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Totti discusses season so far on Roma Radio

The Giallorossi legend - speaking a day on from the 24th anniversary of his first goal for his boyhood club - addressed the mood outside the club in the wake of the first three games of the season, which has seen Roma win one, draw one and lose the other.

Read what Totti had to say in the transcript below, or watch the video at the bottom of the page:

What are your thoughts right now?

"Well, no-one was expecting this start to the season, so we can say it's been a bit of a ‘particular' start, I guess. But there have only been three games, and after three games you cannot sit down and say it's the fault of this person or that person, because this happened or that happened.

"Ultimately, I think there is still a long way to go in the season; we need to be realistic, Juventus are playing in a different realm and it's pointless to pretend otherwise. We need to fight in the other championship with Milan, Inter, Napoli and Lazio - because for me Juve are outside that. People need to realise this.

"The expectations were higher, and perhaps that's normal after you think about what we did last season, when we reached the semi-final of the Champions League and finished in the top three. It's normal that the next season you try to improve, but to improve would mean reaching the final of the Champions League and winning the title. Of course everyone is trying to reach that objective, but as I said the reality is different - it's clear that Juventus are outside all that and we must try to arrive between second and fourth. That's the first objective.

"Then there is getting through the Champions League group, and to do that the players need to be united more than ever. With unity you can go along way, and you can ignore the little distractions and everything that is said outside the pitch, outside Trigoria. We have to be united and not worry about anything else."

We need to be calm and realise that there is unity between the coach, the club and the team. And three games has not changed that...

"As I said before, the gossip in the bars, among journalists, on the radio and everywhere else - we need to leave that outside Trigoria, because if you bring that in it only brings problems. The reality of what is going on only we really know, and that's important. The coach, I have to say, is one of the best Italian coaches out there; he's young, has great potential, strong character, is not influenced by anyone and I think with time he will show his ability. Indeed, he's already shown it. Not just at Sassuolo, with a small club, but last year here he showed he is a coach capable of handling Roma.

"We know that Roma is a different place, a place where great results are expected, fans want to win, have to win - but we all want to win. Even though, as we know, it's been a while since we have won - but it also seems to me it's a while since any other team won. It seems to me that only Juventus wins in Italy. So we are all equal, we are all in the same boat.

"We need to stay in support of the coach, and the club, the fans especially - because the fans are a huge part of the boost we get on the pitch during games. We know that Roma fans are proud and at the same time passionate, without them we could not go anywhere - that's clear, that's the reality. But I think together we can get out of this, shall we say, ‘tunnel' - which for me isn't a tunnel, because after three games you can't judge a season. The coach knows how to move forward and the squad needs to be strong and follow his ideas and instructions. And then we will see the Roma that we saw barely two months ago - great in Italy and in Europe."

Have you brought tissues for Kluivert and Schick? Because I read [in a headline in an Italian newspaper on Wednesday] that they were ‘crying'...

"I read the interviews that they did. It's normal that when players go on international duty the media here try to bring back quotes that players did not actually say. Of course, they are young and it is right that they want to show what they can do, they want to play, want to show what they can do for Roma and for themselves. But that's true of anyone: at 18 I always wanted to play as well, it's completely normal. And so if I'm asked a question, if any journalist asks me if I want to be a starter at Roma, who is not going to say ‘yes'? But that ‘yes' now travels the world. And they write it down however they like then, making it into things they didn't really say.

"I'm disappointed, also because they are two great guys, two kids that have big futures - guys that will make Roma stronger and will definitely show their ability in time. Schick and Kluivert are both players that said the same thing I would have said at 18, absolutely. Anyone would say it. It's disappointing though, because now the fans read and listen to what has been written, but as I said the reality is that only inside the club do we know the facts. Outside they don't speak about the right things. This is what saddens me. Unfortunately the fans get behind what is written, I don't know if that's normal or not, but in the end it gives them the wrong impression."

Right now Monchi is under attack too...

"I am not here to defend Monchi, I am just saying what I think. Monchi has absolutely changed the club in certain ways; he has sold some great players, but at the same time he has bought great players. Young players, players with big futures, players that can also do well right now. It's a top squad, as I said before, ready to fight for the top four. We have 14, 15, 16 guys on international duty and when you have a squad of 25 and 16 of them go away for the national team, then you know that is a high level squad. But how can we sit here and judge Monchi, whether he has bought badly or bought well, right now? These debates, they are all superfluous.

"I think that at the end of the year you can make a judgement, evaluate everything, right and wrong. If we got the results great, if not then it's right that we should be criticised. But, right now, as I said before we are three games into the season and you can't possibly judge someone's work. Even if we now go on to win the next 10 games in a row, you can't suddenly say we are the best in the world, No. 1. Highs and lows don't help the squad, the club or any of the fans. Keeping a balance is really important.

"If we had already lost 10 games in a row to start, okay... but it's like this: four points from three games - against Milan, Torino, Atalanta; good sides. We all hoped to win all of them, but it's not that easy. As I have said before, only one side can possibly win them all."

We hope they don't either...

"Of course, it's important that despite all that we don't use it as an excuse. We don't need excuses, the squad is strong and should be in the battle to win trophies. Whether there is that chance or not is another debate.

"We still have the Champions League to start, the Coppa Italia to get underway - there's a long way to go."
Source: AS Roma
Wednesday September 05, 2018
 
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