Monday November 28 2011
Lippi backs Roma over Osvaldo

Luis Enrique and Roma have received Marcello Lippi’s backing in their handling of Friday’s incident between Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and Erik Lamela.

After Friday’s 2-0 defeat at Udinese, the two Giallorossi players clashed in the dressing room and Osvaldo allegedly punched Lamela. The Italian international was reportedly venting frustration that the youngster had chosen to try to finish a chance himself, rather than pass to the former Espanyol man.

At Coach Enrique’s insistence, the club have suspended Osvaldo for next week’s match at Fiorentina, despite not necessarily having alternative available options, and fined the striker the maximum amount of €50,000. He was also set to be forced to train alone until the rest of the players requested he stayed within the group. Osvaldo apologised to Lamela at Trigoria today.

Fans had put up a banner at the club’s training ground today reading ‘Osvaldo is untouchable’, indicating where their support in the matter lies, whilst Osvaldo’s agent intimated of his - but not necessarily the player’s - dissatisfaction with the club’s handling of the incident and at the fact that it had been reported.

Juventus Coach Antonio Conte was also asked of his opinion on the matter and echoed that latter point.

“The dressing room is sacred and some things should not be reported. I do not like this Big Brother, it’s not nice. The fistfights sometimes serve to build something important, but it is also important that they stay in there.”

However, Enrique and Roma can count on the public support of a notable figure in the shape of former World Cup-winning Coach Lippi, who today expressed his belief that they were right in their actions.

“Consistency comes from backing the Coach. And in this very serious matter regarding Osvaldo that happened in the dressing room, the club agrees with the Coach and immediately took measures to prove it.

“One of the most beautiful aspects in these early months has been the reliability and consistency of the new board at Roma, which has changed everything, planning, philosophy of work, the Coach and a lot of the players.”