Immediately following their 1-0 first-leg loss to Slovan Bratislava in Europa League play, SB Nation brings you a preview of AS Roma's 2011-2012 season. This one is by Chris Govoni, who can be found at Roma Offside when he's not banging his head against a wall. (I imagine. After Thursday, anyway).
Roma in 2010-2011
Great expectations followed shortly by lots of fans looking at their watches, wondering just when the hell the season would be over, with a capitulation (or several) and a coaching change in the middle.
After Claudio Ranieri's wizardry in picking up the pieces when Luciano Spalletti resigned in 2009-10, bringing them to a scudetto fight on the final day, it seemed life would be grand with a full year under his stewardship and hopes were high. Unfortunately, the whole thing crumbled from the off, with the staunch defense and hardened mentality which had served as the backbone of its 09-10 success off on holiday in the Maldives, along with Mirko Vucinic's smile, which didn't help.
Claudio fell on his sword and playing legend, coaching novice Vincenzo Montella was brought in, which worked briefly, but was ultimately flawed, as the problem wasn't with the coach, who was also flawed, but rather in the locker room. As they were demolished by Shakhtar in the Champions League Round of 16 and barely scraping to a Europa League spot, it became clear heads were going to roll in the summer with a new ownership on the horizon.
In the summer, they rolled like Cicero on loop.
Goal of Last Season
The opposition, the timing, the assist, the celebration...the brilliantly unexpected essence of it all. Unfortunately, it sums up Vucinic's career for Roma, leaving him much missed.