3 things José Mourinho must fix at A.S Roma
José Mourinho, the Special One is back in Italian Serie A, and Owen Diana highlights a trio of problems that the Portuguese must solve to induce A.S Roma back on the right track.
In a shocking turn of events, José Mourinho has been hired as A.S Roma’s new boss. The 58-year-old will hope to show La Lupa into title contenders, but he will be under no illusions on the dimensions of the task he faces.
A man familiar with managing super clubs will take over a side set for a 7th-placed finish in Italian Serie A, and therewith in mind, here are the three most prominent tasks in Mourinho’s tray.
At their best, Paulo Fonseca’s A.S Roma was capable of dazzling attacking displays that drew plaudits from fans and neutrals alike. However, a wretched defensive record ultimately eclipsed those pretty attacking patterns and ensured that the previous FC Shakhtar Donetsk strategist wasn’t able to qualify for the UEFA Champions League in either of his two campaigns to blame.
La Lupa’s leaky backline conceded 51 times last season in Italian Serie A, and they’ve already surpassed that total with four matches still to play this term (53 goals conceded). Shooting for a UEFA Champions League spot is sort of impossible with such an error-prone backline. The Giallorossi have conceded quite 100 goals over two seasons with the previous FC Shakhtar Donetsk tactician within the dug-out.
José Mourinho is understood for being a conservative coach, and an important dose of pragmatism are going to be needed if the Portuguese hopes to bolster his rearguard.
Struggles against the massive boys
Over the last two years, the Giallorossi became a flat-track bully. An inability to beat superior sides has been a recurring theme of the Fonseca regime, and José Mourinho must find the way for his charges to compete better against the cream of the crop.
Fonseca’s only win against the highest four in 2019-20 was a 3-1 final round success over a heavily rotated Juventus that had already secured the Scudetto. That represented a poor return for A.S Roma, but things have taken a turn for the more serious this campaign.
La Lupa are winless in 12 games against the present top eight (six draws, six losses) with a goal difference of -15. Heavy defeats against the likes of Atalanta, Napoli and Lazio have underlined the space between the capital club and their direct competitors.
Although José Mourinho’s main focus are going to be on the training pitch, he will need to give many attentions to the treatment table yet. La Lupa’s attempts to juggle domestic and European competition have proved futile within the face of a growing injury crisis, with a number of key names spending significant time within the infirmary over recent months.
The muscle injuries that forced off Jordan Veretout and Leonardo Spinazzola inside the primary 37 minutes at Old Trafford have shone a spotlight on Fonseca’s medical staff and left the Friedkins considering changes therein department. Money must be spent this summer to renovate a subpar squad, but the players which will still help the cause must be kept fit.