The 2023/24 Serie A campaign is turning into a difficult one for AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho.
Seven games into the domestic Italian campaign, Roma are sat in 13th place in the table having only picked up eight points so far from two wins and two draws, and as their preparations for this weekend’s clash with Cagliari away continue, there will be those in their fan base who are concerned that they could fall to what would be their fourth defeat already.
With attentions turning back to Mourinho and his particular style of management, the 60 year old remains insistent that his Roma project is not over, and despite receiving the ‘craziest offer’ over the summer from another club (presumably Saudi Arabia based) he is determined to build on their Europa Conference League win (2022) and go one better than making the Europa League final in 2022/23.
Speaking to the media recently, Mourinho was adamant that he is ‘not the problem’ when it comes to their league start.
“Three months ago the idea of me leaving was seen almost as a tragedy. During the holidays, I received the biggest and craziest offer a coach has ever received in the history of football. And I turned it down. I did so because I’d given my word to my players, I’d given my word to the fans and I’d given my word to the club owner. Three months later, it seems like I’m the problem. I can’t accept that.”
“I don’t read the papers, listen to the radio or watch the TV but I have friends, I have players, I have assistants, I have people who, even if I don’t want to know, inform me of things. I won’t accept it. Because it’s not true. I’m not the problem. In football, and in life too, there are multiple factors. It’s the same when you win: you can’t say one person is responsible for it. We all are. Lots of little things are at play in a football club, a business, a political structure, an educational structure, and I know because I’ve worked in one. It’s always multiple factors.”
Having already proven himself in Serie A by taking Inter Milan to two titles back in 2009 and 2010, he has not quite repeated that success yet at the Stadio Olimpico, but despite the poorer start he certainly does not sound like someone who is ready to walk away – but Mourinho rarely ever does.
“Until 30 June 2024 I’ll be here fighting every day, working every day, for the players, for the club, for the fans. There’s only one person – and of course I mean the owners, whether it’s Dan Friedkin or Ryan Friedkin – who can tell me it’s over. I’m not afraid of external pressure. I’m not afraid of being booed as I enter the field. I’m not afraid at all.”
A third win, and a good result in Europe, would certainly improve the current tensions.