We have closed the books on 2018 as we prepare for the new year. Before we do that let’s take a look at December what went wrong what went right. The month of December had some really high moments as well as some really devastating performances. A month of criticism resiliency and embarrassment. Through Roma had experienced all of that and more. This was statistically Roma’s best month of the season. In 6 Serie A matches out of a possible 18 points Roma collected 12. Roma are in their best form of the season they have won three out of their last four matches and finally look like a dangerous team again. However throughout the month of December DiFrancesco took had incredible pressure on his job security. That included high performance that will stick with Roma a long time and not in a positive way. They kicked off December buy hosting Inter Milan DiFrancesco at that stage had a lot of pressure on him following back-to-back losses in November. In Roma’s 2-2 draw against Inter Roma displayed a performance of resilience that displayed some positivity against a real challenger. Roma came back twice to earn a hard-fought point that was largely behind a world-class strike from Cengiz Under that got them back into the game. The next week Roma found themselves 2-0 away at Cagliari through the brilliance of Bryan cristante and a Kolarov free-kick had them cruising to what we thought would be a routine victory. Roma ended up having an extreme collapse at the end with 10 minutes to go Calgary. Roma collapsed a two-goal lead with 10 minutes left against 9 men. This was the lowest point of the season a display of truly embarrassment. Just a few days later in the Champions League against Plzen a relatively meaningless game but Roma needed a rebound performance. They didn’t get it Plzen held on to a 2-1 victory despite Unders efforts. A two-game stretch of abysmal performances the pressure on DiFrancesco continue to mount. In what was a must-win game against Genoa the next week a resilient performance cell Roma come back twice to win 3-2 saving DiFrancesco jobs in the process. It was a dominant Bryan cristante performance the most dominant Midfield performance we have seen this season. Roma got back in the game through Federico Fazio and the first Serie A goal for Justin kluivert. However Bryan Cristante put together the finishing touch scoring the winner with just 10 minutes ago. Roma then meet with Juventus away Roma ultimately fell short but put in a terrific performance in what was a narrow 1-0 loss to the league leaders it was their best defensive performance of the seasons as Robin Olsen unbelievable quality. On boxing Roma put in their best performance of the season. At the stadio olimpico against Sassuolo Diego Perotti returned with a goal from the penalty spot. Patrik Schick added another and the emergence of Nicolo zaniolo continues with his first goal in Italian football not to mention it was one of the best goals we have seen this season very Leo Messi like. Roma follow that up with a second consecutive Victory away at Parma as the second-half Brilliance of Cengiz Under and Bryan cristante secured a three points for the Romans. Despite injury issues this month Roma have returned to form.
Nominee: Nicolo Zaniolo
Coming in third this month is Roma’s emerging 19 year old Nicolo zaniolo. With the injuries to Lorenzo Pellegrini the Roma youngster went from mostly coming in as a substitute to starting every game. Since pellegrini’s injury Nicolo Zaniolo has started every game in central Midfield. Lorenzo Pellegrini has been one of Romans best players this season it was a big role to fill because of how influential he has been in that position. Nicolo Zaniolo over this month has proved to be a the real deal he is a borderline star and his stock is rising in Italian football. He now looks as the heavy favorite for young player of the year. He has had a terrific month to end it 2018. In a high-profile game against Inter Milan at the stadio olimpico he displayed a breakout performance. Despite not scoring he completely manhandled The Inter Milan defense as they he showed unbelievable quality against the team that gave up on him. It truly was a great performance and you see the potential that exists in this very young raw but extremely talented nineteen-year-old as we saw in his first goal vs Sassuolo. At the time of his transfer to Rome it had looked like Inter Milan we’re going to get the better deal in actuality it has been Roma Nicolo Zaniolo is a superstar in the making. A player that coming into the season we didn’t know how much of a impact he was going to make on this team. He has proven to be incredibly impactful he’s fast skillful at the ball extremely intelligent and has good size on him. He might be incredibly raw but this month’s he displayed that he can hang what the best this league has to offer. He reminds me a little bit of Francesco Totti the Roma Legend who helped bring him to the club he resembles him in many ways. His technique is passing ability just the way he plays even though he is such a young player he has shown that leadership qualities. He is the youngest player on Roma but none the less over the last month he has been one of the best. He is only going to continue and continue to get better and will be a crucial part of this team in 2019. Just missing out on the player of the month but I’m confident if he continues to perform at the level he has he will get the recognition he deserves.
Runner Up: Cengiz Under
Roma’s runner-up for player of the month in December goes to Cengiz Under. Roma’s Turkish Superstar has really come on over the last six games and it a big part up there strong form as of late. He is coming through and big games and big moments like he has since he’s been here. He is a player everybody wants to get their hands on but ultimately nobody will. He Alliance in the project that Roma is putting together. Young stars of this team have kept this team moving and Cengiz Under is a big part of that. He could not have started December in a better way an absolute screamer against Inter Milan inspired Roma to get back into the game in what was ultimately a come-from-behind to to draw against Inter Milan at the stadio olimpico. An absolute rocket of a strike one of the best goals we have seen this season. Even though Rome had inconsistent moments over the six-game stretch he has been consistent through almost all of it. After an abysmal embarrassing choke job against Cagliari Roma played Plzen in the Champions League can’t what was a rather meaningless game as Roma had already qualified. But nonetheless it was important that Roma responded with a resounding performance unfortunately that did not happen but Cengiz Under delivered in a match that no one did. After playing from behind Cengiz Under scored a brief equalizer against the Czech Republic champions there was no excuse for Roma to lose that match but Under played his part throughout it. However over the last two games of 2018 he has been absolutely superb. Not only as a scorer but maybe even more so as a providing opportunities for his teammates. In the team’s 3-1 victory over to Sassuolo he sent the through ball into Nicolo Zaniolo as he scored one of the best goals of the Season. He was absolutely superb in that match pressurizing the keeper almost on a regular basis while finding the open pass to a teammate. Then on the final matchday of 2018 he improved on an already incredibly impressive month of December. In a 0-0 game away at Parma he inspired a second-half charge to lead his team to victory as they ended 2018 with a win. He facilitated a perfectly-placed pass coming off Corner in to Bryan Cristante who ultimately gave Roma the lead. The goal was challenging and spectacular but Under could not have placed the ball in a more accurate place. Then later in the second half ended up scoring a late goal that secured the three points. He was an absolute nightmare for the defense to control and manage in the last two matches and was without question the best player on the pitch on both of them. He has proven time and time again how essential he is to Roma’s I see him only improving the rest of the season this month’s he scored the three goals and had two assists that takes him to six goals and six assists this season a argument could be made that he has been Romans most consistent player in all competitions this season he’s at least in that conversation. He had a spectacular month of December but just came a little short.
Winner Bryan Cristante
The player of the month this month goes to Bryan cristante. After finishing runner-up last month he has continuously delivered consistently being the best player over the last six games for Roma. Even though Under was spectacular it was not particularly close that’s how good Bryan cristante was in December. Bryan cristante arrived from Atalanta this season for roughly 30 million most people viewed it as a huge gamble and didn’t see him as a superstar type of player. In in the first few months of the season he was not impressive and made most of his appearances coming off the bench the over the last two months he has really matured and turned into the Superstar that he is capable of becoming. With the injury to Roma Captain daniele de Rossi Bryan Cristante has come in and filled in his position being paired with Steven Nzonzi in Roma’s defensive Midfield that we see them used and Roma’s usual 4-2-3-1 formation. He has been so influential with his passing and his offenses Outlet as an attacker as well. With the absence of Edin Dzeko Roma needed a player to step up in the attacking sense. Over this month it has been Bryan Cristante the midfielder has four goals and three assists this season and in the last month he has three goals and two assists. That shows the difference in Impact but he displayed during December. It wasn’t just the goals he was scoring and the facilitation it was the fact that he was showing up in important games. He had a crucial assist against Inter Milan that allowed Roma to come back twice to earn a point. Who scored a beautiful goal against Cagliari but it’s best we don’t talk about the result of that match. But the most important most impressive match this season for Bryan Cristante is the way he performed against Genoa when DiFrancesco had was on the block with a possibility of losing his job had Roma not found a way to beat Genoa. It was an incredibly inspiring performance he completely and utterly dominated the Midfield supplying good passes to teammates on a almost regular basis. We hadn’t seen a dominating performance through the Midfield this season as convincing as we saw and his performance against Genoa. He completely ran the play and Genoa had no answer for anything he did he made it incredibly difficult to defend because of his passing and attack mentality going forward. With less than 10 minutes left in that game to score the winner with Incredible at intelligence laying off to Justin kluivert before smashing the ball into the back of the net. He has been so consistent this last month and even prior to that he has proven his Superstar potential exists in him he’s just 23 years old and he looks like he’s going to be a star for Roma for many years to come. In the final match of 2018 against Parma he orchestrated a game turn around with the assistance of Cengiz Under. Scoring his third goal of the month with an unbelievably difficult header. Under Supply a Unreal cross but he finished it at a very difficult angle. There was a lot of criticism surrounding his arrival but he has answered his critics without question the best player on Roma in the month of December. He has just been that good in Roma’s Midfield. he has completely solidified his position he has just been a crowning Jewel in Roma’s Midfield he will only continue and get better this season. The player of the month in December goes to Bryan cristante in what was a three-goal to two-assist run in a six-game stretch.