Dzeko makes it 5.
We close to within 8 points of Juve…
You never know.
Dzeko makes it 5.
We close to within 8 points of Juve…
You never know.
Watch Roma’s form take off now.
Carlo Mazzone accused Roma Coach Luciano Spalletti of “seeking glory by destroying Francesco Totti’s image.”
The captain was told to leave the training camp ahead of this evening’s game with Palermo following a TV interview in which he demanded “respect” from his Coach.
Giallorossi supporters and pundits are now split on the situation, but former tactician Mazzone stood firm.
“Spalletti is seeking glory,” Mazzone told Romanews.eu.
“He could easily have called the player over privately and resolved the situation like that. By behaving this way, he has destroyed the image of a lad who is exceptional both as a man and a football player.
“Spalletti should explain how he could do such a thing. A Coach with good common sense would not have done it. I am very bitter and upset at all this.
“If I had been in Spalletti’s place, I would’ve clarified this misunderstanding, without the need to exclude Totti from the squad.
“I above all would not have behaved this way with a lad who is golden both on and off the field. The captain can still give his contribution, he always has done and can still do.”
Luciano Spalletti revealed why he “had to” send Francesco Totti home. “You must have respect for everyone.”
The day started amid chaos with captain Totti frozen out following critical comments in a television interview, but ended with a 5-0 victory – their fifth Serie A win in a row to maintain fourth place.
“Tonight was an impeccable performance. There’s always the danger of a drop in mentality after a Champions League match, but they played really well, recharged the batteries and gave everything,” Spalletti told Mediaset Premium.
“The whole situation is in the past. We all intend to come back together tomorrow. He was in the stands to watch the game, went to the locker room to salute the players and will be training with us tomorrow.
“It was just a moment of anger and discomfort that is understandable in certain respects. If the greatest post-war player like him makes these comments, it turns into a big deal.
“I was going to play him tonight, as I said so in the Press conference yesterday. If I had said he was going to play and then didn’t, he’d have flung missiles at me, not verbal jabs!
“Based on what emerged from his comments, and the fact that all over the media there was only talk about this, I thought there was the danger of it affecting concentration after a Champions League game.
“I had asked him nicely, like a father, to help the transition from one fixture to another. There are roles. It might be abnormal, but this is how things are done here.
“If you treat one player in a certain way, you have to treat everyone equally, even if that player is Francesco Totti. I could not do otherwise.
“It’s true he is a great champion and I must have respect for him, but I must also have respect for all the players in the squad. Otherwise someone can just call a Press conference and say whatever he likes at any stage – that’s no way to behave.”
Edin Dzeko bagged a brace, but also missed an astonishing opportunity in front of an open goal.
“We started the game badly and I feel Dzeko’s goal really changed things. I was looking at him and he was positively distraught at missing such an easy chance. His head dropped, he looked only at the floor, but that goal so soon afterwards shook him up.
“We are a strong side on the counter, but we still don’t seem to realise when to control possession and when to charge forward.
“Our objective is to win when we play a game. The one after is only important if you’ve won the previous game, therefore the current one is fundamental.
“We’ve had a good run of victories, but there are others who have done better and so we must carry on. They others still have petrol in the tank.”
I’m sitting on the fence but I do feel our captain has been disrespected.
He’ll have to turn the other cheek if he wants to protect his legacy.
He should retire gracefully at this stage and not make a cunt of himself like Ryan Giggs.,
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Horncastle: Totti and Spalletti’s argy bargy
Horncastle: Totti and Spalletti’s argy bargy
But for a solitary hanger, Francesco Totti’s locker lay empty on Sunday night. His No.10 shirt and the rest of his kit had not been readied for Roma’s captain to put on. The image captured by the pre-game dressing room cam couldn’t have been more powerful.
Totti had popped his head in the door and wished his teammates well before kick-off against Palermo. He also had a conversation with Luciano Spalletti. “Where are you watching the game?” Spalletti inquired. “In my box,” Totti replied. “Can I come?” his coach asked. “No,” Totti deadpanned. “Only my friends are allowed there.”
Now before you get the wrong idea, it’s important to add that it was a joke. There was little or no tension. “Ok” Spalletti said. Because “if you ask me to put you on the bench, I can only put the people I’ve called up onto it.” Totti was not in the squad. He was not injured.
He had been “sent home” earlier that day as a disciplinary measure. How could Totti have been sent home, demanded an outraged Antonello Venditti, the songwriter behind the club’s pre and post-game songs, when Roma is his home. Spalletti later explained that no such thing had happened. Totti was “free” to do whatever he wished. “There was no punishment,” Roma general manager Mauro Baldissoni added. “He’s here at the stadium and has been in the dressing room.” However, not everybody saw it that way.
When Spalletti’s name was read out before kick off, it was whistled. Tellingly, Totti’s was sung as he took his place in the stands. He appeared visibly moved by them. So did Spalletti. “I wanted to join in.” Fans held up banners and print-outs in support of their captain. “I’m with Totti,” insisted one. Another declared Totti untouchable.
Things had escalated significantly since Totti strolled through the mixed zone after Wednesday night’s 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid.When asked to stop and answer questions about the performance, he had replied: “What’s the point?”. His involvement on the pitch has been so minimal with Roma this season, particularly since Spalletti returned, that he couldn’t really offer any insight. As we discussed on Thursday, a six-minute cameo against Real after Cristiano Ronaldo and Jese had already clinched victory provoked a feeling inside Totti that he never wished to feel. That of the charity case. A “non-player” as Gazzetta put it. Not yet an “ex-player.”
The assumption made was that to Spalletti seeing Totti was like watching Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. He pictured the “one-armed man punching at nothing but the breeze” that Bruce Springsteen sung about on the soundtrack. Old news was brought up too. Alleged bad blood. “He could have spoken up more when I left [the first time],” Spalletti said a couple of years back. The disappointment was mutual. “He’s still saying I got rid of him at Roma, eh” Totti replied at the time. “The truth is he wanted to go to Zenit.”
Talk of a rift was dismissed convincingly by Spalletti. “I’ve got a wall at home with a number of framed shirts on it,” he revealed. “Seven or eight of them are Totti’s.” His kids are Roma fans too. Spalletti’s intention had been to play Totti on Sunday. He’d been training well. The number of sessions and the tempo had been increased since his arrival and Totti had not only coped with it, “he contributed to the upping of the tempo.” Spalletti considered Palermo the right opponent too. But just as he was telling the media all this in Saturday’s pre-match press conference, Totti gave an interview of his own to RAI.
It was supposed to be a special about the 10th anniversary of the 2006 World Cup. Instead - whether at the player’s request or not - it focused on his current situation. The fact it was RAI, the state broadcaster, was significant. It guaranteed the biggest possible audience. Totti believed it was time to speak out and it wasn’t a decision he took lightly. “I’m quite introverted. I listen, mull things over.” But it hurt to stay silent. As did sitting on the bench. “That’s normal for a player like me.”
After a bad injury, he’s back. In Totti’s opinion, he’s been fit for a month. If he isn’t playing then it’s down to the manager. Asked about his relationship with Spalletti, he said the only words they exchange are “good morning and good night.”
Feeling slighted, Totti would also have preferred it if Spalletti had said some things to his face rather than reading about them in the papers. Spalletti had bristled at Zdenek Zeman’s comments that Totti deserves special treatment. “I coach Roma. Not individual players,” was his cutting response. One imagines Totti also didn’t appreciate Spalletti saying: “He’s an actor now” upon being re-played images of his captain playing a joke on Miralem Pjanic during the Sassuolo game. There was no malice to it but it lacked tact. Totti told RAI that, in general, he felt a lack of respect.
“It would be awful to end my career like this,” he sighed. A sit-down is planned with owner James Pallotta in March. “I’ll say my bit. He’ll say his and I hope we both leave [the meeting] happy… I hope to stay at Roma. That’s always been the dream… But if two roads don’t bring you out onto the same street then we’ll see.” Upon learning about the interview, Spalletti - “with great displeasure” - left Totti out. He did so without consulting those above him. “My eldest son, who is at university here in Rome called me,” Spalletti explained, “and said: ‘Dad, what are you doing arguing with Totti.”
But Spalletti felt he had no choice. He had asked the players to put the Real Madrid game behind them and concentrate on Palermo. Totti’s interview was a distraction and threatened to compromise that very concentration. As such it demanded sanction. “The fact is,” Spalletti said, “if you take what would ordinarily be considered normal action against the greatest player Italy has produced in the post-war era, it can come across as exceptional.”
Not taking it, he felt, would set a dangerous precedent. There are other veterans in the squad who have cause to grumble: Morgan de Sanctis, Maicon and Seydou Keita. Younger more impressionable squad members might have left thinking they could get away with it if Totti were allowed to get off scot-free. One of the reasons Spalletti replaced Rudi Garcia was to bring some order to the club. If he backed down on this his authority would be weakened.
The decision sent shockwaves through the game in Italy. “The exile of the King of Rome” was Gazzetta’s front-page headline on Monday morning. Totti expects correttezza. That Roma do right by him. Contractually, Roma don’t see a problem. “He got one as a player until June and another one as a director for six years after that,” Baldissoni explained. The trouble is that it’s clear from what Totti told RAI that he still wants to play. When asked about becoming a director, he said: “I haven’t thought about that yet.” But it’s not as if this subject hasn’t been broached before.
Last night Spalletti revealed he’d had a meeting with Totti and his trusted personal trainer Vito Scala about his future. “It’s right that Totti gets to do what he wants to do.” Spalletti told him that he could become an assistant to him like Ryan Giggs at Manchester United or work as a director like Pavel Nedved, now vice-president of Juventus. “If you want to play, that’s fine by me and if you carry on like this you will get some games.” But in that regard Spalletti insisted he “can’t guarantee him anything.”
Being a coach means you have to take difficult decisions. Spalletti isn’t interested in winning a popularity contest. He wants to win Serie A. His job is to get results. Last night would have been damaging if Roma had lost and for a time it briefly looked like it might get embarrassing when Edin Dzeko entered his contender for miss of the season. But five wins in a row, including last night’s 5-0, is persuasive enough to make the Roma fan within Totti think twice about complaining.
As an exercise this could turn out to be constructive in making Totti come to terms with the inevitable. The feet are the same. He is still scoring goals and making passes in training that leave Spalletti gobsmacked. Class is permanent after all. But when it comes to playing at the speed and intensity that today’s game requires, the hands on the body clock cannot be turned back.
“If I were Totti, I would have retired last season,” Gianluca Vialli said. He probably didn’t because he held out hope of going out on the high of winning the Scudetto. Can you blame him? Honestly, it breaks your heart.
Little Pharaoh has us one up in Empoli.
We lead Empoli away from home 3-1.
6 Serie A wins on the bounce, Little Pharaoh at the double and Giotto with the other.
Roma 3-0 up at home to Fiorentina. Salah assisted by Perroti, El Shaarawy assisted by Salah, and Perotti assisted by El Shaarawy. Spalletti vindicated in leaving Totti on the bench.
Totti enters the fray on 75 minutes, Roma 4-1 up, Salah with the fourth
5 points off the top now
im really going to crank up my support for AS Roma now
7 leagues wins on the bounce.
Forza Lex Luther.
Perisic has put Inter 1 up against us.
We’ll have to do our level best to flog Dzeko off to Turkey or Russia in the summer.
Important late equaliser by Nainggolan.