It’s never good to write or pass judgement directly after a match, yet here I am, just a couple of hours after Roma were tossed aside again in Europe.
To break down each leg seems like a needless exercise because it follows the same pattern that we’ve seen for almost an entire decade from Roma in Europe. It’s the same song, with a different verse.
What we saw tonight was what we usually see from Roma on the European stage: a lack of composure, missing opportunities, and somehow finding a way to flame out in spectacular fashion.
There’s nothing positive to take away from tonight. If you’re applauding the effort of the team for “almost” coming back then I’m sorry that Roma have knocked your expectations so low that you’re now content with effort from professionals.
To me, this loss seems to signal big picture ramifications. Spalletti? He looks like he will leave this summer. And who could blame him? You have an incompetent president who visits his team 3-4 times per year. A sporting director who, along with his protege Walter Sabatini, grossly mishandled the two transfer windows Roma had this season. You have a team full of good players who are never up to the big occasion.
Almost undoubtedly big names like Kostas Manolas and Antonio Rüdiger will leave the club for the sake of a plusvalenza. And then you have a poorly constructed squad with little to no depth that has nowhere near the financial reach of Juventus to pose as a worthy contender.
So where do we go from here? It seems like a new phase is on the horizon this summer. Whether it be a new manager or a host of new players, you can only hope that, at some point, Roma find a way veer off this path of mediocrity without winning anything. If they continue on this way, both on and off the pitch. then James Pallotta might as well sell the club. With the stadium project continuing to drag out, the club continuing not to win anything, and his lack of presence in the capital, Roma are simply a team without direction or leadership.
The lack of improvement in European play is daunting. The constant capitulation in big matches is tiresome. The excuses that come from the mouths of Pallotta, Baldissoni, et al are annoying. And most of all, the lack of trophies…haunting.
There is so much has to change at Roma. From top to bottom, even a footballing novice could pick out the glaring holes at the club both on and off the pitch. Hopefully, tonight served as a wake-up call to all involved: this won’t be easy.