Season Preview #19

A.S ROMA SEASON RECAP AND PREVIEW 2016-2017 SEASON
Last Season Record:23-11-4 Finished: 3rd 80Pts
Luciano Spalletti Returns for His 1st Full Season Since His Return to Roma Spalletti and his club in the Capital look to dominate in Serie A and Europe in Totti’s Farwell Season.

Before last season started there was a lot of hope that Roma would go to do great things. They Brought in The big man from Man City Edin Dzeko along with former Chelsea player Mouhamad Salah who returned to Serie A after a successful loan spell at Fiorentina the year before as well as German big boy defender Antione Rudiger on loan with an option to buy from Stuttgart, Lucas Digue a French defender from PSG and finally Arsenal goalkeeper Szczęsnyas on loan as well as having a lot of good players to their disposal. So there was a lot of hope going into the season they were reasons to believe they could end the title drought. They started the season quite well as Roma spent several weeks at the top of the table but at some point they hit a low point where it seemed that they couldn’t win they were drawing every game and they were knockout of the cup a team in Serie B. It ultimately cost Rui Garcia his job as they would turn to a familiar face to try to turn things around they would turn to Luciano Spalletti a man who won the team three trophies including two Italian cups as well as winning two league titles in Russia with Zenit. We would start to see the change in fortune in seemed the team was heading the right directions. After two less than good performances getting a draw with last place Verona and losing to Leader Juventus. Spalletti than took advantage of the winter transfer window bringing in two key deals Brought in former AC Milan star Stephen El Shaarawy who was trying to rediscover his career after he was frozen out of the squad when he was on loan with Monaco as he would score 8 goals in 16 games he also brought in Diego Perrotti from Genova that would also play vital role in the teams rise after January Roma hit a hot Streak were they would win 8 games in a row were the hottest team in Serie A during the 2nd half of the season. The news signings would work well with the current squad the Egyptian connection of strikers Stephen EL Shaarawy and team’s top scorer Mohammed Salah would be a very lethal connection the entire team played very well together with Pjanic Nagaingolan Dzeko Salah El Shaarawy Totti as well as many more they would become the highest scoring team in Serie A by the seasons end. They were even able to close the gap on Juve and Napoli but despite all the positives and Spalletti’s ability to lead Roma from a mid-table spot to a third place finish in Serie A, clinching the UEFA Champions League play-off spot. The continuous frustration of watching Rivals Juventus winning the league title for the 5th consecutive year as well as taking Pjanic from Roma. They ended the year as the best team in Italy the 2nd half of the season accumulating more points than Juve in that time but somehow the year felt like a bitter disappointment as the Championship drought reaches 15 seasons

Francesco Totti’s farewell season and A.S Roma season begins on Saturday August 20th as Roma take On Udinese. The Italian and Roma Legend Francesco Totti has played for Roma for the last 25 Years most people consider him the most loyal athlete in the sports world despite only 5 trophies to show for it which only including one lone league title back in 2000-2001 he has scored 304 goals in the Roma Shirt has made 758 appearances for Roma it is his last chance at a league title the dynamic has changed for his role as he is no longer seen as one of the star players at the club but none the less Totti and Roma are in for a very special. I have a feeling that there will be some magic about the upcoming season they lost their best player Pjanic to Juventus but they still have a very good squad a team good enough to conquer Italy. Despite Pjanic leaving Roma are still very strong in a lot of area’s and very well coached may not have made blockbuster moves but they made the right moves for a Potential title and the business isn’t finish as Roma are continuing to try to bolster the squad before the window closes. Paul Pogba’s move away from Juventus back to Man United opens the door for Roma to steal the title from under their nose. It really is only a two team race Roma will be champions once again I believe the Totti affect will help them fight off Juventus for their 1st title since 2001 they can finally claim the Scudetto.
Juventus are the favorites again winning their 5 title in a row last season they still are talent wise the very best team in Italy and they have a gap in their game but Inter Milan and Roma have both made some real improvements. When you look at Juventus you are astounded by how class they are on paper. Up front They got Higuaín who scored 33 goals last season from Napoli was brought in this summer 75 Million. Beside Him upfront is that boy Dybala who is one of the best young stars in the world is a player who is on the verge of World class scored 22 goals last season as well as many assists they also have Mandzukic Zaha and new boy Marko Pjaca to their disposal. Than on defense they have a lot of different options New boys Medhi Benatia & Dani Alves who arrived from Bayern and Barca this summer as well as current Juve Players such as Alex Sandro, Patrice Evra, Chiellini & Stephan Lichtsteiner. We might also see youngster Rugani make an impact this season so on defense they can play so many different lineups. Than in goal this have the greatest goalkeeper the ever play this game in Gianluigi Buffon who even at the old age 38 is one of the best keepers in the world. So Upfront they are A+ just incredible in net they are A+ and their defense is as good as any defensive unite right now. In the midfield they don’t have the same quality not to say it’s bad they still are world class but I think their midfield is a bit concerning. They do have some very good midfielders Roma’s old boy Pjanic who was Serie A’s top assists man the last two seasons they also have Sami Khedira and Claudio Marchisio three very good midfielders but there’s something missing there a gab. The sale of Paul Pogba’s opened the door for other teams to dethrone them Pogba was the identity of that midfield now they don’t have that identity anymore. All great teams are built on a strong midfield and I’m not sure that’s still the case for Juventus. Without the strong midfield of past years, they should be abele handle most teams without many problems but against the Italian big boys especially ones with great mids we could see them struggle against those teams without Pogba there midfield doesn’t feel like much of a threat to me. Juve is still a top class team but this year won’t be as easy for them as it might seem their Strikers keeper and defense is unplayable but the midfield at the end of the day can make or break their season. They will fail to win after a dogfight with Roma but they get 2nd this season.
Another team that could be threat is Inter Milan they have made some serious moves in the Transfer window this summer. They Let go of Roberto Manchini and brought it Former Ajax manager Frank de Boer to bring the good times back for Inter Milan. They got back into Europe for the 1st time in many years after last year’s 4th place finish they will be playing in the Europea league but inter want to aim higher. Which is the main reason behind the hire champions league is Inter’s primary goal and they finally have the squad capable of achieving that. The biggest thing about this window was maintain Mauro Icardi keeping in Milan at least for the time being he is a complete stud of a player one of Italy’s best at the moment has scored 55 goals in three seasons at Inter an Impeccable scoring record was a top 5 scorer in Serie A last season keeping him at the club is the most important thing for Inter this season and it looks like he will be staying at least for now. Beyond that they brought it 3 absolute crucial signings Midfielders Antione Candreva (Lazio) & Éver Banega (Sevilla) and Leftback Caner Erkin (Fenerbahçe), and they are also on verge of Brining in European Champion João Mário from F.C Sporting if they are able to pull this off this would help them challenge Roma and Juve for the title. They also still have Ivan Perisic and Jovetic on the team they finally have a team that can do something it’s been along time coming for Inter they will get Champions League football next season I see them as 3rd place finishers Roma and Juve are still better but Inter is coming.
A team that could be a big disappointment this season is Napoli after their 2nd place finish last season things were looking up for Napoli but Higuain move to Juve sort of messed up what they were trying to develop. They brought in Polish and Ajax star Arkadiusz Milik to attempt to replace the goal scoring machine. Now while it is a terrific signing despite a poor Euros but the signing itself is quite good It just isn’t enough to do what they did last season. They do have some quality players such as Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne and Hamsik but they could really have struggled especially if Milik struggles to get his feet wet in Italy he is the only pure scorer they have. Hugain basically carried the team on this back last season he was responsible for most of the goals from last season in the end I think those shoes are too big to fill I think they still have quality but I see them dropping off and finish 5th this season.

A team that is always seem to be improving is Fiorentina now while they are not title chasers I think they are a team that can surprise everyone much like they did last season they might not have the biggest stars but they are very capable for doing big things this season the Viola attack last year at times was the best and at other times was no existent if they can just maintain it I see them doing much better than a year ago. The Unite of Nikola Kalinić, Josip, Iličić & Borja Valero can potentially a very dangerous force that can give a lot of team’s problems. Also the youth of this team could play a big part in being a surprise this season starting with a youngster whose name will sound familiar to all. Ianis Hagi the son of Romanian and World Football legend Ghorgerge Hagi. Fiorentina swooped in for the 17-year-old a kid with the potential to be one of the best Romanian young talents in quite some time could make a very big impact this season. He could be mentored by Romanian team mates Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tătăruşanu. The Romanian goalkeeper was one the team’s brightest stars last season was one Serie a Leaders Clean Sheets. This team has a lot of proven players as well as young talented to go with it I’m not sure it will be enough to take them to the champions league but another very good season ahead as they will move up one spot on the previous year getting 4th.
Totti’s will get to ride out in the sunset like Peyton did this may be a strange pick for the title but stranger things have happened Totti may deserve this but Roma have the Quality to win the title they might have lost season important pieces they may have suffered some injury’s but this team has a lot of quality that they aren’t been given credit for. They might not have 50 million dollar strikers but they don’t need that. They three headed monster of Stephen El Sharawy, Muhammad Salah and Edin Dzeko can easily match anyone in this league. Dzeko struggled last season to recap his Man City form but he is a different player than he was a season ago he’s playing with a lot more confidence and desire than before I think at the very least he’s looking at between 15 and 20 goals this season. El Shaarawy who joined on loan and found his old form playing a such a high level in every game he played for Roma last season you add a full season to what he did last year he could very well double his 8 goals possibly bagging 15 plus goals this season. Than you look at Muhamad Salah Roma’s leading scorer last season with 16 which was double what he did in his 1st season in Italy he only seams to get better and better with each season I could see him get up to 25 goals this season so if all three forwards live up to what they can do we all looking at 50 plus goals just in between thee players this was the highest scoring team in Italy last year and this team will only improve. The Midfield in also very strong and unlike Juventus has a true identity in Raja Nainggolan. Raja is a capable 10 goal scorer this season with Pjanic gone he is the captain of the midfield everything that happens will run through him any time you have a player like that you always have a chance. Joining him in the Midfield will be a player everyone is excited to see what he can do, Brazilian teenager Gerson one of the best young prospects in world football will he an absolute artist in the midfield than has a capable goal scoring streak in him we could see him reach double digit goals this season as well the sky is the limit for this kid. than to fill out the Diego Perotti he’s not the type of player that’s going to give you a high number of goals but he will give u a lot of effort and great team play. Also they have other options to play in the middle of the field with Kevin Strotman or The King of Roma Totti to fill up that spot too. Roma has several Midfielders on the bench that can possibly start they a large arsenal of weapons that can hurt the opponents. Also have a very solid defense despite Injures to Rudiger and Rui they have many alternatives. They can’t dwell on the losses but to learn and grow as a unite the force of defense is Florenzi a capable goal scorer as well as a rock solid defense he also will rely the Greek man Mangols these two will set the tone for the Roman defense until Rudiger has a clean bill of health Roma also have signed several defensive players this summer Juan Jesus, Bruno, Fazio and more there will be a lot of options of what they can do. This is the biggest concern for Roma at the moment but they still have a very strong backline and once Rudiger returns it will be a very difficult unite to break down. Both keepers Roma have been very good top quality player Allison is the projected starter who started the 1st leg of the Champions league qualifier against Porto and did very well. But Wojciech Szczęsny also is class and can get the job done as well, as you can see head to toe Roma’s quality is ahead of the completion they also are very well coached Spalletti knows he can deliver the 1st tile to Roma in 15 years and he will Roma will win Serie this upcoming season they will concur Italy and Totti will ride in the Sun set a Champions just like Peyton………

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