Politics, Commentary

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Another pulsating weekend of Serie A action has thrown up a whole host of talking points.

The fragility of Roma is a major concern for Jose Mourinho, while Fiorentina have found the formula to prise the potential out of Arthur Melo, who flopped during a loan spell at Liverpool.

A young striker at Genoa is stealing plenty of headlines while the league’s elder statesman in Olivier Giroud is proving age is just a number for AC Milan. 

Mail Sport’s ALVISE CAGNAZZO talks us through 10 things we learned from Serie A over the weekend. 

Jose Mourinho and Roma look in disarray even just two games into the new Serie A campaign



Jose Mourinho who, for the fourth time in his long career, has now failed to win any of the first two league games. 

Roma’s tragic defeat to Verona makes us reflect on many negative aspects of this team, the main one linked to the nervousness of a side which continues to have a defence as soft as butter and an attack with no feeling for goal. 

It is an embarrassing situation, considering how Verona played in the last few minutes with 10 men after Isak Hien’s red card. 

Leandro Paredes is a ghost who proves he has no rhythm in his legs to be able to guarantee order in the middle of the park; Rui Patricio endured a negative evening and suffered from the aggressiveness of Verona, who are not afraid to attack. 

Analysing the data from the first two matches, it is clear that Roma have no hope of qualifying in the Champions League places.

This team has too many gaps in quality and players are too fragile: Paredes, Aouar, Renato Sanches, Dybala and Azmoun have all been battling with physical problems for years and this aspect is a major negative for the team’s performance.


Lazio’s second consecutive defeat has raised serious question marks about the charismatic strength of Maurizio Sarri.

Genoa showed the shortcomings of the Lazio defence and exposed the technical problems of a team that seems to have lost intensity and aggression. 

Many boos and a violent chorus repeated several times at the Olympico was how the Curva Nord reacted after their latest defeat against Genoa. 

There is a lot of apprehension for their future path in Serie A this season, with the next big match against Napoli.

Lazio are the other side in Rome that are all at sea as they look out of sorts under Maurizio Sarri

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This team — and Sarri — can no longer misstep. The feeling now is that the coach is not being listened to by the players. This Lazio is unrecognisable after two defeats, with just one goal scored and three conceded. 

With damning statistics such as those, the team seriously risks a psychological blackout which could compromise the results of the season. 

There is no justification. The market has been very intense. Sarri wanted and obtained players suitable for his football like Luca Pellegrini and Nicolo Rovella but something is not working.


Olivier Giroud would be of great use to struggling Chelsea in the Premier League but today, at 37, he is the purest diamond of all Serie A forwards. 

Despite approaching the grand old age of 40 with increasing speed, Giroud never stops scoring, standing as top scorer in Serie A now with three goals.

He probably won’t be able to play 50 games in a season but Giroud can certainly guarantee 25-30 high level performances over the course of the season.

His playing style enhances the quality of Christian Pulisic and Rafael Leao and offers many solutions to midfielders. 

For boss Stefano Pioli he is an icon, a great man around whom to build the new winning mentality of AC Milan. He has the icy eyes of a killer; he has cold blood running through his veins; he gives off the feeling to his opponents that he is a player always capable scoring. 

Torino collapsed under his goals and Pioli understands that he has always had Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s heir under his nose.

Olivier Giroud is ageing like fine wine and he continues to make team-mates better in Milan


Put bluntly, Alex Sandro has regressed.

The full-back is experiencing an embarrassing physical decline, made no more obvious than when he is caught on his heels trying to defend in behind. 

The second yellow card in two Serie A games demonstrates how the Brazilian is experiencing great discomfort, while his woes are impacting team-mates as both Bremer and Danilo are unable to play calmly when Sandro plays next to them. 

All the movements of the defensive unit appear unhinged and much of it focuses on the lack of reactivity of the former Porto full-back. 

Massimiliano Allegri’s protégé continues to make mistakes and leave the centre-left area of ​​the defence exposed. A lot of Juventus’ problems come from the left side of the field and Sandro is mainly responsible for those defensive gaps. 

Against Bologna he suffered badly from the strength and speed of Riccardo Orsolini and Lewis Ferguson. 

And yet Allegri seems eager to persist. Eventually he will have no choice but to cut the Brazilian out.  


Arthur looks like a player reborn after going through a long period of crisis in his career. 

In his previous experiences at Juventus and Liverpool, where he struggled to make any imprint while on loan, he seemed to be experiencing a period of regression. The top clubs that had bet on him had never wanted to entrust him with the keys to midfield. 

The Brazilian star is the perfect playmaker for Fiorentina, capable of switching quickly from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 and has done so without ever losing his status as a top player. 

Arthur Melo (right) finally looks back to his best after shrugging off years of persistent injury

Arthur has finally rediscovered the charisma of his days at Barcelona, ​​quickly becoming a staple of Fiorentina’s midfield. When the team defends he is good in covering, while when coach Vincenzo Italiano orders the players to attack the spaces Arthur is the first player to start the break, confirming that he is the best signing Fiorentina made this summer. 

Right now the biggest risk is that of Juventus who at the end of the year could lose the Brazilian for €20million (£17.2m).


Put plainly, Mario Retegui is a striker capable of scoring 20 goals in Serie A. 

The Italian-Argentine striker has become a key point of reference for Genoa in just a few weeks and will most likely become the No 9 starter for the Italian national team. 

The call-up by Luciano Spalletti, now certain after yet another great performance by the centre forward against Lazio, will be a reward for his exceptional impact. 

Genoa made a great acquisition by picking up Diego Milito’s potential heir. The city has always had a great feeling with Argentine forwards and Retegui could be the right man to lift them up, rather than down, the table. 

It will take patience and above all better defensive organisation, but Retegui is certainly a player capable of improving Genoa’s position in the standings. 

Genoa will probably be a passing stage in his career but Retegui is showing great commitment and a great desire for growth in order to become one of the best strikers in Serie A. One to watch.

Mario Retegui is one to watch and could prove the signing of the summer in Serie A for Genoa


Napoli is a team full of great players like Victor Osimhen, Stanislav Lobotka and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia — but this is a team that becomes unstoppable only thanks to its captain, Giovanni Di Lorenzo. 

Napoli is dreaming of yet another title after their second consecutive victory, thanks to Di Lorenzo’s knockout blow in a 2-0 win over 10-man Sassuolo. 

In a very competitive team, the presence of the charismatic defender is of immense value, allowing the team to never lose concentration on the pitch even against medium-level teams. 

He’s the captain every player wants to play alongside. He runs for them — covering gaps in space — and never complains. It is no surprise that boss Rudi Garcia wants to give him more props in the media. 

This Napoli side plays with great aggressiveness and tactical discipline, with Di Lorenzo representing the element of continuity with the past, while also managing to put Garcia’s tactical innovations into practice. 

With the French coach he seems stronger than last year and the season has only just begun.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo is the man who makes Napoli tick — even with their star-studded line-up

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Dusan Vlahovic has finally found his best physical condition and his second goal in two Serie A matches demonstrates his newfound athleticism after the physical traumas of the last 18 months. 

His persistent groin problems have seemingly now passed and the Serbian striker has become the main man of the Juventus team. 

Without him Juventus probably would have lost the first game at the Allianz Stadium. 

The Old Lady found themselves victim of tactical confusion and a slow pace of play in midfield. This aspect denotes the great difficulty of Massimiliano Allegri’s team in being able to build dangerous actions and score. 

After the crushing victory against Udinese in gameweek two, Juventus went through a phase of regression so evident against Bologna that it generated boos and criticisms from fans. 

Vlahovic was the only player to restore enthusiasm to a badly organised team, unrecognisable after the victory in Udine.

Dusan Vlahovic is absolutely crucial to Juventus, particularly given their problems in midfield


Last year, on his Serie A debut, Andrea Colpani showed he can be an important player for Monza and now coach Raffaele Palladino has decided to bet on him this year. 

Colpani was immediately placed at the centre of Monza’s tactical and technical plan, becoming a cornerstone of the midfield. 

Following his goal in the Berlusconi Trophy against AC Milan, the young Italian star scored his historic first brace in Serie A. 

His slender physique — 69kg — allows him to be as light as a feather and yet still hold the sting of a bee. 

Colpani varies his position on the pitch a lot, oscillating between midfield and the area behind the attackers, getting up and down the pitch following suggestions from an animated Palladino on the Monza bench. 

The growth of the player born in Brescia will certainly suggest to Italy boss Luciano Spalletti a possibility of a first call-up.

Andrea Colpani is knocking on the door of the Italian national team following his Monza form


Eusebio Di Francesco has always been an unlucky coach. 

After the extraordinary experience in Sassuolo, Di Francesco experienced bitter disappointments with layoffs at Roma, Cagliari, Sampdoria and Verona. The experience at Frosinone is his last chance to remain among the coaches that hold great appeal in Serie A. 

The weekend victory over Atalanta tells of the strength and new-found enthusiasm of a team that seemed destined to be a sacrificial lamb in Serie A this season. 

The last victory in Serie A from the coach born in Pescara dates back to 2021 — a Di Francesco is glad to have seen come to an end. 

For now he appears to have finally found the right formula; a team that is suitable for his tactical and technical characteristics. In the coming weeks, the club will have to find a calmness and a balance that ensures victory against Atalanta doesn’t derail them. 

An injection of confidence is great but Di Francesco cannot risk altering the balance of a team full of rookies. Frosinone have arrived — now they just need to stay there.

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