Spalletti: Totti comparisons are affecting Dzeko

April 17th, 2016

The former Manchester City man drew a blank once again in a disappointing draw at the weekend, and his coach believes he is wilting under the pressure from fans

Luciano Spalletti has called on Roma fans to stop comparing Edin Dzeko with Francesco Totti as it is affecting the Bosnian’s confidence.

Dzeko failed to find the back of the net again on Sunday as Roma drew 3-3 at Atalanta, the former Manchester City striker guilty of missing a host of chances – including an open goal.

And his profligacy in front of goal was highlighted further as Totti came off the bench to rescue a point, Roma’s captain firing home with five minutes to play in Bergamo.

However, head coach Spalletti hopes another frustrating day for Dzeko does not lead to further calls for Totti to start in his place in the final five league games.

“You always compare Dzeko to Totti and he gets torn apart, but that’s not fair,” Spalletti told Mediaset Premium


GOALREAD MORE  | Digne: I want to stay with Roma


“Totti is a champion, so is Dzeko, but he’s being demotivated and affected by this criticism. 

“Clearly from the height of his experience and status he ought to do something more.

“[But] Totti’s goal doesn’t change anything for me. If he wants to be a player, he’ll be a player. 

“If he shoots it’s a goal, but that’s not all that counts in modern football, there is also pace, stamina and effort.

“The team won nine games without Totti, which means Dzeko is valid too.”

RUMOURS: West Ham line up £20m Dzeko bid

March 21st, 2016

The Hammers are chasing qualification for the Champions League and Slaven Bilic is keen to land a marquee striker, with the former Manchester City forward on his shortlist


West Ham are eyeing a £20 million bid for Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to the Brentwood Gazette.

The Hammers are keen to sign a marquee payer prior to their move to the Olympic Stadium this summer and have subsequently identified the former Manchester City forward as a potential acquisition.

Dzeko completed a permanent move to the Italian club in October, having previously joined the club on loan, and has scored nine goals in all competitions thus far this season.



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Spalletti: I will keep faith in 'top striker' Dzeko

March 20th, 2016

The struggling Roma marksman has the backing of his coach after setting up his side’s equaliser in their crucial 1-1 draw with Inter to maintain their push for a top-three finish

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti insists he is keeping faith in Edin Dzeko after the striker came off the bench to make an important impact against Inter.

Dzeko was introduced just before the hour-mark against Inter, setting up Radja Nainggolan’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international scuffed a shot into the Belgium international’s path for the leveller six minutes from full time.

Dzeko, who has scored seven Serie A goals so far this term, has been criticised for his poor form in recent weeks but although Spalletti believes the striker can do more, he has reiterated the Manchester City loanee is an important member of his squad.

“When we push forward and go on the attack anything can happen. Dzeko needs to find a way to put all his weight and all his determination into certain situations,” he said.

“It’s strange what happens to him sometimes but he really does have everything a top striker needs.


GOALREAD MORE  | Mancini: Inter can still pip Roma to third


“We’ll keep faith in him because he’s a useful player for us to have around.”

Roma had fallen behind to an Ivan Perisic goal early in the second half, but Nainggolan popped up as they maintained their five-point lead over Inter.

Spalletti was unhappy with the way his team gave up possession, yet felt they could have got more out of the encounter.

“We can say it was a fair result, although after we levelled the scores we perhaps deserved a bit more given how we played,” he added.

“Having said that, we gave the ball away too easily tonight. Our possession play wasn’t as good as it has been at other times. We handed the ball to our opponents at least 10 times.

“We found ourselves scrambling left and right to win it back and if that happens too often it starts sapping away at your energy.”

Spalletti: I'm asking Roma to do the 'impossible' against Real

March 7th, 2016

The Italian acknowledges that his in-form charges face an uphill battle in their attempts to reach the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of the Spaniards

Luciano Spalletti has challenged Roma to seize the initiative as they look to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie against Real Madrid.

The in-form Serie A side conceded two second-half goals in the first leg at the Stadio Olimpico, leaving them facing a tall order in the return fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Spalletti, who feels his side were better than the 2-0 scoreline in Italy reflected, says his players must start the better in Madrid if they’re to stand any of chance of completing the “impossible” by advancing through to the last eight ahead of Real.

“I’m asking my team to do the impossible,” he conceded. “The way they are training allows me to ask that question.

“We must not be weak mentally and play to lose. If anyone thinks like that with me, they won’t even train.

“The result from the first leg was harsh on us seeing how we performed. We were unlucky in individual moments.


GOALREAD MORE  | ‘Roma are in Scudetto race’


“Tomorrow we must be able to choose when to attack or hold off. We must be convinced when taking the initiative.”

Roma’s need for goals on the night could see Spalletti turn to Edin Dzeko, who started the first leg against Real amongst the subsitutes.

But Spalletti has hinted that the Manchester City loanee could be given the chance to impress from the get go tomorrow after netting two goals in his last three appearances for Roma.

“He’s doing his work in the right way,” Spalletti added. “I made some choices and they were down to me, not his performances. The team played good football, so the choices weren’t totally wrong.

“He has different characteristics from the recent tactical choices. Thinking about this match and the advantage that Real Madrid have, Dzeko has more chance of helping us given what our approach will be.”

Nainggolan: Dzeko needed to end goal drought

February 13th, 2016

The Bosnian striker scored his first Serie A goal since November in the win over Carpi and Radja Nainggolan was thrilled to see his team-mate end the barren run

Radja Nainggolan admitted Roma players had been desperate to see Edin Dzeko end his goal drought after the striker scored in Friday’s 3-1 win over Carpi.

Lucas Digne’s long-range stunner gave Luciano Spalletti’s side the lead, but they were pegged back by Kevin Lasagna just five minutes later.

Dzeko – whose last goal in Serie A came in November – turned home Mohamed Salah’s cross after 84 minutes and the Egypt international went on to make the points safe, with Nainggolan now hoping to see the former Manchester City striker regain some confidence.


GOALREAD MORE  | Real Madrid not on Spalletti’s mind


“It was difficult until Lucas Digne’s goal, as we had the game in our hands despite not creating many scoring opportunities,” the midfielder told Mediaset Premium.

“The victory was deserved and we’d been waiting a really long time for Dzeko’s goal. I’m happy that he ended his drought. At this moment he really needed this goal, because he was a bit down.”

Roma’s win moved them into third in the table ahead of Inter’s clash with Fiorentina on Sunday and Nainggolan is determined to continue their strong recent form which has seen them win four games in a row.

“We have to put together a run of victories if we’re to stay close to the leading group, because everyone else is doing really well,” he added.

“Our objective for the season was always to challenge for the top spots. Right now it’s third place, then if those above us drop points it’s up to us to catch them.”

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