by Dewa Nugraha
After a disappointing 2011/12 season, AS Roma made a bold move when they hired Zdenek Zeman as the new manager. Zeman managed Roma in the late 1990’s and recently showed promise with his successful stint with Serie B’s Pescara, who he helped return to the top flight.
Hoping to continue their project of creating an entertaining football team, Roma's board believe that Zeman is the right man to take over from Enrique, albeit the Czech Republic tactician himself admitted that his style isn't that similar to that tika-taka concept that the previous manager tried to implement. The 65-year-old stated that ball possession isn't something he craves a lot as high pressing football along with quick attacking display has always been the style he invented back since his Foggia days.
Having several interesting arrivals such as Mattia Destro, Federico Balzaretti and Michael Bradley, Zeman's side have been earning many positive reviews, notably with their positive pre-season result so far. Italian press have even put them once again in the running for Scudetto title, something that suddenly creeps into the capital side's head recently as they believe competition might really get close next summer.
However, some doubts still surround the Giallorossi's ability to fulfill the media's prediction since despite his exciting attacking playing style, Zeman isn't one of those coaches who have won important trophies during his career in Serie A. His success in leading Pescara back into the top flight along with winning Serie B last season is an admirable feat indeed, but even back in his previous mid 90s stint with Roma, the veteran tactician's system received many critics because its strong emphasize in attack which often neglecting the defense.
Last season with the Biancazurri, Zeman still didn't show any change in his philosophy as his team managed to score 90 goals but conceded 55 in the process, a pretty high numbers which might not survive in Serie A jungle. Most of teams that the 65-year-old is set to face this season will be much more cynical than those in Serie B with a focus on a complete game and not merely entertaining fans with fancy attacking display.
It would definitely be an interesting test for Zeman, who also admitted that his reason in accepting Roma's approach this summer, was simply because of his personal ambition in proving his worth. Getting the full support of the board with a very active transfer campaign already, Giallorossi fans would once again be witnessing a very attractive side that might light up the league but winning it could remain a question.
Obviously the chance of eventually conquering Serie A with his philosophy remains wide open for the Czech tactician as he does have plenty exciting players in his arsenal that could make the 4-3-3 tactic works. Moreover, with a change of scenery in the footballing world these days where attacking football seems to become a trend, Zeman's idea doesn't really look out of place anymore in the culturally defensive minded football environment.
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