A turning point. Yesterday Luigi Febbrari, physiotherapist and fitness coach since 2013, said his goodbyes to the team and let them know that he had accepted a position with Atalanta to work under Edy Reja, who he worked for at Lazio.
The technical staff loses a piece. This is most likely in anticipation of a heavy reform that will happen over the summer in regards to the inside staff. It was a short spell, as he had been with Roma for only two years.
This season, he was replaced by Paolo Rongoni, who was strongly wanted by Rudi Garcia 9 months ago. Rongoni is also a former Lazio coach, and he has been criticized in some circles as the culprit behind the poor fitness the Roma players have been showing. Those people will be disappointed to hear that it is not Rongoni who will be leaving, but rather Febbrani. It is very easy to blame someone who has such an immediate past with Lazio, a team that is not only Roma’s closest rival but who also suffered some bad form in 2013-2014.
My take: It still remains that players such as Pjanic, Totti, De Rossi, Maicon, and Ljajic among others no longer seem to have 90 minutes in them, while some questionable decisions were made as to the amount of minutes given to Strootman, Iturbe, and a recently recovered Ibarbo, along with Doumbia’s injury. While some are understandable due to age, others have no excuse as they are in their younger years still.
At the end of the season, however, the management will have to re-evaluate their medical and fitness staff, along with any other position that regards the physical condition of players. There appears to be a rift in the medical staff between doctors and fitness coaches in regards to the continuous and reoccurring injuries that have plagued Roma.
My take: At this time I think back to an old interview from a former Roma winger, Ludovic Giuly. He claimed that the training ground at Trigoria was too sand-like which made it very easy to get injured. I cannot find the interview, but if anyone remembers this statement and can find it, please post it in the comments!
As Rudi Garcia and the team began training, the coach approached them calmly and asked them to remain concentrated, staying on the path of small step-by-step improvement, and focused on maintaining second place and keeping up with European competition.