Roma have gone on a majestic, lip licking, hand rubbing, head scratching run of 10 consecutive wins at the beginning of the 2013/2014 Serie A season. Even the most die hard of Roma fans, at their highest act of recklessness, would not have bet on them going on a history making, record breaking run. Unfortunately, this run has come to an end last week with a draw to Torino in the league. This seemed like a good time to highlight Roma’s brilliant run of form so far.
Here is a video compiling all the goals from their 10 game run with, lets say, a less than ordinary Italian commentator. Head phone users, RIP:
Last year Roma had an underwhelming season finishing sixth in the Serie A with a disappointing Coppa Italia exit against eternal rivals Lazio. Wholesale changes were made in the summer with the appointment of Rudi Garcia as head coach. So far, Garcia has instilled a great sense of belief and confidence in his Roma warriors. Fast forward a couple of months and they are currently sitting on top of the Serie A table with a 3 point lead on Juventus and Napoli, who are in second and third place respectively.
STAT ALERT: 24 goals scored and 1 conceded in their 10 game winning run.
Roma would not have envisaged scoring at a rate of 2.4 goals per game this season especially after selling two of their star attackers in Pablo Osvaldo and Erik Lamela to Southampton and Tottenham respectively. Roma’s goal scoring prowess has been shared equally this season within the squad without relying on one particularly prolific goal scorer. I was positively surprised to find out that their top scorer with 4 goals, Alessandro Florenzi, is tied for the 16th top scorer in Serie A this season; very low down the list. Other contributors are Gervinho, Pjanic, Ljajic and Totti with 3 goals each. This spread of goal scoring responsibility shows that Roma are playing well as a team and are producing attacks from different areas on the field with many in form players. Its not just the attackers finishing the goals but it is also the emergence of Roma’s midfield generals, De Rossi, Bradley and Strootman, who are greatly helping both the attack and defense.
You can’t speak of Roma’s resurgence without highlighting the living legend that is Francesco Totti. An absolute beast of a player and at 37 years of age, he has managed to roll back the years with eye catching displays that might even earn him a call back to the Azzurri’s national squad. He has been a focal point to his team so far, and barring any injuries will remain a vital cog. His work rate and speed have definitely taken a knock but his touch and vision are as exceptional as ever.
Now to focus on what I think is the most interesting part of Roma’s seasonal stats: 1 goal conceded. All winning teams are built on the foundation of a strong defense. Gone are the days in football where you can just try to outscore your opponents. Even the mighty Barcelona are finding it hard (still able) to do this season with a leaky defense. Roma’s defense has been strengthened by Mehdi Benatia and Maicon’s inclusions this summer and so far they have been almost impregnable. A back four of Benatia, Castan, Balzaretti and Maicon with De Sanctis between the posts have limited scoring opportunities for Roma’s opposition. The defense are getting much needed help from Kevin Strootman, De Rossi and Micheal Bradley marshaling the defensive duties in midfield.
Roma’s 10 game run has not been as simple as you may think. They had to maneuver through some tricky fixtures such as the 2-0 win against Lazio, the 3-0 win against Inter, and the 2-0 win against Napoli (not forgetting the 1-0 away win against Udinese with 10 men). Their tough fixtures coming up will be those of Juventus and Milan. If Roma can keep their very strong title rivals, Napoli and Juventus, at bay and win the Scudetto, they will have truly shown that anything is possible in football and how a whole team’s fortunes can change over a single summer. Hopefully they follow through and keep up their good form. If they do, this fan reception following their win against rivals Inter Milan, will turn into a full bus parade at the heart of the Italian capital.
Categories: Football Funnies