Luciano Spalletti Leaving AS Roma: A Massive Blow to the Club
5th June 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
Even though Luciano Spalletti did a fantastic job in his second stint managing AS Roma, which culminated in him leading the club to an exceptional second place finish in Serie A this season, he knew he’d had enough.
While choosing to leave after acquiring the most points ever in a league campaign for the storied club (87) and achieving the highest points per game average (roughly two per game) of any manager in their history, Spalletti’s decision to leave is entirely understandable, however.
Under constant scrutiny and pressure from the relentless Roman media, especially in relation to his handling of the legendary Francesco Totti, who many felt Spalletti under used, his frustration was growing ever more evident as the season progressed.
His anger overflowed back in May when quizzed about his decision to sparingly utilise Totti, where he made his feelings known to the press under no uncertain terms. “All this really disappoints me… If I could go back, I would never have returned to Roma,” explained Spalletti on the issue.
“We always end up talking about the same thing. This team deserves praise, but instead we are always talking about this and if I play him for just five minutes, I’m disrespecting a legend, then if I don’t introduce him, that’s wrong too.
“The issue is here we are fighting to get into the Champions League and win the game in any way possible. People wait for you at home, they have these ‘Spalletti v Totti’ banners at Trigoria, people ask me about this constantly and I don’t know what else to do. It is really disappointing, because Francesco always shows his quality and works hard in training, but I have to make choices for the team.”
Feeling fed up and tired of all the rubbish he’s had to contend with, the Italian, who’s contract was due to expire this summer, decided to officially announce his departure following the Wolves’ dramatic 3-2 win vs. Genoa in the final round of the season – a victory that secured their automatic passage into next season’s Champions League.
Roma’s fiercely competitive captain, Daniele De Rossi, blasted all the critics, standing up firmly in defence of his tactically sophisticated manager, stating what a fine job he’s done. “I saw and heard many people acting as if they were happy that Spalletti was leaving. I hope they’re still happy on May 28 next year. I sincerely doubt many coaches can do better than him,” he asserted.
With Spalletti reportedly on the verge of joining rivals Inter Milan, replacing the man who also led Roma to have the second best defensive record and to be scorers of the second most goals in the division, will be a massive challenge indeed.
The frontrunners for the job, which was considered by another former great Roma manager in Fabio Capello as something of a poisoned chalice too, are unsurprisingly two former Giallorossi players. Those men are current Sassuolo coach, Eusebio Di Francesco, and the man in charge of AC Milan, Vincenzo Montella.
Both men that set up their respective teams to play an exciting brand of attacking football, would unquestionably be ideal fits to fill the vacancy. Spalletti himself actually sees both men as terrific options to cede him as the club’s new manager, even though Montella would be a long shot. “I hope one of Di Francesco or Montella is the next Roma coach, because they know the environment and they have the human qualities you need, as well as the coaching skills.”
Spalletti then went onto add some final thoughts on his future and his positive on-field work at Roma, insisting: “As for myself, I am free to talk to who I want. I’ll start tomorrow and if anyone wants to call me, then I’ll listen to them. In this game it comes down to what happens at certain moments and the decisive results, but the main thing is that I leave a very strong Roma side – a team with some great players.”
With all that in mind, both Spalletti and Roma will be in for a captivating summer, with both parties set to embark on pastures new.
After doing such a tremendous job, you get the feeling Roma are in the tougher position, though, for whoever takes on the coaching reigns will certainly have a tough time replicating Spalletti’s remarkable accomplishments in the capital.
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