Football: Italy return suits Mourinho, but Roma fans expect

ROME: Jose Mourinho and AS Roma appear to be a good fit, after the Portuguese was surprisingly named the club’s new manager on Tuesday 4 May, but it won’t be an easy return to management for a manager with a point to prove .

‘No break, I’m still in the game’ was the short and sharp response Mourinho gave to reporters after his sacking by underperforming Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur 15 days ago, but few expected that he comes back soon enough.

His quick return to management surprised everyone. Several Italian newspapers on Tuesday published articles on Maurizio Sarri lined up to replace the pressurized Paulo Fonseca, not to mention Mourinho.

Yet hours after Roma confirmed Fonseca’s departure at the end of the season, Mourinho’s return to Italy was announced, with the 58-year-old succeeding his compatriot at the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

A return to Italy, at first glance, seems to suit Mourinho.

While his last three England jobs have seen him leave Chelsea as they languished in 16th place in December 2015, fail to revitalize Manchester United’s fortunes and fall short of the bill to Spurs, Mourinho was only successful in Italy.

He led Inter Milan to an unprecedented treble in 2010 before leaving for Real Madrid and is still held in high regard in Italy having enjoyed such success in the few seasons he coached in the country.

WAIT FOR THE FANS

But Mourinho will not have time to familiarize himself with Italian football. Roma fans expect results and quickly.

“Roma are a difficult club (to train),” former Roma manager Fabio Capello told La Presse on Tuesday. “It is not enough to recruit a great coach to win. You also need players.

“But he (Mourinho) is overtaking in difficult places. I hope for the Roma fans that he will do as well as Inter.”

Without a league title since 2001 under Capello, Roma enjoyed a period of success between 2014 and 2018, finishing at least third in Serie A in five seasons.

But less than a year after leading Roma to the Champions League semi-finals and a third place in Serie A in 2017-18, coach Eusebio Di Francesco was sacked with the club outside of the top four. – such is the expectation at Stadio Olimpico. .

There is also an intense media eye on the team, with a daily dedicated to Roma and dozens of radio stations whose sole purpose is to analyze all aspects of the club.

Fonseca appeared to be making progress at Roma, with his side occupying a top-four spot for much of the current campaign, as a return to Champions League football appeared to be on the cards for the first time in three. seasons.

But a win in their last eight games has seen Roma slide down the rankings – form that ultimately cost Fonseca their job.

Other poor finishes will not be tolerated. Mourinho comes up with his reputation as a repairman after recent failures, and Italy have made the most of the Portuguese in the past, but Roma present as difficult a challenge as they can get.


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