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  31/12/2011: Morning Coffee with... Ben
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As Italian football takes a breather from what has been an exciting first half of the season, I am taking the winter break to air my thoughts on Lazio’s performance in the first half of the season and where they might finish in May. Currently Edy Reja’s squad hold a tight grip on fourth position with a four point gap separating them from fifth, and are still in touch with the summit by just four points.

The position may have been completely different had it not been for an on going injury crisis in the Capital. But then had it not been for summer signing Miroslav Klose, Lazio may have been involved in a mid table squabble. Performances haven’t been great so far, and the team have been reliant on goals from the German international.

There have been some good performances though so far, with an unforgettable win in the Derby della Capitale and good away wins against Cagliari and Fiorentina. Apart from Juventus, Lazio are the only other team to have preserved an unbeaten away record. Performances in front of the Curva Nord have been disappointing, with defeat to Genoa early on and goalless draws against the likes of Palermo and Chievo. Performances like this are starting to rattle many of the Laziali, and whether or not manager Edy Reja has the minerals to take Lazio to the next level.
To break into the top three, it is clear Lazio need a creative midfielder. Missing Captain Stefano Mauri has been a problem, Hernanes has been a disappointment and is not a patch on the player he was last season. Lazio’s fortunes will be told in January, and who they decide to buy. If the Biancocelesti were to continue into the second half of the season with the squad they have now, I find it hard to see another top five finish.

Qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League has been a welcome surprise to many despite poor performances against smaller clubs such as Zurich and Vaslui. Edy Reja has the perfect platform now to bring in a few fresh faces in January, and hit the ground running. The tactician now needs to use this break wisely and get the players motivated for the second half of the season. It is going to get more and more difficult as the season progresses. The main hope is that injured players start to return and Reja will have a fully fit squad to pick from. Lazio return to action in Siena on January 7th.

STAR SO FAR

Miroslav Klose is the obvious choice. The German has been a revelation since joining the club in the summer. Scoring eight goals so far, he has been a key figure in Lazio’s season. The former Bayern Munich striker has salvaged many points for the team this term, most recently against Lecce where Lazio looked like settling for a point. His ability to score a goal against the run of play has been welcomed and his winning goal late in the Derby della Capitale has made him an instant hero amongst Lazio tifosi.

FLOP SO FAR

Djibril Cisse, since joining in the summer from Panathinaikos the striker has only scored one league goal. Despite his goal scoring reputation, he has been a disappointment so far. Fans will hope he starts finding the net soon as the Biancocelesti’s striking options are very limited, and as mentioned many times before they cannot be reliant on Klose’s goals forever. Perhaps his form is down to lack of creativity in midfield and with added strength in that department, it may provide Cisse with more goal scoring opportunities.
 
 
  Comments
 
 
Galuh Trianingsih Lazuardi 1/3/2012 9:45:40 AM
Reja should have given more chances to the potential youngsters like Ceccarelli. Not necessarilly as starter, but could be as substitute in the last 10 or 15 minutes when a win has been at hand.
 
Ben Lally 2/1/2012 1:00:09 AM
I agree, we all know what the old man's like though...
 
 
 
 
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