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Can Luis Enrique turn AS Roma's fortunes

In his first major coaching role, the forty-one year old Spaniard Luis Enrique has had a problematic start to life in Rome with only one win in six games and elimination from the Europa League, but has last nights win away to Parma heralded the start of his Roma Revolution? Changes have been afoot at the Olimpico since last summer when the Sensi family, who ran the club since the early 90’s, decided to relinquish control of the club & in April a new consortium came in and promised significant changes at the club. One of the first was putting the former Real Madrid & Barcelona legend in charge in his first major managerial role – previously his only foray was a successful spell in charge of Barcelona ‘B’ following Guardiola’s previous blueprint.

Although not a comprehensive victory against a poor Parma outfit, the morale and outpouring of celebration on the touch-line said a lot about the squad and what they have been building during the close season.  In order to combat the ageing forward prowess of “The Gladiator”, Francesco Totti, the Wolves have brought in Osvaldo from Espanyol and Barcelona starlet, Bojan Krkic to spearhead the new look attack. Experience at the back has been provided by former Manchester United left back Gabriel Heinze. Although the defence on paper looks solid enough for many Serie A sides, Roma looked shaky when attacked and culpable to a late equalizer. A bedding in period will hopefully give the untested manager time to build his team ethos and hopefully this mirrors the goal scoring midfielders attacking flair which I used to watch at the Camp Nou. Sitting mid table, there is only three points between the old lady at the top and the Yellow Reds in eleventh so the panic button is not needed in the boardroom just yet.

The next two matches will give Enrique his toughest tests yet at this level I feel, with unbeaten Atlanta at the Stadio Olimpico – who are denied top spot by only a match fixing points deduction – and the first Rome Derby of the season a week later. The Spaniard will be hoping Lazio’s early season European excursions will give Roma the advantage and keep the tide turning in the fans favour. Prior to last season, the club have had their most successful spell since the turn of the century, runners-up in the league four times whilst once even captured the scudetto in the 2000-01 season for only the third time in their history. Only time will tell if Enrique can recapture the successes of the past decade and I hope he will be given the chance to flex his muscles – previous coach Claudio Ranieri is now at Internazionale following the sacking of their coach Gasperini after a disappointing start to their campaign, showing how fickle for immediate success some Italian clubs are.

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Comments
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