Roma have kicked off their Serie-A season in sublime fashion under new manager Jose Mourinho. Sitting in second place, Mourinho’s men have emerged victorious in both their opening fixtures.
The Italian side ended their last campaign in a disastrous manner. Finishing 7th in Serie-A, being thumped by the Red Devils in Europe and producing catastrophic results domestically. Roma needed a change in the managerial system and Paulo Fonseca’s place was taken by Jose Mourinho.
“I was happy I was coming back to Italy, to a team with proper fans, to a nation that has a huge passion for the game. The people in Italy have a special bond with their clubs. I needed to come back and feel that once again."
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 30, 2021
And since the arrival of Jose Mourinho, Roma have looked a different side altogether. They have brushed aside the poor outings of last summer and Jose Mourinho is here to change the scenario for the Italian outfit. We at FootTheBall take a look at how Mourinho can revamp the situation at Roma?
THE SPECIAL ONE IS BACK
Well, if you are a fan of Jose Mourinho’s tactical wizardry you would surely know that the Portuguese manager is highly dependent on his backline. And when Mourinho arrived at Roma, the Italians were still recovering from their 6-2 bashing at Old Trafford. Roma conceded 58 goals last summer and occupied the 9th worst defence in the league.
With Mourinho in charge of the Italians, the goals conceded number will surely take a dip considering the manager’s history. Jose Mourinho has managed to secure 8 league titles throughout his glittering career and out of those eight, seven times he has finished the season with the league’s best defensive line.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 24, 2017
His questionable park-the-bus tactic with the Red Devils saw him capture the UEFA Europa League, with Tottenham Hotspur the manager reached the League Cup final, and he did win multiple accolades with Inter and Real Madrid solely on his defensive structure.
Jose Mourinho's career is trophy-laden 🏆
🔵⚪ Porto 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
🔵 Chelsea 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
⚫🔵 Inter 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
⚪ Real Madrid 🏆🏆🏆
🔴⚪⚫ Man Utd 🏆🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/v9bTSLIRwl
— GOAL (@goal) May 4, 2021
The Portuguese manager could perfectly solve the needs of Italian football with his management style. In the Serie-A one would find teams defending deep in their half and being deadly on the counter. If Italian sides sniff an opportunity to counter-attack, they would rarely leave you without scoring a goal. Jose Mourinho’s playing style is identical to the requirements of the Italian league.
Mourinho emphasises zonal defence in the critical facets of the game that must be defended if a clean sheet is to be kept, frequently instructing his defensive wingers to support his defenders and helping them to retain control of the ball.
Mourinho’s central midfielders are trained to use a combination of man and possession-based marking to protect the extra room in front of Patricio’s goal-mouth.
While you could construct different ideologies and formations that Mourinho could adapt at Roma, the Portuguese will choose the one that attracts the most attention. Roma has made some significant changes to their squad which could benefit them in the long run.
The signings of Rui Patricio, Tammy Abraham, and Roger Ibanez helped Mourinho solve all the existing problems. Since Alisson’s departure, Roma has been searching for the perfect man between the sticks.
Chelsea will receive €40m on permanent deal paid in installments. Abraham will sign his contract after medicals in the next days.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 14, 2021
And Dzeko’s departure to Inter means Tammy Abraham could become the show stopper for Mourinho at Roma. The presence of world-class prospects in Chelsea’s squad saw Abraham being dropped to the bench at Stamford Bridge, but since his move to Roma, he has flared under Mourinho in the two games he has played.
AN ATTACKING PROWESS?
Mourinho’s explicit awareness is that soccer is a gamble on both ends of the pitch. Mourinho may be conservative in his protective side of the field, but he’s a comprehensive manager when it comes to putting his offence totally in the hands, and hearts, of his star strikers.
— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) August 30, 2021
Mourinho does not invest in instilling aggressive tactics or team formations in his players because, in his opinion, this would undervalue the importance of opportunity in any particular team’s productive goal-scoring path. Mourinho’s game strategy is on limiting the possibility of an unfavourable outcome for his defensive end, and he’ll worry about the rest afterwards.
He’s a hands-on coach who focuses on defensive play. More importantly, Mourinho’s administration is more concerned with making connections within his team instead of making strategies week in and week out.
🔥 Instant impact 🔥
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 23, 2021
Now at Roma, he has Mkhitaryan and Smalling, the players he coached at Manchester United a few seasons ago. And although Smalling won’t mind his appointment, Mkhitaryan knows that Mourinho won’t take time to bench anyone on the squad.
MOURINHO AND HIS ‘JOKERS’ AT ROMA
Firstly, Jose Mourinho will emphasize improving Giallorossi’s defence with the players he already has. Roma signed two defenders this summer with Roger Ibanez being the club’s significant signing. Ibanez’s signature bolsters Roma’s defence with Smalling, Fazio, and Mancini fighting for the spot in Mourinho’s eleven.
Former Atalanta centre-back Ibanez and Italian footballer Gianluca Mancini perfectly suit the Mourinho-mold due to their muscular physique, adaptability, and attitude.
— Roger Ibañez (@ibanez41oficial) August 27, 2021
Secondly, the silver lining for Jose Mourinho could be the form of Leonardo Spinazzola. Until the left-back picked an unfortunate injury, the Italian defender enjoyed a jaw-dropping Euro 2020. With Spinazzola playing a crucial role in his national outfit’s route to victory, Mourinho will trust him to revamp Roma this season.
Whenever Jose Mourinho’s in charge of an outfit he shows dependence on defence but also shows interest in a star-forward scoring goal upfront. At Real Madrid it was Cristiano Ronaldo, Chelsea had Didier Drogba, while Inter had Samuel Eto’s services. When Mourinho is donning the managerial chair at Roma, it’s Tammy Abraham that could be his star striker this season.
Dreams do come true 💙 Champions Of Europe! pic.twitter.com/VoUDHL9bFs
— Tammy Abraham (@tammyabraham) May 29, 2021
In his two starts, Abraham has one goal and two assists under his belt. Chelsea’s benchwarmer has become a crucial piece of the puzzle at Roma under Mourinho. In the games to come if Mourinho keeps on backing the English striker, Abraham could prove to the world why he’s worth every penny that Roma had invested in him.