Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that my love for Roma coach Luciano Spalletti knows no bounds. He is my absolute favourite giallorossi tactician of all time. I love that insane Bond villainesque bastard like the father I never had.
I almost can’t bear to watch the team at the moment, given that all the smart money is on my heart being broken in a few weeks’ time with the crazy bald man I love so much set to depart.
He has been saying since the start of the season that that if he doesn’t win a trophy with the club this year he will leave. With elimination from the Europa League at the hands of Lyon, elimination from the Coppa Italia at the hands of Nazio, and dropping away from scudetto contention all occurring in the last few days and weeks, the chances of him meeting his self-inflicted personal ultimatum is now zero.
Reports indicate that the club is already lining up current PSG boss Unai Emery as a replacement. You’ll have to forgive my lack of excitement at that prospect. The last French title winning coach we employed, Rudi Garcia, started off with a hiss and a roar before proving himself to be utterly inept in every way.
Spalletti has lashed out at the Roman press, the city and the fans in recent days, indicating that he has had enough of the toxic environment surrounding the club that a long list of coaches have struggled with before him – including the now successful Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, who only lasted one season in the Eternal City before running away as fast as his legs could carry him back in 2012. And who could blame him? How the hell can anyone have confidence in our ability to attract another world class allenatore to this coach killing mad house?
Spalletti’s greatest attribute is how well he knows the club and the environment. This is his second stint here and he arrived knowing exactly what he was getting himself into. Unless we hire another former Roma manager such as Cesere Prandelli, Claudio Ranieri, Vincenzo Montella or Fabio Capello – all of which seem unlikely at best – we are going to take a huge risk on whoever is either dumb or desperate enough to sign on the dotted line.
Spalletti may not have won any trophies this season, but he is getting results and instilling more confidence in me as a fan than any other manager we’ve had since his first stint came to an end in 2009. But my real point is when you have had seven coaches in the past 6 years and the results are all much of a muchness, you have to draw the reasonably sound conclusion that another new coach won’t take us to the next level.
So the question is this: Why oh why did Spalletti have to make all those stupid comments???
I can see two plausible possibilities.
Option A is he was creating an out for himself. The whole thing is too hard and he’s only here so he can get his reputation back on track after his two year sabbatical following his sacking by Zenit St Petersburg and what he really wants is a more cushy little number at a club with deep pockets like Juventus or Inter.
Option B is he was just talking shit in the hope that it would strengthen his hand in negotiations with the club when his contract expires at the end of the season. Maybe he was expecting President Pallotta to respond by begging him to stay. If that’s the case, all he has achieved is the creation of a big fat distraction that has made it harder to achieve his specified objective than it needed to be.
Regardless, if it’s Option A, then there’s a New Zealand song that fits the situation perfectly…
But if it’s Option B, well then the good news is it doesn’t have to end this way.
Will he look stupid for going back on his word if he stays? Who cares! When he arrived he said it was to ‘finish what he started.’ That job is not done. To leave now would be to go back on that instead. What’s the difference?
And look, if he really wants a trophy I am happy to award him one for ‘Sexiest bald Serie A coach with the initials LS.’ I’ll get it engraved and everything.
But failing that, if UK PM Theresa May can categorically say that she won’t call a snap election, then call one, then win it (which she will), then this rubbish about Spalletti being compelled to walk out is just that. Everyone just needs to put on their big boy pants, take a deep breath and be grownups about this.
In that spirit, my stern and very mature message to all concerned is this:
Don’t leave us Luciannnnnnnnoooooooooo!!!!!!
Categories: Roma/Italian Calcio
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.