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Roma Are a Real Scudetto Contender in Serie A

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 05:  Francesco Totti of AS Roma (C) celebrates his goal with team-mate Alessandro Florenzi during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and AS Roma at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 5, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Matteo BonettiContributor IOctober 18, 2013

It's a story that not many could have ever seen coming: A French coach who wasn't well-known outside of his own country coming to one of the most fanatical football cities worldwide and guiding the team to their best start ever in Serie A.

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 05:  Head coach AS Roma Rudi Garcia looks during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and AS Roma at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 5, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

After seven matchdays, Roma are perfect with 21 points in the Serie A table. More than anything, Rudi Garcia has brought a calmness at the back that was nonexistent during the reign of the maniacally offensive Zdenek Zeman and a clueless Luis Enrique. 

Roma have now kept four clean sheets in a row for the first time since December 2008, but more incredibly, they've only conceded one goal so far in Serie A while scoring 20.

Weirdly enough, most of the Giallorossi's success comes in the second half, as they are the team with the most goals in the second 45 minutes of play. This could be due to the way they often rally around each other and their leader, Francesco Totti.

Garcia has insisted on playing a 4-3-3, but brought the perfect mix of veteran leadership in the summer with signings of Maicon and Mehdi Benatia being the influential ones at the back. 

Benatia in particular has been the Serie A signing of the summer, holding a water-tight line at the back and even venturing forward to score a few spectacular goals. Maicon, on the other hand, is an interesting case as most fans thought he was dead in the water after being anonymous at Manchester City

Gervinho has been excellent so far
Gervinho has been excellent so farPaolo Bruno/Getty Images

In the midfield, Kevin Strootman was purchased from PSV and has integrated himself perfectly in Italian football, showing that he's more than capable of holding his own in a box-to-box role where he can create, score and track back to defend.

Perhaps the most startling revelation was Garcia's willingness to bring Gervinho, a player who thrived under his tutelage at Lille. 

The Ivorian winger had a less-than-stellar career at Arsenal where he often became the butt of jokes for his comical misses in front of the net. The tables have turned now, as Gervinho has played with a new-found confidence that has made him look like the second coming of Samuel Eto'o on the left wing.

His searing pace on the counter has given opposing defensive units a headache as he's nearly impossible to stop when in full speed. On top of that, he has showed a penchant for scoring great goals, as he has already netted three this season.

The main question surrounding Roma will be if they can keep up their scintillating form, and after their dismemberment of Inter, all signs would point to them continuing their success going forward.

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