Wednesday April 28 2021
End of the road for Fonseca

The Portuguese was on his way out even before Thursday's thrashing in Manchester, and Owen Diana suggests the heavy Old Trafford defeat mirrors his two-year spell in the Capital.

As Roma's European dreams died at the Theatre of Dreams, their coach's hopes of staying on next season did too. Work was already underway behind the scenes to sack Paulo Fonseca before the Giallorossi travelled to the north of England, but as the visitors headed into the dressing room at halftime with a 2-1 lead, it appeared that the 48-year old could still save his skin.

That solid first-half showing made La Lupa's collapse in the second stanza all the more painful, and it fits in neatly with the wider narrative of Fonseca's reign. The capital club has sprinted out of Serie A's blocks in both of the former Shakhtar strategist's seasons at the helm, only for things to fall apart in the Girone di Ritorno.

Injuries have not helped the coach's cause this term, however, and that continued to be the case at Old Trafford. Incredibly, Roma were left without windows to make substitutions after Leonardo Spinazzola was forced off in minute 37.

The Italy international joined fellow starters Jordan Veretout and Pau López on the sidelines, and the trio made its absent felt during the second half shellacking.

Roma may lack the depth of their elite European and domestic peers, but that does not excuse the tactical and mental deficiencies that doomed them against the Red Devils. The Giallorossi held onto their halftime lead for less than three minutes, with Edinson Cavani's equalizer exposing a recklessly aggressive approach.

Within seconds, a visiting attack turned into a three-versus-two situation at the other end, and United's Uruguayan hitman took full advantage. Players of such proven quality cannot be left with so much time and space to wreak havoc, especially at such a crucial stage in the tie.

That strategic slip-up is Fonseca's fault, as is a lack of mental fortitude that paralyzed his players after the hosts got their third. The Portuguese coach has had almost two years to work on that crucial defect, but the club's continued struggles against Serie A's best show that he has not made much progress.

Roma cannot currently compete with the domestic and European elite, and the Friedkins are right to look elsewhere for someone who can bring them closer to the cream of the crop. With that in mind, mooted replacement Maurizio Sarri seems like an intelligent choice.

The Tuscan also favours assertive attacking play, and that stylistic continuity should help his new charges adapt to his tactical demands. Moreover, the bespectacled boss boasts title-winning experience from his spells at Chelsea and Juventus.

Fonseca was already in the dug-out when the Friedkins took over, and they cannot be faulted for trying to make an arranged marriage work. It is still unclear whether the former Shakhtar coach will be sacked before the end of the season. At this point, it makes little difference. Lack of consistency and personality has proved to be the key to Fonseca’s flop at Roma, now the time has come to let a new chapter begin.



Have your say...
there have been unreasonable expectations placed on roma they have been progressively run down for the last 5 years in a transfer policy which sells exceptional players for unspectacular prices and buys mediocre players for above their market value.

not to say fonesca doesn't have a reasonable group of players compared to the likes of milan or lazio they are at least on par. you can't just put this on missing zaniolo it has been a lack of team ethic and synergy with hurts roma.
on the 3rd May, 2021 at 1:44pm
The lack of mental fortitude you mention is not fondecas fault. It’s been there throughout the tenure of numerous coaches. It’s like it seeps through the entire club. There may be a number of reasons but the main one is they have simply not had a top level squad for many years. Until that is sorted no coach will win anything with them. They will get so far and then crumble like they have continuously done so over the years
on the 1st May, 2021 at 9:49pm
another dreadful season in Europe for Serie A. It is just a level slightly higher than Ligue 1 (although I don't recall any humiliating losses by French teams a la Roma. And they still have PSG) I don't know if Fonseca is completely at fault. The squad has no depth and no outstanding talent. I thought Palotta would mean a new Roma. That certainly didn't happen. Let's hope the new owners have more success and that stadium gets built. Another season of huge disappointment for calcio.
on the 1st May, 2021 at 3:55pm
As a Roma fan, I am growing increasingly tired of losing. The year that we had Allison and Salah- I thought we were making progress. Then we sell them to Liverpool and they go on to win champions league and premier league. And the way Florenzi was treated was Disgusting. And look at him now- semi final of champions league with PSG. I put this on upper management. Fonseca should’ve been fired after the first season. The only good thing about him is that he is good looking.
on the 1st May, 2021 at 11:23am
Clear Fonseca's fault. People may point out the unlucky injuries in the 1st half. But whose fault is that to field unfit players?
After Roma somehow took a lead 2-1, Fonseca should've made the last subs allowed in half time. Kumbulla & Borja in and go to parking the bus mode.

Roma's squad is still good enough to finish top-5. They're about equal to Milan's. It is unbalanced though, too many attacking wingers but lacking full backs. Still, to not have a single win vs top-6 teams is unforgivable.
on the 1st May, 2021 at 10:56am
Besides poor management. How about taking a look at Roma's training pitch? How come this team have an injury problem for 10+ years?
on the 1st May, 2021 at 9:22am
And before anyone comes out with the argument of "Why don't they just get sprinters to play then". Obviously this speed needs to be combined with footballing talent. And it doesn't have to be sprint speed, sprint intensity is important. Barella isn't very fast but his energy and intensity is exactly what is needed in modern football. As someone mentioned earlier, the tempo of Italian football is to slow. Until this changes Serie A will continue to struggle in Europe
on the 1st May, 2021 at 9:03am
Only Inter have the kind of players with speed and energy that cause problems out of the Italian clubs. All the recently successful teams in Europe don't just have 1 quick player, they have 4/5 all over the pitch that frighten the life out of slow immobile players. Roma had zero pace in that team, neither did Milan when they got knocked out, or Juve, or Lazio. Italians still class someone like Chiesa as quick. Yes he's not slow but he'd get roasted by players with real speed.
on the 1st May, 2021 at 9:00am
Italian teams just don't seem to have grasped the way football is played these days. They've been stuck in a defensive catenaccio style for decades, then Barca came along and everyone tried to play Tiki-Taka. The problem is that Tiki-Taka is already out dated and the modern style is all about high intensity pressing and passing where you essentially run the legs off your opponent.
on the 1st May, 2021 at 8:57am
Whoever in charge of Italian league must ban teams like AS Roma from competing in Europe, they have humiliated your league. From some comments, I can tell that the main problem(s) is the owner(s). For the sake of Serie A, mediocre teams like AS Roma MUST be banned from any UEFA competitions regardless their result in the league.
on the 1st May, 2021 at 4:31am
I'd keep Fonseca. Such reliance on Dzeko simply doesn't make any sense and let's just all agree that Roma is a club that tends to make pretty dubious moves on the transfer market. It's a mess of a club. It's literally Sampdoria with deeper pockets. Fonseca never had a chance to compete with the big guns. Give the guy some depth and I'm certain that he'd get the club fifth, at least.
on the 1st May, 2021 at 2:08am
Some good comments here.

Roma were a supermarket under the last regime. Will the new owners will be the same?

Fonseca's time is up, but what cast-off hired will be better?

Luciano S mentioned tempo - why are Italian teams so tired/slow looking?

The defeat the other night says a lot more about Serie A than it does about Fonseca.

Now it's a worry whether the Serie A-based players will be good enough for the Italian NT this summer, playing in a weak league learning bad habits.
on the 30th April, 2021 at 11:29pm
roma has been this way in europe for years. always prone to heavy defeats and mental utd knew exactly what they were doing when they put up that 7-1 hammering on their social media page. fact is the roma players even 2-1 up looked more surprised than anything to be up a goal. they look ready for a hammering in this game
on the 30th April, 2021 at 10:42pm
Fonseca on first season manages 5th place in Serie A.

Second season is supposed to be better yet he does worse.

I hated Di Francesco but Fonseca has really taken its place.

Next season with Sarri we wont be great but we'll be way better than with this portugese gipsy.
on the 30th April, 2021 at 8:53pm
9 coaches in 11 years couldn't solve the "lack of mental fortitude" at this club and bigger shoes than fonseca have failed at it.

Why dont we put the blame where it belongs? Two owners, 9 coaches, instability, impulsivity and just plain sillyness. The stadium? What a joke. The monchi debacle, the disrespect of the clubs history and badge and frankly, the blaming of managers who cannot run a rotten club. Enough is enough. 1 or 2 years from now you will blame sarri and fit him for the noose.
on the 30th April, 2021 at 6:56pm
Roma's recruitment is great. We find great young foreign players. Develop them. And as soon as they become good, they get sold to ambitious clubs. Allison, Salah, Marquinhos, Paredes, Rudiger... the list is endless. So yea sure sack Fonesca but nothing is going to change unless this policy is changed and the club decides to get serious. Otherwise, a new manager will just be a new scapegoat.
on the 30th April, 2021 at 6:31pm
...But now the worst is to come. We have to sit and watch the English sides battle each other for the top trophies. The Italian sides are so far behind the other big three in Europe it has become embarrassing. No teams fear us. If we fail to get a team in the quarters I am no longer surprised. Forget about winning finals, if we get to a semi it's a major success! And who knows, it could be an English, 1,2,3 with home advantage for the Three Lions at the Euros virtually guaranteed. Unbearable!
on the 30th April, 2021 at 5:21pm
Oh dear, oh dear. What a disappointment. I cannot believe Fonseca didn't revert to two banks of five and frustrate Utd. 3-2 would have still been a good result. What is it with Italian teams and tempo! Roma looked dead on their feet after 50 mins. However, once again, a dodgy penalty against an Italian side in Europe. I can't remember the last time an Italian team got a soft pen in a big game (I'm still smarting over our robbery against Barca when Tevez was pulled down in the CL final).
on the 30th April, 2021 at 5:12pm
Great manager, don't really know why he is being sacked. Took Roma, really a mid-table team with illusions of grandeur to within 135 mins of a European final. The fact he hasn't won anything puts him in league with nearly all other Roma managers. Keep him in place at least until the next Derby.
on the 30th April, 2021 at 4:15pm
Hmm, poor Fonsie...lets just review romas history shall we. 9 coaches in 11 years...yeah its the coaches fault alright...every manager is a damned bandaid because roma is a mess from the ground up. Club bought and sold again.

Here you go, Spaletti. Get blood from a stone. Next is Sarri on the pitchfork because this club is poorly run, is impulsive, silly, had ridiculous stadium ideas, worse transfer ideas an owner who was lost, fired Monchi, hired so and so.

I mean seriously, when does it end?
on the 30th April, 2021 at 4:14pm
It was weird to attack in the 2nd half while you're up. Fonsie probably knew his roma couldnt hold that lead so it was a real gamble...but they wouldnt have held that lead no matter what and the dzeko goal was completely against the run of play. For 40 minutes roma couldnt even move the ball out of their half...its sort of like a boxer with no chance scores a flash knockdown....does he go for the knockout or run for 10 rounds? He was probably doomed either way.
on the 30th April, 2021 at 4:05pm

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