Roma are out of the race for 4th Champions League spot. Hey, I’m not talking about the race for Scudetto! And with still 10 games left! Lost against one of Milan’s worst teams ever. No commitment, no fighting spirit. Fonseca made mistakes, fine. But he’s not talking straight anymore.
Some players clearly more interested to see where they will be in a few weeks time, the newly appointed sporting director dismissed, non-stop rumours over new club ownership, the endless Stadio della Roma saga. All in a limbo state. Another year gone in smoke. Not exactly the expectations we had back in the summer. New players, new manager, new directors. Same results. With 10 years under the American rule it is time to revise what went right and wrong all along.
No doubt for great achievements as a football club on the international arena, brand and status, a massive growth under the financial point of view, the new stadium project, thousands of new fans and followers all over the globe, media and social engagement, very active and attentive on people and social issues. We need to be very proud of that. And yes, the bald idea of removing the old status quo reigning at the Stadio Olimpico, the old politics, bureaucracy, friends and cronies hanging on their seats. Pallotta has probably chosen one the worst places to do business. But that’s it, all roads lead to Rome!
On the other side is the football on the pitch. Yes. Champions League football and an historical semifinal. But also too many hiccups, and some bad humiliations, like the 26th May Cup final, among some other shocking defeats and various incidents. From there, an escalation of bad feelings with the big fan base, based on football results, the crest, club’s date of birth, free tickets, police security, and so on. Some genuine and some not so genuine.
The undercover axis Rome, London, Boston. Then, the players, coaches, managers, directors, consultants, officers. A huge staff turnover over the years. A huge transfer market activity, some questionable decisions to sell some key players, dismantling the backbone of a potential winning team. Let alone the demise of Roma icons Totti and De Rossi.
Roma’s never been a successful football city. Only 3 scudettos in 93 years of history. We are not Juve, Inter or Milan with dozens of football trophies. Roma is a way of life, made of values, pride and tradition, history and symbols, sense of belonging and legacy with the city. We can only compete with our biggest rivals if we can still retain these values while moving forward.
We need the backing of the fans, the backing of the local press, a strong club presence in the ruling football palace, where key decisions are taken. That winning mentality and attitude must come from the club, coaches, managers and the right players. A strong management at the helm, with specific roles and goals assigned, an active presence on the ground, strict rules, regulations and good behaviour, on and off the pitch. That’s perhaps exactly where we need to learn from our northern rivals. Try to look back at our past achievements, see when we managed to win, how we did it, who was there. And take stock. After 10 years I feel this is still missing. Who’s next? Good luck.