AS Roma manager Rudi Garcia has established himself as one of the finest managers in Serie A and deserves all the credit for his side’s flawless start to the season.
The Italian giants, who amassed a club record 85 points last term only to lose out on the Scudetto to Antonio Conte’s Juventus, have begun the season in fine form and waltzed to victory in all four of their league fixtures so far.
They also thumped Russian side CSKA Moscow 5-1 at the Stadio Olympico in the Champions League, and Garcia’s fine management techniques could help deliver a first league triumph since 2001 where the likes of Gabriel Batistuta and Vincenzo Montella fired them to the promise land.
Garcia took the reins with the club just having endured a miserable season under first Zdenek Zeman and later Aurelio Andreazzoli, where the pair managed to guide them to a poultry sixth-place finish.
Andreazzoli was dismissed to accommodate the Frenchman, with Garcia arriving having enjoyed a fine spell at French side Lille.
Knowing the size of the rebuilding challenge needed in the capital he was immediately active in the transfer market, moving for league veteran and former Inter Milan defender Maicon as well as securing the services of PSV’s Kevin Strootman, Adem Ljajic and Arsenal flop Gervinho.
Money was also generated from the sales of Erik Lamela, Dani Osvaldo and Marquinhos, with Lamela and Osvaldo proceeding to struggle in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton.
The arrival of the 50-year-old signalled a significant upturn in fortune as his side took the league by storm to win their first 10 league games of the campaign.
However an injury to Strootman saw their fine form end, and as Juventus took flight through the inspirational Carlos Tevez the Scudetto ultimately proved elusive yet again.
But there were reasons to smile for the Roma faithful, none more so than their record-breaking season and their return to the Champions League after a three year absence.
The Stadio Olympico has regained its reputation as a fortress with teams now worried about travelling to the capital, and a stunning season could now be in the offing.
Five wins in succession in all competitions have fans of the club dreaming of finally ending their wait for the biggest prize of all.
Gervinho now looks a stark contrast to the forlorn figure that toiled in North London, with new signings Juan Iturbe and Kostas Manolas also impressing following their summer arrivals.
Francesco Totti continues to defy his age and roll back the years in typical classy fashion, whilst managing to keep Mattia Destro out of Tottenham and Chelsea’s clutches was also crucial in determining how they would fare this season.
Garcia deserves full credit for one of the most stunning transformations in recent memory. The Roman gladiator is ready to roar once more.
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