Sabatini: “I Did Not Expect This”


A.S Roma Sporting Director Walter Sabatini spoke this morning regarding the fixture versus Napoli, the Giallorossi’s early success, and manager Rudi Garcia:

Does playing on Friday bother you?
“Very much to tell the truth, because both we and Napoli are very busy with international players from around the world, all of them will report back very late, and that does not help. But it is concrete, so we must move on.”

Surprised by this start to the season?
“When you work, you always hope for such things. Seven wins in a row was something nobody was expecting and especially not in the way in which these victories have come. But we are certainly not satisfied by this. Our main objective was to revive the atmosphere at Roma after the Coppa Italia final. We have done that and now we want to continue on.”

Can A.S Roma play on equal terms with Napoli and Juventus?
“They are already doing so and hope to continue. We had a very precise need, which was to raise the morale of our supporters because we came from a kind of nightmare, a collective nightmare tied to a match played in May. Now we are happy to have re-established harmony within the city and our fans. We are very happy and proud of this.”

Is Garcia your retribution?
“I do not consider him retribution but a positive for the club. He was chosen for this reason. I’ve known him for a long time because I watched him at Mans a few years ago when I worked at Palermo and we tried to sign a player from that team. Rino Foschi and I followed him and the work he had done there. I have always followed him at Lille. Today I have to say it has been a very lucky choice.”

Didn’t you expect his quality?
“No, I mean, I was obviously hoping for it but I did not expect this. But football can be unlucky — you follow a player and you think he is class and then he’s not because maybe he is not getting along with the environment and has no connection with the people. Rudi Garcia is beautifully placed in this environment, it’s as if he has always worked here — he brought his ideas, values, and a way of living and working which we are very very happy with.”

Is a three-year contract extension ready for him?
“We are in no rush, he has a two-year contract. Contracts in football have a certain value. We will deal with this later on, probably in the spring, but for now, we are not in great need.”

“Francesco is enjoying an immense presence of heart, he is content with this manager and he gets on well with his teammates, so this has led him to have a kind of great strength. Today, and I always say this, the strength and the character he expresses in matches and trainings I do not believe he had two or three years ago. He is really the ‘victim’ of newfound youth and his punishment is to play football for a long time. He has a contract to become a manager after his 40th birthday, but if he continues like this he will be able to take some penalty kick in three years.”

The criticism after this summer’s transfers?
“We had to make choices in partial contrast, not in total contrast but in partial, to give a little more strength and charisma to the team. We came from a defeat which we will never get over, so we made choices in Maicon and De Sanctis to give a psychological structure that perhaps was lacking. But then we went with other choices and acquired young players: Strootman born in 1990, Ljajic in 1991, Jedvaj in 1995. There was not a total contradiction in the business we did, but rather a kind of mediation.”

Do you actually consider the Derby loss in the Coppa Italia a disgrace?
“It is remembered as such, even though it was not. A.S Roma came to the derby in good form, however, had only gained 62 points and we were not realizing the path we had hoped for. That was a fatal defeat in the collective imagination in what were the hopes of the fans.”

Source(s): Radio Anch’io Lo Sport