Roma Weekly Round-Table (Sassuolo Match)

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Welcome to another edition of the Roma Weekly Round-Table, let us know on Twitter if you want to participate in another edition!

This week’s participants are:
Mike (@Vito004)
Brandon (@bEchev_25)
Matt (@mattwalden37)
Jawahar (@Juju_almal)

Two draws in a row for Roma. Are you worried?

Mike: I’m not sure one can be a Roma fan without some level of anxiety. That said, I am not worried. It is a long season. Have we been brought back down to earth? Sure, but it should only serve to make us dig in our heals and prepare for the grind that we all knew this was going to be. This team has talent, cohesion, and coaching. We are in it for the long haul.
Brandon: Not worried, but there is obviously improvement needed in the finishing.
Matt: Absolutely. After a record breaking start to the season, we only find ourselves one point adrift of a charging Juve after extremely poor results against teams we can’t afford to drop points to if we hope to win the Scudetto.
Jawahar: I am not extremely worried given the circumstances of injuries, but the break came at a suitable time for the mister and the team to re-evaluate everything.

Grade Roma’s performance out of 10 vs. Sassuolo. Why this grade?

Mike: 5/10. Champions don’t leave points on the table at home to a bottom club. There were some good displays and momentary flashes of brilliance, but it was uncomfortably evident that we need a target man who can play with the ball at his feet as well as a LB who can deliver accurate crosses. Marco, for all his sexiness and work ethic, is a one trick pony these days and Balza couldn’t hit the broad sign of a barn. We need a plan in the final 3rd when Totti is out and Sunday made that very clear.
Brandon: 8/10. They dominated the second half, and were very unlucky towards the end of the match.
Matt>: 5/10. Their was a huge lack of cohesion between the midfield and the forwards. A lot of our possession was “useless” and when Llajic was able to create something out of nothing, he couldn’t capitalize.
Jawahar: 8/10. Ljajic’s performance and the laid-back feel towards the end of the game proved costly.

The upcoming schedule gets more difficult. What is the one fixture (up until Genoa) that you fear most?

Mike: The obvious choice is Juve, but in all honesty I can’t wait to beat the snot out of them. That’s just how I’m feeling at the moment. The game that worries me is away to Fiorentina. Rossi scares me and the game just has let down written all over it.
Brandon: Juventus. We can beat Fiorentina at our best, and Milan hasn’t done well.
Matt: Obviously the game against Juventus. At this moment in time, they are our main competitors for the scudetto, so this game could go a long way towards deciding the winner at the end of the season.
Jawahar: The obvious answer is Juventus, but hopefully we’ll have a full team by then and they’re worn out from CL, so Fiorentina is the most worrisome for me.

One player that must drastically improve in order for Roma to succeed is _____?

Mike: This may come as some surprise, but I’m going with Ljajic. Look, he has played well. But he flashes these moments of absolute brilliance that are eerily reminiscent of a certain young Antonio. If he can develop even a little bit of an understanding with his teammates, this team is going to be SCARY good. For me, his performance this year is the difference between Scudetto and 3rd.
Brandon: When the team is fully fit, it would have to be Balzaretti.
Matt: Burdisso. If we’re going to keep playing him this season, (due to injury, suspension, etc.) he has to me better. Our impenetrable defense has become mortal when Burdisso has been on the field.
Jawahar: Ljajic, Ljajic, Ljajic! Too many chances given to him and still has not proven anything.

One word you can think of when you hear the phrase: “Roma are Scudetto challengers”?

Mike: Truth.
Brandon: Optimistic.
Matt: Finally.
Jawahar: #HungryForGlory.

The one player you’d like to see Roma bring in during the January transfer window is _____?

Mike: A smart man would say a LB, any LB. I am not that man. I want Cabaye. Not sure who he would replace. Not sure where he would play, but; Totti, PJ, Ljajic, Cabaye? Ummm, yes please.
Brandon: Realistically? Santon.
Matt: Edin Dzeko.
Jawahar: Cabaye maybe, but I do not really follow transfer news. A center forward instead of Borriello is a must though.

Your prediction for Roma vs. Cagliari after the break?

Mike: Rudi has them ready to play, 4-0 good guys.
Brandon: Hoping for a 2-0, I fear Sau and Ibarbo if they play in that game.
Matt: Roma 2 – 1 Cagliari
Jawahar: Hopefully, we go back to 3-0 wins and a Destro appearance.