Who should be AS Roma's next manager?
Background image: Gary Denham, CC BY-SA 2.0
A changing of the guard.
The glorious night when defeating FC Barcelona in the Champions League gave AS Roma the sweetest ecstasy now feels a distant dream. Since then, the Italian giants have been brought back down to harsh reality. Eusebio Di Francesco's meltdown ruined their season. Even local hero Claudio Ranieri could only uproot the Romans to a sixth-placed finish.
There won't be any Champions League nights to glow up the Italian capital next season. It’s the first time in five seasons AS Roma will miss out on Europe’s top competition. Thursday nights in the UEFA Europa League is their new duty. A proper rebuilding phase is required to re-enter Europe’s top-flight. Ranieri’s watch is over and upgrading on him is quintessential towards competing with resurgent Napoli or Inter Milan, before even thinking about brushing shoulders with Juventus.
Some interesting managerial options are available, with each bringing its pros and cons. For Roma to start flying again, they need an expert mind to revolutionise the system. A manager with a winning mentality and proper experience is required to get them competing at the top. So here we’ll look at three such managerial options to get AS Roma firing on all cylinders.
The Special One has a glittering history in Serie A. Mourinho is no newcomer to managing clubs in disarray and his excellent stint with Inter Milan should serve as the greatest example. While he’s been criticised for “old age” expired tactics, the Portuguese’s mentality could mix perfectly with Roma’s hard-working, warrior-like approach.
The 56-year-old can perform wonders with the right blend of experience and youth. La Lupa also has some strong-willed players perfect for his approach. Mourinho's defensive nature won’t fall on deaf ears in Serie A, while he can instil a fluid counter-attacking system at Roma. He’s also a big enough name to attract the right kind of players required to turn things around.
The Portuguese turned an underperforming Inter Milan squad into treble winners. Getting La Magica back competing high up surely isn’t beyond his reach. He’ll need total control over management to weave his magic. Mourinho’s narcissistic nature can actually work wonders for Roma into reinstalling the fighting spirit they’ve been missing for some-time.
Sacrificed by Inter Milan to make way for Antonio Conte, Spalletti could rewrite his wrongs by returning to where he made his name. The 60-year-old knows AS Roma in and out, with his feisty attacking style being quite famous among the supporters. He might’ve failed to live up to expectations at Inter, but Roma fans wouldn’t hesitate to give him another opportunity.
The Italian’s encouraging system allowed Roma to play a graceful attacking style which tore apart the opposition, something which made him a favourite with the fans. Spalletti's shrewd tactical knowledge and man-management skills did click with La Lupa. He can utilise their rich, young attacking strength in allowing them to play blistering, ruthless attacking football.
Edin Dzeko could rediscover his goal-scoring power again, while Cengiz Under can find his inner Mohamed Salah. Spalletti’s Inter journey could’ve gone sour, but returning home is always an option. He can revitalise Roma as Gian Piero Gasperini did during Atalanta's fairy-tale season, creating a similarly wonderful story next season.
Even eight consecutive Scudetto’s couldn’t save Massimiliano Allegri from incurring Juventus’ wrath. Great expectations were his bane in Turin. However, in Rome, that wouldn’t be the case. For the AS Roma faithful, entertaining the fans with positive football along with solidifying their defensive core is the minimum he’ll be asked to do. Trophies are a secondary priority, at least for the time being.
Allegri’s excellent work with the Old Lady makes him among the hottest managerial prospects currently. However, it’s his inspired work with AC Milan which makes him an even better fit for La Magica. The Italian managed to win the Scudetto with a declining Milan team, proving his experience in a more strict environment.
The 51-year-old’s effective tactics, elite-mentality and ability to etch together a never-say-die attitude are exactly what La Lupa needs to compete for trophies again. The Italian can also mastermind in overthrowing Juventus’ dominance, with his expertise in effectively utilising a talented squad making him a prime candidate to orchestrate Roma’s revival.