12 games into the 2017/18 Serie A season and this upcoming Derby might have more ramifications on the Scudetto race than the derby Roma lost last April.
Had Roma come out victorious during the infamous #Romaweddingderby, instead of crashing and burning, that victory might have made the result of last season even more painful, especially because than the Scudetto would have been lost by 1 point instead of 4.
As always, the past is the past and the only way forward is to focus on the season at hand. A victory over inter-city rivals Lazio could have the potential to vault a very competitive and competent team into a position to make some serious moves over the course of the next two months towards a run for the Serie A title at the end of the season.
At the moment, Roma have a game in hand over all of the other title contenders except Lazio, their upcoming opponent, who are on par in games played. A victory vaults Roma into a position to be only 2 points back of league leaders Napoli and just 1 point behind perennial champions Juventus, who at this point of the season, seem to be content with holding down the status quo of just keeping pace.
In the end, the bigger picture is whether not Pallotta and his management team understand the ramifications of Serie A title. Of course, Pallotta and the squad want to win a title, but something as simple as a major trophy, a milestone that has alluded the Giallorossi for 16 years could have everlasting ramifications on the city and team forever.
The Stadio della Roma project is seemingly on a permanent hiatus with groundbreaking now having been pushed back to 2020. After all of the talk over the last two years of how the project was a done deal, a sure thing, a necessary project and economic driver for a city struggling to escape the pitfalls of its own mismanagement, a Scudetto or Champions League title would do a lot to speed that process up.
A championship would almost certainly be the green light to move forward a stadium project almost everyone agrees is a necessary one for the sustainability of AS Roma as an entire entity. In a city where public opinion of everything swings like my 3-year-old at the playground, it might be now or never to get the project off the ground. In the end, when all is said and done, it might be a long time before Roma has the chance to compete with the other top-tier teams in the Serie A.
The teams who own their own stadiums and are creating and curating sustainable business models are the teams that will ultimately have success. That said, even the teams that can spend whatever they want due to the deep pockets of ownership will be able to thrive in short spans. What won’t create longevity and success is big talk and maneuvering in an ever-changing landscape of global soccer. We all want the same outcome for the Serie A. That the sport will progress and grow with the ultimate outcome being the sport and the league move in the right direction for generations to come.