Claudio Ranieri feels for Eusebio Di Francesco as Roma sold the ‘backbone’ of his team but notes ‘he knew what he was signing up for’.
Three defeats in four games and just one win all season have left Di Francesco under huge pressure at Roma, but Ranieri believes the buck also lies with the club for depriving the Coach of Alisson, Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman all in the same summer.
“Di Francesco is one of the best Coaches coming through in Italian football,” he told Radio Anch’io Sport.
“He did very well at Sassuolo and also at Roma last season, but he’s lost the backbone of his team this season.
“He needs to stimulate his group so they can get to the bottom of their problems. I hope he’ll be allowed to do the work he deserves to do.
“When a Coach signs a contract, he’ll know his team’s philosophy. Di Francesco knew what he was signing up for.
“Roma have been selling their best players for years, although it’s clear no-one expected the team to perform like they have.
“Fiorentina have changed a lot, but they’re flying at the moment, in part because they embrace young players.
“It’s different at Roma: the fans seem afraid of touching the ball, as if it’s hot. The fans must stay close to the team.
“In my mind, there’s the idea of embracing a serious project.”
So would the 66-year-old ever return to the Olimpico, having almost guided the Giallorossi to the Scudetto in 2010?
“Roma are in my heart, but I’m a fan and I hope Di Francesco can show his ideas are still valid,” he replied.
“That Scudetto we lost in the last half-hour of the final day still burns. I think about it often, although I partly redeemed myself at Leicester…”