The pressure on Roma coach José Mourinho is mounting after the 1:4 defeat at promoted CFC Genoa. The Portuguese, however, defends himself against the criticism.
Immediately after the final whistle, Luigi Ferrari’s whistles rang out from the block of Roma fans in the stadium. The mood among the fans of the Giallorossi has changed at the latest after the disastrous 1:4 at CFC Genoa. It was Roma’s third defeat in six league games with only one win (1/2/3). Apart from Milan, the opponents Salerno, Empoli, Torino, Verona and Genoa were not exactly the cream of the Serie A crop.
With only five points from the six games, AS are in 16th place, the relegation zone is just two points away. The last time the capitals got off to such a bad start was in the 2010/11 season (also five points after six games). And for Mourinho, the bumpy start means a negative record. “It’s my worst start to a season as a coach,” he admitted in the subsequent interview on DAZN. His previous low was seven points after six games in the 2015/16 season with Chelsea FC. Even in his debut season with Uniao Leiria, he had already collected nine points after six games.
Italian press comes down hard on Mourinho: “Unworthy “
The verdicts of the Italian press were correspondingly scathing. Corriere dello Sport” stated that the Portuguese’s record was “unworthy”. The verdict of the “Gazzetta dello Sport” was even harsher: “Mourinho is collapsing,” was the newspaper’s verdict.
But the Portuguese himself defended himself: “As far as I know, Roma has never reached two European finals in a row before me,” he said. In 2022, AS triumphed under his direction in the European Conference League (1-0 against Feyenoord Rotterdam), and at the end of last season, Roma only lost to Sevilla FC in the Europa League final on penalties (1-4 n.V.).
Although the defeat hurts, Mourinho admitted, there is “not much time to cry. Instead, he is already looking ahead again: “Starting tomorrow, we will work for a very important game.” On Sunday evening, Roma await another promoted team, Frosinone Calcio.
Mourinho and Roma in search of defensive stability
What Mourinho and his team need to work on most is defensive stability. Last season Roma had the fourth-best defence in Serie A, but now they have conceded 11 times behind goalkeeper Rui Patricio – only Sassuolo (12) and Empoli (13) have conceded more. Mourinho, however, refused to pin the defensive woes on the absence of sold players such as Roger Ibanez or the currently injured like Chris Smalling. “To say that our weakening stability is the result of the absence of this or that player would not be correct,” he said, rather taking the team to task: “Stability is also a result of the important collective work without the ball.”
What should be clear, however, is that a win in front of the home crowd is a must against Frosinone – otherwise the storm could quickly turn into a hurricane. Lorenzo Pellegrini is aware of the situation: “We absolutely have to win against Frosinone and everyone has to give a bit more,” the captain demanded.