The Roma-Juventus match left some slag between the AS Roma supporters. There are three main questions that the fans are asking themselves and this is the moment to deeply face them.
I already know that this article could trigger many bad comments but I believe that, in order to change things, sometimes there is the need to face important and hot arguments even if these topics are considered taboo. You guys knows that I love stats because I firmly believe that numbers don’t lie but give us a 360 degree perception of what happens. Stats are very important in football to understand the performances of our beloved players and, sometimes, to praise or criticize them on the basis of their actual performances.
The Roma and Juventus match left many AS Roma supporters very disappointed and together with them also Roma’s Malian star Seydou Keita expressed his point of view about the big clash played at the Olympic stadium in Rome:
“After Juventus’ goal we doubled our effort on the playing field but this wasn’t enough to win the match. We collected only a point when we needed three points to reopen the challenge for the title. Juventus is a great team and I’m happy for my goal but I’m very disappointed for the final result. The difference between them and us is given by their confidence to be strong. They won many titles in the last years and they know to be a great team. We need more tranquility to succeed.”
If an expert player like Keita analyzes the match in this way we have to believe in what he says. Even because of his incredible history and experience as a player that conquered the world with the best team that I’ve ever seen playing on a field, Barcelona. However, I reckon that in order to deeply understand what’s happening at Roma we have to focus on three major issues of tactical natures.
Firstly, I believe that Roma must have the strength to start a generational change especially in its forward line. Secondly, the club and the fans do not have to hide behind their hero and legend Francesco Totti. Thirdly this team needs goals and efficiency that only a great striker can provide.
Let me explain my point of view about the above mentioned issues…
Roma needs a generational change in order to give freshness to its team and finally make the necessary leap in quality to succeed. In Roma’s roster there are many players over 30 that are not fully efficient anymore. These players are also considered the big stars of the Giallorossi such as De Sanctis, Maicon, De Rossi, and Totti. Wooow! I’m talking about the AS Roma legend and the Romano and Romanista Daniele De Rossi!!! Yes, I’m doing that because I believe that we have to realize that they are human beings and not robots and that the career of players (even if they were/are still legends for us) reach an end. For this reason I believe that Roma must change and next summer could be the right moment to do that if we want to lift toward the sky some trophies.
To justify my previous point of view I want to highlight that the club (and the fans as well) do not have to hide themselves behind their legendary players. Francesco Totti has been the best player that Roma had in its history and sometimes he is still the one able to lead the team to victory. However, we all know that he is 38 years old and the club must find an alternative. I believe that in a recent interview that he released Totti centered the main point of the issue:
“If Garcia let me play it is because I deserve to do so. If the club pursues Batistuta (an example to say “a great champion”) the coach would have more choices.”
His words are explicative of the actual status of the club. I reckon that Pallotta & Co must understand that after having created a competitive team now this is the moment to pursue the “five star luxury star” that could let Totti sit on the bench. Until this happens Totti has the right to play but we cannot blame him if, sometimes, he cannot perform as well as when he was 26 years old. This is my point and I hope that it is clear!
In order to further analyze the overall issues listed above I decided to compare the most important forwarders of the three best Italian teams: Juventus, Roma and Napoli.
Thanks to the data and graphics provided by the famous portal Squawka.com I analyzed the offensive performances of Tevez, Totti and Higuain. I set up key parameters such as goals scored, assists, total shots, and key passes in order to highlight their efficiency close to the box and their proficiency for their teams.
Due to his age Totti played less minutes and games than his colleagues, 19 matches (1227 minutes) against Tevez’s 23 (1862) and Higuain’s 24 (1907). However, the main difference between these three amazing stars highlighted by the overall stats and parameters that I previously mentioned is that Totti scored only 5 goals against, Tevez’s 15 and Higuain’s 12. The AS Roma legend also doesn’t shoot that much towards the net: Totti (34 shots) – Tevez (83) – Higuain (67).
The craziest thing that I discovered is that even if he is 38 years old Totti is still able to make the difference on the playing field but in a different position, as a midfielder! Yes, I’m not kidding you! Let’s check the graph together:
AS you guys can note Totti’s total passes are (750), so much more than Higuain (463) and slightly less than Tevez (911). Even the key passes parameter highlights that Totti (34) is almost at the same level of Tevez (38) and in this skill he is still so much better than Higuain (26).
In conclusion I would say that Totti is not the reason why AS Roma seems not to be able to succeed but I firmly believe that he cannot manage to be a proficient striker anymore. If you guys check the Serie A standings out you can see that Roma scored far fewer goals than the stronger Italian teams. Roma needs a striker! A fresh champion up there, in the box! Those that are my age and lived in the Zidane and Del Piero era probably have noted that even if the Bianconeri got rid of those super champions the team continued to perform well and win. Please, don’t be fool thinking that Juventus was only able to win because the Italian football system wants them to do so. I’m Romanista and I have an immeasurable passion for AS Roma but we have to admit that Juventus was able to implement what I called a generational change while Roma (club and fans) are still struggling to understand that this is an inevitable process to start.