sassuolo this season as well and could possibly be in line for a chance should Roma decide not to sign Toloi permanently.
on the 29th April, 2014 at 11:11am
To see Roma as one of the top teams in Europe - as Garcia states - would be just great. It will take a while and lots of denari.
The stadium is great news. I remember being a regular attendee at the old Olympico and the new one is good when full but horrible when not. A proper new Premier League style stadium with global branding should bring in the money. Roma, as a city, must already be one of the top international brands.
on the 26th April, 2014 at 11:55am
Amazing performance tonight from Roma and Pjanic's goal was superb! Were in fantastic shape atm and I'm so proud of our team this season.

Really can't wait for our new Stadio Della Roma in a few years and for us to be back in the ECL next season. Lets hope we really build up the squad this summer with impressive signings and I'm sure Garcia has the right people in mind for us.

For both Milan clubs they really need to wake up, it's just not like them being in this state of a mess atm.
on the 26th April, 2014 at 1:36am
Roma is one of the great historic cities of the world and that name recognition can play a large part in their development. Whilst the club is not "football royalty", as the game becomes global, they have every opportunity to grow and match Madrid, Barcelona and co.
on the 26th April, 2014 at 12:16am
@mohd, Roma are in fantastic shape right now. It's difficult to think of any negatives: new stadium, a focused board with a clear plan, investment in youth, great coach, exciting football, a very good squad, & some tasty cheerleaders-I'm watching the game as I type this. Superb goal from Pjanic! There are some strong parallels with Liverpool. It looks like Juve, Roma, & Napoli will continue to pull away from the rest, unless drastic action is taken at both Milanese clubs.
on the 25th April, 2014 at 7:48pm
This team deserves at least to win a cup this season due to their talent and consistency. I can see Roma above Milan and Inter for the next 4 or 5 years. They are building a sustainable team that will last seasons. Scudetto next season is Roma's to win. Forza Roma.
on the 25th April, 2014 at 6:36pm
@Viktor, I think that they mean the best Roma coach since Capello left. Tonight should be interesting. I want Milan to get a EL spot, but I also want Roma to push Juve to the very last week. May the best team win!
on the 25th April, 2014 at 4:44pm
@Tendai Daniel Boti

did u just say he's the best since capello??? My friend, hes been great but one step at a time. Lippi? Ancelotti? there's x amount of coaches way a head of him.

Roma Milan 0-1 Tarbaat
on the 25th April, 2014 at 3:55pm
As a Juventus fan it excites me to see another strong team in the league. The better Roma get the harder they'll push us and I can see this Roma doing damage in the CL next season. Rudi has done a fabulous job. Well done to him and Roma.

That being said, drop points pls <3
on the 25th April, 2014 at 3:36pm
For Serie A to truly compete with other leagues, the clubs with better international brand need to wake on their finances, sporting facilities.. Marketing in Asia.... Juve's done some good stuff but shouldn't rest on their laurels

It's a fact many hate to admit, but a strong Juventus, Milan and Inter means a strong Serie A... and then of course let clubs like Roma and Fiorentina to represent Italy in the second tier of european competition.
on the 25th April, 2014 at 3:34pm
Rudi is a top top manager,the best since capello,they are no controversies and everyone gets along [email protected] wat u want to c week in week out as a fan..Forza Roma
on the 25th April, 2014 at 2:50pm
give garcia the signings he wants and that are necessary for roma to fight for the scudetto, champions league and coppa italia success next season. listen to to when garcia speaks.

on the 25th April, 2014 at 2:23pm
A question for Roma fans, do you have any exciting Italian talents coming through your academy? Romagnoli has done well, but are there any other's that are on the verge of breaking into the senior squad? Parades & Sanabria look promising, so maybe the squad isn't quite as thin as some make out.
on the 25th April, 2014 at 11:26am
He is a great coach! Every time that he speaks he talks so much sense. There are a lot of ego's in Roma's dressing room & he has done a magnificent job at keeping them in check & getting the best out of them. He is my coach of the year. Conte may win a trophy or two; but I've enjoyed watching Roma play a lot more. I hope that the Roma board can give him the signings that he wants. I also hope that he stays in Italy for many years to come.
on the 25th April, 2014 at 11:18am

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