Fiorentina opened their season with a defeat at the Olimpico to Roma. Hardly a surprise as Roma were one of the form teams last year, finishing second to Juventus with sufficient points to win the scudetto most seasons. We have been relatively passive in the transfer market over the summer, the main concern being the retention of Juan Caudrado coveted by Barcelona. When this type of club comes calling it’s difficult to keep the player but the owner Andrea Dalle Valle is doing his best. He was suspended against Roma and it showed as with Rossi out too we posed little threat up front. A striker is urgently needed as it’s looks very likely that Rossi will be unavaialable through injury. I fear that in the absence of such a striker either the two Milan clubs and Lazio will claim our fourth spot. We also have a lengthy Europa League to consider though noone in our qualifying group looks troubling.
Juventus are favourites again but, as Antonio Conte has moved to the national job after Italy’s poor World Cup, I would not be surprised if Roma under the excellent Rudy Garcia takes the scudetto. They have lost their best defender Benatia to Bayern Munich but acquired Manolos from Olympiakos who had a outstanding World Cup. Their midfield axis of De Rossi, the evergreen Totti and Panjic is the heart of the team but Arsenal fans will be surprised to see what an effective striker Gervinho is. He scored Roma’s second against us using his pace and strength to go round Neto. Ashley Cole is their new left back. The Roma first goal was caused by our young Australian midfielder Brillante who certainly was not giving the ball away and suffering the indignity of being subbed after 30 minutes. After a passive first half the Viola put Roma under pressure and their veteran keeper De Sanctis had to be at his agile best.