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Talking Tactics: Roma's short-term De Rossi appointment based on long-term aims
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Dan Fitch
Daniele De Rossi is the new manager of Roma
Daniele De Rossi is the new manager of Roma

Roma legend Daniele De Rossi has been handed the reins as the Serie A giants' new manager.

The 40-year-old has been put in charge until the end of the season by Stadio Olimpico chiefs, after Jose Mourinho was sacked yesterday.

There is still much for the Giallorossi to play for. Though ninth in the Italian top flight, they are only five points away from the Champions League places and are through to the last 32 of the Europa League. 

Ahead of Roma's match against Verona on Saturday, we take a look at why De Rossi was given the job and the task ahead of him. 

Roma legend

When a manager is dismissed, bringing in a popular figure to quickly unify the club can be a smart move. 

There are no doubts regarding De Rossi's credentials in this area. A former Roma captain, the midfielder made 616 appearances for his boyhood side. 

Born in the Italian capital, he rejected numerous advances from Europe's top teams during an 18-year spell at the club. 

De Rossi is also a legendary figure for his country, having been capped 117 times by the national team and part of the squad that lifted the World Cup in 2006.

It was with the Azzurri that his coaching career began, serving as an assistant manager to Roberto Mancini when the country won Euro 2020 at Wembley.

A technical role with the Italian youth teams followed, before De Rossi was given the opportunity to become head coach of SPAL in October 2022. 

His brief time at the Serie B club raises the biggest questions regarding his appointment at Roma. 

De Rossi would only win three of his 17 games before being sacked, just four months after his appointment. 

Buffon backing

Roma failed to impress under Jose Mourinho this season
Roma failed to impress under Jose Mourinho this season

De Rossi's appointment at Roma is a risky one, considering his lack of previous managerial success. 

The team are after all still in contention for the Europa League and European qualification. 

Yet De Rossi's former Italy team-mate Gianluigi Buffon has backed the decision. 

The legendary keeper, 45, said: "It doesn't seem like a leap in the dark to me, either for Roma or for him. 

"When you know the context and the environment well, internally and externally, you are already one step ahead. 

"The transmission of certain concepts will now be fundamental for Daniele. 

"He will have to immediately prove himself credible to the team. And he will succeed, I know it." 

Emphasis change

Daniele De Rossi is sure to get the backing of the Roma fans
Daniele De Rossi is sure to get the backing of the Roma fans

Though Roma's form has been erratic, Mourinho had not lost the support of the home fans. 

His side had lost their last four away games but against strong opposition. On their own patch, they were unbeaten in 12. 

Unusually for a mid-season sacking, this looks like a decision based just as much upon long-term goals, as short-term aims. 

Under Mourinho, Roma built the third-highest wage bill in Serie A with an ageing squad, including 30-year-old Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku and Argentine playmaker Paulo Dybala — also 30.

Such spending demanded Champions League qualification and it seemed as if the Portuguese coach was set to miss out for the third successive season. 

With De Rossi in charge, there is the chance for the campaign to be rescued but also to move back towards an emphasis on using younger players. 

Historically, Roma have an excellent academy, so appointing a former product of that system, with experience in youth development, makes some sense. 

If this temporary role is to become permanent, De Rossi will need to improve results, bring in fresh blood and modernise the tactical system.


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