Roma loses at Meazza stadium and exit the Italian Cup. No alibi. Agree. But Sanchez’s second goal is spoiled by a clear foul against Oliveira on the restart. Again ignored. A clear and obvious mistake not even mentioned by the Var. How ridiculous is yet another yellow to Zaniolo, how ridiculous also that given to Mourinho. While both Barella and Brozovic deserve the yellow card at least a couple of times and nothing happens. In short, two weights and two measures for a change. The same old story.
Then we should talk about the media attention we receive in this sense. Mourinho and Zaniolo are the symbol of “whining” Rome and of that which must be “educated”. From the “respectables ones”. Too bad that when the thanks happen to “their teams” they are the first to complain. Not to mention the good manners shown so far, from Rebic to Bonucci, Lautaro, Theo and all those players, managers and various sideline attendants who argue, insult or do even worse during or after a football match.
But above all the yardstick. The referees. But also the insiders, those who speak and write off the playing field. Zaniolo is young, impulsive, sometimes even indolent. Like so many others, he must learn to manage himself. But he is an easy target because he plays for Roma, and surely if he changed his shirt he would go from rude to an Italian football heritage that must be protected. He is right Mourinho. He suffers mountains of fouls and is punished always and in any case. He has to understand, that they have targeted him, and he has to learn to shut his mouth. When we will see all those who protest warned or expelled, often even more “lively”, then we will regain a thread of trust for an increasingly unbearable referee class.
It would be enough to take an example from rugby, only the captain talks to the referee, if the referee whistles no player can go to the referee to protest. And when there is an episode from Var, the conversation on the headset is heard from all over the stadium in a transparent way. But football is ruled by the powerful. We need a total change, a serious FA that dictates the rules and the referee who always enforces them.
And then there is our team, which has its faults and limitations. Soft, flat, without qualities, without attributes, lacking in ideas, personality and leadership, with players who are good to be carried away but not pushy. More experienced people like Smalling, Miki, Pellegrini don’t turn around, with Oliveira already sucked into the chaos. Dzeko had understood this for some time, and he left the boat. He was angry with Fonseca but perhaps the problem is another. These are the same performers with the same problems and the results of the past years, Mourinho is not a magician, but he had initially managed to convey a little more malice and determination, now everything is back as before. But he remains the only one he can rebuild. A lot of players have to be sent away to start over. And above all take others, but of another thickness. A message to the property. If, on the other hand, the intention is another please let us know as soon as possible.
Two good additions in January were enough to already see a substantial difference. Empoli’s victory is proof that this team can hope to make that blessed leap forward. But to finally become competitive you will first need to listen to Josè Mourinho. That right mentality that the coach is desperately trying to bring to this team.
Something can already be seen with Sergio Oliveira, the attitude of a leader, one who as soon as he arrived did not hesitate to immediately take on certain responsibilities. But also Maitland-Niles, immediately adapted into multiple roles, very confident and fearless. The team really needed it. It is the beginning of a growth process that will lead to further changes.
Empoli’s second half is another proof that there is still a lot of work to do. Other players will leave such as Carles Perez and Diawara, after Mayoral and Villar, without counting the exodus Fazio, Santon and those who are still there on the sidelines. From these sales, combined with those of Pau Lopez, Olsen, Under and perhaps Kluivert, a 50m treasure could be obtained. Money that could be invested right away or in June. The primary target is the famous midfielder-playmaker. A metronome to dictate the times in front of the defense. The impression is that Xhaka was the player of choice for Mourinho.
The Swiss Arsenal is a mastiff, very proactive, with charisma and personality but with a mole, he is very slow. At Arsenal he is no longer a column and can be taken with about 15 million. The Kamara option, on the other hand, is less credible, it is much younger but also much more expensive, and Roma would have a lot of competition to beat, were it not for the good relationship with Marseille and the business with Lopez and Under. The third option could be a player not yet out of the transfer market deck, given that Pinto prefers negotiations out of the spotlight.
In the end we believe that Mourinho decides, based on the budget, as well as what will happen in the summer, with the beginning of the second phase of the cultural revolution by Josè. In view of what will happen from now until Monday, with the closure of the transfermarket, attention will then shift to the match against Genoa. Gimme three points and ask me nothing. The same goes for the next matches against Verona and Sassuolo. Making a row of victories would be the beginning of a new second round, to dream again. Forza Roma.
On target. Roma overcomes Lecce almost easily and enters the quarter-finals of the Italian Cup, despite an embarrassing first half hour. Mourinho makes changes thinking about the next match in the league, a risk given the previous ones, but against a Serie B team it was legitimate to take a risk to let some big players catch their breath. But like a film that has already been seen, the bogeyman of the negative evening is back, with yet another certification that certain players are out of form and others simply are not up to standard.
Once again the technician has to run for cover. With the likes of Zaniolo and Miki in, the music definitely changes. And so comes the well-deserved victory. In the quarter-finals we will meet league leaders Inter Milan, certainly the strongest team at the moment. An Inter that is scary even when deploying the second lines as happened against an excellent Empoli. The same Tuscan team that Roma will face on Sunday at Castellani. A decidedly difficult and dangerous game led by the old acquaintance Andreazzoli, unwelcome here.
Mourinho himself will then return to the Meazza for the first time against the Nerazzurri, he will gather applause from his old audience. But we Roma fans are not so interested. More interesting is the fact that it is time for the team to find more conviction and results, with Sergio Oliveira who will not be Falcao but who is already showing signs of a leader on the pitch. Good also the inclusion of Maitland Niles. The two have certainly brought freshness and solidity to the field. Now it’s time to meet again, after the various tumbles and all the failed opportunities to get closer to fourth place.
Mourinho says it openly, he does not hide. There is an ambitious project, he reiterates that he does not move from Rome, for the next 3 years he will be here with us, but the squad needs to be improved. Too many errors, technical and attitude, those who are not ready or unable can go elsewhere. There is now a line of easier matches in Serie A, but only so to speak. With Cagliari it went quite well, a well-deserved victory but with the usual final trouble, perhaps it is better just to think game by game. No calculations. Then forward with the Italian Cup and the Conference League. Daje Roma.