José Mourinho, the coach of AS Roma in Italy’s Serie A, has been properly ‘horned’.
The Giallorossi were held to a hard-fought 1-1 draw by relative underdogs Servet FC of Switzerland in their fifth match of Group G of the 2023/24 UEFA Europa League.
Roma is currently second in the group, behind Slavia Prague of the Czech Republic. If Roma wins against Moldova’s FC Sheriff in Game 6 and Slavia loses to Cervet, the positions will be reversed. However, the current standings mean that the second-place finishers in each Europa League group will have to play a playoff match against the third-place finishers in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Roma’s performance was poor. Romelu Lukaku scored the first goal of the game in the 22nd minute when his left-footed strike found the back of the net, but the Giallorossi tied the game at 1-1 five minutes into the second half when Cervet striker Cris Bedia’s right-footed shot found the back of the net.
Roma maintained a combined 61% possession in the first half and kept Servet at bay. However, the hosts continued to create chances on the counterattack. Despite the huge difference in possession, the two teams had the same total number of shots, 13. If Servet had been more decisive, Roma could have lost the game.
The British public broadcaster BBC published an interview with Mourinho on January 1, in which he criticized Roma’s players, saying that “players who don’t have a lot of experience in European competitions play with a lot of flair.” “I don’t understand it,” he said.
“I don’t understand it. “I don’t understand, I’ve managed over 150 games in the Champions League, which is much more important than the Europa League, and yet the motivation I have for the Europa League is sky-high.레모나토토
“There are players who are focused for 90 minutes and there are others who are casual in these games,” Mourinho said, “I’m not going to name names,” he added.
Mourinho said it would not be a “catastrophe” if Roma finished second in the group and faced playoff matches against teams that have dropped out of the Champions League, but “they should be criticized for missing the opportunity to take all three points in Switzerland”.
“I’m not going to make a movie about it (getting emotional),” said Mourinho, who seemed calm about the possibility of finishing second, “because that’s a movie where some players have the same attitude every day and blow their chances anyway. Especially when we went into the second half with the lead and we conceded the equalizer,” Mourinho mocked his players.
“There are no consequences (for that behavior) here,” he said, adding, “If it was (Manchester City manager) Pep Guardiola, he would make them pay for that kind of performance. If he doesn’t like a player, he can sell him and bring in someone else.”
However, Roma cannot compare to Manchester City in terms of finances. “We don’t have that option here,” Mourinho said. It’s just that the manager keeps hammering away at the players and trying to get the best out of them,” Mourinho lamented.
“Roma is a fantastic team with good players and professionalism,” Mourinho said, urging the players to wake up and realize that “this is an inherent problem, they shouldn’t feel comfortable.”
Mourinho’s contract with Roma ends at the end of this season. There is still no word on a renewal between the manager and the club, with reports suggesting that Mourinho could take over at Real depending on the future of current Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.