AS Roma sack Jose Mourinho, appoint Daniele De Rossi: What went wrong, and can it be fixed by a Giallorossi legend?

AS Roma have moved to end the club's poor form by sacking coach Jose Mourinho, with iconic former midfielder Daniele De Rossi installed as his replacement. What went wrong for Mourinho, and can De Rossi really fix the Giallorossi?


AS Roma have moved swiftly to dismiss coach Jose Mourinho and his backroom staff with immediate effect, before hiring club legend Daniele De Rossi as his replacement despite his lack of experience.

As per a statement released by the club, Mourinho‘s stint at the Stadio Olimpico was terminated six months before his contract was due to expire after a challenging half-season in the capital.

Former midfielder and captain De Rossi was installed on a short-term deal to run until the end of the season, with the potential for an extension in the summer if results improve between now and June.

Mourinho’s impact at AS Roma

Roma owners, the Friedkin Group, caused a stir in 2021 when they marked their takeover of the Giallorossi by announcing the appointment of treble-winning former Inter coach Mourinho, bringing him back to Serie A for the first time since 2010.

It was quite the coup for Roma, with Mourinho out of work since being sacked by Tottenham Hotspur but boasting a CV that had seen him win the Champions League with Porto, Inter, and Real Madrid, as well as league titles at all three and Chelsea.

The Portuguese’s first year in Rome saw him end the Lupi’s lengthy wait for silverware as the club lifted the inaugural Europa Conference League, before reaching the Europa League Final in 2022/23, a game they lost narrowly on penalties. His impact saw him strike up a close bond with Roma‘s notoriously passionate supporters and he proved a crucial instrument in bringing the club and its fanbase into alignment.

Meanwhile, Mourinho showed great faith in Roma‘s academy, blooding no fewer than 13 youth prospects during his time at the club.

Why Mourinho was dismissed by AS Roma

However, his stint is marred by numerous disciplinary issues and Mourinho saw the suspensions rack up due to increasing frustration on the touchline, leading to many yellow cards. Similarly, he did not endear himself to referees or the Lega Serie A after several barbed comments about the standard of officiating.

As much as he made an impact in European competition, Mourinho was only able to lead Roma to consecutive sixth-place finishes in Serie A and leaves the club languishing in ninth after more than half of the current campaign gone.

The 60-year-old’s inability to consistently challenge the league’s elite was a constant criticism thrown at him, with a 3-1 loss to AC Milan on Matchday 20 proving to be the breaking point and his final game in charge. It came just days after a dismal Coppa Italia exit to bitter rivals Lazio, and the writing appeared to be on the wall for him.

Daniele De Rossi and Radja Nainggolan during their time at SPAL. (@spalferrara)

De Rossi returns home

Aside from the god-like status afforded to Francesco Totti, nobody comes close to the influence and adulation enjoyed by De Rossi at Roma and the combative former midfielder has been offered the chance to salvage the season.

The 40-year-old, who spent almost his whole career with Roma, begins with the visit of Hellas Verona and will be looking for a strong start to banish any concerns over his credentials.

Roma will be hoping that his influence and force of personality can turn around a squad that has appeared brittle, but fans must be wary of his previous experience of coaching. De Rossi took the helm of SPAL in Serie B in October 2022, but lasted just five months before being sacked after a dreadful run of just three wins from 18 matches.

However, he earned praise for his work in an assistant coaching capacity for the Italy Men’s National Team under Roberto Mancini, as the Azzurri lifted Euro 2020.


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