Season Review: Record Breaking Season NOT Enough as Roma Finish Second
2016-2017 Season: 2nd 28-3-7 GF: 90 GA: 38 Pts: 87
Top Scorer: Edin Dzeko 29 in the League 39 in all competitions
Top Assist: Mouhamed Salah 14 Assists in All Competitions
Top Clean Sheets: Woich Szczęsny 15 In Serie A
Welcome to the End Season Review After a long Record Breaking Season for Roma it’s time to look back at some of the positives and negatives of the 2016-2017 Serie A Campaign. This year turned out to be a record breaking season for Roma as they would set bench marks in several areas including Points, wins, away wins, Goals scored and many more there was also a few induvial records broken as well a season in which Roma looked like title challengers for most of the year but a few slip ups led to Juventus becoming champions of Italy for the 6th season in a Row. However they were some very positive things about this year’s season a season in which Roma were able to return to the champion’s league in one of the tightest races for second we have seen with Roma and Napoli fighting it out over the last few months. With Roma ultimately getting it on the last day of the season thanks to a 90 Minute goal from Perotti in a come from behind win against Genoa on Totti Day; A season that had 4 derbies between Lazio and Roma as the competitiveness of Derby only intensified going forward having split the four games which included a Coppa Itaila Semi Final. A 2nd Place finish confirming their return to the champions league a year where we saw Dzeko show his worth scoring a career best 39 goals in all competitions as well as 29 in the league earing him the Golden Boot proving to be one of the most dangerous players in the league as well as Woich Szczęsny earning the golden glove with 15 clean sheets as he developed into one of the best keepers in the league. A European Journey that ended in disappointment going out in the Round of 16 to Lyon in the Europa League. Yet Roma put together a much improved season despite missing out on the league it was an emotional roller coaster ride of the season as Roma had to say good bye to a legend as Francesco Totti Played for the very last time leaving the entire Stadio Olimpico In tears in the final game of the season.
The Roman Attack
One of the Giallorossi’s most dangerous aspects this season was there attack as they put the terror into their opponents all year. The Roman attackers scored an unbelievable 90 goals in Serie A this season and a staggering 123 goals across all competitions. Edin Dzeko obviously led the charge putting in a historical season the best I have ever seen from a Roma striker he scored goals for fun this season after a very poor season last year only getting 10 goals. However this season he was a different breed of player as he showed great resilience after a poor first season scoring 29 goal in the league that broke a Roma record for league goals than goes back to the 30’s he also was the top scorer in the Europa league scoring 8 goals highlighting it was a 12 minute Hatrick against Villarreal in the Round of 32. as well as a few in the Italian cup he ended up scoring a career best 39 goals at 31 years of age passing Totti’s record of 32 goals for most in a season. He very quickly become one of the most terrorizing goal scoring threats across Europe as well as SERIEA’s most deadly assassin not to mention he had more shots on target than Leo Messi. Although he did contribute mightily he wasn’t the only one terrorizing defenses across the league he had more than a little help. Raja Nainggolan had a breakout season in his own right is arguably the best player in the league on his day. Raja Nainggolan had career best in goals reaching double digit in goals for the very time in his career he suddenly became a goal scoring threat scoring several world class goals. His Inter Milan performance was breathtaking. He has shown to be a top quality player he has scored in the biggest games this season having scored against Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus, Napoli and Lazio has shown up in the most crucial games this season was a massive player for Roma. Chelsea and Man United went back in for him again after failing lure him away from Roma last summer but he continues to show his commitment. Inter had a late push for him after the season ended but Nainggolan was not interested in relocating which by its self is a massive move for Roma Raja would go on to say “I’m happy here in staying at Roma I’ve always said that”. A player that contributed to 31 goals is Mouhamed Salah perhaps Roma’s most dangerous weapons after a breakout season where he was the team’s top scorer he would deliver greatness to Roma once again. Putting together a 19 goal 12 assist season proving to once again be a top quality player for Roma unfortunately it’s a player Roma may need to replace as he is set to Join Liverpool in the summer in a reported 40Million deal would be pretty big loss was world class for Roma this season. Than we have a player would showed up late to this season Steph EL Shaarawy after shinning during his loan spell at Roma a season ago had looked like he rejuvenated his career we all thought we would continue to pay it forward. He didn’t start the way we had wanted as the Italian International struggled for the first half of the season only having registered 4 goals going into January. But then all of sudden he would turn things around a two goal performance against Chevio on the first match of 2017 helped get his confidence back and he started showing his worth put in several outstanding performances especially near the end of the season was clinical against AC MILAN away and ripped through the Juventus’s world’s best defense like nothing he ended up with 12 goals in total with a very solid 8 goals in the league. There is one more mention that is needed Diego Perotti also played a big part of this attack often him Roma that edge off the bench as well as the teams Penalty specialist he scored a career best 8 goals scoring a brilliant masterpiece in the Europa league as well as Roma’s most important goal of the season scoring the 90th minute game winner on Totti day to help Roma get into the champions league. Roma’s attacking midfield was easily the best in Europe and looks to improve on this campaign into next season even if Roma lose Salah to Liverpool this is still a very dangerous attack.
Success against the BIG TEAMS
Despite some lackluster performances against some of the lower teams in Serie A; Roma had great success against the big boys. Roma did a double sweep against the Milan teams having won both meeting against AC Milan and Inter Milan. Outscoring both teams 10-2 over four meetings. They also split games against Napoli Lazio, and Juventus. Getting two derby wins as well A very good showing in the big games picking up 21 points and 7 wins out of 10 games the big teams across Serie A. Something Roma should be happy with and should look to build on into next season. Roma is a big club especially in Italy so they need to be performing well against the top teams in their league, domestically and in Europe. Roma are in the Champions league next season so they are very likely to play against some more big teams across Europe so having success this season against the big boys will sure give the team confidence in the next season’s champion’s league campaign.
Rotation of the Defensive Midfield
Going into the season many people thought that the defensive midfield wasn’t strong enough to cope with the bigger teams. On paper it looked like it wasn’t going to scare anyone but they came through this season as they had a good rotation of players in that role. They mostly used Danielle De Rossi and Kevin Strootman while rotating Young Player of the Year Leonardo Paredes as well. Emerson and Bruno Peres were also rotated occasionally playing close with the them as wingbacks. The options they had weren’t sexy but they worked for Roma Kevin Strootman after failing to complete a full season since he has been in Rome started the majority of the games as he and longtime Roman De Rossi made a lethal paring. This unit only scored 14 goals the Defensive Midfield trio was very effective and fueled the Roma attack allowing their attackers to get space to work and score goals. They often Rotated Paredes and De Rossi as Strootman almost started all of the games; it mainly was the three of three of them although when Peres and Emerson played in this role they had success. They become a tight wall defensively as it sometimes seemed like Roma had two extra defenders. Most of the time they would play two in the defensive midfield but they would rotate in the third. Next season I’d like to see them play three in that spot it is something I think that Roma should try given how well their defensive mids played this year. You could even argue that at this position Roma were the best in the league. The good news is we will only see more of this going forward, Danielle De Rossi and Kevin Strootman who both had expiring contracts signed new deals respectively and Paredes says he would like to stay a long time to improve on his very good first season as a first team player. Greatness will continue!
Woich Szczęsny and the Defense
Polish Goalkeeper Woich Szczęsny arrived in Rome on loan two seasons ago after being pushed out the door by Arsenal after they signed Petr Cech no one knew what was expected of him. In his first season in Italy I thought he did very well but still wasn’t the best he could have done he earned 8 clean sheets in his first season. After the loan expired Roma wanted to buy him from Arsenal but they couldn’t quite pull off a deal so they took the Polish International back on loan for a second season. During his second loan at the Italian outfit he was a different keeper he had massively improved from the season prior as he become arguably the best keeper in the league. He won the golden glove with 15 clean sheets he was world class this season. He does plan on returning on a permeant deal despite links to Napoli and Juventus as he has told Roma president he wants to return. Roma defense was among the best in the Italian top flight this season. Roma used several different formations of defenders as well as faced injuries throughout the season. Having to start without Rudiger for the first few mouths and losing Alexandro Florenzi to an ACL Tear. It eventually forced Roma into using different rotations of players in the back it ended up working really well considering their options. Manolas was the best CB in the league this season in my opinion it had looked like he was going to leave but snubbed Inter Milan as he looks to sign a new deal. Even though Rudiger is likely to leave a fully heathy defense and getting some signings will be key. This defense has potential to be a force next season.
It’s another season but a same old story as Roma’s European journey ended this season in disappointment once again. It started off with missing out on the champions’ league after losing in the qualifier playoff to F.C Porto 4-1 over the two legs before a ball had been kicked in Serie A. This could have caused the team to lack confidence early in the season. Than Roma headed to the not so glorious Europa league they would draw Viktoria Plezen (Czech Republic) Austria Wien (Austria) and FC Astra Giurgiu (Romania). They would go through the group quite easily scoring 16 goals in the group as they would finish on top of the group with 14 points. They would draw Villarreal in the Round of 32 a game in which they ripped them apart in the first leg with a 4-0 first leg win thanks to a 2nd half Hatrick by Dzeko. They would lose the 2nd leg 1-0 but the result was already decided as Roma would go through to the Round of 16. Going into the Round of 16 they would be 2nd Favorites according to the bookies. So of course it was all going to go horribly wrong they would draw Lyon it would was set to be an absolutely great entertaining cup tie featuring two of the best strikers at that time Edin Dzeko and Alexandre Lacazette. The first leg was nonstop entertainment ending in a 6 Goal thriller unfortunately Lyon would get two late goals as Roma would end up on the wrong side of a lead 4-2 Lyon win after the first leg. In the second leg Roma dominated but their 2-1 win wasn’t enough as Roma would once again bow out of Europe a very disappointed performance as they hoped to win it all.
Missed Opportunities In the League
In you look at the league and how everything developed the entire season came down to four to six results in the league. Had Roma won those games or gotten points Juventus would not have won the league. Match 2 against Cagliari and yes that early. In that game they blew a 2-0 lead to only get a point from that game with the result it allowed Juventus to get an early lead in the beginning stages of the season meaning out of the gate they would already be chasing Juve instead of matching them. The 2nd match was a 0-0 draw against Empoli with a Juventus loss the day before it was Roma’s chance to get back the points. It would turn out to be a garbage game and another missed chance for Roma. Both games against Atlanta would they would have gotten closer to Juve but they lost the 1st meeting late and in the second meeting got a costly draw that practically ended the title run. The last derby losing to Lazio 3-1 killed Roma’s momentum as a win there could of closed a gab earlier that Roma closed a few weeks later. Finally the big one in a narrow 1-0 loss to Juventus; that cost them a win on that day would have REDUCED Juventus’s lead at that time to 1 point if they had won or had drawn. It was a game Roma dominated by Roma had the won it they very well could of won the league. Next season Roma need to make sure to win the key games because it may have cost them the league this time.
Signing of the summer: Federico Fazio
If you had told me that spurs flop Fazio was going be one of the best players this season I would have laughed in your face while Fazio was pretty good when he played for Sevilla in Spain there was a major drop off when he went to Tottenham. Brining in a 29-Year old on loan I didn’t seem to be a great idea. Give his age how well could he really do on a club of this size. However Fazio turned out to be a brilliant signing he started the majority of the games for Roma this season mostly working with Kosta Manolas at the center back a position he seemed to master the game although Manolas was probably the team’s best defender this season Fazio showed his quality both in a defensive role as well as an attacking role. He scored 4 goals this season including two in Europe with his 6’5 frame he was a great asset to have on corner kicks and free kicks. Fazio and Dzeko have a combined height of 12 ft. 9 inches the two of them did expectedly well on crosses. Fazio made a key play in the last game of the season that helped Perotti put away a late goal in their 3-2 win on Totti day. He has turned out to be a bargain Roma made his move permanent about mid-way through the season on a 3.2 Million buy option a great piece of business for Roma one of the best players this season as Fazio just edges out Bruno Peres for Signing of the summer. He was called up to the Argentina squad for the first time in a while after a very successful spell in Rome.
Player of the season: Edin Dzeko
No Surprise here as Edin Dzeko has been the most prolific goal scorer since the very first game of the season it was clear that he was in for a crazy preseason after a 10 plus goal preseason you could just tell he was in for a great season but no one expected how good he would end up being this season. After a 10 goals season he nearly tripled it by score a total of 39 goals and 9 assists throughout all competition this season as well as 29 goals in the league earning the golden boot. His most goals in a season campaign since when he won the league with Wolfsburg in 2009. He become the most deadly scorer in SERIE A and in Europe and put together the Greatest Season Ever by A Roma Striker as history was made several times throughout the season. One of the more impressive things is only one of his 39 goals was from the penalty spot which makes his 29 league goals much more impressive. If Dzeko can continue to score goals like this Roma will always have a chance at the Scudetto he is almost unplayable in the league the Giallorossi player of the season couldn’t have gone to anyone else.
Young Player of the Year: Leoandro Paredes
This one was quite easy to pick having several players underperform going into the season I would of thought Gerson but he failed to do anything meaningful. Leoandro Paredes after spending a loan at Empoli last year it wasn’t clear if he was going to have a role in this season the former Boca Juniors midfielder would not only get games but he would end up getting a lot of action proving that keeping him at the club was the right call. He was a part of the very strong defensive midfield rotation with Strootman and De Rossi. He started as a sub but he continued and continued to show improvements as he started getting starts as well he has been a rising star at roma this season the potential of how good he could become isn’t misunderstood. I think he can become a world class player for the Romans having already rejected Liverpool and Juventus only made Roma love him more he put together several outstanding performances this season he only scored 5 goals this season but he scored some absolute screamers the one against Torino still gives me goosebumps every time I watch it doesn’t need to be a goal scorer he has played his role perfectly. Will be a big part of Roma in the future also like Fazio he has received a call up to the Argentina national team. Undoubtedly the young player of the year as he has showed that he is a GEM.
Luciano Spalletti spent his last season at Roma this year after returning a year and a half ago. What a season it would be as he would break records with Roma’s first team he tactics were spot on practically all season. Players like Dzeko who did so much more than anyone ever expected of him wasn’t by mistake. Luciano Spalletti had a lot to do with it Szczęsny and Paredes both massively improved and a lot that is due to the coaching they received. Despite not winning any trophies this season he gave Roma one of their best seasons ever. This was arguably the best Roma team ever assembled he proved this season that he is one of the best managers in Europe however winning nothing this season was very disappointing and at the end of the season he decided not to return to the club as he felt he did everything he could with his current team getting back into the champions league just wasn’t enough. He won’t be at Roma next season but he will be in Serie A as he as taking over at underperforming Inter Milan. Over his two spells at Roma he has done exceptionally well in his 7 seasons at the club. This season he did very well with this team giving us a season to remember.