Guest Blog by Joseph Genova (@ASRomaNow)
2005 – Luciano Spalletti takes the helm of Roma after a rather disappointing season consisting of four different coaches. You can just imagine the chaos in Rome especially with the high demands of the fans and everyone around the world. Spalletti came in and had a bitter first half of the season but ended up in fourth place and landed a place in the Coppa Italia final in 2006. Now is it the most impressive achievement? No, of course it isn’t; but during the bald-headed wonders tenure, he succeeded in defended a Coppa Italia title and managed to bring a crumbling Roma to the Champions League quarterfinal. September 1st, 2009 marked the day Spalletti decided it was time to hang up the whistle with Il Lupi and try his luck abroad.
Fast forward to the present day. January 13th, 2016. Frenchman Rudi Garcia began to falter with a well-rounded Roma and was deemed expendable, cue the trumpets, introducing former AS Roma coach, Luciano Spalletti. Everybody became excited instantly; an Italian coach? Spalletti? TROPHIES?! So far Spalletti hasn’t really got the best out of his team, drawing his first game against a weak Hellas Verona, losing to the powerhouse Juventus and beating Frosinone 3-1. The loss to Juve was excusable simply because he only had 10 days to get his theories across, which isn’t an easy task. Captain Francesco Totti even lent a hand by speaking to individuals over dinner (which he probably didn’t pay for) about his favorite coach’s theories.
Presently this season won’t be able to be resurrected, a Champions League spot is what Roma should be aiming for simply cause they’re only four points away and it’s tight at the top. Looking into the future with coach Spalletti, from an overall fan of the beautiful game, the future looks bright. Spalletti is a brilliant coach with a magnificent attacking mentality; his coveted 4-2-3-1 is nothing short of brilliance. From the dazzling passes to the intricacy of the off the ball movement, Spalletti knows what he’s doing and what has to be done to prosper especially in the future. We can already see Bosnian hit man Edin Dzeko moving with a bit more confidence, Radja Nainggolan exploring his inner attacker. Spalletti will mold the team to his ideal image. We saw him use a 3-4-1-2 against Juventus, with the Giallorossi’s mobility in the centre back position I’m rather surprised it wasn’t experimented before. Under this new reign you can already see Roma’s mercato looking slightly improved, acquiring the likes of Stephan El Shaarawy, who is young, Italian and has potential.
El Shaarawy fits into Spalletti’s system simply because of his versatility, you can put him in as a trequartista or as a wide man and he has both the flair and the energy that Spalletti demands from his players. The Giallorossi brought in the Italo-Egyptian because of the recent departure of Ivorian stud Gervais Yao Kouassi also known has Gervinho. Once the Garcia’s departure came to fruition the Ivorian felt his time was also up and wanted a transfer. Earlier this week Roma also signed another defenseman, 28-year-old Bosnian Ervin Zukanovic, who previously played for Sampdoria. He is also versatile as well; can play both left back and center back, which isn’t an easy thing. Roma also snatched up winger Diego Perotti from Genoa on the last day of the winter transfer market.
For Romanisti, my recommendation is to look forward to the future with this man, you’ll have your beautiful soccer again, less injuries, more energy in attack and different tactics for certain opponents unlike Rudi Garcia.