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I’m a bad person


I haven’t been a very good Roma fan lately.

As a paid union official, as a matter of principle I generally don’t call for coaches to be sacked. I believe that they are workers too, just like me and just like the members who I’m paid to represent.

Just like everybody else, football coaches deserve respect in the workplace, they require room to work, and I freely acknowledge the fact that they know a damned site more about coaching than I do!

I don’t expect Rudi Garcia to look at the way I’ve handled a Personal Grievance and demand that my employer let me go because somebody was issued with an employment warning. So why should I get to call for his head? Does the fact that he earns three million euros a season change anything? It shouldn’t. I mean to say, it does in that I know he should be financially secure whatever happens in his working life, but that’s as far as it goes.

But that hasn’t stopped me lately. My frustration with Roma’s poor results, with no end in sight, and Rudi’s infuriating lack of any sort of analysis or insight into the problem in his media comments got the better of me. I have been relentlessly demanding his removal for weeks and now that he’s definitely going I am rightfully ashamed of myself.

And it really dawned on me what an ass I had been when I saw this photo this morning:


Here he is, handing out bibs at training, big smile on his face, while he and everyone else on the planet knows full well that he’s about to get fired. And what’s more, the man who is rumoured to be getting his job is, at that precise moment, on a plane to Miami where he will reportedly sign an eighteen month contract – AKA Garcia’s death warrant.

What a pro. I hope I would be capable of maturity like that in similar circumstances, but the truth is I suspect I would probably be pouring Agent Orange all over that lovely green training pitch…

Still, I’m not going to go the whole way to admitting I was completely wrong. I still think it’s right that Garcia is going. I don’t think you have to be a coaching expert to see that it wasn’t working out, that a change had to be made and that it definitely should have been made a lot sooner than it was. But I would say this to the man who gave us so much joy two seasons ago when he led us to our highest ever points tally in Serie A:

I haven’t been very nice about you lately. I thought you were out of your depth, and I think you know that you were, but there is no denying the magical ride you gave us in your first season in charge. So thanks for that. Thanks for everything. I believe that you have the potential to be a great coach one day. It’s sad for all of us that it won’t happen at Roma. Grazie Mister.

Nothing is confirmed yet, but it looks like it’s out with the old and in with the even older!

Assuming all the rumours are true, our new coach is our old coach. Because that always works out well… I think it will though. At least, I have hope that it will.

They say that second comings never work out, but there is precedent at Roma. Nils Liedholm won our second league title in 1983 during his second stint with the club. Will it happen this time? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s been six years since Luciano Spalletti last coached us and a lot has changed since then. We know he was moderately successful at Roma with bugger all in the way of resources during the Sensi era – maybe, just maybe, he can do better now that we have plenty of money. The question mark is has he learned from his departure which, truth be told, wasn’t that much different from Garcia’s exit today?

One thing in his favour is that he is a big fan favourite. He will have a long honeymoon period with all of us in the cheap seats largely off his back – and that’s important at Roma. It’s for that reason that I think he’s got as good a chance at success as anyone – perhaps a better chance than most.

There’s no disputing that we have bigger problems than just the coach. I’ve written about that before many times. At least Spalletti knows exactly what he’s walking into. And he’s hungry to, in his own words, finish what he started.

There is nobody I would rather see us achieve success under than the Flying Spalletti Monster! I want to believe that he can do it and, for now, I do.

The Flying Spalletti Monster

The Flying Spalletti Monster

Categories: Roma/Italian Calcio

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

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