This weekend gone saw arguably the fiercest derby in Italy in contest, as AS Roma took on Lazio in the Roman derby.
The result, a 2-0 win for Roma - and that result doesn’t buck any sort of trend. Roma have been excellent in recent weeks, and are currently still 100% in the league - sharing top spot and that perfect record with Napoli.
Roma have changed over the summer, the biggest change of all being the manager. Rudi Garcia, who made his name with Le Mans and Lille, was appointed the coach this summer and the likes of Kevin Strootman, Adem Ljajic and former Arsenal striker Gervinho have all arrived at the club since.
Gervinho spoke of the game before the weekend, saying it was the biggest derby he had ever played in - more so than any North London equivalents, but what did he have to say after the game:
“It’s an important game for the city. All the fans were talking about it for some time. And some of the players were saying before the match that we could not lose.’’
Gervinho had a mixed game - showing off his pace and dribbling ability while also falling over the ball, fluffing his shots and missing a simple back-post header - classic Gervinho right?
But the press also asked him about his new boss with whom the Ivorian has previously played at Lill, before his Arsenal switch.
So when questioned on Garcia, a certain Arsene Wenger’s name came into the competition:
“Garcia and I know each other very well. I was happy at Arsenal but now I am happy to be here in Rome. I had a good relationship with [Arsene] Wenger, but it is better with Garcia.”
It is good to see that Gervinho has found somewhere comfortable to continue his career, where he obviously feels more appreciated.
For all his occasional woes on the pitch he was always a player who appreciated the fans and played football with a snilr on his face.
And I am sure no Arsenal fan will begrudge him happiness in the Italian capital.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald