Misery and misfortune only continues for Roma as they returned to action after the International break. Roma was coming off a disappointing draw last time out. Going into yesterday’s game Roma was just one point from the Champions League final spot. It’s early in the season but Roma needs to be in the Champions League race. Paulo Fonseca was serving a suspension as the assistant manager Nunez took control yesterday. Roma went on to face the bottom of the table Sampdoria who has had a serious issue picking up points this season. Roma would see a very familiar face as Claudio Ranieri has just been appointed the task of taking Sampdoria away from the relegation. He is a figure that Roma holds near and dear to their hearts having been a manager of Roma twice. Claudio Ranieri took over last year during the final 12 games of the season so it was a very emotional moment to see him once again. However, the match on the pitch was incredibly ugly that lacked organization & conviction in front of goal. Both teams having only limited opportunities to score goals. The match started as bad as you could possibly imagine for Roma. Roma has dealt with injuries almost every week and it just happened to got worse. Bryan Cristante Roma’s one of two defensive midfielders left on their team had to be taken off due to a groin injury and Nikola kalinic Roma’s only other Striker outside of Edin Dzeko injured his leg. This forced Roma to make two changes before the start of the second half. Javier Pastore came in for Bryan Cristante and Edin Dzeko took over at the striker position this completely change the outcome of the game because Roma was forced to play Javier Pastore outside the position but they didn’t have a choice given the situation. Sampdoria had moments and came forward occasionally with some confidence. They weren’t able to break through largely due to the impressive performance defensively by Roma which is the only positive thing you can take away from Roma’s performance it ended up being a scoreless 0-0 draw that leaves a sour taste in the mouth and sickness in the stomach. Roma fail to pick up three points against the worst team in the league even if it was away from home it was truly an inexcusable matches like these can hold great importance late in the season Roma needs to pick up points in matches like this and they were unable to do so Roma are still in the top six but now find themselves three points from the Champions League it is manageable but this performance yesterday was concerning.
Bryan Cristante & Nicola Kalinic Both Injured
Roma’s injuries are killing the energy and confidence this season. It seems every week another player is going down with another injury. This makes everything Roma do so much more complicated. Roma is playing in two different competitions in the league and the Europa League the one thing they need is depth and with these injuries happening on such a regular occurrence it is something they are losing by the minute. Roma was not good yesterday can’t make excuses for the performance but it makes things really difficult when there’s such uncertainty about the lineup in what Roma has available. Before yesterday’s game, Hendrick Mkhitaryan, Cengiz Under, Diego Perotti, Lorenzo Pellegrini, and Diawara all had injuries. That’s not to mention Edin Dzeko as a facial fracture that has forced him to wear a mask he is able to play but their injuries all over the teams and it got a lot worse. Going into yesterday’s games the only defensive midfielder that Roma had it to their disposal is Jordan Veretout & Bryan Cristante. Now they only have one as it complicates things largely because Roma plays A formation that requires two defensive midfielders so either they’re going to have to change the formation or play an attacking player in a defensive midfield position. Yesterday Bryan Cristante one of the most effective midfielders in this team suffered a pulled groin. Tests were conducted it was reviled as a tendon tear in his right abductor the timetable is unclear and the details of the injury are expected to be released sometime in the next 24 hours. If he is out for a long period of time Roma is in serious trouble. On top of that Roma’s backup Striker, Nikola kalinic also had to leave the game with an injury. The Croatian striker suffered a fracture at the top of the fibula bone I’m not a doctor but that doesn’t sound good. Roma is in such a dire position that they may need to dip into Roma’s Youth Academy for a defensive midfielder and a backup Striker. The hope is that Bryan Cristante can be back momentarily with just a few weeks. If Bryan Cristante is out for more than a month it’s going to be a huge issue it feels like the season is hanging by a thread. It certainly appears that Roma is heading into a catastrophic injury crisis.
Sampdoria outplayed Roma
Sampdoria is not a great team they have very little quality throughout them. It is a big reason why they find themselves so deep in the relegation zone. They did get the point last night but in a general sense, this is not a very good football team. They will continue to struggle in big moments and against good teams, last night may have been an outlier but an outlier that showed absolute importance. Roma’s injuries did play a huge factor in the game itself but despite that Sampdoria by all accounts was the better team. Sampdoria wasn’t necessarily vicious in the attack but they created much more and at least tested the Roma defense and goalkeeper. Despite the huge gap in talent and ability yesterday they played as good of a game is that could have played. They were a better team yesterday they outplayed Roma significantly throughout the match. This result is as good as they could have hoped for a good portion thought that Sampdoria was going to get eaten alive by an injury-prone Roma team. They weren’t breathtaking and I still see them having some serious doubts and struggles but yesterday they played the best game they could have. A point against Roma is almost worth a victory in itself. Not only get a point from the match but it was a point more then most were expecting they’ve only picked up points on two different occasions and they’ve done that against a good Torino team and a talented Roma side they should be incredibly prideful and proud of how they performed. They did benefit from certain situations but all in all, it was a point they certainly deserved the question is can they use this energy and momentum to take this forward and try to climb out of the Relegation Zone.
Lack of Clinical Finishing
The lack of a killer instinct is something that only continues to be a problem for this Roma team. I understand the injury aspect of this as a large part of Roman attacking players are injured and it makes things a little bit more difficult to create those opportunities. However, that’s not an excuse Sampdoria is the worst team in Italian football they don’t have one dangerous attacking player that is capable of wreaking havoc on a game. Yet they were outplayed by a team that has only three points this season going into yesterday. Even with the injuries that Roma has had to deal with this season, there were more than good enough to get the job done against a Sampdoria team that is getting crushed every single week. Sampdoria had more shots on target in this game and looked at dangerous more frequently. A lack of clinical finishing ability in front of goal was a big problem with that. Edin Dzeko struck a powerful shot with 10 minutes to go in the game the Bosnian shot was the first On Target in the entire game. That is a huge problem if Roma can’t finish off the chances in front of goal against Sampdoria how on Earth are they going to do it against Inter Milan and Juventus there’s simply no excuse. This team has talented players all over the place with Edin Dzeko Justin kluivert Nicolas Zaniolo and others they are at the very least converting chances in front of goal this is something that needs to be addressed immediately they don’t have time to grow into it this needs to change today. Roma can’t get in games where they’re beating themselves because of their inability to finished off their chances. A lack of a killer instinct is the difference between three points and one. This is not the first time I have discussed this topic this season and it may not be the last Roma has other glaring issues but this is a serious problem it needs to be dressed immediately or Roma’s season will be over before it starts.
Claudio Ranieri is the perfect manager to come in and rescue the situation. Early in his career he had more sustainability and was a great manager. Not to say he doesn’t have moments of greatness anymore but in this next stage of his career, for the most part, he’s been a manager that does a job to move on. Not someone you want to take over your team in the long term. However, he does that job incredibly well since he won the title with Leicester city that is what he has done. He went the French league to take over Nance Led them to a respectable finish went to Fulham which seemed to not work out and then last year he helped a Roma progressed during the final 12 games of the season. This is just what he does he is incredibly great at luring these type of moments and as he progress with his teams. A similar situation occurred yesterday he has taken over Sampdoria a team that had only three points this season and was without question the worst team in Italian football. Against his old club Roma’s he came in and got Sampdoria playing good football as he got a huge point against Roma. He is the key to everything this Sampdoria team does not have quality anywhere. He has a legitimate chance to steer this team outside the relegation zone yesterday was a change of identity they looked respectable for the first time all season this doesn’t happen without him. I can see them getting points periodically over the next couple weeks and it getting themselves outside of the relegation zone. Eventually, this will burn out Claudio Ranieri is exactly what they needed.
It’s hard to find a silver lining after that performance but if there was one it was the defense. Defensively since Alison Becker left the Stadio Olimpico it has been one of Roma’s biggest issues. They lost a key part of their defense from last year and even with Kostas Manolas Roma was really bad defensively. Roma has certainly shown a lack of conviction and consistency in that area and it’s something that is a work-in-progress as there’s a lot of new players within that backline. However yesterday defensively Roma showed great progress. Overall it was a miserable performance but none the less they did a really great job in that area Gianluca Mancini seems to be a key player in this team defensively and looks incredibly special at times. Roma as a team that has struggled with for awhile clean sheets is not something they’re typically capable of despite their inability to score and secure the three points they got a clean sheet. It seems like a rarity having struggled defensively this season. However, there might be some light at the end of the tunnel as it was great communication and a higher level of efficiency in their backline. On top of that Paul Lopez looks like he is going to be a really good keeper for Roma. He may not make us forget about Allison but he certainly has shown he is capable of making big saves in big moments if the defense and Lopez can develop consistency with one another we could see Roma make a huge step defensively. Last night was a display of that even if the performance itself was forgettable