Roma Parts Ways with Mourinho - De Rossi Takes the Reins
In a surprising turn of events, AS Roma has officially sacked Jose Mourinho as head coach, following a string of disappointing performances that left the team languishing in ninth place in Serie A.
The decision came on the heels of Roma's 3-1 defeat to AC Milan, marking Mourinho's final game in charge. The club's recent struggles also included an early exit from the Coppa Italia at the hands of arch-rivals Lazio.
Mourinho's tenure at Roma saw the team secure just eight victories out of 20 matches in Serie A this season, placing them behind Bologna, Atalanta, and Fiorentina in the race for European qualification.
The owners, Dan and Ryan Friedkin, expressed their gratitude to Mourinho for his passion and efforts but emphasized that an immediate change was deemed necessary for the club's best interests.
The club swiftly named Daniele De Rossi, a Roma legend, as Mourinho's replacement on a short-term deal until the end of the season. De Rossi, known for his illustrious playing career with over 600 appearances in Roma's midfield, brings limited coaching experience, having worked with the Italian federation and Serie B side SPAL.
Reports had surfaced regarding potential replacements for Mourinho, with former Chelsea and Spurs boss Antonio Conte and Graham Potter, formerly of Chelsea and Brighton, among the contenders. Potter, at 48, had been patiently awaiting the right project for his return to management and was rumored to be in consideration for the Manchester United managerial position.
Mourinho, who took charge of Roma in May 2021, leaves the club after two and a half years. His notable achievements include securing the Europa Conference League title in 2022 and guiding the team to the Europa League final last season.
The decision to part ways with Mourinho came amid speculation about his future, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season. Despite recent struggles, Mourinho had expressed his desire to continue at Roma and had dismissed rumors linking him with Saudi Arabia.
While Mourinho won 68 of his 138 matches in charge, disciplinary problems had become a recurring theme. He had received five red cards during the 2023-24 season alone, contributing to a pattern of on-field issues.
Mourinho's departure mirrors his challenges at previous clubs, notably leaving during his third full campaign at Chelsea and Manchester United. His exit leaves Roma at risk of dropping out of the top half of the table, sitting 22 points behind leaders Inter Milan and 13 points off third-placed AC Milan.
Roma's struggles on the pitch were compounded by Mourinho's increasing outbursts, such as dubbing himself 'Jose 'Harry Potter' Mourinho' after the Coppa Italia loss to Lazio. Despite the challenges, Mourinho's impact on Roma and their quest for success will undoubtedly be a chapter remembered by fans and football enthusiasts alike.