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Time to drop Granit Xhaka?

Arsenal
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Zeman blames pitch and players

Roma boss Zdenek Zeman blamed both the pitch and his players after seeing his team throw away another lead in the 3-2 defeat at Parma.

The game, which marked Roma's second consecutive 3-2 loss, was played in torrential rain and Zeman told Sky Italia: "The state of the pitch influenced the result. The puddles meant the ball got stuck at crucial moments during the Parma goals.

"We had to always play it long and created some chances, but Parma ended up having an easy time defending. It's a shame about this defeat."

Zeman also pointed the finger at Brazilian defender Dodo and Argentinean attacker Erik Lamela.

"The first goal was the fault of Dodo feeling over-confident," he said. "Ishak Belfodil did well to take advantage, but it was a huge mistake.

"Erik Lamela needs to be fired up a bit. He has talent, but too often does fancy footwork without finishing the chances. He can improve further."

Zeman was also forced to defend his continued refusal to use of Daniele De Rossi in the centre of his midfield trident.

"De Rossi has never played in that position, so I do not understand all the controversy about this," he said. "De Rossi has never asked me to play in the middle either."

Roma have yet to perform consistently this season, but Zeman is confident that they will improve.

"I continue to say we are a great team," he said. "We are just paying for the fact that we do not play well for the full 90 minutes. With a little good fortune and above all belief, we can prove that we know how to play football."

He added: "I do not have much patience, as I want everything and I want it now. The only way to get there is to work harder. I have faith."

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