Oof, what happened yesterday? Almost as if the universe were saying, “No, just because you’re in the Europa Conference League does NOT mean you won’t be embarrassed in European competition anymore”, Roma were trampled underfoot by Bodø in a 6-1 loss. which is easily one of the most embarrassing moments in club history. And with such a fiery and combative manager as Mourinho at the helm, it’s no surprise his post-match presser shared opinion on the relevance of his comments.
Read the transcript posted on the team’s site below, along with some concluding thoughts from Yours truly.
A heavy loss – who should take responsibility?
“I do. I decided to put the side that I did. It’s my responsibility. Obviously, I did it with good intentions in mind, for two main reasons. On the one hand, I wanted to give a chance to those players who worked very hard but didn’t have a lot of luck to play. On the other side, considering the squad we have and all the games we have to play, I wanted to rest some of the players who have played just about every game.
“On an artificial pitch, in weather conditions like these, I decided to rotate a lot of players. Then we lost to a team that was better than us. It’s simple. Bodo’s first team is better than the one that started the game for us.
So it’s not about mentality or tactical approach or underestimating the opposition – it’s just capacity?
“Look, if I could still play with the same guys, I would. But I think if I did that I would take big risks, because there is a big difference in quality between one group of players and another. And in a group stage game like this, when there are six games and we already have six points with two more games to come in Rome, I decided to make the changes that I made. .
“I knew the limits of some of our players, it’s nothing new, but obviously I expected more response. But since the decision was mine, it is therefore I who must take responsibility.
Is there any fear that a loss like this will leave a lasting effect on the team?
“It always leaves an impact. I have no doubts about it. But I’ve already spoken to the guys in the locker room and been honest with them.
“Maybe I can’t be honest with you [journalists], I cannot open up too much, because we are talking about the private life of a family. A family that really has a strong bond, a strong empathy for each other.
“But I never hid the fact that I knew the team had its limits: the first team of 12 or 13 is one thing and the others are another. The only good thing now is that no one will ask me why I always choose the same players.
Sunday’s match against Napoli is now becoming vital …
“You can’t have slips, but you can always go wrong. It’s football. But our main team, if we call it that, is playing well and deserves to have more points than we currently have. They play well with the right attitude.
“So on Sunday we will leave with the same attitude. But obviously with the weight of this defeat on our shoulders, a historic defeat I would say. “
You’ve never conceded six goals before in your coaching career …
“Yeah, I know, but the problem isn’t how I feel about those things. A six-goal loss isn’t just about me, but the players as well.”
If the board asks for an explanation, what will you say?
“I’m going to explain things as I normally would, with some things I’ve already said in private. Things I said before I even lost 6-1. It’s not a 6-1 loss that will make me publicly say something that I have already said in private to those involved.
“I’m going to try to keep these things as much as possible behind closed doors, without going out.”
Personally, I have no problem with what Mourinho said. That’s what Mourinho has always been, and it translated into a hugely successful managerial career for the Portuguese tactician, so of course he was going to react that way after such a heavy loss. Many Roma supporters have come out to denounce his comments, especially his comments about the quality of his second eleven, but I think the purpose of his comments has more to do with 1) moving away from the result of his first 11 pick, so that he is not weighing so much on them before the game against Napoli, and 2) end the questioning about his rotations, which he mentioned in his answers.
Now, is this the way you want to go if you want to build the confidence of your bench and the chemistry of your team in general? Probably not, right? But who knows what Jose said to his players after the result, and a recurring theme of the season so far, especially in Mourinho’s pressers, has been the bond and the camaraderie of the team, so that doesn’t Wouldn’t surprise me if behind the scenes he is rallying the troops and trying to create that “us versus the world” mentality that has served him so well in the past.
In the end, the effects of this result and Mourinho’s comments won’t be felt for a few matches at the earliest, so will this dark chapter in Roma history bring the team together? Or are the cracks already starting to appear in The Special One’s Roma adventure?