Fortress, alchemy, ambitions … Mourinho’s promising first steps with Roma

With five wins in seven Serie A matches, José Mourinho is enjoying a successful debut for AS Roma.

Despite contrasting experiences at Manchester United and Tottenham, José Mourinho remains special. This frantic race to celebrate his team’s second goal against Sassuolo on September 12 is the perfect illustration of this. Considered one of the best coaches of all time, the Portuguese made his comeback in Italy, after having written one of the most beautiful pages of Inter Milan between 2008 and 2010. Under fire from critics after his last stints in England , his arrival at Roma is full of meaning. A budding romance between a renowned coach in search of a rebound and a historic club which is desperate to restore its image after a season punctuated to a little shining 7th place.

The Stadio Olimpico, an impregnable fortress

José Mourinho has always given great importance to developing real solidity in his den. A data that follows its course at Roma at the start of the season. Best Serie A team at home, with four successes in as many games, José Mourinho’s proteges are impregnable at the Stadio Olimpico (2 goals conceded). Unbeaten to Giuseppe Meazza during his first stint in Italy, the Portuguese coach has never lost at home in Serie A.

The former Chelsea technician had even chained 86 consecutive games without a loss at Stamford Bridge. A principle well anchored in the native of Setúbal.

However, it should be remembered that the Giallorossi faced opponents within their reach, like Udinese, Sassuolo or Empoli. Outside, the Roman ship pitched much more, and gave off much less serenity. 15th in Serie A out of their bases, the Romans bowed in particular during the derby against Lazio (3-2). A symbolic defeat in a capital match which is extremely important for the tifosi. Despite this hiccup, José Mourinho’s AS Roma had a successful start to the season as evidenced by his fourth place in the standings.

In symbiosis with its players

Outstanding communicator, the former Porto coach has been a reference for years to motivate his troops and galvanize his teams. Ahead of his time, José Mourinho managed to get the best out of his players before crucial meetings. A capacity that he had more difficulty in exploiting at Manchester United and Tottenham. The Portuguese had a relationship “I love you neitherWith some players, like Paul Pogba at Manchester United. At Roma, the lights are green, and an alchemy reigns between the coach and his players. Coveted by Mourinho, Tammy Abraham joined the Italian capital this summer. Highly visible during his first appearances, with 2 goals scored in the league, the England international was rave about the management of his new coach.

«I learned more in a few weeks with Mourinho than in my entire life. It was easier to stay on the bench with Chelsea but I chose Roma.»

Same story for Jordan Veretout, in sparkling form, author of 4 achievements in the league, like his friend in the middle, Lorenzo Pellegrini, exemplary captain who has just extended until 2026. A duo in the extremely decisive midfield that contributes at the good start of the season for the Romans on the attack front.

With 16 goals scored, Roma are the fourth attack in the championship. A success which is due to Mourinho according to the new French international. “We work very well with Mourinho; he transmitted his mentality to us. We give double to training to satisfy him.»

Even Henrikh Mkhitaryan, pushed towards the exit in 2018 by the Portuguese when they were at Manchester United, seems conquered by the first steps of Mourinho.

«Everyone knows he won almost everything. We hope to win something with him, because he is a coach who can give us that little extra. I don’t want to talk about the past with him, we talked about it together and now everything is clear. Let’s start over.His sprint to rejoin his team after the victorious goal in added time against Sassuolo fits perfectly with the character Mourinho, the art of attracting the light, and the desire to be close to his players.

The key for the former Tottenham technician will be to keep that positive momentum throughout the season, in order to build big ambitions.

Find the Champions League, before reaching the holy grail?

Fourth in Serie A, José Mourinho and Roma are in line with their ambitions, namely to regain the Champions League. Engaged in the Europa League Conference, the Romans aspire to play the leading roles in a competition that does not attract crowds.

But the main objective remains to perform well in the league. This Sunday against Juve, Roma has the opportunity to send a message to the other Italian leaders. Despite three successive Serie A victories, Massimiliano Allegri’s men have had a sluggish start to the season. Same situation at home, since Paulo Dybala’s teammates have won only 1 victory in 3 games at Juventus Stadium. This match will mark José Mourinho’s return to Juventus Stadium, three years after his controversial celebration after Juventus-Manchester United (1-2) in the Champions League.

A victory would allow Roma to gain confidence and fight for the top spots. Aware of the goals set by the club, Mourinho aspires to lift trophies with the Giallorossi after a 4-year scarcity without a title.

«I would give Roma titles because a club lives with titles and they fuel the passion of the fans. I immediately realized that the love for Roma here goes beyond trophies, it’s an eternal passion, it’s in the blood and it’s family. However, victory is what is missing and we are building a project to make it happen.»

Ambitious, José Mourinho will seek to strike a big blow this season with Roma. But like most of his past experiences, the second year of the Portuguese coach in a club is often successful.

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