Rome is a city of passion where football is just as important as the culture, politics and landmarks of the Italian capital – and the supporters of its football team had finally rekindled their love with the game when Jose Mourinho arrived this summer.
The decision to appoint the outspoken former Chelsea and Tottenham boss was a big gamble by the Friedkin family, the Americans who own Roma, and at the time the excitement over his hiring was a big as when Fabio Capello and Luciano Spalletti were in charge. But after seven defeats already this season – that enthusiasm is already starting to dwindle.
For a club that spent £34million on a forward in Tammy Abraham – the biggest outlay on a striker in the division – fans expected far better results.
Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Roma is at risk of falling apart after his side were beaten 3-0 by Inter
Roma had one shot on target in the game and sums up Mourinho’s lack of decisiveness in his tactics or philosophy for his team
After the dismal 3-0 defeat to Inter Milan, which saw Roma have just one shot on target, Mourinho now resembles the Roman emporer Caligula. He doesn’t listen to his advisors and his choices are confusing – resulting in mixed messages from his coaching team in every match.
Mourinho is fantastic when the cameras are on him – when he is giving a gift to one of his players – a new pair of boots to Felix Afena-Gyan – or when he is seen eating pizza on the back of a train, after the win over Salernitana.
But when he has to be a coach, all his problems start to come out on show. Too often, Mourinho is talking about the team’s problems in front of the media rather than looking for solutions privately. If the Portuguese coach doesn’t change his attitude and sense of vanity soon, his reign in Italy will be short-lived.
The coach plays hide and seek – opting to publicly blame his players for the club’s problems
There has been a lot of disappointment over Mourinho’s philosophy this season. Roma are lacking an identity that sums up what the club is all about. The problems the club is facing is all down to Mourinho.
The Jose Mourinho we once knew appears to have left all his courage in England and is now playing the game of hide and seek that seems to happen with every club – only quicker and quicker as his career drags on – blaming his players and criticising the team too harshly.
CONFUSING PHILOSOPHY AND EXPERIMENTING WITH PLAYERS
Mourinho enjoys creating puzzles with his team – as seen when deploying centre-back Roger Ibanez at full-back. He likes to field players out of position and avoids the chance to promote many of the club’s youth stars.
It almost seems that he is trying to make a point that his squad depth is lacking and scuppers the progress the team are making in the process.
It is not clear what his preferred line-up or his best system is. The players interpret the game in their own way and don’t have a philosophy to follow.
Everything around the team is a question mark, and no one has seen any improvements in the team – in fact, the players are regressing.
His players look confused by his ideas and their performances are getting worse, not better
MOURINHO IS AT WAR WITH EVERYONE AND ACTS LIKE A TOURIST
Roma fans are completely devoted to the club – they follow the team 24 hours a day but the shock 6-1 defeat to Bodo/Glimt was the day they started losing their enthusiasm for the team’s season.
Fans in the Eternal City are among the most criticial and demanding in the country, and they have quickly had enough of the mistakes Mourinho has made during his three months in charge.
The coach recognises the value of Roma’s opponents but struggles when it comes to sizing up the problems his own side face, especially in terms of creating chances. The former Chelsea and Tottenham boss is only focused on himself and never misses an opportunity to hit out at his team.
Mourinho seems focused on himself and has snapped at reporters during press conferences
He acts like a pundit with his criticisms of the team – he is more like a pundit than a coach
Juventus boss Max Allegri and former Roma coach Spalletti – now at Napoli – are quick to defend their players, but Mourinho loves controversy and relishes attacking his team – almost like he is a pundit and not one of the highest-paid coaches in Europe. He seems to live his experience in Italy like a tourist.
He hasn’t resisted the chance to snap at the Italian press either. After the defeat to Inter he refused to answer any questions and told one reporter that his job was much harder than his, ‘which is why we earn a lot more than you’. Earlier this month he went on a rant at another journalist, telling him ‘you’re not very intelligent at all’ after he asked if the coach would do anything differently during his reign.
The Friedkin family have been surprised to see their coach demolish the good work done by the club’s general manager Tiago Pinto and the hostile attitude he has brought that has hurt the club’s pride.
BANISHING LAST SEASON’S TOP SCORER MAYORAL
How many players has Mourinho improved with his tactical and technical knowledge? Maybe none. He has done nothing to progress the career of Borja Mayoral, who is yet to start in Serie A this season despite being the club’s top scorer last season.
His exclusion of Mayoral is inexplicable given Tammy Abraham’s struggles to add a regular supply of goals, as has happened in recent years in the Premier League. Failing to get the best out of Mayoral is a huge flaw in his management of the team, with the players selected struggling to do much better in front of goal.
It is baffling why the Portuguese boss has exiled Borja Mayoral, last season’s top scorer, despite the team’s struggles in front of goal
His tactics don’t allow Roma to be creative with his side struggling to find the back of the net
Abraham, Nicolo Zaniolo and Eldor Shomurodov have scored five Serie A goals between them – but Mayoral remains shackled to the bench. It’s a disturbing choice that no fan understands.
The Spanish forward went from being Edin Dzeko’s heir to now being a likely casualty in January, with Fiorentina looking to swoop.
Finding the back of the net is a big issue for Roma, who are seventh in the table.
OWNERS FURIOUS BUT CAN’T AFFORD TO SACK HIM
The Friedkins are disappointed and angry to see Mourinho failing to get Tammy Abraham firing after they spent £34million on the former Chelsea striker, and have abandoned all ideas to improve the squad in January.
Mourinho has betrayed the team and the club by behaving like an ordinary citizen in the dugout – not a strategist looking to take it forwards. It’s as though he fell in love with Rome, but not Roma.
His three-year contract with the club is a lucrative one and it is unlikely the owners will pull the trigger and sack him at this time. There are a lack of alternatives to come in and they don’t want to be in a position where they are forced to let him go but pay him until he finds a new job.
The club’s owners – Dan Friedkin (R) and his son Ryan (L) – are angry about Mourinho’s conduct but are reluctant to sack him because of the financial implications