Serie A

Jose Mourinho is not the solution to Roma's problems

By Harry Symeou
Jose Mourinho is back in the job already
Jose Mourinho is back in the job already / Pool/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho will take the reins at Roma ahead of the 2021/22 season. The 58-year-old was recently sacked by Tottenham Hotspur after 17 months in charge, but just weeks after he was axed, it's been announced he will return to Serie A.

During his last spell in Italy, he was incredibly successful with Inter, winning a Champions League, two league titles, the Coppa Italia, and the domestic Super Cup. However, Roma are not getting the same Jose who dazzled in Milan more than a decade ago.

Once again his reputation has earned him a role at one of the continent's most historic football clubs. Mourinho's charm has seen him convince the Friedkin Group, Roma's owners, that he still has what it takes to turn their sporting fortunes around.

The Giallorossi sit seventh in the table, 14 points off of the Champions League spots, and it has been clear Paulo Fonseca's time at the Stadio Olimpico was approaching its end for a while. The squad needs rebuilding and the widely reported fractious atmosphere in the dressing room needs addressing - so why hire Mourinho?

In recent seasons, the former Real Madrid boss has a track record of alienating players and falling out with stars, and that's OK if you're producing results. The issue is the man who once dubbed himself as 'The Special One' is no longer doing so. Now more than ever, there is an expectation of the top coaches to entertain as well as to deliver silverware, and for all his medals Mourinho has always been more of an entertainer off of the field than on it.

The Italian game is unique in that the prioritisation of defensive stability over attacking finesse is seen as an art rather than a stick to beat the managers with. Roma have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions, including a heavy Europa League semi-final first leg defeat at Old Trafford, but their current problems run deeper than Fonseca.

Mourinho has achieved things most coaches can only dream of, but as we've seen at Manchester United and more recently Spurs, the honeymoon period under his management seems to get shorter with every job he takes.

Having confirmed that Fonseca will leave the Italian capital at the end of the season, the club proceeded to announce Mourinho's hire on Tuesday despite strong links with Maurizio Sarri. It appears Roma have decided to go down the route of the tried and tested - an approach that may see an immediate improvement in the short-term but it ignores the very reasons why they're in this position in the first place.

Poor recruitment and the failure to hire the right managers for the medium to long-term have made it impossible for Roma to fulfil their potential as a football club for quite some time.

The former Chelsea boss may be better suited to the Italian game but even still, to entrust him with the rebuild Roma are in desperate need of feels like one of two things: Either an attempt to paper over the cracks with a 'Hollywood' appointment and hope there's enough improvement to appease the fans in the short-term without a thought for what may follow, OR a fundamental failure to identify the actual issues that have led to this decline in the first place.