“Oh my God! Take my eyes! I don’t need them anymore!”
That can or it can not were the reaction of a particular AS Roma supporter on Tuesday afternoon, as news emerged that the bold and expressive Paulo Fonseca should be replaced by his absolute antithesis, Jose Mourinho.
The new owners of Giallorossi had decided to declare their intentions for the club and did so in a way that only the most ambitious and courageous businessman would do: Hire a human hand grenade.
Understandably, Mourinho’s appointment was greeted in the United Kingdom with the regret and condolences of Tottenham Hotspur supporters who had just freed themselves from the shackles of this particular expensive prison.
However, the reaction in Italy could not be more contrasting. Roma supporters rejoiced, newspapers welcomed his arrival with headlines such as Hail Jose, and comparisons with Roman emperors had already been presented.
So who is right? Will Jose’s governing form continue in its downward spiral, or will the Italian sun and Mediterranean diet help Mourinho return to Special? 90min considers why this partnership is not so eventually crazy.
While English football fans are still rolling on the floor in Mourinho’s jeeps in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to keep their children from feeding football the lovers all look back with hazy eyes to his incredible high frequencies with Inter a little over a decade ago.
I Nerazzurri became the first and only Italian country to win the Serie A title, the Champions League and the Italian Cup in one season, elevating Mourinho’s legendary status to divine levels. So while he has set out to ruin his reputation in England, those in Italy prefer to analyze what he has delivered in Serie A over the years.
This means that Mourinho can still boast of the aura and mystique that have carried him so far in his career, and people in Italy still remain at his every word. Let’s hope the players watch the replays of the 2010 Champions League final over the last ten years.
The term “mentality monsters” was coined by Jürgen Klopp in the Premier League, but the Roma are definitely the mind mice of European football. The inability of the players to cope with the pressure of their supporters has plagued the club for years, with their latest humiliation coming in beating Manchester United 6-2.
The Roma also took just four points out of a possible 30 against the six teams above them in Serie A this year, pointing to an even bigger inferiority complex than they could have initially feared. This endless stage fever has to be rehearsed outside the team, and although Mourinho has failed to stop the Spurs from pushing it, he will figure out his chances of raising another fearless pack of wolves in Italy.
The Portuguese coach shares the same win or die mentality like the Giallorossi supporters, and they will be on board from the start, as long as they see a group of players who show no fear when they stand fifth to fifth with the European giants.
This transformation may be more possible than the Premier League. Mourinho’s style is outdated, there can be no doubt about that. And he looked archaic in the English top flight, as even Newcastle United showed a high enough pace to beat his team from the spurs.
But Serie A is a completely different ball game. Italian football is more tactful, but more importantly it is far lower in pace and energy. This will play perfectly in the hands of Roma under Mourinho, where the organization and decisive defense defend much further than in rock’n’roll in the Premier League.
Italy is home to defensive football and Jose will certainly feel it at home as it approaches mind-boggling 1-0 victories over Empoli-like next year.
One of the biggest reasons for the constant collapse of the Roma team is their internal media. The radio stations have round-the-clock channels dedicated to the constant conversation about Giallorossi, the newspapers spew gossip, no matter how harmful it is to the team, and finally the bell for any manager is in the line of fire.
Mourinho may have lost his relationship in England, but as mentioned, he is still the media guru in Italy. The Roman press will be careful to target such a prestigious figure and he will divert attention away from his players – until it becomes difficult and he throws them under the bus.
NO. That there is no it happened this time!
Roma’s team is in desperate need of a change, and with the new owners bankrupting their summer expenses, things could speed up in the Italian capital. Fortunately, Mourinho is a man who needs support, and his arrival confirms that the strings of the purse will be loosened.
And the weight of his name may attract some elite players to try to lift the Italian giants back to the top table of Serie A. Of course, some stars may not like to work under such a case of a person, but still will there is enchanted by the allure of the high frequency winner Special One.
This will be one of the most important summer transfer windows in Roma history, and while Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic will inevitably be linked, supporters will dream of a big coup or two firing I Giallorossi for glory.
The team and the club are in their lowest tides in several years, ranking seventh in the league and missing direction. Honestly, it can’t get any worse … can it?