Roma’s Player Of the Month May: Antonio Mirante #559

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Roma wrapped up their final match of the season as we award the player of the month for the final time. The month of May was not particularly kind to Roma as a Champions League dream that would have required perfection was unable to be achieved by this Roma team. After a very consistent month of April where there was light at the end of the tunnel Roma’s was unable to do the job they absolutely needed to. For Champions League to have been possible they had to win the final four games something they were unable to do. Even even if they had done that it still might not have been enough. However automatic qualification for the Europa League would have been possible. The month started off away at relegation-threatened Genoa. A very tough place to play in a game against the team that was fighting for their lives. It was an incredibly tough battle between two teams that were equally worthy of the three points. Late in the game, Stephan El Shaarawy scored his 11th goal of the season in what would have been the game-winning goal. However, Genoa was able to hit back through Christian Romero equalizing. Then at the end of the match, Genoa was given a late penalty which was saved by Antonio Mirante but nonetheless, the damage was already done squandering two points severely damaged there slim chance at Champions League football. That loss could not have come at a worse time as the next week they hosted League champions Juventus at the stadio olimpico as Cristiano Ronaldo and Company were ready to officially kick Roma out of the Champions League. We saw a very strong and spirited performance by Roma. A verbal scuffle between a Cristiano Ronaldo and Alessandro Florenzi highlighting the evening. As Ronaldo called Florenzi a dwarf which upset the Roma captain. Alessandro Florenzi would get the last laugh scoring the game winner with less than 10 minutes ago. Then in the death of the match, Cengiz Under orchestrated a breakaway before giving it to edin dzeko to score a second in what was a 2-0 victory. all of a sudden the Champions League trail had some hope in it. However typical Roma ruined that opportunity away at sassuolo Roma wasted so many opportunities in what was a scoreless 0-0. In Roma’s final match of the Season, it was a game in which the game did not have any importance as daniele de Rossi made his last appearance for Roma after 18 years. Roma born Lorenzo Pellegrini gave Roma a 1-0 lead, before gervinho a former Roma player equalized with not much time left. However, Diego perotti was not going to allow Roma to drop points in daniele de Rossi final hour he scored the game-winning goal with just like he did in Francesco Totti’s last game as he gives the Roma captain a proper send-off. After the match, it was a moment of emotion as the Romans had to say goodbye to their hero. Roma finish the season in 6th with 66 points as we recognize the player of the month for the final month of the season.

 

 

Nominee: Alessandro Florenzi 

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Coming in third is future Roma Captain Alessandro Florenzi. Over the last month-and-a-half Roma have gone on a seven-game unbeaten run a large part of that as Roma improved defensively. A good portion of that they will without their best defender as we have seen other step up during that run of form. Roma’s last back put in perhaps his best month of the season with consistent performances during Roma’s final four games. He did a lot of things defensively and in the attacking sense, he created a lot of chances in the majority of his games trying to feed the striker. Following a solid performance in Roma’s disappointing draw with Genoa, he saved his best performance against Juventus. A game that is remembered for the exchange between Florenzi and Cristiano Ronaldo. They got into it a little bit as Cristiano Ronaldo insinuated that he is too short to speak to him and that he’s a dwarf making fun of his height. This caused Florenzi to get angry that led it to teammates having to hold him back from having a go at the Juventus star. In the end, Florenzi had his moments as he got the last laugh scoring a game-winning goal late in the second half in what was an eventual 2-0 victory. Florenzi took several jabs at Cristiano Ronaldo in his post-game interview implying that just because Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or he doesn’t mean he can speak to him that way. The following week it was a disappointing result in a scoreless draw against Sassuolo however Florenzi and the Roma defense made things very difficult on the Sassuolo they did a really good job of pressurizing their attackers into making poor decisions. In the final match against Parma in the emotional day that it was he performed really well. Not allowing very many attacks on that right side controlling the pace and for the most part, did a good job on Gervinho. Even though he scored a goal Gervinho is wicked fast and that is going to happen sometimes but overall Roma defensively did a good job on him. Even in the attacking sense Florenzi came up a few times and came close to scoring and was influential going forward. When Daniele de Rossi left the match he was handed the captain’s armband one that he will hang onto for the next decade.

 

Runners Up: Stephen El Shaarawy

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In what has been one of the tightest races for player-of-the-month the runner-up this month goes to El Shaarawy. Stephan El Shaarawy has been one of the best 11 players this season. He has been Sensational and his only continued that in the month of May. It wasn’t Roma’s best month but in nearly every match he has shown his consistent ability to perform. In the match against Genoa, he was terrorizing defenses all afternoon. Even though the result is not what you would have liked he made his impact on that match and there are several opportunities in which he could have scored before he did. Stephan El Shaarawy scored late in that game but unfortunately, the three points were not secured as Genoa were able to fight back and equalize. Nonetheless, the performance in that game was pretty exceptional. In Roma’s 2-0 victory against Juventus even though Alessandro Florenzi stole the headlines for very good reason. El Shaarawy put in another near-complete performance he got into spaces very frequently used his speed to dictate the play. Despite not having a goal or assist in that game his vision and his runs going forward were very difficult to deal with. In that second half, Stephan El Shaarawy took over as Roma showed Juve their superiority. He has been as consistent as anyone this season and even though he didn’t score his impact could not have been more clear. He has been up for it in every crucial game and with Champions League hanging in the balance at the time he delivered. It was really hard to decide because he was very worthy of picking up the award for the fourth time. Against Sassuolo and Parma, he didn’t operate at the same type of level as he was earlier in the month but nonetheless put in some good performances to end the season. He has been without question Roma’s best player this season but nonetheless, he just misses out on player of the month this time. He deserves so much credit as he is the most underrated player in Italian football. A great month to end his spectacular season.

 

Winner: Antonio Mirante  

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The player of the month in May goes to goalkeeper Antonio Mirante. Things a drastically changed when he took over for Robin Olsen. Defensively they played better and they started getting clean sheets on a somewhat regular basis. He ended up with more clean sheets this season then Robin Olsen despite having played half as many games. It proves and makes you think whether or not Roma would have finished in 6th had Mirante been in goal the entire time. He is a tremendously skilled goalkeeper he may be experienced at 35 years of age but he has been consistent for the majority of the season. I defended Robin Olsen for the majority of the year but after Roma started getting better results when Claudio Ranieri made the change it was quite clear that he was the problem. It wasn’t just a performance issue Mirante had better communication with Roma’s defense because of his ability to speak Italian. When you’re speaking the same language and everyone’s understands each other things become easier. Even though the match against Genoa was very disappointing he made a crucial play in that match that largely could have affected where they finished this season. In the dying moments of that game, Genoa was given a penalty with a chance to steal three points from Roma. It was not a great penalty from Antonio Sabrina but Antonia Mirante made a crucial save. Again it was a disappointing display but none the less that save could have been the difference between finishing sixth and seventh. The next week against Juventus he was breathtaking one of the very best performances of the season. His save on Pablo Dybala was absolutely phenomenal. The majority of goalkeepers would have struggled to make that save. You could not blame Pablo Dybala for not scoring it could not have been hit better Mirante was just that good on that night. He kept Roma in the game for the entire first half making save After Save after save quite honestly Juventus could have scored multiple goals in the first half if it was not for Antonio Mirante who had the game of his life he became only 11th player in history to reach 100 Serie A sheets following the victory against Juventus. He followed that up with a clean sheet against Sassuolo and a decent performance against Parma on the last game of the season. He was the biggest Factor In Roma’s ability to pick up the points that they did it was very close between himself and Stephan El Shaarawy but given the circumstances, Antonio Mirante gets the edge as he as the player of the months in May. Roma will likely try to find a goalkeeper next season so Antoni Mirante will be a back up again but if their failure to do it he will be ready because he has made some big plays in big moments since taking over. That ends the season.

2018-2019 Player Of the Month Awards

August: Robin Olson
September: Alex Kolarov
October: Stephen El Shaarawy
November: Stephen El Shaarawy
December: Bryan Cristante
January: Nicolo Zaniolo
February: Nicolo Zaniolo
March: Diego Perotti
April: Stephen El Shaarawy
May: Antonio Mirante

 

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