Something has changed. Not with Roma, but with the approach to a new coach. No one expects that someone will put in a Fergie-like tenure anymore, but it almost seems as though some clubs have lost hope for it, hiring the next before the next before the next. They're so jaded by the prospect of yet another failed relationship they've shunned the idea that this next coach could be The One, instead aspiring only to fill the space. Roma is no different.
They do say when you've lost all hope is when luck finally strikes.
And boy is this a relatively sad crew.
The Future Ex-Roma Manager Power Poll: Third Edition
1. Walter Mazzarri
Can't really understand the concern over the use of youth with Mazzarri; it's not like Sabatini will give him anything else to work with.
It seems unlikely that Allegri will be released from his contract, which places Mazzarri atop the list.
And really, Luciano Spalletti did alright while playing broken down old men, with those years far more exciting than recent, no? With Germany so successful, Roma might need Mazzarri right now. Get good, get into the Champions League discussion, and then pay attention to the method. Worrying about how they get good is a luxury Roma's been failing at miserably the last two years. This crew can't afford 'how' just yet.
Don't complain your steak isn't medium-rare when you don't even have bread.
2. Stefano Pioli
Chant with me.
Lack Of Options.
3. The Unknown
This man doesn't exist...yet. He's like the cure for cancer, your winning lottery ticket, or my capacity to care. It's somewhere out there, but no one's been able to find it yet.
4. Laurent Blanc
That whole if they wanted him bad enough, he would've been hired in January bit. And though rumor is never something to be trusted, his name hasn't made the rounds nearly enough in Italy for someone currently without a job and who was already approached. That seems to indicate he was genuinely seen as a band-aid more than a desirable commodity.
But there is one thing: Walter Sabatini reportedly said the coach would be decided before the Coppa Italia final. Which is after the end of the league season, yes, but leads one to believe if it's not Aurelio, and it's unlikely to be, then it's probably someone unattached.
Thus, here we are.
Perhaps they were so ill-prepared for Zeman's swandive in January that they weren't ready to commit to Blanc at the time, but after assessing his qualifications and other options thoroughly, decided he's the guy. Right now, he's probably the best choice for coach all-around. That doesn't mean he'd elicit the best results, mind - it means he could do the club the most long-term good in terms of development, mentality, et cetera. And hell, if he could turn around post-2010 France and make Yoann Gourcuff seem relevant, then I'd entrust him with anything. (The briefest thought of having Laurent resurrect Yoann in Rome entered my mind. A fragile psyche is the last thing Roma needs, particularly one with a body so recently broken, but he was utterly majestic on his day.)
Rumors in France say he's in negotiations.
Rumors in France.
5. Roberto Mancini.
His name is getting nowhere near enough play in the press right now. The problem may be the same as Roma and Milan and every other club: what are the options for City should they release him from his duties? They're likely to have an emissary at Wembley throwing gold bars at Jurgen Klopp on the sidelines, but he seems like the type for whom character will trump paycheck and he's found a home. Mourinho won't jeopardize his guaranteed gig following up Sir Alex on the red side. Carletto? Maybe. Pellegrini has been discussed. Is he what City is looking for? Who knows. But this crop of potentially available coaches is lacking, which might mean a very slow summer for the coaching carousel in general.
But if he is available, he seems like someone the suits would jump for. Not smartly.
6. Cesare + One
Eighteen month interim coaches are a terrible idea, but it's no different than a coach planning to retire. This option still remains and it's only so high in that all those below it seem so much more implausible. This is a three-point-five-horse race at the moment, and one of those horses is a mystery or seven.
7. Roberto Donadoni
The poor man's Roberto Mancini.
Sweet Mary did I just write that.
8. Max Allegri.
His 2013-14 Milan salary needs to go half to El Shaarawy and half to Balotelli. (He's not getting fired - not if the season ended today anyway.)
Nothing has made me question the competence of this ownership group more than instilling him as the head and shoulders number one choice (allegedly). Not that anyone should be a clear number one at this point.
This list is the Match.com of potential coaches; the dented cans aisle.
9. Manuel Pellegrini
Something sits uneasy about this one, as though Roma might not be the right fit for him. Though perhaps that's simply residual fear from The La Liga Experiment. Who knows, because he's proven to be able to take a club well above its weight. (Submarines. Yellow ones.)
Likely won't matter. If he leaves Malaga, it's reported that both Manchester City and Chelsea will consider offering him their soon-to-be-vacant-soon-to-be-vacant head coaching positions at the very least, and likely other clubs. One would imagine he'd take the Inter job before Roma, for argument's sake, as well.
That City bit should frighten you.
10. Andrea Stramaccioni
This is a name which hasn't been mentioned and for obvious reasons: he's under contract at a club which publicly has given him more rope than a guy with a lot of rope. But there's a decent chance that fighting for the Europa League isn't going to cut it at Inter, if all teams from the city of Milan have personnel move issues of recent. They aren't what they were and neither are the names on paper, even if the injury crisis isn't hyperbole - that @#$% is a legit crisis.
This is the type of club someone like Carlo Ancelotti - we love, but he's a hired gun - would walk into if Moratti gave him carte blanche with transfer funds for the next two summers. Which is also possible.
What's his appeal to Roma? There should be none, but there will be some if he's fired. Obviously he went to Inter from Roma, jumping from the Roma youth setup (where he was blocked by Alberto De Rossi) to the Inter Primavera, then from the Inter Primavera to the Inter senior side after their forty-seven failures at coach post-Mou. Feel good return. Emotion schmemotion.
This was written pre-Siena. I'll go ahead and say the same as usual - poor first half, better second half - will happen shortly.
Assessment: I'm an idiot.
Further assessment: unless this club wins out, his chances still seem low.
12. Carlo Ancelotti
His Parisian divorce gets closer by the week, but the only way he comes to Roma - look at his CV - happens should he decide he needs to coach Totti before he retires.
13. Eusebio Di Francesco
This club is not taking a flier on a nostalgic choice with one short, failed stint in the top flight. They can only afford it financially.
14. Vincenzo Montella
"I know I rejected you twice when you wanted me, but will you date me now that I can't find anyone better and you're popular and stuff. But I can't give you Champions League football. And I definitely won't appreciate you like your current love, who lost a lot of weight and actually looks much better now. Please love me."
15. That Dude.
You know that dude.