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Monchi Hits Out at Roma; Pallotta Fires Back

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The Spaniard wasn’t going to leave quietly...

AS Roma v SS Lazio - TIM Cup Final Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

The messy break-up that has been the Monchi departure from Roma got a little messier on Monday when the Spaniard was officially unveiled as the new (old) sporting director of Sevilla. Upon his return to his former position with the Spanish side, the former Roma SD answered questions for the media. When the topic turned to his time in Rome, things got a little ugly.

When asked why he left Roma, Monchi stated that it was because “the owners ideas were different” from his own. Monchi continued on by saying that it was best the relationship ended, before clarifying that he’d never say anything bad about the club.

“The President thought it was better to go to the right, I thought it was better to go to the left. It wasn’t right to carry on like that, but I can only speak highly of Pallotta and all those who brought me to Rome. You’ll never hear me say anything against the club and Roma. We realized we were travelling on different paths and decided to stop there.”

While Monchi maintains this story, many believe that different path was the fate of former coach Eusebio Di Francesco, However, Roma owner James Pallotta had a very different view on the situation. He released a statement of his own responding to Monchi’s press conference comments.

“I was kind of surprised to read Monchi say at his press conference that he wanted to go one way and I wanted to go another way,” Pallotta said.

“I appreciate that Monchi never set out to fail at Roma but I want to make something very clear; right from the start, I was very clear about the direction I wanted us to go in and that’s why we spent a lot of money bringing Monchi in.

“From the start, I said I wanted first class coaches, first class performance staff, first class medical staff, first class scouting and recruitment and a first class football organization. I gave Monchi the keys to deliver that. I gave him 100% control to appoint the coach he wanted, to employ the assistant coaches and the performance staff, to manage the scouting and to bring in the players he wanted. If you look at our results and our performances, it’s clear that this hasn’t worked.

“In November, when our season was going from bad to worse and everyone could see that the coach was struggling to get a reaction out of the players, I asked Monchi for his Plan B should things continue to get worse. He had sole responsibility for football operations at Roma but he didn’t have a Plan B. That was November. He said his Plan B was just to keep doing the same as Plan A.

“So, if I read or listen to the radio interviews he’s giving where he says that the idea of the ownership was different to his and that is why he left, please let me know what Monchi wanted to do differently? He asked me to trust him and let him do it his way. We gave him complete control and now we have more injuries than we’ve ever had and are in danger of missing out on finishing in the Top 3 for the first time since 2014.”

My Take

Pallotta’s comments were very direct and to the point, which makes you feel like there is a lot of truth to them. However, that’s not to say that there isn’t any truth to Monchi’s comments, as the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle; likely a matter of interpretation.

I get the impression that Pallotta, as the boss, gave his employee (Monchi) all the resources and control needed to build the company (Roma). When things went awry, Pallotta asked him to come up with a plan to fix a failing project. Meanwhile, the employee was rigid and stuck to his original plan thinking it was still the best one for the company. The employer, being unhappy with the lack of a Plan B, took matters into his own hands and tried to fix the project on his own; in this case by firing EDF. This made it all the easier for the employee to run back to the safety of his much more patient and less stressful former employer (Sevilla).