Considering the entire face of the club is about to change yet again in the summer, what with the penchant for those doing the hiring to reel in philosophy rather than simply finding a guy to mash things together and all, the impending look for a coach is, for Roma, a sizable deal. They may not toss TNT onto the squad sheet again, but there will be personnel change beyond the average once again. Ludovic Giuly alone is not walking through that door, although I, for one, would be delighted. This team is far too tall right now.
Thus there will be rumors. Lots of rumors. There might even be, from time to time, some news, but most of it will be fabricated because there's nothing else of interest to write about regarding Roma these days. A look now, and to be amended at various times, those candidates. Assume already some have been missed because they're difficult to keep track of, much like Florenzi on the pitch of late.
It's not a particularly glimmering landscape, but it's not a bad one, either.
There's no question Aurelio has far surpassed expectations. The first match was a loss, but since then he's only dropped two points, beaten Juventus, and more importantly, instilled some sense of confidence into what was a broken side. He's even done it by benching Pablo Osvaldo, extracting one of the better performances from Panagiotis Tachtsidis, somewhat revived DDR, placed Miralem Pjanic in a position to become one of the better midfielders in Europe, and solidified the back to the point where no cares who's in net because the back line is often taking care of matters before it gets to that point. He has been, from each vantage point, a rousing success, particularly considering from where he began.
But he's a 59 year old with zero top-flight experience and questionable long-term effectiveness - it's only been six weeks, after all, and many times a coach's second trip around the league looks far different than the first. Sure, there is the potential for a Cinderella story, but she was just a fairy tale after all.
The Big Names
Massimiliano Allegri, Milan
At times, he's been mentioned as Roma's clear first choice in the event that Milan finally finds someone more desirable and pitches him to the land of unemployment. There's no question they wanted Pep, but that ship has sailed frostily north and Allegri might just stay considering their improved run of results. Silvio changes his mind on what to do with personnel more than he changes concubines.
There is an allure to Allegri. I think? It seems clear the problem in Milan is often personnel, as shipping out someone like Zlatan will, yes, hurt your club dramatically, but Max has never seemed to be anything but, much like Roberto Mancini, someone capable of not screwing up what is already there. This set of skills does have its merit in football, but he's far from a brilliant tactician, incredible motivator, or anything which would seem to thrust him above most others on this list. That doesn't make him any less likely considering the swirling rumors, but it doesn't make it make sense, either.
Manuel Pellegrini, Malaga
Ooh, Real Madrid reject. Rosella would've hired him by now.
Given Malaga's financial difficulties and upcoming European ban, currently going through the appeal process, this is a plausible option. The problem is Roma's been banned from Europe over the last couple of years too, just for shitty football. He'll get a call and should be near the top of the list, but much depends on what happens with Malaga, one would think.
Marcelo Bielsa, Atletic Bilbao
You know when you were a kid and you were at the store or at a park and your mom or dad told you not to touch something but your brain wouldn't allow you to heed their warnings and so you touched it and now you drool on Wednesdays and Fridays exclusively? That's Bielsa. In some respects, he is the middle ground between Luis Enrique and Zeman: fiercely loyal to his attacking philosophy; not quite so suicidal as Zdenek's, but he actually scores goals, unlike Enrique's. He's also got a personality to mirror ZZ when it seems the current crop prefers the intimate, maternal approach to coaching. Oh, he's a brilliant coach, sure, but it'd be feast or famine with Roma. There is going to be no middle ground with a club so mentally fragile as this. Thus it's a something along the lines of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, except this isn't porridge - it's touching an electric fence. Low voltage hurt. High voltage hurt. Medium voltage is going to hurt too. They should play it safe, but you know they won't be able to help themselves and they'll touch it and pretty soon James Pallotta will be James Pawwowwa.
Laurent Blanc, Unattached
If there was another unemployed option they truly desired at the time of Zeman's sacking, tis unlikely Aurelio would be Roma's coach at the moment. And if the length of the contract in the winter was an issue with Blan, they simply don't want him all that much. If he is hired, it's because other options are lost.
The Newly Unemployed
Roberto Mancini, Manchester City
I refuse to entertain the plausibility of this non-option. Just...no.
Walter Mazzarri, Napoli
Here's the question: What is Napoli's ceiling?
Anyone from the lands further north of Rome would probably argue Roma's is, at current, higher. Walter's contract is up in the summer. He has not extended, nor does he appear close to doing so. There's every chance, with Cavani and Hamsik at points where another club with annual title designs has its allure, he simply sees this current Napoli at its ceiling. He's done what he can, and it's impressive, but is he trudging a title to the San Paolo? Unlikely. In Rome, over the next years anyway, he could. More money, more stability, more exposure, more brand potential, new stadium upcoming, etc.; Roma's potential extends beyond that of this current Napoli. He is without a doubt somewhere in the top three so long as the end date on his contract remains the same.
I'll Wait For You, I Promise
Cesare Prandelli, Italy
This has been touched on at length. What this would mean is a stand-in for a year, someone to develop the youth and hopefully sneak into the Champions League, before handing over the keys to the professional to finish the job.
Perfectly honest? I'd rather coach Fiorentina right now. Better team, better ownership, better personnel structuring. The only difference is Roma has more money and the lure of nostalgia. But would you leave Fiorentina for Roma knowing full well how unstable this ship has been over the last years, especially after just one year? Perhaps he'd leave for the Milan job, or another where the money is more bountiful and guaranteed year-to-year, but there's no good reason to leave Fiorentina this soon otherwise - the Roma job will be there for him in the future.
Montella is desirable. He becomes less desirable if he actually takes the Roma job.
Christian Panucci, Unattached
Entirely unproven, but he does have the allure in that he walked into Palermo and after forty days, had the good sense to say, "Fuck this, I'm out of here." So at least he's capable of taking risks then making good decisions when it's clear they won't pan out. I like that.
Otherwise, he's a complete unknown. After two failed experiments, it's likely they'll take a route of less inherent risk, particular with someone who's as hot-headed as GOMR.
The Newly Re-upped
Stefano Pioli, Bologna
This has been touched upon, but I can't imagine, looking at this list, Pioli is worth a buyout for Roma. Something may change, but there's nothing which says he's the savior or makes shelling out money for him at the expense of others the wise decision.
Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar Donetsk
Haven't the slightest clue in what world he's leaving Shakhtar for Roma. Someone find his contract details and then talk to me. He's getting boffo money for a club which spends boffo money for prime, if raw, talent, a yearly invite to Europe and has been there nearly ten years. This is the good life and he's 67. The guy is riding this out until retirement and damn well he should.
Put In A Phone Call And Pray, But It's Not Happening
Jurgen Klopp, Borussia Dortmund
Hottest coach at the moment? Probably, though a great deal of credit goes to those above him searching out the players to put at his disposal. Borussia Dortmund has no business winning consecutive titles or advancing to the Champions League kayos at the expense of Oil Drums FC of Manchester, but they did. This makes him one of the hottest names in all of coaching, and because of it, he's been linked to the likes of Chelsea.
So how about we instill a rule for now: if someone is linked to the Chelsea job, he's not allowed to be mentioned in the same sentence as Roma, because it's just not happening.
Roma gained some (a lot of) weight. They're still in the dating game, but until they hit the gym, they need to understand their new level of standards. It ain't what it was, and that chick with the second nose? Don't be so quick to dismiss.
Frank De Boer, Ajax
He's getting a phone call. He's politely declining, but he's definitely getting a phone call and he should be, given their desire for an aesthetic brand of football, damn near the top of the list, if not the top. (He is, for the record, my personal choice.)
Luciano Spalletti, Zenit
What a man.
Just not yet.
Don't Even Think About It
Carlo Ancelotti, PSG
Please. Only in a Pixar film is he leaving Paris and that job for this Roma right now. Build him a squad, net a perennial CL spot, then he'll talk.
Jose Mourinho, Real
This man is Manchester United's next coach. That's all.
Yes, I'm Saying It
Francesco Totti, Roma