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Discussion Starter #1
Kafka (the writer Franz, not our Lazio mate), would have written a real litterary masterpiece on our beloved team's season. One morning, what was supposed to be one of the surprising teams this season, got up and found out to be a cockroach. And maybe that morning was after the derby...

I don't know, I still think that the coach problem is not the most serious one at Lazio. Surely there has been a wrong management of goalkeepers. Carrizo has come to Italy wearing the saviour clothes and with high hopes from the fans that the goalkeeping matter was finally sorted out. Carrizo's settling down has still to be completed, and the fact that fans started protesting against him does not help the process. Those fans should just take a look at what Julio Cear did at Inter in his first year in Serie A, and then think a wee bit, if they are able to do that, I mean. Besides, Carrizo is not the first man strolling close to Formello who was taken to be Lazio goalkeeper, we are talking about Argentina's number 1, so I guess he is some good. His agent, just to be sure, has already stated that if Carrizo will go on sitting on the bench, he (JP, not his agent, unfortunately) is going to ask to go away.

The defense is one of the biggest problems, and looking at the players, it's not that Lazio defense is that bad, like statistics and raw numbers could tell. According to them, we have one of the worst defense in Serie A, and whoever has watched the last 5 games could easily agree with that statement. But are we sure that Atalanta or Palermo (for example) defenders are better than ours? The off side tactics screwed us in a number of occasions, the goal conceded in set pieces have become a kind of negative habit, and it's really unbelievable how a few players have worsened compared to last season. Radu, for example (but Rozehnal too falls in this case). Perhaps it's a psychological problem, perhaps this fear of making mistakes and lose the place in the starting 11 affects negatively the defenders' performance, since Lazio defense have very rarely been the same for two games in a row. But really, Lazio should employ a team of psychologist to solve the defense problem. Or just set up a pilgrimage to Lourdes...

The midfielders are another weak point. Apart from Ledesma and Dabo, the other midfielders have had (for one reason or another) a rollercoasting season so far, generously speaking. Matuzalem played a couple of matches, and then spent the rest of the season in company of medics. Brocchi showed to be inadequate to play in Serie A, Mauri plays well with the same frequence of the Halley comet, Meghni should buy a big pack of Duracell batteries, maybe he could play well for quite 90 minutes. Rossi gave the Lazio keys to Ledesma, which is mainly a player for a three man midfield, and if Cristian is not in a good day, the team is screwed up. In the defensive play, there's only Dabo to really help him, and without a proper midfield coverage, the defense clearly suffer. Mutarelli has not been really replaced. A solution could be the 4-4-2, which (if I remember well, otherwise please forgive me) Rossi used in his first season at Lazio, and then was replaced by the 4-3-1-2 (or 4-3-3) when Ledesma came.

The attack is surely our strong point, the departement where we have the best players. Still, it suffers a lack of a towering player, who would make the 4-4-2 more effective. With players such as Pandev, Foggia and Zàrate, Lazio mainly attack centrally with a series of short passes, thus taking only partially advantage of having (again, for example) two backs such as Kolarov and De Silvestri, who are especially good (someone could say "only good") at going all the way to cross. Those short passes moves require accurate passes and the forwards running all over the offensive line in the movement without ball. Rocchi is the ideal player to finalize this kind of play, which works only when the ball is quickly passed from a player to another. That's where Zàrate still lack in effectiveness. He should not play so far from the goal, for the simple reason that he's lethal when he has just to dribble one opponent and then shoot or do the final assist. When he starts dribbling 30 metres from the opponents' goal, having the whole defense ahead of him, losing the ball is almost inevitable.

Then there are the (apparent) controversies in the dressing room. Cribari complain that he's underused, Rocchi does not accept to be benched, Zàrate does whimsies when substituted, De Silvestri angry on the bench after being replaced, and still all the agents talking about how their players deserve to be in the starting 11. Last season the turmoil in the dressing room was one of the reasons for the season being wasted. This season seemed going all right, even Foggia looked well behaving. Of course, when the results go your way, it's easy to be all friends and accept the coach decisions. Those days (until the bloody derby, exactly), Lazio players were in a very good physical form, that let them play, run and press for a good deal of the whole 90 minutes. The match against Fiorentina was a clear sign of health. Again, here we could talk about why Lazio play well for one half only and watch the opponents play in the other one. Maybe wrong physical preparations?

There's then the derby turning point. It's well known that the Roman derby is a special game. When Zàrate came to Rome, the first words he heard from Lazio fans were "Score in the derby". The importance of that defeat is above all psychological taking in consideration also how it materialized and the table positions of the teams those days. It was a big blow, and if you count the point won before that game and the point afterwards, it's easy to tell that was a turning point: 22 points in 11 matches before the derby. 9 points in 11 games after the cockroach metamorphosis...
 

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So what's the solution? We wait to the next derby and hope we win?

More seriously, I do think we are in serious trouble and we need to get out of this vicious circle fast. Defeats to Cagliari, Sampdoria and Milan isn't by definition a disaster but it was the way it happens that worries me quite a bit. In all three matches all it took was one goal against us and the entire team crubled. It looks like we need a mental coach or something because our players is in extreme lack of confidence.

I agree with you, aquila, that our attack need to be more effective, that our midfield only works when Ledesma is turned on, our defence is disorganised and the communication with Carizzo sucks.

But I do think the arrow points more and more at Rossi. It's a huge problem that he can't organise the defence for at least sedending set pieces. He seemingly can't deside what's the starting lineup and he brings on even weirder subs.

I think he lost the respect and confidence of the squad. We need a new guy with fresh ideas for next season.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
So what's the solution? We wait to the next derby and hope we win?
Nah, but it would help... :)

Numbers are really ruthless about the change of results since that derby. Before it, Lazio collected 22 points in 11 games (20 goals scored and 12 conceded). Afterwards (and including the derby) the points were 9 in 11 games (11 goals scored and 23 conceded). The numbers, especially those regarding goals, are too evident to be ignored. I only wanted to say that the pressure fans put on the Lazio players about the derby is a double edge blade. It can give you big motivations to do well. On the other hand, a defeat can be psychologically conditioning.

Next Sunday we will play Fiorentina. Remember how the game against Viola went at the Olimpico? Lazio seemed a mix between Brazil ’70 and Holland ’74, pressing all over the pitch and a free flowing passes. And on the Lazio bench, that day, there was Delio Rossi. Just for the record, Lazio line up was:
Carrizo, Lichtsteiner, Siviglia, Cribari (85' Rozehnal), Radu, Brocchi, Ledesma, Mauri, Foggia (69' Manfredini), Zarate, Pandev (77' Makinwa).

Do you think that next Sunday if Rossi fields that same starting 11 Lazio would play as well as that day, or even half THAT well? Probably no. Now Carrizo has become a Serie B goalkeeper, Siviglia and Cribari who that day cancelled Gilardino and Mutu (no less) now are ready for retirement, Mauri should have been sold as soon as possible, and so on. But that day (and for another couple of months), Lazio were one of the best teams in Serie A.

Carrizo. I agree that he has not played well so far, and denying that would not be honest towards JP and would mean deny the evidence. But still, is screaming “piece of shit” the right way to encourage a player od the team you support, as happened during the Cagliari game? And who was in between the posts when Lazio lost at Sampdoria and against Milan? The goalkeeper matter could be a problem, but not even one of the most serious problem, in my opinion.

Rossi. I get angry when Rossi is not able to motivate the players, when he seems just to chew his gum and say nothing to the players who look for something from their coach. I get angry when I see that bloody off side trap that sooner or later in the game plays against us. I would say “enough with the off side” and seeing how our defense is fragile, let’s set up a wall and defend properly. Also, his total confidence (you might call it even “dependence”, and you would not be so far from truth) in Ledesma, at the pint of tailoring a 4-3-1-2 on him, annoys me a lot. We are without a real alternative to Ledesma, at least until Cinelli breaks through the first team rank.

I agree about the set pieces organization, it has become pretty embarrassing for us Lazio fans watching opponents’ free/corner kicks. But again, I wonder why a couple of months ago that did not happen, or happened with “normal” frequence? As for the changes, is not the same Delio Rossi who let Inzaghi in against Lecce, Foggia against Catania, Rocchi against Siena, substitutions that we all praised? I agree that recently he took very strange decisions, but we should be more objective when we talk about Delio. Of course, when the team need a shock, the easiest thing to do is to change the coach. But are we sure that his replacement will be up to the task, especially knowing that Lotito will rather go for a cheap choice for the rest of this season? I too would like a Benitez or a Guardiola, but it’s not going to happen. Nor Lotito is going to fire Rossi, for money’s sake. I agree with you that we need a new coach for the next season. Rossi is not going to make Lazio go a step up. But nor Rossi is the main reason Lazio is in the current crisis.

I would rather talk about the psychological and physical conditions of the current Lazio team. The defenders seem to be afraid of committing mistakes instead of going on the pitch thinking of cancelling their forwards. Also, as you said, when the team goes down in the score, they go in pieces.

Finally, I think there are still problems in the dressing room. And the fact that Rossi is unable to keep the dressing room under his control is one of Delio’s biggest mistakes, in my opinion.
 

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We actually agree on a lot of things aquila.

It is obvious, that the derby defeat damaged the confidence quite a bit. The numbers are quite telling. But when the team goes down it is Rossi's job to pick them up again and he has failed to do that. I think that has a lot to do with the possible problems in the dressing room but I can't back that up with facts. Maybe we should bring in a mental coach to help Rossi in this department because he doesn't seem up to the task right now. I'm worried about the total lack of consistency. We played well against Torino and in the next match we fell completely apart.

It is true, that we praised Rossi earlier on in the season and he did make some right choices back then. He should of course get praised for that. Now on the other hand he doesn't make the right subs and he should of course get critic for that.

I too agree that we probably shouldn't fire Rossi now, and it is indeed a bit of a pickle to think of a replacement when you know Lotito.

About Carrizo I agree it was completly wrong to abuse him. That is now way to treat a player and can't be good for his confidence. I think he is the right man for the job in the long run but I also think it was the right thing to bench him and see what Muslera could do. Time will tell I guess.

To cut it short. Yes, I think we are indeed in a crisis and I can't see a quick way to fix it. We badly need a win but will that be enough?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's a fact Lazio are in crisis, three defeats in a row, and the way they materialized are a clear symptom of that. Perhaps the title of this topic is misleading people to think that I do not consider Lazio current moment a critic one. So, if there's any Lazio moderator around, I suggest to change the title into Crisis! What are the reasons that originated it and how to resolve that crisis? :) Too long? All right...

As for the dressing room, we can only form our opinions from what the newspapers report, which in many cases are just journalists' suppositions. But it is really likely that there are clans amongst Lazio players. Last season the old guard refused the arrival of new players, they won the place in the Champions League and they wanted to play. The broken fax seems just a tale, with the benefit of hindsight. I do not know which role Rossi has in all that, but I think he has not the strong personality to rule the dressing room.
 

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I blame Biancoceleste for current crisis. Obviously him starting match threads brings bad luck in 2009. Where is Carson when you need him?

Seriously, I would love the problem to be just Rossi. But while he surely is part of the problem, my opinion is that the climate (not the actual one, more like atmosphere or however you call it) in Rome helps create such rollercoaster seasons. I am really not in a position to criticise the fans who actually go to the games but it seems to me in in Rome whenever Lazio or roma start doing well, the stupid interviews start, the players becoem too complacent and bang - a crisis! And this crisis might be obectively minor or brought forth by totally normal occurrences but it tends to blown out of proportions, fans become demanding, players get frustrated and a minor crisis turns into an actual Crisis, capital letter. The way to overcome this is by the presence of a leader and we obviously lack one.
 

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All good analyses, I just want to add one point. Our schedule post-derby was clearly more difficult than the pre-derby one. We should have expected a dip in the results anyway, even though not this big.
 

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Lotito: Fans caused Lazio crisis Friday 6 February, 2009

President Claudio Lotito has put some of the blame for Lazio’s three straight defeats on to the fans for not supporting their team.

“We need optimism from the people, who instead continue to create a sense of unease within the squad,” slammed Lotito.

The supporters were furious after back-to-back losses against Cagliari, Sampdoria and Milan, in which they shipped 10 goals.

Protests were staged at the Formello ground and training had to be interrupted as angry tifosi climbed over the fences.

“If the environment around the side continually criticises and destabilises them, it does not favour the boost in the mental and physical energy that you need at these times.

“They need the space to restore their confidence and with it the ability to win. This all may seem lost, but that is not the case.”

Captain Tommaso Rocchi, who will likely miss Sunday’s game with Fiorentina due to a thigh injury, agrees with the patron.

“The importance of the fans in these difficult moments cannot be underestimated,” added the striker.

“We have to give more and hope for a bit more luck. Hopefully we can start again from Sunday in Florence with a good performance. We have to stick together to emerge from this crisis.”

C4
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Lotito seems to agree with me about impatient fans being part of the problem...of course he would probably say that flying saucers were to blame if no other scapgoats were available, so we better treat his opinion with a bit scepticism. :)
 

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Another Lotitims:

Lotito: We need divine intervention Monday 9 February, 2009

Lazio President Claudio Lotito has pleaded with his players to go visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love and seek divine intervention to save their season.

The Biancocelesti fell to their fourth consecutive defeat on Sunday when they lost 1-0 at Fiorentina and slid to 11th in Serie A.

Lazio had every reason to feel aggrieved, too, as Lorenzo De Silvestri was harshly sent off and a number of decisions failed to go their way.

“It was an ungenerous defeat,” Lotito moaned. “As in other games, the result does not reflect how well we played.

“It was an undeserved result. Lazio dominated, but evidently we did not score and that’s partly because we were unlucky.

Lotito then turned to De Silvestri’s dubious red card and, while angry, declined to point the finger at the referee.

“I am not going to say anything on the match officials,” Lotito told reporters. “Anyone who has seen the game can judge for themselves.

“We were penalised by having to play with 10 men. In any case, we still dominated the game. It’s a bad spell, but we aren’t in crisis.”

Lotito looked to reassure the club’s fans, telling them that all teams have a blip and insisting that it’s part of the game.

“Lazio is a team that always wants to win,” he said. “But it’s a period when things aren’t going well. We don’t deserve to be where we are today, but we have to accept the result.”

For Lotito, the solution to Lazio’s problems doesn’t lie on the training pitch, but at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love.

“The reality is that, to remedy the bad luck, we have to go to Divino Amore and bless ourselves,” Lotito explained.

Lazio are back in action at the weekend when they entertain relegation threatened Torino who drew with Chievo on Sunday.

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Way to motivate the boys Claudio...;(
 

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Ok. Let's try that. :neutral:
 

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Never a dull moment in the house of Lazio...normally the stuff only borders on the absurd, but every once in a while it's great to see us crossing that line with thunder.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Or just set up a pilgrimage to Lourdes...
Claudio Lotito said:
we have to go to Divino Amore
Lotito always goes the cheap way…

Seriously, it’s hard to explain Lazio’s huge twist of performance from the Cagliari and Sampdoria disaster to the Fiorentina battle through the Milan surrender. Take Rozehnal, for example. His performance against Sampdoria was very bad. A few days later, he provided one of his best performance ever since he’s at Lazio. Against the Viola, generally Lazio resembled a real team, not just 11 (10 after De Silvestri’s sending off) players put together as happened for large chunks of a few previous games. Perhaps Rossi has slammed the players, perhaps they have realized that a football team need team spirit to work well, perhaps they have put more concentration and attention during the match, perhaps they athletic form is improving more and more, taking in consideration that Rossi’s team usually blossom when spring time is drawing nearer and nearer. Perhaps all of those things and more...
 
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