It would be understatement to label Roma’s season thus far anything other than disastrous. The Giallorossi currently sit fifth in the Serie A table and are at risk of finishing outside a Champions League place for the first time since their 2012/2013 campaign under Zdenek Zeman.
Their season went from bad to worse after they crashed out of the Champions League against Porto earlier this month, which was followed by the rightful dismissal of manager Eusebio Di Francesco. Less than 24 hours after losing their manager, the club learned that sporting director Ramon Monchi, who had arrived less than two years previously, was set to quit.
These past few weeks of turmoil have undoubtedly affected the team, who continue to play well below their ability and have continued to drop points to inferior opponents. If there was ever a time for a revolution at AS Roma, that moment has arrived.
After two nightmare summer transfer market campaigns, Monchi has left Roma’s roster in absolute ruins and there is no doubting that a “new” Roma will be born this summer following the Spaniard’s laundry list of mistakes.
But who is the right person for the job?
Roma managers and directors of both past and present have always admitted that there are few clubs in the world with more pressure than in the Italian capital. It’s clear that this pressure affected Monchi and that he didn’t possess the right amount of courage and character to handle such an environment.
This can’t be one of the characteristics that President James Pallotta overlooks again. The American, who is never shy about voicing his opinion, hit out at Monchi earlier this week after the Spaniard proclaimed that he was on a different page than Roma’s ownership.
Pallotta claimed that Monchi didn’t have a Plan B when things were clearly going wrong for Roma earlier in the season despite having entrusted to him the Giallorossi’s entire sporting project.
So who could Pallotta possibly trust after being burned so badly by Monchi?
The new director could come in the form of an old flame. It’s none other than Walter Sabatini, the ex-Roma sporting director and current Sampdoria technical director.
Sabatini, who arrived at the club in 2011 before being replaced by Monchi in 2017, has never hidden his affection for Roma and despite a number of run-in’s fans, he managed to live his time at the club with the right temperament. With Roma‘s roster in pieces, Sabatini could be the right man to rebuild Roma in his image. After all, the Roma that went to the Champions League semifinals only a year ago was primarily the Roma of Sabatini.
It’s also worth remembering that given Roma’s delicate financial situation mixed with the prospect of missing out on Champions League football (and revenue), Sabatini seems to be the right man who can rebuild the Giallorossi on a tight budget.
Another name worth considering is Torino’s Gianluca Petrachi. The 50 year old has built an incredible Toro side who are in the mix for a Europa League spot and are one of the most defensively solid sides in all of Italy, which isn’t something that could be said about Roma.
It also can’t be ruled out that Pallotta could confirm current interim sporting director Ricky Massara, who returned to the club this past summer. Massara has been the protege of Sabatini for a decade and has lived in his shadow the entire time. Massara has an eye for young talent and, like Sabatini, has especially strong connections in Brazil and Argentina.
Wifh all the options available, the most logical seems to be to give Massara the full-time opportunity. Not only is he deserving of it, but there would be no acclimation process and he could immediately begin to rebuild the Giallorossi. But knowing James Pallotta, there is no such thing as a sure thing — so a surprise could be in store.
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