Former Roma vice president Joe Tacopina remains unconvinced of current Giallorossi boss Jose Mourinho but likes the direction the club are going in despite the Portuguese coach’s presence.
Few are more aware than Tacopina of just how difficult an environment can surround Roma in the Italian capital, but he believes that the club have what is needed to get back to being one of Italy’s most-feared sides under their current ownership.
“I think it’s never easy at Roma,” current SPAL president Tacopina told The Italian Football Podcast. “It’s a piazza calda, it’s a difficult place to be, the expectations are always enormous.
“They are off to a good start, certainly better than where they’ve been in the last two years. I think they have the financial power to make this a great team again.
“I hope for the fans of that great city and the club I was vice-president of for four years that they return to the upper echelons of Serie A. I really do. They deserve it.”
Attention turning to the man in the dugout at the Stadio Olimpico – Jose Mourinho – Tacopina had less kind words for the former Inter, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester United boss.
“I was saying to myself be politically correct Joe when you asked that [about Mourinho] because I do not like Jose Mourinho,” Tacopina said. “I’ll take my coach at Venezia, [Alessio] Dionisi, who is at Sassuolo now, any day of the week.
“Look, I know he did something really special and great 100 years ago, and I don’t know what really he’s won in the last decade and it’s not even that.
“I know he’s a good coach but not a coach I appreciate because here’s a guy who when things go badly, [says] the team is not good enough, the club didn’t buy him enough players, the referees are always against Roma, the pitch sucks, my second team is not good enough to compete, it’s never a reflection in the mirror. It’s never ‘I have to change’.
“Anyone who names himself ‘The Special One’… maybe you need to check yourself with that [laughs]. He considers himself to be at a different level and everyone else has to come up to his level and he shouldn’t come down.
“Just not my type of coach, I don’t know him as a person, maybe he’s a great guy, I don’t like what I see and I don’t like how he’s constantly blaming everyone else. To me that is a sign of weakness.
“The Friedkins have put in a lot of money and doing a lot of things to try to reestablish Roma as one of the top teams in Italy.
“When a coach is attacking them for not giving him the proper players, if that’s how he really feels, he should go into Mr. Friedkin’s office and have that conversation there and not in the press.
“To me that is a sign of insecurity and weakness, but you know he’s not my sort of coach. Give me Max Allegri any day. There are coaches out there, Paolo Zanetti the Venezia coach who was shockingly fired who I think will be one of the best coaches in Italy.
“Dionisi who I had at Venezia who I think is a terrific coach. There are a lot of great coaches out there. I had Pippo as a coach but his brother Simone has put himself out there as one of the top coaches out there.
“I don’t see any of those guys doing what Mourinho does and that is what sets them apart for me.”
Mourinho has taken Roma to their first European final in 31 years this season, with them set to face Feyenoord in the Europa Conference League at the end of May.