Garcia: Dzeko and Salah will get better

August 22nd, 2015

The pair failed to make much of an impact in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Verona but the Frenchman believes the summer signings will soon settle

Roma coach Rudi Garcia is adamant Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah will improve after admitting the new Giallorossi attackers had disappointed in Saturday’s Serie A opener at Verona.

Last season’s runners-up fell behind just after the hour mark at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi when Bosko Jankovic volleyed home a lofted pass from Emil Hallfredsson.

Roma quickly equalised courtesy of a long-range strike from Alessandro Florenzi but were unable to begin their anticipated title challenge with a win.

The Giallorossi drew 13 times last term and the acquisitions of Dzeko and Salah were meant to address the capital club’s repeated failure to turn possession into goals.

Though the pair underwhelmed in Verona, Garcia believes that the summer signings will soon settle into life at the Stadio Olimpico side.

“Edin was excellent in the first half and had that chance with a header at the end,” the Frenchman told reporters after the game.

“We needed to speed things up in possession. We didn’t move the ball around quickly enough or stretch Verona as much as we’d have liked.

“They’re a tough proposition at the Bentegodi. We put in an okay performance but it wasn’t enough to get us the three points.

“We could have done better up front but perhaps we took too many touches. Dzeko and Salah have only just joined us, yet they’ve managed to do well so far and I’m sure they’ll do even better.

“I need all my players over the course of the season because we have lots matches, with Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia commitments to juggle.

“The overall attitude of the squad is very important and the guys got that part right. Our general approach was good. We’re on the right path.”

Question marks also remain over the Roma defence, not least at left-back, with Vasilis Torosidis Garcia’s only option now that Ashley Cole has been frozen out.

The Giallorossi are hoping to sign Lucas Digne from Paris Saint-Germain but Garcia insists that it will not be a problem if 22-year-old fails to arrive at the Stadio Olimpico.

“I’m not worried,” the former Lille boss added. “We’re weighing up various options together and it would help if we could bring someone in this week but if we can’t, then Torosidis is fine.

“Apart from the goal when he pushed up too much, he played his usual solid game today.

“But Lucas Digne is not the only name we’re looking at. There are three or four options and we’ll make sure we get the right one.”

Roma next host Italian champions Juventus on August 30 and Garcia admitted that he is looking forward to watching the Bianconeri take on Udinese on Sunday.

“It will be interesting to watch given we play them next weekend,” the 51-year-old added.

“They’ve lost some top-quality players in [Andrea] Pirlo, [Carlos] Tevez and [Arturo] Vidal but they’ve also signed some fantastic talents.

“They, like us, have work to do if they want to improve and exploit their squad’s full potential.”

Verona 1-1 Roma: Fortuitous Florenzi strike earns Giallorossi a point in Serie A opener

August 22nd, 2015

Rudi Garcia’s men fell behind to a goal from Bosko Jankovic but salvaged a share of the spoils thanks to long-range effort that should have been saved

A second-half strike from Alessandro Florenzi secured a point for Roma as they began their Serie A campaign with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Verona.

Having finished second last term and made several notable loan acquisitions during the close-season, Rudi Garcia’s men are widely expected to be among the front-runners again, but were made to work hard for their point by a pacy and industrious Verona side.

New arrivals Edin Dzeko, Iago Falque, Mohamed Salah and Wojciech Szczesny all made their Serie A debuts for the visitors. And Dzeko produced a lively performance up front, while Szczesny at times kept his side in the game with a string of fine saves.

On a warm night at the Stadio Bentegodi, it was the hosts who looked the better side for much of the first half.

Juan Gomez Taleb fired an early warning shot with a well-struck curling effort before Verona came close to breaking the deadlock twice in as many minutes.

Only a fine fingertip save from Szczesny kept Samuel Souprayen out after he had been played in down the left by Emil Hallfredsson and then Daniele De Rossi was on hand to clear a Bosko Jankovic header off the line.

Roma’s best chances of the opening period, meanwhile, fell to Dzeko, who was narrowly off target with an angled volley after 17 minutes, and Belgian international Radja Nainggolan, who forced a decent save from Rafael.

Verona continued to look more threatening after the break, Szczesny forced to deny Hallfredsson and Taleb in quick succession before the home side’s pressure finally told on the hour mark.

The lively Hallfredsson provided the cross and Jankovic was on hand at the far post to steer the ball home.

Within five minutes, however, the visitors were back on level terms courtesy of a long-range strike from Florenzi that Rafael really should have saved.

That equaliser seemed to lift Rudi Garcia’s men, who seized the initiative in the final quarter and came close to snatching a winner in the dying seconds when Rafael pulled off a superb point-blank save to foil Miralem Pjanic.

And there was still time for Rafael to produce yet more heroics, keeping out a Nainggolan header and ensuring that the hosts emerged with a well-deserved point. 

Roma 6-4 Sevilla: Dzeko at the double in 10-goal thriller

August 14th, 2015

The former Manchester City man netted twice on his debut, while fellow summer signing Mohamed Salah was also on target

Edin Dzeko marked his first appearance for Roma with a double in an enthralling 6-4 friendly victory over Sevilla on Friday.

Bosnia-Herzegovina striker Dzeko, who joined the Serie A club from Manchester City earlier this week, netted twice in the first half at Stadio Olimpico.

His goals helped Roma on their way to a 6-0 lead, but Sevilla once again showed their fighting qualities to threaten what would have been a remarkable comeback.

Unai Emery’s men trailed Barcelona 4-1 in Tuesday’s Uefa Super Cup before pulling it back to 4-4 and eventually losing in extra-time.

The Liga side were up against it again, Dzeko opening the scoring with a thumping near-post shot in the fourth minute and the striker rounding off a wonderful team move to make it 3-0 shortly before the break, after Vasilis Torosidis had also scored.

Dzeko turned provider for Radja Nainggolan to make it 4-0 on the stroke of half-time. Mohamed Salah got in on the act in the second half, while veteran captain Francesco Totti added a sixth from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute.

Denis Suarez completed a fine solo effort for what appeared a scant consolation with 20 minutes remaining, but Jose Antonio Reyes further reduced the deficit when he side-footed in Kevin Gameiro’s assist.

Suarez was proving a menace and he set up Coke for Sevilla’s third, before scoring his second four minutes from time.

The comeback proved too little too late, though, as Roma held on for the win anead of next week’s Serie A opener against Verona.

Dzeko: I want to repeat Manchester City success at Roma

August 13th, 2015

The Bosnian striker is keen to add to his trophy haul after arriving in Italy, leaving the two-time Premier League champions on loan following a five-year spell

Edin Dzeko has set his sights on repeating the success of his Manchester City stint after clinching a loan move to Italian side Roma.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international has arrived at the Stadio Olimpico on a temporary deal worth €4 million (£2.8m), with a clause included for the Serie A side to make permanent the switch for €11m (£7.8m).

“I’m immediately happy to be here,” Dzeko told reporters as he was presented on Thursday. “The weather is nice! I’ve followed Roma because my friend Miralem Pjanic is here. It’s a great club.

“I have a good relationship with Miralem. Both he and [director of football Walter] Sabbatini told me good things about being here – the climate, the city and the fans.

“Roma have big plans for the future and I hope to help the club reach them.”

Dzeko collected two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup and a Community Shield during his time at the Etihad Stadium and remains hungry for silverware.

“I have spent four wonderful years with Manchester City,” the 29-year-old added.

“They have grown a lot over the years. I hope to repeat the same path here.

“Working hard, I hope to achieve the things I did in Manchester with Roma.”

Roma recruit Dzeko: I'll always be a City fan

August 12th, 2015

The striker says he’ll always hold the club close to his heart after leaving the club on Wednesday

Edin Dzeko said he will always be a Manchester City fan after joining Roma on a season-long loan deal.

Dzeko’s long-awaited transfer to Roma was completed on Wednesday, with the Bosnian moving to the Italian capital on a temporary basis until June with a view to a permanent switch.

The 29-year-old, who found playing opportunities hard to come by last season having made just 11 Premier League starts, was a key member in City’s two title-winning teams in 2011-12 and 2013-14.

And Dzeko thanked the club for their support since arriving from Wolfsburg in January 2011.

“After four-and-a-half years, filled with your chants for me and my love for you, the time has come to say goodbye,” he said. “I have spent some of the best moments of my career at Manchester City, moments that I will never forget.

“Five trophies and many more wins over our biggest rivals, as well as the joy on your faces are all the things a person can never forget.

“Thanks you for everything. Thank you to all the people in the club who have always been there for me.

“I owe a special thank you to my team-mates and staff who have become like family to me in these years – which is precisely how I saw Manchester City – as one big family.

“And as you know, saying goodbye to close ones is always the hardest.

“Yes, it is time to say goodbye and face new challenges. I am moving forward to a new country, to another great club with amazing fans. But the time spent with you, as well as the happiness and love I have felt there will always stay with me.

“I will continue to be a big fan of Manchester City, to whom I wish all the best and many more trophies and happiness in the future.”

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