The story of AS Roma: What a difference a year makes
At the start of the season, many people believed that it was going to be another turbulent season for Roma. Roma finished 6th in the 2012/13 season, 25 points off the league winners Juventus and as a result of this no European football for the i Giallorossi. However this season there has been a huge contrast, with the appointment of manager Rudi Garcia in June, Roma have looked unstoppable times and it was clear they what they set out to do from the start going on a 18 match unbeaten run a complete turn around from the start of the season before where they had lost of their first 18 league matches. Garcia brought in numerous new signings in the summer; including Kevin Strootman; Adem Ljajić, Morgan De Sanctis; Maicon and Gervinho to whom have became key members in Roma’s success thus far. After 25 games Roma are sitting comfortably in 2nd,twelve points behind leaders Juventus.
Roma Style of Play
Garcia’s style is far more balanced than his predecessors. In the early stages, Roma haven’t had a great deal of chances but were still able to finish the ones they did have. Above all, they nullified opponents with Garcia’s brand of solid defensive football. They have now scored more goals than any other team in Serie A. Roma are built to concede possession by defending in deep positions. Roma are compact out of possession with the whole team defending waiting for a counter. The high speed of their transition play is where they can be most dangerous and effective. They scored more goals on the counter-attack than any other in Serie A this season.
Roma’s Key Men
Daniele De Rossi
De Rossi is key to Garcia’s success so far, most notably for his defending prowess. De Rossi is known for his position just in front of the back 4 known as the Defensive Midfielder. One of his main skills is his changing of the game, he could be in a dangerous area of the pitch and change the tempo of the match he could either hold the ball up and move the team forward slowly or by opening up play by drilling a cross-field ball, some suggest a characteristic only executed to perfection from the likes of Pirlo or Xavi. He also includes defending into his display, De Rossi intelligently drops in and acts like a 3rd centre back against the stronger teams to reduce the danger for the defending team, key in Roma’s 13 clean sheets so far this season.
Strootman’s important because his arrival forces De Rossi and Pjanic to up their game. The aggressively he brings to the midfield and his intelligence brings balance to the team, when De Rossi is bombing forward, he’ll drop back for cover, when Pjanic’s under pressure he’ll be there to support him. Or sometimes he’ll make a late run forward himself if opportunity presents. A brilliant box-to-box midfielder. You can guarantee you will get 100% from him getting back to win the ball so far this season he has won 46% of his tackles not only defensively Strootman is key but also attacking scoring 5 goals and having a 55% shot accuracy.
Before Rudi Garcia; Roma’s backline; midfield and set piece defending was shocking. Their defence couldn’t stay in a line together while defending at some stage 2 defenders were still running back while the other 2 where defending. When Garcia wasn’t incharge Roma didn’t have a leader that could drive Roma forward and be the game changer in the key games. When Garcia came in it all changed, he revitalized their; set piece defending; defending; midfielders and other aspects of Roma’s game. In the 2013-14 season Garcia has made Roma and unbreakable force and once again Roma are to be reckoned with in Serie A.
The summer saw Rudi Garcia bring in Benatia to the squad also giving De Rossi a newfound love of his old role. This is key to Roma’s so far because from the picture we see the organization from Roma plus Roma have men back to defend a heavy onslaught from the opponents. In this picture we see the low defensive line, which in some cases is bad, but in this case it works well because the options down the left wing from Internazionale because as we can see there is very little options to pass to, if the player in possession decides to pass it’ll either go back into his own half or be intercepted by Roma’s defensive squadron.