And so ends this season. It did so in the same manner in which it began: bad soon became worse. Only briefly has there been reason to smile; after Bayern at home, after Milan away, the derbies and after Montella's first game in charge. The impressive feats of beating Bayern and Milan could not be repeated or sustained elsewhere, so was ultimately pointless but for the thrill of the moment. And while a derby (or three) is always fun to win, Montella's first game as coach caused the team to momentarily react and have fun with the ball. The rest of the time has been a torturous time trying to come to grips with so many failing pieces that listing them all would take until kick-off time for next season. While getting to this point where the season is all but over has felt like an eternity and a half, tonight's semifinal against Inter showed how fast time flies in football: not thirteen months ago the same teams met in serie A, a battle of titans. Time has been cruel to both teams, effectively punishing them for not realizing it was time to let go and prepare sooner for the inevitable tomorrow.

Thirteen months later, nothing looked the same: Inter doesn't look like a team of champions, easily frustrated in ways that were unthinkable a year ago. Roma doesn't look the same, painfully lacking in the cornerstones of that great team last spring: momentum and belief. For all the will in the world, Roma couldn't get off one single shot on target tonight. Symptomatic, if you will, of the season itself. Symptomatic, even, for this era's Roma which came so close so often but couldn't hit the targets it sought. But it is over now, as it has to be. Another patchwork is out of the question, the team is in desperate need for a fresh start, fresh legs and a fresh mind to guide them. Unlike previous years, we now have the prerequisites in place to wipe that slate clean; directors with the intelligence, experience and connections necessary to bring in interesting players as well as an ownership with the ambition to let the operation proceed. Enough cannot be done.