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The return of the prince

Vaseline 3 months ago

In football, some love stories must remain untouched once the first chronicle is closed. After all, most sequels do more harm than good. Just ask Barcelona’s favorite son, Xavi. Despite enjoying mild success during his tenure as manager, he has hardly received the treatment a club icon should receive. The charisma he once had during his elusive playing career quickly disappeared after he swapped his football pants for the manager’s trousers. So when Daniele De Rossi accepted to take charge of his beloved Roma following José Mourinho’s sacking, many saw it as a disaster in the making.

Over the years, a host of managerial stints have been viciously cooked under the blazing Roman sun, with some tacticians never truly recovering from the blow. What chance does a young manager without top experience have in these turbulent times in the Italian capital, they wondered. Some fans and observers were already lamenting the loss of a career that was still in its embryonic stage.

Yet Rome’s new ‘Dictator’ did not accept the honor simply out of love for the club that hosted the vast majority of his playing career, or simply to appease his Roman heritage. No, from the moment he returned to the club’s training ground in Trigoria, GDR beamed with confidence and looked like a man who knows one or two secrets about this place, secrets that seemingly overshadowed the minds of those who occupied the region . place in recent years.

And like a majestic magician, De Rossi quickly turned Roma’s fortunes around, banishing the gloomy atmosphere he inherited as the club began to achieve positive results while showcasing a progressive brand of football. Led by their returning captain, the Giallorossi have increased their status in the standings and put themselves in a solid position for Champions League qualification, especially with Serie A on course to secure a fifth spot. Furthermore, Roma swept aside Milan to book their place in the Europa League semi-finals.

While we can’t attribute the club’s revival to any one aspect, it has certainly been a combination of factors that can be attributed to De Rossi and his fantastic work on the training pitch, in the dugout and in the dressing room. So we will try to summarize it under the banner of the following four points:

Tactical reform

Although Roma has never been the ultimate force in Italian football, the club has developed a certain tactical identity over the decades, which has made it synonymous with entertaining football, unlike some of the country’s other top clubs that prioritize substance over style. That is why the capital club was nicknamed “La Magica”, or at least it is one of the reasons behind this special name.

Needless to say, the club’s supporters found little magic in Mourinho’s playing style, even if the latter’s mere presence added some glamor and prestige during his time at Trigoria. However, De Rossi immediately understood the urgent need to resort to the club’s basic principles by restoring a 4-3-3 formation in which the club’s most talented players can fully express their ability.

While dropping the three-man backline in the middle of the campaign could be seen as a dangerous maneuver on the young manager’s part, the results show surprising defensive solidity. Since taking charge, De Rossi has only seen his side concede more than two goals twice in all competitions, including one against runaway leaders Inter.

Restore Grinta

Although De Rossi managed to brighten up the team’s performance by implementing a more attractive playing style, this did not come at the expense of the club’s tenacity and talent. Grinta. After all, the 40-year-old made a career by combining technical skills, physical strength and a warrior-like spirit. In other words, this Roma side truly embodies the young coach’s mentality.

Fortunately for DDR, its roster features several players who enjoy the Gladiator mentality. Gianluca Mancini, for example, hardly needs further encouragement. If anything, the coaching staff has to constantly tame him to ensure he doesn’t receive bookings. Furthermore, players like Bryan Cristance, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Leandro Paredes are never afraid to do dirty things in midfield, despite having renowned technical attributes.

Even Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala are willing to act as the first line of defense when necessary, much to the delight and appreciation of the Olimpico crowd.


As is often the case, Mourinho left a club in complete disarray. While the Portuguese may not have been solely to blame for the chaotic scenes that Trigoria saw in the later stages of its reign, its presence cannot be a mere coincidence.

The Special One came into conflict with a number of his players, including Rick Karsdorp and Pellegrini (who found a mocking ‘farewell message’ from the departed manager in his locker), and also had a frosty relationship with the club’s sporting director, Tiago Pinto. despite their common heritage. And then we haven’t even mentioned Mourinho’s antics towards referees and the press.

So when De Rossi replaced his controversial predecessor, it almost felt like the sun was finally shining in the Italian capital after a long, ravaging storm; The new manager is in line with the hierarchy, while calm has been restored in the dressing room.

If we talk about a club notorious for its heated environment, we can enjoy quiet times.


Perhaps this goes hand in hand with reconciliation. After all, with the entire squad within the manager’s good graces, the 40-year-old has selected his starting lineups on the basis of pure meritocracy, picking the best and most suitable players for his tactical puzzle.

That’s why we’ve seen players like Stephan El-Shaarawy and Pellegrini gain playing time befitting their status at the club. These stars were overlooked by Mourinho in favor of younger but less proven players such as Edoardo Bove and Nicola Zalewski.


What seemed like a temporary period born of chance and panic has turned into the best thing to happen to humanity. Giallorossi in recent memory. Therefore, De Rossi will certainly deserve the permanent job, and rightly so.

However, in the crazy world we call Calcio, no story is destined to end with “And they lived happily ever after,” and that certainly won’t be the case for the second love affair between Roma and De Rossi. So we can definitely expect more of the same theatrics we’ve seen throughout the club’s history, as well as overreactions around every corner.

But whether this rollercoaster of a ride will be long or short, the Returning Prince of Rome will certainly make it worth it as he will be determined to bring glory to his beloved club and city, or attempt to do so.

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