A.S. Roma have erupted from the traps of the new Serie A campaign and maintained an incredible 100% start to the season, notching up an astounding nine wins from nine games under the careful guidance of new manager Rudi Garcia.
The Rome club are the only team left out of Europe’s major football leagues, who have managed to take full points in all of their domestic games.
With Osvaldo, the club’s top scorer for the previous two seasons having made a summer switch to Pochettino’s in-form Southampton side, supporters were looking for a replacement striker just as prolific as his predecessor to be brought in, and the arrival of Adem Ljajic did not exactly ignite the imaginations of the Giallorossi fans.
With a solid and experienced centre-back partnership in Leandro and Benatia delivering some admirable performances at the back, and Maicon proving he can still compete competently at the top level in the game after his poor spell at Manchester City, Garcia has certainly built a strong foundation from which his side can push on and focus more attention on threatening at the other end.
Beloved Roma captain, talisman and rare “one-club” player, Francesco Totti has defied recent pundit criticisms of his age and illustrated his ongoing significance and indispensable ability in his twenty-one year tenure at the club by playing a part in eight of the nine league fixtures, generating six assists and netting three goals, two of which he had the pleasure of scoring against bitter rivals Internazionale.
Francesco Totti certainly deserves his nickname of Il Re di Roma (The King of Rome) and it will be an emotional day for the club and indeed the city when the Serie A’s top active goalscorer eventually decides it’s time to hang up his boots.
However it is not just the impressive feat of maintaining a 100% record to a tough start to the season, rather the style and newfound confidence, approach and concrete defensive philosophy that Roma seem to be enjoying under the Frenchman’s reign as boss.
Garcia’s team have conceded just one goal in all nine fixtures and scored twenty-three.
Not to overstep the mark and predict an Arsenal-like “Invincibles” season for the Italian outfit, but Garcia has instilled a successful balance between defence and attack similar to that of the Gunners historic season. In actual fact, I do not believe the club has enough quality or depth in their squad, particularly in the attacking arena, to mount a significant assault on the title and pry it from Juventus’ firm grasp, but their flying start to the season has to be respected and admired by fans and rivals alike.
Garcia’s team have conceded just one goal in all nine fixtures and scored twenty-three. A record eight clean sheets is more than the majority of the bottom clubs in the division will achieve throughout the entire season. Roma fans will be chomping at the bit considering their side’s tremendous defensive record thus far.
Rudi Garcia has already won the hearts of the Giallorossi with one vitally important 2-0 derby victory against Lazio, a 3-0 smashing of Internazionale in the San Siro and their recent 2-0 victory over second place Napoli.
A Serie A title may not be on the cards this season, but a push for the top three and a significant Coppa Italia challenge looks more than promising for Roma, who will be craving some silverware, especially after being narrowly defeated in last year’s final by local neighbours and fierce rivals Lazio.