Are Mourinho’s Old Habits Going to Cost Him at Roma?

    25 Oct 2021 | Serie A | Opinion
    Are Mourinho’s Old Habits Going to Cost Him at Roma?
    Riccardo De Luca - Update /

    Jose Mourinho is a manager who has won it all at the top of the European game. The English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, Portuguese Primeira Liga, Champions League, and Europa League.

    However, Mourinho tended to struggle in his recent roles at Chelsea, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur due to his criticism of the players and even the medical staff. Could the same thing be about to happen at is current club, Roma?

    Due to their league placing last season, when Mourinho was not at the club, Roma have entered the Europa Conference League. This is a new competition and not one the major clubs around Europe, which Roma consider themselves to be, will be taking seriously. That attitude was seen from the team selection by Mourinho as his Roma side travelled to Norway to play Eliteserien champions Bodo/Glimt.

    Despite not playing his first choice XI, there was plenty of talent in the team selected by Mourinho, including Rui Patricio, Riccardo Calafiori, Amadou Diawara, Borja Mayoral, and Stephan El Shaarawy.

    However, his team were dreadful and Roma lost the match 6-1, which is the worst loss in the managerial career of Mourinho.

    Speaking after the match, the Portuguese manager said, “I decided to play this team. It’s my responsibility. I did it with good intentions to give players who work a lot but don’t play a lot an opportunity. I rested a lot of players. We lost to a team with more quality. It’s that simple.”

    However, as further quotes came to light following the defeat, it became clear Mourinho was not happy with the depth in his squad. “If I could always play the same (players) I would,” he said. “It’s risky because there’s a gulf in class between the two groups.”

    Reading between the lines, there is a trusted group of players Mourinho believes in and another group of players in the squad who he does not believe has what it takes to play for Roma.

    Perhaps the most damning quote to come after the match from Mourinho was, “The positive is that from today no one will ask me why the same players always play.” Mourinho has never had a problem criticising his players in public but it never usually turns out well.

    We are only in October and Mourinho has made his stance in terms of his squad of players. He does not think they are good enough and comments like that are only going to leave some players wondering what the future has in store for them at the Stadio Olimpico.

    Interestingly, Mourinho is the highest-paid manager in Serie A and many fans will expect him to coach his players, improve them, and develop the current squad to a higher level.

    There is no need for concern at this stage of the season but with 4 defeats in their last 7 matches ahead of the meeting with Napoli, could we be about to see a familiar tale unfold with Mourinho at the helm or is this just a blip?