Despite achieving a creditable draw in the Europa League away to Real Betis on Thursday night, former AS Roma striker Antonio Cassano has attacked the playing style of coach Jose Mourinho. Suggesting that the Portuguese tactician should follow the approach of a boss at another of his previous sides, Stefano Pioli on AC Milan.
The Giallorossi rescued a point with a 53rd-minute equaliser from Andrea Belotti in Seville and sit third in Group C at risk of failing to progress to the knockout stages behind the Spanish side and Ludogorets of Bulgaria, yet are just four points from Serie A leaders Napoli.
Mourinho stuck in the past
“At most, this year Roma can aim for a top four [finish],” Cassano, clearly irate, told Bobo TV. “Lazio are ahead of Roma both in terms of playing style and ideas on the pitch. A team like Roma has to play more proactively and bravely and try to win every Sunday, otherwise it’ll be much harder for them. Only this way can you somehow attempt to finish in the top four at the end of the season.”
“Mourinho’s football is a thing of the past, yet we attack Allegri and we always say it about him, or rather I say it about Allegri.
“Mourinho should try to evolve as Stefano Pioli did.”
“I saw the game with [Real] Betis and he said that Betis were stronger than Roma, but this does not stand up [without criticism]. If Roma don’t play a proactive game, they will always remain behind them.
“Mourinho is great at this. He throws smoke in your face.”
Cassano positive about AC Milan: They should be proud
Considering that AC Milan are also at risk of exiting the Champions League after successive defeats to Premier League side Chelsea, coach Stefano Pioli was an interesting choice of comparison, but Cassano insisted the Rossoneri were unlucky to loss at San Siro.
“Milan can take great pride [despite defeat], because a goal behind and down to 10 men, Giroud could have scored an equaliser,” Cassano highlighted. “They showed great pride and great heart, so Milan must draw positive lessons from the match.”
The ex-Milan striker believed the team reacted excellently after defender Fikayo Tomori was sent off on 18 minutes and Jorginho converted the penalty, but questioned whether the English defender should have seen red.
“After the red card the match went in a certain way, but they defended well and played with great courage. I’d like to see them play 11 against 11. Milan can challenge them.
“The penalty [challenge] has to either be serious, though, or you don’t give it. With these sh*tty rules you have unbalanced the match twice because after the penalty you have to deal with the red card too.”