Paternity Test

Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan

Inspired by Franco Baldini's comment on the Osvaldo suspension: it would be too easy to explain away this game as the result of arbitrary arbitration, the inevitable conclusion to going down to 10 men. In short: Juan was an idiot. Gago was an idiot. Bojan was an idiot. Heinze was as well, even though he escaped the referee's attention.

Luis Enrique isn't an idiot at all, but has his share of the responsibility as well. Not for the red cards themselves, for which the players bear the sole responsibility. There was, however, a problem with the team itself this afternoon. Roma dominated the ball after Juan's red card, which surely caught many eyes. I myself was impressed that Roma could continue the game without making a substitution, a morphing showing a versatility any squad could use. But what was it really, if not deceiving flattery? Prior to the red card and goal, Fiorentina had entered into scoring chances three or four times already. Do we believe that Roma dominating the ball after the red card was anything but a conscious decision by Delio Rossi? Criticize him for being defensive and afraid all you like, he gave Roma the ball because he saw we were doing nothing with it anyway. Not a single real, honest to god scoring opportunity. Not before, not after.

It isn't specific to this afternoon, sadly. Liedholm's old axiom that having possession of the ball is always preferable because it keeps the opposition from being able to score has been destroyed completely. Half of serie A is now comfortable with Roma setting the tempo of the game, knowing full well there's a vast discrepancy between Roma's time with the ball and chances created. The basis of a functional team is there, as Roma circulates the ball well. We're just missing the defensive stability and ability to create and finish chances in order to become a good team. A third of the way traveled, then. I guess that's worth something.