Under normal circumstances, any manager who guides his club to successive second place finishes, including one record setting year that would have won the title nine times out of ten, and back-to-back appearances in the Champions League wouldn't have to worry about his job security, but this Roma we're talking about; Roma doesn't do normal. So, despite those bona fides, the reported rift between Rudi Garcia and Roma management is widening by the day, leading many to speculate about his immediate future; as in, he may be out of job before I finish this sentence.
Today we were hit with a flurry of rumors, ambivalent quotes, and veiled criticisms that have led many to believe that Garcia is indeed on his way out the door. First and foremost, the fallout from Garcia's press conference last week continues to cloud his future. Garcia, you might recall, pinned Roma's inability to keep pace with Juventus on their economic and technical shortcomings, which, to the surprise of no one, kind of made James Pallotta upset. Go figure.
While Garcia is still Roma's manager, word on the streets is that he has not, in fact, been invited to the club's London summit. As this summit generally focuses the club's summer directives, Garcia's absence could be damning. While the extent to which any given manager is involved in a club's transfer policy varies, one would at least think he'd be in on the conversation. So if this disinvitation is true, it doesn't bode well for Garcia's future with the club.
But, this isn't really fresh news; we've been debating this for several days. However, there was a huge, and I'm talking HUGE, development on this front today. Well, perhaps 'development' is a tad too hyperbolic, but there is one man, one man for whom many Roma fans would sacrifice their firstborn to see him prowl the touchline once more, Luciano Spalletti. And the Poobah couldn't help but discuss his former employer.
Everyone's favorite Ponce de Leon look alike chimed in on the current state of affairs in the Eternal City:
The Giallorossi have a good squad and I hope I am not disturbing Garcia's work by saying this...I think that with those words Garcia wanted to make perfectly clear that with their Champions League journey Juventus received a huge economic bonus...They are already investing on the market to get even stronger, so the gap does risk becoming even bigger next season
Nothing too untoward there; Juve making the Champions League final earned them a gigantic windfall, which will only increase their economic advantage over Roma, but then Spalletti took a somewhat veiled shot at Garcia's motivational techniques:
I was sent away from Roma because I always finished second, but I think against sides like Juve, Milan or Inter one must always try to convince the players they are capable of reaching the final result. You can't pull back. It is imperative to convince the players that the result ultimately depends on them.
Perhaps its the American in me, but I admire his cockeyed optimism; if you don't think you can win a given match, let alone the title, why show up?
Then Spalletti really lit the fuse...
I am like many others a Coach waiting for a phone call to get back on a bench, I'd like to work in Italy after an experience abroad that was fundamental for my growth process. If an important offer arrived, I would have no problem leaving what I organised abroad to come back to Italy
While we're still miles away from a new manager, if you're Rudi Garcia, and you're presumably interested in remaining in Rome, this confluence of rumor and intimation is your worst case scenario. There are few coaches in the club's history remembered as fondly as Spalletti, so if there was anyone who could unseat you, when all common sense says you should keep your job, it's Luciano.
For my money, I say yes. Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times yes.
Stay tuned, this could be an eventful weekend.