Fresh from the in-depth tactics blog of yesterday, Rob is back with the end of season 2 of what I am calling the Roma rollercoaster. I can’t take the credit for that it was the title when Rob emailed me this over. Anyway, part 5 is here if you want to get caught up but then head back here to see if Rob can bring glory to Rome.
We are back with the run into the end of the season. At the end part 2 I left you with Roma in control of the league, 6 points clear of Juve after 24 games and still in the Champions League, preparing to face Man Utd in the quarters. Without any further delay we head to Old Trafford for a tough tie against the always strong Utd side.
What a result, it was close but I think Utd shaded it on the night so to leave level and with an away goal is amazing. I would have taken a 1:0 loss but young Kanoute didn’t let the occasion overwhelm him and came off the bench to grab the equaliser. Here are the other results from leg one.
Along with our excellent cup result we get a piece of good news about our favourite goal poacher.
The news of his return from injury inspires Kanoute, that and Buffon bringing him down in the box in the 33rd minute. Parma were a bit of a force last season but they are floundering now and we take full advantage.
While he was injured Inzaghi wrote a letter a day to Daddy Maldini and his persistence paid off, he’s got an international call up. How is Petruzzi still getting one? I don’t understand.
Empoli come and go, well actually we do and our Icelandic regen Thor, his surname is too long to keep writing out, bags us all three points.
A win sets us up nicely for the tough home tie with Man Utd that is up next. It’s make or break time.
It’s an amazing result but before I even talk about the game I need to ask why the attendance is so low for such a big game when 80,000 will come and watch us play Lecce on a Sunday. It was their loss though, they missed a corker. An early 2:0 lead thanks to Thor and Inzie only to be pegged back just before the half. My head was in my hands when Giggs scored, it was a good run we can try again next year but then up pops the man himself and we hold on for 14 more minutes and a great win. Who will we face in the semis? The other results fall like this:
And we draw…
I’m quite pleased, we have had the better of them all season but I know they will step it up for the cup. If we can make it through I would feel confident against Ajax or Liverpool. Let’s not get ahead or ourselves though.
During the international break Totti scores on his international debut.
We win again in the league, it’s a 1:0 victory. Totti is riding high after his first international cap and goals. I don’t think we had a single 1:0 win last season, it seems like we have had loads this year. With seven games left we are still 6 points up on Juve but a massive 16 points ahead of Lazio in third.
It is CL semi final time with the first leg at the Stadio Delle Alpi. A good result here would go a long way and the game is very attacking but evenly matched as the stats show.
The score however…
What the hell, it was only 2:1 at half time and then it was 5:1 and I had no idea what was happening or how, then 5:2, 6:2 and finally 6:3. I have no words for this, no words. Just look at the player ratings WTF! The whole team must have been overwhelmed by the situation. Landreau concedes 6 but gets a rating of 9. Makes me think this result could have been a whole lot worse and we were lucky to get 3.
That isn’t the word I would use. Bright side we have three away goals, negative, they will come and park the bus. Ultra defensive style.
Our poor form continues against Inter at the San Siro.
We were really bad and I’m a little bit worried that the wheels have come off and I’m a bit low on ideas of how to fix it. To top it all off we are only three points ahead in the league now. Then this nearly pushes me over the edge.
Fortunately time heals all things and a week later Milan and Capello, my new best friend (we have put aside our differences), do us a favour by beating Juve and we take advantage against Genoa.
Our next match is the second leg of the CL semi final and the Dirty Dane has gone and got injured for a few days with a damaged heel. Injuries and suspensions mean I have to reshuffle the team and I am pretty sure this is the end of the line but let’s see, after all that first leg was nuts.
Hope, we are 1:0 up after 22 mins. What’s this 2:0 up after 25 mins. We’re gonna do this Juve have sat back and it hasn’t worked. It’s 2:0 at the half and I’m buzzing we only need a goal. In an effort to help our cause Abelardo gets himself sent off in the 46th minute and the rest is history.
Oh yeah it is, I can’t believe it and neither can the 67,000 who came to watch, the same 67,000 who saw us pip Utd in the quarters. We are the comeback kids! Lippi’s getting sacked in the morning, sacked in the morning.
The final is against…
The Bergkamp signing has clearly helped Ajax. We have made the final, then this news comes in to rain on my parade.
That’s going to make the final a lot tougher. After all the excitement we can only manage a draw in the derby. Abelardo is having a mare.
Then this pops up and I decide Juve have had it worse than Abelardo.
That is a true fairy tale ending to Coppa Italia, I ring up Chievo’s unknown manager to ask for a little bit of advice prior to our Champions League final. He mumbles something in what could possibly have been Russian and then hangs up, strange.
“I should hope so” was my reaction to this news.
Back to the league now and my faith in Abelardo is rewarded. This result will see us through now I think, with three games left we are 6 points clear.
Our next match is against Atalanta and a win would mean that with our goal difference we will be champions even if lose the final two games.
In the end though it doesn’t matter as Juve can only draw and we beat Atalanta 3:0. The trophy is ours and I’ve completed one of my aims ahead of schedule. My thoughts turn to the CL final and the possibility of becoming Champions of Europe. I wasn’t expecting to make the final this year and especially not after that first leg with Juve but now I’m here I really want to win.
Prior to the CL final this happens
Will this knock Ajax’s confidence or did they just rest players? Also are PSV really so bad as to get to the final of what might I say, is the best named cup in the game only to be considered shock winners. Chievo weren’t even shock winners.
Champions league day arrives and I make a bold decision. Forgotten man Antonio Carlos is in at centre back, I don’t trust Petruzzi and Abelardo is suspended. This is Carlos’ first European game and only his 4th game all season, he will at the very least be feeling fresh, if not a tad rusty.
The game is an anti climax after the drama of making it here but I really don’t care. I’m blown away by how well we have played this season and we are the best team in Europe. The real story of the match though is Antonio Carlos. Ajax didn’t even show up.
A MOM performance, maybe there is still a place for him here. Nah, I’ll most likely sell him if I can. I also wonder if Aldair wishes he had stayed for that extra year, I check how Galatasaray did this year, they got knocked out of the cup winners cup in round one, money isn’t everything buddy.
The final league table looks like this:
All is left to do is to share some of this seasons squad stats.
The whole team performed really well but Totti was outstanding, Pirri has turned into a great player too.
Again Totti leads the way with goals and good returns from Telli and Inzaghi as rotating strikers.
Looking at these stats I’m starting to think we are a little bit of a one man team, although others are pulling their weight, Totti is shining.
The Dirty Dane only gets 21 disciplinary points and finally a category Totti is not top in. MB promises to do better next year, I try to point out that it’s not a category you want to be top in but I feel like I was ignored.
Wonder side Chievo are promoted to Serie B so they finally appoint a real manager. Bit harsh on Mr Unknown after his masterminding Coppa Italia success. Bellotto has big shoes to fill.
Red Star 93 have a new manager, will he last longer than Houllier did? I kind of want to manage them at a later point in this save.
The end of year awards come out and Totti’s outstanding season is rewarded. I also get the manager award. Capello calls to congratulate me, then asks if I have thought about playing Totti at sweeper, and we had just started to get along.
The end of season two, it can only be described as a success with three trophies won. I would have been happy with just the league. We will be back next season (if Dave will have me) with six trophies on offer. I hope my success has increased my reputation. I spent season two one place above Souness in 136th, rated as ok and I know I’m definitely better than him.
You can follow Rob on Twitter @Taitanator