Written by Scot Munroe
After Sunday home win over Cagliari thanks to a goal from Edin Dzeko, social media including myself was in high praise for Federico Fazio and rightly so.
The tall Argentine defender was brilliant as the center of the back three which Roma have gone for the most of the season and kept Marco Boriello at bay who has in the past come back and haunted Roma.
Federico Fazio made the switch from the Premier League in Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) to Serie A for Roma on August 3rd 2016 on an initial season-long loan with a mandatory purchase after Fazio played in 20 Serie A Games. With that last weekend, Fazio played in his 20th Serie A game for Roma with 18 starts and 2 substitute appearances and the club are looking to offer a contract to Argentina defender.
This season Luciano Spalletti has decided to a different approach in formation and ditched the 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 for a 3-4-2-1/3-4-1-2 and it is working and adds more defensive solidity to Roma. This change of set up is getting the best out of Roma and out of Federico Fazio who is more equipped to Serie A than the high intensity of the Premier League where he struggled to adapt playing the high defensive line where his lack of pace came into question time and time again at the heart of the Spurs backline.
Serie A is a slower style of league, in the where teams tend to defend a lot deeper and get more time on the ball and this has helped Federico Fazio and Roma who have got the player who was showing his best football in Spain for Sevilla. With Roma he has the protection of Daniele De Rossi in front of the back 3 as a shield and has two very athletic central defenders either side of him in Kostas Manolas and Antonio Rudiger who have settled into a deadly trio at the back for Roma as they push for Juventus in the scudetto. Roma have conceded 0 goals in 4 games in 2017 with those 3 players at the heart of the Roma defence and Roma do have suitable backs up in Juan Jesus and Thomas Vermaelen when called upon.
In Roma recent home win on Sunday night, Edin Dzeko will get the plaudits for the goal but the Argentine defender was man of the match in my eyes. Fazio was a rock at the defence winning 9 out of 9 headed clearances, 7 out of 7 aerial duals and 11 out of 11 clearances from defence.
He is proving to be a leader at the heart of the Roma defence and is becoming a bit of a cult hero to the Roma fans and long may it continue. In high words from his coach Luciano Spalletti “Recently the other defenders have rotated, but not him (Fazio), because Roma cannot go on without him. High praise from Roma coach and you can tell how crucial Fazio is becoming to Roma.