With the event of the Derby del Sole, we decided that it was a good time to have a chat with our sister SB Nation blog Chiesa di Totti. Of course, your intrepid writer didn't think of this until way too late to do a pre-match Q&A session, so instead I talked to Bren after the match to get his reactions and thoughts on what happened as Napoli whipped his side to the tune of a 2-0 victory that, let's face it, should have been a much steeper scoreline.
The Siren's Song: Let's get the obvious one out of the way: what the heck happened to Roma out there today?
Chiesa Di Totti: The root cause is a bit hard to nail down at this point, could be injuries, fatigue or some mounting sense of doubt after a tough month, but they just looked completely listless out there. To Napoli's credit, though, they did a remarkable job rendering Francesco Totti, Miralem Pjanic and Gervinho, Roma's three most important players, essentially useless; this was perhaps Totti's worst match of the season, and don't even get me started about that lazy free kick. Just a putrid performance all around, the absence of Leandro Castan stings more with each passing week, while our fullback play is left wanting, to say the least.
TSS: Are performances like today's and last weekend's against Sampdoria a sign that maybe Roma are slipping?
CdT: Like I said, it's a bit tough to answer this precisely. We have to remember this is the first time in several season Roma has had to balance domestic and continental ambitions, and all with a relatively young squad to boot. I think its premature to say that opponents have figured out Garcia's tactics, nor do we really consider a draw against then third place Sampdoria on the road a cause for concern. Sure, if Roma want to win it all, they have to beat the teams "they're supposed to beat", but I don't think this month means the ship is sinking. Somehow, someway, they need to figure out how to get Mattia Destro more involved; he's simply too talented to be used simply as a 25-30 minute substitute.
TSS: What about Napoli's performance impressed you the most? And on that note, what player stood out to you?
CdT: I mean, they just came right out and hit Roma in the mouth, nearly breaking the game open in, what, the first minute? Lorenzo Insigne was quite impressive, that move in the first half when he slammed the breaks shaking two or three defenders in the process was quite nice; as an Azzurri fan, I want this kid to flourish. But there's just something about Higuain that I love; he's not incredibly athletic by any stretch, but he's just so involved in everything Napoli does, so objectively speaking, he's a joy to watch, while Callejon appears to always play his best against Roma.
If you're ever curious about what's going on in the Roma world, Chiesa di Totti do a fantastic job of covering their side. Go check them out!