As the Roma match came to an end, I didn’t know what to think of this team. As an optimistic Interista, I thought there were moments in the match where we showcased our brilliance, our defense is getting better, we are able to come out playing from the back and for a good part of the match we controlled the ball as we pleased.
But, on the other hand, we don’t really know what to do with it once we step on the attacking side of the pitch. It looks like we are still digesting some incredibly complicated tactic where we walk past the goalkeeper with the ball between our feet. Nobody will take the responsibility to kick that stupid ball if not when at 2 meters from the goal line.
In this frustrated mood, I tried to analyze the past in search of some good news for our future.
I started looking into Luciano Spalletti’s stats, hoping to find some kind of pattern, especially regarding this cold winter session of Serie A, when its known that Luciano’s teams go into hibernation.
Just to be clear, I took in consideration the seasons between the first Roma Cycle and this past year at Inter. It’s completely a not scientific process, there are too many factors too keep in mind, but still, I thought it could teach me something. I decided to not go back to Udinese or Ancona’s
seasons because those sides were not at the same level of Roma, Inter or Zenit (in my opinion).
First, I want to point out that Spalletti has won just 2 league titles in his career, with Zenit, in 2010 and 2011/12. Second, In Italy he has collected 2 Coppa Italia and 1 Supercoppa, both at Roma in 2006/07 & 2007/08, when he also finished 2′ in Serie A to Inter and reached the quarter final in Champions League. Those 2 seasons are actually the best in his Italian career (so far).
Third, his team’s lack consistency. Aside from the victorious Zenit campaigns, we can find the best streak of results just in this past year, between August and December, when a 0-0 draw against Juventus at Turin started an equally negative streak of 9 games without a victory.
In conclusion, can I see any pattern in Spalletti’s past? Is it true that his team slow their true colors between December and January? Are we going to suffer this month again?
The answer is no, there is no such a thing as “inverno Spallettiano”. Every season looks extremely different, especially at the beginning of the Roma cycle, when you can almost think he was experimenting different way to approach a season. Did he master that art? It would seem not. And are we going to repeat what they did? On paper probably we are, already.
The start of those seasons (2005,2006 and 2007 in particular) really looks like what we are doing right now. The main difference is that this Juventus, at the moment, is playing a different game.
If we keep following Spalletti’s way, we will trail Napoli in a secure third spot, but nothing more. Unless he finally learns the lesson from his past and will give to his team a strong personality, so strong to reach the final goal, the first place, without stopping just a little too short, like it (almost) always has.
Written by Alessandro Zorzetto.