Following Roma’s ignominious end in the Champions League Round of 16, Jim Pallotta has decided that enough is enough. Despite an exciting Champions League run and a respectable third-place finish last season, Eusebio Di Francesco’s goodwill has finally run out, and he is now just another ex-manager of the Giallorossi.
Roma announced the sacking on their website, saying the following:
AS Roma announced today that head coach Eusebio Di Francesco has left the club with immediate effect. The club would like to thank Eusebio for his work during his time at AS Roma and wish him success in the future.
Di Francesco, who won the Scudetto with the Giallorossi as a player in 2001, returned to Rome as first-team coach in the summer of 2017.
Club president Jim Pallotta said: “On behalf of myself and everyone at AS Roma, I’d like to thank Eusebio for his work and his commitment. ”Since returning to the club, Eusebio has always acted professionally and put the club’s needs ahead of his own. We all wish him well for the future.”
Di Francesco will be best remembered by fans for leading Roma’s 2017-18 Champions League campaign, the furthest the club had gone in the tournament since 1984, and for plotting the incredible 3-0 comeback against Barcelona to reach the semi-finals.
That trip to the semi-finals won’t be forgotten for a long time (at least, not if Roma’s social media department has anything to say about it), and Di Francesco should be credited with bringing some order back to the locker room following Luciano Spalletti’s, um, unorthodox leadership style. Even so, for a club trying to break into the Juventus/Barcelona/Man City stratosphere, Roma needs more than exciting come-from-behind victories and unified locker rooms to push forward. Simply put, Roma needs consistent winning. Di Francesco didn’t provide that, so out the door he went.
Of course, moving on from a manager every two seasons isn’t the best way to instill a sense of continuity in your squad, and this sacking will only further the idea that Roma is a club that expects things it has never gotten, demanding titles and glory when its trophy cabinet is essentially bare. Regardless, when a club is playing as poorly as Roma has this season, one of the few moves to be made is the sacking of the coach. So, here we are.
Perhaps the biggest question now facing Roma is the future of Monchi and many of his purchases. Will management decide that his time at Roma is already a failure, and give him the sack as well? Will Monchi pack his bags for London? Or were Roma’s problems more related to Di Francesco than we might have originally thought, and Monchi’s plan for Roma will be vindicated with a caretaker manager?
Whatever happens to Monchi, it’s safe to say that the rest of the season is going to be quite interesting to watch. Claudio Ranieri is rumored to be taking over as Roma’s caretaker manager, and despite his rather embarrassing recent stint at Fulham, this is still the manager who won Leicester City the Premier League title. Expect a lot of 4-0 wins or a lot of painful 0-0 draws. it’s safe to say that the Giallorossi will be an interesting watch for the next couple months.
Truly, Romanisti are cursed to live in interesting times.
Update, 5:32 PM EST: RomaPress.Net is now reporting that Monchi is also leaving Roma in the next few days. It’s fascinating that the Monchi era is over just as quickly as the Di Francesco era, but considering the rumors for the past several months that Monchi had tied his future to Di Francesco, this can’t be too surprising. Names like Walter Sabatini and Piero Ausilio have been floated, but with Jim Pallotta deciding to completely clean house, it’s anybody’s guess where Roma will be headed next.
We’ll certainly be writing more about both of these developments in the next few days. Hopefully Pallotta doesn’t make me resign before then.