If you read the papers, you’ve no doubt heard that Luciano Spalletti, for a variety of reasons, may be shuffling his way out of Rome, after a mere 16 months at the helm. If this is indeed the case, the Giallorossi will be seeking their sixth manager since the Americans took over in 2011. So if you’re looking for a reason why Roma can’t gain traction on Juventus, look no further. It’s hard to mount a title challenge or maintain any shred of consistency when the man calling the shots changes virtually every season.
I’ll save my personal vitriol for Spalletti for a later date, but I thought it might be a good idea to resurrect an old CdT tradition, the future ex manager power poll, a fairly regular exercise as recently as 2013, when, in the wake of Zdenek Zeman’s dismissal, we took a somewhat tongue in cheek look at the men most likely to be fired and/or quit Roma next.
So, without further delay, here it is, the 2017 Future Ex-Manager Power Poll!
Your Top Seed
Current Club: Paris St. Germain
Managerial Experience: 12 years, most notably PSG, Sevilla and Spartak Moscow
Preferred Formation: 4231
Emery, due to his connections with Roma’s not-yet-but-soon-to-be-director-of-sport Monchi, is your odds on favorite, you know, presuming he’d love to leave a club with unlimited resources in exchange for a relatively hamstrung outfit. Emery’s greatest strength may also be his greatest weakness—his 4231 is tailor made for this Roma squad, yet, for much of his recent career, that formation has been option A through Z, and as we’ve seen in Roma’s recent history (Zeman and Garcia in particular) tactical inflexibility is a recipe for disaster.
Despite that intransigence, Emery has a pretty full trophy cabinet, having won three Europa League titles—which, before you scoff in haughty derision, is something Roma has yet to achieve even once—a Coupe de la Ligue and a Trophee des Champions from his time in Paris.
All in all, Emery seems like a manager on the rise, which again begs the question, why take a step down from PSG?
Your Nostalgic Pick
Current Club: None
Managerial Experience: 30 years, most notably Roma, Juventus, Inter, Chelsea
Preferred Formation: You’re joking, right?
Where do we begin with our dear Claudio? Ranieri, as you well know, was unceremoniously dumped by Leicester City after doing the unthinkable, winning the Premiership last season despite the enormous odds stacked against them. With LCFC struggling out the gate, the Tinkerman was shown the door in the winter, and while they’ve managed to claw their way back to 12th place, you can’t help but shake the feeling he was shafted
But Leicester’s loss could be Roma’s gain, if you dare. Ranieri, a born and bred Roman, led our beloved club for parts of two seasons between 2009 and 2011, succeeding (ironically) Spalletti after Luciano called it quits early in the fall of 2009. From there Ranieri took Roma to damn near unprecedented heights, ripping off 24 straight matches without a loss, temporarily sitting atop the table. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as Roma capitulated to Mourinho’s treble winning Inter side.
Let me be clear, Ranieri is no long term solution, but his track record proves one thing: he makes winners, quickly. Bringing the tinkerman back to Roma could help bridge the gap between the Spalletti Renaissance and this next man...
Your Pride and Joy
Eusebio Di Francesco
Current Club: Sassuolo
Managerial Experience: 8 years, most notably Sassuolo, Lecce and Pescara
Preferred Formation: 433
EDF may not be a Roman by blood, he was born in Pescara, but he was a member of the Giallorossi for five years, including Roma’s last Scudetto in 2001. As a hard working, never glamorous midfielder, Di Francesco fits the mold of the perfect player turned manager; a heady player who got by on grit and know-how rather than Ronaldo-esque skill.
Since moving to the bench, EDF has done the unthinkable, bringing Sassuolo to the top flight and, more importantly, keeping them there for several seasons now. EDF even brought the overachieving Neroverdi to European play, thanks to his development of talents like Domenico Berardi and even Simone Zaza.
At only 47-years-old, Di Francesco is very much a managerial prospect, leading many to question if he’s ready to make the jump to Roma, but his career thus far has proven one thing, he can win. So if Roma can jump on this rocket ship now, they may have the next great Italian manager on their hands.
Your Secret Crush
Current Club: AC Milan
Managerial Experience: 5 years, most notably Milan, Roma, and Fiorentina
Preferred Formation: 433
If you need me to break this down, then you’re obviously not much of a Roma fan. But here goes: not many players have ever delighted the Roma faithful quite like Montella, who spent parts of ten seasons with the Giallorossi, grabbing over 80 goals in the process. Vincenzo’s exploits in a Roma shirt were good enough to get him inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2013. Montella’s Roma connections don’t end there, however, as he was a youth manager for several seasons and even a caretaker of the senior club after Ranieri resigned in the spring of 2011. Montella guided Roma to sixth place that season before being replaced by Luis Enrique during the American’s first summer in charge.
From there, Montella began to make his name as a manager, leading Catania and Fiorentina for four seasons before landing the plum gig in Milan. Unfortunately for Montella, he’s had the misfortune of leading the Rossoneri during one of their rare downturns, but with new ownership in tow, Milan may yet return to their former glory, but could Montella be tempted by a reunion with his former club?
Your Also Rans
Roberto Mancini, Cesare Prandelli etc.
We won’t delve too deeply into these guys, if only because you know their names and reputations, but they’re your standard Serie A re-treads. Not the sexiest picks, but they’ll keep you competitive at least.
So, that’s it for now, take our poll and tell us who you like at this early stage in the game.
Assuming Spalletti leaves, who would you like to lead Roma next?
This poll is closed
Eusebio Di Francesco
Other (tell in comments)