Mourinho to Coach Roma: The Football Plot Twist of the Season

The announcement that ex-Inter boss Jose Mourinho is to replace Paulo Fonseca as the head of Roma instead of Maurizio Sarri has sent shock waves across the football universe.

Diehard football fans could have seen this coming – there were multiple hints along the way. Just two weeks after being fired by Tottenham, the Portuguese football legend had already signaled that he would be back in the game soon and did not need a break. The switch to a rival team was never an issue for Mourinho, who said that he has a “professional way of looking at things” in an interview. However, his return so quickly, and at Roma, still came as a huge surprise for many fans.

The news is shocking because there hadn’t been any inkling of it happening in the media. Such a major development with no rumours and no leaks of any kind is extremely uncommon, especially in this case given that Maurizio Sarri was expected to get the job. Fans initially thought the announcement was a joke, while the Giallorossi’s shares skyrocketed by over 20%.

Mourinho’s salary, on the other hand, took a fair hit. He was reported to be earning £15 million per year at Tottenham, but his annual salary at Roma is reportedly just €4 million. This could be a sign that Mourinho is looking to build his reputation alongside a team in a challenging environment. It would seem he intends to silence his critics, who are saying that he is completely “out of touch with the modern game.”

His failure in recent years at Manchester United and Tottenham remains duly noted, but he remains a desirable coach in Italy because of his success at San Siro. However, what he has to work with this time around is much different from the situation he took over in Milan the last time he coached.

Roma is currently Serie A’s sole representative in continental competitions, but the club might not remain so for long. After being defeated 6-2 last week at Old Trafford, Roma looks in serious trouble for the upcoming second leg of the Europa League semi-finals. The team’s woes in domestic football are even worse; Roma is yet to register a single victory in its 10 games against the top six of Serie A.

Even though Mourinho’s appointment has created a lot of noise on social media, football betting sites haven’t dramatically altered their odds on Roma performing well in the near future. Even if Mourinho were about to start immediately, it will surely take quite some time to turn around this ship given Roma’s poor recent history. As Fabio Capello said in an interview for La Presse, “It’s not enough to sign a great coach in order to win. You also need players.