Sunday Nov 23, 2014  
     
 
  20/01/2012: Morning Coffee with... Ben
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When manager Edy Reja took over at Lazio the club were stuck in a relegation battle, two years on and the Biancocelesti are fighting for a Champions League place. Many claimed the club were punching above their weight after last season’s fifth place finish, but now we are halfway through the current season and Reja’s men are sitting in fourth position, so the tactician must be doing something right?

Lazio got off to a shaky start this campaign and a lot of criticism was aimed at manager Edy Reja for his style of play. Despite making numerous signings pre-season there were also a few departures, I put the poor performances down to this and have always been quick to defend the manager and his squad. It is more or less a new look squad this year and the work Reja has done to keep Lazio battling at the top has been overlooked by many, including the fans.

Constant injuries have plagued the squad, missing key players for long periods so far this term; most notably the Captain Stefano Mauri, who has rarely featured so far. Although consistently good performances have been somewhat rare at the Olimpico, Reja somehow keeps rallying his troops to grind out results, despite having to continually rotate his squad.

After the devastating defeat at the hands of Siena it was thought maybe Lazio had cracked, or was it just a wakeup call? It was down to Reja to get his squad to regroup and gear up for a series of tough and upcoming fixtures, and he did just that. A good win against Hellas Verona in the Coppa Italia was a good morale boosting victory for the squad considering the Serie B team were unbeaten in fifteen matches.

Most recently the home match against Atalanta was a real test and Lazio came through it with ease, despite the worry of their top goal scorer German Denis. A typical Reja match with not much created, but containing a clean sheet on Marchetti’s return was enough to keep fans happy.

If the manager can keep grinding away results despite having numerous injury problems maybe the good performances will become more consistent. Reja is doing the best he can with the players he has, the Biancocelesti do not have the budget of the likes of the Milan clubs and Juventus, but are creeping up right behind them in the table. It is clear to see, regardless of poor performances Lazio are maintaining results and it is sure Lazio are heading in the right direction under Edy Reja.

(Ben Lally)
 
 
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