Lazio Club Focus: Laziale? il Migliore del Mondo!
Despite Lazio having a fan base into the millions worldwide, the media and fans alike seem to be adamant on tarring the whole set of fans, rather than the minority who still share their old fashioned views on the Curva Nord.
Events that have happened during the past week are serious social problems occuring in Rome in general. But using the “Lazio are fascist” line is very simplistic and doesn’t help people understand that we are a football club, not a political party.
It is the media’s job to point out facts, rather than jump to this conclusion every time, that every Lazio fan is a foul-mouthed racist. It is hurtful for the real fans, and even worse that Journalists’s can jump to conclusions so quickly, without doing enough research before-hand.
As far as the football is concerned, Lazio are through to the knock out phase of the Europa League after yet another 0-0 draw against Tottenham. If it was Spurs that were closest to win when the two teams locked horns in the first game, it was Lazio that deserved to grab all three points this time round.
‘Lionhearted, headstrong, pure talent, real man. Still our hero,’ was one message held aloft on a banner by the Lazio supporters who have not forgotten the impact ‘Gazza’ made when he moved to the capital 20 years ago.
Paul Gascoigne returned to Rome, and was treated like a club icon as he paraded around the pitch greeting the fans. He then after went on to say that Lazio fans were the “best in the world” after giving him such an ovation, remembering his time at the club after so long was unthinkable.
Question marks had been raised recently as to what Lazio’s goal for the season was. A strong start from the Biancoceleste was pinned back with defeats to Fiorentina and Catania recently. Of late though it seems coach Vladmir Petkovic has been hard at work perfecting his squad where it needed to be amended.
Recent inclusions into the team such as Stefan Radu and Christian Brocchi are great boosts for the coach, aswell as the now fully fit Ederson, Lazio now have players to step into positions that need occupying. Hernanes misses the visit of Udinese on Tuesday evening, and it is expected his fellow countrymen Ederson will step into that void.
Defensively Lazio have looked weak at times, this may be because Petkovic is expecting his wing backs to push forward too often, leaving gaps for counter attacking teams to exploit. Recent matches have shown Petkovic is trying to rectify this, and clean sheets against Juventus and Tottenham prove that he is on the right track.
With teams such as Juventus and Fiorentina dropping points at the weekend, a win against Udinese on Tuesday evening will be vital if Lazio are to be amongst the challengers for that third Champions league spot. After setbacks early on, Petkovic has had a few weeks now to think about his next move.
Suffering an injury against Juventus, Andre Dias looks set for a stint on the sidelines. Petkovic threw summer signing Michael Ciani straight into the mix and the new acquisition looks like he could prove very useful alongside Giuseppe Biava in coming months.
Having had a tough and testing month of fixtures, Lazio now have back to back home matches in Udinese and Parma that they can look to make up the gap separating them between third position. The Biancoceleste have proved difficult to break down at home, and wins in the next two matches could be just what Petkovic needs in order to propel Lazio back into the mix.