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Jose Mourinho back in football, arrives at AS Roma

Recently, it was reported that Jose Mourinho would not be returning to football anytime soon. The Portuguese was linked with a rapid return after exiting Tottenham Hotspur, with Jorge Mendes-friendly club Valencia CF expected to make a move for the coach. Their sacking of coach Javi Gracia only furthered the talk that he could arrive in one of the most challenging teams left in Europe that he has not managed. However, instead he will be returning to manage in Italy with AS Roma.

The Giallorossi have made the move for Mourinho after dispensing of coach Paolo Fonseca. Despite some hugely impressive results since arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk, the coach was unable to take Roma back to the UEFA Champions League. The hope is that the arrival of a proven winner can help to cajole a squad in need of direction with a new look and shape. Sound familiar?

In many ways, Mourinho walks into an identical challenge with Roma as he did with Spurs. He will be managing a success-starved capital club with massive support, incredible potential, and a volatile fanbase. He will be arriving at a club on a long trophy drought and with a propensity to move on their key players on a regular basis. For Mourinho, then, the challenge in Italy is going to be just like the one he just left in London – arguably a last dance at the elite end of the European game.

With Roma, he takes over a young squad and will need to look to add some pillars to the team to add more backbone. In recent seasons, I Lupi have lost heavily to the biggest clubs in Italy and across Europe. The most recent example was a 6-2 postering at Manchester United, showing another showcase of their brittle mentality.

What was said?

When arriving as the coach of Roma, news instantly spread that he would like to bring in former club captain and icon Daniele de Rossi. Having routinely changed coaches since former assistant Rui Faria took on his own jobs, Mourinho has become open to working with new coaches at each club. The arrival of a former legend would help to instantly add credibility to the Mourinho era.

He will take over at Roma at the start of the 2020-21 season. In a statement after joining at the club, Mourinho stated: “It is the same ambition and drive that has always motivated me and together we want to build a winning project over the upcoming years. The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I cannot wait to start next season.”

The appointment has been with some scepticism in Italy, with former Inter fans worried their former icon will succeed and other club fans assuming that Mourinho is a busted flush. However, with both coach and club failing to make huge gains in recent years, might this actually be a match made in heaven?

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