Di Francesco betrayed by his veterans

John Solano

La Repubblica (Ferrazza): Di Francesco is very disappointed in the leaders of the dressing room, which are those who, in a certain sense, betrayed him in Ukraine. The defeat against Shakhtar complicates the return leg on 13 March and the feeling of a group still in a full identity crisis seems to have returned, although in the first half, we saw a reactive team especially from the physical point of view. Then half time arrived and all of the limitations, including mental and physical, of Roma’s veterans were exposed. Florenzi, De Rossi, Strootman, Nainggolan and Dzeko: those with the most experience were those who disappointed the most, leaving the spotlight of glory to the younger Alisson and Ünder.

Roma slept in Kharkiv after the match, but nobody managed to get to sleep easily. In particular Di Francesco, who stayed up late to deal with Totti and Monchi. Di Francesco is very angry and beside himself by the players who should be a beacon for the others. The Giallorossi manager is thinking of making some drastic choices Sunday against Milan. Pellegrini will be used, perhaps in place of De Rossi, and he is also thinking of giving Nainggolan a rest and utilising Defrel as a playmaker. El Shaarawy will return while Florenzi is at risk too as he was among the worst against Shakhtar. He is also in the midst of a chaotic episode, which is linked to his contract renewal (his current one expires in 2019). Florenzi’s economic and technical demands are far removed from those that the upper management seem to want to guarantee to him.

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